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Author Topic: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street  (Read 2468 times)

Two23

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2018, 09:33:08 AM »


Place holds emotion (ambience) too, or it does not. The photographer's job is to do two things: record the place; show its emotional quality through his/her photography. If the place is sterile, why waste time with it other than for an I-was-there-too memento which doesn't warrant further notice?



Doesn't "sterile" sometimes convey a message on its own?  How do we determine what is "sterile" vs what is "minimalism?"  Sometimes I take photos with the intent to convey the desolation or a featureless quality of a place.  Is that still sterile?


Kent in SD
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2018, 09:42:57 AM »

... Place holds emotion (ambience) too, or it does not...

We will continue to eternally disagree on this one. Places, things, do not hold emotion, people seeing them do. That is why a landscape, even when without the hand of man, always have at least one human in it - the viewer.

Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2018, 09:48:18 AM »


Composition?  (The active part of "seeing.")


Kent in SD

Composition can mean many things, from careful framing of what exists, to careful arranging of foreign objects within said fame.

It's one of the reasons that I admire some of those clever photographers who can do still life with difficult subjects such as jewellery. Not only are they able to overcome the technical problems of contrast, reflections etc. but make something wonderful out of all of those restrictions and problems. I could never do that sort of work.

Working outdoors brings different problems and opportunities: light is what God offers on the day, and you have to accept or adapt.

Composition depends on other factors too, such as requirements/subject. If it's clothes, you want them to stand out distinctly; if it's just the model, then that tells you why so many shoots happen on beaches. Composition is easy if you are not doing still life: it is obvious to you as you look at the subject, even before you see it in the viewfinder.

If you consider composition - a tired word that I feel is not really suited to non-studio work - as shape or framing instead, it is blindingly clear to the photographer exactly what it has to be. There are many alternatives too, just in the moving to one side or the other, getting close or more distant. This is all gut emotion, and if one finds that difficult or mysterious, then one simply hasn't got an eye and photography is not for one. And it can not be learned: it has to be felt; you might consider it original sin, for it is guaranteed to brings its own problems to your life. Unless you are independently wealthy already.

;-)

Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2018, 09:55:30 AM »

We will continue to eternally disagree on this one. Places, things, do not hold emotion, people seeing them do. That is why a landscape, even when without the hand of man, always have at least one human in it - the viewer.

Slobodan, you must be tired!

Are you seriously trying to say there is no such thing as a sense of place? Were that true, then absolutely anywhere and anything would provide the perfect image opportunity for every photographer who has an eye. This is patently not the case.

I don't think it's about agreeing or not: I think it's about semantics, and playing a game with them.

RSL

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2018, 10:02:28 AM »

Composition can mean many things, from careful framing of what exists, to careful arranging of foreign objects within said fame.

It's one of the reasons that I admire some of those clever photographers who can do still life with difficult subjects such as jewellery. Not only are they able to overcome the technical problems of contrast, reflections etc. but make something wonderful out of all of those restrictions and problems. I could never do that sort of work.

Working outdoors brings different problems and opportunities: light is what God offers on the day, and you have to accept or adapt.

Composition depends on other factors too, such as requirements/subject. If it's clothes, you want them to stand out distinctly; if it's just the model, then that tells you why so many shoots happen on beaches. Composition is easy if you are not doing still life: it is obvious to you as you look at the subject, even before you see it in the viewfinder.

If you consider composition - a tired word that I feel is not really suited to non-studio work - as shape or framing instead, it is blindingly clear to the photographer exactly what it has to be. There are many alternatives too, just in the moving to one side or the other, getting close or more distant. This is all gut emotion, and if one finds that difficult or mysterious, then one simply hasn't got an eye and photography is not for one. And it can not be learned: it has to be felt; you might consider it original sin, for it is guaranteed to brings its own problems to your life. Unless you are independently wealthy already.

;-)

Hear! Hear! Rob.

Rajan Parrikar

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2018, 11:27:13 AM »

But it is without emotion, Dave; it just is. Exactly as book after book of similar stuff on the travel shelf of the surviving book shops.

And that said, it describes how I feel about landscape in general, with very few exceptions: all the snapper does is snap.

