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Archive 2012 · The door and window problem
  
 
silvawispa
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p.2 #1 · The door and window problem


ben egbert wrote:
I would be happy to just get close to what I see.


I think you will have already thought about this.

I'm sure you're well aware of the disconnect between the camera and the images it produces and the perception of the eye and the mind. Learning the difference is a big part of learning photography.

The fact that the eye and mind process a scene in such a different way to a camera that make it difficult to reconcile the two.

I think what you want is impossible, as you can't record your physical and emotional reactions to a scene in a photograph. We can simply evoke them in others as best we can with our images.

I think this is why I'm happy to twist a photo to what my mind says is right, that's just how I felt it.

For me, if that means stepping away from realism, then so be it.

You're in an experimental frame of mind. Why not try it...



Oct 18, 2012 at 08:04 AM
ben egbert
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p.2 #2 · The door and window problem


silvawispa wrote:
I think you will have already thought about this.

I'm sure you're well aware of the disconnect between the camera and the images it produces and the perception of the eye and the mind. Learning the difference is a big part of learning photography.

The fact that the eye and mind process a scene in such a different way to a camera that make it difficult to reconcile the two.

I think what you want is impossible, as you can't record your physical and emotional reactions to a scene in a photograph. We can simply evoke them in others as best we can
...Show more

I already make images I like, my quest is to get to a place when ideal colors are peaked, and there is a blazing sunrise or sunset etc to improve them. In the end, finding the light and drama is a combination of luck and perseverance.

I got two images this year that were good enough to displace older images on my wall. One is an altered reality by the way. This seems like a really poor showing considering how hard I work at it. If I were being paid for this I would go broke. But it may be normal. Maybe I have already gotten the low hanging fruit in terms of easy to find landscapes.

The one thing I am unable to do is to make a landscape image that is pleasing to high level photographers. They probably would not like my wall hangers either. Civilians like them fine. But not people who have been exposed to compositional theory.






Oct 18, 2012 at 02:01 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #3 · The door and window problem


ben egbert wrote:
I would be happy to just get close to what I see.


The problem with that is that the eye/brain has physiological capabilities that are different from what the camera can do. The two can be fairly closely matched for "routine" things ... but when it comes to illumination levels / DR or WB, the camera can't come anywhere close to the amount of accommodation that we impart into what is actually there. Conversely, the eye cannot come close the the resolving power we are able to obtain from quality optics (esp. macro / tele).

In this regard, they are two very different tools, albeit with similar intent. Without recognizing these technical differences, a person can drive themselves to frustration trying to get one to act like the other ... kinda like using a spade vs. a backhoe to dig with. Both are digging devices, but neither can fully perform the way the other one does. Whenever we realize that there is a gap analysis in play between two things (whatever they may be), we can either accept the variance, or construct means to bridge the gap ... but expecting the two to do the same can be a recipe for frustration, aggravation, despair, lunacy and a loss of they joy we derive from our craft.

For me, I simply accept that the camera cannot see things as I see them in many instances. I accept that the camera sees things as it does and that will either be "very close" and acceptable ... or I'll have to change things so that it does emulate what I "think I saw". But for me, it isn't as much about what I think I saw, as it is what I want to show my viewer ... and what the camera captured is merely the starting point.

Think of it this way, our eyes capture the scene, then that is passed on to our brains where the post-capture processing begins. So now, we have our brains imparting interpretive information that produces an image in our minds that is not indicative of "reality" ... but rather "representative" of it.

Take that and toss on the fact that the leaf on a red maple can look dull purplish-burgundy in one light and vibrant fiery orange-red in a different light. The leaf is still the same color, it didn't change. What changes was

a) the color (and quality) of the light
b) our physiological response to the light being reflected off the subject

I can go out in my front yard and look at the same leaf throughout various times of the day, and I will see it as different colors ... even thought it never changed. I say all this to point out that chasing reality and associating it to as you saw it are not one in the same thing. The reality is that the leaf is exactly the same color @ 6am, noon, 6pm or midnight ... while what "I saw" each time was very different.

The camera's luminance and spectral response is different from our eyes & brains, but we can process the captured information to transform / align it to what we desire it to be ... whether that is something that emulates what we think we saw, what is deemed to be "reality" or what we want to convey to our viewer. If I am also the viewer, then what I "think I saw" and what I want to show the viewer (i.e. me) can be inherently aligned on such occasions. On other occasions, one has to decide what it is that they want to present.

