Landscape article - Peter Eastway

Started by Paulo Bizarro, November 19, 2018, 10:22:17 am

Paulo Bizarro

Thanks, finally an article that talks about Landscape Photography:)

Good reading.

Larry451


Mark D Segal

Superb article, raising and answering a fundamental question about "photographic realism" that is forever asked and forever debated. This article has archival value. I should also mention that the International Landscape Photographer of the Year freely downloadable PDF books of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 should not be missed - they are inspiring.
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

faberryman

QuoteCan you win a photography competition without some post-production? I doubt it.
The article assumes digital manipulation. Does this mean that a large format contact print can no longer be competitive?

Mark D Segal

Well, just ask yourself: have you ever produced a photograph from a raw file that doesn't need some editing? That is "digital manipulation" - it's technically unavoidable unless you systematically like your camera's and Adobe's etc. version of your photo out of the box. Eastway addressed this correctly. Whether you can make a contact print of exhibition quality depends on the negative you are printing and your printing skill. Going back in time, one can find many excellent photographs made this way. What wins competitions of course is anyone's guess.
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

amolitor

Eastway dances around the important issue which is what the viewer's expectations are versus what the print actually is, but never quite pins things down. He talks about, essentially, what the viewer's expectations ought to be, but that is not quite the same thing as what those expectations are.  Simply asserting that since a print was in an art gallery that the viewer's ire is unreasonable doesn't actually help much.

That said, we are wandering slowly into a  world in which everyone assumes that every photograph is a fabrication. In another year or two (possibly even now, but I don't think we're quite there) the vast majority of photographs will be fabrications, the output of a neural network into which 1 or more raw files were stuffed.

All the business about how every picture is manipulated is, ultimately, a distraction. Sure, it's important to realize that drawing a clear and firm line between fish and fowl is simply not going to happen here, but the fact that grey areas exist is no reason to declare the whole thing moot which is, honestly, kinda where he's going. He's slipped in a mickey by pretending that the only distinction that really ought to matter is whether a picture is a composite or not.

This is a difficult question, and I do not think that satisfactory answers will be forthcoming.

Mark D Segal

His perspective seems to me more nuanced than what you are inferring here. He talks about context and purpose being critical to the acceptability of the treatment, and I think this is an important point that should not be missed.
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

amolitor

Contact prints are normally burned and dodged, you select paper, contrast grade, and exposure time, you have probably manipulated development of either the negative or the print or both.

If you simply follow the meter and the times in the book for everything, you will get a print which is, maybe, arguably "straight" but it certainly will not win  awards -- nor would it ever have.

amolitor

Mark: Yes, he does, and gives a perfectly reasonable discussion of that. But all of that speaks to what expectations ought to be, and I think it is important not to lose sight of the fact that ought to and are align surprisingly infrequently. It is the latter which causes trouble, dragging out the former doesn't actually help much.

Mark D Segal

Quote from: amolitor on November 19, 2018, 11:20:41 am
Mark: Yes, he does, and gives a perfectly reasonable discussion of that. But all of that speaks to what expectations ought to be, and I think it is important not to lose sight of the fact that ought to and are align surprisingly infrequently. It is the latter which causes trouble, dragging out the former doesn't actually help much.


Yes of course - ARE and OUGHT TO don't necessarily converge, but what to make of that? OUGHT TO is a matter of judgment, and that can be all over the place. So clearly OUGHT TO must reflect what he thinks it "ought to" be!  :-) We can agree or not.
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Mark D Segal

Quote from: amolitor on November 19, 2018, 11:18:18 am
Contact prints are normally burned and dodged, you select paper, contrast grade, and exposure time, you have probably manipulated development of either the negative or the print or both.

If you simply follow the meter and the times in the book for everything, you will get a print which is, maybe, arguably "straight" but it certainly will not win  awards -- nor would it ever have.


Maybe I missed this decades ago when I worked in the chemical darkroom like so many of us, but how does one burn and dodge a contact print, which to my recollection is usually a negative firmly sandwiched onto a piece of photographic paper and exposed to light? As for the rest of it - clearly yes - starting from the selection of film one used - they all had their own grain structure and characteristic curves, and the developers we used had different effects on the character of the resulting negative. Etc.
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

amolitor

It works the same as with an enlarger, except for the position of the negative!

