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Thread: Some inspiration:

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    Super Duper
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    Some inspiration:

    Public viewing of the Hasselblad Masters competition:

    http://www.hasselblad.com/mastersPublicJury


    Lots and lots of inspiration for all photographers regardless of gear brand. Heck, I even like some images in the Landscape category

    Note to self: Marc, you WILL enter this next year in the Wedding category ... my grip batteries are charging up for this Saturday's wedding

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    some very inspiring work, kept me looking at every image

  3. #3
    jmvdigital
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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Nice work up there. It's too bad the web interface sucks though. Having to reload the page for every image? I gave up, looked at the thumbnails and left.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Note to self: Marc, you WILL enter this next year in the Wedding category ... my grip batteries are charging up for this Saturday's wedding
    Marc,
    Will that be with the -31?, or have you snuck something bigger into the kit like a -50 at this point? (You had mentioned staying in the Hassy world, but moving up to something, plus looking to sell the -39.)

    Does this mean you are reconsidering using just MF over the A900 kit for weddings, or is this one where there may be enough good light and setting to break out the bigger gun for killer images?

    Good luck with the shoot, and I will be looking for your entries next year

    LJ

  5. #5
    ddk
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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Just managed to go through the portrait section, some wonderful work there but what I find surprising is how much of it is heavy post processed based, otherwise they just might not make the cut without it.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Honestly the wedding images were really weak.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Just managed to go through the portrait section, some wonderful work there but what I find surprising is how much of it is heavy post processed based, otherwise they just might not make the cut without it.
    That's the rage in portrait work right now ... and not just with Hasseys.

    Unfortunately, it has also crept into wedding stuff. IMO all the flashiness is hiding lack of well timed and sensitive content. Remove all the layers and basically all that's left is a pedestrian image.

    I just posted a video in the analog section of Winogrand shooting with his M and blabbing on camera ... and one thing he said struck a cord with me. Something like the fact that to many photographers are overly absorbed with what an image looks like rather than what it is depicting ... or something to that effect. He thinks it's all so boring ... I tend to agree with him ... a lot! Probably because my stock in trade is all about content ... that nano second that defines still photography IMHO.

    http://leicarumors.com/

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharokin View Post
    Honestly the wedding images were really weak.
    I'm not sure they are "really weak", maybe just "weak" with just a few that are pretty cool ... which is WHY I'm shooting for next year's entry. I'm planning on kicking their collective asses

    That's what's "inspiring" me.

    Sorry, I'm just not feeling them ... but that's true about a lot of top wedding work these days regardless of gear used ... flashy fashion look ... but lite on human content and magical timing.

    Maybe I'm becoming a dinosaur ... but the more it goes that way, the more I want to go my way ... maybe I'll be out of business if I do that ... and then I won't have to worry about it anymore

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Marc,
    Will that be with the -31?, or have you snuck something bigger into the kit like a -50 at this point? (You had mentioned staying in the Hassy world, but moving up to something, plus looking to sell the -39.)

    Does this mean you are reconsidering using just MF over the A900 kit for weddings, or is this one where there may be enough good light and setting to break out the bigger gun for killer images?

    Good luck with the shoot, and I will be looking for your entries next year

    LJ
    Yeah, the H3D-II/31 ... I use the 39 more for commercial stuff, usually on a view camera. It's the 39 I'm looking to replace with a 50 and why it's up for sale. I'm not selling the 31.

    It depends on the job and conditions. The Sony one time, the H3D another, or the Nikon for another. The only constant is whatever I take, the M8 tags along.

    To date the best stuff, I've managed to get at a wedding has been with the H3D-II/31 or the M8. But the DSLRs are a must for certain conditions, no getting around that.

    -Marc

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'm not sure they are "really weak", maybe just "weak" with just a few that are pretty cool ... which is WHY I'm shooting for next year's entry. I'm planning on kicking their collective asses

    That's what's "inspiring" me.

    Sorry, I'm just not feeling them ... but that's true about a lot of top wedding work these days regardless of gear used ... flashy fashion look ... but lite on human content and magical timing.