Scenes like that are all over the Med, in almost every village or small town; they mean zero when you live there. They are perfect examples of what Russ defines as "tourist shots" because that's exactly what they are usually produced to do: create an appetite in the prospective traveller to buy a ticket for a different form of the mundane, different to his own northern one, but mundane nonetheless.


This particular photograph is "without emotion," yes, I agree. But I cannot get behind your extrapolation that generalizes it to landscape etc. I can easily conceive this exact composition with a lot of emotional purchase. For instance, a surprising splash of colour somewhere in there, a shaft of ephemeral beams streaming through the tunnel, and so on.


Ivo_B

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2018, 01:31:42 PM »

Actually, Ivo, no. I think there's interesting work out there that's not street. Wabi sabi comes to mind. But I think street tops 'em all. Ever since Oscar Barnak revolutionized photography, and for that matter, fine art, and people like Kertesz and Cartier-Bresson turned photography into a way to grab life in passing.

I agree when ignoring the photographic history post 1967.

Only looking at the work of David Lachapelle, it's hard to say photography ended with its Barnak technical revolution.
Consider Joel Peter Witkin. We can disagree on the content, but can we on the groundbreaking impact of his work?
Take a look at the breathtaking scenes of Nan Goldin, again, we can disagree on the pleasantness of the images, but we can hardly disagree on the massive photographic earthquake she caused.

Or can we disagree? Can we?

 :o

Ivo
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Ivo_B

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2018, 01:35:20 PM »

Mmm, you haven't been on this forum very long have you Ivo  :)

This is the 'Critique' section of Lula remember and is where genres often clash through opinionated and yet always unwinnable arguments, about which is the ONLY truly creative style of photography, so welcome aboard Ivo and mind how you go ;D ;D ;D

Oh and if you dare to say anything derogatory about the merits of landscape photography, then I might just have to send the boys round, OK..!

But no it is all good fun really and very enjoyable, so you are more than welcome to throw in your own opinions -JUST DON'T BE DISSING LANDSCAPE..

Dave

Yes, I'm a totally LULA rookie. AND European. So, I guess, I'm typing while the most fo you guys are sleeping.

Anyhow. Thanks to point me to some LULA particularities. I will walk the slack rope with grace. :-)
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Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2018, 03:14:24 PM »

This particular photograph is "without emotion," yes, I agree. But I cannot get behind your extrapolation that generalizes it to landscape etc. I can easily conceive this exact composition with a lot of emotional purchase. For instance, a surprising splash of colour somewhere in there, a shaft of ephemeral beams streaming through the tunnel, and so on.

And isn't that exactly the point? Without those additional things that are not there, the thing just is, devoid of anything else at all. It's a closed book. A dead radio.

But thank you anyway, for helping to show Slobodan why it is not an absurdity to expect a place to have a voice, a soul, a presence, even.

:-)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2018, 04:18:24 PM »

Slobodan, you must be tired!

Are you seriously trying to say there is no such thing as a sense of place? Were that true, then absolutely anywhere and anything would provide the perfect image opportunity for every photographer who has an eye. This is patently not the case.

I don't think it's about agreeing or not: I think it's about semantics, and playing a game with them.

Rob, I could be tired, but we will apparently never agree on this.

Of course I am seriously saying there is no such thing as a “sense of place” as this is not an attribute of the place. Only humans can give that attribute to the place.

To your second point, it IS patently the case: everything and anything can be photographed with a good eye: from microscopic images to astrophotography and anything in between. Beautiful or ugly, tragic or happy, anything can be photographed with a good eye.

Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2018, 05:06:05 PM »

Rob, I could be tired, but we will apparently never agree on this.

Of course I am seriously saying there is no such thing as a “sense of place” as this is not an attribute of the place. Only humans can give that attribute to the place.

To your second point, it IS patently the case: everything and anything can be photographed with a good eye: from microscopic images to astrophotography and anything in between. Beautiful or ugly, tragic or happy, anything can be photographed with a good eye.


More semantics or, more accurately, you are avoiding understanding what I'm saying.

That anything can be photographed does not of itself mean that anything can be photographed and mean it was worth photographing; those are two quite different things.

