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Archive 2013 · What's your sign?
  
 
Peter Figen
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p.6 #1 · What's your sign?


Just a picture of a sign is fine if all you want to do is document it. But we're photographers here and hopefully some of us (and I know that some of us can) bring something more to the image that takes it beyond a simple snapshot, and others want to learn or be inspired to find their own view. Taking into account color contrast, negative space, overall image design and how the sign, whatever it is, all makes a difference. Freezing a fixed two dimensional frame that includes the sign and makes the viewer want to keep looking at it, is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. While it's true that too many images posted on this site and most other only rise to the level of mid level mediocrity, that doesn't mean we should be content with that.


Aug 10, 2013 at 08:14 AM
HawksFan66
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p.6 #2 · What's your sign?


Cool shots here. I'm embarrassed to say that my contribution actually comes from just a mile away from my house. The only emergency I've ever encountered while fishing was running out of beer.







Aug 10, 2013 at 01:32 PM
rrxjon
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p.6 #3 · What's your sign?


Just a picture of a sign is fine if all you want to do is document it. But we're photographers here and hopefully some of us (and I know that some of us can) bring something more to the image that takes it beyond a simple snapshot, and others want to learn or be inspired to find their own view. Taking into account color contrast, negative space, overall image design and how the sign, whatever it is, all makes a difference. Freezing a fixed two dimensional frame that includes the sign and makes the viewer want to keep looking at it, is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. While it's true that too many images posted on this site and most other only rise to the level of mid level mediocrity, that doesn't mean we should be content with that.


Too often I prefer my signs in wholesale clusters (and littered w/ people) which does not always translate well to web size






















Aug 13, 2013 at 08:39 AM
Todd Moon
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p.6 #4 · What's your sign?


Peter Figen wrote:
Just a picture of a sign is fine if all you want to do is document it.


Sometimes the sign is the artwork and nothing else is needed. It's like taking straight-on headshot portrait at f/2.8 and focusing on the eyes. Totally mundane. You can find a million examples of that exact shot online. But if the subject is truly unique, interesting, or beautiful then you don't need anything else. You don't need to pose the person in some creative way. You don't need especially dramatic lighting, just good lighting. You just need to take a technically sound photo of a beautiful thing and it has value for just being beautiful.

It's more than a snapshot because it does take skill to handle a camera in order to take such a picture. More importantly, though, it takes the photographer's eye to have seen and selected that subject to be shared with the world. That's as much of the art of photography as finding something creative to do with a subject.

All that being said, could more creative photographers have selected the same subjects and done something unique with them in order to transcend a mere documentary style photo? Sure! But that's not what this thread is about. This thread is more like a street photography thread. In street photography you most often use your skills and eye to select an interesting scene that by itself tells a story without you having to ask people to pose in certain ways, or by adding props or lights, or doing anything else particularly creative. You just see and capture, and many people appreciate the stories told by these kinds of photographs. Documentary pictures of signs tell a story! They don't need anything else.

Wait... I don't really understand where you're coming from, because I just now realized that one of the people who has posted the largest number of "just plain documentary photos of signs" in this thread is you, before you made that comment that I originally quoted. *scratches head.

I like your photos. I'm not putting them down. They are well composed. I guess maybe I don't understand what exactly you were rallying against. Maybe you should point out some examples that failed to be what you think we should strive for. If you give a genuine critique of a photo I'm sure you won't offend anyone.

...

I'll beat you to it. I know what you mean. All the photos on page 3 above your comment are poor. They are simple close-ups of signs that could have been much more interesting with just a little more effort. I originally thought you were complaining about this whole thread. I guess I was arguing against a misconception. I failed to understand exactly what you meant by "this is a picture of a sign", and thought that included what I now know are even your own photos.



Aug 13, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Peter Figen
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p.6 #5 · What's your sign?


Todd - I was never arguing against the whole thread. All I'm saying is that while it's fine to just document something, it's far more interesting to think about the design of your image - positive/negative space, color contrast, etc. As photographers who try to make interesting images, try to put your/our own stamp on the scene by what lens you choose, your composition, time of day. Make it into a photograph. Try and tell a story that's more than just the verbiage on the sign. I agree with your assessment of the page 3 content, with the exceptions already commented on their. I always try and ask myself, not always when I'm taking a photo, but hopefully later when I'm working on one later, "is this an image I'm going to want to keep looking at?" and all too often the answer is no. And while all photographer is subjective to one degree or another, you certainly know it when you see an image that captivates you enough that you want to look at it for a good long while.


