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  #1  
Old September 5th, 2006, 08:41 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default Rainer Travel Photography Article Now Online!

I would like to draw your attention to our new article on travel photography.

This follows the contribution written by Edmund Ronald from Paris posted several weeks ago.

My article on a unique style of street photography is published today. It features my own reactions to a small sampling of the personal travel photography of one of our Fine Architecture Photographers.

The article, "The Rainer Viertblöck Travel Photography", looks at his unusual and seemingly simple photographic style. I call this glimpse of his personal work, "Exposing for the soul!"
http://www.openphotographyforums.com...Kelman_001.php

If you read the article you may find that what at first glance may seem simple, is not. I hope you like my writing and enjoy the pictures as much as I do.

Then post your own comments here!

Thanks,

Asher
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  #2  
Old September 6th, 2006, 09:47 PM
Mark Schretlen Mark Schretlen is offline
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Thank you for posting this article, Asher.

Iím with you in that Iíve always found that B&W images force the viewerís attention to address the subject and challenges the photographer to de-clutter his image. What I find interesting about Rainerís vacation photographs is that it reminds me of a vague recollection of a place one has visited months ago - a deja-vu kind of feeling. So, perhaps Rainer is recording his future vague recollections of his vacation while he is on vacation. Iíve got to try this out myself sometime.
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  #3  
Old September 6th, 2006, 09:59 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Schretlen
Thank you for posting this article, Asher.

Iím with you in that Iíve always found that B&W images force the viewerís attention to address the subject and challenges the photographer to de-clutter his image. What I find interesting about Rainerís vacation photographs is that it reminds me of a vague recollection of a place one has visited months ago - a deja-vu kind of feeling. So, perhaps Rainer is recording his future vague recollections of his vacation while he is on vacation. Iíve got to try this out myself sometime.
Thanks for your impressions. Yes, it is so different in B&W. Why is it that color, which is what we see, can be so distracting in a picture?

Rainerís vacation photographs is that it reminds me of a vague recollection of a place one has visited months ago - a deja-vu kind of feeling. So, perhaps Rainer is recording his future vague recollections of his vacation while he is on vacation.


That is interesting.

Asher
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  #4  
Old September 6th, 2006, 10:46 PM
Mark Schretlen Mark Schretlen is offline
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Default Yes, color is distracting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman
Why is it that color, which is what we see, can be so distracting in a picture?
Color itself can set a mood, evoke an emotion, or even be the subject. I guess itís not too surprising that it can steal the show. A useful trick in composition is to turn an image upside down in order force yourself to look at form and space. An even better trick is to convert your image to monochrome to see if it remains compositionally sound. Yes, color is distracting.
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  #5  
Old September 7th, 2006, 04:02 AM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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[QUOTE=Asher Kelman]
Quote:
My article on a unique style of street photography is published today. It features my own reactions to a small sampling of the personal travel photography of one of our Fine Architecture Photographers.
Asher, I enjoyed reading the article very much. The writing was clear, it pulled me in and held my attention, and the organization made your ideas easy for me to grasp.
Quote:
The article, "The Rainer ViertblŲck Travel Photography", looks at his unusual and seemingly simple photographic style. I call this glimpse of his personal work, "Exposing for the soul!"
http://www.openphotographyforums.com...Kelman_001.php
The images are indeed fine art.
Quote:
If you read the article you may find that what at first glance may seem simple, is not. I hope you like my writing and enjoy the pictures as much as I do.
I liked your writing, and I enjoyed the pictures, Asher. I have a few comments regarding my reaction to the pictures.

1) As to b&w, I like b&w, but I also value well-done color images just as much.

2) As to composition (use of space and line) the examples you provide are masterworks, of course. I like the first one especially, and I think I like it better than the other examples precisely because the relatively sharp vertical lines of the buildings provide some contrast to the more-blurred water.

3) I know that a photograph's *appeal* to me has no connection with the inherent value of the image: whether viewed from the angle of commercial viability or from the standpoint of its excellence as a still image.

4) My taste in pictures has been changing over the past four years and will probably change even more, as I learn to appreciate more different styles, through the many fine images being offered at OPF.

5) At present, I value clarity almost above everything else--clarity, good composition, and that indefinable something which lures me in to inhabit the scene.

