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[SI] XXXV (old stuff) Alan's comments



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 21st 04, 06:16 PM
Alan Browne
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Default [SI] XXXV (old stuff) Alan's comments


The "old stuff" SI has yielded some interesting photos. Some of
which are very strong in all senses. Some are subtle, and some
will suffer my less generous treatment.


Bowser - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611087

Another of Bowsers high contrast, dead simple compositions.
While there is a lot of detail, the empty sky really begs the
question, "what's beyond here?" Regarding the mandate, whether
alive or dead, the weather aged elements of this shot, trees and
rocks, certainly speak of a long time while in contrast the clean
fresh appearance speak of continued renewal. Good shot ... hope
you worked over the scene and got more, esp. close-ups.

Martin Djernaes* - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611100

This shot is very striking for its simplicity and saturated
background color. Not sure how this was lit but there appears to
be a lot of yellow on the BG and a bluish source from the left...
The whole thing is rather bizarre isn't it? A barbers chair, but
no counter for the barbers tools. An ad hoc shoeshine chair?
No, doesn't have the right foot rests... I would guess that the
shot was made at some sort of museum or exhibition, possibly a
stage for a play. Strong image, bit weird. Definitely says
something about "old" style...

Simon Lee - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611101

Yet another dig at the old film world. (See Nick James' shot in
Boundaries). Composition here is a bit too simple for my taste
and usually expect something more dynamic from Simon. (
http://www.pbase.com/image/27382282 comes to mind.) In the
presented shot there is some selective focus and mild converging
lines... the Y&B coloring is strong. A sheet of black paper
camera side (with a hole to shoot through) to eliminate the fore
highlights, and a flatter/softer light off the to the left/back
to produce white-flat highlights would have been more effective
and really pops the yellows. Very cool idea, but I don't think
you maxed it here... the collection of old Kodak cans is impressive.

Vic Mason - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611102

Mixed ideas here. The plane is a carpentry tool and we would
expect to see fresh unstained, unpainted wood and the obligatory
cliché curls of wood from the plane. The wood that is presented
looks like some renovation is underway. Composition has some
strength with the predominant lines broken here and there. Shot
seems a wee bit underexposed.

McLeod* - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611103

The old lady running the old style lunch counter. Says it all.
Shot seems a little out of focus or shaky and the pose is very
contrived. Would have perhaps been more interesting if she were
active, belying her age. One of the finer restaurants in your
area, I take it? (jab at Ontario boy).

Ken Nadvornick - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611104

Another documentary shot from Ken that is little different in
style from his last shot for Entrances and Exists. This one is
more interesting and less cluttered than the prev. example. The
reason is that this shot is nearly 2D in depth (prev. one had a
lot of BG clutter). Here there is some shadow that lifts some
elements off of the image in a pleasing way. Shot is contrasty
and sharp. I wish that Ken would begin a more 3D and detailed
look at the world ... this style shot is getting ... old.

Brian Fane - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611105

While you were in WA mode you should have really closed in to
remove the headstone on the lower right. I'm guessing you used
slide film here or a pretty good digi as the shadow side on the
left is almost dead in detail. The blasted blues and the slight
vignetting indicate a polarizer. Somehow the notion of old
doesn't carry here because the scene is so fresh looking, a
pleasant day, fresh. Good shot but I would have gotten in even
closer to the stone.

Eric Quesnel-Williams- http://www.pbase.com/image/32611106

Neat macro shot, lot's of detail and the use of new stamps as oof
background is visually very effective in drawing attention to the
detail in the old QV stamp. The close cropping is, of course,
another appealing part of this image. Very well done. I'm
guessing you had the stamp held by some device some height above
the other stamps or possibly, but less likely, on a sheet of
glass and very careful attention to lighting. From Eric I
expected something more along the lines of a spooky graveyard at
midnight ... but Eric surprises again.

Brian Baird - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611107

While clearly an old wreck of a barn, esp. with the growth
suggesting it has been abandoned, the composition is a bit
centered and dull. Muted colors do not appear natural at all.
Ah, "desaturated in photoshop" it says below the image... well
not only did this not help the image, it is also a violation of
the sacred rulz. Please obtain a whip and flog yourself. For
the composition, more foreground or skyline to "place" the barn
as well as a less centered shot would have certainly helped. Or
get in close and photograph some detail.

