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Thread: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

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    Senior Member Jim Radcliffe's Avatar
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    What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    So, out of the blue he asks... What is wrong with this shot?

    It's often interesting to actually ask what is wrong with a photo rather than just posting it and waiting for the attaboys, great shot, good eye, comments.

    People seem to feel more inclined to respond with a negative when that is what was asked for. I don't pretend to know it all. I just know what I like and in the case of this photo I found the finished photo to be very appealing to me but.....

    Over the last couple of days I've had mixed reviews of this shot. Some could not say what it was they did not like.. they just did not like it. Others simply indicated that they did not like the vignetting or post work. A few just hated the subject matter. So, my question to you guys is what is wrong with it? Understanding how others look at something that I find appealing gives insight into how others see what I see.. and that can be a valuable lesson.

    This was taken with the M8 and the 28mm Elmarit with post in CS3.
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    I'll bite

    I like the shot. If I would have anything changed, then I would probably reduce the vignetting a tiny amount, and also reduce the HDR treatment just a touch. Other than that, I don't see anything to complain about, other than the slight possibility that it needs to be rotated very slightly, but I am not sure about that. It just has a slightly leaning feel to it, possibly because of the building itself, possible the angle of the road on the left.
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Hey Jim,

    I like the shot and commented over at the other forum. I find that many people HATE vignetting, and some are not fond of PP. I use quite a bit of vignetting in my images and I get an e-mail here and there asking why I do this, or "why don't you use a P&S if you are going to PP".

    Some just shoot and export without touching the files. I have the same thoughts as you, that an image you shoot and like SHOULD be enhanced with color, contrast, levels, or even vignetting if it enhances the subject. I feel your PP is terrific here and it enhances the mood as well as makes it way more enjoyable to look at. I can guess that the original looks much different and not as exciting.

    I can not find anything in the shot that I do not like. But, no way to please everyone as we all have different tastes with processing.
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Jim,

    I really like the colors contrasting to the less than bright sky an the overall dinginess of the building. The only thing I would change is to rotate the image to straiten the base of the building, I like the vignetting. You should pay no attention to my thoughts on the subject matter because I love tacos.

    Looking at your site, you have a great eye. I respect your work a lot.

    Cheers
    Chris

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    I'm a strong adherent to the "If it feels good, do it" philosophy. I think it's important to fortify your intuition by following your own sense of what's good. in other words, trust yourself. It's unlikely that everyone will respond positively, but it's your decision how important that is to you.

    With that as a disclaimer, I do find the heavy processing bothersome. There's definitely a shot in there, but to me, the heavy, saturated, grainy look wears off quickly and becomes more prominent than the content. After a short time to assimilate what's going on in the image, all I can see is the processing. But hey, it's your shot (see first paragraph).

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    I think it is an interesting shot, I would probably tighten up the composition with cropping the cars (both left and right) out of the shot. Take some off the foreground if you want to keep the same aspect ratio.

    I see a lot of "actioned" images on the internet these days, and while they are obviously popular, I tend to prefer straight images (I suspect they may stand the test of time better IMO).

    Your choice on the PP, I would like it better with less actions.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    I'll bite also. I usually don't say anything unless I really like a shot.

    I initially liked the shot, it has presence. Part of it, is that I like subjects like this. Part of it is that we're conditioned to heightened pictorial sensationalism.

    However, the initial "hit' wears off quick and there's nothing else to sustain it. No story. No humor. No humanity. No drama, except what was superficially added.

    I have to admit that I'd probably shoot this myself if I came across it because the light is cool ... but it'd probably never make it to print.

    If there was a Chihuahua staring up into the window, then maybe.

    Better yet a tattooed gang member walking the Chihuahua.

    No wait, if it was a dog being taken into a restaurant, then it'd be better if it was a Vietnamese restaurant.

    -Marc

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    I think its become a digital thing to over process a shot to make up for boring images,it seems to an uneducated observer,like myself, that an ability to post process has become the art to some,it seems that some have forgotton that photography deals with reality.
    Id also like to say that this thread is so obviously a "red flag to a bull"that it makes me laugh.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Jim,

    I am glad to see that after our conversation you have invested a bit more of yourself on this site. I hope that we in the end reward that effort on your part.