6) But, I'm learning. The discussion in the "Vernacular Architecture" thread is beginning to expand my taste a bit--that is, to change what appeals to me on first sight.

7) I guess I'm always going to be a first-sight, like-it-or-not-immediately person. But my taste may broaden.

One last comment: Rainier's pictures of Venice did not pull me into the scene. Perhaps that's because I did not come to them naively but saw them after first reading this entire thread--I was one step back, with my "instant appeal" mechanism disabled for the moment.

I'll look some more and try to gain an appreciation for the mysterious sense of darkness, the story, which may be waiting for me in the scenes.

Mary
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  #6  
Old September 7th, 2006, 09:22 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Mary,

Photography does not always have to be about what we see. Of course it's all about the light. We try to paint with it, but there's darkness to use as well.

This is much more obvious here, in Rainer's pictures, where it is already dark and a slow shutter speed is intentionally used.

With B&W, we're conditioned by the great masters to expect much more technically challenging graduations of tone with subjects of stunning beauty and interest.

Here, however, the apparently ordinary is photographed. One has to add one's own detail and that requires exploration.

Asher
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  #7  
Old September 7th, 2006, 09:27 AM
David Robertson David Robertson is offline
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[QUOTE=Mark Schretlen]. . . A useful trick in composition is to turn an image upside down in order force yourself to look at form and space. . .QUOTE]

Yes, I found the same with the back-to-front image in the waist-level finder of my Mamiya RB system. It really breaks a scene down into its component parts and it is something that I really miss with DSLRs.

Cheers

Dave
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  #8  
Old September 7th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Roger Lambert Roger Lambert is offline
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I know my reply here may make me unpopular, but I'm afraid I do not quite see the high art in the photographs provided in the article.

My files are full of well-composed, but blurry photographs that certainly have a surreal appeal. I enjoy many of them. They have not been deliberately produced, but are usually the product of technical insufficiencies on my part. I saw them a lot more with my old P&S, which was restricted to only having 100 ISO capability.

The scene of the canals at night by boat is an example of the type of photograph I would have produced in unavoidable fashion with my Fuji 2800 under those conditions of low light and a rocking boat.

While I may have had a pet sentamentality for such a picture, I don't think I could get away with proposing it as high art, as I was/am an amateur.

Just because a photographer has a well-deserved pedigree for architechtural work, should not, IMO, render his basically pedestrian works as high-art. I know this sounds dismissive on my part, but I truly can not appreciate any difference between these presented photographs and those produced by (my) poor technique.

This is not to say the presented photographs do not have their charms - I like them! The alleyway shot, especially, to my eyes has en expressionistic quality that is pleasing. I think I might like it even more in color.

What really struck me about the nature of the provided photographs is that they seemed eerily familiar, and not just because they reminded me of many of my own photographs.

I have pretty poor eyesight. Unless I have a brand-new prescription, I don't normally see the world with as much accuracy as most folks.

What the provided photographs reminded me of - when I realized the association - was exactly how I see the world when I have had one too many drinks. My focus is even worse than usual, my glasses are likely to be bouncing around on the bridge of my nose, and my brain is one step behind in its pathetic efforts to process all the (mis) information.

So, I must be honest. What I see is drunken photography. The deliberate interpretation of the world through the eyes of inebriation.

In this sense, for me, the images are powerful and evocative. And fill me with a small fealing of dread. :D

But they do not necessarily present me with a vision of the world that I find technically interesting, or particularly beautiful.
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  #9  
Old September 7th, 2006, 11:23 AM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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And imagination, I should imagine. <friendly smile>
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  #10  
Old September 7th, 2006, 12:48 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Lambert
I know my reply here may make me unpopular, but I'm afraid I do not quite see the high art in the photographs provided in the article.

........The scene of the canals at night by boat is an example of the type of photograph I would have produced in unavoidable fashion with my Fuji 2800 under those conditions of low light and a rocking boat.

.......Just because a photographer has a well-deserved pedigree for architechtural work, should not, IMO, render his basically pedestrian works as high-art. I know this sounds dismissive on my part, but I truly can not appreciate any difference between these presented photographs and those produced by (my) poor technique.

