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Author Topic: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.  (Read 1022 times)

BobDavid

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Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« on: May 13, 2018, 11:34:07 am »

In this post, I try to explain that a photo may look like "Street" when in fact it's anything but...

Last April, a friend and I drove up to Nederland, a small town in the southwest part of Boulder County, 8,228 feet above sea level. We ate lunch at a diner.

The place was empty except for one of the owners, Dot. I asked her permission to take a few test picture. My intent was to grab a few snapshots to evaluate later. If I liked the pictures, I'd come back with the A7r II, an 18mm lens, and a tripod.
 
Using a Pen-F, I zoomed out to 12mm, the widest focal length. Some days later, I reviewed the photos in Adobe Bridge. Upon first glance, I was disappointed. When I noticed that Dot appeared in every frame, the pictures became more interesting.

Then when I cropped one of the pictures, I noticed the faces of the other two women. Hmm, that grabbed my interest. I figured it would be possible, albeit challenging, to pull a story out of the scene. After several Photoshop sessions, I got it to work.

The final image could perhaps pass as a "Street" photo. In actuality, it's far from it. ... It was sheer luck I didn't notice Dot in the frame as I concentrated on capturing the diner's interior.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 12:28:37 pm by BobDavid »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 01:25:34 pm »

I've kept these images up on my screen for a couple of hours now, checking from time to time to see which I like better.
Your final image of Dot is quite fine, but I still think I find the original shot more interesting overall.

I first notice all the fascinating clutter on the shelves, and only after that do I notice the big arrow that tells me to look for Dot, and I see that fine expression, which takes over the whole scene.

Would I like you to lighten her face a bit the way you did in the cropped version? I think not, because then I would have discovered her too soon.

Maybe it's just my devious mind, but I do like the tease.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

Rob C

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 01:47:14 pm »

I've kept these images up on my screen for a couple of hours now, checking from time to time to see which I like better.
Your final image of Dot is quite fine, but I still think I find the original shot more interesting overall.

I first notice all the fascinating clutter on the shelves, and only after that do I notice the big arrow that tells me to look for Dot, and I see that fine expression, which takes over the whole scene.

Would I like you to lighten her face a bit the way you did in the cropped version? I think not, because then I would have discovered her too soon.

Maybe it's just my devious mind, but I do like the tease.

Eric

I think that second shot illustrates perfectly the point that I made in the thread Another Thing:, which attempts to undo the straightjacket that the word "street" signifies with another, older, more embracing (as if a straightjacket wasn't tight enough!) one: "candid".

BobDavid

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2018, 03:17:06 pm »

I don't think either photo passes for "Street."  If I were not up front about it, would the second picture be considered as such? My inspiration for the second photo is paintings from the Ashcan school of painters.
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RSL

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2018, 03:25:29 pm »

I agree, Bob.

Rob C

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 01:39:03 pm »

I don't think either photo passes for "Street."  If I were not up front about it, would the second picture be considered as such? My inspiration for the second photo is paintings from the Ashcan school of painters.


Neither, because you told her of your intentions (photographic!) before you started. There has to be ambiguity, even if only by way of a dropped handkerchief. You can't be blunt, proposition and then expect that to give you the joys of true love art!

I think I might grow to enjoy this department.

:-)

Ivo_B

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 03:54:26 pm »

In this post, I try to explain that a photo may look like "Street" when in fact it's anything but...

Last April, a friend and I drove up to Nederland, a small town in the southwest part of Boulder County, 8,228 feet above sea level. We ate lunch at a diner.

The place was empty except for one of the owners, Dot. I asked her permission to take a few test picture. My intent was to grab a few snapshots to evaluate later. If I liked the pictures, I'd come back with the A7r II, an 18mm lens, and a tripod.
 
Using a Pen-F, I zoomed out to 12mm, the widest focal length. Some days later, I reviewed the photos in Adobe Bridge. Upon first glance, I was disappointed. When I noticed that Dot appeared in every frame, the pictures became more interesting.

Then when I cropped one of the pictures, I noticed the faces of the other two women. Hmm, that grabbed my interest. I figured it would be possible, albeit challenging, to pull a story out of the scene. After several Photoshop sessions, I got it to work.