Having a good eye is a prerequisite for a photographer, but the best photographer in the world, with the keenest of artistic eyes, cannot photograph something that the subject is incapable of offering.

That alley will forever, unless Rajan's rays of magical light and colour suddenly appear, be nothing more than what it is as it stands, not as it might have been in different times, seasons and weather conditions. Even a stray dog taking a pee would have made something of it that, alone (alley, not dog), is not there.

Of course, if you are really saying that it is not the alley but the selected view of it that is capable of improvement, then all bets are off, and you could go mad with super-wides, distortions etc. without end, but then the snaps would not be the alley as in that photograph, they would be of something entirely else.

But yes, I'm also pretty tired too, in reality, and have to face an insurance inspector at 9am regarding some leaks in the apartment above. Only plus is this: as always with these mothers, he will find a reason why the company is not liable to pay an old peseta to us but, think of this: to get here by 9 he will have had to get out of his bed in Palma at least two hours earlier!

Look on the bright side of life!

:-)

Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2018, 05:43:50 PM »

Well it seems that yet another one of my images has stirred up a good discussion on here once again, which is a good thing right???

Anyhoo getting back to the picture - when I took the shot I wasn't actually interested in a sense of place, or emotion or even the quality of the light if I am honest, although I was more than aware of what it was doing to help lead the viewers eye through the scene and I felt under pressure to shoot it on this occasion before the light had a chance to change in any way. So no, the shot for me was never about those 'things' at all or in any way, but it was all about the blocks of colour, lines, symmetrical curves, repeating shapes and blocks of three etc, and how I could place them within the frame in such a way that I could design (yes that is correct, DESIGN) the shot, to show a sort of loose 'Golden Spiral' of compositional elements within the scene - think of a loosely held together Mandelbrot spiral here if you are unsure of the term. You see I wanted viewers to engage with the scene on a more subliminal level and hopefully like it, but not really know why they liked it, as it was just an old street scene with a few windows and a bit of interesting light at the end of it after all, wasn't it? But yet it still felt satisfying to look at, yet for no good reason, an 'I like it, but I don't know why I like it, but I just do' kind of thing.

I originally called the shot 'Shooting Shapes' but changed it to the name above later, after discussing my Malboro Man shot on here and perhaps I shouldn't have, as the original title was perhaps a little more explanatory, but then I thought what the heck, if people like it and they don't know why they like it, then that is mission accomplished isn't it?, and the name is therefore irrelevant, but perhaps I was wrong. So the thing I was trying to create was more of an abstract design of diminishing shapes, with the subject being a loosely fitting Golden Mean of those diminishing shapes that led you inexorably towards a doorway on the middle right, but that you couldn't see into, or an alleyway leading out of the scene to the left, but yet again that you couldn't see into, sort of like a fork or crossroads at the end of the road and both leading to who knows where?

So yes there was a lot of thought and design and work that went into this shot and it took me several return visits to this location to get exactly what I wanted, so it definitely wasn't a stroll by tourist shot and is why I thought it was a little more unique than your average old Spanish village alley shot, yet still keeping within its style of whatever you would want to call this type of shot.

I was hoping that people you would get all this and perhaps even without realising it, but it seems that some of you were unable to see past your own visual preconceptions and into what the shot is really about, and which I have already stated in far too many words above, and how the shot has very little to do with what you see on the surface of your screens.

So OK, it now it sounds like I am becoming really churlish and trying to say that the reason you didn't 'get it' for all those who don't, is because you were unable to understand it and so it is your fault and not mine that you don't like it or get it and perhaps to some extent I am, although I am trying very hard not to, as that would just make me sound like a pompous arsehole, which believe me I am definitely not (OK argue amongst yourselves here on that point). But can you not at least see the design of the shot and how everything in it is only there because it needs to be in there to complete the design of a sort of subliminal golden mean spiral? Because that IS the subject of the image and is the only subject I was trying to work with, as everything else in the scene is secondary to that and is also why I didn't want anyone walking through the shot or a dog taking a piss (jeez are we really getting down to that level of discourse?) and so I waited until the alley was completely empty, as to have a human form or any other biological entity within the shot I believe, would have broken up and ruined the spiral design of the shapes and therefore the real subject of the shot.

