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Archive 2013 · On visualization and Planning
  
 
dbehrens
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · On visualization and Planning


I did 35mm b/w in the late 60's early 70's and thoroughly enjoyed those years! For me #1 is the winner with the way you placed the rocks in the foreground - and the composition of closer shoreline with prominent elephant ears - and the tree trunk in top right. It has a very deep south feel to it. Lovely!
Dave



May 10, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Dougo
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · On visualization and Planning


Stunning work, love the clarity and contrast in these.

Cheers Ray



May 11, 2013 at 12:10 AM
AndrewThomas
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · On visualization and Planning


Terrific black and white work here Jose......I always know your posts will be worth a look!
cheers Andrew



May 11, 2013 at 04:19 AM
Tim Knutson
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · On visualization and Planning


Jose,

Two images to be proud of. I'd love to see them on paper.
You should be proud of that camera as well.



May 11, 2013 at 04:42 AM
jsuro
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · On visualization and Planning


Thanks again for the kind comments. I will be posting another image from this shoot that supports Dan's POV.

Best,

Jose



May 11, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Fo Tollery
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · On visualization and Planning


gdanmitchell wrote:
...
3. Having a sort of "bank of visual components" in your mind. At one point I thought that perhaps I was odd this way, when I realized that I carry around a sort of mental archive of elements of images - textures, qualities of light, forms, types of motion, juxtapositions, and more - and often, though far from always, when I make a photograph I am, to some extent, finally discovering the real embodiment of these bits and pieces. Eventually, from conversations with many other photographers, I found out that this experience is extremely common, and may be part of
...Show more

Excellent description. I'd have never thought of expressing it that way, but as soon as I read your message, I couldn't help but think...'Exactly!'

I am definitely a 'hunter'. For me, the process of discovery is a significant part of the enjoyment I derive from creating images. In a sense, every time I go out to shoot is a scouting session.....even those occasions when I'm visiting locales I've been to previously and have some pre-visualized notion of an image I'm hoping to make....discovered on a previous scouting session.



May 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Fo Tollery
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · On visualization and Planning


While they're both fine images, the first works much more fluidly for me based on what I believe you are attempting to portray given your description. The 2nd feels a hair cutoff on the top for that purpose.

The 2nd actually works best for me if I browser crop off virtually all the foliage on the top and allow it to be a pure study of the water's movement in the foreground. That works as a terrific image to my eye.

It is always a treat to see your work. I always find something inspirational in your images.



May 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Ben Horne
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · On visualization and Planning


Excellent work as always Jose. The first one speaks to me most because of the wonderful balance between foreground and background, and how the rocks in the lower right corner point point toward the dominant tree in the upper left corner. It has a wonderful visual flow, and I definitely get the somewhat sinister feeling by the darkness in the background.

Your thoughts regarding your transition from digital to film echo my very own. Very well said.



May 12, 2013 at 03:35 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · On visualization and Planning


Fo Tollery wrote:
I am definitely a 'hunter'. For me, the process of discovery is a significant part of the enjoyment I derive from creating images. In a sense, every time I go out to shoot is a scouting session.....even those occasions when I'm visiting locales I've been to previously and have some pre-visualized notion of an image I'm hoping to make....discovered on a previous scouting session.


I had the good fortune to hear John Sexton give a wonderful talk about Ansel Adams last night in Yosemite (after visiting the show of photographs by John and by Anne Sexton at the AAG), and I was reminded again by home much more complex this whole pre-visualization thing is than some seem to think - though I believe a number of folks here do get it.

Among other things, John shared - yet again - the story of Adams photographing "Monolith" so many decades ago. As we know, one of the tales attached to that photograph says that this was the first time that he "pre-visualized" a photograph at the time he made it. The dramatic story relates that he arrived at "The Diving Board," the exposed location very close to the fact of Half Dome, with only two glass plates (!) left of the six that he started out with. He exposed the first - which is rarely seen, but John showed a print of it - and then had the famous "flash" about how he wanted the photograph to look like he saw it and not like it looked. (To the extent that we can say that any thing looks black and white... ;-)

So he added a red filter, darkening the sky and producing the familiar and dramatic image of the subject.

A have a whole range of things I could say about this story and about this (impressive) photograph, including a personal story about it and the first time that I "got it" regarding this photograph. However, two new thoughts following John's talk:

1. He put a red filter on the camera. Aside from how wonderful the photograph arguably is, putting a red filter on the camera when making a black and white photograph isn't exactly a wild, radical idea! ;-) (Though panchromatic emulsion was new - that's why he had glass plates.)

2. His pre-visualization of this scene... was a sudden, intuitive idea... that came to him on the spot!

You all probably see where I'm heading with this, right? :-)

Dan

I had one other realization while driving through the park on my way home today. It (finally) hit me that one reason the pre-visualization thing often seems sort of over done to me is that... I realize that I have always seen that way. In fact, when I make a photograph without thinking, at least a little, about what it will or could look like as a finished image I find myself having a sort of "why bother?" series of thoughts, and feel like I'm just pointing and pressing the button.



