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Author Topic: Death Valley Sunset  (Read 24882 times)

David Sutton

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2014, 03:18:19 pm »


Manoli, without photographs there is no photography.

Anyone can read a book and recite; today, they don't even need a book - five minutes on the Internet and they can answer or contribute to anything at the end of those few minutes...

Give a choice between someone with a PhD in the thing and someone with a couple of years of work experience, there's little doubt where the greater value would be found. And in case it's missed: the work experienced guy would get my vote. Photography is about the doing, not the theorizing though of course, I do accept that a huge industry has self-spawned itself onto the edges of the fabric of the petticoat tails. We need a friggin ' huge washing machine with lots of detergent.

;-)

Rob C

We want to know whether someone can walk the talk or whether they are "all talk and no trousers". I don't see anything wrong with that. It's not that we expect technically knowledgeable people to be great photographers, but we would like to know whether they are competent ones and have any ideas  of their own.
Ignoring for the moment those few hateful individuals who show great competency as soon as they pick up a camera, most of us spend a long time just getting exposure, focus and composition to our satisfaction. We've started off like a small child who has put their poo on the table and said "look what I've done Mummy!"  As much as I enjoy post-processing, there's the the problem with those folks who have focussed on software to the detriment of other skills - they spend their life polishing turds. I don't want to get my camera work and print making to the "next level" - wretched term - just good enough to express my ideas.
On the other hand I'm uncomfortable with anyone posting images out of a need to prove something.
I can't see that it will do anyone any good, I'd rather cut them some slack. I agree with Manoli that it doesn't have to be an either/or.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2014, 03:25:11 pm »

Just created an Insta-Haiku especially for this thread:


   The monk   sitting still on a rock
   The monkey sitting still on a rock
   The       difference       remains


Best wishes
~Chris

Peter McLennan

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2014, 03:38:04 pm »

Isn't Wikipedia wonderful! I hope you donate during their fund-raising periods.  ;)

It is and I do.  Recently, even. : )
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hubell

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2014, 03:49:22 pm »

The Death Valley Sunset photo is very unappealing to me. I find it lurid. However, if that Kevin's art, so be it. He should and does feel free to interpret the photo in whatever way he wants. There is no absolute truth here.
It's interesting how the aesthetics of color photography in general and color landcape photography in particular have evolved with the use of digital imaging tools as compared to film and chemical darkroom printing. With the latter, the predominant medium for prints was Type C prints, which usually looked washed out and failed to convey the drama of great light and color in the landscape. The holy grail was being able to achieve that. Cibachrome and Velvia were the tools of choice. It was not easy to go over the top with saturation and contrast. We now have the opposite problem with digital. It is so easy to go over the top that few know where to stop. Moreover, what is difficult now with digital is the opposite. Try replicating the restrained color palette of a Type C print from a color negative film.  Twenty five years ago, I was not so attracted to that color palette. Now, I find it beautiful. Joel Meyerowitz' Cape Light work is a great example. It's much harder to produce that aesthetic than dialing up the saturation control on the computer.
Jeff Schewe is right. When photographers say that they are preparing a file for a print so that it corresponds to the way they remember the scene, what they really mean is the way they would "like" to remember the scene. Nothing wrong with that, but nobody really has an accurate memory about the way the light and color of a landscape looked six months ago.

Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2014, 04:52:12 pm »

The mention of Ciba sent a shiver up my spine: I absolutely dreaded using it!

Printing onto normal Kodak colour paper didn't send shivers up my spine. I did it professionally for long enough. The problem with colour printing was the average, commercial colour labs: they had a cut-off point where further colour testing lost them money, and so they didn't go that extra step. When I did it, it was for an in-house industrial unit and money meant nothing - it was a service unit. And a godsend for learning the trade. I owe that place pretty much everything. We never found colour printing looked weak: it could be - had to be - extremely accurate: colour meant and represented temperatures on jet flame tubes, of which we photographed many.

With colour photography, as with black/white, you got what you were willing to strive to get. The tools were pretty damned good - it was some of the people that were not.

Rob C

Ray

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2014, 09:56:02 pm »


Haven't you got this one ass from elbow, Ray?

It's the theoreticians amongst us who need to display their credentials; this is a forum about photographs, not about an abstract science.

Rob C

Rob,
I've never considered photography to be an abstract science, but a practical, hands-on science. I discovered the existence of this forum many years ago, indirectly as a result of my having technical difficulties in getting my newly acquired Epson A3+ printer to produce the colors I saw on my monitor.

I rang the Epson technical help service to complain and to find a solution. They explained to me that color management was a very complicated affair and that it would be better for me to get help from certain photography forums, citing Luminous Landscape as one of the best. It was good advice, and I've learned a lot from this site.

