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Site & Board Matters => About This Site => Topic started by: Tony Jay on May 30, 2012, 04:41:44 AM

Title: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 30, 2012, 04:41:44 AM
Interesting and current topic.
I have to say that some of the "Alain Briot moves" such as removal of, or duplication of, landscape elements is not my cup of tea.

I have no problem with an artistic approach to photography, particularly landscape photography, especially since the camera while indeed ingesting huge detail, cannot capture fully the essence of the entire colour palette and tonal nuance of the scene. (This issue has been debated rather fully on this forum already.)
Maybe landscape photography has already lost all claim to capturing recognizable reality so maybe playing around with scenic elements in post-processing as Alain is proposing is acceptable, or even favoured, however I am not comfortable with this approach.

I hunt long and hard for good compositions and good lighting conditions: "perfect" shooting conditions are rare.
Do I do a lot of post-processing? Sure.
Do I use stitching and HDR to capture what I want? Sure.
Can somone who was looking over my shoulder while I was shooting recognize the result? Absolutely.

In my humble opinion the current state of digital photography has not exhausted its options in creating fantastic landscapes with detail, tonal nuance, and colour NOT available from single image captures.
Such things as stacking, focus stacking, HDR, and stitching while obviously not magic bullets are probably underutilized, however some  in the community regard these techniques as the devils horns.

The charm and allure of fine art landscape photography lies in the fact that it is based on a reality - a recognizable photographic reality.
To clarify, I do not have a problem with those photographers that use zooming and other movement techniques in their endevours since the intent and result is so clearly an abstract one.
However to sell a landscape image that has been subject to some of the "Alain Briot moves" without informing the buyer that the location of the image only exists in the imagination of the photographer in my opinion violates a, usually unspoken, tenet that the image actually represents a real place that even if difficult to visit would be recognizable from the image - even in the detail.

Fine art painting, in contradistinction does not suffer from these same"obligations", since, as far as I am aware, in the history of the development of fine art painting a "photographic-type" reproduction of reality was never expected. (Apologies for the awkward terminology.) Photography, in general, and landscape photography especially, on the other hand, is inescapably a product (victim) of its own process and a historical community expectation that photographic images should represent a recognizable reality combined with a current scepticism and suspicion that everything is a "Photoshopped" illusion anyway.

As with Alain's piece I am not expecting everyone (or anyone!) to fall into place behind what I have articulated.
Hopefully, though, a lively and constructive debate will result.

My humble contribution

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: 32BT on May 30, 2012, 06:16:39 AM
I personally have no problem with AB-moves, especially if it sells his images. Whether there is a presumption about truthfulness/reality/documentary is entirely between the artist and consumer. Artists are equally free to create collages of image elements as they are to attempt to capture nature's inherent beauty as is, merely emphasizing the experience.

Obviously, if an artist would try to sell a collage as reality then it reflects directly on his/her personality which should theoretically reflect in the art-expression itself. But I doubt most consumers would pick up on the nuances.

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 30, 2012, 07:19:45 AM
To clarify, Oscar, I too would have no problem should the image-maker truthfully indicate the nature of the image in this context.

I do however feel that there is more at stake here than just whether a customer realizes that he has been duped.
I don't think that the ethic here should be that everything is fine as long as one is not caught out.
Please correct me if you feel I am misrepresenting the point you made but it does seem to be a fair conclusion.

Also, as in most commercial endevours bad behaviour by even a few tends to unfavourably reflect on everyone else.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: JohnBrew on May 30, 2012, 07:42:10 AM
Tony, I support the points you have brought out, however, I believe most clients just buy what they like - they are not usually aware of where or how the scene was photographed or even manipulated, and they don't particularly care. They only want something that somehow pleases them, whether esthetically or not, for a particular wall or room, to match a color scheme or as a gift.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: 32BT on May 30, 2012, 07:49:08 AM
… should the image-maker truthfully indicate the nature of the image in this context.

Well, yes, if the context is the article, then I presume we agree that he was very clear about the different approach vs "documentary photographs", to quote:

In order to create expressive photographs (as opposed to documentary photographs) you have to bring at least as much to the subject as the subject brings to you.  In effect, you usually have to bring more to the subject than the subject brings to you. This means transforming the subject from what it looks like to everyone into what it looks like to you specifically.

If the context is his sales approach, or better, selling art in general, then I think it is useful to both the artist and consumer to remain truthful about the entire process. I can imagine that manipulations aren't specifically mentioned per image, but one could do so in an "artist's statement" etc… Every part of the process reflects on the artist. If I buy a piece of art with a maintenance guarantee, then that is entirely different from buying a piece of art and the transaction ends right there and then where the money changes hands.

Note also that I am a proponent of Art being an expression of communication, which basically means that the message always precedes the medium. If you try to transfer an experience, thought, or message, as an artist, you are free to select the appropriate medium and manipulations. The moral imperative is in being truthful about the choices, not the choices themselves.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 30, 2012, 07:55:26 AM
Note also that I am a proponent of Art being an expression of communication, which basically means that the message always precedes the medium. If you try to transfer an experience, thought, or message, as an artist, you are free to select the appropriate medium and manipulations. The moral imperative is in being truthful about the choices, not the choices themselves.

I agree.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: arlon on May 30, 2012, 08:23:35 AM
If Picasso had been a realist. who'd have heard of him? I don't like his work but obviously there are a lot that do. Sometimes I like duplication, sometimes I like art. Depends a little on the subject and even my mood at the moment. I'm not sure if perfectly duplicating a scene is really art, artistic but not art. I shoot a lot of macro, I try to capture bugs as realistically as I can but they sure aren't art. They are duplication for documentation.

I'm not crazy about duplication when it comes to landscapes (that's a snap shot), I usually like a little exageration. It's kind of like getting on a stage. It takes a little exageration to be interesting.. Funny how that works.

So where does documentation stop and art start? I guess it's a little subjective and open to personal interpretation.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on May 30, 2012, 09:00:22 AM
Quote
So where does documentation stop and art start? I guess it's a little subjective and open to personal interpretation.
And therein lies the crux of the matter, the world of landscape photography is splitting into two directions - precise documentation and pleasing art.

If I am going to paddle between the 30,000 islands on Georgian Bay, it really helps to see a picture with detailed depiction of every island and cove by satellite or Google Earth.
On the other hand, if I want to hang a nice picture on my wall, I would likely choose one of Alain's photographs, and position of a rock or some prickly plant better conforms to the overall composition rather then to the exact GPS location.
 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on May 30, 2012, 10:59:00 AM
If Picasso had been a realist. who'd have heard of him? I don't like his work but obviously there are a lot that do.

Science and Charity (http://www.bcn.cat/museupicasso/en/collection/mpb110-046.html), P. Ruiz Picasso, 1897.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on May 30, 2012, 11:59:42 AM
Fine art painting, in contradistinction does not suffer from these same"obligations", since, as far as I am aware, in the history of the development of fine art painting a "photographic-type" reproduction of reality was never expected.

The qualifier "fine art" is doing all the work. Before photography, landscape drawings and paintings were made as documentation (and made as art) - photography quickly took over the role of making images as documentation.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on May 30, 2012, 01:42:20 PM
I'm quite sure that Canaletto, for one, would have had hysterics to find himself referred to as a documentary artist. Moving buildings into more pleasing positions than the architects had imagined possible was nothing to him - all in a day's work.

Regarding the original idea of this thread as it affects photography, I'm once again pushed into memories of Jean Loup Sieff's writings on art and its promoters. Perhaps his answer to the moral dilemma, if indeed it should be thought to be one, might be found in his words: "there is no art, only artists."  In essence, I think anyone working for his personal pleasure is entitled to do anything with his photography that pleases him. After all, if you can't please yourself, what's the point in spending all that money, time and effort making a picture? Should someone else be overcome with emotion and suddenly feel inclined to buy it, then that's what he's buying: the picture. Period.

However, if one is commissioned by a town council, a preservation body or some such entity to produce a documentary record of what the state of something/somewhere really appears to be, then reality has to be follwed as best one can, I think. But then all commissioned work has its requirements set out before the start of the work. Even olde stocke was like that - mostly. The two situations are distinct.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on May 30, 2012, 02:37:48 PM
I have no problem with the post work Alain does and I believe he is very forthright in his full disclosure.  Some of you may recall that I was struggling with this a bit in my topic about artists' statements.  Since I work in a variety of photographic disciplines, I wanted to be sure that I fully disclosed what I considered to be fair game.  If you are calling your work fine art rather than documentary and no one is using your photo to go find the exact location, have at it.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 30, 2012, 04:23:06 PM
It seems that as long as there is meaningful disclosure about techniques used then there is consensus that the result is artistically ethical.
Thanks to all those who have entered the debate.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on May 30, 2012, 05:51:14 PM
I'm quite sure that Canaletto, for one, would have had hysterics to find himself referred to as a documentary artist.
Do you wish to claim that landscape drawings and paintings were never made as documentation?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on May 30, 2012, 05:59:25 PM
artistically ethical

Well, I can see that passing off someone else's work as yours or mine would be an ethical failure - but that just seems to be an example of fraud, an ordinary human failing (like other kinds of nastiness).

I'm curious to know what specifically The Committee of Artistic Ethics should examine? :-)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: David Sutton on May 30, 2012, 06:10:07 PM
The charm and allure of fine art landscape photography lies in the fact that it is based on a reality - a recognizable photographic reality.
Tony Jay

This debate is an old one. Here is a quote from the 1895 article Photography, Artistic and Scientific by author Robert Johnson:
“On the subject of retouching photographic negatives, there are a great many conflicting opinions, and a great deal of nonsense has been uttered both for and against this operation; some perfectly competent photographers urging that a photograph is quite incomplete until it has been retouched, others asserting that when a negative leaves the dark room it is quite ready for the printer; that it is bad taste, bad art, and, in fact, a very objectionable thing to interfere with it in any way.....”
I think the question of whether or not to retouch (or "alter") is at heart a stupid discussion. And by 1895 the horse had well and truly bolted.
The first practical form of photography was the daguerreotype (gifted to the world in 1839 by the French government) and established photography as a new way of  seeing that was quite unlike the way our eyes worked, and quite unlike the conventions of painters. It founded the various styles of photography and established photography as an art form and demonstrated the basic artistic truth that the photograph is made by the photographer, not by the camera. (not my words, I've lost the reference).
By 1860 few photographers were still using Daguerre's process. It had been replaced by the wet collodion method discovered by Frederick Scott Archer. A glass plate had to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, but it had a faster exposure time, was razor sharp, was much less expensive, and instead of being a one off, a large number of prints could now be made from a single negative. And you didn't get mercury poisoning. (Apart from the 15 minute time limit, its disadvantage was that it was made from guncotton and alcohol or ether. Ether is much  heavier than air and would drift along the floor from a leaking bottle until it found a fireplace or candle, at which point it would ignite back and explode the guncotton. There were a lot of deaths.)
Anyway, back on topic. The collodian process and thus the ability to easily reproduce photographs altered people's view of their world. The American president Abraham Lincoln said his election was due to his speech at the Cooper Institute and the photographs of Mathew Brady,  Have a look at “General Ulysses. S. Grant on a Horse in front of Troops, circa 1864” at
http://izismile.com/2012/02/08/historic_photographs_which_are_known_to_be_altered_13_pics.html
This photograph was not regarded in any way as a “fake”. Within 10 years of being able to mass produce prints, photographers were cutting and pasting in order to tell a story. Different versions were sometimes published to see which the public preferred.
Nowadays, while I agree that if it's art, then anything goes, and we have to judge an image by the final result, where it gets interesting is the point at which we limit our artistic licence to stretch our skills. As Georges Braque, who co-founded cubism with Picasso said, “Out of limited means new forms emerge”.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on May 30, 2012, 06:32:31 PM
Have a look at “General Ulysses. S. Grant on a Horse in front of Troops, circa 1864” ... This photograph was not regarded in any way as a “fake”.
When was it understood to be a "fake"?  (The caption "Researchers at the Library of Congress uncovered this gem after extensive detective work." suggests that happened recently.)


Here's another example to make your point -

[1857-59] "Le Gray innovated by successively printing parts of two negatives onto the same proof: a landscape and the sky of his choice, photographed elsewhere. He applied this technique to his marines in particular, taking advantage of the flat horizon line that eased the joining of two negatives, thereby emphasizing the horizon's presence and strengthening the force of the resultant image. The effect is stunning... The critics sang his praises, and his photographs of the sea were often exhibited and sought after." p50

Reproducing Reality: Landscape photography of the 1850s and 1860s in relation to the paintings of Gustave Courbet (http://books.google.com/books?id=w7SkRSN_PLEC)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on May 30, 2012, 08:56:10 PM
Quote
- Removal of significant elements of the photograph such as rivers, trees, rocks, etc.

- Moving significant elements of the image from one area of the photo to a different area

- Duplication of significant elements

- Combining elements from several photograph into a single image

I can understand that the above procedures mentioned in Alain's article would be very controversial  'moves' for many photographers.

Cloning out intrusive power lines, or even intrusive people who have annoyingly got in the way of an otherwise beautiful scene, or cloning out litter that someone has thoughtlessly dropped, seems reasonable and sensible. But shifting or removing significant and relatively permanent elements in the scene so that the original scene in reality, if visited by the viewer, might not be recognisable, puts the photograph into a different category.

As an old codger originally from the UK, I tend towards the view that Photography is more of a craft than an art in the sense that there is no expectation that the artist, as in painter, is obliged to reproduce an accurate representation of reality, whereas there is an expectation that the photograph is at least a fairly close representation of reality.

The problem is one of expectation and assumption. When we watch a movie, we know it's not real. We suspend our disbelief so we can enjoy the story which is always fiction. Even if the movie is claimed to be based upon real historical events and real historical characters, it's still largely fictional, for the sake of the box office.

I would have no objection to what Alain is proposing if photographs could be reliably categorised into fiction and non-fiction, but I fear this will not happen.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: david loble on May 30, 2012, 09:52:29 PM
Because I only  photograph for myself, and in no way do I consider myself to be an artist I always wonder how I would jump into these recurring discussions. So let me try. For many years I photographed landscapes, always looking for the perfect, to me, scene. Generally that meant traveling to places more "pristine" than my Connecticut environs. Which are rarely pristine, in any case.
Then, a few years ago I was told about the "New Topographics". I won't go into that here, suffice that if any one is interested there is plenty of information on the web. But looking at the work of  Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz, to name just 2 of the photographers in the New Topographic show turned my photographic life around. Pristine didn't matter anymore. I could, and did, start driving to Bridgeport where I found a bunch of old and abandoned factories and industrial neighborhoods pressed up against apartment buildings. I laughingly tell my friends that now I embrace the telephone poles and the wires and the cracked pavement and overgrown unused parking lots.
For me this is a more appropriate realism than a beautiful sunset at the Grand Canyon. But also for me it is a recording of a major part of the urban/suburban world and I don't have to worry about some "ugly" element ruining my picture.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on May 31, 2012, 12:40:03 AM
I laughingly tell my friends that now I embrace the telephone poles and the wires and the cracked pavement and overgrown unused parking lots.
For me this is a more appropriate realism than a beautiful sunset at the Grand Canyon. But also for me it is a recording of a major part of the urban/suburban world and I don't have to worry about some "ugly" element ruining my picture.

Good point, and I doubt that any historian years later would get confused about the reality of your photos. Were those pavements really cracked, and were those telephone poles really there?

But what about the following shot of the Himalayas at dawn. I got up at 4am to hike in the dark for a couple of hours, mostly uphill, to catch the sunrise at 6am. But was I accompanied by three young ladies who were prepared to expose their breasts in the cold, mountain air?  ;D

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 31, 2012, 01:15:44 AM
Well, I can see that passing off someone else's work as yours or mine would be an ethical failure - but that just seems to be an example of fraud, an ordinary human failing (like other kinds of nastiness).

I'm curious to know what specifically The Committee of Artistic Ethics should examine? :-)

Community expectation!

If the buyer of your extensively manipulated image, with mountains shoved around and rivers obliterated from the original photographic image or images as the case may be is expecting that the image, because it is a photographic image, to represent a real place that he could actually visit and see for himself and you don't tell the buyer that your creative masterpiece is actually a complete figment of your own imagination then there is a problem - I would call that fraud.

However, if you told the buyer that you manipulated the image so as to make it completely unrecognizable from the scene as originally shot and the buyer loved the result  and could not wait to fork out the cash to own it then I do not see any ethical problem.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on May 31, 2012, 03:43:23 AM
Worse, Ray, were they really young ladies or something closer to wannabe young ladies?

All bets would, presumably, be off!

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: david loble on May 31, 2012, 03:50:24 AM
Ray,

I've never seen the Himalayas. So for me, as a prospective buyer you could have told me it was Lake Titicaca.

David
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 31, 2012, 04:01:55 AM
So David, I could also sell you a lemon (local Aussie jargon for a dodgy motor vehicle) and as long as you didn't know the difference between the lemon and a decent motor vehicle it would be OK - until you later found out the truth of course ...

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on May 31, 2012, 09:08:06 AM
Gentlemen, we are talking about the artistic creativity.

