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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Still Life, B/W & Experimental 
Thread started 24 Apr 2012 (Tuesday) 17:47
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The man who decided to become a tree

 
habakuk
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Apr 24, 2012 17:47 |  #1

IMAGE: http://www.punctumsaliens.ch/nature/pub/themanwhobecameatree_800.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.punctumsali​ens.ch …anwhobecameatre​e_1200.jpg  (external link)

(click > zoom)

cheers
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rick_reno
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Apr 24, 2012 22:52 |  #2

very nice, looks like he is screaming




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Apr 24, 2012 23:20 |  #3

I'm honestly a little bit unsure of how to approach this. I guess my reply would sort of depend on whether or not this is a heavily manipulated picture in which the tree was made to look like a face, or if it's a picture of a stump that just happens to look like a face. And really, neither would surprise me.

I also don't think that you should have to tell me which is the case in order for me to judge the picture.

But suppose it's the first thing, and you deliberately altered that picture to make it look like a face. That would definitely imply intent, and that you were trying to say something. I'm not quite sure what. Might that "something" imply that humanity is stagnant? That people are too rooted in their whatevers to change? Or might the man-tree connection be more of an environmental type message, something like...we're all of nature and come from nature, so we should take care of it? I dunno. Beats me. If anything like that is what you were getting at, I haven't quite determined that yet.

Second possibility is that you just happened to see a stump that looks like a face. If that's the case, then I'm gonna have to opine that this is far from your best work (and please don't take that the wrong way, because I absolutely LOVE most of the images that you display here). My reason for saying that is...the WAY in which this was shot isn't particularly interesting or dramatic. The light is pretty flat, there's not really any interesting use of color, and the texture just looks like bark. We don't have color or light and shadow turning the mundane into something extraordinary (as is something that you are VERY good at). Even the use of space isn't particularly noteworthy here. Honestly, the single most interesting thing I see here is that the tree looks like a face. And that's sort of it. And I'm sorry if I'm not on board with that, but I've never found that the whole "this thing looks like something else" to actually be particularly compelling. It's really not much different than looking up at a cloud and noticing that it sort of looks like Snoopy. That's cool, and I might point that out, but there's no denying that "cloud that sort of looks like Snoopy" probably wouldn't make for a very compelling photograph. Not unless there was something of interest beyond the mere fact that the cloud sort of looks like Snoopy.

Anyway...I don't quite know what to make of this. It's really COOL that the tree looks like a face. And even if it IS just a tree that looks like a face, I'm sure that a hell of a lot of people walked by the same tree without ever noticing that. You might have even had to shoot it from a weird angle or something to even get it to look like that. So kudos on that, because I can tell from your pictures that you're a person who pays attention to things. That's absolutely respectable.

But as it stands, I really just see "stump that looks like a face". And that's really the most interesting thing about it. That's certainly very cool, but that's really all I'm seeing here. Whether or not it goes beyond "thing that looks like something else" sort of depends on your intent. And I like to think that you shouldn't have to tell me your intent, I should be able to judge the image based on the image. And I haven't really given full and proper thought to this picture yet, so maybe I'm just missing something.

But initially, I get the impression that it's far from your best work. It's certainly cool that the stump is a man. But if that's the primary point of interest here, then this is FAR less interesting than most of your work that I've seen.




  
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habakuk
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Apr 25, 2012 16:10 |  #4

Thanks much, Rick and Gene!

@Clean Gene: special thanks for the detailed feedback. I can easily follow your train of thoughts. Let me say: the case is pretty easy here. First of all, it is a simple shot, not much postprocessing. The main work was to find the proper angle to use the curves in my intention. You can easily spot the second "whole" that I hid behind his nose.

Now for the intention... personally, I am not that into concepts and hard work on a single thread... I understand that creativity and good photography are closely related to fun, openness, freedom of seeing and a great lust of discovering the world every day freshly. This is just one shot, one moment,one little wonder I had fun to discover and I wanted to share that with you. So, there ain't no well thought out story or meaning. In some aspects, I agree, this surely is one of my more common shots. In the same time, it stands for the liberty I claim to enjoy myself and the world, without always carrying the pressure of having to create "true" art. :)

I am very pleased you did tell me so honestly what thoughts went through your mind when looking at this shot. I appreciate that and I certainly feel inspired to reflect upon my body of work from the past and from the future...

cheers
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Clean ­ Gene
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Apr 26, 2012 03:05 |  #5

habakuk wrote in post #14328166 (external link)
Thanks much, Rick and Gene!

@Clean Gene: special thanks for the detailed feedback. I can easily follow your train of thoughts. Let me say: the case is pretty easy here. First of all, it is a simple shot, not much postprocessing. The main work was to find the proper angle to use the curves in my intention. You can easily spot the second "whole" that I hid behind his nose.