May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM
kwalsh
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · On visualization and Planning


jsuro wrote:
This led to what I refer to as “chance imaging”. I went out regardless, sometimes not knowing what I would find. I tried to force the images to appeal to me because, after all, I wanted good pictures. In retrospect, I wasted a lot of time.


Beautiful images, I especially like the composition and tones in the first!

While I shot film in the past, I'm all digital now. I am often impressed by the work in some forums of people who "go out and shoot" for an afternoon wherever they are. I find myself unfulfilled when I try to do that, and I've tried a number of times.

For me the best images come when I've deliberately gone some place that inspires me and have a "vision" of what I'm trying to capture. Sometimes that "vision" is very specific and is a location I've scouted before or a vista I've planned with Google Maps for particular lighting. In other cases it is more generically a location and a feeling or sense I plan to convey with what I find once I get there.

This is not to say I don't "discover" images in places I'm unfamiliar with or happen upon, but it is rare those images are as successful as my more deliberate attempts. And of course only sometimes does the "vision" work out as I planned or hoped it would.

I have gone down a similar path you describe each time I get a new camera - motivated to go out and shoot "something". Rarely very successful for me. For me, rather than return to film, I've stuck to a system for a few years now and leave it out of the creative process as much as possible. Much like when I briefly shot LF in the past I now compose with a piece of card stock with a hole cut in it. I may form the composition a day or more in advance during scouting in bright light only to return later in twilight for the actual exposure. Only with all that leg work done does the camera and tripod actually come out.

Anyway, thought provoking discussion. Oh, and I have to say your very nice images here are just the thing that always tempts me to break out the old 4x5 and BW film again. Time is sort of precious for me these days so I'll have to resist that temptation!

Ken



May 13, 2013 at 01:45 AM
 

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ScaryFox
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · On visualization and Planning


Pictures and text are sublime. The first image has even more atmosphere than the second. The trees look like creatures guarding the river.
Ute



May 13, 2013 at 12:11 PM
jsuro
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · On visualization and Planning


kwalsh wrote:
Beautiful images, I especially like the composition and tones in the first!

..... Much like when I briefly shot LF in the past I now compose with a piece of card stock with a hole cut in it. I may form the composition a day or more in advance during scouting in bright light only to return later in twilight for the actual exposure. Only with all that leg work done does the camera and tripod actually come out................

Ken


Thanks Ken. I do exactly the same thing! I have standardized my prints so now I shoot strict ratios for all my images and never deviate. They are 1:1, 2:1 (612), 3:1 (617), 3:2 (digital) and 4:5. All my images are made in one of those ratios. I carry the templates in the image below and use them for my compositions. There are a couple missing but you get the point. I had my framer cut me a bunch of 4:5s out of scrap matt stock. The 612 below it also goes in front of the ground glass as a mask so I can frame my 4x5 camera for images made with the 612 roll back.

Thanks again,

Jose









May 13, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Camperjim
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · On visualization and Planning


I was happy to see your images become the featured thread of the week. I am curious do you know or have you shot with Clyde? I know he lives in Florida and shoots classic B&W landscapes, mostly the Everglades, I think?

Anyway, congratulations.




May 18, 2013 at 02:17 AM
jsuro
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · On visualization and Planning


Camperjim wrote:
I was happy to see your images become the featured thread of the week. I am curious do you know or have you shot with Clyde? I know he lives in Florida and shoots classic B&W landscapes, mostly the Everglades, I think?

Anyway, congratulations.



Thank you Jim. Yes, I met Clyde briefly when I went to one of his seminars. I learned a lot that day. His work has always been an inspiration. He is the kind of photographer that will wait days in the same place to get one image. Talk about visualization!

Thanks again!

Jose


Edited on May 18, 2013 at 09:41 PM · View previous versions



May 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM
richardfromla
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · On visualization and Planning


Just gorgeous!


May 18, 2013 at 05:08 PM
akclimber
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · On visualization and Planning


A lovely, moody, mysterious, engaging image. Congrats on the win!

Cheers!



May 18, 2013 at 05:40 PM
campyone
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · On visualization and Planning


The rapids at Hillsborough River State Park! What memories those two photographs bring back. I lived in Tampa most of my life. After photographing there for many many years finding new and interesting subjects became difficult. But every now and then I just had an urge to get out and photograph something, anything, just to make some photographs. When that urge hit I had a couple "stand-by" areas I'd go to, places I'd photographed many times but that I could always count on to yield something I hadn't noticed before, something I'd see in a different way than I had before, etc.

One of those areas was these rapids (another was the old H.B. Plant Hotel/University of Tampa, great place to wander around with a camera on a Sunday when few people are there). That little area of rapids is unlike anything else I know of on the Hillsborough River and almost always yielded a photograph (with my 4x5 Linhof or 8x10 Deardorff) that I was happy with. Thanks for the excellent photographs and thanks for the memories.

P.S. We used to have a very active large format photography group in Tampa that lasted for about 10 years. Unfortunately it kind of fell by the wayside when the guy who led it moved and digital came along. Too bad, I think you would have enjoyed it.