This reminds me of Canadian writer Farley Mowat who has been often criticised for falsifying and substantially embellishing parts of his books. To what he said that he doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on May 31, 2012, 09:27:55 AM
Ray,

I've never seen the Himalayas. So for me, as a prospective buyer you could have told me it was Lake Titicaca.

David



If I may be allowed my smartass moment: in India, they usually call them the Himaaal -yas, not the Himma-lay-as...  but not a lot of people nowadays knows that.

Feel so much better now!

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: david loble on May 31, 2012, 10:38:21 AM
Okay, Les,
Let's return to the subject of creativity. I wonder to what extent the market plays in determining one's creativity. Using my own experience as an example, when would I have noticed "my" cracked pavement if I was concerned about selling my work? If I had a business plan it seems to me I would want a product that consumers would buy and more of them will buy a "perfect" scene than an "imperfect" one. So why not create perfection when I can?

I guess there are just too many shades of grey to arrive at a definitive answer about artistic creativity. But it is fun to explore.

David
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on May 31, 2012, 12:10:57 PM
So David, I could also sell you a lemon (local Aussie jargon for a dodgy motor vehicle) and as long as you didn't know the difference between the lemon and a decent motor vehicle it would be OK - until you later found out the truth of course ...

Regards

Tony Jay

The lemon is a straw-man and unrelated to the creative process.  There is no ethical correlation between knowingly selling a car and misrepresenting it to the buyer and creating a photograph and disclosing that it was manipulated to achieve the artist's vision.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on May 31, 2012, 12:59:20 PM
Quote
So why not create perfection when I can?
David,

I agree fully with the goal of creating perfection.

If I'm set to create an aesthetically pleasing picture, straightening a crooked tree, cloning out a twig, or moving a rock for a better balance, strikes me as a "more perfect" approach than presenting a busy or unbalanced composition.

On the other hand, if I'm going to capture an editorial shot, I may adjust slightly the tonality and contrast, but I won't touch that awful graffiti on the wall or somebody's tacky tattoo.

And you wouldn't believe how much it bugs me when my stock agency makes to remove that beautiful silver star on Mercedes or camouflage the Coca Cola bottles.
 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on May 31, 2012, 01:20:38 PM
Community expectation!
Which community? A community of self proclaimed "artists" or a community of photo-journalists? A community of art aficionados or a community oblivious to that world?

Photographic Icons as Fact, Fiction and Metaphor (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/essay-4/)


If the buyer of your extensively manipulated image... However, if you told the buyer that you manipulated the image...
Doesn't the buyer know that they are buying art? ("I have no problem with an artistic approach", "fine art landscape photography")
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 31, 2012, 05:01:20 PM
Isaac, you are really substantiating my point.

There are lots of different views of how things should be out there in the world.
And these views do impact on how fine art photography (in this case landscape photography) is appreciated.

Alain levels the playing field by an explicit statement of intent. This is the correct thing to do. Anyone who buys his work cannot subsequently claim that they did not know the facts.

BTW, I absolutely recognize that even "documentary" photography is a very limited representation of reality (I actually make reference to this in the original post). The mere fact of converting a three-dimensional scene into a two-dimensional image is only the first step of many to produce an image, never mind the wholesale editing that Alain indulges in, that does limit its reality in the absolute sense.

Don't misunderstand me - my images undergo a lot of post-processing. In my case the intent is to try, as best possible, to reproduce the scene as I remember it. Obviously there must be a subjective bent at play but the result would still be instantly recognizable to any third party observer who viewed the scene when I was shooting.

I have no more concerns than you regarding, in your terminology, an artistic approach to fine art landscape photography as long as viewers and buyers are not misled by what they are viewing.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: John Camp on May 31, 2012, 08:27:57 PM
I pretty much agree with Tony. Because a photograph is a photograph, there is an implicit (and almost explicit) suggestion that the scene was more or less as represented, with a few of what Alain calls Ansel moves.

As long as Photoshopping is explicit, I don't have much problem with it -- but you know what? It's not usually explicit. I'm not sure I've ever been in a photo gallery where an image caption said something like, "Sandia Peak -- Photoshopped." There's a good reason for that. I suspect, but don't know, that most people, if told a landscape image was heavily photoshopped, wouldn't buy it. People are interested in the wonders of nature, not the wonders of Photoshop. Photoshopped landscapes seem to me to be a form of jackalope.

http://www.google.com/search?q=jackalope&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=KgzIT67lEoXogQevxKGXDg&sqi=2&ved=0CHoQsAQ&biw=1204&bih=1269

JC

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on May 31, 2012, 09:09:08 PM
I pretty much agree with Tony. Because a photograph is a photograph, there is an implicit (and almost explicit) suggestion that the scene was more or less as represented, with a few of what Alain calls Ansel moves.

As long as Photoshopping is explicit, I don't have much problem with it -- but you know what? It's not usually explicit. I'm not sure I've ever been in a photo gallery where an image caption said something like, "Sandia Peak -- Photoshopped." There's a good reason for that. I suspect, but don't know, that most people, if told a landscape image was heavily photoshopped, wouldn't buy it. People are interested in the wonders of nature, not the wonders of Photoshop. Photoshopped landscapes seem to me to be a form of jackalope.

http://www.google.com/search?q=jackalope&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=KgzIT67lEoXogQevxKGXDg&sqi=2&ved=0CHoQsAQ&biw=1204&bih=1269

JC




Good point! Even if the seller privately notifies the buyer than the image has been significantly manipulated, such information is not likely to be indelibly stamped upon the photograph. We have no trouble distinguishing between the categories of Fiction and Non Fiction books because these categories are applied in the book store and stated on the jacket of the book or in the Forward.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on May 31, 2012, 09:18:44 PM
Quote
Obviously there must be a subjective bent at play but the result would still be instantly recognizable to any third party observer who viewed the scene when I was shooting.
I think that the recognition and familiarity with a specific scene in an art print are vastly overestimated.

Granted, certain scenes, such as Mittens or Delicate Arch are icons that most people instantly recognize and don't confuse with another scenery. Less popular scenes and macro landscapes less so. That beautiful sand dune with a lonely plant casting shadow towards a round rock may not even be there next year. The sand shifts, plants die, and even rocks move or get buried.
 
On the other hand, many people upon seeing your photo will exclaim that they know the scene. And they really think, they do.

Case in point. I photographed and still sell some rock and water scenes from around Georgian Bay in Ontario. For the non-Ontarians, Georgian Bay is a huge arm of Lake Huron, almost 200 miles (320km) in length. Just one area somewhere in the middle of the bay is known as 30,000 Islands (not counting millions of shoals). In total, there must be well over 100,000 islands, bays, and coves.

To cut the story short, about 15 years ago, I motored to a very remote location around French River delta (which I would have problems finding again even I wanted), and to make a point, these are places where you don't see other boats for days, and that is only during a short summer. In bad weather or for the rest of year you wouldn't want to be there. Anyway, I managed to capture a few nice panoramas with a rotational camera. So, we have a completely desolate location, distorted heavily by the rotational capture, and of course affected by the early morning light at that time. Paradoxically, half of the visitors in gallery would claim that they know the scene and that they were there. Not that I wouldn't wish them to see it, but probability of a experiencing the same scene is absolutely zero.

Not only the sands shift and rocks move, but interestingly, also the trees grow. Last summer, I attempted to revisit a small picturesque cove in another area of the big bay. The scene showed a nice rocky island with small pines and of course a lot of water. Now, this scene was heavily imprinted in my mind, since I've seen it hundreds of times on my various print pieces. I just couldn't find it with my canoe even remembering location quite well. Then it finally donned on me, that those little pines grew up into big trees which in turn totally changed the scene.

And finally! The same Georgian Bay around the Bruce Peninsula has two unique limestone formations in forms of pretty pillars called Flowerpots (google them). Not only they are very photogenic, but they had a third brother that collapsed about a hundred years ago. Lucky guy who photographed or painted all three of them! The scene changed again.

So to close my Georgian Bay reminiscence, photograph what you can today, and if you have to bend a few tree branches or carry some rocks away, be mine guest. And if there is nobody there to hold those branches for you, maybe you can do it later in Photoshop.
   
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 31, 2012, 09:42:03 PM
Les your point is valid - no-one is suggesting that the natural landscape is fixed or anything like that.

Considering that it is the weather that usually transforms a mundane scene into something really worth capturing - that is obviously ephemeral.
It is also the reason why I state for the purposes of illustrating my point that my finished images would be recognizable by a third party who had been present and viewing the scene when I was shooting.
Half an hour later - who knows what they would witness.

Nonetheless, the point pertains to credibility and honesty.

Whether a viewer or buyer subsequently would ever recognize the scene depicted in an image is neither here nor there even if they had visited the place at some point in time and stood at the same spot facing in the same direction as the camera.
The key point is whether the depicted scene in the image ever existed and is represented as best as photographic technology can represent it OR whether the depicted scene is an imaginary one AND whether the photographer/artist is prepared to own up to the facts.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on May 31, 2012, 11:02:48 PM
True, the point pertains to credibility and honesty. And since we all shoot different things for different purposes, I trust, that most of us will make the right decision.

To set the facts straight, I consider myself more as a realistic documenter rather than an creative artist creating dreamlike scenes. I'm not even shooting any blurry waterfalls or seawater. And I'm not in habit to set fires underneath some arches just to get a better lighting. 

But if the client asks me to fit a particular scene into a predefined postcard format, or if I'm confronted with a framing limitation of 60" matte, I won't hesitate to crop the image or stretch it slightly in either direction. (As long as the extra space won't exceed one canoe length.)

 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on May 31, 2012, 11:30:00 PM
When I view a landscape photograph, my expectation is to be able to travel to said location and at least view the same subject matter as was photographed. It may be that the light is different or that the sky is different, but that is to be expected.

Or to put it different, taking into account the variations of nature, the expectation is that a photograph represents something that any one of us could see in the world at the time at which the photograph is taken.

To me, if subjects of substance in the photograph (trees, rocks, mountains, houses) have either been added or removed then the photograph becomes a lie and is of itself of little value if it is portrayed as a photograph of something.

But Alain isn't the only one that has peddled this art - there was another article on LL last year where the writer had done the same thing - added in extra trees to balance out the image.

To put it simply, there needs to be another word for images that have been modified in this manner to distinguish them from photographs because quite clearly they are not photographs.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Schewe on May 31, 2012, 11:38:16 PM
When I view a landscape photograph, my expectation is to be able to travel to said location and at least view the same subject matter as was photographed.

That is an entirely un-realistic expectation...it's bullshyte...you could NEVER see it as a photographer has seen it in any sort of reality. You see a shot, do you know the focal length used for the shot? Do you know the exact GPS location to within a meter or so? Do you know the elevation? The F-stop? Ignoring totally the post, why would you possibly expect to see what another photographer saw? Don't know what you are smoking but unless you wanna pass it around, what you want isn't in the least bit realistic...
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on May 31, 2012, 11:53:31 PM
Quote
To put it simply, there needs to be another word for images that have been modified in this manner to distinguish them from photographs because quite clearly they are not photographs.
Actually, I could come up not with just one word, but with quite a few descriptive categories. Most of them are printable.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on May 31, 2012, 11:56:38 PM
True, the point pertains to credibility and honesty. And since we all shoot different things for different purposes, I trust, that most of us will make the right decision.

Les, I believe that you would make the right call.

When I view a landscape photograph, my expectation is to be able to travel to said location and at least view the same subject matter as was photographed. It may be that the light is different or that the sky is different, but that is to be expected.

I sorta have to agree with Schewe here. Sometimes it might be possible, but I do think that unless one had the GPS co-ordinates in most cases it would be impossible to know for sure that one was viewing the scene.
However, the notion that the image represents a real place at a real point in time absolutely accounts for the power that these images possess.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 01, 2012, 12:02:44 AM
That is an entirely un-realistic expectation...it's bullshyte...you could NEVER see it as a photographer has seen it in any sort of reality. You see a shot, do you know the focal length used for the shot? Do you know the exact GPS location to within a meter or so? Do you know the elevation? The F-stop? Ignoring totally the post, why would you possibly expect to see what another photographer saw? Don't know what you are smoking but unless you wanna pass it around, what you want isn't in the least bit realistic...

I think you're looking for exactness where it isn't required.

When all of those people went to Sentinel Rock to photograph the Joshua Pine plus Half Dome shot, do you think they cared about F-stop and location to the nearest centimeter? Not likely. Would that photograph have been as well received as it was if it was known that Ansel Adams moved the tree to that position? Similarly there was a bunch of people that tried to emulate another photograph he took of the full moon when it was in the right position. Would that have been as well received as it was if he decided to put the moon somewhere else because he liked that location in his shot better?

To give another different example, some German guy created a very bland picture of the Rhone by removing lots of man made bits. Some were willing to spend a lot of money on that creation. To me, it is worth nothing as a photograph because it is of nothing that I can ever expect to see or experience. Others think differently and I'm ok with that.

With landscape photographs, the traveller in me is looking at images and thinking "wouldn't it be nice to go there and see that?" If I can't go there and see it (or couldn't have) then for me, it may as well be a painting and not a photograph.

When I look at simple photographs of white sand beaches with blue skies and calm waters, the value in seeing that is being able to dream of being there and knowing that it is possible to actually be there. If someone had just rendered it in some graphics application, then to me it has substantially less value. Similarly, if a photograph doesn't make me want to be somewhere to see or experience what is in the photograph then to me it has no value.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 01, 2012, 12:04:44 AM
However, the notion that the image represents a real place at a real point in time absolutely accounts for the power that these images possess.

Exactly!

I couldn't have said it better myself.

If the relationship to a real place and point in time is lost then to me the power of the image is also lost.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Schewe on June 01, 2012, 12:08:18 AM
With landscape photographs, the traveller in me is looking at images and thinking "wouldn't it be nice to go there and see that?" If I can't go there and see it (or couldn't have) then for me, it may as well be a painting and not a photograph.

Again, that's your expectations and the baggage you are carrying...and the painting vs photo is the whole point–you are expecting something not explicitly promised...unless the landscape photographer promised that the location WOULD look exactly as photographed (which again is an unreasonable expectation-more fool you for believing something like that).
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 01, 2012, 12:13:31 AM
Quote
With landscape photographs, the traveller in me is looking at images and thinking "wouldn't it be nice to go there and see that?" If I can't go there and see it (or couldn't have) then for me, it may as well be a painting and not a photograph.
This is in stark contrast to the recent Mark Dubovoy's essay where he said he likes to create "unseen" scenes.
My theory is that one of the main characteristics of successful photographs is that they contain something that was unseen by the observer before the photograph was exhibited.

To me, such an approach is much more creative and valuable than trying to find someone else's tripod marks and make yet another copy of a sight photographed million times before.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 01, 2012, 12:22:13 AM
Again, that's your expectations and the baggage you are carrying...and the painting vs photo is the whole point–you are expecting something not explicitly promised...unless the landscape photographer promised that the location WOULD look exactly as photographed (which again is an unreasonable expectation-more fool you for believing something like that).

Maybe I'm wrong but I think most people have that expectation of landscape photographs and that if people knew they were heavily photoshop'd then they would not be seen to be as valuable.

This is in stark contrast to the recent Mark Dubovoy's essay where he said he likes to create "unseen" scenes.
My theory is that one of the main characteristics of successful photographs is that they contain something that was unseen by the observer before the photograph was exhibited.

To me, such an approach is much more creative and valuable than trying to find someone else's tripod marks and make yet another copy of a sight photographed million times before.


It's not the desire to take a photograph but to simply see it with my own eyes.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 01, 2012, 12:29:38 AM
Quote
It's not the desire to take a photograph but to simply see it with my own eyes.
You know, we all see differently. Especially women can perceive the colours more intensely than men.
That wouldn't disturb me. The problem is that they sometimes hear differently.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 01, 2012, 12:37:22 AM
Maybe I'm wrong but I think most people have that expectation of landscape photographs and that if people knew they were heavily photoshop'd then they would not be seen to be as valuable.

I am not sure that is a predicative relationship between the two points made here.

Perhaps some people do believe the beautiful landscape image they have viewed in a gallery represents the location as it will always be. I believe that most believe it looked like it did at the time the photograph(s) were taken and don't expect it to look the same subsequently. That location may be recognizable subsequently, should one visit it, but it may not.

I happen to agree with the second part of the statement if it encompasses wholesale edits of elements of the composition of the image as proposed by Alain. However I see no problem with doing those edits as long as one 'fesses up.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Schewe on June 01, 2012, 01:04:40 AM
I believe that most believe it looked like it did at the time the photograph(s) were taken and don't expect it to look the same subsequently. That location may be recognizable subsequently, should one visit it, but it may not.

My daughter, at the age of 10, often asked if something was "Photoshopped" (and presumed it was). She's now 30 (will be in Aug) and she knows better than ask...she presumes it is...

Anybody who thinks ANYTHING seen is "real" is naive...or stupid.

Lots of stupid people out there...not our fault is it?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rajan Parrikar on June 01, 2012, 01:25:29 AM


If I may be allowed my smartass moment: in India, they usually call them the Himaaal -yas, not the Himma-lay-as...  but not a lot of people nowadays knows that.

Feel so much better now!