Aug 13, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Todd Moon
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p.6 #6 · What's your sign?


Yes, I understand what you were saying now. Sorry for my confusion. I hope you can see where I was coming from when I thought you were putting down the whole thread.


Aug 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.6 #7 · What's your sign?


After reading the last couple of comments between Peter and Todd, I felt like I was eavesdropping on a private conversation.
So I'm going back to what I'm pretty sure was Alrac's original intention- to post images of signs that the photographer thought were fun.
I thought these were fun:
#1 The sign was in front of a Washington state realty office.
#2 was in Maui, Hawaii. While exploring a new road (to me), I thought the sign was funnier if I included some of the beat-up road.
#3 While driving in SW Utah, I thought the sign was funny, and a bit confusing.
#4 Along a dirt road in northern California's coastal hill-country. The property owner had a good sense of humor.
#5 was in Oregon, when heavy rains caused the Umpqua River to flood. I drove a local road up to the edge of the water- checking out the stage of the flood (I lived near the river).
With these images, I thought the context helped explain the signs and added to the humor- so I included it.
When the context adds nothing to what I think is a funny sign, I usually leave it out.
In all cases I stopped because I thought the signs were funny; I was not trying to create "art."
Just record a bit of simple humor.
Charlie



Charlie Shugart 2013

You Are Unique





Charlie Shugart 2013

This is NOT the Moon's Surface





Charlie Shugart 2013

My Map Wasn't Clear Either





Charlie Shugart 2013

Conserve Our Squirrels





Charlie Shugart 2013

Signs of an Oregon Flood




Aug 13, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Ernie Aubert
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p.6 #8 · What's your sign?


I'm with Charlie on that.

This is in Charlottesville, VA.







Aug 16, 2013 at 08:42 PM
rrxjon
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p.6 #9 · What's your sign?


This one's a tosser coz i lost the last loop on m, but I like fun signs too. Context is often irrelevant (although a certain milky humor might amuse) but I like me some color & contrast too or some frilly graphic interest (or both) in the trimmins. Just a preference. Lord knows I've probably spent too much time taking pictures of signs







Aug 18, 2013 at 02:30 AM
vilimo
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p.6 #10 · What's your sign?


Everything is fine here!!!








Everybody needs a hug...








Aug 21, 2013 at 03:51 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



GeorgieGirl
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p.6 #11 · What's your sign?


See below:



Edited on Aug 21, 2013 at 10:30 PM · View previous versions



Aug 21, 2013 at 10:28 PM
GeorgieGirl
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p.6 #12 · What's your sign?


I found this thread a bit late...I started a thread with a sign in it and this entire collection was already here!

So, if you will, my contribution...Signs of Summer









Aug 21, 2013 at 10:29 PM
unclechuck
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p.6 #13 · What's your sign?


No, it's not a political headquarters ...







Aug 22, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Jeffrey
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p.6 #14 · What's your sign?


Clearly not this guy's sign...








Aug 22, 2013 at 10:33 PM
photo1a
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p.6 #15 · What's your sign?








"Sanitary" Restaurant




Sep 11, 2013 at 12:18 AM
zibbelljr
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p.6 #16 · What's your sign?



One Way by zibbelljr, on Flickr

One Way



Sep 12, 2013 at 03:14 PM
ScottHM
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p.6 #17 · What's your sign?


One Way




To Inner Peace




Sep 20, 2013 at 01:15 AM
leighton w
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p.6 #18 · What's your sign?


What a great idea for a thread. I've really enjoyed seeing all of these.









Sep 20, 2013 at 11:05 AM
superduckz
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p.6 #19 · What's your sign?


Without getting into the philosophical debate of what works and what doesn't for this thread, Here are some local signs I've liked for a while. Please advise if this does not fit with the theme somehow... shrug...








Sep 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM
leighton w
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p.6 #20 · What's your sign?


^ Works for me!


Sep 20, 2013 at 03:02 PM
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