Dave
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 05:53:55 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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opgr

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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2018, 07:05:43 PM »

https://fstoppers.com/photo/178642

Well found image, but you can see that this one is different, as even though it does deal with arches and repeating shapes etc, it doesn't quite do the golden spiral thing at all, but if it did, then yes I agree the size of the arches would mean that the man would indeed fit into it very nicely, but with my shot I just didn't have the luxury of enough space to do that.

And now I perhaps also realise that by having to explain the shot as I have done in a the previous post, then the shot has obviously failed, because you shouldn't have to explain a shot should you, as to do so is like trying to give a surface deep polish to the idea and I wanted it to be a much deeper connection, so therefore if the image hasn't done this, then the image and my idea didn't work - although in saying all of this, the two people that have so far seen it in the flesh so to speak, seemed to have been enjoyably engaged with it, yet couldn't tell me why, but then again they were family, so no deep and meaningful critique there I suppose. Yet it does make me wonder if it might appeal more to the different and less analytical eyes of non photographers, who knows and by now you are probably also thinking, who cares?

But all in all, a good discussion has ensued about it and for that I really do thank everyone involved, no matter what your opinion for or against  ;)

Dave
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 07:14:47 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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Two23

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2018, 07:25:34 PM »


I was hoping that people you would get all this and perhaps even without realising it, but it seems that some of you were unable to see past your own visual preconceptions and into what the shot is really about,


No, I think I got it.  What I was saying was this was obviously carefully composed.  It wasn't like you handed a monkey a camera and it began snapping the button willy-nilly.  Even though there were no human emotions in the image to overtly "hook" you, there was still the emotions felt by the photographer who composed the shot.  I got a sense of mystery wondering what was beyond the passage way, just out of view.


Kent in SD
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2018, 10:13:00 PM »

But of course, Dave, some of us, natural-born misanthropes, who would avoid human presence in our photographs like a plague, saw the beauty of your image in an instant. For the benefit or newer members, and with apologies for repetition to the old ones, here is a Socrates’ quote I have on my website:

"I will try to speak of the beauty of shapes... straight lines and curves and the shapes made of them... They are not beautiful for any particular reason or purpose, as other things are, but are eternally, and by their very nature, beautiful, and give a pleasure of their own quite free from the itch of desire: and in this way colors can give a similar pleasure."

Pardon me for scribbling on your image, but here are those forms and shapes Socrates is talking about, abundant in your image: (the blue line connnects the three repeating rectangles, echoed by the door on the other side of the street)

P.S. Of course there could have been something else in the image, a ray of sunshine, a beautiful girl, even a peeing dog ...and it might have been a nice image in itself, but that would be a DIFFERENT image, and would only detract from what this one is about.

Alan Klein

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2018, 10:35:54 PM »

I like the picture.  To me it shows balance and is soothing.  Not every street picture has to have someone's nose getting punched.  Different flavors make everything interesting. 

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2018, 11:47:27 PM »

If this guy Socrates is such a good critic, why doesn't he post some of his own photos on LuLa, huh?     :D
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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

Rob C

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2018, 02:53:48 AM »

I've run out of Kleenex!

But hey, it does explain a lot about LuLa.

;-)

Rob

P.S. Surprised to see the concern about a pissing pooch: HC-B shot several different images of street dogs, including a classic of two males trying a dummy run. They are not thought of as man's best friend for nothing, you know.

But I do appreciate that the title explicity denies the shot to be street.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 03:35:59 AM by Rob C »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: This is not 'Street' but a photograph of a street
« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2018, 05:50:37 AM »

Genres.

It all boils down to, say, country vs. jazz. The two camps are rarely capable of understanding each other.

I see jazz in Dave’s image. An interplay of different, differing, contrasting, yet harmonious musical motives (or lines, shapes, and forms in the visual sense).

Rob is apparently desperately looking for a country girl in the image, carrying an overflowing bucket of water on her head, wetting her blouse into transparency (pardon the pun). Or at least a country dog, wetting the street.

 ;)
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