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Author Topic: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .  (Read 410 times)

RSL

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For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« on: January 11, 2018, 11:11:36 AM »

Here's a collection of B&W conversions, wabi sabi photographs from the past seventeen years. Rob saw an earlier version of this collection, which I posted without captions, planning to let them stand on their own. He convinced me they needed captions. The captions I've added simply tell you where and what year.

http://www.russ-lewis.com/photo_gallery/ForTheWind/index.html
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 07:51:23 PM by RSL »
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Rob C

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 04:11:22 PM »

That's a lovely collection, Russ.

I think putting titles has added a lot of interest, perhaps more to non-Americans - those place names sound so exotic to Scottish/Italian ears - and as I have mentioned before, the sound of Route 66 as song title has, and will always have, a charismatic connotation that something like M25 never did, especially if you ever had to drive the latter.

Well done!

Rob

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 07:51:32 PM »

I finally took the time to go through the whole 63 images.
Congratulations, Russ! That is a fantastic series. I agree that the captions add to the atmosphere, and each has just the right light and just enough context.

Thanks for sharing it.

Eric
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Peter McLennan

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 07:55:48 PM »

Superb.  Makes me think of "The Last Picture Show".  Makes me wanna get on the road, before they're all gone.
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elliot_n

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 10:21:30 PM »

I'm seeing dereliction, not wabi sabi.

But 'wabi sabi' is a disputed phrase.

It's hard to find a Japanese person who is willing to give a definition.
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MattBurt

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 12:21:57 AM »

Whatever it's called, it's a fine set of images. Some familiar scenes for me. I love to wonder what these places would have been like in their day.
Nice work.
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langier

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 12:48:25 AM »

A nice and competent collection!
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Richowens

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 12:51:09 AM »

 I agree with Matt, doesn't matter what you name it, I see a lot of good shooting.

 Bravo Russ!

 Rich
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RSL

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 08:43:50 AM »

I'm seeing dereliction, not wabi sabi.

But 'wabi sabi' is a disputed phrase.

It's hard to find a Japanese person who is willing to give a definition.

Hi, Elliot, You're absolutely right. The phrase doesn't translate directly into English. At least that's what Japanese friends have told me. But the nearest we were able to come was: "something made beautiful by time and use." There's an implication that the object is still in use, and that's where the translation weakens, and where I think your objection arises. These are pictures of dereliction in the Biblical sense: that the wind has passed over it, and the place thereof shall know it no more. But there's beauty in this kind of dereliction, which embraces human history, sometimes joy, sometimes misery in its heart. These things have been made beautiful by time and use.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 08:46:29 AM »

Their beauty is in that they invite the viewer to imagine their history, the joys and heartbreaks that came before.
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BobDavid

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2018, 09:12:25 PM »

...hauntingly beautiful work. Your film work (I'm assuming pre-2006) is especially powerful. The images speak well for themselves, so I'll shut up and revisit the folio later.
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David Eckels

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 09:47:11 PM »

Ephemerality, if that's a word, Russ. Beautiful series that needs to be in an exposition.
Something happened in 2008; what was it? You, the camera, your vision, etc? I can see it in the images.
These are powerful images, reminiscent of a past long unremembered. Timeless Americana for those that care.
Kudos on a terrific series.

RSL

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 09:38:07 AM »

Thanks all. Actually, Bob, the pictures in this collection are all digital. The wabi sabi film stuff that I've retained is in Western Ruins of the Sixties, and Voices on the Prairie In fact the first picture -- the one from Cisco, Utah is from a 3 mpx Casio and the next five are from a 5 mpx Olympus.

David, I think what happened in 2008 was that I'd stopped my solo shooting trips on the back roads of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas. After that the pictures came mostly from our trips back and forth across the country from Colorado to Florida. I did spend a lot of time by myself in the Rocky Mountain goldfields, but that's a different collection.

The stuff I've put on the web ARE my expositions. There was a time when I really wanted to see my work published. I'd been pretty successful getting poetry into "little" magazines, and I tried the same approach with the pictures --  to little affect. I did get some coverage in B&W magazine, but that mostly was street photography from Korea. I finally decided I didn't want the hassle of sending stuff out, so I put everything on my webs. At almost 88, I'm quite satisfied with the result. A couple years ago I built a web log analyzer in C#, a program that focuses in on what I want to know, and I'm finding that my readership on the web probably is higher than it would have been in print.

BobDavid

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2018, 03:18:27 PM »

Thanks all. Actually, Bob, the pictures in this collection are all digital. The wabi sabi film stuff that I've retained is in Western Ruins of the Sixties, and Voices on the Prairie In fact the first picture -- the one from Cisco, Utah is from a 3 mpx Casio and the next five are from a 5 mpx Olympus.