This is not to say the presented photographs do not have their charms - I like them! The alleyway shot, especially, to my eyes has en expressionistic quality that is pleasing. .............

What really struck me about the nature of the provided photographs is that they seemed eerily familiar, and not just because they reminded me of many of my own photographs.

I have pretty poor eyesight. Unless I have a brand-new prescription, I don't normally see the world with as much accuracy as most folks.

What the provided photographs reminded me of - when I realized the association - was exactly how I see the world when I have had one too many drinks. My focus is even worse than usual, my glasses are likely to be bouncing around on the bridge of my nose, and my brain is one step behind in its pathetic efforts to process all the (mis) information.

...........What I see is drunken photography. The deliberate interpretation of the world through the eyes of inebriation.

In this sense, for me, the images are powerful and evocative. And fill me with a small fealing of dread. :D

But they do not necessarily present me with a vision of the world that I find technically interesting, or particularly beautiful.
Roger,

How can I disagree with you? Your reactions are even beyond what I'd expect in admitting the evocative character of the images. Of course they are not beautiful as a child is or the Ponte Vecchio, at sunset, but, nevertheless, as you have reported, they do speak to one's emotions. Your feelings show some partial congruence to my own.

The fact that you could do likewise with your camera is not questioned, but we didnít get see them!

As time goes on it will be apparent that OPF will carry the broadest range of photography. You'll be puzzled, amazed, dismissive, challenged, entranced, encouraged, uplifted, shocked and or even angry.

The pictures we're not presented as any type of "high art". The photographer merely shared a tiny sampling of his very personal work. Just 4 B&W pictures; only 4!

That is my call to write about them. Your reaction is not to be criticized just my own choices.

Asher

Last edited by Asher Kelman; September 7th, 2006 at 02:22 PM.
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  #11  
Old September 7th, 2006, 04:50 PM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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Default Rainer's pictures and Asher's article

Quote:
Originally PMed by Asher Kelman
Hi Scott,

Did you have a chance to read my impressions on Rainer's personal travel photography style, hand-held slow shutter to get rid of superficial detail?

Sort of painting with darkness as well as light!

I'd love your feedback.

Asher
From the three examples that you chose, I liked the last one very much, thought it was an appropriate treatment, gave the alley an air of mystery. In fact it reminds me of how some of the streets in the old city of Jerusalem feel after dark, when most of the shops have closed and you keep looking for escape routes. I didn't get much out of the middle picture, and was intrigued but unsatisfied by the first one (waiting for the vaporetto). The spatial rythym of the figures seemed awkward, and if the idea was to convey the transience and insubstantiality of the waiters, I would have tended to take it the conventional way, with a braced camera and long shutter speed, leading to a very specific setting and generalized people.

Some of Robert Frank's pictures in The Americans are sublime examples of figures emerging from gloom and pools of light. Think of the bar scene with a glowing Wurlitzer jukebox, strong pools of light from overhead, a couple at the table on the left with faces resolved, perhaps having an argument, and the blurred shape of a large man leaving on the right. Pulling off that sort of scene makes me think he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads. And you know his working method was to raise the Leica to his eye, go click, and put it away...

I got a face collection that I really liked a few months ago, parents and friends watching a concert at one of our kids' schools. I happened to have a good angle and could brace the camera to avoid pushing the ISO too high. The result had an OK composition, and at least 20 faces that were worth taking a look at, none at all alike.


(you can see it blown up bigger in my Pbase "GR-D samples" gallery)

I tossed it into a discussion of resolution and whatnot for the GR-D on DPReview. Noone else saw what I saw in it. I got a bunch of comments about how it exhibited banding in the shadows... But the point of this digression is that I really enjoy sinking into the details of a picture, and only in special circumstances am I willing to be moved by artistic blur.

scott
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  #12  
Old September 7th, 2006, 06:55 PM
leonardobarreto.com leonardobarreto.com is offline
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Finally I'm posting my first image. After all this is a photography forum. (Now I can post any photo I want, yahoo)

Seeing the slow shutter images of Rainer ViertlbŲck I feel like talking in images and not in the fascinating (but unbearable at the same time) language of "fine art".