The final image could perhaps pass as a "Street" photo. In actuality, it's far from it. ... It was sheer luck I didn't notice Dot in the frame as I concentrated on capturing the diner's interior.

Do I understand you (heavily) crop your image to see to what kind of style it qualify?
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BobDavid

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 06:17:31 pm »

I inappropriately titled this topic. ... What I wanted to communicate:

1) The original photo is not a Street photo; it was taken to document a place that I wanted to perhaps revisit.
     (visual note taking); 
2) Upon examining the photo on a 24" monitor, I noticed Dot. I didn't see her while I took the picture;
3) Dot's expression intrigued me, then I noticed the iconic milkmaid and the cutout of a 1940s artist/bohemian;
4) "A trio, an allegorical tale..." entered my mind;
5) To emphasize the three women, I subdued extraneous clutter, isolated the women, and added a glow to Dot's face;
6) I rendered the picture in the style of the ashcan painters of the 19th century.

When I show the final print, nobody asks if it's manipulated. They assume it's a "real" scene--a Street photo. Of course it's not. It does however evoke mystery--a story.

I don't recall ever taking a good Street photo, however I surmise many view them as such. With the permission of those who are active on this new thread, I'd like to show examples of my ersatz Street photos --photos "seen" with the intention of showing a story using post production techniques and retouching. I usually pre-visualize the subject/scene as a print before pressing the shutter button. That's something I picked up from learning about the zone system so long ago and far away.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 06:34:43 pm by BobDavid »
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Ivo_B

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 01:05:32 pm »

Well, I like the uncropped version more than the cropped.
I'll try to explain. The uncropped version gives me the same exploring pleasure you had behind your computer. In the second you force me to look to a part of the images.
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BobDavid

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 01:28:34 pm »

Well, I like the uncropped version more than the cropped.
I'll try to explain. The uncropped version gives me the same exploring pleasure you had behind your computer. In the second you force me to look to a part of the images.

If you hadn't seen the first, you'd have approached the second from an entirely different mindset. ... I won't exhibit the first one, ever. I think it's appropriate to show both within the context of this forum. It's raised some interesting questions/observations.
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Ivo_B

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 01:31:13 pm »

If you hadn't seen the first, you'd have approached the second from an entirely different mindset. ... I won't exhibit the first one, ever. I think it's appropriate to show both within the context of this forum. It's raised some interesting questions/observations.

Absolutely correct.
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Rob C

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 02:27:47 pm »

I inappropriately titled this topic. ... What I wanted to communicate:

1) The original photo is not a Street photo; it was taken to document a place that I wanted to perhaps revisit.
     (visual note taking); 
2) Upon examining the photo on a 24" monitor, I noticed Dot. I didn't see her while I took the picture;
3) Dot's expression intrigued me, then I noticed the iconic milkmaid and the cutout of a 1940s artist/bohemian;
4) "A trio, an allegorical tale..." entered my mind;
5) To emphasize the three women, I subdued extraneous clutter, isolated the women, and added a glow to Dot's face;
6) I rendered the picture in the style of the ashcan painters of the 19th century.

When I show the final print, nobody asks if it's manipulated. They assume it's a "real" scene--a Street photo. Of course it's not. It does however evoke mystery--a story.

I don't recall ever taking a good Street photo, however I surmise many view them as such. With the permission of those who are active on this new thread, I'd like to show examples of my ersatz Street photos --photos "seen" with the intention of showing a story using post production techniques and retouching. I usually pre-visualize the subject/scene as a print before pressing the shutter button. That's something I picked up from learning about the zone system so long ago and far away.

You can't be talking street: street gives time only for reaction, not a lot of procrastination about tone curves, etc.

;-)

BobDavid

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Re: Street in the pursuit of storytelling.
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2018, 02:39:09 pm »

You can't be talking street: street gives time only for reaction, not a lot of procrastination about tone curves, etc.

;-)

Correct, I'm not talking about street.  ...only commenting on folks who on occasion look at one of my pictures and think it's street, when in fact it's the antithesis.

As I mentioned earlier, the title I chose for this topic is off the mark. Again, apologies...
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