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relaxed

james sperry

New member
my attempt here was to invoke a feeling of "being relaxed". the intent was to use soft lighting for the atmosphere, warm colors to put the viewer at ease, extremely soft shadows and subtle shapes for ease on the eyes. i chose to use wine and books because that came to mind first and i really didn't think about what would put another viewer in a relaxed state.... and perhaps this was the downfall for this image.
overall, i'm happy that the image came to be what, i was seeing before the shot. the only question now is ..... when interpreting this image, do you feel "relaxed"? if not, what thought does it bring to you? ......... do you think atmosphere in an image can be set with lighting? and do you think the choice of lighting was proper in this image?
i'm sure there are probably millions of questions i haven't asked myself, but .... i'm putting myself on the chopping block to learn what questions to ask myself. if your interested in this type of photography and see anything that could help me in conecting with the viewer, my ears are open.

thanks,
brad

 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Brad,

We have to stick, for the moment with what you have recorded and shown. This image to me says here's alcohol to drink and there's a lot more and a book to read. There's no person and the entire image is focus. So at least I'd want to create a diminished number of things in focus, as one is not alert. Maybe one is going to have another sip. So the glass might be in focus. That means someone is actively looking.

So just dealing with the channel you have placed the discussion, these are my ideas for the moment. I'm just relaxing and more may come to me. BTW, what year is that? As a matter of fact, what year is this, anyway?

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So this is my idea for a relaxed mood with limited concentration and little attention to almost everything, except perhaps the next sip of wine.

I'd have two socked feet on the table, perhaps and a rim of wine freshly draining down the side of the glass, inside and outside. The glass has just been put down.

So as a start, here's the picture. In order to see it in one go, let's make it a tad smaller on the page and add white space to give it a milieu.






©James Brad Sperry "Relaxed"






I hope it at least is a start of setting a relaxed mood.


Asher
 

james sperry

New member
Hi Brad,

BTW, what year is that? As a matter of fact, what year is this, anyway?

Asher
actually, it's a 2009 welches ... lol. i wanted wine colored shadow under the decantuer and the glass. i couldn't remember that ever happening with wine in there so i started out with the juice.
if i'm reading your comment correctly, i'll have to set the shot up again and recompose. this could take a couple of days. not that this shot took me more than an 1hr or so..... it's just getting the time between family and work, is that ok?
 
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james sperry

New member
okay, i've made notes and going back to editing. i'm sorry for the short replies, as i have two kiddos and an upset wife right now.
 

james sperry

New member
great googly-moogly ....... hold on .... gotta resize this yet again.

mmmmkay .. let's go to extreme basics ... i've tried every image size i can all the way down to what is a pin head size image. when i upload it to opf, i'm scrolling for days to get to the other side of the image. but, if i post in that size... the image is 'breathing' ... ;) .. lol. what am i doing wrong?
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
my attempt here was to invoke a feeling of "being relaxed". the intent was to use soft lighting for the atmosphere, warm colors to put the viewer at ease, extremely soft shadows and subtle shapes for ease on the eyes. i chose to use wine and books because that came to mind first and i really didn't think about what would put another viewer in a relaxed state.... and perhaps this was the downfall for this image.
Hello James,
I'm sorry to say that this image does not convey "relaxed" to me whatsoever. The lighting, the composition, and the subjects convey strictly a catalog-image feeling to me.

Conveying an emotional state with a photograph requires invocation of memory of that state, not documentation of what you use to reach that state. (Otherwise you could just photograph a bottle of Valium and call it a day.) Conveying such visceral reactions as "relaxation", "fear", or "excitement" is a tough challenge. The travel and new-age-self-help industries seems to do best by drawing mainly on imagination.



 

james sperry

New member
i didnt' think about it in that aspect at first, as i stated in the original post. i went with my first thought, my gut instinct. while i don't use alcohol to bring a relaxed state, i just associated it with times when i'm not stressed out or worrying about issues that have an impact on either my family's life or my personal life. i can't enjoy it when there is chaos around me.
so i have picked a theme that could prove impossible to convey, while everybody is going to have a different idea of what 'relaxing', is. i have alot of studying to do.
as i think back on the themes that i have attempted .... and i see how i failed ... they feel more like a 'photographic blog' of how i viewed my life. wow.
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
as i think back on the themes that i have attempted .... and i see how i failed ... they feel more like a 'photographic blog' of how i viewed my life. wow.
It's not "failure", James. Personal photography devoted to expression, rather than documentation, is always an exhibit of how we viewed the world and how we felt at that time. That's the fun of undertaking such challenges.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Brad,

We have to stick, for the moment with what you have recorded and shown. This image to me says here's alcohol to drink and there's a lot more and a book to read. There's no person and the entire image is focus. So at least I'd want to create a diminished number of things in focus, as one is not alert. Maybe one is going to have another sip. So the glass might be in focus. That means someone is actively looking.

So just dealing with the channel you have placed the discussion, these are my ideas for the moment. I'm just relaxing and more may come to me. BTW, what year is that? As a matter of fact, what year is this, anyway?

Asher
"I'm just relaxing and more may come to me. BTW, what year is that? As a matter of fact, what year is this, anyway?" I see you took this seriously!

This was supposed to be humor! Relaxed means nothing is pressing, dangerous or in need of attention. Our minds might from pondering one idea to noticing a bird go by or appreciating a tree swaying in the wind or sailboats boats tacking across water in the distance.

Of course, I wasn't that relaxed at all, in fact not even a bit! I was teasing you because your picture is everything but relaxing as presented. It's surgically in focus from edge to edge and from near to far. This demands all of my attention and is definitely not casual or optional. As Ken suggestst more succinctly, the picture is as from a catalog.