Maybe we can make a game in which the poster has to answer with to an image with another image...
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  #13  
Old September 7th, 2006, 07:10 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Leonardo,

I love your picture, especially the flair in the raincoat! I will not write an essay. However, if I saw this in a gallery, I'd be impressed. It is simple in design and engaging.

Scott's preference for a fixed camera slow shutter speed might have stabilized the scene beyond. As it is, I am happy to see it.

Asher
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  #14  
Old September 7th, 2006, 07:12 PM
leonardobarreto.com leonardobarreto.com is offline
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Ok, I culd not resit, here is one more slow speed travel photo

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  #15  
Old September 7th, 2006, 07:20 PM
leonardobarreto.com leonardobarreto.com is offline
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Asher, this is good enough "if I saw this in a gallery, I'd be impressed". Thank you.

I will go to Nicaragua for a very short family trip, but I will try to shoot something, I have been too attached to my display and keyboard lately, not that I have not been learning a lot here... I depart at 5am, so better go to sleap
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  #16  
Old September 7th, 2006, 07:26 PM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardobarreto.com
Maybe we can make a game in which the poster has to answer with to an image with another image...
OK, I'm game.



Sunset Sandpipers.

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  #17  
Old September 7th, 2006, 07:49 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Don,

That's with what shutter speed and is that one flock or a composite?

Leonardo,

You're getting a fan club! I've got people looking over my shoulder who are so impressed. Still, don't go selling you're large format camera just yet!

Scott,

The multiple faces in thought is unusual in that we don't usually get pictures of school kids unless they are cheering or playing or else srcubbed and line up for a team shot or portraits. Here we have many portraits of people in engaged in something that occupies them all as one. The blackboard has the word "Folklore". That fits.

Note, none of these images were posed. None had any interference by the photographer in what they we doing. These are samplings of life.

Asher
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  #18  
Old September 7th, 2006, 08:10 PM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman
Don,

That's with what shutter speed and is that one flock or a composite?
1/125th, 400 mm. That's a flock, single shot. Note that one bird was caught not in group-sync and still feeding (near lower right). This was previous shot, five seconds earlier. BTW I don't consider either of these keepers.



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  #19  
Old September 7th, 2006, 08:22 PM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick
\
I got a face collection that I really liked a few months ago, parents and friends watching a concert at one of our kids' schools.
What makes this image interesting is that everyone seems entranced by what's going on - not a bored face in the crowd.

Whoops, just noticed the kid asleep.

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Old September 7th, 2006, 08:26 PM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardobarreto.com
Finally I'm posting my first image.
Leonardo, for a first image post you sure picked a winner.

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  #21  
Old September 7th, 2006, 09:49 PM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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Scott Kirkpatrick said:
Quote:
From the three examples that you chose, I liked the last one very much...
Scott, weren't there four? I liked the first of four best--buildings on a corner, the waters of the Grand Canal below.
Quoting Asher's article:
Quote:
Here comes Rainer with his little Ricoh and here is his picture of the Grand Canal.
Could you look again. I'd like very much to hear your impression of that image.
http://www.openphotographyforums.com...Kelman_001.php
It's the one below Asher's first few paragraphs of text.
Quote:
I got a face collection that I really liked a few months ago, parents and friends watching a concert at one of our kids' schools. I happened to have a good angle and could brace the camera to avoid pushing the ISO too high. The result had an OK composition, and at least 20 faces that were worth taking a look at, none at all alike.
Scott, I really, really like this picture. You made me feel as if I were in the scene, the person with the camera, taking the shot. Such rapt faces, and all different.
Mary
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  #22  
Old September 7th, 2006, 09:51 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Well that is Leonardo!

Now are there other lurkers who do street or ad hoc non-posed photography?

Soon we'll be able to rewind the movie and then perhaps look at this joint body of work in a new light.

Asher
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  #23  
Old September 7th, 2006, 10:08 PM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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Default First effort with new battery

Don Lashier said:
Quote:
OK, I'm game.
Me too. Don, I love your sandpipers--both in flight and shown on the beach 5 seconds before.

I don't have anything that beautiful and blurry, caught on the fly.

However, I'd like to share my blurriest shot from my morning's wander around the Lipscomb University campus, today, September 7.

I was bracing my elbows to my sides, kneeling slightly with the G2 gripped in both hands, trying for the dedicatory inscription. But the camera shook, all the same, and the inscription is very blurry, not to mention the rest of the image.

