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Author Topic: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke  (Read 4154 times)

RSL

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Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« on: June 03, 2011, 09:21:25 PM »

A south wind is bringing smoke from the fires in Arizona into the Pikes Peak region.This is what it looks like -- in a B&W photograph.

William Walker

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 02:11:29 AM »

I have mentioned, a few times, over the course of the "landscape" debate that it has caused me to really think about these matters like I never have before. I also expressed my lack of "feeling" when it came to your previous "street" post.

I think it has to do with the fact that I deal with people all day long in my business, and because I am not a natural "people person", by the end of the day I've had enough of them!

So, when I see a landscape, I immediately feel a calmness as opposed to the slight stress when I see people.

Having said all that, I can now tell you that I really like your picture! You and John have that special ability to give your pictures a "polished" look, the tones are great.

You also illustrate the single-most important thing I learned from the John Paul Caponigro and Mac Holbert workshop at the Brooks Institute in October: the way you have given the picture depth using light - darker in the foreground - lighter in the distance. An old artists trick I'm told - but new to me!

And no sight of the human hand!?

RSL

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 10:45:49 AM »

You also illustrate the single-most important thing I learned from the John Paul Caponigro and Mac Holbert workshop at the Brooks Institute in October: the way you have given the picture depth using light - darker in the foreground - lighter in the distance. An old artists trick I'm told - but new to me!

William, That's what artists call "atmospheric perspective" or "aerial perspective," and that painters like Bierstadt handled so beautifully in paintings like "Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California." The other kind of perspective is "linear perspective," the kind you learned about in first grade by drawing along receding lines that converge in a vanishing point on the horizon. Sometimes you can get good atmospheric perspective with a camera, especially if there's smoke or haze in the air, but you can't mess with linear perspective, though you can make some changes in linear perspective with Photoshop. Unfortunately, that kind of manipulation is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

One reason the Bierstadt painting is so effective is that he used normal linear perspective for the foreground and middle ground, but when he got to the mountains in the background he violated normal linear perspective and increased the apparent height of the mountains. The result is the kind of breathtaking jolt you get when you first see a mountain like Pikes Peak up close, or the Sangre de Christos, or the Sierras. You can't do this with photography since you can't manipulate linear perspective, yet this is how the mountain appears to your eye.

Quote
And no sight of the human hand!?

Not this time. I was driving into downtown Manitou Springs from my home, about a mile east of downtown. I stopped the car in the middle of the two-lane road and stuck the camera out the window, hoping no one would come zooming around the curve behind me before I could trip the shutter and get moving again. I could have included a bunch of dwellings but I was making a point. With this kind of transient atmospheric condition there's no time to set up a tripod.

Rob C

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 02:43:01 PM »

"I think it has to do with the fact that I deal with people all day long in my business, and because I am not a natural "people person", by the end of the day I've had enough of them!"


William, that strikes chords in my head.

I'm not particularly a 'people' person in the flesh, either. It's not that I don't really like many people, though there are indeed a few that I'd cross the street and look into a shop window to avoid. It isn't really as personal a thing as that, in general. More, it's that I find most people have very little with which I find common ground - what the hell to talk to them about? Football? Girls (at my age, I should write a book - short - instead)? Food? Wines? Music?

But, I found it very easy to deal with models: 'twas simple - I was on their side.

What I generally find is that though I'm not given to being the life and soul of any party, I do find it easy and also satisfying to work in crowded places and shoot whatever the gig happens to be. A crowded room of happy(ish) people has a vibe of its own and I can pick up on it. For instance: at this afternoon's jazz gig they played Monk's Blues (Thelonious Monk) and it was electrifyingly good - quite got me going, that did, but will I find anything like it in the pics? I doubt it very much - it just felt good. I remember in her sister's biopic of Annie L that Annie says: I realised you can't photograph dance. I think she could have extended that to music, but maybe that would have, in her case, been counterproductive to good business...

Still speaking of Ms L: as I was chatting to the bass player's wife today, we were joined by some other people whom I didn't know, and so I shot them too. When they left I said to the girl that I felt I was turning into the said Annie; who dat? was the reply... I took solace: she doesn't know A.L. but she knows who I am. Hmm, interesting perspective onto which I must hang!

;-)

Rob C

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 03:00:46 PM »

"With this kind of transient atmospheric condition there's no time to set up a tripod."


As the good St Ansel said about Moonrise...

Rob C

fredjeang

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 03:19:55 PM »

William, That's what artists call "atmospheric perspective" or "aerial perspective," and that painters like Bierstadt handled so beautifully in paintings like "Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California." The other kind of perspective is "linear perspective," the kind you learned about in first grade by drawing along receding lines that converge in a vanishing point on the horizon. Sometimes you can get good atmospheric perspective with a camera, especially if there's smoke or haze in the air, but you can't mess with linear perspective, though you can make some changes in linear perspective with Photoshop. Unfortunately, that kind of manipulation is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

One reason the Bierstadt painting is so effective is that he used normal linear perspective for the foreground and middle ground, but when he got to the mountains in the background he violated normal linear perspective and increased the apparent height of the mountains. The result is the kind of breathtaking jolt you get when you first see a mountain like Pikes Peak up close, or the Sangre de Christos, or the Sierras. You can't do this with photography since you can't manipulate linear perspective, yet this is how the mountain appears to your eye.