Now my analogy about the need for a PhD in a subject before one has credibility, was perhaps not the best analogy. The point I was trying to get across is that the public at large tends to unthinkingly accept something as true, by association, when the the credentials, achievements, displays of work, and so on, from the person making the comment, are impressive.

Famous photographers are often sought by the manufacturers of cameras for the purpose of advertising their products, because there is an association in the mind of the public at large that the type of camera used to take impressive photos has a lot to do with the appeal of the photos. If one doesn't know much about the technical side of cameras, then perhaps one can do no better than buy the same camera used by a photographer whose work one admires.
Of course those of us who are perceptive understand that it's the person behind the camera who counts for more than the equipment. Nevertheless, this unthinking association in the minds of many folks is fully exploited by the advertising industry.

I can only surmise that those members of the forum who never post any images of their own, but who are very vocal on technical matters, and/or aesthetic matters, are a bit worried about this mindless association prevalent in the public at large and how it will affect their credibility if their photos are not as highly regarded as their technical expertise or insights on aestheticism. To this extent I sympathize with them.

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lelouarn

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2014, 03:13:24 am »

Sorry to be solid, but there are two sides to this WB business. I understand the artistic and perception related side. So I agree that there must be degree of freedom to adjust the WB to obtain a pleasing picture. I just don't understand where the WB comes in.

The sensor reads R,G,B values from pixels. So that's a color. Why can this color not be used - or even seen by the user ? One could imaging that the sensor is calibrated (to take out the different transmissions of the color filters, and the quantum efficiency of the detector for different colors). But perhaps this calibration needs a color temperature to be done properly ? I would have naively said that one would calibrate in white light, and normalize the R,G,B values read off the sensor to the same value (for white light, one expects R=G=B, if the camera's sensor and color filters are normalized). But perhaps that doesn't work ?

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Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2014, 03:57:27 am »


I can only surmise that those members of the forum who never post any images of their own, but who are very vocal on technical matters, and/or aesthetic matters, are a bit worried about this mindless association prevalent in the public at large and how it will affect their credibility if their photos are not as highly regarded as their technical expertise or insights on aestheticism. To this extent I sympathize with them.





And that's exactly the point: the 'public' has every right to think their verbal wanderings more than a little suspect. If they can't put up, then the honourable alternative is to...

Personally, I'd far rather there be fewer posters here, but better ones, just as I'd rather hear Annie L, personally, on photography than some much vaunted curator or gallerista whose sole purpose in life is to shift goods that might as well be boxes of toilet paper. Not that I imply the art is toilet paper but that the systematic movement off the shelves (or walls in this case) is common practice and purpose to both forms of shopkeeper, the seller of other people's art or the manager of the supermarket on the corner.

So yes, I do think that if unwillingness to show work is there, a reason has to exist. In my own case, some years ago, despite having spent my life running a reasonably okay photographic operation, I hadn't a clue how to make a website. Then, Frenchman in Madrid Fred took pity and on me and put me in contact with Weebly and the problem was solved, as much to my own peace of mind as to that of anyone else. And why did it bother me? Precisely because of the real and understandable credibility gap that invisibility produces. Today, producing a website should, for the 'experts' that seem to proliferate here, be not a problem at all. So why be shy? False modesty perchance?

Rob C

Ray

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2014, 06:51:28 am »


Today, producing a website should, for the 'experts' that seem to proliferate here, be not a problem at all. So why be shy? False modesty perchance?

Rob C


Rob,
For me, it's not just a matter of producing a website. It's the time and work of selecting the best images and organising them for display. I imagine it would also take time to maintain the website and answer queries. Some of my images go back 50 years. I have many thousands of images.

At the moment, for example, I've begun spending a lot of time scanning old negatives, some of which are my own, going back 50 years, and some of which were my father's, going back about 90 years.

One has only so much time and one has to prioritize to maximize one's enjoyment of the relatively few years one has left on this earth. I wouldn't want the chore of producing 'prints on demand' to interfere with my travels, for example, so that's a job I would have to allocate to someone else.

Nevertheless, creating my own website is a task I might eventually get around to completing.
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ndevlin

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2014, 09:53:43 am »

I just don't understand where the WB comes in.

The sensor reads R,G,B values from pixels. So that's a color. Why can this color not be used - or even seen by the user ?

It can be seen. But what colour it is depends on what colour light was illuminating the subject.  WB is telling the camera what that colour was. Orange light on a grey card will produce orange.  So you have a choice: have an orange grey, tell the camera to WB for orange light and get a grey greycard, or tell it to do something completely different for artistic effect.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera        ww

jeremyrh

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2014, 10:49:35 am »



And that's exactly the point: the 'public' has every right to think their verbal wanderings more than a little suspect. If they can't put up, then the honourable alternative is to...

[...]

So yes, I do think that if unwillingness to show work is there, a reason has to exist.

[...]