    Maybe I'm becoming a dinosaur ... but the more it goes that way, the more I want to go my way ... maybe I'll be out of business if I do that ... and then I won't have to worry about it anymore

    I completely agree with you. So many wanna be superstars following fake ones.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Just went back over the various galleries again. Honestly, most are not terribly impressive things. The Landscapes are quite dramatic, and a couple of the studio renderings for the Products look good. The Portraits, also dramatic, seem overprocessed to get skin that looks....well....plastic in a completely different way, Marc ;-)

    The Wedding shots are not great by any stretch, but I do like the wide angle use in a few of them. The "editorial" style in the wedding shots is becoming more common, as noted, but that does not mean the photog actually caught the moment that we talk about and that Winogrand goes on about in those videos.

    So, from that, I can see how these collections are an inspiration to Marc and others, knowing that there is a lot of running room to do something that looks more interesting, more refined, more grabbing, or whatever one is after. Not putting any of the Hassy "Masters" down, but I do not see most of what is being used as being all that spectacular....save some of the dramatic Landscapes. The rest could have been done with any camera, for the most part, and there is nothing that screams "Hassy MF rocks", or anything like that from these shots.

    Just my thoughts on this. So, I do see them as more of an open challenge to best the shots in every category......now I guess I need to pony up for a Hassy, eh? ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    What I got from a quick viewing of the Winogrand video, and I have heard/read some of his thoughts before, was that we know too much about how pictures/photographs look, or can look, but he doesn't want to think about that, he wants to capture a piece of, a moment of, life. (in this context, perhaps, forget about the post-processing, heavily stylized, 'looks').

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    ...and that works if your goal is more editorial than anything else. It does little for the more "artistic" expressions, or when the goal is to convey lots of detail and subtle expressions in a more "created" image. Winogrand, to me, was all about "street shooting" and what life is composed of beyond the interpretations. Would not expect him to "compete" in areas where attention to detail, such as landscape, fashion, product, and maybe even wedding shooting has some expectations of what the audience wants to see. Shooting the "raw life" is fine, but it does not sell products, nor portrait sessions, nor a lot of other things. It is its own genre, and has its following. It is its own "art form". There was one segment in the first English video when he was shooting outside a sidewalk cafe and somebody asked what he was doing. His reply was something along the lines of "just trying to survive". A shared feeling for many, but having different applications across different audiences who may be the ones "paying" to help that survival. Maybe that is the "prostitution" of photographers trying to earn that living?

    LJ

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharokin View Post
    Honestly the wedding images were really weak.
    Interestingly, I found that a lot of the more interesting *photographs* were very weak as *wedding photos*. Half-cut off faces and so on lend a lot of tension to an image, but really, who wants wedding photos where half the faces are missing? I thought that some of those photographers took the *art* so far that they lost sight of the occasion.

    I agree Marc, if the judges are half-way sane, your stuff is way better than most of what is there this year. On the other hand, if the judges were sane, those photos wouldn't have won. I don't think you should get your hopes too high; clearly they are looking for something different.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna View Post
    What I got from a quick viewing of the Winogrand video, and I have heard/read some of his thoughts before, was that we know too much about how pictures/photographs look, or can look, but he doesn't want to think about that, he wants to capture a piece of, a moment of, life. (in this context, perhaps, forget about the post-processing, heavily stylized, 'looks').
    Exactly.

    Probably why he uses a rangefinder which doesn't even show what effect a wide angle has ... just what is in the frame in terms of content.