In 1947, the old house called Avalon Hall was the college president's home. The president's son, and his wife--my older sister--lived in that house, too. And in the summer of 1947, with a shiny new B.A. in hand, I came up from South Texas to visit and lived there for two months, myself. Liked Nashville so much that I applied for and got my first job, at a book publishing company here.

So I"m personally sentimental about the old place. Filled up a 64 MB CF with shots of it and its environs this morning. The urn is in the back garden, with a sidewalk where students were walking to class, and cars parked on both streets adjoining.

Hope y'all enjoy my first effort with the re-charged battery.

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  #24  
Old September 7th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Roger Lambert Roger Lambert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman
Roger,

How can I disagree with you? Your reactions are even beyond what I'd expect in admitting the evocative character of the images. Of course they are not beautiful as a child is or the Ponte Vecchio, at sunset, but, nevertheless, as you have reported, they do speak to one's emotions. Your feelings show some partial congruence to my own.

The fact that you could do likewise with your camera is not questioned, but we didnít get see them!As time goes on it will be apparent that OPF will carry the broadest range of photography. You'll be puzzled, amazed, dismissive, challenged, entranced, encouraged, uplifted, shocked and or even angry.

The pictures we're not presented as any type of "high art". The photographer merely shared a tiny sampling of his very personal work. Just 4 B&W pictures; only 4!

That is my call to write about them. Your reaction is not to be criticized just my own choices.

Asher
Hi Asher

Thank you for your kind, accepting reply! :)

I will share some of my photos which I keep on my photo site, which I think speak to the technique and evocative feel we are discussing.

This first is with my P&S Fuji, on a freezing New Years Eve trip to Quebec City:


The next is as labeled, from the Yorkshire Dales. The effect is all in-camera, due to the fact that the photograph was taken at speed in an automobile:


This third has always had an appeal to me. Taken with the P&S through a bus window, bouncing through the streets of New York:


This last, again from the Dales:
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  #25  
Old September 7th, 2006, 10:27 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Mary I love you! Now a picture of someone. Look at Leonardo's image to get an idea of what this might be, although it doesnt have to be anything like that, but it should have life that still moves.

Asher
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  #26  
Old September 7th, 2006, 10:33 PM
Mary Bull Mary Bull is offline
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Will send you something more on-topic to swap this pic out with, probably tomorrow afternoon. Sorry for misunderstanding the parameters of the topic.
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  #27  
Old September 7th, 2006, 10:40 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Roger,

Image # 1 is all you need! If that was not there I'd be pick #3. However, the first one is there and excellent. The others, (except for #3, which in itself is interesting) are not, IMHO part of this discussion since there is no life there. No street photography akin to Rainer's work.

I find you picture of the man going up those steps, (or a women perhaps coming down towards us) is indefinite enough that we have to ask questions. There is mystery and so are pulled in, not necessarily by beauty, but against our will because we are searching for the human story.

That first picture is so very simple, ordinary and powerfully imposing at the same time.

The common thing about this type of image is the apparent simplicity and yet the intriguing power because we don't know enough.

Asher
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  #28  
Old September 7th, 2006, 11:05 PM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lashier
BTW I don't consider either of these keepers.



Sunset Sandpipers.

- DL
I can see what you might have seen as a flawed right hand side of this one, but it's nice enough to have been a starting point for a little exercise in developing the potential of "sandpiper flock startle sunset" pictures. I don't think it has been done to death yet, and it sure is a nice time for a barefoot walk along the beach.

I'll see if I can answer a picture with a picture, using dancing kids, or... oh, here's one -- dancing hasidim at a wedding. It's basically the "startled flock" challenge again.



cheers,

scott

Last edited by scott kirkpatrick; September 7th, 2006 at 11:58 PM.
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  #29  
Old September 7th, 2006, 11:34 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Roger,

Your Yorkshire Dales Series: Farm Abstract, is now interesting me more. It needs to be by itself. The foreground movement makes the place more isolated.

Asher
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  #30  
Old September 8th, 2006, 07:03 AM
Dierk Haasis Dierk Haasis is offline
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Shake your booty!



Play it, you played it for her ...



Swiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii sh
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