Rob C


It is a compound of two Sanskrit words.

Him (snow) + aalaya (abode) = Himaalaya [i.e. abode of the snow(y) mountains]


Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 01, 2012, 03:53:52 AM

It is a compound of two Sanskrit words.

Him (snow) + aalaya (abode) = Himaalaya [i.e. abode of the snow(y) mountains]






Thanks for the definitive explanation! The original is so much more beautiful an expression that the known name, which to most of us is just a meaningless word like, well, Henry or, in the case of its application to a horse, Trigger. At least Tonto (in Spanish) means silly, which goes a long way to explain the resentment harboured for the Lone Ranger...

(No doubt someone will feel offended or, better yet, come up with a lengthy discourse explaining exactly why Henry does, in fact, mean so many things I hadn't thought of as I wrote. The risks, the risks of quill to parchment...)

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: John R Smith on June 01, 2012, 04:06:51 AM

I spent my working life using photography as a means of record, so I think that has really coloured the way I approach my personal picture-making. As a landscape archaeologist and historic buildings person, and later Records Officer, I used and took aerial photographs for crop-marks and historic record, ground photographs for excavation section recording, and of course zillions of building record shots, some of them rectified from attached targets. For all these purposes, the resulting photograph only has a value if if it has not been altered or “photoshopped” in any way, if you like. The user relies on the fact that what is seen in the print was really there (or not there) at the time.

Perhaps because of this, in my own landscape work I am very reluctant to change anything much, apart from the usual luminance editing. In fact I have been criticised here on LL for refusing to clone out overhead wires. If a photograph really doesn’t work for me because of some unwanted element, I will just dump it and move on to something else.

But far be it for me to impose my own “rules” on anybody else. Photographers have been altering reality since the dawn of the art, as has already been pointed out, so it has a long pedigree.

John
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 01, 2012, 05:42:09 AM
I can confirm, if anyone wishes to climb up to Poon Hill in Nepal, which is a mere 3210 metres, that he/she will see a view of the Himalayan mountains that is very accurately represented by my photo on page 1 of this thread.

I have not enlarged, cloned out, or replaced any of the mountain peaks.

What you may not see is that brief glow of orange on the mountains as the sun rises, if you are not there early, which means hiking in the dark for an hour or two depending on your level of fitness.

You will also most likely not see 3 nude ladies posing in the foreground. The height and shape of the foreground trees and bushes will also likely have changed. That stitched panorama was taken in 2006.

Since we're getting rather pedantic about the meaning of 'Himalayas', perhaps some of you would like to know the names of the mountains in my photo.

Starting with the highest peak on the left of the photo, we have Dhaulagiri at 8,167 metres. This was once considered to be the highest mountain in the world, before Mt Everest was surveyed.

Right next to Dhaulagiri, on the right, is Tukuche Peak, a mere 6,920 metres. We then have a few distant peaks which I don't know.

Approximately in the middle of the panorama we have Nilgiri, a bit higher at 7040 metres, then Annapurna 1 at 8091 metres, Annapurna South at 7219M, and right next to it, a bit lower, is Hiunchuli at 6441M.

The peak furthest to the right is Machapuchare, known in English as the Fishtail mountain. This mountain is sacred, so please don't attempt to climb it. You'd be breaking the law if you do. Climbing this mountain is forbidden. The God Shiva lives there. He'll be very angry with you if you attempt to intrude upon his abode. You might lose your life.

Sorry! I've forgotten the names of the ladies. We're not in touch.  :(
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 01, 2012, 05:54:13 AM
I have to confess that I would be a little shell-shocked if one of my landscape images came out like that with three buxom ladies tastefully arranged in the shot.
Wonderful conversation starter though!

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 01, 2012, 06:30:32 AM
After viewing that photo, now I'm convinced, that one shoudn't clone out anything from a landscape picture.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 01, 2012, 06:55:21 AM
"Approximately in the middle of the panorama we have Nilgiri, a bit higher at 7040 metres, then Annapurna 1 at 8091 metres, Annapurna South at 7219M, and right next to it, a bit lower, is Hiunchuli at 6441M."



Now that I didn't know.

The only Nilgiris I did know were those in southern India at the juntion of the Eastern and Western Ghats. I used to clamber up Dodabetta when I was a kid... Ooty was a delightful place and the mountains went up some 8,000 feet towards the sky, which was plenty high enough for any reasonable person; there was wild boar in the countryside and even, before my time there I think (hope!), tiger.

I hear it has all changed... tourism, as I've said so often, ruins everything even whilst making some money for some. At least I don't remember a plague of cyclists in lycra.

Rob C

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 01, 2012, 07:56:10 AM
Ooty was a delightful place and the mountains went up some 8,000 feet towards the sky, which was plenty high enough for any reasonable person; there was wild boar in the countryside and even, before my time there I think (hope!), tiger.

8,000 feet! That's not even as high as the hill from which I took my panorama. Are you suggesting I'm not a reasonable person, Rob?  ;D
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: HSway on June 01, 2012, 08:19:11 AM
My daughter, at the age of 10, often asked if something was "Photoshopped" (and presumed it was). She's now 30 (will be in Aug) and she knows better than ask...she presumes it is...

Anybody who thinks ANYTHING seen is "real" is naive...or stupid.

Lots of stupid people out there...not our fault is it?



Lack of knowledge is no one’s fault. And to answer its purpose one needs to answer and elucidate what is Real.
Every single world in the quoted sentence above is distinctly outside of reality and entirely subjective. - "Anybody, who, thinks, ANYTHING, seen, is, "real", is, naive,...or - stupid." A slightly ridiculous situation considering its content.
I suggest we stay away from describing the reality and consequently the stupidity using our ‘right-left side’ vocabulary and understanding.

As to what we see and perceive. The humans have this perception remarkably similar. More than one would expect. Across the cultures, education differences, class differences, sex, centuries and millennia. I believe that it is more adequate frame for this discussion or its initial intent.

There sure is that ‘realistic approach’ possible. Two key elements sit in the bases of such a photography today.

It’s not difficult to achieve it but as with other relatively easy things (the sources of the said ‘knowledge’ that while also abundant only very few seem to bother to draw on them) it’s based on a discipline, needs to be driven by high motivation and needs to be directly connected to philosophy or vision (that, too, is moving quite free across the cultures, education differences, class differences, sex, centuries and millennia). And that can be found more difficult than not. Or impossible.

You need a well chosen hardware and a crucial part of software you can rely on, you have tested out very well and you know well (its behaviour). A stable bases that outputs the photographed scene in a consistent manner. It’s you who will judge it and select. You need to manage the WB challenge in the same sense at least to an acceptable degree, a bit separate problem worth a note. The hardware side is not a big factor here and it’s relatively the easiest one (largely of a technical nature). The decisive weight will be the software part no matter on what level one processes. I will assume here a raw file and technically efficient workflow (a full bit tif).
Similar with the processing workflow stables. Although the weight is tipping more to the subjective side or power. The stable set of buttres (well tried one) has done its part and the responsibility shifts entirely towards the photographer or the Artist if we like. The stables, however important, never really moved further beyond the helping status. What is needed in order to expect the results here was mentioned but there is more.

Very good observation skills. Vast amount of experience especially when talking about the subjects in/of nature. Long term experience with the light and nature extremely varied environment and the “details” within we have subconscious, deeply rooted (a priori biased) assumptions about. Then, one will inevitably get into scenarios, and will get there often, when he is deciding where to move the slider and how to balance a particular tool application within the virtual frame of his vision or the way he approaches the photography (philosophy). It can be, however, a vision of beauty and a message (photography) far beyond a pretty picture with cloned in clouds. It’s remarkably consistent in progress and results and its reflecting value gains its overall value accordingly. Which here is the ultimate goal. But not an easy execution. In fact it’s the one that is most difficult and quite rare.

Bringing out the image in this way is far from a boring copy work. It has always a unique personal imprint imbedded in it for various reasons which is impossible to copy exactly by others. Not to mention the composition, framing and the unique choice of subjects. But it has also uniquely (seems to be true) high value relative to the reality perceived with our senses physically, semi-physically and beyond. No matter whether that value is widely recognized or not. It is there. Did I say something about abundance of certain things yet they being so scarce? Somewhere in that area ‘things’ don’t wait to be recognized. They already are, on their own.
No wonder my wife sees a painter in me when I am processing. Indeed, the sliders are my brushes. I handle them that way and a strange chill runs over my spine –  I am not home at that point (NX2 and Lightroom 4 which I for the first time prefer to the PS). The unique (observing) experience and view  with the camera in hands (unique to many I presume) and the experience of processing to help the camera to get it on ‘the’ exact spot is for me roughly equal. Each has got something different and brings in a different, in its own way significant, element.  I can’t decide which is above the other and there is no real need for it either as they complement each other in perfection. So the true about that ‘home’ will be more with both parts together as a sort of extension that goes above both but needs them together at the same time to exist and happen. In other words, making an image at the spot and processing it is bringing me same value experience at either side. Once together, when the processing is added, the whole experience comes alive and is complete in the best sense of this word.

There is a reason why I don’t discuss these matters and approaches. I just don’t see it's needed. As I can acknowledge a wide variety of photography executions, expressions and styles I don’t think anyone else needs it (me discussing it). This is one of the things that come themselves. Photographer’s or any artist’s perception is more intuitive and too original for more definite outside interventions. It grows its own way for its exact purpose and concrete satisfaction which makes it a little fragile in a way.
That said, you can give this little significative post to your daughter to read. I find her initial questions hinting an interest just in that direction. Young people are initially often led by intuition more than by intellect. And what of these two is further from the Reality or Stupidity brings me back at the beginning of my exception post. Where we should hold back I suppose.

Hynek

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 01, 2012, 11:37:30 AM
To put it simply, there needs to be another word for images that have been modified in this manner to distinguish them from photographs because quite clearly they are not photographs.

Images that have been modified in what manner?  Where will the line be drawn and who is going to draw it? 

ALL photographs are manipulated.  That manipulation begins when the photographer puts an eye to the viewfinder.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 01, 2012, 12:15:41 PM
8,000 feet! That's not even as high as the hill from which I took my panorama. Are you suggesting I'm not a reasonable person, Rob?  ;D




Ray, based upon my research which is, in turn, based upon photographic evidence of the hugging of tigers and lensing of transexuals (not to mention further evidence of a liking for the experience of being high), I  have to say no, in no way can you be thought of as an unreasonable person.

The problem is, one man's foothill is another man's vertigo trigger. Or, at least, it could trigger off a breathing problem for the one if within the landscape of the other. 

Rob C 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 01, 2012, 12:29:16 PM
Isaac, you are really substantiating my point.

Tony, that unsupported assertion doesn't answer any of the questions you were asked.


Don't misunderstand me - my images undergo a lot of post-processing. In my case the intent is to try, as best possible, to reproduce the scene as I remember it. Obviously there must be a subjective bent at play but the result would still be instantly recognizable to any third party observer who viewed the scene when I was shooting.

By all means, impose whatever arbitrary restriction you wish on your own photography.

However, I think you were making vague claims about "community expectation" without even saying which community you were talking about.



Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 01, 2012, 12:37:40 PM
I pretty much agree with Tony. Because a photograph is a photograph, there is an implicit (and almost explicit) suggestion that the scene was more or less as represented, ...

There's an obvious counter-point -- Because art is art, there is an implicit (and almost explicit) suggestion that the scene should not be read literally.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dturina on June 01, 2012, 12:56:47 PM
I refuse to accept that my photos should reflect a reality that could be independently verified by someone else just because something physical happened to be in front of my lens. If anything, my photos reflect the reality of my mind, and the photos serve the purpose of objectifying a part of my mind so that non-telepathic people could see it. :) Looking in front of my lens will reveal only banality of the common.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 01, 2012, 01:10:21 PM
To put it simply, there needs to be another word for images that have been modified in this manner to distinguish them from photographs because quite clearly they are not photographs.

Why need there be?

The only reason you seem to give is that it would fit your personal rules for what should be permitted to be called a photograph. (That's fine as opinion, but not even slightly persuasive as argument.)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 01, 2012, 01:27:12 PM
Perhaps because of this, in my own landscape work I am very reluctant to change anything much, apart from the usual luminance editing. In fact I have been criticised here on LL for refusing to clone out overhead wires. If a photograph really doesn’t work for me because of some unwanted element, I will just dump it and move on to something else.

But far be it for me to impose my own “rules” on anybody else. Photographers have been altering reality since the dawn of the art, as has already been pointed out, so it has a long pedigree.


I share your reluctance - but as I don't share your background in photography as record, I suspect it's just lack of imagination on my part.

Too much of this discussion seems to be my post processing is okay but what they've done isn't even photography special pleading ;-)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Schewe on June 01, 2012, 01:34:08 PM
Lack of knowledge is no one’s fault. And to answer its purpose one needs to answer and elucidate what is Real.
Every single world in the quoted sentence above is distinctly outside of reality and entirely subjective. - "Anybody, who, thinks, ANYTHING, seen, is, "real", is, naive,...or - stupid." A slightly ridiculous situation considering its content.
I suggest we stay away from describing the reality and consequently the stupidity using our ‘right-left side’ vocabulary and understanding.

Huh? I'm really not sure what you mean...

What is "Real"?

Human vision is based on visual perception (which happens in the brain) and what you see doesn't, in reality, exist. You perceive a scene but what you are seeing is entirely subjective...what I see vs. what somebody else sees looking at the same scene can not, really be quantified.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: HSway on June 01, 2012, 02:28:15 PM
Huh? I'm really not sure what you mean...

What is "Real"?


It seemed quite clearly you don’t know what is and what is not real (these two sides are related). I suggest you re-read the last sentence you just quoted from me ("I suggest we stay away from describing the reality and consequently the stupidity using our ‘right-left side’ vocabulary and understanding.") Because I don’t think the purpose of this thread really is discussing the reality on this (absolute) level. And the stupidity likewise. We could just look funny.

Human vision is based on visual perception (which happens in the brain) and what you see doesn't, in reality, exist. You perceive a scene but what you are seeing is entirely subjective...what I see vs. what somebody else sees looking at the same scene can not, really be quantified.


As for the human vision, I mean the conception aspect of this term and have linked it with philosophy in my post directly. 

As for the meaning you have in mind, the differences are not that great I will say again. As I wrote in my post:

“As to what we see and perceive. The humans have this perception remarkably similar. More than one would expect. Across the cultures, education differences, class differences, sex, centuries and millennia.”

– obviously meaning also that the individual and subjective differences of that perception are not that great that they would change the colour and overall look of the scene including landing utterly new objects in it  for example etc etc as we know it from more creative processing.


Hynek
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: John Camp on June 01, 2012, 05:03:11 PM
Huh? I'm really not sure what you mean...

What is "Real"?

Human vision is based on visual perception (which happens in the brain) and what you see doesn't, in reality, exist. You perceive a scene but what you are seeing is entirely subjective...what I see vs. what somebody else sees looking at the same scene can not, really be quantified.

Jeff, that's just nonsense. You may have dipped a little too deeply into your stash, or you're reading French philosophers. I would suggest that if somebody pointed a pistol at your head, both he and you perceive it as a pistol and both know what would happen if he pulled the trigger. That whole idealism "we don't perceive what we perceive" thing was played out a couple hundred years ago, and dismissed when everybody agreed it was a dead end.

There's an obvious counter-point -- Because art is art, there is an implicit (and almost explicit) suggestion that the scene should not be read literally.

Oh, horseshit.

Tony Jay: most of this argument has been played out by media people who feel somewhat obliged to explain what their readers are looking at. What Alain does would be called a "photo illustration." What Ansel Adams did would be called a "photograph." There are all kinds of other terms around -- I was sorely tempted to buy a piece of art called a "digital collage" by its creator, a kind of Chinese-influenced digitally collaged photo landscape (not a photograph.) I am still sorry that I didn't buy, because it was a nice piece of art. But it wasn't a photograph.

 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 01, 2012, 05:48:40 PM
Quote from: dreed
To put it simply, there needs to be another word for images that have been modified in this manner to distinguish them from photographs because quite clearly they are not photographs.

Images that have been modified in what manner?  Where will the line be drawn and who is going to draw it? 

ALL photographs are manipulated.  That manipulation begins when the photographer puts an eye to the viewfinder.

In the very least the manner to which I refer to includes the addition or removal of something natural (rock, tree, mountain, river, moon, sun) when the photographer took it.
Title: What is a photograph? Or a digital photograph?
Post by: dreed on June 01, 2012, 05:56:05 PM
Why need there be?

The only reason you seem to give is that it would fit your personal rules for what should be permitted to be called a photograph. (That's fine as opinion, but not even slightly persuasive as argument.)

Because by definition once you remove material from the image it is no longer a photograph.

To use the definition from reference.com:
photograph  (ˈfəʊtəˌɡrɑːf, -ˌɡræf)
 — n
1.   Often shortened to: photo  an image of an object, person, scene, etc, in the form of a print or slide recorded by a camera on photosensitive material


Now one might well argue that this definition doesn't include digital photography at all, but just as easily, I think you could argue that the sensor is "photosensitive material" and thus qualifies.

