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Silhouette of the human form in a composition.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I was photographing the students as they arrived at the very modern (and may bell be regarded as the "Juilliard of the West"), The Colburn Conservatory, which is like MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art and The Walt Disney Hall (By Frank Gehry) give Los Angeles an amazing cultural oasis.



Asher Kelman New Colburn Conservatory Student 2008 with Walt Disney concert Hall in b.g.

Here you can see a the silhouette of a lady, who happens to be fine violinist. The juxtaposition of the State of Art Walt Disney Concert Hall in the background is particularly meaningful because of the incredible cooperation between the two institutions is setting the highest standards in music performance and access. Students come from all over the world. Access depends on talent, ambition, devotion. Only a select few can meet the demanding standards. The musicians are thus drawn in from all over the globe. Once they are accepted, they have the finest accomodation, the best teachers and performance opportunities.

No one pays a cent!

That is real access and offers a major resource to talented students especially from poor communitties, all thanks to the generosity of The Colburn Foundation and a hard working bunch of local philanthorposts.

So the Silhouette to me represents the openness of the school to anyone who can excel. They will be accomodated...even ones that do not have that shape, for sure!
 
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Michael Fontana

pro member
Hi Asher


yes, silhouette is interesting; as it shows a different aspect of the human figure. One is not looking for the human's surface, like nose, eyes, clothes, etc but the movements.

Just a few days ago, a friend surprised my son and me, early in the morning, in the alps:
Roman's straight arm becomes a big importance!



The image is nicer, if the bottom is cropped a bit.
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Michael,

I really like your picture since it shows the devotion to the landscape and the unimportance of our particular identities in the face of this beauty.

Further, I do like the composition as is with no further crop. In fact, if it was my picture I'd look at adding enough to make the picture square. It then balances out position with that of the lit scene.

Thanks for sharing!

Asher
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
To the beautifull Michael's landscape image, I'll add an urban view silhouette snapshot to contribute with Asher's:

Chicago 2006
 
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John_Nevill

New member
What a superb and diverse set of images, I feel compelled to contribute with this contemplative silhouette set against a setting sun.

 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Nicolas, Michael and John,

These pictures really make me feel so proud of all of us in OPF! This is starting to give my ideas as to what silhouettes against a particular view might mean. Thanks!

Asher
 

Michael Fontana

pro member
Yep, the silhouette has a impact that is unique. Your example's show it well.
The contre-jour; is it backlit in english? - is not easy to handle; but one of the nicests lights possible.

It wasn't me taking the shot, but my friend Niklaus, to be correct.

Asher, "unimportance of our particular identities in the face of this beauty" .... I' ve been living for more than two years higher than 6700 feets; and can only agree.

Nicolas, you might have the same feelings towards the sea.

That's the reason, I sometimes go back. Which is a intro to the next silhouette; a shot I did there at night. Sorry if to much off-topic:


 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Don,

That sure is the most active of all the pictures, but besides the special beauty of the place, what is going on? What's with the chain and metal boxes and the fire?

Asher
 

Don Lashier

New member
> besides the special beauty of the place, what is going on? What's with the chain and metal boxes and the fire?

Asher, that's lighting the torches for firedance on the beach of course.


- DL
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Nothing to say! I'm just enjoying this beautiful sight! Wow! Where does one get the setup?

Is it Native American?

Asher
 

Greg Rogers

New member
Surely am glad Asher asked the question, Don. I find your picture (posted as explanation) simply mesmerizing. Outstanding.
-Greg
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
There's something so basic about fire against water sky and land held in mans hands.

It's like say, guys, were here, we are here, powerful too!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I have no fire to show. However I saw this guy contemplating being drilled by a dentist!

 
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Eric Hiss

Member
> besides the special beauty of the place, what is going on? What's with the chain and metal boxes and the fire?

Asher, that's lighting the torches for firedance on the beach of course.


- DL
Don,
Really nice shot. I've shot fire spinners before and know that what you've got is very well done.
Regards,
Eric
 
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The silhouettes are a small portion of this image, but they make it work for me.


This is the back of the Asbury Park Casino, on the verge of demolition at the time of the photograph, but now undergoing restoration. The two people standing at the edge of the platform provide sense of scale and a visual counterpoint to the structure. It's not staged, but I did wait for them to assume an interesting posture and waited while other people walked through the frame and the clouds moved. Even with architecture there can be decisive moments.

That black half circle at the top of the frame I sometimes crop out, but for other photographers, I leave it in as a photographic anomaly. It is an example of true solarization, where the sun is so overexposed that it appears white on the negative (and black on the print).
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
David, yes the silhouettes do make the picture, although not the principal subject.

What film or digital camera?

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
David,

Your picture is interesting and a challenge. In the end, I was won over!

I couldn't fathom why it was the shape it was, thinking that cropping away the top of the sky and much of the foreground would be necessary to maximize the impact. However, in spite of blocking this that and the other, I finally came to realize that the composition "as is" works and is needed to dwarf the building by the power of nature just as the building overtowers the tiny people.

This fits in with the idea that this building is at the end of it's term of life.

Asher
 
I could have gotten closer, but I wanted the sea and the beach, because they are very much part of the spirit of this place, and there were great clouds that day, so I couldn't pass up the sky. I used some front rise to get a little less sand, more sky.
 

Don Lashier

New member
Asher, I think it's gotta be film for solarization to happen?

edit: never mind - where did those other posts come from? duh page 3.

- DL
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi,. Asher

Here you can see a the silhouette of a lady, who happens to be fine violinist. The juxtaposition of the State of Art . . .
To me, the figure doesn't really come off as a "silhouette" but rather just as "seriously underexposed".

I realize that a silhouette doesn't have to be strictly devoid of luminance detail to qualify as such, but somehow for me this is just in that no-(wo)man's land between a normal image and a silhouette.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So amazing to see the difference with a person in this shot. I remember a similar shot without a person.

Mike could you look at this image with the top cropped from .5" above the head. The sun is needed when there's no man. with the man, the subject is now made without the extra 1.5" or so.

How far is this from S.F.?

Asher
 

Mike Spinak

pro member
Hi, Asher,

Yes, I also have a version with person in it. Good memory!

I just looked at it with the top cropped off, to .5 inch above the head. I appreciate your input, but I prefer it as is.

This is in Yosemite National Park, probably about a 5 hour drive from S.F., I'd guess.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Mike,

Of course the image as is is well composed, works and is entirely wonderful. what just amazed me was that by removing the upper part, the power in the mans back and intent id increased 10 fold. This is such an impressive transformation that I will always come back to you photograph as an example of simple cropping changing the delivery of essentially what should be the same image.

Asher
 
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