...then all the more impressive. You've got a great eye for B & W both technically and artistically.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 06:34:33 PM »

...then all the more impressive. You've got a great eye for B & W both technically and artistically.
+1.
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Rob C

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2018, 05:51:30 AM »

...then all the more impressive. You've got a great eye for B & W both technically and artistically.

It's what happens when you have the luck to have grown up with b/white as the norm. Sharing that heritage, it's perhaps why I find it frustrating to read these posts where people go on and on about the difficulties of b/white. I simply don't see them, any more than I imagine does Russ. It's colour that throws curves and requires a sixth sense to get right: anyone knows when it's wrong, but how many know enough intentionally to start to combine them from scratch, rather than simply shoot what's there?

It's just another reason why I think painters are way ahead of most photographers as artists: they have to do it right every time they lift a brush.

opgr

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 11:42:29 AM »

It's what happens when you have the luck to have grown up with b/white as the norm. Sharing that heritage, it's perhaps why I find it frustrating to read these posts where people go on and on about the difficulties of b/white. I simply don't see them, any more than I imagine does Russ. It's colour that throws curves and requires a sixth sense to get right: anyone knows when it's wrong, but how many know enough intentionally to start to combine them from scratch, rather than simply shoot what's there?

It's just another reason why I think painters are way ahead of most photographers as artists: they have to do it right every time they lift a brush.

Except that I believe that true B&W "vision" if such a thing exists, comes after the appreciation of color. That is: appreciating B&W seems a two stage process: during the first stage people merely learn to ignore color, but during the second stage people learn to appreciate how color will draw given a certain B&W setup.

Not sure if growing up with BW is therefore advantageous, although ignorance is bliss, I suppose... =:-\
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Regards,
Oscar

RSL

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 12:06:32 PM »

Hi, Oscar,

I see that your age is N/A, so maybe you're too young to be familiar with the points Cartier-Bresson made about color, mainly about receding and advancing colors and the fact that you have no control over that effect in photography, unless you can construct what you're about to photograph.

The most important thing about B&W is that it's a graphic medium, which tells you that to make B&W work for you, you have to look past the color to the graphics of a scene. I think Rob's right that if you were brought up in the age of B&W you couldn't avoid learning to look at things that way. I also agree with Rob that a painter can handle color relationships far more effectively than can a photographer.

I don't know whether or not growing up with B&W is advantageous, but I certainly agree that ignorance is bliss. We see it demonstrated over and over again on the web -- even here in LuLa.

opgr

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 12:53:39 PM »

The most important thing about B&W is that it's a graphic medium, which tells you that to make B&W work for you, you have to look past the color to the graphics of a scene.

I disagree, and I believe my disagreement would make for an interesting discussion, so let me try to take the devil's advocate seat:

What you describe is merely stage one of B&W appreciation. You need to learn to observe light and gradients, and try to ignore color.

But, in a more advance stage of B&W capture, you start to make conscious decisions about using colorfilters and selecting film with a specific colorresponse to get more subtle drawing of the scene before you and how you want it captured. Preserving the subtle drawing of skintones is probably the most obvious example, or perhaps drawing a clear blue sky as a dark gradient etc...

You need to appreciate the strength of colors to know how to get to a desired end result. For some of you that perhaps came automatically with experience and has become second nature, intuition if you will, but that still means that the appreciation of colors and how they will affect the capture is a relevant and I would argue more relevant process, than merely ignoring colors.
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Regards,
Oscar

Rob C

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Re: For the Wind Passeth Over It. . .
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2018, 03:18:11 PM »

Well of course there's more to it than simply black and white at the cost of everything else, but as Russ pointed out, not a lot you can do about that unless you are creating a picture from scratch. Fashion was a great medium for teaching you about the great truth, which is: a mid-tone in any colour is still a mid-tone, and a mid-green, for example, sinks/disappears if against a mid-anything else when you convert to black/white. That's where filters may come in useful, but I never used them in fashion work because there were always alternative choices for making the outfit stand out against the b/ground.

Now for street, and I like to think of my windows as my personal take on street, whist admitting the obvious, that I am but following a thousand giants here, I don't much give a rat's ass about these things: the thing that matters is the tiny detail within the whole that had attracted my eye. The rest is padding, the support for the main act. Anyway, as you may notice, I mostly darken the extraneous the hell out of the frame whilst still using that area as a balance to the important bit. After all, it's that specific bit that grabbed me, usually, not an entire panorama.

But then, I can also see that landscapers have a different priority, as poor old St Ansel discovered with the colour deep red!

But, even with landscape, I believe (sound like Frankie Laine there!) it's the tighter shot that strikes me as having power to bewitch - if you are into landscape. Just like windows, then.
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