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Thread: Misty Luzern

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    Student: I still dont understand =)
    Are we talkin abt composition (to use telephoto or wideangle), or mood (color or b&w, exposure) that helps transform a photo into an interesting image??
    I find it pointless to endlessly compliment kenna's work, sure it's good but how does USD3000 specifically help mpenza's pic with reference to mpenza's pic? =)

    U mentioned mpenza's pic is boring? here I find that a simple B&W conversion changes the mood or dullness for the misty city & its feathered inhabitants comin out for a swim... because color can be a distraction so B&W forces one to look at the objects (the mist, luzern's architecture & the swans) at their purity
    Forget about the USD3000.00 (this was preceeded by "BTW") - absolutely nothing to do with mpenza's image. Just a point of interest if you are into collect occasional prints. If you are not interested, it is OK.

    Please you do not have to agree with me. It is my eyes that say this image is boring. Others will differ and feel that this image is great. Totally valid.

    The point of using Kenna's images is to illustrate that great MOOD can be created without being DULL and GLOOM. I am not worshipping him. I can use many others to illustrate. Just that I happened to think of Kenna.

    Kenna's images have beautiful contrast, and sometimes very bright as in his series on Japan, showing a small tree in a white and wide expanse of snow. His images are not "flat". Unlike this image. The original image is near monochrome, and converting to B&W does not help.

    You are looking for a formula to create great images full of mood? Takes a lot of things. Great skills. Great vision. Great opportunity. Hard work. Great images are made when these things come together in that instant, and voila!

  2. #22
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    My take on this pic... i not very good in PS but thats how i feel and would portray this photo...

  3. #23

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    think B&W will make it look like old Shanghai beach drama

  4. #24

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    Last msg i'm gonna post in this thread =P

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    You are looking for a formula to create great images full of mood? Takes a lot of things. Great skills. Great vision. Great opportunity. Hard work. Great images are made when these things come together in that instant, and voila!
    U're talkin abt talent here. The rest of us dont have that talent so a formula is good to begin with, so the rule of 3rds isnt a helpful formula used since the renaissance period? If we look at kenna's images and there is no formula to break it down, then how are we supposed to improve? Just tikam tikam?

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Please you do not have to agree with me. It is my eyes that say this image is boring. Others will differ and feel that this image is great. Totally valid.
    i disagree with everything U say. =)

  5. #25
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    Rev... don't get so worked up.

    Some of the things student says is very true. Photography is not a formula. You cannot just take camera+lens+composition+exposure+time and have a good photograph. It takes time to develop the ability to make the right choices, be it camera+lens+composition+exposure+time .

    Rule of third is for general composition. There's other methods like Lead in lines etc. These rules are guidelines not law. You can break them if the right situation comes along. But you need to build up experience to acknowledge the situation.

    In this critique forum, the main purpose is to improve via sharing. I think what student have done is to share works of photographer but not directly sharing his thoughts on this pic. I think most people want in direct critique. It like your maths teacher telling you answer is wrong and give your fellow classmate answers and tell you he's better but without telling you how he get it right is not really very helpful.. right Rev?

  6. #26
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    Default This is what I would do

    This is my perception of Mpenza's photo. I've cropped his photo and would like to show what I think it should have been (in my perspective). Picture says a thousand words (well, not exactly). I will remove it upon request.

    I think the problem lies with the swans. They do add a kind of mood to the photo but probably the angle isn't low enough? or the swans aren't further away? I don't know why I like the cropped photo more than the one with the swans, but I hope someone see what I saw.

    Since the photo doesn't seem to be quite "abstract" (eg. Michael Kenna), I would rather cropped it into panoramic form. It somehow makes the photo look wide, like there's many things to see unlike the usual 3:2 or square photos.


  7. #27
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    It works for me but i will prob crop away the top a bit more....

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drudkh
    This is my perception of Mpenza's photo. I've cropped his photo and would like to show what I think it should have been (in my perspective). Picture says a thousand words (well, not exactly). I will remove it upon request.

    I think the problem lies with the swans. They do add a kind of mood to the photo but probably the angle isn't low enough? or the swans aren't further away? I don't know why I like the cropped photo more than the one with the swans, but I hope someone see what I saw.

    Since the photo doesn't seem to be quite "abstract" (eg. Michael Kenna), I would rather cropped it into panoramic form. It somehow makes the photo look wide, like there's many things to see unlike the usual 3:2 or square photos.

    Actually, I've been following this thread fo quite sometime and I agree with Drudkh's way of cropping... My reason is that the picture above shows more of the mist... Unlike nemesis32, I would have kept more of the top as it is "boring", i.e. misty, as it show be...
    Just $0.02 from a noob...

