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Author Topic: Canola Field Fantasy  (Read 3259 times)

Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2018, 01:44:47 PM »

The notion that every photograph needs a "point" is vastly overrated. If I feel an emotional connection with a photo, that's enough for me.

Agreed. It has a pleasing appearance. It's enjoyable to look at. It doesn't have to "say" anything, or be a medium for David to say anything. It just is.

We have an awful lot of that stuff over here, too. We need to rewrite the song: "On England's yellow and pleasant land".

Jeremy
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Rajan Parrikar

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2018, 01:51:56 PM »

The notion that every photograph needs a "point" is vastly overrated. If I feel an emotional connection with a photo, that's enough for me.

Eric's remark above should be printed large, laminated, and framed (matting optional).

Rob C

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2018, 02:22:02 PM »

The notion that every photograph needs a "point" is vastly overrated. If I feel an emotional connection with a photo, that's enough for me.

The canpla field is a fine, minimalist image, with echoes of both Rothko and BobDavid, IMHO.

"If I feel an emotional connection with a photo, that's enough for me."

And of course, that's its point. But, if one feels nothing...

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2018, 02:40:52 PM »

And of course, that's its point. But, if one feels nothing...

One way to make a point... impossible not to feel:

David Eckels

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2018, 03:15:44 PM »

I think this is how Rob feels about my photo! ;)

armand

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2018, 04:30:36 PM »

Feeling something is better than nothing.

Rob C

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2018, 04:47:13 PM »

I think this is how Rob feels about my photo! ;)

Now, don't make it personal! You'll get us both kicked out!

Guess that guy felt a bit of a prick, what with it being in public an' all... it's what you get playing around with animals - I always root for the bull. If folks left them alone they would return the compliment.

Rob

opgr

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2018, 05:20:42 PM »

I guess it's time to write down a more thoughtful response.

Let me first state, for the record, that my original question regarding a point was a genuine question.

Clearly, an image submitted for critique by necessity must have a purpose. I have no idea what constructive criticism could be offered for an image that is meant to exist in its own right, that exist to excite some viewers but not others indiscriminately. We are here because we are all at least somewhat versed in visual arts appreciation, and submitting images with no purpose could well be considered offensive if you'd really think about it. Obviously, some people offer up images for critique where they really are looking for praise. We've talked about that before. That probably is one of the more obvious examples of the gap between hope and expectation, also known as "reality". I don't think David's submissions generally belong in that category though.

However, here's my problem with this image:

Suppose we were on a music forum instead of a photography forum, with a section where you can present a musical piece for criticism. You submit (part of) a composition and people can respond with suggestions, recommendations, or perhaps by simply sharing how they like the result. What then would be the equivalent of this image?

Well, this image, to me, is like hitting a C major chord on a Bosendorfer Concert Grand piano, with a jackhammer...

... and then asking us for critique.

WTF do you want to know? Obviously it harmonises, the chord is pretty much fundamental to our western tonal system. Does hitting it with a jackhammer suddenly turn it into a composition of any (shareable) relevance?

Personally I believe it turns sound into flat noise. It turns an already bland image into surface distribution, a digital abstraction like a flag with impossible colors, where at least the flag has symbolism associated with it. The image, as far as I'm concerned, becomes a bit of a digital travesty. And yes, that was dismissive. I consider myself a relatively open minded person however, so let's for a moment set our prejudices aside. Here is another genuine question:

How did you come to choose the aspect ratio and orientation, and why do you believe that particular aspect ratio best supports your intended "focus on simplicity, complementarity, and juxtaposition"?



PS. note that this is nothing personal to you David, this is particularly an answer to the other respondents regarding "the point of an image".


 








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David Eckels

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2018, 07:12:01 PM »

Thanks for the clarification, Oscar. I personally took your original question as genuine and fair. I don't fully get your simile, however, but to summarize, not trivialize, you don't like the image, and beyond that, you are in some sense even insulted by it. That's a strong negative reaction, which I can partially comprehend. You are right in that when I post here, it is not for praise, it is for genuine C&C, otherwise what is the point? Praise can be dismissive as well. But I think I am missing something regarding the intensity of your response, the jackhammer analogy notwithstanding. And maybe that's enough. Dismissive IYHO is OK with me.

I don't know how to answer your last question. Brandtb has shared with me regarding what framing has to communicate, both in architecture and photography. He has formal training whereas I don't. The AR was SOOC and I did not think about it beyond that; interesting assumption on my part. Interesting that some folks find the image so very pleasing and other the very opposite. Beyond that, it was an experiment that produced some very interesting results that I have yet to internalize.

I will see if others have something more to add, but I thank you for the time you obviously spent thinking about this discussion, from which I am learning a lot.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2018, 08:23:03 PM »

... Clearly, an image submitted for critique by necessity must have a purpose... submitting images with no purpose could well be considered offensive...

