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Author Topic: Darkened Cities  (Read 28133 times)

Isaac

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Gulag

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 12:26:05 PM »

Great images and it really answers the question if the world will become become a better place after humans are gone.
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"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

— Jean Baudrillard

kikashi

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 03:41:15 PM »

As long as our definition of "better" is be able to see more stars ;-)

Or, of course, unable to see any stars, since by definition we won't be here. Tricky one.

Jeremy
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 05:24:14 PM »

Other creatures can see :-)

if humanity goes down the toilet, at least poop beetles would be quite happy:

Dung beetles guided by Milky Way

GeraldB

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 07:57:19 PM »

I like. A very creative and different way of seeing things. Thanks for sharing the link.

Gulag

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 11:05:16 PM »

I like. A very creative and different way of seeing things. Thanks for sharing the link.

No, he didn't see it. If he did and used his imagination, he would have included lots of forests in the dead concrete cities as a more authentic experience.
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"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

— Jean Baudrillard

Isaac

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 08:33:39 AM »

You seem to have confused your statement -- "a better place after humans are gone" -- with what the photographer was trying to do:

"...French photographer Thierry Cohen worries about city dwellers not being able to see the starry sky. With light and air pollution plaguing urban areas, it is not as if residents can look up from their streets and roof decks to spot constellations and shooting stars. ... He’d give city dwellers a taste of what they were missing."
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Gulag

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 09:52:29 AM »

You seem to have confused your statement -- "a better place after humans are gone" -- with what the photographer was trying to do:

"...French photographer Thierry Cohen worries about city dwellers not being able to see the starry sky. With light and air pollution plaguing urban areas, it is not as if residents can look up from their streets and roof decks to spot constellations and shooting stars. ... He’d give city dwellers a taste of what they were missing."

Sorry but I entirely missed his intended meaning because I thought he had something more profound in his mind. After all, he didn't.
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"Photography is our exorcism. Primitive society had its masks, bourgeois society its mirrors. We have our images."

— Jean Baudrillard

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 10:18:18 AM »

... I thought he had something more profound in his mind. After all, he didn't.

For some of us, it is quite profound.

If by "more profound" you meant "after humans are gone," it might be so, but original it ain't. There has already been a TV series (on National Geographic Channel, I believe) about it. At least this guy came up with an original idea, plus a very cool and elaborate execution.

RSL

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 11:51:16 AM »

When I was a kid my brother and I used to spend summers in northern Michigan at an aunt's cottage. We were at the end of a fairly large lake, and in those days there were very, very few houses or cottages around the lake. Most of the houses that existed were about two miles away at the other end of the lake. There was no electricity at our end of the lake, so we used oil lamps.

I often think of nights when I was out in a boat on that lake, with maybe one dim light visible on the shore. You could lie back in the boat and look up at God's astonishing creation laid out before you without any light contamination. It was breathtaking and humbling. I sometimes wonder whether or not the hubris I see increasing in our society is at least partly caused by our growing inability to have experiences like that with the night sky so that the truth of our insignificance becomes something more than an abstraction.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 11:00:03 AM by RSL »
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WalterEG

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 03:56:56 PM »

The sad truth, eloquently put RSL.
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RSL

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 10:24:06 AM »

By living long enough to observe it, Isaac. There's more than one kind of hubris. In the long run, hubris in a society is more dangerous than hubris in a dictator like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Kim. . . Eventually the dictator dies or is overthrown but a hubristic society advances boldly and blindly into catastrophe.

RSL

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 07:42:39 AM »

Sorry Isaac, but if you have to ask a question like that you must be very young or very unobservant.

Justan

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2013, 12:10:51 PM »

This is timely and excellent employment of digital photography to push the boundary!

I’ve been working on something along the same lines. A few months ago I did a series of night time star studies from my front yard. My place is about 25 miles into the woods at the base of a mountain. Because of the hill and tall trees, to find stars you have to look close to straight up. I found an exposure and iso that reveals an enormous number of stars without an exposure so long to cause long star trails. A bit of tweaking with PS and the results are awesome, to say the least. I had no idea a camera could capture so many stars without using a tripod designed to track stars, such as this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=588039&is=REG&Q=&A=details

Anywho, in some proof of concept tests I overlaid these star fields behind twilight landscapes. I like the results. The problem is that the image has to be pretty dark to make the stars pop. The artists featured in the article, Caleb Cain Marcus, achieved this goal by making the cities look like apparitions. In my case I want the city lights but not too many of them, so I’ll capture starting at closer to sunset.

Of course the major problem with this kind of work is that it is difficult to reproduce on paper what looks so great on a LCD. I dunno but maybe I’ll print them on a film and backlight it.

Thanks for the post!

Justan

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 01:27:44 PM »

^Some of both and not just with city scenes. My list includes locations from several nearby cities, the coast, locations in Eastern Washington state, plus the peaks near my home including Mt. Rainier - which is where I’m going to do most of the star captures.

These planned works are part of a series of surrealism I started about a year ago by putting an oversized moon above some of my city-panos. Those works have been among my best sellers.

Rene Magritte's did something like Marcus' work, but long before. In Magritte's case, he juxtaposed a night time image of a building with a daytime sky http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/rene-magritte-lempire-des-lumieres-5138353-details.aspx. Of course Marcus flipped the juxtaposition for convenience, and then hid the daytime part. They both borrowed from an idea that was best done by Van Gogh, who didnt care about realism.

As an aside, this thread is interesting to me because some of the predictably most petulant contributors have stated no issue with this obvious use of compositing. This goes to show that innovation can appease most enough so they fall into T.S Elliot’s observed state of willful suspension of disbelief. Not only that, but the thread also clearly shows that people project their own values into scenes when so moved.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2013, 02:40:43 PM »

... this thread is interesting to me because some of the predictably most petulant contributors have stated no issue with this obvious use of compositing...

I guess you had me in mind.

There is compositing and then there is compositing. There is a clever one and a cheap one. There is compositing with a profound concept behind (like in the OP case) and there is compositing for compositing sake. There is compositing with a philosophical, poetic concept behind (e.g., Jerry Uelsmann) and compositing aimed at unwashed masses' taste.

In the OP case, compositing serves to recreate reality that is both theoretically and practically possible (like NY during blackouts 1977 and 2003). He composites the exact sky New Yorkers could have seen, providing the night was cloudless.

Slapping any sky or any moon, in any position over any city is... let's just say not my cup of tea, regardless of commercial success.

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the thread also clearly shows that people project their own values into scenes...

Is that really surprising? Isn't that what we all, and always do?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2013, 05:15:35 PM »

It's all about you, Slobodan!...

Hey, if you want to stake a claim on that title, I'd be happy to withdraw ;D

Then again, Justan has a history of calling me "stupid, ignorant, duplicitous, benighted," to mention a few, so being "predictably petulant" sounds almost as a compliment ;)

EduPerez

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2013, 04:05:56 AM »

Another approach to the compositing technique:

http://www.stephenwilkes.com/fine-art-gallery.php?g=7&t=fineart
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Darkened Cities
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2013, 09:11:31 AM »

Another approach to the compositing ...

Yep... and another cool idea.
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