    It is exactly why I still like using a rangefinder more than a DSLR.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Interesting reaction on a Hasselblad Pro forum I participate in ... lots of bitching about the over-processed look of everything ... and whether it's a photo contest or a Photoshop contest

    But there is also a general feel that is what is being bought in the marketplace. I'd have to agree with that based on my recent experiences in the advertisng world. I think I got out just in time

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Interesting reaction on a Hasselblad Pro forum I participate in ... lots of bitching about the over-processed look of everything ... and whether it's a photo contest or a Photoshop contest

    But there is also a general feel that is what is being bought in the marketplace. I'd have to agree with that based on my recent experiences in the advertisng world. I think I got out just in time
    Marc,

    This is an interesting topic in and of itself. I find it find very frustrating (or bewildering, or...) that "over cooked" images get the "oohs and ahhs" in so much of the market. If one carefully processes an image to be as true to a scene, or even a "feeling" of a scene, it may very well be less appealing to the marketplace than one which was processed such that that saturation slider was practically pegged right or the most aggressive of curves was applied, etc. I'm not commenting in reference to the work linked at the start of this thread, just speaking generally.

    It can be a bit disheartening at times as one tries to avoid that look.

    (Oh, and this is not to say that I don't screw up and process too aggressively at times, at least for the on-line versions, but that's not the kind of work that I like. Interestingly, a few of my "screw-ups" that should be replaced on-line, actually get the most attention. Ugh.)

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Marc,

    This is an interesting topic in and of itself. I find it find very frustrating (or bewildering, or...) that "over cooked" images get the "oohs and ahhs" in so much of the market. If one carefully processes an image to be as true to a scene, or even a "feeling" of a scene, it may very well be less appealing to the marketplace than one which was processed such that that saturation slider was practically pegged right or the most aggressive of curves was applied, etc. I'm not commenting in reference to the work linked at the start of this thread, just speaking generally.

    It can be a bit disheartening at times as one tries to avoid that look.

    (Oh, and this is not to say that I don't screw up and process too aggressively at times, at least for the on-line versions, but that's not the kind of work that I like. Interestingly, a few of my "screw-ups" that should be replaced on-line, actually get the most attention. Ugh.)
    Actually, we shouldn't be surprised in general when viewing the commercial world or even selling to the public at large. The top scoring images on Photo.net give you a glimpse of that.

    The more stuff looks like a Thomas Kinkade "Painter of Light" image, the more oohs and ahhs it gets.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Agreed, Marc.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    On the color side of things, it is getting a bit like "Velvia on steroids" for the new wave. I have seen many articles in various mags that are "showcasing" the super saturated, smoothed out, over-processed look as the new "art". What seems the most disturbing about this is that in some ways it may be an outgrowth of the DSLR side of things, where on some of the older models and many of the cropped sensor models, there is a lack of DR. To compensate (over-compensate?), the saturation gets pushed even further as does the contrast, all blurring what little subtle DR may have been there into oblivion. This is such a contrast to what MF is really capable of delivering, with all the subtle shades and colors in a broad DR profile....plus detail. Instead, the new "art" works to smear the detail or remove it and push the saturation to the max, as Dale mentions.

    On the B/W side, a similar thing seems to be happening also. Instead of working to bring out the detail and grain and knife-edge sharpness, the contrast gets boosted to levels of deep blacks and blown out whites with little character between. It is an art that works for some imagery, but not to the extent that is seems to be nearly overused today. Why use a MF rig only to disgard a lot of what it is capable of delivering that few other things can? Hoping that pendulum starts to swing the other way in a little while.

    LJ

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Hear hear, LJL, you're right. Even TV images (try CSI Miami) are over-saturated to the point of unreality, and subtlety of detail is completely lost.

    Art certainly does not have to reflect the "real" world, but photos purporting to show it are now unreal.

    Bill

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    It is a good thing that trends over extend themselves - as they always do. It creates opportunity for a 'new vision' - for those talented and creative and brave enough to look with new eyes - and for a while this new look will be fresh ..until it becomes mainstream.

    Photoshop and illustration are the natural add ons to the digital capture realilty - and yes it is all a bunch of crapola. Then agiain most commercial work always has been and always will be.

    However photographers are largely to blame for asking for ever increasing DR and ever increasing 'useable' ISO and ever increasing asking for no noise blah blah blah..tehy WANT a photoshop look straight out of the camera..


    When really photography for me anyway is abourt working within the limitations of a set of tools - I prefer the look of a 5-6 stop limit to the look of a crappy plastic looking HDR or similar picture - there is NO connection betwen me and my eyes and my feelings to plastic artificial images -our brains do not LIKE the plastic fantastic infinity DR and night time is the new daylight crap.