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    Last msg i'm gonna post in this thread =P

    U're talkin abt talent here. The rest of us dont have that talent so a formula is good to begin with, so the rule of 3rds isnt a helpful formula used since the renaissance period? If we look at kenna's images and there is no formula to break it down, then how are we supposed to improve? Just tikam tikam?

    i disagree with everything U say. =)
    Thank you for disagreeing! I hate to think there is another one like me!

    The point of critique is to get opinions. The objective is not so much to get techniques and pointers on how to improve, although that would be nice.

    Believe me I have been to many critiques, by well known teachers and photographers. Sometimes even "experts" cannot put a finger on why an image does not work. Exposure may be OK, composition maybe OK, but put together, they just do not hold together. Put the problem to human inability to fully explain their thoughts.

    How are you suppose to improve? Be a better person. Read arts and poetry. Go to museums. Study painting, sculpture and pottery. Enjoy music. Appreciate furniture. And look at past works. Look at the works of past masters. Understand why they are called "masters", either landscapes, streets, documentary, nature, abstracts, portraits etc etc. It takes a long time for art to develop, Unfortunately the current climate of "formulae" and "quick fix" just produce imitations.

    Hopefully by being associated with arts in general and photography in particular, one can improve in his art of making photography images.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    . The rest of us dont have that talent so a formula is good to begin with, so the rule of 3rds isnt a helpful formula used since the renaissance period? If we look at kenna's images and there is no formula to break it down, then how are we supposed to improve? Just tikam tikam?
    There is a book called "Tao of Photography". It "summarises in detail" what makes a good image.

    Not with formulae, although formulae are undoubtedly useful.

    Not with the mind, breaking down components. But the mind is present, as a passive observer.

    But with the "third eye", forged by "Duende" as described by the Spanish Poet Lorca Garcia.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32

    In this critique forum, the main purpose is to improve via sharing. I think what student have done is to share works of photographer but not directly sharing his thoughts on this pic. I think most people want in direct critique.

    It like your maths teacher telling you answer is wrong and give your fellow classmate answers and tell you he's better but without telling you how he get it right is not really very helpful.. right Rev?
    Actually I did give my thoughts why this image do not work for me. Tome it is just one of those images that is neither here nor there. Nothing grossly wrong with composition or exposure. If I want to relly put a thought, I think it is taken in the wrong time.

    You analogy about the teacher is not quite correct. It would be more like I say "your answer is wrong. now go to see how your friend got it right".

    Perhaps this is not how other people learn. But it certainly is the way I learnt my photography. I am still learning. I started doing photography by myself, not knowing that there was (there was none here anyway) communities like this. But I found by extensive study of books and works why certain images work and why they don't.

    When one look at CS, very often one sees "What settings to take this?" as if were a certain set of settings would result in in great results! I am sorry. Won't work that way.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32
    It like your maths teacher telling you answer is wrong and give your fellow classmate answers and tell you he's better but without telling you how he get it right is not really very helpful.. right Rev?
    Quote Originally Posted by student
    You analogy about the teacher is not quite correct. It would be more like I say "your answer is wrong. now go to see how your friend got it right".
    My 2 cents... plus my D70, lenses, books, flash etc. =)
    I wouldn't say both teachers in yr examples are wrong... but it might result in imitation. Here's a rough quote Burne Hogarth (anatomy graphic artist expert) who says this to his students, "There is only 1 Frank (Frank Frazetta, fantasy art painter), stop trying to paint like Frank"

    I would say a good teacher would ask the students to share all their works, there is no right, there is no wrong, but keep in mind the fundamental techniques (or settings) & add yr own unique style (from yr artistic favorites & influences)

    I love it & hate it when people talk abt 'the masters' or 'soandso cool photographer' when critiquing a foto without talking abt the fundamental techniques as well. The benefit is that one gets to see what worked for 'soandso guy' but the damage is that one doesnt understand what went wrong with his pic. Its like saying to Ansel, 'trash this foto, it's boring & f***** up to me, forget abt your fundamentals, aperture or lens or film to use, just go look at a ton of Cartier's or Kenna's work, he's gooood'

    Talking abt art, student only mentions 1 half of the work involved in 'good or attractive or modern art', go to musems, see pottery etc etc. Magazines, movies are also eye-openers. The other half that always should be considered is the fundamental techniques. Without mention of the fundamentals, understanding of how other people's work is hard unless you're gifted.