May 18, 2013 at 09:53 PM
bshamilton
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · On visualization and Planning


Oh, my! I really love the mood in these!
Superb work, Jose!

Barry



May 20, 2013 at 03:54 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · On visualization and Planning


kwalsh wrote:
While I shot film in the past, I'm all digital now. I am often impressed by the work in some forums of people who "go out and shoot" for an afternoon wherever they are. I find myself unfulfilled when I try to do that, and I've tried a number of times.

For me the best images come when I've deliberately gone some place that inspires me and have a "vision" of what I'm trying to capture. Sometimes that "vision" is very specific and is a location I've scouted before or a vista I've planned with Google Maps for particular lighting. In
...Show more

Photographing "something" has led to a lot of great work, as has going out and photographing with something very specific in mind. In many cases I think we are (and I'm no doubt as guilty as anyone else) saying more about our personal preference or our comfort zone than about something that can be generalized to photography, and certain to photography beyond the world of landscape photography.

It is useful to look at the photographs and photographers that we hold up as our own models of great work. Among that work you will almost certainly find photographs located almost everywhere along the continuum from totally planned to near accident, and this is true for virtually all photographers. And quite often the two - planning and seemingly random coincidence - actually go hand in hand: the planning and experience might increase the odds that you are in the right place at the right time or perhaps help you recognize that a "right time" is about to occur, but in the end there are so many variables and uncertainties that are beyond our control that it amounts to hubris to claim credit for too much of what happens. We can take credit for how we see something but we almost never can really take credit for the thing being whatever it is.

I'll use two photographs to try to illustrate what I'm saying...

"Sierra Wave Clouds Above Owens Valley, Dawn"






One morning I was in Bishop, California, leaving my motel well before dawn with a plan to shoot autumn aspen color somewhere, though I had not really decided where. As I drove out of the parking lot I headed north and happened to notice in the nearly dark sky some cloud shapes that looked like they might be from the Sierra Wave phenomenon. There was no certainty about what would develop - it was before dawn and clouds change! But for some reason I decided that if I dashed 40 miles or so to the north and turned off into the Valley and drove toward a small lake where I have shot a number of times in the past that I might just be able to find a photograph. I drove quickly drove north, turned onto the side road, and drove straight to "my" little lake, unloaded camera and tripod, and quickly walked to a specific spot where I had shot before, and then set up tripod and camera. It was only at this point that I began to look around and "see" one of the many potential photographs that I had in mind come into being in front of me.

How much credit can I take for pre-visualizing this before going there? Some, I suppose, since I had a hunch that something interesting could happen, and I was willing to drop everything and go there. And I knew about a "there" already, having shot in the area a lot. But I could not possibly have conceived the specific arrangement of clouds and light, nor their orientation relative to the water and other elements of the scene.

"Fisherman Above Winter Surf, Big Sur"






This is one of my favorite "accidental" photographs. I've written about the full story elsewhere, and it is almost humorous how many accidents went into its creation. To be brief, I went to another spot that I hoped to photograph, but it was too early. Rather than wait around I decided to go prowl for other opportunities. Faced with a choice of going north or south, I almost randomly decided "south." I soon discovered winter surf and atmosphere conditions that I had not anticipated, and I went to a spot to photograph a subject that I had shot before and which I thought might be interesting in this light and these conditions. I shot that, and as I was in the area I just accidentally happened to notice two fisherman perched improbably above this astonishingly wild surf. It so happened that this was the very first time that I had brought along a particular long lens that allowed me - as none of my other lenses would - to get enough reach to include the fisherman in the lower corner of the frame against this wild sea. To see how important the completely unexpected appearance of the fisherman is to the success of the photograph, place the tip of your finger over the figure and watch the photograph turn into just another photo of surf. ;-)

Credit to me? Well, I'm willing to take some - I know this area well, and have an eye for what to find there - but I also have to admit that I was the recipient of a great deal of good luck.

As is so often the case, an Adams quote encapsulates this: “Sometimes I arrive just when God's ready to have somone click the shutter.” ― Ansel Adams *

Take care,

Dan

(He also said: "Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships." ;-)



May 20, 2013 at 04:20 PM
dswiger
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · On visualization and Planning


I think the main thing I've learned about this "visualization" process, AND the examples given in this tread, are the mindset of having an image in mind before you start out. I think that process of thinking about composition, technical & environment issues beforehand sets the table. When you arrive, or while on the way, your eye for a good scene is in a heightened state. If the intended scene materializes your are good to go. If another one appears, and myopia doesn't prevent you, your tools are ready to be used.

I have been returning to MF film and I only go out on these film "sorties" if I have scenes in mind and a plan. While the actual images themselves may not be remarkable yet, the correlation between the vision & result are: This encourages me to push the envelope and makes me open to other possibilities. This form of assignemts keeps me focused and in turn has had a like result in shooting digital. I now see more shooting opportunies, especially locally. Now on a bike ride or just traveling, I am scouting out locations & conditions. This has added a whole new dimension to photography for me.

Dan



May 20, 2013 at 05:18 PM
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