I suppose the corollary to this is that once anyone starts adjusting a digital image that was at first a photograph, it at that point ceases to be a photograph and is thereafter only a digital image.

But quite clearly if the image is not a representation of what was captured by the photosensitive material (ie. sensor) then it is not a photograph.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: David Sutton on June 01, 2012, 06:09:07 PM
Jeff, that's just nonsense.
Rubbish John! As you know, there are many ways of seeing and I'm certain when you go out photographing or writing you see things that others do not. There are folks you only see the surface of life and others who see more deeply, and I'm not talking about the “mind's eye” here.
A physical example is white balance. Hold a sheet of paper up under artificial light and ask someone what colour it is and most folks will say “white”. Someone with a trained eye will say green or orange depending on the light source. You can teach yourself to accurately see white balance.
When I am performing music I am paying attention not just to the notes and phrases, but to the spaces between them. I have found that most people aren't aware of the spaces between physical objects. Meaning they see the things but not the relationships in space. There are lots of examples to show  people see in many different ways. And it is possible to discuss vision as a function of the brain and our emotional state without getting sidetracked by the word “real”. I leave that to the French.
My 2c worth before this thread degenerates into Isaac talking to himself.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 01, 2012, 06:13:22 PM
Quote from: schewe
Huh? I'm really not sure what you mean...

What is "Real"?

Human vision is based on visual perception (which happens in the brain) and what you see doesn't, in reality, exist. You perceive a scene but what you are seeing is entirely subjective...what I see vs. what somebody else sees looking at the same scene can not, really be quantified.
Jeff, that's just nonsense. You may have dipped a little too deeply into your stash, or you're reading French philosophers. I would suggest that if somebody pointed a pistol at your head, both he and you perceive it as a pistol and both know what would happen if he pulled the trigger. That whole idealism "we don't perceive what we perceive" thing was played out a couple hundred years ago, and dismissed when everybody agreed it was a dead end.

I'm with Jeff on this.

To pick an easy example, how do you know that you and I both see the same red card as having the same intensity and saturation of colour? In short, you don't. And nor is it possible to extract from your or my brain what we see that red card as.

Now obviously all of us perceive things approximately the same or else the world would be a rather strange place.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Schewe on June 01, 2012, 06:55:11 PM
To pick an easy example, how do you know that you and I both see the same red card as having the same intensity and saturation of colour? In short, you don't. And nor is it possible to extract from your or my brain what we see that red card as.

Now obviously all of us perceive things approximately the same or else the world would be a rather strange place.

That was the point I was trying to explain to Hynek...in terms of photographing a scene, what the camera captures is not what we see. You can't capture what humans see because what we are seeing is a mental perception of the scene. Our eyes have adaptive color and brightness capabilities and the sensation of color is strictly a perception of color not color in the physical sense.

Yes, if somebody pointed a gun to my head, I would perceive the threat...but I'm not into guns so my perception would be vastly different than a cop or soldier who knows guns and might be able to determine whether the safety was on or off or whether it was loaded on not. I couldn't tell so I would have to assume it was loaded and the safety was off. Perception is not reality...
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 01, 2012, 07:08:56 PM
Isaac - believe it or not you are substantiating my point.

You are asking which group of individuals are expecting a specific approach.
You listed several groups in the greater community of viewers and buyers of photographic work. Perhaps there are even more shades of grey than you listed.
My explicit point is that society is not uniform in their thinking yet in a reasonable way photographers need to cater for that diversity.
I accept that some individuals expect that photographic images may be modified so as to become unrecognizable, do not think this is an issue, and would buy photographic work on this assumption.
However, I am afraid that if you think that, with respect to landscape photography specifically, that society in general is expecting photographic images of landscapes to be so edited that they would be unrecognizable to another individual who had witnessed that image being shot then you are living in a different world to me.
I think that it is inescapable that many (perhaps most) in society expect a landscape image to represent a real scene at a real defined point in time.
The power, charm, and allure of landscape images is based on this fact.

Any reasonable individual reading the several posts that I have authored on this thread will have a fair idea of my own personal approach to postprocessing landscape images. They will also acknowledge that I am in no way trying to enforce any sort of conformity to postprocessing per se.
I do feel however, that an upfront statement about ones artistic philosophy in respect to postprocessing is important to maintain integrity.

Buyers in particular, knowing ones artistic philosophy in advance, would then be free to draw their own conclusions as to the perceived value of ones landscape photographic work. Alain specifically states his approach in a statement of artistic intent. No buyers of his work can claim that they were misled.

However, if I understand correctly what some are saying on this thread it appears that society in general, and buyers of landscape photographic work in particular, by default expect and understand the finished product might be so modified as to be potentially unrecognizable from the original image at capture, and further do not feel that they would need to be informed that this was the case, then really the world these individuals are living in is very different to mine.
Almost nobody I know ascribes any particular value to a beautiful but imaginary landscape that is a fabrication in Photoshop, yet are absolutely captivated by landscape images where there is reasonable assurance that what they are viewing would have been, at least somewhat, apparent to them had they themselves been present at the time of the capture of that image.

Can I provide any figures as to proportions of society that hold a particular view with regard to the subject at hand? No.
Am I certain that there is a broad spectrum of views with regard to this issue? Yes.
The only way I know of to circumvent the issue is to be honest and open about ones approach to postprocessing. Integrity is a vital component to business in general, and to (landscape) photography business as well.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 01, 2012, 08:56:35 PM
My 2c worth before this thread degenerates into Isaac talking to himself.
Before that happens (and perhaps it won't - people are so unreliable), I'll take this opportunity to agree with what you've written ;-)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 01, 2012, 09:01:34 PM
Yes, but if you were both in the same place you wouldn't see totally different skies! You wouldn't see mountains mushed or stretched...
Or we might suspect one of us had left the doors of perception somewhat ajar, or there was something unusual about the lenses we were looking through, or ...
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 01, 2012, 09:11:02 PM
Everything is relative.
If you are going to move Mt McKinley southwest of Las Vegas, just to provide a better backdrop for Cesar's Palace, I could understand that some buyers of your fine art might get perturbed. And some unsuspecting photographer from the East coast or Europe might pay big bucks for his ticket to Vegas, only to find out that all snow on the mountain is gone.

On the other hand, if Alain moves a small flower to the side to make more space for the rising moon, I don't think that any of his clients would complain. There is also a very small chance that any of his buyers would be foolish enough to go and try to find that very flower at the next full moon occurrence.  And frankly, it doesn't matter if he moves it with a shovel or in Photoshop.

By the way, did you know that some photographers carry with them a small water bottle just to put some mist on the flower petals prior to taking the shot? Very deceitful, if you ask me.
 
Title: Re: What is a photograph? Or a digital photograph?
Post by: Isaac on June 01, 2012, 09:22:09 PM
Because by definition once you remove material from the image it is no longer a photograph.
Sorry but the definition you provided does not say anything about whether a photo is still a photo once you remove material. On that question the authority of reference.com is silent.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: David Sutton on June 01, 2012, 09:42:16 PM
My 2c worth before this thread degenerates into Isaac talking to himself.
Drat! I'm too late. :)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on June 01, 2012, 10:37:53 PM
I was riding the bus in Denali a couple of years ago with a very well-known photographer.  He and another guy were sitting in the seat in front of me and while it's not my practice to listen to other people's conversations, I could hear everything they said.  They both agreed that HDR was not real photography, but ironically they both thought that focus stacking was.  I use HDR to achieve in photography what my eye sees at the time, but according to them that is not real photography.  My eyes are subject to the same limitations of the physics of light that a camera is.  That's why many of us wear glasses while driving at night; when our eyes are irised all the way open, our depth of field in reduced.  That truth notwithstanding, focus stacking was an appropriate manipulation of the image.  So, must you disclose that you have enhanced the depth of field via focus stacking for it to be a real photograph?  But no matter what you disclose, using HDR to achieve the dynamic range that you perceive at the time you tripped the trigger, you have not produced a real photo?  The other guy saw something he wanted to shoot and so stopped the bus and got off.  The well-known photographer then moved back to the seat I was in and we had a good conversation about the Nikon 200-400 f4 lens which we both carried.  He was a nice guy.  We just differed on the definition of what was permissible and what is not.  I believe in full disclosure when you've done something that alters a scene beyond what was there, but it is still a meaningful photograph.  I still maintain that if the buyer of a photograph is moved by it and wants to buy it, the photographer has not engaged inn some breach of ethical behavior for having manipulated the image.  There is no adequate analogy and selling a lemon to an unknowing buyer has no bearing on photography.  I am convinced there is no way for those practitioners on either side of this argument to convince the other.  At some point it just becomes a game of hurling words at each other.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 01, 2012, 11:45:13 PM
OK, lemme get this straight.

It's not OK to move a mountain (or a pyramid)  but it is OK to move a flower.  So it's a size thing?  Who decides where the divide is?  How about a hill instead of a mountain?  A tree instead of a flower?

As for removing man made objects, a Pepsi can is OK, but a stick isn't?

Whatever Ansel did is fine, but if we make black skies with the Channel Mixer, it's wrong?

One day in a Burger King, I held up my Whopper in front of a photograph of one in an advertisement.  You can imagine.  Some of the other customers were not amused.  I regret not taking a photo of the two-shot.  Get over it.  Other than the forensic/scientific exception (and even they compose, frame, expose, focus)  it's ALL manipulated.  Every single image.  From Niepce on out.

"Photography"  Writing with light.   Heck, next we'll be accusing Steven King of making things up.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 02, 2012, 01:15:45 AM
Quote
I was riding the bus in Denali a couple of years ago with a very well-known photographer.
Once in Banff, I came across a photographer who carried in his backpack a stuffed squirrel. Apparently, he used it as a prop in various scenic locations.  I don't know if he was well known or not, but I can imagine that he has produced prolific series on squirrels in North America. I'd be interested in a beaver.



 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: HSway on June 02, 2012, 03:15:19 AM
That was the point I was trying to explain to Hynek...in terms of photographing a scene, what the camera captures is not what we see. You can't capture what humans see because what we are seeing is a mental perception of the scene. Our eyes have adaptive color and brightness capabilities and the sensation of color is strictly a perception of color not color in the physical sense.

Yes, if somebody pointed a gun to my head, I would perceive the threat...but I'm not into guns so my perception would be vastly different than a cop or soldier who knows guns and might be able to determine whether the safety was on or off or whether it was loaded on not. I couldn't tell so I would have to assume it was loaded and the safety was off. Perception is not reality...




No we all see and perceive things in a remarkably similar way. That’s what is so unique about humans. We can also understand each other by a blink of an eye (and in a blink of an eye) without saying a single word although we all express very differently when talking. The differences start to show up when we try to reproduce to others what we saw. At this point we run into most differences both among the photographers and among the people in general. It makes that impression we see very differently.
I, of course, am assuming at least moderately capable observer. That is a person that is at least used to observe and reflect consciously a complex scene or an object.

And for the ‘realistic photography today’ in a consistent manner I indeed assume a very capable and trained observer that has developed adequate skills for this very difficult task. It has its special challenges and the ability to do it is rare. One will need an extra motivation for it.. a discipline.. and a serious reason..but that gravitates back to my initial post again (which was inspired by your comment but not necessarily aimed only at you and assumed the widest audience of readers).

Besides and a bottom line, the possible differences in our perception and the degree of differences in processing, I am sure everybody knows what potential and also practical variabilities we are talking about here, simply are beyond any sensible comparison.

Hynek
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Justan on June 02, 2012, 09:35:58 AM
> No we all see and perceive things in a remarkably similar way. That’s what is so unique about humans. We can also understand each other by a blink of an eye (and in a blink of an eye) without saying a single word although we all express very differently when talking. The differences start to show up when we try to reproduce to others what we saw. At this point we run into most differences both among the photographers and among the people in general. It makes that impression we see very differently.

The operative word there is “similar’ as evidenced by the following test

http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=77&lang=en

And for that reason, there is no one answer to this kind of question.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 02, 2012, 12:14:32 PM
My 2c worth before this thread degenerates into Isaac talking to himself.
Drat! I'm too late. :)

Your reply to your own previous post seems a very literal example of talking to yourself.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 02, 2012, 12:25:25 PM
No we all see and perceive things in a remarkably similar way.

So how do you explain colour blindness?
Title: Re: What is a photograph? Or a digital photograph?
Post by: dreed on June 02, 2012, 12:38:55 PM
Sorry but the definition you provided does not say anything about whether a photo is still a photo once you remove material. On that question the authority of reference.com is silent.

No it is not.

I'll say this once.

The definition of a photograph is what is recorded by the photosensitive material. (from reference.com)

If you remove something from an image that was created from a photograph then what you then have is quite clearly not what was recorded by the photosensitive material and thus is no longer a photograph. Similarly, if you add something to the image then it also ceases to be a photograph.

If you still find difficulty in understanding how I reach that conclusion then I would suggest taking some courses in logical thinking or English or both. Or if you're trolling, just stop.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 02, 2012, 12:44:41 PM
So how do you explain colour blindness?
Also, the possibility that a small percentage of women are tetrachromats has been mentioned in previous LL discussions.



Title: Re: What is a photograph? Or a digital photograph?
Post by: Isaac on June 02, 2012, 01:10:32 PM
Sorry but the definition you provided does not say anything about whether a photo is still a photo once you remove material. On that question the authority of reference.com is silent.
No it is not.
In that case, you will have no difficulty quoting the part of your chosen definition that says anything about whether a photo is still a photo once your remove material.


If you remove something from an image that was created from a photograph then what you then have is quite clearly not what was recorded by the photosensitive material and thus is no longer a photograph. Similarly, if you add something to the image then it also ceases to be a photograph.
These are your additions to the quoted definition.

In your eyes, can the LP removed -- Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California (1944) (http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=1978689) -- be a photograph?


If you still find difficulty in understanding how I reach that conclusion then I would suggest taking some courses in logical thinking or English or both. Or if you're trolling, just stop.
Instead of resorting to personal insults, please just use the tried and tested childhood formula - I'm right! You're wrong! I'm right! You're wrong!
Title: Re: What is a photograph? Or a digital photograph?
Post by: dreed on June 02, 2012, 01:36:37 PM
I now understand the comments made earlier about Isaac but alas I had to learn the hard way. Sorry folks.
Title: Re: What is a photograph? Or a digital photograph?
Post by: theguywitha645d on June 02, 2012, 02:02:08 PM
No it is not.

I'll say this once.

The definition of a photograph is what is recorded by the photosensitive material. (from reference.com)

If you remove something from an image that was created from a photograph then what you then have is quite clearly not what was recorded by the photosensitive material and thus is no longer a photograph. Similarly, if you add something to the image then it also ceases to be a photograph.

If you still find difficulty in understanding how I reach that conclusion then I would suggest taking some courses in logical thinking or English or both. Or if you're trolling, just stop.

So two photographs that are combined are OK because both were made by a photosensitive material. A dye-transfer print or inkjet print of those photographs is no longer a photograph because it is a mechanical process. If I spot out something from my photograph, it is not longer a photograph either. Interesting point of view...
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: HSway on June 02, 2012, 02:22:53 PM
@Justan


Hi Justan,

thank you. I appreciate your point. And I thank others that are pointing at me as well. Let me push mine one more step forward.
As someone who studied physiological zoology of vertebrates included (human) vision and someone used to biology environment both myself and via contacts with people in the field, it’s clear to me that we can be pointing all this sort of variabilities. I am getting at something else, though, and that is our remarkably similar perception and visual experience in complex. (Severe and apparent deviations aside – colour blindness etc.)

We have a group of people looking at a photograph or old painting. They see a night at old castle, half-lit figures sitting around the fire, reddish glow of the flames casting the light and a white dog in the shadows. They see the Moon and the stars' light coming through the sky, the dark blues of the river, boat on the sand, all this greenish-brownish colour composition, all this atmosphere that is not easy to describe – pretty much identically and just like the painter that painted it despite the obvious differences we will find in the lab testing particular and strictly separate colours, values, tones, intensities etc. – We all get very, very similar impressions of things we see and perceive in a complex. It’s because our brain is a way ahead of our tests and analyses fortunately and works (in many other ways but also) compensating for naturally occurring differences that we can map separately resulting in visually very similar impressions of particular individual in practice and in a real world of perceiving, sharing and conveying. Changes made to the said photograph or painting (on computer for example) will be also immediately perceived by these viewers and again in remarkably similar fashion.
The natural evolution needs us to be getting very similar signals and impressions (evolutionary benefit of natural deviations aside for now), it’s in a way crucial for us to survive, especially in the very long past. This similarity is also the very principal of the Art, Photography and other means of conveying a message visually and wouldn’t be possible without it in their fine form. We understand very well each other here in this sense and get very, very similar impressions via this path. In fact, the mental, intellectual and other natural physic differences will cause significantly more variety in perceiving a visual message of colour/texture complex than naturally occurring separate anomalies of our senses’ receptors. A known fact and experience we are literally coming across every day.
I think we see the differences and all the complexness behind it but let’s get to the whole point and reflect the fact of our real world experience of everyday reality in way that is decisive for what we do (and in vast - decisive - majority of cases).

