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Thread: Old Supreme Court in B&W

  1. #1
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    Default Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Hi all,
    Been trying out my month old camera on some architectural shots. As the wide end of the zoom isn't wide enough, I decided to do this in portrait format and converted the colours to black and white. Comments are most welcome.



  2. #2

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    There are some lens distort on the right side. Use Photoshop to correct it.
    Also, your image lacks luminance. Try using the Zone System next time you shoot.


    Last edited by photobum; 12th July 2006 at 08:37 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum
    There are some lens distort on the right side. Use Photoshop to correct it.
    Also, your image lacks luminance. Try using the Zone System next time you shoot.
    Err... what kind of comment is this? I'm getting all confused just reading the comment.

    I think it is more helpful if you would state specifically what you meant by luminance, be it with respect to the Zone System, or through some concise example to prove show your point.

    If you are trying to ask the photographer to portray the picture with different zones represented or in a balance between the darker zones (Zone 0, I or II), the gray (zone IV, V or VI) and the whites (zone VIII, IX), just say so. As it is, I'm having difficulty trying to link "image lacks luminance" with "try using the zone system".

    Quote Originally Posted by rapier84
    Hi all,
    Been trying out my month old camera on some architectural shots. As the wide end of the zoom isn't wide enough, I decided to do this in portrait format and converted the colours to black and white. Comments are most welcome.
    I'm not going to comment on what is a good black and white photo, and neither am I qualified to do so. However, I find your comment/caption to the photograph interesting, especially the part about "the wide end of the zoon isn't wide enough". So are you saying that this is the shot make under a certain compromise to your visualisation of the image? What did you exactly imagine the picture would turn out to be? Did the limitation of the equipment give you the same thing as you'd visualised or did it give a better or worse than your expectation?

    Are these questions relevant to the picture? Probably not. But as this picture looks more like a forgettable image to me, I really cannot make the head and tails to why you choose to shoot this picture and show it for commenting. Why is the image forgettable? cos, it's simply another ordinary shot of a building we are so used to seeing, that it become uninteresting.

    So, at the end of the day, you just have to ask yourself, why did you like the shot? Did the shot give you the desired effects? If not, then work on it so that the image would not be just another forgettable image.

    Don't get too concerned with technicality of images. That can be easily learned or corrected later on. Try to figure out on what you're trying to portray first, and work from there. There will bound to be limitations on all equipment, and that's not necessarily a bad thing as well, cos sometimes amazing results occurred because of the limitation that pushes you to think out of the box.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cheat
    Are these questions relevant to the picture? Probably not. But as this picture looks more like a forgettable image to me, I really cannot make the head and tails to why you choose to shoot this picture and show it for commenting. Why is the image forgettable? cos, it's simply another ordinary shot of a building we are so used to seeing, that it become uninteresting.

    So, at the end of the day, you just have to ask yourself, why did you like the shot? Did the shot give you the desired effects? If not, then work on it so that the image would not be just another forgettable image.
    I can also ask of your comment, "what kind of comment is this?" Good or bad, interesting or uninteresting, the pix can still be put up for comment. Must a pix be good and interesting before he can put it up for comments? What if he doesn't know whether the pix is good or interesting? Then he can't put it up for comment?

    The purpose of putting up a pix for comments is to gather comments. Even if it's to get a comment from someone like you that the pix is "forgettable".

    Frankly, In fact, "good", "interesting", "forgettable" are all subjective, ie someone's opinion. That means that people can disagree. To you the image is forgettable. To me it is quite a well-done image of Supreme Court. I like the tranquility in the image. Perhaps it doesn't have the full range of tones as in the Zone System, but it's fine to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member The_Cheat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong
    I can also ask of your comment, "what kind of comment is this?"
    A subjective comment, which unlike the previous one, isn't confusing. If it's confusing, then please tell me which part is confusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong
    Good or bad, interesting or uninteresting, the pix can still be put up for comment. Must a pix be good and interesting before he can put it up for comments? What if he doesn't know whether the pix is good or interesting? Then he can't put it up for comment?

    The purpose of putting up a pix for comments is to gather comments. Even if it's to get a comment from someone like you that the pix is "forgettable".

    Frankly, In fact, "good", "interesting", "forgettable" are all subjective, ie someone's opinion. That means that people can disagree. To you the image is forgettable. To me it is quite a well-done image of Supreme Court. I like the tranquility in the image. Perhaps it doesn't have the full range of tones as in the Zone System, but it's fine to me.
    I did not say anything that he shouldn't put the picture up for comments. I barely expressed my confusion about why he chose to put up the shot for comment, that's all. There's definitely some reason why he like the picture in the first place to merit his decision for putting it up for comment. It's just that I don't see what it is.