Now for the intention... personally, I am not that into concepts and hard work on a single thread... I understand that creativity and good photography are closely related to fun, openness, freedom of seeing and a great lust of discovering the world every day freshly. This is just one shot, one moment,one little wonder I had fun to discover and I wanted to share that with you. So, there ain't no well thought out story or meaning. In some aspects, I agree, this surely is one of my more common shots. In the same time, it stands for the liberty I claim to enjoy myself and the world, without always carrying the pressure of having to create "true" art. :)

I am very pleased you did tell me so honestly what thoughts went through your mind when looking at this shot. I appreciate that and I certainly feel inspired to reflect upon my body of work from the past and from the future...

cheers
®


No prob, bob.

BTW, I certainly understand the whole "moment of fun" thing. Hell, I do that all the time.

And I once had a professor who talked about "art hell". He told this story about a fellow photographer he knew who got stuck in the same rut rut because that's the only way he could get his work sold.

And I sort of think that's bull**it, and I sort of just did the same thing to you. Because if that photo was submitted by anyone else, I probably wouldn't have been nearly as harsh about it.

But if I'm being totally honest with myself, part of that criticism likely comes from the fact that this diverges from what you usually show here. You're one of the few people here who almost consistantly shows great photographs,and many of those photographs have a sort of consistent style. Honestly...you're one of the few people here for whom I can often look at one of your photos and think "that's a habakuk photo" before I even notice the name of the person who submitted it.

And...that's good. I don't think you should get stuck in the rut of doing the same stuff, I think that's an unfair hole to get stuck in. And on some level I think that at least a SMALL part of my negative comments might stem from the mere fact that this is a LOT different from the stuff that you usually show here.

And that would be a little bit unfair to you.

On some level I probably AM being overly harsh towads this picture, because it "doesn't look like a habakuk picture".

But on another level...I'm still not quite on board with it. I might have been a little bit TOO harsh since I've seen some of your other work. And I totally understand the whole "fun pictures" thing (I do that a LOT). But I still have to say...if that's the extent of what the photo is about, that I suspect that you might be able to retain that while still utilizing more interesting light and framing (and hell, maybe some props).

In other words, that's just sort of a runaround way of saying, "cool, but maybe it could stand to be re-shot".

The nice thing about trees is that they usually don't go anywhere.

But I'd also sort of be a hypocrite to suggest a reshoot, since most of my favorite pictures seem ALMOST cool to me, except for a few glaring flaws that could be easily fixed with a reshoot. BNut I almost never reshoot, I just move onto the next thing.

But anyway, it's good that you appreciate what I say about photographs, because I really honestly have very little idea what I'm talking about. I'm pretty much entry-level-n00b-critic. And that's scary. Because the overall body of work that I've seen from you is FAR superior to the overall work that I've made. I have little difficulty whatsoever in opining that you are likely FAR better at photography than me. So me actually stating that you've made a major misstep is actually pretty damn scary, because that's opening myself up to get ripped a new @***H***.

But I look at it this way. Whether I'm right or wrong, I respect the hell out of your work, so I think I owe it to you to say what I think.

And if I speak my mind and am totally 100% wrong and stupid, then I might end up looking foolish. But honestly, if I'm afraid of looking foolish, then I probably shouldn't be dabbling in photography at all.




  
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habakuk
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Apr 30, 2012 07:22 |  #6

Anyone, regardless of the knowledge in art or the level of experience in photography is the only expert to state, how a picture personally has been perceived, what effect it had on self. ;)

Of course, if someone posts/exhibits several pictures, it will always be a matter of time before someone starts to compare the shots. And even that is a valuable information to me. I show pictures to express something I experienced. I cannot expect everyone to share the same associations or feelings about a picture... but I appreciate it greatly, if people state how they perceive the pictures, how they feel about them. It is then my task, to digest that feedback and see what I can learn from it.

So, thank you for your input. Really much appreciated!

cheers
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More on my BLOG (external link) ::: www.punctumgallery.ch (external link) ::: www.driftingaway.org (external link) ::: www.goodeye.ch (external link) | Creativity & perception workshops (external link)
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Gojira1976
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May 17, 2012 23:59 |  #7
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You have a very fine eye! Wonderful work, you have gained an admirer!


AMERICO

  
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tomcat7886
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May 18, 2012 00:40 |  #8

more eerie than creative IMO. :confused:


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habakuk
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May 21, 2012 13:37 |  #9

Thank you, Gojira1976 and tomcat7886.

@tomcat7886: now, as usual... this tells more about your associations than about the picture! :)

The creative part was to detect the potential of the scene and to find the only angle that would show the face in such a obvious way.

cheers
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More on my BLOG (external link) ::: www.punctumgallery.ch (external link) ::: www.driftingaway.org (external link) ::: www.goodeye.ch (external link) | Creativity & perception workshops (external link)
Virtual Exhibitions:
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