Very nice weekend to all, :-)

Hynek
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: GeraldB on June 02, 2012, 08:34:35 PM
Camera vision and human vision/perception are so completely different. I was in the forest seeing a beam of light illuminating a tree with different colored leaves some 30 meters away. I photographed it. What I got was a mass of intervening out of focus leaves and branches that completely obliterated the scene I saw. OMG, I realized, I HAVE PHOTOSHOP IN MY BRAIN. I had done a content aware removal of a lot of fine detail to enjoy that scene. It seems we cannot create what is not already in our structure. If we have a product called Photoshop then we are photoshop (and all the others).
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 02, 2012, 10:09:13 PM
Interesting take on a well known, to some anyway, phenomenon that vision is not a "photographic-like recording" of a scene but an intensely processed result.

The retina itself is a transplanted chunk of brain cortex and is definately not just a passive recorder of a scene.
An immense amount of editing goes on in the retina well before the visual cortex gets involved.
The visual cortex consists of a massive chunk of the back part of the brain (occipital cortex). In fact more cortex is given over to vision than any other single brain function.
Again, massive amounts of interpretative processing occur here that literally allows individuals to miss objects that were clearly visible in the scene.
Additionally, identical wavelengths of light are not necessarily interpreted by different individuals as representing the same colour. Colour blindness is only the most obvious manifestation of this phenomenon.

So, vision is actually a very subjective process.
In the example given the camera clearly recorded details that were not that apparent to the photographer despite the fact that both were "viewing" the same scene.
The question as to what then represents reality is not merely a question for the philosophers but actually a mundanely practical one.
Many of our more experienced collegues speak of learning how to see what the camera sees to avoid exactly these sorts of surprises.
This is a process that needs to be learn't - I will readily admit that for me this is still a work in progress.
The whole process of marrying our, admittedly subjective, view of a scene with what a camera can capture to produce a creatively aesthetic result seems, to me anyway, to represent the entire crux of the synthesis of the art and science of photography.

Post-processing, again, in my view, is subordinate to the process when applied to landscape photography in the sense that one uses post-processing tools to create what one experienced at the time of shooting.
The divergance of opinion should not be whether these tools should be used (in my original post I make mention of several tools that in my opinion are still underused), although again I personally do not go the lengths of recreating landscape images by editing out or in whole features, but rather the ethics of disclosure about what sort of post-processing and editing tools have been used.

Many genre's of photography produce results that are obviously fantasy. Michael Reichman seems to like selectively desaturating his images to highlight parts of the image. The results are striking and beautiful but no-one believes that the resultant image represents reality in the sense of what a third party would have witnessed were they to have been present to view what Michael was shooting. Moreoever, due to the obvious nature of the image no further explanation is required by the photographer.


Landscape photography (and also wildlife and bird photography) is different. As already stated the charm, allure, and power of these images resides in the very fact that these images represent a recognizable reality at a real point in time. Notwithstanding the subjective nature of vision as already explained third-party observers of one shooting these sorts of images should recognize the resulting image. Subsequent viewers and possibly buyers of the image will nearly always assume the same thing - that the image that they are viewing did indeed represent a recognizable reality at a real point in time. Most often they will not be able to independently verify this. The more sceptical will ask whether and how the image may have been altered precisely because they are wanting an answer to the question: does this image represent recognizable reality?
Personally, I have never met anyone who ascribed much, or any, value to a photographic landscape image, that they knew had been edited to ultimate fantasy, yet are held spellbound by dramatic images that, to their satisfaction anyway, would be recognizable to them had they been present at the time the image was shot.

Yet, those same viewers also understand those same images cannot represent reality in an absolute sense. Most dramatic wildlife and bird images have a very narrow depth of field that can have the very useful effect of highlighting the subject while reducing any distracting elements to mush. No-one views the world in the way that extreme telephoto lenses do.
Landscape images can never be documentary in the absolute sense either, even if one has achieved a massive depth of field combined with wonderful detail, since the composition, of good images anyway, is a highly refined one deliberately engineered to avoid distracting or displeasing elements being captured in the image.
Line up ten good photographers, all with their cameras pointing in the same direction, and let them loose. It is highly unlikely that they will capture the same image. It also likely that they will marvel at the others compositions, since despite viewing the same scene they all saw it differently and this fact is reflected in their different compositions. Nonetheless, they will all be recognizable to everyone. Postprocessing will be more of the same. To some the image is all about the colour, to others the texture, and the postprocessing will reflect this. Yet again, the result will still be recognizable to the other photographers.
Viewers and buyers are very cognizant of the artistic and creative interpretation that goes into the creation of a good photographic landscape image yet, in my experience anyway, for them, the power and value of that image inescapably resides in that image possessing a recognizable reality in time and place.

Selling or displaying landscape images, I feel demands an honest and upfront statement of intent as to how the image may have been altered. Alain does this and no buyer of his work should feel cheated that they bought an image of his that does not have a recognizable reality in time and place.
However, to engage in that sort of wholesale editing as done by Alain and not provide disclosure, given that to many in society the entire power and value of the landscape image resides in that image possessing a recognizable reality in time and place, to me is unethical and fraudulent.
With appropriate disclosure, however, the viewer and the buyer can then decide for themselves what the inherent power and value of that image may be.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 02, 2012, 11:32:37 PM
Quote
Selling or displaying landscape images, I feel demands an honest and upfront statement of intent as to how the image may have been altered. Alain does this and no buyer of his work should feel cheated that they bought an image of his that does not have a recognizable reality in time and place.
However, to engage in that sort of wholesale editing as done by Alain and not provide disclosure, given that to many in society the entire power and value of the landscape image resides in that image possessing a recognizable reality in time and place, to me is unethical and fraudulent.
With appropriate disclosure, however, the viewer and the buyer can then decide for themselves what the inherent power and value of that image may be.
I would only add that the creator should also specify whether he moved that flower or rock manually or using the Content Aware Move feature in CS6.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 02, 2012, 11:44:35 PM
OK, lemme get this straight.

It's not OK to move a mountain (or a pyramid)  but it is OK to move a flower.  So it's a size thing?  Who decides where the divide is?  How about a hill instead of a mountain?  A tree instead of a flower?

As for removing man made objects, a Pepsi can is OK, but a stick isn't?

Whatever Ansel did is fine, but if we make black skies with the Channel Mixer, it's wrong?

One day in a Burger King, I held up my Whopper in front of a photograph of one in an advertisement.  You can imagine.  Some of the other customers were not amused.  I regret not taking a photo of the two-shot.  Get over it.  Other than the forensic/scientific exception (and even they compose, frame, expose, focus)  it's ALL manipulated.  Every single image.  From Niepce on out.

"Photography"  Writing with light.   Heck, next we'll be accusing Steven King of making things up.

Okay! I'll help you get it straight.

There's  nothing wrong in essence, in any of these photoshop manipulations you describe above. What may be wrong, and if not wrong, certainly confusing or misleading, is the deception that may accompany such manipulation.

When we see a Picasso painting of a lady with a triangular nose, triangular breasts, and weird eyes that have been very oddly positioned on her face, we understand that this is a particular style of modern art that got divorced from realism, perhaps as a result of the painter feeling it was quite pointless to compete with the photograph which has a reputation of very accurately depicting things as most people actually see them.

I don't believe anyone gets deceived by Picasso's style of cubism and believes that's how these models really did look when Picasso painted them. There's no deception here, but an attempt to explore a very different world of feeling and emotion. However bizarre these reults may seem, we understand they are a particular style of modern painting, as Impressionism is, Expressionism, Pointillism, Primitivism and Surrealism etc. We understand they are attempts to get away from the sort of realism that is the forte of the camera.

When we start extreme manipulation of photographs, such as replacing, removing, adding, or repositioning permanent feateres in the scene, then we need some terminology to describe such photographic styles.

The term, 'photoshopped', as understood by Jeff's daughter, is not sufficiently precise. Any image that has been processed in Photoshop has literally been 'photoshopped'.

We need to distinguish between normal adjustments of images in Photoshop, such as raising shadows, increasing vibrance, selective contrast enhancement, removal of non-permanent features such as distracting litter on the ground, or passing tourists who annoyingly  got in the way, etc etc..... and major alterations such as divorcing the scene from reality, as Picasso did.

We need a term for such major alterations. I don't think 'Fine Art' will do. I think some clearer term is required, such as 'Photographic Fiction'.

When a prospective buyer enters a Photographic Gallery, there should be two broad categories, as there are in most bookshops; fiction and nonfiction.

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 02, 2012, 11:52:46 PM
Quote
When we see a Picasso painting of a lady with a triangular nose, triangular breasts, and weird eyes that have been very oddly positioned on her face, we understand that this is a particular style of modern art that got divorced from realism, perhaps as a result of the painter feeling it was quite pointless to compete with the photograph which has a reputation of very accurately depicting things as most people actually see them.

I don't believe anyone gets deceived by Picasso's style of cubism and believes that's how these models really did look when Picasso painted them. There's no deception here, but an attempt to explore a very different world of feeling and emotion.

I know, what you mean. That's exactly the feeling, I get when viewing some HDR photos.

Quote
We need a term for such major alterations. I don't think 'Fine Art' will do. I think some clearer term is required, such as 'Photographic Fiction'.
When a prospective buyer enters a Photographic Gallery, there should be two broad categories, as there are in most bookshops; fiction and nonfiction.

That would be a good step in the right direction.
However, in interest of completeness, I would also add "Horror" category.

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 03, 2012, 04:13:20 AM
...
When we start extreme manipulation of photographs, such as replacing, removing, adding, or repositioning permanent feateres in the scene, then we need some terminology to describe such photographic styles.

The term, 'photoshopped', as understood by Jeff's daughter, is not sufficiently precise. Any image that has been processed in Photoshop has literally been 'photoshopped'.

We need to distinguish between normal adjustments of images in Photoshop, such as raising shadows, increasing vibrance, selective contrast enhancement, removal of non-permanent features such as distracting litter on the ground, or passing tourists who annoyingly  got in the way, etc etc..... and major alterations such as divorcing the scene from reality, as Picasso did.

We need a term for such major alterations. I don't think 'Fine Art' will do. I think some clearer term is required, such as 'Photographic Fiction'.

When a prospective buyer enters a Photographic Gallery, there should be two broad categories, as there are in most bookshops; fiction and nonfiction.

I think that fiction and non-fiction photographs is at the very least a good place to start in trying to classify digital images and prints made from them.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 03, 2012, 01:26:54 PM
Isaac - believe it or not you are substantiating my point.
That wouldn't perturb me too much - afaict being mistaken is a norm of human experience.


Let's catch up with your latest post --

Landscape photography (and also wildlife and bird photography) is different. As already stated the charm, allure, and power of these images resides in the very fact that these images represent a recognizable reality at a real point in time.

I completely accept that for you "the power, charm and allure of landscape images" is based on your assumptions about agreements between that representation and what you may have experienced if you had been present in that place at that time -- but that doesn't make it a universal truth, others may just like pretty pictures.


Selling or displaying landscape images, I feel demands an honest and upfront statement of intent as to how the image may have been altered. ...a recognizable reality in time and place. ...unethical and fraudulent.

From the images accompanying Alain's articles on LL; I would guess that if we went to those places, we would recognize both how the representation agreed with what we could see, and how the representation differed from what we could see.

Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California (1944) (http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=1978689) -- Do you consider display of this image (without "an honest and upfront statement of intent as to how the image may have been altered") to be unethical and fraudulent?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: daws on June 03, 2012, 01:54:48 PM
If it's okay to stretch mountains, remove rivers and reposition plants in a landscape, why isn't is okay to do the same with buildings, streets and signs in a cityscape? (Or is it?)  ???
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: alainbriot on June 03, 2012, 02:51:01 PM
If it's okay to stretch mountains, remove rivers and reposition plants in a landscape, why isn't is okay to do the same with buildings, streets and signs in a cityscape? (Or is it?)  ???

All that, and more, are OK if your goal is to create art.  Expecting art to faithfully duplicate reality is a misconception, a misunderstanding of the very purpose of art.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 03, 2012, 03:47:08 PM

We need to distinguish between normal adjustments of images ... and major alterations...

Why? And who decides what constitutes "major" alterations? Who will set the rules? A Bureau of Image Police? I see no need to either conceal or limit the extent of manipulation.   If you're selling your images in a gallery and pretending that heavily-manipulated images represent veracity, that's obviously deceitful and possibly illegal.  Any knowledgeable photographic "investor" will know that ALL images are manipulated, and saying that we have to avoid all "major" alterations is not reasonable.  Or enforceable.

When people ask me "Are your images digitally manipulated?", I reply "Absolutely.  I use every trick in the book. Why would I want to artificially limit the tools I use to produce my images?"

Saying that people should have a right, if they visit the location, to see or even photograph what the photographer saw is also unreasonable. I once visited Hernandez, New Mexico and photographed that famous landscape.  Needless to say, my image wasn't quite as lovely as Ansel Adams'.

*Disclaimer* (and this will obviously bias my viewpoint)
I don't sell my images - in galleries or elsewhere.  Mostly, I give them away.  I spent a career shooting images for others and now, it's far more fun to shoot for myself.

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ben Rubinstein on June 03, 2012, 04:26:24 PM
Wouldn't it be so much easier just to drop the word 'photography' and just call it art? At that point we no longer have to deal with the semantics and realism police and can just to what all other artists are able to do, transfer the image or concept in our brain onto a medium where others can share it. Why on earth are we limiting ourselves by letting a genre (try to) define our artistic expression?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dreed on June 03, 2012, 04:38:28 PM
All that, and more, are OK if your goal is to create art.  Expecting art to faithfully duplicate reality is a misconception, a misunderstanding of the very purpose of art.

Sure, but art needs to be clearly labeled as art so as to not be confused with that which is faithful to reality. Similarly, art that has been created thus should not be described as a photograph. beautiful-landscape seems to mostly get this right.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 03, 2012, 04:45:47 PM
Quote
If it's okay to stretch mountains, remove rivers and reposition plants in a landscape, why isn't is okay to do the same with buildings, streets and signs in a cityscape? (Or is it?)  

The whole discusssion was triggered by Alain's article and two of his very artful pictures. The first shows a macro landscape with a pile of sand and a lone plant in front of it. The second one shows a narrow puddle of water in the desert that happens maybe once a year. Or once in twenty years.
Not to diminish the beautifully envisioned and recreated scenes, nobody would argue that these are permanent sights. Unfortunately,  main elements in his images are very transient, and they won't stay in the same place for very long.

Now, one of the forum readers expressed a concern that his primary reason in looking at fine art is to glean enough factual information from it so that he can travel there and experience it with his own eyes. Fair enough.

To fullfil his wish, I moved a motion not to displace any hard objects such as mountains, grand canyons and some buildings, and stick only to manipulation of fleeting objects. I hasten to add that this should not be confused with depictions of annual migrations of caribou or wilder beasts.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 03, 2012, 05:25:00 PM
We need to distinguish between normal adjustments of images... and major alterations...

Why?

Lest we forget --

"The term straight photography probably originated in a 1904 exhibition review... Straight photography is so familiar that it is easy to forget that it is an aesthetic, no less artificial than any other. ... Straight photography has lost much of its prestige (http://www.moca.org/pc/viewArtTerm.php?id=36) as postmodern photographers have rejected its once-dominant tenets. They now produce works that counter the purist emphasis on straight photographic process (manipulated photography), on documentary veracity (fabricated and manipulated photography), and on maintaining the distinction between art and popular culture (fashion aesthetic)."

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 03, 2012, 08:59:27 PM
Why? And who decides what constitutes "major" alterations? Who will set the rules? A Bureau of Image Police? I see no need to either conceal or limit the extent of manipulation.   If you're selling your images in a gallery and pretending that heavily-manipulated images represent veracity, that's obviously deceitful and possibly illegal.  Any knowledgeable photographic "investor" will know that ALL images are manipulated, and saying that we have to avoid all "major" alterations is not reasonable.  Or enforceable.

Don't be silly, Peter. ;D We don't need new rules, just new terminology. As to who decides what constitutes major alterations, of course you do. The buyer does, if he's informed, the reviewers of the photographs do and anyone who may have an interest in the history and culture of a particular location, whether for personal reasons or historical reasons.

The vast majority of all the photographs ever taken are essentially accurate historical records of a precise moment of time and space. That's the norm. If 0.0001% of the people who take photos, whether they use a P&S, an iPhone, a DSLR or an MFDB, decide that 'anything goes' and that they can treat the image out of the camera as though it were a blank canvas, then the onus is on those few to make it clear they have produced a work of photographic fiction that may be only loosely based upon a real event or person, just as the average novel may be only very loosely based upon certain characters in real life that the author may have met or read about.

Imagine the confusion that would reign if works of literature were not categorised into fiction and nonfiction.

Novels usually have a disclaimer in the foreword along the lines of "All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."

Now I know that such a statement is made to protect the author from possible legal action, and that trees and mountains cannot initiate lawsuits. However, for the sake of clarification and the avoidance of confusion, if a photograph of a specific location only loosely resembles that location because large semi-permanent trees or buildings have been cloned out, and/or mountains added etc, then some generic statement on the back of the photograph, along the lines of the 'All persons fictitious disclaimer' should perhaps be required.

