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  #1  
Old March 24th, 2013, 04:15 PM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon: Chris Calohan
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Old March 24th, 2013, 09:05 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon



Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon: Chris Calohan


Chris,

This is a fun pastime and a lot less costly than psychotherapy! No permission is needed, just patience.

I've come back to your picture, after time with the kids and realize I've skipped that hard part: a critique. Well, I really feel that this is one of the many examples of where the gurus and professors are up the creek with their advice to "frame close and crop closer". This picture needs atmospherics and unless there are mermaids, crocodiles or rats swarming around the boats, there's nothing of interest to be seen close the the main subject; boat plus man with fishing rod. We desperately ache for a feeling of the space he's in, contemplating the universe and his fish. So we need to withdraw by pacing backwards or else switch to a wide angle lens. My rules is that if one really cares about a shot, get coverage, all the way around. It's easy to stich of the lens front remains fixed and the body is rotated around it. One can always jettison the extra files when one is in front of the screen. The only work this does not apply to is staged planned shooting for vertical markets: weddings, product, crime scenes, science and fashion where you better know what you're doing or else you will waste everyone's time and have an ineffective workflow.

For art, extra photographic coverage all around the subject of interest, keeps the picture "open-ended". Today, for artwork with the camera, always leave an opening for creativity, where the adjacent scenery has its own interest. Then, sitting in front of a huge screen, one may find that, what one would have cropped at the shoot, might overlook a dozen better possible compositions.

Next, I'd want to stay until the fisherman turned. We don't need detail, but we'd like some evidence of a face and not just the back of his head with him looking at the wall!

But, presumably, you shot more pictures? Or not?

Asher
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  #3  
Old March 24th, 2013, 10:46 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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I'll do what my Old Man used to do with me when we visited the galleries when I was just a boy.
'Tell me what you see, Tommy'

I see a man in a boat. It's an old boat, not very sea worthy by the looks and more for just storage and sitting than anything adventurous. It's in a river by the looks, a muddy one at that and it may be autumn by the look of the leaves floating. The current is strong, pulling on the line and he keeps close to shore for fear of being swept away or tipped. He may even be tied up with one of those ropes. It's close to midday by the size of the shadows so, in spite of the suns intensity it can't be too hot, but warm enough to let his arms take in some rays. He's got his favourite fishing hat on and a relatively new shirt he probably got from work. He's a laborer and works his body hard. His leanness and strength show in his arms. He may even be unemployed at the moment if he is fishing in the middle of the day.

The viewer can read this for themselves. What they cannot see is the mans connection to this place. He has been confined by the photographer to a space between the water and the wall; trapped maybe or isolated. There is nothing here to see how he got there or how he will get out. The boat and he belong as does the water and the barnacles; components in a relatively tranquil scene that would catch the eye of the photographer. We could be on any river bank in any place and we will see similar scenes. It's what men do when life gets a bit tough or they need some space. In sitting in the boat contrasted against the shade of the steep bank, our fisherman is in a small world of his own. Even the fishing line ending at the frame tells us there might be more but it's not important.
As we work through the process of examination and interpretation we can move from description to metaphor quite easily with such a scene. It's familiarity strengthens its connection to symbolism. Even Asher has spotted that by suggesting its therapeutic value.
You have reminded me that taking time out is worth the risk, even if the boat is shaky and the water is muddy.

Cheers, Chris
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Old March 25th, 2013, 05:55 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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A couple of issues glare at me with your image Chris. Some of what I see have been dealt with by others.

First and foremost, I see very weak composition in the frame. Everything is just centred and awkwardly placed. The horizon line would be much stronger if it were moved up the top third of the frame with more water showing and less wall - - - or as I prefer, down to the lower third of the frame with little water showing and more wall.

The fishing line and direction in which the fisherman is looking, are part of the awkwardness I referred to. They are heading out of the left edge of the frame and the line is stretched across and cut off insignificantly.

And of course as has been mentioned - seeing the fisherman's back does not draw attention for the viewer and would have been so much better if turned the other way or if we even got to see some of his face turned toward the direction of the fishing line.

There may be a subtle story that you are seeing - but I think that I would have moved around and looked for a much better position to shoot from, or maybe as Asher said - been a bit more patient until the man or boat moved into a better position - - - possibly even a moment where he has snagged a fish and the excitement that surrounds that.

The better angle may have come from a view from farther down the river shooting on an angle or it may even have come from being on the opposite side - maybe on top of the wooden wall if that was possible to get to. I do find the boat intriguing and would definitely have found a way to tell a story with that.

Sometimes I've waited long periods of time in anticipation of the the right shot coming together or I have moved to different angles to try and find a stronger image - - - and it doesn't come together. Regardless of how much potential there is in the scene, I may just have to leave and forget it that day. What I always do - if there looks to be potential - - - is keep a mental note of where I am and what I envision the scene to be, and may return some other day to see if the elements are there that will make it work.