    Concerning your post: I think that the comments will split along the lines of "reality" and freedom to express your vision with post processing.

    I do wish that we had the benefit of driving all of those who respond down Harry Hines ... on Friday night and early Sunday morning so that they could perceive just what it represents.

    Personal reflection: maybe a bit over the top with regards to neon color...it works so well with the carnival or the renaissance fair but here it may marginalize the grittiness that is truly Taco Stand on Harry Hines. Marc - HH is more pitbull on heavy chain than Chihuahua...most of them will not pay the bus fare to come down this far.

    Personally I like the picture but wonder if you distress it a bit more whether it would meet a more universal acclaim.

    Glad to see you here...keep posting. Your eye for whimsey and color is a wonderful addition to the forum.

    Bob

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    Senior Member Jim Radcliffe's Avatar
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    I think its become a digital thing to over process a shot to make up for boring images,it seems to an uneducated observer,like myself, that an ability to post process has become the art to some,it seems that some have forgotton that photography deals with reality.
    Id also like to say that this thread is so obviously a "red flag to a bull"that it makes me laugh.
    I think it best to sometimes take at face value the explanation offered.

    As someone who spent many hours in a wet darkroom with various contrast papers, pushing teperatures, film and chemicals, cross processing and dodging and burning.. these chemical tricks have their digital coutnerparts and they have always been part of the art form.. unless you just sent your film to the drug store for processing.

    I am interested in why some might not like this particular photo. The purist are easy to understand... whatever comes out of the camera is "it".. a philosphy I do not agree with but I can respect.

    To me, this photo was not boring. It is a slice of current day Americana in Texas.. but to others who may believe people must be present or some interaction must be going on for an image to be "valid", it's just a matter of personal taste.

    I like shooting old decaying buildings, others like blue sky landscapes. I might find the blue sky landscape to be boring but I have a high enough IQ to realize that those landscapes are pleasing to many.

    No, my question was and is legit. So far there have been the following:

    Too much vignetting
    Too much post processing
    Building is not level
    Crop is not close enough to exclude cars

    It's interesting to examine what we feel is good and then to hear what others feel is wrong with what we are happy with.
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Well, I couldn't answer until I'd had an artistic lead in from Mark and Neil . . . .

    Actually, I think that you both have good points.

    Still, first of all I should welcome Jim - great to have you hear, please do hang around.

    Marc. whilst I understand you . . . I think your Chihuahua is a pretty poor substitute for Irakly's alligator . . . (one of my formative photographic moments was having Irakly point out that picture I was proud of needed an alligator in the top left hand corner).

    I also agree with Seascape about cropping the cars. . . .

    Surely the point of the picture is the visual impact . . and it does have impact (surely we can all agree). It isn't boring, and it isn't unattractive, and it has a bit of the down and out to give it a feeling of weight. There's plenty of human impact . . perhaps adding an actual human (or a Chihuahua) would simply transfer the impact and change it into something quite other. (my picture really DID need an alligator).

    Neil - post processing surely is wonderful . . . as long as it isn't just an end in itself (and I don't think it is here). As for being a red rag to a bull, Jim's an intelligent guy, he thought he'd like to join in here, and surely this is a good way to do it?

    I actually like the picture (apart from agreeing with Seascape about the cropping). I'm not sure that it has a great deal to say . . beyond the aesthetic. . but perhaps that's a good thing?

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    Senior Member Jim Radcliffe's Avatar
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Jim,

    Concerning your post: I think that the comments will split along the lines of "reality" and freedom to express your vision with post processing.

    Personal reflection: maybe a bit over the top with regards to neon color...it works so well with the carnival or the renaissance fair but here it may marginalize the grittiness that is truly Taco Stand on Harry Hines. Marc - HH is more pitbull on heavy chain than Chihuahua...most of them will not pay the bus fare to come down this far.

    Personally I like the picture but wonder if you distress it a bit more whether it would meet a more universal acclaim.