At least such statements might help researchers from future generations to decide whether or not a particular photograph has any historical significance.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: David Sutton on June 03, 2012, 10:34:32 PM

Now I know that such a statement is made to protect the author from possible legal action, and that trees and mountains cannot initiate lawsuits. However, for the sake of clarification and the avoidance of confusion, if a photograph of a specific location only loosely resembles that location because large semi-permanent trees or buildings have been cloned out, and/or mountains added etc, then some generic statement on the back of the photograph, along the lines of the 'All persons fictitious disclaimer' should perhaps be required.

At least such statements might help researchers from future generations to decide whether or not a particular photograph has any historical significance.


You are 160 years too late. The horse has bolted and went to the knackers. The stable fell down in 1906 and the door used for firewood. Give up and let it go. Learn to live with it and go out and have fun with a camera.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 03, 2012, 10:42:49 PM
... then some generic statement on the back of the photograph, along the lines of the 'All persons fictitious disclaimer' should perhaps be required.

At least such statements might help researchers from future generations to decide whether or not a particular photograph has any historical significance.


Very true.  I'd not considered the history/archives perspective.  But then nothing I've shot would be of benefit to historians.  If an image is offered for sale, say in a gallery, then such a statement on the back would be an excellent idea.

"Like most photographs, this image has been altered from the camera original for tone, colour and content"

How's that?  Covers our backsides nicely.  Keeps the Photo Police off our backs.  Keeps the lawyers happy.

However to be fair, all photographic images sold in galleries would have to bear this message.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 04, 2012, 12:35:29 AM
You are 160 years too late. The horse has bolted and went to the knackers. The stable fell down in 1906 and the door used for firewood. Give up and let it go. Learn to live with it and go out and have fun with a camera.

I do have fun with the camera. That's not the issue. The issue is having fun manipulating and distorting the results so that they are unrecognisable from the oiriginal scene, then not mentioning that fact. Did you miss that point?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 04, 2012, 12:44:08 AM
Very true.  I'd not considered the history/archives perspective.  But then nothing I've shot would be of benefit to historians.  If an image is offered for sale, say in a gallery, then such a statement on the back would be an excellent idea.

"Like most photographs, this image has been altered from the camera original for tone, colour and content"

How's that?  Covers our backsides nicely.  Keeps the Photo Police off our backs.  Keeps the lawyers happy.

However to be fair, all photographic images sold in galleries would have to bear this message.


No. You've failed to distinguish between tone and content. Photography means 'painting in light' or 'drawing in light'. It doesn't mean changing the content of the scene. The content is the subject which reflects the light. Adjusting the image in Photoshop to simulate that initial impression of reflected light that inspired one to take the photo is one thing, which is completely acceptable. To change the actual content which reflects the light is a distortion of reality.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: daws on June 04, 2012, 01:46:47 AM

No. You've failed to distinguish between tone and content. Photography means 'painting in light' or 'drawing in light'. It doesn't mean changing the content of the scene. The content is the subject which reflects the light. Adjusting the image in Photoshop to simulate that initial impression of reflected light that inspired one to take the photo is one thing, which is completely acceptable. To change the actual content which reflects the light is a distortion of reality.

But distortions of reality, including changing the "actual content" of reality, are an essential part of creating art. If they are not allowed in photography, then how can photography be art?


All that, and more, are OK if your goal is to create art.  Expecting art to faithfully duplicate reality is a misconception, a misunderstanding of the very purpose of art.

Precisely.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Fine_Art on June 04, 2012, 02:33:30 AM
Don't be silly, Peter. ;D We don't need new rules, just new terminology. As to who decides what constitutes major alterations, of course you do. The buyer does, if he's informed, the reviewers of the photographs do and anyone who may have an interest in the history and culture of a particular location, whether for personal reasons or historical reasons.

The vast majority of all the photographs ever taken are essentially accurate historical records of a precise moment of time and space. That's the norm. If 0.0001% of the people who take photos, whether they use a P&S, an iPhone, a DSLR or an MFDB, decide that 'anything goes' and that they can treat the image out of the camera as though it were a blank canvas, then the onus is on those few to make it clear they have produced a work of photographic fiction that may be only loosely based upon a real event or person, just as the average novel may be only very loosely based upon certain characters in real life that the author may have met or read about.

Imagine the confusion that would reign if works of literature were not categorised into fiction and nonfiction.

Novels usually have a disclaimer in the foreword along the lines of "All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."

Now I know that such a statement is made to protect the author from possible legal action, and that trees and mountains cannot initiate lawsuits. However, for the sake of clarification and the avoidance of confusion, if a photograph of a specific location only loosely resembles that location because large semi-permanent trees or buildings have been cloned out, and/or mountains added etc, then some generic statement on the back of the photograph, along the lines of the 'All persons fictitious disclaimer' should perhaps be required.

At least such statements might help researchers from future generations to decide whether or not a particular photograph has any historical significance.


This line of reasoning appeals to me. So maybe "image" can be interpreted as fiction vs "photograph" as non-fiction.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 04, 2012, 02:59:45 AM
But distortions of reality, including changing the "actual content" of reality, are an essential part of creating art. If they are not allowed in photography, then how can photography be art?


Good question, which we should all deliberate upon. Some other related questions are; Why do we take a photo in the first instance? Are we inspired by the scene in front of us, or do we think it is just a semi-blank canvas which, with the help of Photoshop, we can turn into anything we want?

There is nothing not allowed in Photography, outside of legal considerations. The issue is all to do with the discalimer. Is it fiction or nonfiction. We now accept that paintings are largely fiction. I'm fairly certain that was not always the case. The notion that the 'camera never lies' is still around. It's not quite true. We have the ultra-wide angle effect, the out-of-focus effect, and all the technical deficiences which are not the experience of the eye when viewing the scene in reality, such as dynamic range limitations and obvious noise in photos of dimly lit scenes taken at high ISO.

One could say that the art of photography is in reproducing on print (or monitor) the emotional experience one felt when viewing the scene which inspired one to take the shot in the first instance.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 04, 2012, 03:53:56 AM
I am sure that we are all intelligent enough to understand that the debate is not really about what is allowed and not allowed, or for that matter, what does or does not constitute art.

However, with landscape photography, as well as bird and wildlife photography in my opinion, there is an expectation in society that a photographic image of a landscape represent a recognizable reality.
So, if one alters a landscape photograph such that it becomes a fictional image, in the manner proposed by Alain with wholesale addition and removal of landscape elements then the creator of that image, in my opinion anyway, is obliged to inform viewers and buyers of that fact.

This is an issue of honesty and ethics, not, what is allowed or not allowed, and not, what is art or not art.
While some in society may believe and accept that landscape photographs are complete fabrications and should not be expected to represent a real place at a real point in time, I believe that significant parts of society, possibly even the vast majority, really do expect a landscape image to represent a real place at a real time.
So, logic dictates that is both honest and ethical to inform one's audience about what they can expect. Some will happily accept that a landscape image is complete fabrication and some will not.
Not informing one's audience about the extent of one's artistic licence, in the context of landscape photography with the range of expectation already denoted, is, in my opinion, both dishonest and unethical.

With other genre's of photography the expectations of society are completely different so the same issues are not necessarily in play.

Interestingly, in my original post the emphasis there was not whether the "Alain moves" were right or wrong but whether they were really necessary given that digital photography has opened up lots of possibilities to improve the tonal range, colour, and detail of landscape images.
I openly admit to my discomfort with some of the "Alain moves" but no-one should interpret that as a dictatorial obligation for themselves.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 04, 2012, 04:28:02 AM
Tony,

The problem as I see it, there are two different views discussed here.

You belong into a camp in which the most realistic pictorial interpretation is paramount, and nothing else matters,
whereas for Alain photography is a powerful paint brush to implement his artistic vision. 

Two very different philosophies and the twain shall never meet.
 

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 04, 2012, 06:29:44 AM
So how do you explain colour blindness?


If it's in a boy, you blame the mother. She, in her turn, might have a partially colour blind father but she won't be affected by his failing.

It's all in the genes, as is artistic ability or the lack of same. Despair now.

Rob C

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 04, 2012, 07:15:00 AM
Actually, I don't see myself directly at odds with Alain - principally because he is honest with his audience.

Several others, if I have correctly interpreted their posts, have either intimated or expressly stated that because what they do is "art", howeverso defined, that they have no obligation to their audience to inform them that the landscape they are viewing or buying exists nowhere except in the imagination of the "artist", howeverso defined.
I feel that this is dishonest and fraudulent given there is a very natural tendency in society to view a photographic landscape as representing a real place at a real point in time. I very much accept that this tendency may not be universal and that there must be a range of views in society with regards to whether photographic landscapes should represent a real place at a real point in time.
Nonetheless, as long as people are open and honest about what they are doing, as with Alain I don't object even if I would not do the same myself.

However, with regard to what makes a landscape photograph meaningful I can only say this: The charm and allure, beauty and power of a landscape image, in my opinion, rests solely on the fact that the image does, in fact, represent that real place at a real place in time.

I cannot claim that every individual in the universe agrees with me (clearly silly to assume this), but merely that, face to face anyway, I have never met anyone who put any value on a fabricated photographic landscape.

To further emphasize my stance, I see no issue with obviously "changed" images since these stand and speak for themselves. Michael Reichman enjoys using selective desaturation as a tool. Does he need to explain himself? No, the image speaks for itself.

These different genres and approaches generally speak for themselves.  Even a landscape image where a clear blue sky has been changed to purple and the green trees changes to red will fool no-one as to its imaginary nature (colour-blindness notwithstanding).

So, I am not a literalist, an artistic Philistine, by any stretch of the imagination.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: HSway on June 04, 2012, 09:59:29 AM
My fundamental definition of Photography by Intent and Approach


Realistic Photography (film or digital)
puts strong emphasis on presenting photographed subject as seen and visually perceived and experienced. Camera, software and media equipment is used in all their spectrum and capabilities.
Processing files regularly involves manipulations aimed at best or optimum results. That involves mild content adjustments strictly in line with this approach (of realistic photograph). For example a cloning tool can be used for minor adjustments. Natural scene is often subject to a small variability occurring continuously (especially in nature scenes by factors such as wind etc.). Such periodic changes not essential for given image realistic form can be adjusted by the choice of photographer.

There are not precise rules. This type of approach is ultimately based on vision and concept the photographer adopted and on what photographer considers characteristic and representative of his/her work to realize fully his/her motivation.


Special purpose Photography (involved in many professions) as a means for recording/copy purposes will limit content adjustments to minimum or exclude them or adjust the overall output again in line with the purpose of such a photographic record.


Artistic or Creative Photography (film or digital)
The execution of a photograph is governed mainly by artistic abstraction of the photographer that leads typically to a wide range of expressions. Processing tools are used from moderate to high creative grade to interpret a specific intention inspired both by the photographed scene or the object and a dynamic nature of vision of a particular photographer or artist. The photograph bears signs of personal interpretation or creative intent and can vary moderately or in high degree relative to photographed scene average perception.


The lines and transitions between ways in approaching photography are never an exact dogma and will always rely on a critical judgment of the photography community.
As the essence of the photography is and always was more than a science or just a set of technical operations, it’s us who will ultimately shape its character and presentation.


Hynek
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: dmerger on June 04, 2012, 10:35:15 AM
Perhaps it would be interesting to consider some photographic examples that illustrate the different points of view expressed in this thread.

The charm and allure, beauty and power of a landscape image, in my opinion, rests solely on the fact that the image does, in fact, represent that real place at a real place in time.

The well known photo of Horsetail Falls by Galen Rowell illustrates Tony’s point of view.   Here are links that explain the photo:
http://dsc.discovery.com/adventure/ever-see-a-waterfall-on-fire.html
http://www.snopes.com/photos/natural/firewaterfall.asp

Here is a link to a composite photo of the man made fire falls that took place in Yosemite regularly: http://firefall.info/ 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 04, 2012, 10:44:39 AM
Quote
However, with regard to what makes a landscape photograph meaningful I can only say this: The charm and allure, beauty and power of a landscape image, in my opinion, rests solely on the fact that the image does, in fact, represent that real place at a real place in time.

I can't argue with that statement.
Actually, I happen to have created an image that would fully satisfy the above criteria. A fairly minimalistic scene, consisting of a few slim horizontal elements and populated by some feathered creatures, about the size of a blackbird. I would say about 7 inches in size. The birds.
Just a quick snapshot, but totally real place at real place in time, with real inhabitants. Everything was there - the charm and allure, beauty and power (even electric power).

However, I felt an urge to add some artistic dimension to the scene, and carefully placed another bird to the flock. The new arrival happened to be a macaw parrot about 2 1/2 ft in size. In order to maintain the realism in the scene, I scaled him to about 3 times the size of the surrounding models.
Just this one small addition. Not like cloning a whole group of elephants or other beasts you would find in some expensive wildlife books.

You may ask, how was the masterpiece received by the public? Almost uniformly, they said, the macaw seems out of proportion. Nobody said anything about colour clash, macaws not perching on high wires, or that he might scare the other birds. No, they just bitched about the apparent disproportion. You try your hardest, but you just can't please everybody.
Title: What if we didn't call them photographs?
Post by: ednazarko on June 04, 2012, 11:41:53 AM
I've always had two threads in my work with photographs, from back when I shot film, to now with digital. 

Thread one - fairly straightforward capture of a moment or a vision. Some adjustments of color balance, saturation, brightness, contrast, including brightness and contrast at a local level, all with the focus of making the photograph look like what I saw.  (And since my brain does not auto white balance like most peoples' do, I've often taken flack for saturation and color manipulation when all I did was shoot daylight film with no adjusting filters, or today, keeping my camera and raw processor set to daylight.)  I wouldn't have airbrushed out anything then, and won't clone it out now - cropping is fair game, as is diffusion filters, vignetting, and the like.

Thread two - fairly extreme manipulation of captured images to achieve a statement or vision beyond what was photographed.  Trying to elaborate on what something FELT like when I saw it. In the old days, I did Kodalith, photo silk screens, cross processing, solarization sometimes in multiple iterations, hand coloring, and sometimes many of them at once. I put things in more than removed them, but today I may well clone things out as part of the process. I've even written code to transform digital images.

When I sell the first, I call them photographs.  When I sell the second, I call them manipulated photographs, which is somewhat unsatisfactory to me still, but I think at least gives the viewer fair warning that they're going to see inside my head, not so much what my eyes saw.

I've been aware for a long time of the huge gulf between the two, but feel like if even once I cloned out a wire or a random foot that made its way into an image that I'd find myself sliding down a slippery slope.  I've done so a few times - removing the red lights of the radio tower that juts up right next to the cathedral in San Miguel de Allende - and I always find myself really uncomfortable when I do it, and feel compelled to tell people viewing the image that I did it. It's an odd quirk.

But, as a long time admirer of Jerry Uelsmann, what would you call what he does?  Yeah, it starts with photographs, but in the end it's not captured light so much as output light. John Paul Caponigro is another benchmark of mine - are they photographs?  In both cases the capture is less important than the processing and print.

I'm acutely uncomfortable with the idea of tweaking mountain height, moving trees, things like that, where the subject area is "landscape photography." It wouldn't change my appreciation of the result, I think, but I wouldn't be thinking of it as a photograph.  As a print?  Yeah, but there's a modifier needed before the word "print."  Don't know what that modifier should be.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 04, 2012, 11:49:26 AM
... illustrates Tony’s point of view.
Now, without changing the fact that the image represents that real place at a real place in time, look at a B&W treatment and consider the charm and beauty of warm colours.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 04, 2012, 01:12:28 PM
However, I felt an urge to add some artistic dimension to the scene, and carefully placed another bird to the flock. The new arrival happened to be a macaw parrot about 2 1/2 ft in size. In order to maintain the realism in the scene, I scaled him to about 3 times the size of the surrounding models.
Just this one small addition. Not like cloning a whole group of elephants or other beasts you would find in some expensive wildlife books.




Hell, Les, I thought I'd stumbled onto a whole new career in natural music. Not one note was imported - they all occurred as the Sounds of Nature or, at the very least, three notes on the EADGBE of my old guitar that I never learned to play but did manage to sell at a loss.

I'm better off with Youtube.

;-(

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on June 04, 2012, 01:20:08 PM
I used to have a place in Sierra Madre, CA.  You could have shot that scene there and not had to modify it.  There were a handful of tropical birds that had escaped from a local aviary that continued to live quite well around there.  They worked well as an alarm clock too.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 04, 2012, 05:03:14 PM
... because what they do is "art", howeverso defined, that they have no obligation to their audience to inform them that the landscape they are viewing or buying exists nowhere except in the imagination of the "artist", howeverso defined.
I feel that this is dishonest and fraudulent given there is a very natural tendency in society to view a photographic landscape as representing a real place at a real point in time.

For sake of argument, let's say "society" has whatever expectations you assume.

It does not follow that the artist's "audience" has those same expectations. We already know that the artist's audience is unusual - simply by virtue of their viewing or intending to buy art.

So, the fine art landscape photographer may simultaneously fulfil the expectations of their audience and not fulfil the expectations you assume for "society".