    A goodthing it is easy to get refreshed - it is called a brick of TRX.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Images great, WEB interface is a nightmare!

    I like the look of these images but this is definitely something debatable. I would not call it as "the new wave" or "new art direction", as there are much more than just one wave and direction etc. when it comes to art, BUT it is definitely showing a very appealing one!

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    It is a good thing that trends over extend themselves - as they always do. It creates opportunity for a 'new vision' - for those talented and creative and brave enough to look with new eyes - and for a while this new look will be fresh ..until it becomes mainstream.

    Photoshop and illustration are the natural add ons to the digital capture reality - and yes it is all a bunch of crapola. Then again most commercial work always has been and always will be.

    However photographers are largely to blame for asking for ever increasing DR and ever increasing 'useable' ISO and ever increasing asking for no noise blah blah blah..they WANT a photoshop look straight out of the camera..


    When really photography for me anyway is about working within the limitations of a set of tools - I prefer the look of a 5-6 stop limit to the look of a crappy plastic looking HDR or similar picture - there is NO connection between me and my eyes and my feelings to plastic artificial images -our brains do not LIKE the plastic fantastic infinity DR and night time is the new daylight crap.

    A good thing it is easy to get refreshed - it is called a brick of TRX.
    I be damned if there isn't a Vulcan mind meld here Peter. I thought the same thing ... thank God you can still shoot some Tri-X in a Hassey or Rollei (or whatever) with some bitingly crisp optics.

    Actually, the world of commercial work was/is my area of expertise ... less as a shooter, and more as the Art Director/Creative Director client of commercial photographers.

    The battle being waged is one of grabbing attention in an ever increasing media tsunami washing over the consumer. The objective is to garner attention in a few short seconds at the expense of your competitor. More and more this has led to superficially "enhancing" images to grab the eye. Sensationalism is rampant in just about every sector of communication.

    IMO, this practice has been further supported by the lack of ideas from the creatively bankrupt advertising and communications industry, much of which is now run by account drones, bean-counters and research analyst. Not to mention corporate clients that will not even wipe their bums without a consensus opinion, and second thinking what the person at the next level of approval will say. At times, my ideas for an ad had to run the gauntlet of up to 11 levels of corporate approval ... 10 of which could only say NO, never yes. 10 thumbprints on any idea will obscure it by the time it gets to the 11th level ... and if that person didn't like it, it was your fault

    To be clear, I'm not against manipulation of images IF it is in the service of an idea or enhancing the "moment". We manipulate things like Depth of Field and Composition to lead the eye to what we are seeing or want to say all the time. What I do object to is manipulation that takes on a life of its own to the point that it becomes the primary content.

    I see this happening in the wedding photography industry, which went from a repetitious capturing of the same mannequin poses with different heads on the mannequins, to some lively and humanistic "defining moments" by talented shooters ... full circle back to repetitious photos who's lack of real human content is masked by surface manipulation that sensationalizes the eye.

    End of rant.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    rant appreciated. style is fine, up to a point, but not the end in itself. I think you could make a case that development in most arts is reactionary.

    personally, i like the classic stuff: strand and weston, but can enjoy a well executed Irving penn or Avedon.

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Peter,
    To be clear.....I an NOT advocating HDR, especially in its presently overused or extreme fashion. I was talking more about how modern equipment can deliver very good DR in a natural way, but that gets compressed and saturated to extremes, thus defeating what was originally captured and delivered. This works for some interpretations, but I kinda like seeing the hints of details in the shadows and stuff at times.

    I also agree with what Marc is saying that there has been a growing preponderance of style that borders on what we used to call gaudy at one point, but now seems to be used to grab attention for the client and the product they are selling. Again, I think that works well for some things, but it does tend to be overused. I was flipping through some high end commercial mags the other day and found myself bored page after page until I hit upon a few very simple, subtle, clean ads with little apparent overwork. I found them so much more interesting and attracting, but honestly, I was more into the image than even recalling the product being sold....LOL.