You interpose you hand or another tool between the light source and the negative/paper sandwich. When I was doing it, I actually used a light bulb mounted in a coffee can on an extension cord, rather like a work light, but more symmetrical. I could hold it steady at a good height for even illumination, but I also used it a bit as a sort of light-painting apparatus, "hosing down" this bit with a little more light, while my hand shaded that other bit.

To be honest, I may have made all this up myself based on a misunderstanding of Edward Weston's apparatus? I'm not *certain* that I've heard of anyone else doing it this way, but my impression is that I stole it all from  some notes on Weston.

It works fine, although precision is a bit tougher to accomplish, and a bit more hit and miss when you do.

Mark D Segal

Looking back, I just thank technical progress every day that I can move a few sliders to completely alter the character and quality of an image. I know this will rub those with fond memories of the past the wrong way, and I agree ahead of the argument that one art form or technical approach isn't a substitute for another, but still - we've come a long way with the digital revolution.
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

faberryman

Quote from: amolitor on November 19, 2018, 11:18:18 amContact prints are normally burned and dodged, you select paper, contrast grade, and exposure time, you have probably manipulated development of either the negative or the print or both. If you simply follow the meter and the times in the book for everything, you will get a print which is, maybe, arguably "straight" but it certainly will not win  awards -- nor would it ever have.

So if every print is manipulated, why even mention that if you don't manipulate it, it won't win a competition?

amolitor

Good question.

I find the inevitable "but every print is manipulated" discussion to be somewhat beside the point in these things. I mean, it's true, but while it feels relevant, I don't think that it really is.

digitaldog

Quote from: Mark D Segal on November 19, 2018, 11:03:02 am
Well, just ask yourself: have you ever produced a photograph from a raw file that doesn't need some editing? That is "digital manipulation" - it's technically unavoidable unless you systematically like your camera's and Adobe's etc. version of your photo out of the box.
Ask this fellow who not only uses Photoshop (he provided the duotone curves for Adobe) and IS a digital landscape photographer but will NEVER manipulate his images using Photoshop (think clone tool):
https://stephen-johnson-gtt1.squarespace.com/biography
If he had a perfect landscape shot but there was a cigarette butt in the shot, he'd crop it out or use another shot, but he would never manipulate that image to remove the cigarette butt.
Maybe he should write the next article here on landscape photography considering his bkgnd and influence on the topic.
Andrew Rodney
Author "Color Management for Photographers"

Mark D Segal

Quote from: digitaldog on November 19, 2018, 12:49:03 pm
Ask this fellow who not only uses Photoshop (he provided the duotone curves for Adobe) and IS a digital landscape photographer but will NEVER manipulate his images using Photoshop (think clone tool):
https://stephen-johnson-gtt1.squarespace.com/biography
If he had a perfect landscape shot but there was a cigarette butt in the shot, he'd crop it out or use another shot, but he would never manipulate that image to remove the cigarette butt.
Maybe he should write the next article here on landscape photography considering his bkgnd and influence on the topic.


Given the extremity of his position on image editing, I really wonder about how much influence he has on the topic.
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

amolitor

PH Emerson was moderately influential in his time, and eschewed even dodging and burning. He did accept manipulation of development and, interestingly, taking a second exposure for sky and compositing that in (orthochromatic emulsions kind of demanded it).

I guess I should take back my earlier remarks about "straight" contact prints never winning awards, now that I think about it more. Emerson did, I think, win awards and his pictures are anyways very very nice and "important" whatever that mean. And I do think they're fairly "straight" in the sense of minimal post.

digitaldog

Quote from: Mark D Segal on November 19, 2018, 12:53:25 pm
Given the extremity of his position on image editing, I really wonder about how much influence he has on the topic.
If you've only imagined it, you haven't experienced it. Fact is, he's been 'processing' digital landscape photography far, far longer than just about anyone in these parts.
Andrew Rodney
Author "Color Management for Photographers"

Alan Goldhammer

My bottom line - is the image interesting and would I like to have it hanging on a wall in my house.  The images in the article are all well done.  Digital processing is a fact of life as was dodging and burning in Ansel Adams days (also remember that Adams also used zone system principals in developing the negatives). 
Alan Goldhammer
A Goldhammer Photography