The charm and allure, beauty and power of a landscape image, in my opinion, rests solely on the fact that the image does, in fact, represent that real place at a real place in time.
I cannot claim that every individual in the universe agrees with me (clearly silly to assume this), but merely that, face to face anyway, I have never met anyone who put any value on a fabricated photographic landscape.

Have you tried to elicit comments that would be evidence against that opinion?

Have you asked -- I think the way that a photograph can be composed by bringing together a river from one place and mountains from somewhere else, is the best thing that could happen in photography. Don't you?


To further emphasize my stance, I see no issue with obviously "changed" images since these stand and speak for themselves. ...  Even a landscape image where a clear blue sky has been changed to purple and the green trees changes to red will fool no-one as to its imaginary nature (colour-blindness notwithstanding).

Even a B&W landscape photograph where a clear blue sky has been turned to evening by a dark red filter will fool "society" while still being obvious to the cognoscente.


Quote
Many consider my photographs to be in the "realistic" category. Actually, what reality they have is in their optical-image accuracy; their values are definitely "departures from reality." The viewer may accept them as realistic because the visual effect may be plausible, but if it were possible to make direct visual comparison with the subjects, the differences would be startling

Given the viewer won't notice the startling differences, would you say it's "dishonest and fraudulent" not to warn them?


Quote
I've always felt that you can do anything you want in photography if you can get away with it. ... Well, there was one group of three people that should really have been two people. I took the third person out. Retouched him out in the dark room. I had no great feeling of guilt over that.

I'm guessing that no warning accompanied Paul Strand's print.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 04, 2012, 07:44:53 PM
For sake of argument, let's say "society" has whatever expectations you assume.

It does not follow that the artist's "audience" has those same expectations. We already know that the artist's audience is unusual - simply by virtue of their viewing or intending to buy art.

So, the fine art landscape photographer may simultaneously fulfil the expectations of their audience and not fulfil the expectations you assume for "society".

Come on Isaac - get real.
If you assume that the artists "audience" is entirely an homogenous one then you must believe in the tooth fairy.
One cannot make those assumptions.
I certainly don't.
It is both logical and honest to assume, rather, that one's audience is actually very heterogenous, whether this heterogeneity is exactly the breadth of society at large is entirely irrelevent.

So Isaac lets move onto more interesting aspects of the debate.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 05, 2012, 11:17:11 AM
It is both logical and honest to assume...
You seem to be stacking assumption atop assumption.

So Isaac lets move onto more interesting aspects of the debate.
What debate? You don't seem willing to explore the reasoning put forward to support your opinion, or confirm the kind of judgements it may lead towards.

These are very straightforward questions we can use to explore the opinion you've repeatedly stated, please tell us your answers --

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 05, 2012, 08:12:47 PM
Isaac, I have no idea what has been done to that image first published nearly 70 years ago so I cannot comment.
However, you appear to think that I am somehow a self-appointed policeman - a position that I have never taken on.

As for the rest of your argument - much the more sweeping assumptions are yours.
I know that you will not accept this but any reasonable reader of my posts will not see extreme, unreasonable positions adopted.

Isaac, you are circling like water around a drain pipe on only one issue.

If you recall my original response was to Alain's article that highlighted certain editorial options available in the digital era.
If you further recall that post covered several issues apart from any ethical ones.

In subsequent posts - because of the direction of the debate I have further clarified my position.
I cannot force you to adopt my point of view (actually that was never my intention), but I certainly believe that any reasonable person can see my point, irrespective of their own point of view.

As for the ethics that have been debated, these can never be legislated. Ethics can only really come from the inside.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: jeremyrh on June 06, 2012, 03:25:06 AM
And therein lies the crux of the matter, the world of landscape photography is splitting into two directions - precise documentation and pleasing art
 
Does art have to please?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 06, 2012, 04:32:50 AM
Good point. But I'm the type of guy who doesn't like heavy drama or tragedy, I prefer a light comedy.
Admittedly, it wasn't the best choice of words, but at least in some way the product should please the author (or the receiver/buyer).

For example, today I set to photograph the Venus Eclipse. But you know what, it was quite a bland picture. Small black dot moving across a larger white disc. I'm sure, some of the posters in this thread would applaud me for such a realistic capture, but I don't think, I could place it in any art gallery.

Keen on producing something meaningful, I thought I'd take a lesson from this discusson and instead create some expressive art.
No big changes, just substituted and re-arranged two objects. I didn't use any warping, stretching, or HDR. Actually, in absolute terms, quite realistic depiction. OK, maybe one of the elements was not proportionally scaled, but the artistic license allows some freedom.  

So, as a result of today's experience in the field, and combined input from this thread, instead of just recording some inconsequential centennial event, I managed to create something what really pleased me. You can view the result here:
 
http://www.longprints.com/ImgGroup2/Group2/A0-Moon1526WP.jpg (http://www.longprints.com/ImgGroup2/Group2/A0-Moon1526WP.jpg)


To see the actual Venus Eclipse report (which could be also pleasing to some), click here http://advantica.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/venus-eclipse/ (http://advantica.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/venus-eclipse/)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 06, 2012, 04:37:15 AM
Wonderful quirky result Les.

BTW do you happen to own the parrot?

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 06, 2012, 04:40:09 AM
Nah, I don't think the parrot would put up with me.
But I'm getting good mileage out of him.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 06, 2012, 04:41:16 AM
Wow, Les, that bird sure gets around! Surprised at how much Venus looks like the Moon though, as they say, see one heavenly body and you've seen 'em all.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 06, 2012, 04:46:36 AM
Nah, I don't think the parrot would put up with me.
But I'm getting good mileage out of him.

So, in a manner of speaking it could be said that the parrot is a retread?

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 06, 2012, 04:47:02 AM
Quote
Surprised at how much Venus looks like the Moon though, as they say, see one heavenly body and you've seen 'em all.
Yeah, the moon has way more character, and Alain says you can combine elements from multiple images.
After all, I changed only two elements, and instead of a black dot on white disc, I managed to get some color and nice texture.

From a larger distance, I agree, most heavenly bodies look the same. However, the same can't be said, when it comes to Mars and Venus.

Quote
So, in a manner of speaking it could be said that the parrot is a retread?
1. In my previous life, I used to be software designer and once I created and tested a good subroutine, I tried to reuse it as much as I could.

2. When you are a parrot, you get retreaded every year - whether you need it or not.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 06, 2012, 05:02:40 AM
Well there you go Les: Waste not, want not!

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Jim Pascoe on June 06, 2012, 05:48:49 AM
This is a discussion that could go around and around simply because photographers all have their own view on what a photograph can be.  Photography is a means of communication - like drawing, painting or writing.  It has one unique feature in that it can be used literally to represent what is in front of the camera - assuming the photographer has the technical knowledge to set the camera controls optimally.  Of course the photographer chooses their own viewpoint and moment in time to make the image and this alone surely is the greatest control that can be exerted over the resulting image and therefore, the meaning they want to convey.

That for me is photography.

I do routinely 'tidy up' some minor distractions in landscapes, but major alterations such as those mentioned in the article change the nature of the photograph as far as I am concerned, and I find the resulting pictures less satisfying as photographs.
Even the current trend of over saturating and over-use of the Clarity tool I find unreal in most landscape photographs.  We were recently in Tuscany photographing the early morning mist.  The colours were soft and muted and the distant trees and buildings were indistinct.  It would be so easy to 'enhance' the scene and 'bring out' the buildings in software.  But that is not how it was.

My point is that the question of how much manipulation is acceptable is entirely down to the photographer - it is their idea that they are trying to communicate.  If they want to produce a work of fiction because that is how they would like to see the world that's their choice.  Personally I want to know that what I end up with is a good representation to me of what I witnessed at the time.  If other enjoy my pictures that is a bonus.

Viewers of pictures will bring their own feelings to the image put in front of them - as they do any other art form, and this whole question is one for the individual photographer concerned and what THEY want to convey.  It is nobody else's business.

I found Alan's article very interesting and though provoking.  He is a good photographer - but if I now believe that he moves trees and warps mountains in his pictures then for me the enjoyment of them is severely reduced.  They may be great works of art and I may love the image, but as photographs they have lost their message to me.

I'm not trying to say that my type of photography is better than Alan's, or anyone else's who uses a lot of manipulation.  Just that for me it's not what photography is about.  For me and my photography that is.

Jim

PS - I just realised what a hypocrite I am!  I had a woodland scene last year and I inserted a nude girl leaning against a tree in the distance.  The girl was photographed ten years earlier and has a few more wrinkles now.  It was only a bit of fun though and not meant to be taken seriously.  Not sure what message I wanted to convey either - perhaps just a bit of wishful thinking. Am I forgiven?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 06, 2012, 09:25:15 AM
PS - I just realised what a hypocrite I am!  I had a woodland scene last year and I inserted a nude girl leaning against a tree in the distance.  The girl was photographed ten years earlier and has a few more wrinkles now.  It was only a bit of fun though and not meant to be taken seriously.  Not sure what message I wanted to convey either - perhaps just a bit of wishful thinking. Am I forgiven?



Well Jim, you'll have to ask the girl. Some like to be reminded of days that used to be - I, for one, listen to those sorts of songs most of the day - but others see only the passage of time and that's not always a comfortable or rewarding sight at all. As I say, better ask the girl.

On the other hand, if everything is cool between you both, why not take another such piccy and post it here under Without Prejudice and not a soul will pass comment, thus saving face all round or, perversely, hiding acclaim and assorted congratulations. As has been observed before, you can't win both ways. Or, if you can, you're better off working the stock exchange instead of a camera. Anyway, to save time and effort, you could always forget the tree and just remain closer to the subject.

I look forward to the update.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 06, 2012, 10:55:58 AM
He is a good photographer - but if I now believe that he moves trees and warps mountains in his pictures then for me the enjoyment of them is severely reduced.  They may be great works of art and I may love the image, but as photographs they have lost their message to me.

Would it be okay if he moves the trees with a telephoto and warps mountains with a super-wide? ;-)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 06, 2012, 12:28:24 PM
Isaac, I have no idea what has been done to that image first published nearly 70 years ago so I cannot comment.
I accept your wish not to comment in that case.
You also made no answer when asked about the photographer's explicit statement of "departures from reality" in their work - in that case, you do have the information you need to formulate an answer.

However, you appear to think that I am somehow a self-appointed policeman - a position that I have never taken on.
That isn't something I've stated, suggested or intimated.

As for the rest of your argument - much the more sweeping assumptions are yours.
The point is that all you seem to have is assumption. When you write "It is both logical and honest to assume..." you're building a house of cards. The truth seems to be that you don't know, in which case it's both logical and honest to accept that you don't know - nothing forces you to stack up assumptions but the need to support your opinion.


I know that you will not accept this but any reasonable reader of my posts will not see extreme, unreasonable positions adopted.
Please don't presume to tell me what I will or will not accept.
As long as, by any reasonable reader, you just mean someone who agrees with your opinions about what is unreasonable, there's no reason not to accept the statement.

Isaac, you are circling like water around a drain pipe on only one issue.
When having you answer to that issue is like drawing blood from a stone, why would I take on more than one issue :-)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Jim Pascoe on June 06, 2012, 02:40:52 PM
Would it be okay if he moves the trees with a telephoto and warps mountains with a super-wide? ;-)

Well, I think you know what I mean.  As I said, it is just down to what the photographer wants to do really.  They decide what to show - the viewer decides if they like the image or not. Simple.

Jim
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Jim Pascoe on June 06, 2012, 02:43:09 PM


Well Jim, you'll have to ask the girl. Some like to be reminded of days that used to be - I, for one, listen to those sorts of songs most of the day - but others see only the passage of time and that's not always a comfortable or rewarding sight at all. As I say, better ask the girl.

On the other hand, if everything is cool between you both, why not take another such piccy and post it here under Without Prejudice and not a soul will pass comment, thus saving face all round or, perversely, hiding acclaim and assorted congratulations. As has been observed before, you can't win both ways. Or, if you can, you're better off working the stock exchange instead of a camera. Anyway, to save time and effort, you could always forget the tree and just remain closer to the subject.

I look forward to the update.

;-)

Rob C

I'm beginning to suspect your motives are not purely to do with the subject of photography. :)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 06, 2012, 05:15:45 PM
I'm beginning to suspect your motives are not purely to do with the subject of photography. :)




Whatever would make you think that?

Puzzled -

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: HSway on June 07, 2012, 04:59:36 AM
The selling aspect of a photograph/photography gets emphasised often in this thread.

The photography is not a commodity per se. And will never be turned into a typical one even in our commercial world. Its inherent meaning will simply be never exhausted by its also-commercial use and aspect.

Direct sales and commerce it’s part of it, it’s part of everything, but the photography holds much more than this. Its influence on quality of photography and in general in many other areas is not always and by far only positive. Commerce, let alone signs of mass use, almost of anything brings its own character with it and is no surprise many branches of human activities protect their field of interest (and values) against these influences.

I thought it a good reminder worth keeping in mind when putting arguments on this topic (Creating Meaningful Photographs).

Hynek
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 07, 2012, 07:00:09 AM
I like the way this Cambodian Apsara dancer is balancing on the log, but I just can't remember the name of the bird. The gargantuan feathered bird, that is. I must be getting old.

If anyone reading this thread is familiar with this species of bird, please let me know. The shot was taken on the Daintree River, North Queensland.

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 07, 2012, 07:35:33 AM
Never mind the bird!  If you carefully clone it out, you would get a clean Venus Transit over the log.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 07, 2012, 09:05:27 AM
Les, I believe you're more like me than you'd imagined; it's always important to get priorities right!

Can't imagine what Ray was thinking about. Ray, Wray - does anyone else remember them?

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 07, 2012, 09:07:55 AM
Never mind the bird!  If you carefully clone it out, you would get a clean Venus Transit over the log.


But I don't believe in cloning out major features in a scene. That would be a distortion of reality.  ;)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 07, 2012, 10:02:24 AM
But I don't believe in cloning out major features in a scene. That would be a distortion of reality.  ;)



But Ray, it's the feathered bird you cloned in; that, too, must be a distortion of a reality, so you might as well make amends and take it out, just like Janis Joplin tried to do in her conversation regarding friends, Porsches and Mercedes.

You'll improve the picture vastly - trust me on this one. Oh - a touch of five o'clock foot shadow wouldn't go amiss either since you're not selling trainers and flight sensations...

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 07, 2012, 10:25:10 AM
Quote
But I don't believe in cloning out major features in a scene. That would be a distortion of reality.
You have a valid point, Ray.
However, after a thorough analysis, now I feel that in order to salvage the image and arrive at a more harmonious and balanced scene, you should consider replacing that unsightly bird with a more vibrant one.  BTW, I happen to have one that would be facing in the right direction towards the major element.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: theguywitha645d on June 07, 2012, 10:35:15 AM
The best way to add meaning to a photograph is to put words over it...
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 07, 2012, 10:49:55 AM
You have a valid point, Ray.
However, after a thorough analysis, now I feel that in order to salvage the image and arrive at a more harmonious and balanced scene, you should consider replacing that unsightly bird with a more vibrant one.  BTW, I happen to have one that would be facing in the right direction towards the major element.

The major element for the bird is a fish swimming in the water below. He hasn't yet noticed the tasty homo sapiens morsel. The fish has a greater priority, but the lady doesn't realise this.  ;D
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: John R Smith on June 07, 2012, 01:58:21 PM
Hmmm

I hadn't actually got around to reading Alain's article till just now. But this statement -

"In art, only things that are new are of interest to art collectors and admirers.  What has already been done is of no interest in regards to developing a personal style, being unique, making a name for yourself, being noticed, being collected or becoming a true artist."

Is just bollocks, I'm afraid. We all stand on the shoulders of everything which has gone before.

John

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 07, 2012, 10:13:23 PM
We all stand on the shoulders of everything which has gone before.

As Henri Cartier-Bresson once said of himself, Robert Capa, and Brassaï, “Whatever we have done, Kertész did first.”
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 08, 2012, 05:42:17 AM
If anyone reading this thread is familiar with this species of bird, please let me know. The shot was taken on the Daintree River, North Queensland.  

This bird is the Australian Bittern.

Regards

Tony Jay

BTW: Fantastic place to take a camera, the Daintree - I haven't been there for a while but I will be back.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 08, 2012, 09:23:29 AM
This bird is the Australian Bittern.

Regards

Tony Jay

BTW: Fantastic place to take a camera, the Daintree - I haven't been there for a while but I will be back.

Thanks! It seems its also called the Australasian Bittern and the Brown Bittern. It also appears to be on the list of endangered species. Winter is a great time to visit the Daintree. I recommend taking a river trip early in the morning. The mist can be magical.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 08, 2012, 10:15:25 AM
On the other hand, Tony, I'm not sure it's a Bittern. A  friend has recently emailed me and informed me it's a juvenile Nankeen Night Heron. A search on the internet tends to confirm this is indeed the case. Below are pictures of the juvenile and the adult Nankeen Night Heron from Wikipedia.

Cheers!



Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 08, 2012, 02:21:14 PM
Okay, you want meaningful pictures - here's one: very bloody meaningful and extremely expensive to boot. Or rather, to complete and replace with new tiles and different type of wall - basically, no new wall at all, but an edge tile (fiola) that prevents drainwater spilling back down onto the wall below the edge as gravity beckons it to the garden.