Oscar, when someone doesn't see a point or purpose, it doesn't mean there is none. It only means some people see it, others don't. Not everyone appreciates Picasso or Rothko.

Art provokes emotions
(there you go, my contribution to the contest for the shortest artist statement)

 The OP image's "purpose" is to communicate what David felt to a broader audience and see if it resonates with them. It did, for a number of us. I guess many on this thread skipped the link I provided (how our brains interpret colors), so for their benefit, I will quote the intro (bold mine):

Quote
Color is much more than a bundle of hues, pigments and shades. It’s not only how we see the world, it’s how we feel about the world around us. Whether you know it or not, your mind associates different emotions and thoughts with every color you see. That means every day – every color you see – your mind is taking in all the feels, probably without you even being aware of it.

 
THE COLOR TRIFECTA

Color has a special impact on the brain, which leads to you landing somewhere on the extensive feeling spectrum. Whether you’re feeling anxious, happy, sad, calm or angry, color impacts our physiology in three main ways:

Psychologically – where we base color on personal experiences

Symbolically – where we associate colors with a specific object (the sky is blue)

Culturally –  where society has defined how we are supposed to view colors (black at a funeral)

 

What I see/feel in the OP image is a harmony. Harmony achieved through the combination of colors that work well together and each invokes positive emotions. Harmony achieved by the horizon in the middle, suggesting balance.

Furthermore, beyond colors, there are elements that affect us similarly (i.e., psychologically, symbolically, and culturally): the sky and field. Harmony again: cloudless sky, warm day, gentle breeze through the crops, peace and quiet. For city dwellers, who rarely venture beyond the concrete jungle, those things might mean little. For anyone who spent some time near or in the fields, they mean a lot.

John R

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2018, 10:21:23 PM »

Excellent contribution Slobodan. I dare say, of late, David is not only 'experimenting', but feeling the colours and seeing the way images can be constructed as shapes and colours, not just things as we know them. Go David, Go!

JR
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Ray

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2018, 10:25:11 PM »

In answer to Oscar's question, here's what I think was the purpose of the image.

David Eckels happens to know the farmer who planted the canola seeds. The farmer, after planting the canola crop, decided to go on an extended holiday and was a bit worried whether the crop would flourish because he wasn't sure if the field was getting enough rain.

So the farmer phoned David, expressing his worries about the canola crop, and David responded by taking a photo of the field of canola, and emailed the image to the farmer, who was very pleased to see that everything was okay.

David was so inspired by the farmer's praise of his shot, he decided to share it on Luminous Landscape.  ;D
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2018, 11:34:49 PM »

Surely one possible measure of the "success" of an image on LuLa might be the number of responses it gets. By that measure, David's shot is certainly a winner. I am quite sure none of my photos have ever gotten anywhere close to 50 responses! 

-Eric
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tom b

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2018, 12:14:11 AM »

Nobody blinked at my canola photo.

Maybe it was because it was in trees thread????

Cheers,
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Tom Brown

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2018, 01:15:09 AM »

Nobody blinked at my canola photo.

That was a nice photo, Tom.

GrahamBy

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2018, 04:07:27 AM »

Well, this image, to me, is like hitting a C major chord on a Bosendorfer Concert Grand piano, with a jackhammer...

... and then asking us for critique.


One could reasonably disagree about the jack-hammer, which I would expect to ruin the piano and leave us all slightly deafened.

However, yes, hitting a single chord and listening to all the decay modes, while feeling the subjective reaction, yes... but that is interesting to me. That is the whole idea of minimalism as I internalise it, to find what is the most elementale part of a composition which acts on my emotional response.

I have seen the version one step beyond, a sheet of masonite painted an almost uniform red. It didn't work (although it did for whoever wrote the catalogue entry, it seems). This one does. Different (brush) strokes. Just as I don't much like sky-orgies (even relatively tasteful ones from Slobodan) while others pay good money for manipulated shots of the Grand Canyon.

Criticism can be both in width (What proportion of people like it? Who are they?) as much as depth (paragraphs about references to earlier work, inspiration from nature, harking back to childhood...).

Then again, your jack-hammer image is quite powerful: I can imagine a TV shrink furrowing his brow, putting one arm of his glasses between his teeth and saying
"Jack-hammer... hmm. Maybe we could explore that idea?"
:)
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Rob C

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2018, 05:57:13 AM »

It is not the image that elicited the response. The response was to Oscar's question. Without that gentle challenge the response would have consisted (my guess) of perhaps two or three replies of the +1 variety.

It's one of the attractions to me of LuLa that there exists a readership that is interested enough to comment on photographs, and to make some too. Comment is always a tricky thing in which to engage, because even despite perhaps not personally having met fellow scribes, one feels them to be friends, and the last thing one desires is to distance them and offend them in any way.