This is in part why I espouse the "What's the point?" / "What is the message that you want to convey to your viewer?" In the case of the red maple leaf, I can present it in a variety of colors based on the lighting it reflects (with full integrity), or I can present it with a corrected neutral WB, or otherwise. If I'm shooting for a technical basis, I'd likely want to shoot it in full spectrum, neutral lighting. If I'm shooting for aesthetic reasons, golden hour is quite popular. But, the "reality" is that the leaf (itself) is the same color no matter what lighting I use. My "perception" of the leaf's color varies ... thus, what I see is not necessarily equitable with reality.

So, which is reality, what did I see, what do I want to present to my viewer? These are variables that are predicated upon active decision making, and depending upon the conditions and objectives, gap analysis of our tools may require a degree of intervention / modification to what our tools are capable of to achieve our goals.

To me, expecting the camera to present things as you saw them is like trying to fit the square peg into the round hole. If I accept the peg (or hole) as being malleable (little or much) ... and am willing to do so ... I can make the two fit nicely together ... otherwise, they never will.

Now, if the thought of intervening with reality is bothersome for someone, consider this ... choosing which film to load into a camera is intervening with reality. Loading Ektachrome, Kodachrome and FujiChrome into your camera will give you different results, predicated upon the profile the engineers designed into each. The same can be said for Tri-X, Pan, Agfa, etc.

The only reality with respect to photography is that photography is a representation, and no film, or canned profile can consistently record the world as we see it in the varying conditions that our eye/brains were designed to be so accommodating for. Thus, we are often required to perform gap intervention to bring the representation to how we want to present it to our viewer. In the matter of digital, this is the reason that it was designed with a linear raw gamma ... so that we could each become our own "film design engineer". Choosing how we want to PP to represent what was captured is no different than choosing to load EktaChrome instead of KodaChrome ... it is purely a matter of representative choice.









Edited on Oct 18, 2012 at 02:35 PM · View previous versions



Oct 18, 2012 at 02:15 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #4 · The door and window problem


RustyBug wrote:
The problem with that is that the eye/brain has physiological capabilities that are different from what the camera can do. The two can be fairly closely matched for "routine" things ... but when it comes to illumination levels / DR or WB, the camera can't come anywhere close to the amount of accommodation that we impart into what is actually there. Conversely, the eye cannot come close the the resolving power we are able to obtain from quality optics (esp. macro / tele).

In this regard, they are two very different tools, albeit with similar intent. Without recognizing these technical
...Show more

I think I understand this well enough and wrote about it in my web page. I know the differences. But the truth is, I am getting pretty much what I expect when I get home and process it. My processing for non blend images takes me less than 5 minutes. A well focused well exposed image is a piece of cake to process to my liking. I can usually handle DR but still struggle with focus.

Here is how I perceive the ideal image.
http://ben-egbert-photo.com/?page_id=186

The missing ingredient is usually drama. Often its good, but usually could be better. More often it is pretty bland. In those cases, there is nothing I can do (I don't have any desire to put a sunset from one day into another image).

Half of the reason to go out is to see the event in person. If I make one up, I have not gotten half the prize.

But even if I get the perfect sunrise at Schwabacher landing, it will be a static composition won't it? Thats because I compose for complete inclusion without regard to centeredness. I would not blow a great scene to make it pass the centered horizon rule.



Oct 18, 2012 at 02:25 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #5 · The door and window problem


"An idealized photograph would show the scene exactly as seen by the human eye."

The key point here is that it is a myth to think that this is achievable. I'm not big on "altered reality" either ... but when I take a picture and it comes out with "blue snow" it is because the snow is reflecting the blue sky light and the camera recorded it as such. Yet, when I walk up to the snow and look at it ... well, it isn't blue.

The camera simply cannot perform the selective accommodation that occurs within the brain ... thereby it is not possible for the camera (alone) to produce such a photograph. As such, we must be willing to interpret and intervene as needed to generate an image that is representative of our eye/brains representation that we aspire to convey to others.

+1 @ the experience.

I do essentially no composting ... mostly relegated to tonal value and WB accommodations to offset the gap between the camera's non-accommodating character and our eye/brain accommodating character. As to drama, it is largely a degree of DR. Now, if someone can quantify how much accommodation our brains impart for a given DR, I'd be interested to know that algorithm. However, short of knowing that ... it becomes a very subjective interpretive representation, when we are talking drama, imo.

Nothing wrong with complete inclusion. If that is the message you want to convey to your viewer, then that's what you do. That is a decision that only the person making the image can determine ... i.e. "What's your point?" / "What's the message you want to convey to your viewer?"