The moral question here is immense: should a builder's guarantee be limited to ten years? The work is being carried out because of water ingress to the apartment leading to a stained fitted carpet, this because of insufficient slope for good drainage, poor insulation of the building's main water tank which lives beneath this terrace, but the book can be bought or read in the public libraries of every country around the Mediterranean, so I won't bother writing it again for you here and now.

Hot damn! The price of dreams!

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 08, 2012, 04:30:47 PM
On the other hand, Tony, I'm not sure it's a Bittern. A  friend has recently emailed me and informed me it's a juvenile Nankeen Night Heron. A search on the internet tends to confirm this is indeed the case. Below are pictures of the juvenile and the adult Nankeen Night Heron from Wikipedia.

Ray it is possible that it is a juvenile Nankeen Night Heron since the image is rather front on.
Nonetheless the Nankeen and Bittern are very closely related species as evidenced by their similar beak and body shape.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on June 08, 2012, 11:15:39 PM
Since as of yet there is nothing beyond the level of Senior Member, I can't reach the conclusion that this thread has descended into mere post count enhancement.  But you could have fooled me.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 08, 2012, 11:43:29 PM
Since as of yet there is nothing beyond the level of Senior Member, I can't reach the conclusion that this thread has descended into mere post count enhancement.  But you could have fooled me.
You should of course hope for better, but there's abundant evidence in other LL discussions that the self-amusement of a few will clog every topic.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 08, 2012, 11:54:04 PM
Ray it is possible that it is a juvenile Nankeen Night Heron since the image is rather front on.
Nonetheless the Nankeen and Bittern are very closely related species as evidenced by their similar beak and body shape.

Regards

Tony Jay

Tony, I definitely get the impression the Wikipedia photo more closely resembles my shot. However, looking at the other shots I took of this bird, I sense a distinct hunchback feature which is lacking in the Wikipedia shot, so I admit there could be some doubt. However, this posture may be due to my bird being super-attentive to prey wriggling in the water below.

But you have to admit this bird is absolutely huge for a juvenile, judging by my previous shot.  ;D

Below is another shot of the same bird facing a different direction.

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on June 09, 2012, 12:08:38 AM
You should of course hope for better, but there's abundant evidence in other LL discussions that the self-amusement of a few will clog every topic.

I'm on another forum that acknowledges the Page Two Rule; after the first page of a topic, the discussion can move off in any direction.  Now, I'm going to shut up lest anyone think I'm trying to enhance my own post count.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 09, 2012, 12:09:05 AM
Well, I think you know what I mean.  As I said, it is just down to what the photographer wants to do really.  They decide what to show - the viewer decides if they like the image or not. Simple.

Well, except when you find out how the image was made and then - "as photographs they have lost their message to me".

When I glance at an image, and then I discover how the light was modified or how the image was modified -- I don't seem bothered.

When I think I understand what an image is showing me, but then I discover I've misunderstood -- I feel stupid and credulous.

When I'm told that an image is such and such, but then I discover it isn't -- I feel deceived and angry.

If I assume an image was made the way that I would make and process a photograph, then I'm setting up a foolish expectation and I'm likely to end up feeling stupid and credulous -- I think it's better to be curious and wonder how an image might have been made.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Isaac on June 09, 2012, 12:13:20 AM
... after the first page of a topic, the discussion can move off in any direction.
Is starting a new topic (or cackling on Twitter) really so difficult?

Oh, I forgot - the point is to put the cackling in front of a captive audience.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 09, 2012, 01:03:27 AM
I'm on another forum that acknowledges the Page Two Rule; after the first page of a topic, the discussion can move off in any direction.  Now, I'm going to shut up lest anyone think I'm trying to enhance my own post count.

I'm not sure if the 'enhanced post count' reference is to me, or Rob who may appear, to some, to be attempting to catch up with me.

From my perspective, this is a silly concern. My post count has no bearing whatsoever on my motives, inspiration or desire to make a post. I write soley in pursuit of my interest and hobby, photography. The fact that I am now closely approaching 8,000 post has no specific relevance at all for me, just as the fact that I am closely approaching the age of 70 has no specific relevance.

In fact, the older I get the less I wish to dwell upon my advancing years. The recent Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration in the U.K. was a total bore for me, and a huge waste of money. (Well, perhaps I exaggerate. I did enjoy Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March, and 'Land of Hope and Glory' is certainly a rousing piece of music.)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2012, 03:25:54 AM
In the high expectation that the topic is supposed to be about meaningful images, how many such, with a real and visible sense of meaning, have been shown?

Clearly, it's far simpler a matter (and convenient) to bitch about something than to actually show a meaningful image of one's own. Or so I seem to deduce from the pious pri--(s) sometimes giving their egos an airing on these pages...

Post-count? Who even looks at the figures? I'll tell you who does: the moron with nothing better to do.

Ray? I have no, idea how many posts he may or may not have made: I see (read) him as an intelligent, educated writer with a slightly odd sense of humour that appeals to me. That can't be a bad thing. A tad too much interest in technology? Perhaps, but from whose perspective? Some other postmen? Short exposure has sufficed to tell me they aren't worth the bother of a repy. Nature - as water, which I suppose is part of nature - always finds its own level (as did the guys setting up the levels for the new tiles on my terrace: they worked with a transparent plastic pipe filled with it, relying on the levels system to make a true level out of the two ends) - and so I realised long ago that a shared interest isn't always enough to sustain relationships, real or virtual.

But then, you knew that.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 09, 2012, 03:46:54 AM
Ray this may be the Heron but the posture really reminds me of a Bittern.
Interestingly though I rechecked the ranges of these birds.
The Heron is widely distributed in Queensland including the Wet Tropics but the Bittern is relatively uncommon in the Wet Tropics although it can be seen there.
Both species are large birds with a height between 50-60 cm or larger.

Actually , I just wish it had been me shooting this bird on the banks of the Daintree River!

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 09, 2012, 05:06:40 AM
Quote
Actually , I just wish it had been me shooting this bird on the banks of the Daintree River!
Actually, I wish it had been me shooting the other bird on that log.

Heron or Bittern - when you reside on the other side of the planet, it doesn't seem that important.
However, I wonder, how did this bird, with all his varigated plummage and gargantuan size, avoid to show any moire?
Must have been photographed by some fancy camera without the AA filter. Or perhaps, Ray used excessive amount of post processing to drastically manipulate this image.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 09, 2012, 05:12:52 AM
Actually, I wish it had been me shooting the other bird on that log.

Horses for courses is suppose!
Actually I wouldn't have minded shooting either except the outdoors is my bent when a camera is in hand.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 09, 2012, 05:54:30 AM
Actually , I just wish it had been me shooting this bird on the banks of the Daintree River!

But beware of the snakes and the crocodiles, Tony.  ;D

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Tony Jay on June 09, 2012, 05:56:39 AM
Mere grist for the mill Ray!

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 09, 2012, 07:51:31 AM
You wouldn't believe the trouble I had getting this lady to pose in the snow, bare-footed. I could have done a better job, but you understand the pressure I had to deal with, so sorry if this is not quite up to standard.  ;)

This shot was taken in Nepal as we approached the ABC camp around an altitiude of 4,000 metres. It actually looks colder than it is. My footwear was just a pair of Nike joggers, against all advice. But they were comfortable, and with two pairs of socks I didn't feel cold.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 09, 2012, 08:03:28 AM
The lady looks like she was enjoying the location, but the scene is ruined by too many foot prints.
It's hard to see whether they were made by some Niki sneaker fan or by a juvenile Yeti.
The other problem with this image is that it is somewhat unbalanced. You might consider adding a Bittern to the left side. Or the aforementioned Yeti.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2012, 08:35:05 AM
In similar vein, you might consider removing the pink glow from the lady's chest - it's a distraction. But hell, you don't have to stop at the glow... meaningful, no doubt as it is, but still distracting.

Oh! I just got it: being so high up in the sky, you can get both sunrises and sunsets at the same time! Why didn't I think of that: explains the pink glow.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 09, 2012, 09:04:05 AM
The other problem with this image is that it is somewhat unbalanced. You might consider adding a Bittern to the left side. Or the aforementioned Yeti.

Okay! You caught me out. I'll restore the kangaroo. I just didn't think a kangaroo would be appropriate in such an environment, but the truth must prevail.  ;D

Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2012, 04:03:26 PM
¿But Ray, where's the Christmas tree?

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 09, 2012, 04:49:00 PM
I like the scene with kangoroo, it works for me. The animal looks very realistic, almost alive.
You are to be complemented that as a true artist, you didn't stretch or warp the poor animal. Big fellow, but all animals living in that environment develop thick and heavy coat.

Ray, you were very lucky to be in that place when he jumped out on the trail. And even the composition is pure and perfect as his long tail on the left edge leads the viewer gently into the scene. Mind you, the mountains in the background could benefit by some dodging and enhanced lighting, but that would be distortion of the reality.



Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 09, 2012, 11:03:33 PM
I like the scene with kangoroo, it works for me. The animal looks very realistic, almost alive.
You are to be complemented that as a true artist, you didn't stretch or warp the poor animal. Big fellow, but all animals living in that environment develop thick and heavy coat.

Ray, you were very lucky to be in that place when he jumped out on the trail. And even the composition is pure and perfect as his long tail on the left edge leads the viewer gently into the scene. Mind you, the mountains in the background could benefit by some dodging and enhanced lighting, but that would be distortion of the reality.

Thank you. Yes, I was fortunate in getting that shot. As I mentioned, my companion was very reluctant to take off her shoes and pose for the shot, so I agreed to share her discomfort by removing my Nike Joggers and two pairs of socks, just temporarily whilst framing the shot

So we were both standing there, bare-footed in the snow, when this kangaroo suddenly hopped onto the scene. I guess he was attracted to the strange pose the lady was in, which he sensed was perhaps vaguely similar to some of the poses other kangaroos get into, when they are having a good scratch.

I quickly took the shot, then the kangaroo bolted. Perhaps the sound of the shutter frightened him. Didn't get a chance for a second shot.  ;)
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on June 09, 2012, 11:27:22 PM
Ray,

I think you need to go back to the same scene again with a different camera. Specifically, one with a totally silent electronic shutter so you won't scare the kangaroo away before he/she/it signs a model release for you.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 10, 2012, 12:39:05 AM
Ray,

I think you need to go back to the same scene again with a different camera. Specifically, one with a totally silent electronic shutter so you won't scare the kangaroo away before he/she/it signs a model release for you.

Nah! It's too difficult. One can't just drive there with all one's camera gear on the back seat or in the boot. One has to walk every day, all day long, for a whole week to get there. And not just on the flat. It's mostly up and down all the way, but mostly up. And for all I know, the kangaroo might no longer be there. It might have changed habitats, or someone might have eaten it.

Mind you, I suppose I could just photoshop a substitute into the scene, but that would be cheating, wouldn't it?  ;D
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: LesPalenik on June 10, 2012, 12:52:34 AM
Quote
So we were both standing there, bare-footed in the snow, when this kangaroo suddenly hopped onto the scene. I guess he was attracted to the strange pose the lady was in, which he sensed was perhaps vaguely similar to some of the poses other kangaroos get into, when they are having a good scratch.

I quickly took the shot, then the kangaroo bolted.

Thank you for sharing the whole story with us. As I said before, you were incredibly lucky to be at the right place at the right time.
Most people who see just the final version, they couldn't possibly imagine what it takes to get an image like this.  And to boot, it takes an expert photographer to process so truthfully and exquisitely the image he has experienced under those harsh conditions.
But the true hero and real professional was your model who stayed put during that terrifying moment and didn't even blink.



 
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Ray on June 10, 2012, 02:35:09 AM
But the true hero and real professional was your model who stayed put during that terrifying moment and didn't even blink.

Absolutely! And I certainly didn't convey my thoughts to her that the kangaroo had been attracted to her posture because it sensed a resemblance to another kangaroo. One has to be sensitive about other cultures.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 10, 2012, 05:17:17 AM
Perhaps she was really under no threat at all: the kangaroo might also have been female. Anyway, as David Niven pointed (!) out in his book, The Moon's A Ballon, genitalia and snow'n'ice do not good bedfellows make. That's why its all about après-ski, not on piste.

Cracking read, by the way.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 10, 2012, 05:23:08 AM
I'm on another forum that acknowledges the Page Two Rule; after the first page of a topic, the discussion can move off in any direction.  Now, I'm going to shut up lest anyone think I'm trying to enhance my own post count.


You missed the point, Dave: on this forum the boredom threshhold comes much more quickly than on your other one (why you should need two heaven only knows) and so measures either to rescue it or relieve the tedium have to be implemented at the first hint of a yawn. Simple, really, when  you get the hang of it.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on June 10, 2012, 10:20:32 AM
Mind you, I suppose I could just photoshop a substitute into the scene, but that would be cheating, wouldn't it?  ;D
What a shocking suggestion!!!

Nobody ever accused Ansel of Photoshopping kangaroos into his pix, as far as I know. Even Alain Briot's kangaroo portraits use authentic, live kangaroos. So another trek to the mountain would certainly be in order. You might make it easier by wearing a third pair of socks.

And, to add my own Meaningful Kangaroo Photograph to this estimable thread, here is one I took on the Kalahari desert the other day. The kangaroo is crouched down behind the steering wheel of the car (it was bashful).
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on June 10, 2012, 10:39:24 PM
Perhaps she was really under no threat at all: the kangaroo might also have been female. Anyway, as David Niven pointed (!) out in his book, The Moon's A Ballon, genitalia and snow'n'ice do not good bedfellows make. That's why its all about après-ski, not on piste.

Cracking read, by the way.

Rob C

I enjoyed the heck out of that book when I read it about thirty years ago.  Do you remember the limerick he repeated for his first screen test?
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2012, 03:58:16 AM
I enjoyed the heck out of that book when I read it about thirty years ago.  Do you remember the limerick he repeated for his first screen test?



No, David, I can't remember - I can't remember much of anything, these past few years!

What I can remember though, is lending the book to the crew of one of Pete Townshend's boats whilst it was briefly in Alcudia en route from Port Cervo, Sardinia, during the early 80s; I had been asked to shoot it for charter folios, but it was stipulated that it had to be done on 6x6. So, I used the 'blad and 50mm which, in my view, was the wrong combination for interiors (dogma removed, they'd have been better off with Kodachrome and 35mm, but who's going to argue with the paymaster?). I certainly got paid, but boat, crew and Moon vanished before I had a chance to play retriever and get Niven back. I did buy his next book, and both name and content escape me too, but not the impression that it was a disappointment after the joy of the first.

Life, I guess.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on June 11, 2012, 10:34:32 AM
The second book was, I believe, Bring on the Empty Horses, and I remember it to be a disappointment too.

The limerick he used for his screen test; There once was an old man of Leeds, who swallowed a packet of seeds.  Great tufts of grass shot out of his ass and his cock was all covered in weeds.  I didn't set out to memorize it.  It's just one of those things cluttering up my brain.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2012, 01:51:38 PM
The second book was, I believe, Bring on the Empty Horses, and I remember it to be a disappointment too.

The limerick he used for his screen test; There once was an old man of Leeds, who swallowed a packet of seeds.  Great tufts of grass shot out of his ass and his cock was all covered in weeds.  I didn't set out to memorize it.  It's just one of those things cluttering up my brain.


That's right! 'Empty...' was a reference to a quote from a non-English-first-language director. I'm pleased it wasn't just myself that felt let down; I suspect that when someone sets out to do an autobiography they put in the best and then, when it clicks and more's demanded, they have to trawl a little bit.  I also think it had some fictitious content (or was it all fiction?) though I'm far from sure, which seems to me to confirm my disenchanted view of the second oeuvre.

That's some limerick! I must try to learn it, but I told you about myemory. Anyway, my joke delivery always sucked; I'd have made a good straight man, though. I hope, but can't be sure.

I can tell you, actors of that era had so much more going for them than do the pretty boys of the past few decades. I was very sad when he passed away; he wrote the Forward to the first Pirelli Calendar book and, along with Patrick Campbell, he was one of my favourite scribes; a wonderfully light touch of the surreal. It's pretty much all disappeared now.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Colorado David on June 11, 2012, 01:56:04 PM
David Niven also served honorably in the British Army during World War II, something few actors would do these days.  The world hung on the edge of a knife during World War II and it was right for him to serve.  He also had a darned fine first name.  ;D
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2012, 05:25:18 PM
David Niven also served honorably in the British Army during World War II, something few actors would do these days.  The world hung on the edge of a knife during World War II and it was right for him to serve.  He also had a darned fine first name.  ;D


Yep, he shared it with my son.

Rob C
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: theguywitha645d on June 25, 2012, 03:47:36 PM
David Niven also served honorably in the British Army during World War II, something few actors would do these days. 

Because the war ended in 1945.
Title: Re: Creating Meaningful Photographs
Post by: Rob C on June 25, 2012, 07:02:04 PM
Because the war ended in 1945.


The war has never ended. It simply continues as economics and the eternal struggle to maintain employment until the next bout of mass extermination breaks out spontaneously to correct the balance to bring the production need back. It's cyclical - always was. It's nothing personal - just business.

Rob C