    Glad to see you here...keep posting. Your eye for whimsey and color is a wonderful addition to the forum.

    Bob
    Bob,

    I enjoyed meeting you Saturday. It was a pleasure to run into another serious hobbyist in Grapevine.

    I agree that most of the comments will fall as you have suggested but if I get one that is unexpeceted and relevent, it will have been worth it.

    I'm sure we can both imagine how boring photography would be if we all saw, shot and post processed the same way.

    Thanks for the welcome.
    Jim Radcliffe
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    I actually LIKE the Overall Composition Very Much....
    The Mood, The Mania...

    if it was Mine (and it could be if I was there)
    I would have just Tweaked the Saturation DOWN abit
    more of a Watercolor style than Pop Art

    Coool Jim ...Best-H

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    With photography there comes a certain responsability to the viewer,a debt to reality.If one wishes to "interpret"(for want of a better word)to the nth degree maybe one should stop being lazy and learn to paint.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    With photography there comes a certain responsability to the viewer,a debt to reality.If one wishes to "interpret"(for want of a better word)to the nth degree maybe one should stop being lazy and learn to paint.
    If a photograph is only worth a thousand words . . . maybe one should just say the words?

    But you're wrong - there's an immediacy which is available to the photographer which is a luxury the painter simply doesn't have . . . look at HCB's photos . . . then look at his drawings . . .

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    Senior Member Jim Radcliffe's Avatar
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    Jono...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    Still, first of all I should welcome Jim - great to have you hear, please do hang around.

    I actually like the picture (apart from agreeing with Seascape about the cropping). I'm not sure that it has a great deal to say . . beyond the aesthetic. . but perhaps that's a good thing?
    Jono, you have been missed in that other forum... and thanks for the welcome. I actually joined back in March I believe but just have not posted. I have been reading a bit. I see that Tim, Terry and a few others are here It's good to be in such good company.

    And once again.. great job with the M9 photos you have taken.

    As for Irakly.. well, I still can't figure out most of his stuff.... but I respect it... Aligators, nudes or whatever.
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    If a photograph is only worth a thousand words . . . maybe one should just say the words?

    But you're wrong - there's an immediacy which is available to the photographer which is a luxury the painter simply doesn't have . . . look at HCB's photos . . . then look at his drawings . . .

    Bresson was neither lazy nor inept Jono.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    With photography there comes a certain responsability to the viewer,a debt to reality.If one wishes to "interpret"(for want of a better word)to the nth degree maybe one should stop being lazy and learn to paint.
    Painting it too damed hard ... and it's really messy.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Bresson was neither lazy nor inept Jono.
    Touche (I stand guilty as accused). . . but his 'debt to reality' was given with his photography, not his drawings. I think that every form of art must have some kind of debt to reality. Actually, it's in interesting obsession of mine, although I'm mostly trying to portray the reality people didn't notice rather than the one they hadn't understood.

    Still, having accepted that I'm lazy and inept, at least I'm not excluded by an obsession over the process.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I also agree with Seascape about cropping the cars. . . .
    I don't know Jono...messing with a Texan's car is fairly dangerous stuff -
    I would refer you to Lyle Lovett's Don't Touch My Hat. Similar stuff!

    Besides it is a DRIVE THROUGH...no walking involved. We may not ride horses in the city but drive through is very Dallas. The only carbon footprints here are related to burnt end ribs (with or w/o jalopeno) ....also highly recommended.

    I always like seeing the vision that others project in their pictures...helps my myopic view of the world.

    Bob

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Bresson was neither lazy nor inept Jono.
    I wonder if many of us will not attempt similar endeavors later in life....having the luxury of time allows one many diversions that do not present themselves in the rush of the daily decathalon.

    My problem is that I have difficuly positing a straight line with a T-square.

    Bob

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    Re: Jono...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    Jono, you have been missed in that other forum... and thanks for the welcome. I actually joined back in March I believe but just have not posted. I have been reading a bit. I see that Tim, Terry and a few others are here It's good to be in such good company.

    And once again.. great job with the M9 photos you have taken.