To me, the ideal photograph is the one that achieves the objective that the photographer has for presenting the image to viewers ... whatever that may be. Picasso's objectives were a wee bit different from Rembrandt, Renoir, Van Gogh or Michaelangelo. Aspiring to be literal is worthy, as is aspiring to be interpretive or aesthetic. Pencil, paintbrush or camera ... they are but the tool for creating the work. The same pencil that can draft technical drawings can be used for interpretive rendering ... it is up to the person holding the tool, to determine how to use it.



Edited on Oct 18, 2012 at 03:19 PM · View previous versions



Oct 18, 2012 at 03:10 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #6 · The door and window problem


RustyBug wrote:
The key point here is that it is a myth to think that this is achievable. I'm not big on "altered reality" either ... but when I take a picture and it comes out with "blue snow" it is because the snow is reflecting the blue sky light and the camera recorded it as such. Yet, when I walk up to the snow and look at it ... well, it isn't blue.

The camera simply cannot perform the selective accommodation that occurs within the brain ... thereby it is not possible for the camera (alone) to produce such a photograph.
...Show more


Presenting to viewers is at odds with shooting for personal satisfaction. Especially when the viewers are other photographers.



Oct 18, 2012 at 03:18 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #7 · The door and window problem


ben egbert wrote:
Presenting to viewers is at odds with shooting for personal satisfaction. Especially when the viewers are other photographers.


Which is why it is important to know who your audience is ... i.e. yourself, or others ... taking us back to "What is the message you want to convey to your viewer?" If the objective is to bring personal satisfaction ... any image that meets that objective is an ideal image, imo. For those of us asking for critique, it is typically because we aren't satisfied with an image (yet) and are looking to work toward that very goal (or something similar) with some help from others.

Much of AA's work was unsatisfactory to him ... hence his incessant proliferation at refinement efforts, even if others marveled over them (or didn't). It cuts both ways. At the end of the day, it boils down to the relationship between your image, the viewer it is being presented to and the message you are trying to convey.





Oct 18, 2012 at 03:22 PM
oldrattler
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p.2 #8 · The door and window problem


ben egbert wrote:
And my question goes unanswered. How are you supposed to compose a door? I still don't know.


Ben; Been following the thread and trying to stay out of it... I am a class "A" personality, raised in a military home so I can be crass without trying... Your question of how do you compose a door is simple, "Any way you want"!!! You don't feel it, don't shoot it... I personally find beauty is almost everything... I have photographed door knobs, hinges, wood patterns, paint chips, nail holes, etc.. After review I pitch 99%... Did I fail, no, I had fun doing what I enjoy... Did I receive praise, no, I never showed anybody... I wasn't doing it for them, I did it for ME... When I first started posting here I was actually told to give up photography, I sucked... That was after 30 plus years of shooting... I stuck with it just to "irk the Jerk" that made the comment... Today I am happy I did... Photography is a living, breathing, expansion of "Your" vision of life... Not mine, yours... Hang in there, it could be worse, you could still be working instead of retired... This is "My" opinion, and "I" approved this message...



Oct 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #9 · The door and window problem


Moving back to the door (and other mundane things) ...

Before embarking to create a visual image ... i.e. words only at this point ... tell me what it is that you want me to see, much like an author would write in a book.

Like Jim said ... "anyway your want" ... but first you must decide what it is that you want to tell me. There isn't a right or wrong way ... there is your way, with your voice. German engineering designs with a different voice than Italian. BMW known for their boxy bodies of yore went "out of the box" when they decided to incorporate Italian design into the original 6 Series. They chose what voice they wanted to use. We can do the same.

"Look, there's a door."

"The door was the kind of door that one sees reminiscent of old world craftsmanship. Its construction was solid planks that were wide and thick. The coarse grain was readily revealed by the late afternoon sun, and the massive rusted hinges were heavily pitted, yet remain as solid today as when they were first new. The joinery, once crafted with precision, now is showing the effects from weathering a century of hot summers and harsh winters. Some of the joints appear as tight as the day they were made, while others provide slender passages for light and air to pass unabated. Ornamental designs have been omitted, yet the markings of dents, cuts and scratches give us cause to wonder the duties this door has tended, befitting its fortifying demeanor."

Whether it be crafting with metal (cars), words or visual imagery ... we still have a choice at how to present our voice. I get that you choose to present your voice more like a BMW (straightforward) rather than a Ferrari (alluring), but I suppose you might be okay with a Rolls Royce (elegant, stately, majestic) as well.

It's your voice ... it's your choice.

Bring on the pics.