Rob C

So ... one only has the right to comment on something at which one personally excels ? Surely a person's words stand on their own, just as much as a person's photographs stand on their own. Somebody may be good at analysing and discussing the work of others without being able to produce good works themselves.
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Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2014, 10:59:44 am »

So ... one only has the right to comment on something at which one personally excels ? Surely a person's words stand on their own, just as much as a person's photographs stand on their own. Somebody may be good at analysing and discussing the work of others without being able to produce good works themselves.




That would  be a neat trick!

Hence the variation on the old adage: those who can, do; those who can't tell all the others how to do it better. There are lots of examples of the latter... Wouldn't you be delighted if your dentist subscribed to the very same ethic!

;-)

Rob C

jeremyrh

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2014, 12:37:22 pm »




That would  be a neat trick!

Hence the variation on the old adage: those who can, do; those who can't tell all the others how to do it better. There are lots of examples of the latter... Wouldn't you be delighted if your dentist subscribed to the very same ethic!

;-)

Rob C
So you don't trust any theatre critics, sports commentators, political analysts etc., until they have produced their own Broadway show, or won Wimbledon, or run a country?
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Rajan Parrikar

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2014, 01:46:02 pm »

So you don't trust any theatre critics, sports commentators, political analysts etc., until they have produced their own Broadway show, or won Wimbledon, or run a country?

On this subject, perhaps this is relevant -

*****
Prefacing a somewhat derogatory criticism of Milton, T. S. Eliot once stated that “the only jury of judgement” that he would accept on his views was that “of the ablest poetical practitioners of his time.” Ten years later, perhaps in a more mellow mood, he added: “the scholar and the practitioner, in the field of literary criticism, should supplement each others’ work. The criticism of the practitioner will be all the better, certainly, if he is not wholly destitute of scholarship; and the criticism of the scholar will be all the better if he has some experience of the difficulties of writing verse.”
*****

From -

http://www.parrikar.org/essays/shakespeare-newton-beethoven/

Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #54 on: January 14, 2014, 01:51:19 pm »

So you don't trust any theatre critics, sports commentators, political analysts etc., until they have produced their own Broadway show, or won Wimbledon, or run a country?

Reduction to the absurd. Let's stick with good old photography, about which at least one of knows something. But regarding journalists in general: no, I trust them as far as the politics of their next employer.

Strangely, I've not yet needed to consult the opinions of others when wondering about whether I have, should have, or should have not enjoyed an experience such as a jazz concert or a rock'n'roll show. As for photographic exhibitions, those that I've actually bothered going to see have usually been quite rewarding, with the exception of one by Robert Mapplethorpe's bro'. Outstanding was one by Don McCullin many years ago - fantastically moving, foggy Indian images - and I also had my eyebrows raised somewhat by a Helmut Newton exhibition. A David Bailey one was marginally spoiled by prints in less than perfect condition, and the feeling that only the 'iconics' such as Jagger in furs were pushed... As for Sam Haskins, a delightful slide show where I was able to ask questions. In no case did I attend on anyone's recommendation: my own nose took me there, but for the Haskins's event, which was by invitation. Oh yes, I also saw one with a lot of Patrick Lichfield's colour work, including a most memorable beauty from a Unipart, featuring a lady doing her 'injun' number out on the wastes at Zabriskie Point.  Can't remember where that was - for some reason I think that Kodak had something to do with the show.

In all the above instances, I went because I respected and really admired the snappers, and the odd one out was because I happened to be in the neighbourhood at the time. It's always rewarding to see the work of folks that one is familiar with from magazines, books and calendars. Rewarding, of course, if one already knows what those people are about and it impresses one sufficiently to overcome inertia and/or the need to do something else...

;-)

Rob C

Isaac

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2014, 01:54:28 pm »

Who cares about relevance!

“A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its laws made by cowards and its wars fought by fools.” Thucydides.
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Isaac

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #56 on: January 14, 2014, 02:02:26 pm »

I understand the artistic and perception related side.

The "perception related side" doesn't seem to have a straightforward story, so I'm quite confident I don't really understand that.


The sensor reads R,G,B values from pixels. So that's a color.

No, that's RGB. The Myth of Universal Colour.

Quote
'The most critical part of the formal definition of color to keep in mind is that it is an “attribute of visual perception”—a description of color appearance to human observers.'

pdf "Charting Color from the Eye of the Beholder" A reprint from American Scientist, 2005.
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Isaac

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2014, 02:15:39 pm »

... your challenge to post work.  One's WORDS will (hopefully) tell "where we're coming from," and whether or not we even CAN produce images that reflect our aesthetic is irrelevant. ...

Also known as.
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2014, 02:48:58 pm »

Somebody may be good at analysing and discussing the work of others without being able to produce good works themselves.

"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem. They know what to do; they've seen it done every day; they're just unable to do it themselves."

Brendan Behan
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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