    As for Irakly.. well, I still can't figure out most of his stuff.... but I respect it... Aligators, nudes or whatever.
    Hi Jim
    I miss the other forum too . . . it's just time, and things are slow enough around here to be able to keep up.

    The M9 was fun, and a great opportunity . . . I don't need congratulations as well (gratefully received all the same).

    Irakly is a mate of Marc's so there was a nice contrast between the alligator and the Chihuahua (the principle of the remark being the same).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Hi Bob
    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    I don't know Jono...messing with a Texan's car is fairly dangerous stuff -
    I would refer you to Lyle Lovett's Don't Touch My Hat. Similar stuff!
    Wow . . . I've spent the whole day listening to 'Natural Forces' over and over and over again. I wouldn't say I was a natural Texan exactly But he is a real hero of mine (and has been since he took his horse on his boat) . . there was a wonderful interview on an arts program in the UK last week . . is he the nicest bloke that ever lived?

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Besides it is a DRIVE THROUGH...no walking involved. We may not ride horses in the city but drive through is very Dallas. The only carbon footprints here are related to burnt end ribs (with or w/o jalopeno) ....also highly recommended.

    I always like seeing the vision that others project in their pictures...helps my myopic view of the world.

    Bob
    But . . there is an argument that if an explanation is needed to 'get it' then perhaps . . .

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, I couldn't answer until I'd had an artistic lead in from Mark and Neil . . . .

    Actually, I think that you both have good points.

    Still, first of all I should welcome Jim - great to have you hear, please do hang around.

    Marc. whilst I understand you . . . I think your Chihuahua is a pretty poor substitute for Irakly's alligator . . . (one of my formative photographic moments was having Irakly point out that picture I was proud of needed an alligator in the top left hand corner).

    I also agree with Seascape about cropping the cars. . . .

    Surely the point of the picture is the visual impact . . and it does have impact (surely we can all agree). It isn't boring, and it isn't unattractive, and it has a bit of the down and out to give it a feeling of weight. There's plenty of human impact . . perhaps adding an actual human (or a Chihuahua) would simply transfer the impact and change it into something quite other. (my picture really DID need an alligator).

    Neil - post processing surely is wonderful . . . as long as it isn't just an end in itself (and I don't think it is here). As for being a red rag to a bull, Jim's an intelligent guy, he thought he'd like to join in here, and surely this is a good way to do it?

    I actually like the picture (apart from agreeing with Seascape about the cropping). I'm not sure that it has a great deal to say . . beyond the aesthetic. . but perhaps that's a good thing?
    Jono, if Irakly thought an image needed an alligator, there was probably an actual reason behind it related in some way to the over-all image content, not just for some superficial shock value, (unless he was just trying to shock you out of the box, which he has been know to do). Usually, it's some obscure Russian cultural joke with him. That was the point of the down-and-out Chihuahua joke ... which is a pop cultural thing in the USA ... The Taco Bell dog that got fired from the big time and all that. But if you have to explain a joke, well .... aeee, Chihuahua!

    All visual puns aside, it's a nice photo. If it were part of a long range study to glamorize disappearing icons or something like that, it might have legs.

    Setting aside this specific image, it all comes down to "intent" ... it's pretty common for artist to declare "intent" ... what's the purpose? It doesn't have to be intellectual, literal, logical or cultural ...

    -Marc

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Painting it too damed hard ... and it's really messy.
    Youve not been in my darkroom or seen me coming out!In the end I was issued with "printing overalls" by my wife.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Jono,

    I think that you would fit in just fine....let us know when you can come and stay a spell. Lyle, horses, small brew houses and good food aplenty in this part of the states.

    You are right he is an amazingly genuine spirit...I still wonder what that 'pretty woman' was thinking. Her loss!

    I think that there is a connection between parts of Texas and the coast of the UK or up in Yorkshire near Hawes or maybe Upper Slaughter in the Cotswolds. I would be happy being planted in any of the above.

    Bob

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Youve not been in my darkroom or seen me coming out!In the end I was issued with "printing overalls" by my wife.
    Oh, I've had my bouts with darkroom chaos ... pretty stinky and messy.