    And as you'd correctly point out, all comments are subjective. And why shouldn't it be? Ain't all comments ultimately based on whether it appeal to you as a viewer? Just because I don't find it interesting, doesn't mean that others won't. Also, just because I don't find it interesting, it doesn't mean I should just shut up, and let only praises flow in copiously. That's self-defeating too.

    I think a lot of people here are just too courteous to express their dislikes about picture. The most that people tend to go would be hiding behind technicality flaws, which sounded neutral most of the time, so as to not offend anyone. There's nothing wrong with that really. But I choose the more subjective way comment, in hope that it would help in one way or another. That's just my way in commenting, in which I doubt I'd strayed far through the years (just check on my previous comments on other threads in this forum). If I offended you, I do apologise. Do you need me to write a whole long list of disclaimer here?

    Ultimately, every single picture is of some value to someone, most often the person who'd taken and posted it. But because all of us have different experience in life, not all pictures would be valuable to everyone. While I may dismiss this picture in this instances as something forgettable, it is not in my interest to judge whether a certain picture should or shouldn't be posted. If you like what you take, just post it. But please know at least why you like it.

    Geesh! And to think that the only reason why I'd posted a comment in the first place was to ask for clarification of the comment on the zone system...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    actually, i also have no idea what photobum meant by the picture has no luminesence.

    the best kind of criticism, is where you know exactly what you ahve to do, to improve.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    To clarify myself, what I meant is this image lacks 'glow' due to the photographer's incorrect placement of zones.

    In another words, this image is 'blah', 'flat', 'uninteresting' or in Ansel Adam's own lingual, 'lacks luminance'.

    In my darkroom lingual, print one-half grade higher, Dodge out some areas, especially the dome.
    Last edited by photobum; 12th July 2006 at 11:12 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cheat
    If you are trying to ask the photographer to portray the picture with different zones represented or in a balance between the darker zones (Zone 0, I or II), the gray (zone IV, V or VI) and the whites (zone VIII, IX), just say so. As it is, I'm having difficulty trying to link "image lacks luminance" with "try using the zone system".
    You have been a photographer for some time now if I recall correctly. You should know what 'luminance' meant by now. If not, there are many reference books available at the National Libraries, Riceball, Kinokuniya and Borders that will explain the meaning of luminance better than I do.
    Last edited by photobum; 12th July 2006 at 11:10 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by jdredd
    ...the best kind of criticism, is where you know exactly what you ahve to do, to improve.
    Sorry... I do the critique part only. I don't tell people what to do unless that person is sitting in one of my workshops.

    If I tell every Dick, Tom or Harry how to improve their images, then I don't have to conduct workshops anymore. Free information for all.

    You are a lawyer and you should understand what I meant by this.
    Last edited by photobum; 12th July 2006 at 11:08 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong
    ....I like the tranquility in the image. Perhaps it doesn't have the full range of tones as in the Zone System, but it's fine to me.
    To me, tranquil images are from Michael Kenna, such as those shown below. Good gray tones with clean, Zen-like 'luminance'.








    Last edited by photobum; 12th July 2006 at 11:58 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by photobum
    You have been a photographer for some time now if I recall correctly. You should know what 'luminance' meant by now. If not, there are many reference books available at the National Libraries, Riceball, Kinokuniya and Borders that will explain the meaning of luminance better than I do.
    Yes, I know what you meant. But do you expect every other person out there to just understand it without your added explanation, like your most recent post on the very serene and zen-like pictures of Michael Kenna (I prefer his series on the factories and chimneys though), which was very helpful.

    While it is very kind on your part to offer workshops to others (for free or for a fee), you can't possibly reach every single person out there, and presume that people who don't understand your terminology now would one day attend your workshop, or read enough to know what you're trying to mean in a few words. Hence, do attempt at least elaborate more on your comment.

    Hope you don't get offended by any of my words.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Old Supreme Court in B&W

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cheat
    ....Hence, do attempt at least elaborate more on your comment.

    Hope you don't get offended by any of my words.
    No... I am not offended. Being a technically-trained photographer, I talk in photography gibberlish, and I expect people around me to understand what I meant. People who have worked for me in the past know that I am a big f**king *******. I don't work well with assistants who have problem communicating or understanding. And I have no patience explaining to them. Either they read-up or leave my studio.

    As for this critique, there are no exceptions. If you understand, good. If you don't understand, its time to do your homework. This is part and parcel of your learning journey. When I was learning photography 29 years ago, my only teacher was my own intuition and lots of bad prints. People nowadays are blessed with digital cameras, digital printers, computers and internet forums. Make full use of your resources.

    As for my workshop, I am paid to teach and explain. That's a different story.
    Last edited by photobum; 13th July 2006 at 11:42 PM.

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