My version of your channel of imagery is to have most of the given picture more softly presented and feet up as this is immediately indicative of "relaxed".

Asher
 

james sperry

New member
It's not "failure", James. Personal photography devoted to expression, rather than documentation, is always an exhibit of how we viewed the world and how we felt at that time. That's the fun of undertaking such challenges.
sorry ... maybe a poor choice of words ... when, I, say 'failure' (in regards to me), it's only a step in my process. i look at a failure as an influence ... it helps me to understand which direction to go.

"I'm just relaxing and more may come to me. BTW, what year is that? As a matter of fact, what year is this, anyway?" I see you took this seriously!

This was supposed to be humor! Relaxed means nothing is pressing, dangerous or in need of attention. Our minds might from pondering one idea to noticing a bird go by or appreciating a tree swaying in the wind or sailboats boats tacking across water in the distance.

Of course, I wasn't that relaxed at all, in fact not even a bit! I was teasing you because your picture is everything but relaxing as presented. It's surgically in focus from edge to edge and from near to far. This demands all of my attention and is definitely not casual or optional. As Ken suggestst more succinctly, the picture is as from a catalog.

My version of your channel of imagery is to have most of the given picture more softly presented and feet up as this is immediately indicative of "relaxed".



Asher
and now you see my delima with humor ..... i'm not real good at conveying that i'm joking without the all to typical, "lol". i'm somwhat scared to use it here as i'm unsure of how others feel about it at this site. is it unprofessional, childish ... etc..... but, back to the response. i was also kidding around. trying to let you know i was at ease and at the same time, thought it might be kind of funny to know.... sorry.

so, i've read all the comments so far (and hopefully understood what the veiwers were saying) and the most noticeable thing was "it looks like a wine advertisement". i was trying to avoid this .... lol. now, i want to try and save this attempt. i dropped the light level, used a filter to try and change the feeling. i tried several effects at changing DOF in the image .... but after reading all the comments, i found that when i applied any blurring affects, it gave the impression of being drunk and irresponsable.... i didn't care for it because i don't want to give the impression that i drink just to relax. so, i'm trying to give it a different 'flare'... lol (that's another joke).... what do you think if maybe using a distractor (drop the light level, add something hypnotic), such as what i've attempted here, to draw the eye away from the wine and the books. ... and change the theme to ... "relaxing in thought".



lol ...... and i gave it some more room to 'breath'... thanks for that tip too.
 

Rachel Foster

New member
Ok, first, realize I'm a neophyte and keep that in mind.

For me, there is too much in the composition. As in science, my tendency is "simplify, simplify, simplify!" (My twelve-year-old son just said, "Mom, that's not science, that's math!" Precocious lad, he is.)

Secondly, the circle behind the decanter distracts me. (Some sort of "lens flare?)

I would put more space between the decanter, glass, and book or maybe just use two of the objects.

I do like this sort of image, though. Love to see more.
 

james sperry

New member
Ok, first, realize I'm a neophyte and keep that in mind.

For me, there is too much in the composition. As in science, my tendency is "simplify, simplify, simplify!" (My twelve-year-old son just said, "Mom, that's not science, that's math!" Precocious lad, he is.)

Secondly, the circle behind the decanter distracts me. (Some sort of "lens flare?)

I would put more space between the decanter, glass, and book or maybe just use two of the objects.

I do like this sort of image, though. Love to see more.
i struggled with what to include in the photo. i tried just the glass .... uninteresting. i tried the decanter and glass ..... mundane and to much reflection. i tried the books, decanter, glass and candle spread throughout the composition ..... to much clutter and even more distraction. but these were my feelings after looking at the possible crops and being that i'm starting to show my efforts, i could be wrong in my feelings.

the lens flare is another test to circumvent the possible views as stated earlier in this thread. i'm kinda looking at it as it has worked but maybe to much. maybe i'll try a little less flare?

i'm happy to hear that you enjoy this type of photography and that there is a place for it here!!
 

james sperry

New member
It IS hard, isn't it? I'm currently working on a champagne series.
it is difficult.... i'm actually having fun with it. all the photographs that i have made have all just been viewed from my perspective and i haven't had the fortune of interactive viewers.

i would like to see some, if you don't mind. but could you please post them in another thread?
(did you see my post right above your last? )
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi James,

Advertising companies can charge premiums for commanding ideas built into an image. If it were so simple, the price to be paid would by market competition be trivially low. However, massive contracts are lost because someone can't come up with some idea that is interesting, magnetic, compelling as well as fun.

Delivering images with specific concepts is, as you can see, not easy. Some images can stand on their own. Some art must have not only a guiding title but also a museum docent to guide one through the esthetics, purpose, references symbology, or lack of them, composition and even disorder and the drive that made the art possible.

However, a photograph that says "relaxation" without a word, is still doable by you but you will need to do far better. Forget about lens flare and gimmicks! One can, BTW, limit hard definition without there being any doubt on the nature of each component.

I'd sketch the ideas and show them to friends and just write down all the ideas suggested. None will likely be right! However, the ideas will still stew in your head. You really need to push yourself. Do some research on your ideas. Look for people who are relaxing. Eventually the lights will go on and you will have that great concept you seek. In the meanwhile, just don't sleep with anyone who has more problems than you do!

Asher
 

james sperry

New member
the thought of becoming money for a photograph is nice but i don't want to think about that right now, although i understand the importance of it. i'm not anywhere near that point .... lol.

my problem is that my friends don't have an interest in any type of art (well, music) and i'm almost positive they would just give me the, "hey, that's cool!" routine. by posting here i can get an unbiased opinion (at least more so).

i understand your point .... lol.

thank you.
 
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