It rapidy becomes obvious, in any grouping, that there are those who say yes to everything and those who say no, and those who remain mute. If you look at the numbers for LuLa then it's difficult to escape the view that the majority looks, perhaps reads and then just moves on to something else. The result is that those who communicate get to understand one another quite well, and if they also post images, their visual sense is subconsciously registered, stored and used as barometer of the value of their contributions.  Better yet, if they also display a website address, a far more focussed sense of what they are about can be had which, sometimes, appears to be at loggerheads with their LuLa presence.

And what does the above indicate? Just that the more we think we understand someone, the less, in fact, we realise that we do, because I believe that we are all such a mess of contradictions that we fail really to know who the hell we are ourselves. Maybe we are everybody and anything and everything, as well as nobody at all.

Slobodan refers to the most brief "artist's statement": mine is even more brief than the quoted one, and so I'm sorry (no, I'm not!), but I trump that!

On the more serious aspect of his post, though, on the theoretical qualities of colour etc. my feeling is - crap! That is all posturing after the event. It's the equivalent of selling snake oil to the willing; the difference between he who would intellectualise everything and he who just gets up off his ass and does it well anyway: Vincent, anyone? The cavemen? You can read every book on theoretical art and the mechanics of vision ever published and if you couldn't create art before, you will still be unable when your beard has got you into Zee Zee Tops. It's inborn, as is the feeling, the understanding of what you see which is, back to the same thing, what you are.

Oscar enjoys musical equivalents: I have music on almost all day long, enjoy it tremendously and remember so many different phases of it in popular culture, but none of that lets me play a single instrument (yes, I have tried) or even sing a single song. The visual arts are no different: you have it or you do not; if you have it nobody needs tell you what it is, and the most they can do for you is show you the mechanics as best they can, provide you with the knowledge of the tools, not of what you will use them to accomplish or how. In fact, I always feel that the less anyone else tries to influence you as a youth, the better off you are for it. When you are young, impressionable and open you find your own thing where it's reflected within the work of others, it helps you crystalise your ideas a little bit. Take Leiter: I met his world in around '59 in the pages of Popular Photography Annual (or perhaps the Color one; they were separate publications) and he thrilled me. I never forgot his pictures of the model through the windows of the carriage. But after that annual, he vanished from my sight. I sometimes wondered what became of him, and the amazing thing is this: in my late seventies I discovered his new book, published just after he died. Suddenly, he became the gallerist's darling (a gallery helped get the last book produced) and I saw again the work that had moved me so long ago. Today, a local, hick-town version is probably what I do myself. So, do I feel I want to be a Leiter clone? No, but I do accept that he was the first photographer to let me see what I truly liked, apart from fashion. It was not ever on my list of options in my work, but today, it is, and that gives me something to develop despite the fact that I have no Soames of my own; no New York city with its teaming life. (Ask Russ how that feels!)  But hey, what did I discover: he was far from alone or a pioneer; there was an entire school of New York photographers shooting different yet similar versions of street back in the 40s and 50s. Mostly they used black/white, but not always. I recently bought the Louis Faurer book (Steidl) hoping to find his beautiful fashion work, but it was only his street photography. Only, but very good, and so similar to Leiter's. There is even a couple of pictures of Robert Frnk, just for good measure. I never thought of Frank as a wearer of pinstripe suits, but there you are. In one, he reminds me of Bob Dylan.

So yeah, discussion about one image is often discusion about all images, which is quite enjoyable when you are not actually making any at the time.

Which is probably the point of the above.

;-)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2018, 07:33:46 AM »

The point of color theory is not to make you an artist, but to help explain how we perceive things thanks to colors. It helps explain why people would pay millions for a single color, or absence of it.

But I guess, Rob, that your “shortest ever” artist statement still remains - crap?  ;)

Rob C

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2018, 08:37:00 AM »

The point of color theory is not to make you an artist, but to help explain how we perceive things thanks to colors. It helps explain why people would pay millions for a single color, or absence of it.

But I guess, Rob, that your “shortest ever” artist statement still remains - crap?
  ;)


No, that's merely a critique. My shortest, and most honest A.S., as for Claudius, would be: I. However, in the quest for modesty, I simply use WYSIWYG.

But hey, thanks for the illustration: proves exactly what I was saying. Further, it reveals the cynical, barren nakedness of an entire middle-man-based industry.

That industry explains why some spend millions on rubbish: they are buyers of both the oil of asp as of risky financial hedge against currency. Think about Bitcoin... that strikes me as ultimately no less chancy than zillions in a bucket of paint. Or even a fade-prone photograph.

;-)

Rob
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 09:04:43 AM by Rob C »
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tom b

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Re: Canola Field Fantasy
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2018, 09:13:34 AM »

Colour theory, the compliment of yellow is purple.

In NSW when canola is in bloom, Paterson's curse, a purple flower is also in bloom. It is a weed that is poisonous to horses but with canola makes great photos.

Unknown to me, when it blooms it is also tiger snake breeding season, luckily I survived walking through the weed in a national park next to a river.

Lucky me,
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 09:17:16 AM by tom b »
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Tom Brown
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