    I love photography because I value how everyone sees things differently, making every fotograph unique in that sense. When I studied it, I knew I had to get the basic technique & formula right first at the same time looking at other people's work, asking how, why did they take that photograph?Otherwise, why would there be photography courses & schools? After that, I can then generate infinite possibilities of formulas that would work for my fotographs, essentially - my own style. So when I see a foto, I consider BOTH the formula (settings, techniques) used AND the fotographer's style, was he influenced by a certain moment, classical period, trend or master etc?

    Good lengthy discussion and input on a foto that was thought to be extremely boring.

    ps: I like the swans, it captured a moment of nature in city of concrete & wood amidst the fog =)
    Last edited by Rev; 8th July 2005 at 11:33 AM.

  13. #33

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    Rev, believe I value your thoughts. I do not, and never wil, ask for agreement. It is the perogative of anyone to have independent thinking and to disagree.

    But I notice that you do not write very often in CS. I do hope that you frequen this site often enough,and had read many posts.

    There is a great irony here. I have often been accused of concentrating too much on technical issues. There was a CSer who actually wrote to me in private admonishing me for my emphasis on techniques! And now I am being admonished for not being technical enough!

    Let me state my position. Art (Vision) and craft (technique) must go together. There are irrevocably linked together. Equipments are important. To say equipments are not important is in my opinion, nonsense. I am a strong believer in having fundamentals correct. My advice to fellow photographers is to have a strong technical foundation. Certainly not as an end in itself. But because having a strong technical fundation frees one to concentrate on the art, instead f trying to decide whethe one show use a raduated ND filter or not while the light is rapidly changing! There are of course the occasional guys, the talented ones, the geniuses, who seem to be able to make good art even when he does not know which is the front of the camera!

    We all learn by imitation. If you have children, you will know how they learn so much by imitation. There is nothing wrong in imitating. But it will be a little of a disaster if one remains at the imiation stage. Imitation helps one to understand techniques and how to make certain images. Right now I am trying to reproduce an image by Paul Caponigro. I had tried three times. I had failed three times. I was told by another friend not to try because paul Caponigro is a genius. And I will fail. But even if I fail, I will learn, and I will improve.

    As far as this image is concern, I am giving an opinion that it does not work for me. I find it dull. Others like it. So be it! Do we have to agree? NO! We are merely giving mpenza feedback on how we see his image. He does not have to agree with you or me. Why do I bring up Kenna? An illustration of how a moody image can be created without being dull (in my eyes that is).

    I have a lot of similar images like the one shown by mpenza. These images are very common in Europe. Mine are kept in cold storage, because while competently taken, they were dull to me. But I know what images are moody without being dull. And I will work towards that!

  14. #34
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    The photo has mood but it seems impact is lacking. I was thinking it could be that that sky and water dominate too much of the photo that the swans becomes more of a distraction and the building looks more like a background.

    I think I like Drudkh's cropping because it brings the buildings almost back into the foreground but I would prefer less sky since its colorless and uninformative... but then I prefer a printable 4R or 5R shape so I will settle for the sky. Just my take.

  15. #35

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    Student: .... are U alllll fired up? =)
    All i'm saying is I was looking for opnions on how the Craft aids the Vision and all the answers I got was abt Vision Vision Vision... mind if we continue this in PM? Because I think this post doesnt need any more lively & interesting debate. I'm glad we disagree =)

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    Student: .... are U alllll fired up? =)
    All i'm saying is I was looking for opnions on how the Craft aids the Vision and all the answers I got was abt Vision Vision Vision... mind if we continue this in PM? Because I think this post doesnt need any more lively & interesting debate. I'm glad we disagree =)
    No I am not fire up.

    At my age, it takes a lot to fire me up!

    Looking at what I wrote, I believe mostly (although at times in other threads I can be sarcastic and hostile, usually when people indulge in personal attacks) I write with consideration and calm.

    Again, I emphasize. It is alright to disagree. The purpose of critiques is to give feedback to the poster. Not winning points or getting another to agree with one.

    Absolutely no need to discuss further.Log off.

  17. #37
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    Mpenza's original picture to me lacks a strong point of focus. The foreground is too empty. The swans hardly add any interest. The buildings in the background looks too busy, I simply don't know where to focus on. While the mist has a certain moody effect, it failed to tell anything. The 2 spires are the most oustanding but they look lonely and lost among the buildings. I agree with some of the guys that a telephoto might be better in this case. Even the panaromic crop looks much better.

    Just a suggestion: maybe adding a slightly more blue cast might enhance the coolness better.

    Just my 2 swiss franc thoughts
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpenza
    This is a picture taken during a trip to Switzerland in 2002 which I like. Would appreciate your critique and comments to improve the picture.

    With the present tonal reproduciton, the image doesn't look misty, but dark/dramatic in the foreground with flare in the sky. I'd prefer much lighter tones.

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