    But it's a hospital operating room next to my painting studio.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    All visual puns aside, it's a nice photo. If it were part of a long range study to glamorize disappearing icons or something like that, it might have legs.
    -Marc
    Jim,

    You should pull a few of the FW carney pics and post them....following along that theme.

    Bob

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Jono, if Irakly thought an image needed an alligator, there was probably an actual reason behind it related in some way to the over-all image content, not just for some superficial shock value,
    Absolutely - nothing to do with shock value (although it may have been a shock). It was probably the most beneficial and important single thing that ever happened to my photography, and I still often thing "does this need an alligator?"

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    That was the point of the down-and-out Chihuahua joke ... which is a pop cultural thing in the USA ... The Taco Bell dog that got fired from the big time and all that. But if you have to explain a joke, well .... aeee, Chihuahua!
    I didn't know about the Taco Bell dog . . but I absolutely understood the joke.
    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    All visual puns aside, it's a nice photo. If it were part of a long range study to glamorize disappearing icons or something like that, it might have legs.

    Setting aside this specific image, it all comes down to "intent" ... it's pretty common for artist to declare "intent" ... what's the purpose? It doesn't have to be intellectual, literal, logical or cultural ...

    -Marc
    Well actually, this boils down to my post . . . I understand that for many photographers a photograph must have an 'intent'. But there is another (theoretical at least) school of thought where it only needs to have a result (although that result probably does need to be intellectual, literal, logical or aesthetic).

    Just this guy you know

  30. #30
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    I wonder if many of us will not attempt similar endeavors later in life....having the luxury of time allows one many diversions that do not present themselves in the rush of the daily decathalon.

    My problem is that I have difficuly positing a straight line with a T-square.

    Bob
    Bob,one of my best memories ,from many years ago, is of a beautiful young girl grimly holding onto a yard wide canvas against a powerful buffeting wind on the north cornish coast,as she painted the incoming tide.I had my camera with me but I just looked on at this vision,mouth half open inept ,stupid,dumbstruck.

    If I saw the same thing today Id probably fall over the cliff as well!

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Jono,

    I think that you would fit in just fine....let us know when you can come and stay a spell. Lyle, horses, small brew houses and good food aplenty in this part of the states.
    LOL - don't tempt me . . but I've only been riding for 6 months!
    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    You are right he is an amazingly genuine spirit...I still wonder what that 'pretty woman' was thinking. Her loss!
    Maybe, but perhaps it says something for her that it happened in the first place . . and apparently they're still friends.
    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    I think that there is a connection between parts of Texas and the coast of the UK or up in Yorkshire near Hawes or maybe Upper Slaughter in the Cotswolds. I would be happy being planted in any of the above.
    Bob
    Wow - you be careful with those horses! Lyle certainly wouldn't approve!- Texas seems like a different planet to me . . but listening to Sun and Moon and Stars (right now). I can certainly see the point.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Bob,one of my best memories ,from many years ago, is of a beautiful young girl grimly holding onto a yard wide canvas against a powerful buffeting wind on the north cornish coast,as she painted the incoming tide.I had my camera with me but I just looked on at this vision,mouth half open inept ,stupid,dumbstruck.

    If I saw the same thing today Id probably fall over the cliff as well!
    If that was a beautiful young Cornish girl . . and if you'd approached her, she probably would have pushed you off the cliff (especially if you had a receding hairline!).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Hi Jim,

    I like the image. It's definitely surreal but it's an artist's poetic license as an art form in my opinion. I see a slice of Americana, power lines feeding the neon lights, cars, an American flag. It works for me.

    I think there are different types of photography, some forms require adherence to ethical boundaries, while others are free for the photographer to step outside the lines to produce an image that he/she feels represents an interpretation of reality that will invoke an emotional response in the viewer.

    This image has style.

    Gary P

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Bob,one of my best memories ,from many years ago, is of a beautiful young girl grimly holding onto a yard wide canvas against a powerful buffeting wind on the north cornish coast,as she painted the incoming tide.I had my camera with me but I just looked on at this vision,mouth half open inept ,stupid,dumbstruck.