--------

Critiquing this image, just helped me come to this realization

. . . Being an accomplished photographer is a little like being an serious fisherman. There is a lot of preparation and visualization of the best location, methods, rods and lures for the type of fish you want to catch - - - once you get to your starting point you will need a lot of patience and may have to wait a long time for results, may have to move to different areas in the stream or shimmy your boat a bit or move it up stream or down stream to get better results, you may have to work the line or change technique, line weight, bait, or lure in an attempt to improve your advantage. And sometimes - with all that patience and effort, you may come away empty handed. When it does all come together though - there is nothing more exhilarating or satisfying, and you find great satisfaction in showing everyone else your accomplishments, and because of your extra efforts they find your story or final results compelling as well. . .

---------


Thought that I'd show you a crop of your image, that may help you recognize how much good composition can add interest to a photograph. In this case, it is being attentive to the rule of thirds. The horizon line is toward the bottom of the frame and the man is moved more to the left side of the frame. The fishing line is insignificant, so it doesn't matter where it is cut off.

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Old March 25th, 2013, 05:58 AM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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Well, I did crop considerably in the camera on this shot. There are a lot of distracting elements in the background which include a chemical plant, high power lines, abandoned buildings, etc which didn't lend themselves to creating a lazy (for you, Tom) Sunday afternoon.

There may have been some irony to his fishing in a near cesspool area but I couldn't make that as obvious as I wanted and I didn't want to risk going back to the car for a different lens and him leaving the area. As it was, I was trespassing on one of the abandoned properties and wait as I dared long enough to do, he wouldn't turn around. It's not one of those neighborhoods where you leave a car parked longer than five mintues unless you are donating parts.

This is the only shot where he allowed the Jon boat to slip a little more back into the channel and I am guessing by all the signs, he too was trespassing as he would pull his mooring line frequently and ease himself back around the pilings, out of sight of the background chemical company.

This is not color corrected and barely cropped:

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Old March 25th, 2013, 06:06 AM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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Good suggestion, Robert...I shall have a look at that in a few. It's always a cunundrum when you have limited access, POV, lighting, etc to make a shot as where to point the lens and what is it you want most to emphasize. I was far more intrigued with the light and water but as much because the previous night we'd had a horrific wind/rain storm and there was so much leaf debris in the water as to make it almost unrecognizable as water...but as I see now, I am probalby the only one who could appreciate that little bit of interest.
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  #7  
Old March 25th, 2013, 06:28 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Originally Posted by Chris Calohan View Post
Well, I did crop considerably in the camera on this shot. There are a lot of distracting elements in the background which include a chemical plant, high power lines, abandoned buildings, etc which didn't lend themselves to creating a lazy (for you, Tom) Sunday afternoon.

There may have been some irony to his fishing in a near cesspool area but I couldn't make that as obvious as I wanted and I didn't want to risk going back to the car for a different lens and him leaving the area. As it was, I was trespassing on one of the abandoned properties and wait as I dared long enough to do, he wouldn't turn around. It's not one of those neighborhoods where you leave a car parked longer than five mintues unless you are donating parts.

This is the only shot where he allowed the Jon boat to slip a little more back into the channel and I am guessing by all the signs, he too was trespassing as he would pull his mooring line frequently and ease himself back around the pilings, out of sight of the background chemical company.

This is not color corrected and barely cropped:

Taking your first shot and this one into consideration - I think that were just shooting from the wrong location. I understand your concerns, but as photographers we all have them and we all have those perfect settings that are gone by the time we've changed a lens or moved to a different spot. That is part of being a photographer. There are a thousand missed shots and even many missed National Geographic moments that can never be repeated - with every serious photographer.


-----
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Old March 25th, 2013, 06:32 AM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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It's always interesting to see your image through other's eyes. Robert's vision is quite different from Asher or Tom and yet I think mine was closer to theirs when I first saw the shot. Upon exploring Robert's, I understand his visioning for how to place the greatest emphasis and still get the ambiance of the original thought.



A Lazy Sunday Afternoon: Chris Calohan
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Old March 25th, 2013, 02:34 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Rule of thirds already.
I thought that died a slow and deserving death. Don't tell me people are still using it. Probably members of the Flat Earth Society and Landing on the Moon Conspiracy theorists.

Stick with the original, Chris.

At the End of the day, Robert, if you do catch a fish and show it to someone and their response is ' its a bit small. Any chance of going back to catch a catfish?' The whole point of the fishing expedition would be down the creek, so to speak.

I'm retiring to my shed for the rest of the day.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 03:50 PM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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What do you teach, Tom?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 04:37 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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probably members of the flat earth society and landing on the moon conspiracy theorists.
probably! lol


---------
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Old March 25th, 2013, 08:39 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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What do you teach, Tom?
My employers of the past and present have expected me to teach physics, cabinet making, Braille and photography. Secretly I teach people how to develop their ideas into something tangible. They learn to computation, sharpen a chisel, operate a braillewriter and press the button on a camera. That satisfies the curriculum boards. What satisfies the student is they have created something original and unique which won't blow up, fall over, be unreadable or can't be hung on a wall somewhere.
Hopefully, I teach them to be better people, with the confidence to do things their way and not of the populus.
I don't always succeed.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 09:18 PM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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Well, having done pretty much the same thing for the last 20 years, I do understand...fortunately, I am retired.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 12:03 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon: Chris Calohan
I feel a bit ashamed to add something after so many good points have been brought forward, but what I find distracting is that the head of the fisher is aligned with the opening between the two walls of planks. I wonder whether he is fishing or looking behind the opening.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 01:39 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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I feel a bit ashamed to add something after so many good points have been brought forward, but what I find distracting is that the head of the fisher is aligned with the opening between the two walls of planks. I wonder whether he is fishing or looking behind the opening.

