Luminous Landscape Forum

Site & Board Matters => About This Site => Topic started by: John Camp on July 17, 2013, 11:15:24 PM

Title: Passing Windows
Post by: John Camp on July 17, 2013, 11:15:24 PM
Looks like an Edward Hopper painting. That's good.
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Ray on July 18, 2013, 05:30:35 AM
In my humble opinion, this image seems to be flawed with respect to its symmetry. There are four windows but only 3 of them are complete. It should be easy to select the left half of the second window from the right, and copy and paste the selection to complete the half window shown on the far left.

I think this would enhance the symbolic impact of the photo. The number four has great symbolic significance. It represents completion, stability and predictability. In art it has a significance in accordance with the maxim that art is 25% inspiration and 75% perspiration.

It represents the four Evangelists, the four seasons, and the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Even in Chinese the number four has great significance, representing the four mythological creatures, the Azure Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, the White Tiger, and the Black Tortoise.

All of these are good reasons to complete that fourth window on the left, Michael.  ;)
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Rob C on July 18, 2013, 09:07:30 AM
Ray, the only Evangelista that ever counted was Linda.

I'd have settled for one good window. Of course, that would have entailed a stationary vehicle, a modicum of setting up etc, but you get the flow. As it is, the first thing that came to mind was one of those tests that was devised in the Dark Ages (aka the Golden Era) to explain and illustrate what happens when a body in motion crosses a slow focal plane shutter.

Like, threee strikes and you're out?

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: John Camp on July 18, 2013, 12:35:47 PM
Ray...

A question. It's sometimes hard to tell with your posts, because they can go either way...but are you being serious here?
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Kirk Gittings on July 18, 2013, 12:49:37 PM
"flawed symmetry" is symmetry one of the supreme laws of boring composition we are not supposed to violate?
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Rob C on July 18, 2013, 02:40:00 PM
Ray...

A question. It's sometimes hard to tell with your posts, because they can go either way...but are you being serious here?


I'm not Ray, John, but if I were, I'd perhaps imagine that one of the great skills of the writer is to leave the reader guessing.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: HSway on July 18, 2013, 05:03:17 PM
Hmm. I think that Rayís take is flawed because it has just too many numbers in it  ;)
The window complete would make it 'chicks in brooder' instead of Passing Windows.. Anyway, various views is no surprise. This is about Time to me. We all are behind such windows.
So itís the time I would be framing. Besides, the 'right tension' in the image can often do more than a pretty symmetry, sometimes much more. I havenít seen more of the scene but this looks to be almost certainly the case. I feel that the complete window would look slightly idiotic.

Hynek
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Richowens on July 18, 2013, 05:10:41 PM
Four full windows would make the photo too static. By making one partial it appears to be disappearing to the left and the windows moving right to left.

Rich
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: david loble on July 18, 2013, 09:30:11 PM
Ray,

The word for "four" has great significance to the Japanese, also.
 As I understand it it is either the same as the word "death" or similar to it. Therefore 4 objects, and especially when in a symmetrical array, are not used. A gift of a set of tea cups, for instance, would contain 3 or 5, but not 4.

David



Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Ray on July 18, 2013, 09:43:37 PM
Four full windows would make the photo too static. By making one partial it appears to be disappearing to the left and the windows moving right to left.

Rich

Rich,
The fact that the image is sharp makes it far more static than the presence of a half window on the left, especially considering that trains do frequently stop at stations and are perfectly stationary for a while.

With no clue in the image as to whether or not the train (and/or photographer) is stationary, we have to rely upon the title to deduce that the train might have been moving. I feel that images should speak for themselves without the need for an explanatory title, unless the  scene is likely to be unfamiliar to the viewer, of course.

Supposing we removed the title, would you expect the viewer to deduce that the reason for the half window on the left was to create an impression of movement?

The reason I commented on this is simply because it was something that immediately struck me as being a bit odd. Perhaps this is because I'm used to viewing images within a frame. Perhaps some of you guys occasionally frame your photos on only 3 sides before hanging them on the wall. That's very novel. I'm not a stickler for rules. I might try that some time.  ;D
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on July 18, 2013, 09:45:28 PM
Four full windows would make the photo too static. By making one partial it appears to be disappearing to the left and the windows moving right to left.

Rich
That was exactly my thought, too, on seeing this one.
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Ray on July 19, 2013, 12:06:09 AM

The word for "four" has great significance to the Japanese, also.
 As I understand it it is either the same as the word "death" or similar to it. Therefore 4 objects, and especially when in a symmetrical array, are not used. A gift of a set of tea cups, for instance, would contain 3 or 5, but not 4.


Good point, David. But I think this is more of a 'sound' phenomenon than a visual phenomenon. In Chinese, Japanese and Korean, the words for 'four' and 'death' sound very similar, but are written differently. As a consequence, a superstition has arisen, much like the superstition for the number 13 in the West.

However, I think the overwhelming connotations of 'four' are very positive. In Buddhism we have The Four Noble Truths which are at the foundation of all the teachings of the Buddha, namely, (1) Suffering, (2) Origin of suffering, (3)Cessation of suffering, and (4) Path to the cessation of suffering.

In fact, in religion, myth and history there's a wide spectrum of four-fold symbols. A few more which I haven't mentioned are, the four winds (Boreas, Eurus, Notus and Zephyrus), the four directions (north, east, south and west), and the four letters in the sacred name of God (YHVH).

We also have many examples of this 'quaternity' being represented in paintings of Mandalas, that can take the form of a cross, a star, a square, an octagon and so on. I rest my case.  ;D
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: LesPalenik on July 19, 2013, 01:51:23 AM
In my humble opinion, this image seems to be flawed with respect to its symmetry. There are four windows but only 3 of them are complete.

I like it the way it is, but I'm surprised that nobody mentioned the odd rule with three objects as the mostly favored.
I guess three and half windows would be still considered odd. No pun intended.
In pinch, even five windows could be squeezed in, but seven would border on deadly sins.

Four windows might look good too, but in the real world, three are more common. Same as with the clover - although a four leaf clover looks much better than a three leaf variety, the clover maker must have adhered very strictly to the odd rule.
 
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Rob C on July 19, 2013, 04:15:51 AM
Ray,

The word for "four" has great significance to the Japanese, also.
 As I understand it it is either the same as the word "death" or similar to it. Therefore 4 objects, and especially when in a symmetrical array, are not used. A gift of a set of tea cups, for instance, would contain 3 or 5, but not 4.

David



Makes me wonder, and possibly understand, a lot more about Toyota et al...

Best buy Italian or French: they do symmetry very well indeed. As do some of the younger Spanish, too. So much so, in fact, that they invented the piropo just to celebrate it at every possible opportunity. A huge emotional improvement on bullfighting.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Passing Windows
Post by: Ray on July 19, 2013, 07:59:59 AM
Four windows might look good too, but in the real world, three are more common.

I don't think that 3 windows would work here, Les. The symmetry would be worse. In the third window from the right, the furthermost child is in the shade in the corner, and looking out of the edge of the frame, which is not good composition.

As the image stands, with its 3 & 1/2 windows, at least there is the symmetry of the two boys at each end of the frame, both looking in approximately the same direction towards the viewer.

I could post a modified version of Michael's image to show how I think it could be improved, but that would be very rude of me to attempt to improve upon the work of the great master.