Oct 18, 2012 at 03:35 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #10 · The door and window problem


RustyBug wrote:
Which is why it is important to know who your audience is ... i.e. yourself, or others ... taking us back to "What is the message you want to convey to your viewer?" If the objective is to bring personal satisfaction ... any image that meets that objective is an ideal image, imo. For those of us asking for critique, it is typically because we aren't satisfied with an image (yet) and are looking to work toward that very goal (or something similar) with some help from others.

Much of AA's work was unsatisfactory to him ... hence his incessant proliferation
...Show more

This is the message in the essay I posted. That is don't show stuff for critique that you are satisfied with.

As far as being satisfied, I am seldom satisfied that I have the best possible image from any specific place. It usually falls short on drama but sometimes focus and DR. After I have shot a place a few times, I am almost always satisfied with composition.




Oct 18, 2012 at 05:12 PM
 

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ben egbert
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p.2 #11 · The door and window problem


oldrattler wrote:
Ben; Been following the thread and trying to stay out of it... I am a class "A" personality, raised in a military home so I can be crass without trying... Your question of how do you compose a door is simple, "Any way you want"!!! You don't feel it, don't shoot it... I personally find beauty is almost everything... I have photographed door knobs, hinges, wood patterns, paint chips, nail holes, etc.. After review I pitch 99%... Did I fail, no, I had fun doing what I enjoy... Did I receive praise, no, I never showed anybody... I wasn't doing
...Show more

Gotcha. So because this is a critique forum, if I ever have one I want critiqued I will show it. Unlike you my interest is pretty narrow because I basically only like to do landscapes and then only certain types. I have already done my experimental stuff to see what I liked.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:16 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #12 · The door and window problem


ben egbert wrote:
That is don't show stuff for critique that you are satisfied with.


+1 / -1

Sometimes it is still good to show as it can prompt alternate perspectives that you can tuck away as a nugget for future use. I've posted many an image that I liked, only to have others point out things contrary to my objectives ... no worries. Sometimes I pick up something in the process, yet remain headed in the direction I originally chose. Other times, I feel my pride getting trampled, take my ball and go home ... just kidding.

Besides ... it is amazing how much differently I see an image AFTER I've posted it (that I thought I was satisfied with). Sometimes, I go back and make changes/corrections ... other times I "let it ride" to see how much impact it has from others' viewpoint.

But, if you are posting to a critique and expecting accolades simply because you are satisfied by it ... probably oughta reconsider why you're posting and wear your steel toed boots, because you should be prepared to get your toes stepped on. After all, if it is already perfect in your/mine/our minds, others can only degrade it from there.


Edited on Oct 18, 2012 at 06:05 PM · View previous versions



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:19 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #13 · The door and window problem


Actually, I am usually bored with accolades, I usually don't agree with them either.

I am not even sure why I am still taking pictures given that I am the only customer. I talked it over with my wife last night about selling all my gear. But we both know I would be miserable without a hobby.

It boils down to this. I can expect to get maybe 1 or 2 images a year that are better than what I have already. Thats sort of the test. I am going to have to get my head wrapped around such low results.

There is no point in posting them. I don't seek praise, but get tired of the comments about the subject itself. I understand now that the subjects I choose (including the composition) are not going to be acceptable and that I ain't going to change.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:36 PM
oldrattler
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p.2 #14 · The door and window problem


ben egbert wrote:
Gotcha. So because this is a critique forum, if I ever have one I want critiqued I will show it. Unlike you my interest is pretty narrow because I basically only like to do landscapes and then only certain types. I have already done my experimental stuff to see what I liked.


Ben, I do sometimes post ones I really like on the landscape, wildlife, people , or B&W forums just to see what the "Experts" have to say... I have been pleasantly surprised to agree with some of the recommendations for improvement / enhancement... See, I sometime go brain dead and can not figure it out... When that happens I ask for help... Reminds me of two songs, Ricky Nelson, "Garden Party", where he says,"if you can't please everyone, please yourself." And The Temptations, "Ain't to proud to Beg"...



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:41 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #15 · The door and window problem


ben egbert wrote:
are not going to be acceptable


I think that this insinuates that there is a litmus test of approval involved.

I rather tend to think the objective is merely to solicit alternate proposal ... from which I can choose to "use or lose" the experience, perspective, voice and opinion of others. I don't think Kaden is too worried about whether or not others find his work acceptable ... as 99.9% of the world doesn't have a clue at what his objectives are. Yet, he shares his work with us to solicit input ... likely much of which has little impact on his infinitesimally ultra-narrow genre that he aspires to perpetually improve his mastery efforts of, but he still values the integrity of our input ... lest he wouldn't bother.