    If I saw the same thing today Id probably fall over the cliff as well!
    Every Spring we host my daughter for a few days at an inn in the Cotswolds in a small town named Burford. They have an extensive collection of paintings by Katherine Lightfoot....if I could have one wish it would be to paint half as well as she.

    Dartmoor and the North Devon Coast...what I would give to spend a lifetime there.

    Link: http://www.katlightfoot.com/

    And yes I would trade all of my cameras tomorrow if I could have the time and the skill to pursue something as pure as this.

    Bob

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    With photography there comes a certain responsability to the viewer,a debt to reality.If one wishes to "interpret"(for want of a better word)to the nth degree maybe one should stop being lazy and learn to paint.
    I think you forgot an "IMO" there... I happen to think that the photographer's primary and *only* obligation is to the own "inner" creative voice. There is no obligation to the expectations of others, other than the imagined.

    I also don't think that a photographer who doesn't want to use realism as a personal style is being lazy and should be a painter; that is something one might have expected to hear from a 19th century photography luddite, but not after Warhol.

    Anyway, back to the present.

    I have been thinking of the image, and why I like it, but why I don't think it is complete somehow. I think that Marc and Jono are on the right track, and I think that this would work much better in a set. The message that it carries is not strong enough to walk it alone.
    Last edited by carstenw; 26th October 2009 at 01:32.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I think the photographer's primary and only obligation is to the own "inner" creative voice. There is no obligation to the expectations of others at all.

    Completely agree carstenw,.......but that doesnt mean that I have to like it.

    I suggested this website a while ago that shows some extraordinary work,very manipulated, albeit in an analogue way.Dont compare this with someone who thinks they are some sort of creative genius because theyve turned up the colour and added a bit of vignetting in photoshop .
    http://www.parkeharrison.com/slides-...her/index.html
    Last edited by nei1; 26th October 2009 at 01:34.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Completely agree carstenw,.......but that doesnt mean that I have to like it.
    Oh, fully agreed! There are lots of styles I don't like. The missing IMO in your post made it sound like you were making some kind of absolutist statement though, which is what got me writing.

    Personally I shoot almost exclusively in a fairly straight style, perhaps tweaking the saturation once in a while, setting black levels and so on, but I do enjoy seeing different kinds of work, and the HDR style has a lot of superficial attraction to it. I wonder which of those works will last the test of time though.

    My suggestion to dial down the saturation and vignetting just a tad was to bring it back across some kind of line in the sand, not to bring it all the way back to reality, which I think wouldn't help the image. The strong colours and the sh*tty weather do work together to make some kind of statement about Americana, as someone else put it, and if the colours were real-life drab, that would be gone. The image also would be much less without the Stars and Stripes.

    Very cool site, btw. Very strong vision.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Completely agree carstenw,.......but that doesnt mean that I have to like it.

    I suggested this website a while ago that shows some extraordinary work,very manipulated, albeit in an analogue way.Dont compare this with someone who thinks they are some sort of creative genius because theyve turned up the colour and added a bit of vignetting in photoshop .
    http://www.parkeharrison.com/slides-...her/index.html
    Hi Neil - we all really enjoyed that website. I also think that to imply Jim considers himself as some sort of creative genius is very unfair.

    However, I reckon that both these approaches are something of a cheap thrill (Jim and Parke Harrison) - something I'm often very guilty of too.

    I'm afraid that subtlety in photography is rather a devalued currency (if it ever was of value, which I rather doubt). Still, there is plenty of good intelligent stuff about, it's just that it tends to get ignored.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    I like it, although i'm not a fan of the "soft blur" or negative x3 fill light (don't know how else to describe it)