Funny you should point that out, Jerome. I must admit, I missed that entirely, and even was thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice if light was shining through some chink in the wall!". However, that dark gap came up to my mind as a "repeat" in the series of massive wooden posts. So it registered as nothing more than that! I was concentrating on the man.

Now it becomes easier. I'd play with those lights and make them immediately catch one's attention and even "back-light" the fisherman and boat in one strip coming from that gap.

Asher
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Old March 26th, 2013, 04:14 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Well, having done pretty much the same thing for the last 20 years, I do understand...fortunately, I am retired.
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Well, having done pretty much the same thing for the last 20 years, I do understand...fortunately, I am retired.
Who isn't these days. Unfortunately Christine doesn't quite see it my way. She figures while I still breathe I can work. I can hold my breathe for about 2minutes if I try. That's long enough for her to kick me into the next breath and a new activity.
I started teaching in 1967 and have done so in some form or other since. Christine says I can't help myself. Some may say I'm a pigheaded old bastard. Some say worse. I agree with all of them. Unfortunately some seem to think they can get the better of me. I currently have 43 students in real time and another 20 on line with a few that get a freeby when they bribe me with morning tea or lunch.
I tell them as little as possible, which is about the amount I know anyway, ask a lot of questions and send them on a merry goose chase in search of the truth. I know they'll never find it and I think they know it as well but they seem to enjoy the hunt.
I never tell them I like their pictures or they have got it right or wrong; well, almost never. They have to tell me if they got what they wanted and if they didn't then find out how and get back to me.
Finally, they must put up with my swearing, bad jokes, blasphemy and sarcasm, for which I am undeniably a leader in the field.
My favorite strategy is to start an argument. It's amazing how much information can come to the surface when there is a good verbal altercation in progress. Those with the loudest voice must also have the strongest evidence.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 05:48 AM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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I think you and I are birds of a feather. That was close to my teaching philosophy. I used a lot of Socratic questioning to get them to their own truths. I told them from day one, the resposibility for their education lay in their hands, my library and attending any lecture I might bestow upon them. Other than the technical aspects of this is a camera, this is a lens, this is a roll of film, these are chemicals, and the subtle nuances of putting them altogether, I spent much more time trying to get them to understand what drove them to make their shots, what made one image art and another a snapshot.

I loved teaching. I loved most every kid I ever had the pleasure of in a classroom, but I despised with an equal passion the administration from the lowliest assistant all the way up to the head of the Department of Ed in Tallahassee. I especially hdisliked the legislators who made all the rules, when not one of them had ever spent more than 15 minutes in a classroom. The irony was more than even Mr. Sarcastic Me could tolerate.

I saved all my extra pennies from the day I started working (senior year in high school), parlayed some penny stocks into reasonable investments into better investments, and almost to the day I hit 66, I was G-O-N-E! I still keep in touch with a lot of students on Facebook and through letters and cards - yes, some of us still write on paper and occasionally when I do an alt pro workshop, some sign up and join the party.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 05:55 AM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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As to where my fisherman is looking, to the crack in the wall, to the light as it would be ideally, shoulda-coulda-woulda...like Robert Watcher did point out, sometimes the best shots are missed.

At some point in the future, I'll revisit this image and fix what I want, print and give it to the Masonry guy fishing. After all, his phone number is printed on his back; he should be easy to find.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:09 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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give it to the Masonry guy fishing. After all, his phone number is printed on his back; he should be easy to find.
Better yet then - - - give him a dingle and ask when he's going out again. Will save a lot of wasted time trying to make things better in photoshop. He might even take some direction.



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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:10 AM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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Next Saturday. Same place, same time. lol.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:21 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Next Saturday. Same place, same time. lol.
man I wish they had smileys on this forum. :)


----

Last edited by Robert Watcher; March 26th, 2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 08:54 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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man I wish they had smileys on this forum.
Smileys sometimes work, sometimes don't. I can't figure it. ;) or :(
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  #23  
Old March 26th, 2013, 02:38 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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The fisherman (now called 'fisher' under the rules of the new politically correct bulshit) will take any shot you give him. He couldn't give a rats arse if it has any aesthetic value. He'll be just plain delighted you took the time to do it for him. Genuine human kindness over-rides all other principles.

Maybe that was the purpose of the photo in the first place. When you put it in that context, the image takes on a new glow. In fact, quite inspiring. If it works out you have a new best friend, Chris, you will value this photo for more reasons than some silly old crop.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 03:45 PM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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I just hired him to build me a new mailbox/driveway light and pad for my trashcan on pickup day...he's a good mason and offered a fair price. No one else would take on such a small job but his philosophy is if the money is green and he can pay his bills, the job is never too small. Good thinking, I'd say.
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