Oct 18, 2012 at 05:52 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #16 · The door and window problem


Don't get me wrong. I have learned plenty here. I am using your ideas about light and saturation. I am using Karens tips on masking all the time now.

In fact, post processing has been the greatest help in the time I have been here.

For my taste, the forum is a bit slack on image quality and a bit too quick to fix stuff in post. It is not really a travelog landscape type forum to discuss where to go and show what it looks like, (what I really need).

I finally printed the wheat field. Everyone likes it, but I still winch when I think what I did.

So it looks like what I need to do is post stuff where I need some post processing help. I am sure it will be good help. That would be images that are not as good as I expect.

I really won't get more than one or two keepers a year anyway and what I call a keeper is likely to get poor grades here. So those are not worth posting at all.



Oct 18, 2012 at 06:13 PM
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p.2 #17 · The door and window problem


Thank you all, I have enjoyed the discussions. My 2 cents, In life there is no reality, only perception. How we as individuals perceive life to create images reflects our individual souls. I truly admire those who can see the mundane and create an image of interest and emotion.


Oct 18, 2012 at 06:18 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #18 · The door and window problem


I frequently post because I'm having difficulty with a "sub-issue" or want to evaluate how I may have attempted something different in execution. The posted image may not even be one that I have any expectation of doing anything with ... only that it serves a purpose as a draft from which to address a portion of it.

The reference to "poor grades" to me insinuates a "judgment". Rather, I associate Critique to "critical analysis" ... simply having additional sets of eyes & minds assisting with the analysis. It is always my decision regarding which to "use or lose" of their observations & recommendations. I'm not asking them to "grade" my stuff ... just to let me know what they see and think ... to which I am not compelled to agree with or use unless I find it useful / valuable to my efforts. BUT ... I still appreciate and respect the contributions my fellow members make to assist me, even on those occasions when their ideas don't align with mine. Lord knows I don't expect them to be compelled to use mine ... even when we all know that mine are always right.

Denotation vs. Connotation @ "critique" ... means something a bit different to some vs. others.



Oct 18, 2012 at 06:26 PM
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p.2 #19 · The door and window problem


Hi Ben, as always late to the game. This thread is a perfect example of why you should NOT abandon posting. Thought provoking, intelligent read!!! You might be better as a thread originator than you are a photog(G).

The door:

Despite it being weathered, it's not an interesting door. As Bob Jarmen already showed, cropping does not make it more interesting. Taking pictures of subjects like these, you have to put on your architect/designer cap. Some building are crap no matter how you look at them. Others are design wonders, whole or in part. This door belongs to the former, and aging has not improved it. It's possible that working the small patch job in the LL and playing that off against the weeds might be a bit interesting.

The Window:

It fails in a number of ways. 1st, it should be shot straight on, not from below. 2nd soft edge shadow intruding on the LL interferes with the geometry of the overall design. If it had a sharp edge, it might have worked. Interesingly, the hard edge shadow of the window frame is distracting. The most interesting part is the off kilter pane in the R window. Perhaps zooming in on that might be a good starting point. As with the door, weathering adds little or no interest.

B&W:

Both don't work. Clumsy conversions. The window is the better of the 2.



Oct 19, 2012 at 03:56 PM
ben egbert
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p.2 #20 · The door and window problem


sadja wrote:
Hi Ben, as always late to the game. This thread is a perfect example of why you should NOT abandon posting. Thought provoking, intelligent read!!! You might be better as a thread originator than you are a photog(G).

The door:

Despite it being weathered, it's not an interesting door. As Bob Jarmen already showed, cropping does not make it more interesting. Taking pictures of subjects like these, you have to put on your architect/designer cap. Some building are crap no matter how you look at them. Others are design wonders, whole or in part. This door belongs to the former, and aging
...Show more

Hi Sadja:

I started my webpage for photo philosophy:-) Probably my style would be off topic at most forums.

Thanks for comments on how to shoot this. I find very few old doors worth shooting. The Moulton Barn in the Grand Tetons being an exception, but that door is just a tiny element there. I am a mechanical engineer, most stuff made from wood are low tolerance things and look poorly made. I once heard a carpenter call out a measurement where he said 3 feet, 2 inches and 5 of those little marks. I measure stuff with a micrometer.

The window needs earlier light to avoid the shadow. Not worth the walk back to it in my opinion. I also have no interest in carrying a ladder over there.

The B&W version were done using the B&W thing in the layers menu. I don't have a clue what a good B&W ought to have. Actually I do, its called color.







Oct 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM
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