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Jim -- if you want an honest dissenting critique, I will try to give one. I will say that I tend to prefer less processed images, but that is not really my main hurdle in this photo. I don't really see any of the photographer in this image, which I think is usually a huge part of making a memorable photograph. There does not seem to be a point of view or intention to the image. It is just a square, straight on shot of a taco stand, that I imagine would look just like that if any of us were standing next to you. The best images seem to demonstrate how a photographer feels about a place -- even though the photo is not of them, you can see the hand of the artist in its creation. You could look of Kertesz's photos of Paris or Josef Sudek, even Ansel Adams in Yosemite or for a similar idea to yours, you might look at Todd Hido's photography. I guess the question to ask is "how does this make you feel"? Why are you interested in this taco stand, what sort of mood are you trying to demonstrate, and how has the choice of composition and processing been employed to further that goal? And the answer does not really come through for me in this photo. And don't get me wrong, there are certainly far worse photos out there, and I surely do not hate the image or find it bad, but you were asking for a serious critique, so this was my impression.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    ..... What is wrong with this shot?....
    Jim - I'll answer your question in the hope that it isn't a fishing exercise for a compliment, and I'll start with a compliment. I love the form of the picture, it is intelligently made with the kind of consideration that good view-camera photographers put into their work. The form of the building is presented square-on and honestly, while the energy of the image rips from left to right with wind and arrows; the exception to that energy direction being the cars battling the wind in an effort to get out of the left hand edge of the image. These elements are formal fun for my imagination as are the separations of other elements of the picture from their surround; the tease of flag, lights, wires, arrow - how the left hand flag and arrow owns their space within the image.

    In this instance I'm not too concerned about colour or sharpness or sharpening etc. given that I'm viewing the picture crushed into an alien colour space in a web browser and my imagination desires a beautifully mastered file made into a beautiful print on a wall. It is a finely made image, you should be proud of it. However, what is wrong with it [as you invited] is that the subtle photographic honesty of the image has had the crap beaten out of it with heavy handed darkening of everything except the centre of the image. The vignetting looks silly and obvious, and suggests the centre of the image has overwhelming importance. That interesting 'escaping car' on the left, and the tears in the flag on the right are elements that could be informing the overall content of the picture but are burnt down as if they are of little importance - as are the background flags lost in the darkness of the right hand side.

    I really like this picture, but it deserves a sympathetic rendering. For me, the image begs treatment which will allow all the elements of the image to riff with one another; that will be far more interesting than being invited to ignore the unsubtle darkness of your edges and concentrate on the middle. If we play with Mr. Adams notion of the 'capture' being the 'score' and the presentation being the 'performance'; I think you have a tremendous score waiting for a tremendous performance.

    Respectfully ....................... Chris

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Love it! Right down to the tattered flag. Love the mood. Takes me back to my years in New Mexico. Where the best food was in places like that. I'm hungry now....

    As for what's wrong, not much. I actually like the context of the hwy and the old parked cars. Adds to the funky flavor of the shot. A bit less vignetting maybe. Would be nice printed large I bet.
    Last edited by rsmphoto; 26th October 2009 at 13:36.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]



    I don't like fast food, nor blatant luminous advertising, nor the drive-thru culture. But I like this photo. It goes nicely with a number of Jim's other shots which I imagine in an album that could be called "My America" or so. I read the vignetting e.g. as an artistic means to express a reflective distance in the photographer's (and the viewer's) mind and to evoke a certain historic aura around the subject matter. The pretended objective reproduction of the objective reality gives place to the depiction of the individual perception of the reality. In the same line the remaining PP may be understood: it intensifies the expression of craving attention which this subject matter induces in the photographer's perception of it as predominant. And what about the absence of people? It directs the viewer's attention to the stand as a building, the luminous advertising, the surroundings, the flags. The story that is alluded to in this photo is not one of individual customers but of the taco stand and other stalls, regarded as a part of the story of the American civilization. That's the reoccurring subject in many of Jim's photos at least, I like reading them in this way. So, I find nothing wrong with it.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post

    So, out of the blue he asks... What is wrong with this shot?

    This was taken with the M8 and the 28mm Elmarit with post in CS3.
    I don't know about anyone else but that is one of my top 10 favorite photos I've seen posted online ~anywhere~ in 2009.

    I claim no artistic expertise, I only know what I like.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    To be a little clearer,a shot like this depends on interesting details,Jim .I think your processing has hidden those details which exist in the subject,not entirely but enough for them to lose their emphasis.
    Youre need to boost the image in photoshop shows a certain insecurity and a need to please others rather than letting the image speak for itself .Praise is nonsense if the image has been fabricated to recieve it.

