Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => User Critiques => Topic started by: kencameron on February 21, 2013, 01:52:56 AM

Title: Bad Dream
Post by: kencameron on February 21, 2013, 01:52:56 AM
I am interested in whether people like this, and whether they get it. Any sort of detailed answer to the first question will of course be most of the answer to the second, but I would also be interested in any direct comment on the second as well.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: amolitor on February 21, 2013, 09:43:27 AM
I find it fairly hard to look at.

There's no clear thing I am expected to look at, so it has a tendency to collapse into just a texture when I look at it. The logs in the water are trying to make something happen in my mind,  but not really succeeding.

The toning creates a color palette that, with the scene, reminds of Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are, so I think it's fair to say that I am feeling a dreamlike quality, but it's not really a bad dream, or even that strong of a sense of dream. But it's there, to be sure.

Printed very very big, this might be a great piece of decor. There's a lot to look it and explore, but only when you get up quite close and stop looking at the whole image. Is that good or bad? I don't know, and have no opinion at this time. It's just a true thing, per my apprehension of it.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: David Eckels on February 21, 2013, 09:55:22 AM
I think what Amolitor said: Apprehension. That's the mood I get. I don't quite know how to describe it, but it makes my eyes wobble--kinda disconcerting. So I can't tell if I get it or not.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: amolitor on February 21, 2013, 10:01:51 AM
Hah! Interesting. I meant apprehension in the sense of understanding and perceiving, not in the sense of being worried and nervous, but it kind of works both ways ;)
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: David Eckels on February 21, 2013, 10:04:46 AM
Hah! Interesting. I meant apprehension in the sense of understanding and perceiving, not in the sense of being worried and nervous, but it kind of works both ways ;)

A-I knew that's what you meant, but when I saw it, I thought that's perfect. For some reason I find the image disturbingly ambiguous for some reason.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: RedwoodGuy on February 21, 2013, 10:54:07 AM
I am interested in whether people like this, and whether they get it. Any sort of detailed answer to the first question will of course be most of the answer to the second, but I would also be interested in any direct comment on the second as well.
I am going to treat this as art. If the intent was something else, then ignore my comments.

This works well to create some instant reactions and feelings. It has a first impact, then a more subtle one as you focus in on what this is. It has mood. It has tone. What I don't like right off the bat is the photoshoppy texture** used to make it grainy. I think if this was untreated in that way, if it was more photographic and less photoshoppy, it could be a very powerful piece. No gimmick is needed for this to work.

EDIT: ** "photoshoppy texture" is likely to be misunderstood here. First, I have nothing against the Photoshop products. As I said earlier, they are like the chainsaw - they can be useful or deadly depending on how it is used. Second, I do not know what is causing this texture effect on this photo. Maybe it is high film grain, or noise or a p'shop effect. I don't know, and I really don't care. My only point is that it looks like a gimmick of some kind has been applied to the original photo. And, that the gimmick has taken over the photo to dominate it's appearance. It looks like a decoration has been added to the surface of a good photograph that lies underneath. In my analysis, I can't think of a single reason I would add this to the surface of this photo. I am open of course to hear the reason and understand it differently, but for now, my reaction is negative to it, even while I think the photo underlying is really great.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: RSL on February 21, 2013, 04:09:39 PM
I am going to treat this as art.

Maybe we need to reopen one or two of the endless threads about "what is art." I don't want to have anything to do with them, but RG probably would love them.

I like the photograph Ken, but I really dislike the toning. There are a lot of scenes like this near where I live when I'm in Florida. The reflections always create interesting repetitions.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: wolfnowl on February 21, 2013, 09:07:14 PM
At first glance this reminded me of Clyde Butcher's work, but this is more abstract - appears to be almost a patchwork quilt.  Like the image, but like Russ am not sure about the toning.

Mike.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 21, 2013, 11:45:19 PM
This type of scene would greatly benefit from much less contrast. Given how busy the whole image is, harsh contrast only add to the overall aggressiveness. I guess that harsh midday light is not exactly conducive to gentle tonalities though. The color toning isn't helping either -- it's quite unpleasant. Different time of day, gentler tonalities, pure b&w (or gentle warm b&w), printed really big, would result in a completely different perception.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on February 21, 2013, 11:53:00 PM
Like the image, but like Russ am not sure about the toning.
Same for me.
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: Peter McLennan on February 22, 2013, 01:14:39 PM
What Slobodan said, except I like the toning.  The blacks are too choked up for my taste.  The sense of mystery is "blocked" by the blocked shadow areas. 

I have a large print similar to this on my wall.  I cranked up the Topaz Detail sliders away too much and I found that I liked it. :)
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: l_d_allan on March 03, 2013, 03:09:39 PM
Overall, it doesn't work for me. YMMV.

However, I find it interesting that the OP was able to get reflections in an apparent swamp. I haven't spent much time in swamps, at least with a camera, but that impressed me.

Maybe we need to reopen one or two of the endless threads about "what is art."

Well, there is a sub-forum for "But is it art?" i haven't yet looked at it, so "consider the source".
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: cmi on March 04, 2013, 12:59:49 PM
This type of scene would greatly benefit from much less contrast. Given how busy the whole image is, harsh contrast only add to the overall aggressiveness. I guess that harsh midday light is not exactly conducive to gentle tonalities though. The color toning isn't helping either -- it's quite unpleasant. Different time of day, gentler tonalities, pure b&w (or gentle warm b&w), printed really big, would result in a completely different perception.

+1

I like the place but I'd be curious to see it shot in better light or at least with better contrast (but the light looks like it is already very contrasty)
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: rogerxnz on March 04, 2013, 04:32:40 PM
I think what is disturbing in this image is the sheer darkness of the water area and I query whether such darkness is naturally possible. The whole water area and the reflections look very unnatural to me!

The reflections are darker as they move away from the bank but the higher areas in some of the trees they are reflecting are actually lighter.

Finally, I query whether the reflections are true and whether some have been added.

Maybe, I am being too suspicious but I think the water and the reflections look unnatural. They are too dark and this is what is throwing our appreciation of the scene.
Roger
Title: Re: Bad Dream
Post by: kencameron on March 27, 2013, 06:25:24 AM
Thanks everyone. Quality comments which I can use. I have been  away from lula for a while, seduced by gigapans, but it is good to be back.