Not this time. I was driving into downtown Manitou Springs from my home, about a mile east of downtown. I stopped the car in the middle of the two-lane road and stuck the camera out the window, hoping no one would come zooming around the curve behind me before I could trip the shutter and get moving again. I could have included a bunch of dwellings but I was making a point. With this kind of transient atmospheric condition there's no time to set up a tripod.

I like this pic a lot. As you pointed the atmospherical perspective is clew.

I just wanted to mention that when I watch the old masters in street photography, I've noticed that the presence of the atmospherical perspective is much more common than with the current generation, even in total urban situation.

 

 
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 03:26:23 PM »

... when I watch the old masters in street photography, I've noticed that the presence of the atmospherical perspective is much more common than with the current generation, even in total urban situation.

Pre-catalytic converter pollution?  ;)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 03:54:57 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 03:29:38 PM »

... And no sight of the human hand!?

With Russ!? No way! Check out the wire fence in the lower left corner. Could easily be cropped out, but again, with Russ, no way ;)

Rob C

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2011, 03:42:20 PM »

Pre-catalytic convertor pollution?  ;)


New York has made a fortune out of its steam coming out of the pavements/roads or wherever.  

Poor old Marilyn almost got her bunny scalded in the movie - I think it was the Seven Year Itch, which, in the circumstances, you could well understand.

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 03:45:26 PM by Rob C »
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bill t.

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2011, 04:33:16 PM »

I have noticed that a place for the viewer to step in or stand within the visible part of a landscape image adds a certain inviting quality.  A path, a smooth bit of rock, a clear piece of ground.  Welcome, come on in, be a part of this!

This particular shot leaves the viewer suspended rather uncomfortably in mid-air with no means of escape.  It's a common genre that is subtly unsettling to a lot of viewers.  IMHO.
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William Walker

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2011, 05:42:14 PM »

(at my age, I should write a book - short - instead)? Food? Wines? Music?


How about telling us about how those BB pictures came about?

fredjeang

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2011, 06:12:03 PM »

Pre-catalytic converter pollution?  ;)

Hey, I'm seeing that your good sense of humour is still there. Love it.
But actually, you might be right on the money! It is very possible that those urban cities in the first part of the 20th century where so more poluted than it generated the atmospherical effect.
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Rob C

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2011, 06:14:01 PM »

How about telling us about how those BB pictures came about?





Well, it was 1966; I'd just been in business on my own since the start of that year, I was in love with Bri Bri (in a platonic sense...) and the opportunity to go on the set of the film Two Weeks in September came along...

She and a previous love, Ava Gardner, shared the end of my garage wall (as 5ft blowups, I hasten to add, no dungeons for me) and I used to light them up when I came home late at night.

Life was very uncomplicated when I was young.

Rob C

RSL

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2011, 06:17:23 PM »

I have noticed that a place for the viewer to step in or stand within the visible part of a landscape image adds a certain inviting quality.  A path, a smooth bit of rock, a clear piece of ground.  Welcome, come on in, be a part of this!

This particular shot leaves the viewer suspended rather uncomfortably in mid-air with no means of escape.  It's a common genre that is subtly unsettling to a lot of viewers.  IMHO.

Couldn't do it, Bill. Slobodan's right, there's a wire fence between me and the scene and the fence is on the edge of a drop off. I had to shoot over several buildings. I did clone out a vertical wire running up to a power pole that's out of sight on the left. I shot it as quickly as if it had been a street scene. During that second or so I was afraid of being rear-ended.

Rob C

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2011, 03:32:53 AM »

Couldn't do it, Bill. Slobodan's right, there's a wire fence between me and the scene and the fence is on the edge of a drop off. I had to shoot over several buildings. I did clone out a vertical wire running up to a power pole that's out of sight on the left. I shot it as quickly as if it had been a street scene. During that second or so I was afraid of being rear-ended.


Going by what I read, had you been in Baltimore you would most certainly have been so attacked! Even by a pedestrian, it seems.
I'm told it was a constant fear in the navy; no wonder you elected to fly.

Rob C

popnfresh

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2011, 07:47:37 PM »

Russ, stop fooling around and give us more of your street shots.  ;)
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RSL

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2011, 09:31:45 PM »

Pop, Here are two from yesterday.

popnfresh

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2011, 12:44:11 AM »

Both of these work for me, the first one particularly. I even like the fact that they're in color. These are two of the most interesting shots you've shown here recently.
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Rob C

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Re: Landscape: Pikes Peak in Smoke
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2011, 04:31:20 AM »

Agreed, and Hell's Kitchen is particularly sad. What a godawful way to live.

Rob C
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