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Hans,

    This was my thought when I suggested that Jim post a few from the FW carnival...he does have an ongoing series that is wonderfully captured.
    I agree with your assessment of the series, should he make it one.

    Bob

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    A Taco shop on Harry Hines...thats what's wrong I use to live in Dallas.
    Mike

    website under construction

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    Youre need to boost the image in photoshop shows a certain insecurity and a need to please others rather than letting the image speak for itself .Praise is nonsense if the image has been fabricated to recieve it.
    I imagine that Jim is either:

    1) pleased with the overall interest in his post

    or

    2)looking for a new hobby.

    "Praise is nonsense if the image has been fabricated to receive it."

    Your underlying assumption with this comment seems to be that Jim is in need of our accolades and will do whatever it takes to receive them. Knowing Jim but a short time I can assure you that he can stand on his own...you may disagree with his vision but why such a harsh statement.

    Every individual perceives reality a bit differently...whether due to a causal factor of rod/cone sensitivity in the retina or the way that we respond to visual or historically incited impulses. The assumption that a photograph should posit only rigid factual visual impulses relegates a lot of art to the level of deritrus.

    Your comments might well be perceived in the larger context of an ontological argument which may preclude any potential for personal response or interpretation. We ALL filter those extant perceived realities as we face the day....how we interpret them is an individual matter. Perhaps the best face we can put on this is that we should agree that we can disagree.

    Grace, freedom and reconciliation are not cheap but they indeed are free.

    Art - even photography need not be constrained within the rigid frameworks that we use to shuffle though the day.

    Forgive the rant...its just that I LIKE Tacos.

    Bob

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    Re: What is wrong with this shot? [M8]

    Quote Originally Posted by nei1 View Post
    To be a little clearer,a shot like this depends on interesting details,Jim .I think your processing has hidden those details which exist in the subject,not entirely but enough for them to lose their emphasis.
    Youre need to boost the image in photoshop shows a certain insecurity and a need to please others rather than letting the image speak for itself .Praise is nonsense if the image has been fabricated to recieve it.
    Well, of course you are right about the details.. this was an exercise for me. I play with my photos all the time. I like trying new things, different things.. sometimes strange things. It keeps me out of the rut that many purist fall into. Once you stop experimenting with photography you are either bored with it or perfect. I am neither.

    I don't quite agree with the psycho-babble in the second half of your post. I do not need the approval of others to enjoy my hobby.. nor was I looking for praise. This was my first post in this forum and I expected it to be taken at face value rather than have some think I was just seeking praise.

    In a sense the responses to this photo have told me quite a bit about those who responded based on what they believe to be wrong with the photo and how they worded their response. I now know how some here like their photography. I know some are highly opinionated and some have quite open minds.

    By the way, I like all types of photography. The blurry OOF, BW, color, landscapes, street, portraits, nature, you name it, I like it. I don't always understand it (Irakly) but I always respect what others do with their photographic vision. It's all good.
    Jim Radcliffe
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    Hans...

    Quote Originally Posted by HansAlbert View Post


    I don't like fast food, nor blatant luminous advertising, nor the drive-thru culture. But I like this photo. It goes nicely with a number of Jim's other shots which I imagine in an album that could be called "My America" or so. I read the vignetting e.g. as an artistic means to express a reflective distance in the photographer's (and the viewer's) mind and to evoke a certain historic aura around the subject matter. The pretended objective reproduction of the objective reality gives place to the depiction of the individual perception of the reality. In the same line the remaining PP may be understood: it intensifies the expression of craving attention which this subject matter induces in the photographer's perception of it as predominant. And what about the absence of people? It directs the viewer's attention to the stand as a building, the luminous advertising, the surroundings, the flags. The story that is alluded to in this photo is not one of individual customers but of the taco stand and other stalls, regarded as a part of the story of the American civilization. That's the reoccurring subject in many of Jim's photos at least, I like reading them in this way. So, I find nothing wrong with it.
    Hans, thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts into words here.. in that way that only you can do.... and your summation is pretty much on target.
    Jim Radcliffe
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