    With respect to the changes or cycles that Marc mentions.....I agree. We have moved from the old static mannequin poses to a blur of active "poses" trying to represent more of an editorial capture for the tabloids. Nothing really wrong there either, but the spectacular seems to be lost in much of it. Not sure how much of that is the fault of the shooter or the shootees, but it tends to lack that "moment", or is trying to force one, rather than being more natural and letting the photog really work to capture things.

    To me, everything seems so much more hurried. The attention span of the viewer is much shorter in many cases, so splash and dash rules over subtle. Maybe I am stuck in the older viewing world where it is more enjoyable studying a few good images than flipping through hundreds of mediocre or less images. Is it a quality v. quantity thing? I know that cannot be the case with single commercial ads, because there is only one shot that gets used, for the most part, but weddings and even portrait shooting has taken on the life of a thousand images over a few really nice ones. Just my opinion. (Granted, you may need to shoot a lot to get those few, but then again, shooting fewer and more deliberately could work quite well also.) Seems to be a couple of different parts to this tread, and I think that is good, as it encourages one to think about the different purposes for the images.

    O.K., time for another cup of coffee to clear a few more cobwebs, and then maybe a trip to a few galleries to look at things again. (I used to spend one full weekend day at the Museum of Art in Chicago, every week when I was growing up, and then 2-3 trips a week to the various museums in Boston when in grad school, usually between classes, just to "study" what the painters had done so deliberately. Most photography today, or maybe I should say most processing today, has a similar deliberateness, but tends to miss the point or overall look at the expense of trying to grab attention.)

    LJ

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Lj - my comments weren't aimed at anything you said...my responses were triggered b by lots of comments and lots of experience looking at the way photography in the commercial fashion area in particular has evolved -

    Marc makes the pint quite well - everything is about grabbing nanoseconds of attention span these days in a very crowded market for eyeball time...

    and I guess this then defines the difference between art and product....

    oh yeah - film still rules as far as I am concerned - or the filmic approach using digi does..

    give me some genuine emotion or Street Shooting Jazz or a genuine light dressing a landscape or a straight architectural shot - and please - spare me the rest - the true test of a great shooter is an ability to make something out of the ordinary and mundane - and not to try and dress mutton as lamb. -

    Look at the work of Avedon for example - it doesnt get any simpler than his technology - and yet the breathtaking fashion shots he delivered time after time after time..wow

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Peter,
    Was not taking offense at what you said at all. Just wanted to be clear that I was not talking about things overdone, but rather carefully utilizing what capabilities in capture may already be there, over enhancing beyond the pale. I agree with you about spending the effort to use what you have to work with when shooting, and that was sort of my point....the tools can produce a lot....except creative genius ;-) Doing the over-the-top processing does have a place, and maybe some of the commercial stuff is that place, but the apparent dearth of creative vision, coupled with the "we can fix that in Photoshop" attitude have worked to transform some stuff from what could be very artistic (like Avedon) to nearly cartoonish in the overcooked way.

    The good part of all this is that it can get one thinking more and trying things (going back to some of the older ways maybe?) in order to be more creative, as well as artistically expressive without going too surreal....unless intentional, like Irakly's stuff.

    I too enjoy a great moody or emotional shot, even with suppressed details or low DR, but more-so if it looks like what I saw of felt at the time, rather than concocted in post just to sell a commercial style or something. Hard for me to explain. I come from a more photojournalistic background, so overmanipulation of things seems very out of place for me....a bit of enhancement is fine, but not to the point of "wasting" the emotion of the original. Make sense?

    LJ

    P.S. Want to see one scary future of things? Check out this new tech processing:
    http://www.cs.princeton.edu/gfx/pubs...patchmatch.mp4

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    Re: Some inspiration:

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I thought that some of those photographers took the *art* so far that they lost sight of the occasion.
    As a wedding photographer myself I believe you couldn't have spoken a truer word....

    To be honest all I'm seeing in the wedding section is an advertisment for the LR presets!
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 7th June 2009 at 13:49.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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