Graham Fountain - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611108

I'll blame a lot on the scan quality here. The shot appears
overexposed, on the other hand detail inside is missing, so
appears more to be just a bad scan. The composition almost works
except for the great blob of tree behind the barn. Shot
appears mildly fuzzy, and again this might be the scanning
process (look into unsharp mask). A tighter composition, and a
lower shooting vantage might have given this very work oriented
barn a little more dignity and importance and possibly mask a lot
of that damned tree. The tractor with the canted front wheels
looks damned old, but the serviceable equipment looks to be same
era ... how old is the photo?

Doug Payne - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611109

Love the composition and detail. Exception being the blob on the
lower left (stone or something). The top 10% could have been
cropped out and perhaps more of the post (or whatever) on the
right included. The color (pinkish red) looks a bit manipulated.

Jim Kramer - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611109

Too simple. The same prop in a contextually supporting scene
would have been much more interesting. As such the busy
background does not support the simple shot. The flat on view is
boring and has little dynamic. eg: The same shot with the weapon
held by a yellow leather gloved hand and at a cocky angle would
have been a smashing hit esp. close-up to a horse using the hair
as background.

Alan Browne - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611111

Louisbourg is a magical place. There is nothing modern about it
(except the well disguised bathrooms, no signs, you need to ask).
And they have folks dressed for the period, and working in
roles of the period. Wonderful place. This shot is one of only
two that I could take here. There was very limited space for a
tripod and people milling about. As it is, I had to ask a couple
people to unblock the natural light from the window. The
perspective on this shot is a bit too low and the angle of the
camera resulted in the distorted view. (Was hard to judge in the
dark space working quickly near the floor with tourists stepping
on my toes, fingers and bag (photo bag, that is!). A better
angle: http://www.aliasimages.com/images/ol...rowne_oldb.jpg
but the action too far to the right ... blacksmith moved around
quite a lot.

Christian Gatien - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611112

Superb composition and selection for the mandate. Only nit is
the blob of red from another car in the reflection which disturbs
the simplicity of the shot. This same shot should have been done
on slide film for greater punch.

Al Denelsbeck - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611113

Mysterious. I have no idea what this is. Fossil or ancient
imprint? Overall composition is as dull as the colors. Slight
relief from the contrasting light.

Michelo - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611114

Strangely like Al. D's shot in tone. A lot more "stuff" here,
modern fossilization of debris ... possibly near an abandoned
semi demolished site? Some of the artifacts look like old fuses
from pre-breaker days and bits of other scrap. Composition
doesn't hold the eye for very long and like Al's shot, the colors
are a bit dull, 'thought he gold/yellow colors against the
white-grey grit are appealing.

Bob Hickey - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611115

This is the kind of documentary shot that Bob does so well at and
of course meets the mandate. Good composition and great
lighting. Ruined by poor scanning. I'm sure you had more
contrast in the original to work with as well as a sharper shot.

Mojtaba Talaian - http://www.pbase.com/image/32613897

Er. What's the old part? Decrepit urban decay, maybe. I do like
the alleyway and the way it curves just so at the end. It is a
bit too centered in the composition and this is a good
opportunity to get down low for the shot and get the dynamics up
high (or get way above it which is not as easy to find).

Mike Henley - http://www.pbase.com/image/32620513

This shot, while portraying something old, doesn't focus on any
one thing. The lighting choice is odd as it doesn't provide
contrast where it would have done some good ... statue of Mary on
the right. The stone work on the left show some nice detail and
lighting ... but not where it was really needed. I think other
parts of the same site would have given you much stronger images.

Chitbul - http://www.pbase.com/image/32620558

Mixed feelings over whether the clutter supports or detracts from
the statement here. The dust is oddly a contributing element to
the shot and most of us can remember the smell of these tube
radios when they got nice and hot. Shot is too centered and
dull... find angles, get closer, bring out the logo (hard to do
here...), etc. Possibly the setting of the radio (pull back)
would have gotten the message out too...

Colm Gallagher - http://www.pbase.com/image/32663387

When I first saw this shot it reminded me very much of
Chichen-Itza in Mexico. While clearly old, there is so little
information that we can't really place it. Great detail and
contrast, ordinary composition, but at least not "flat on" as too
many recent contributions from SIers.

Steve McCartney - http://www.pbase.com/image/32663393

Very good composition and use of natural light. (in some sense
similar to my own contribution to the SI). What is very strong
here of course is the social statement appropriate to our times.
Here is the small locksmith of a certain age, working amongst
his efficient small layout. He's content with his lot in life
.... but it is unlikely that his business will survive his
retirement... a way of life that is disappearing... I like the
way the subject is lit... effective and worthy as a lifestyle
documentary. very good shot.

R. Schenck - http://www.pbase.com/image/32707419

This shot meets the mandate well in terms of subject (I assume
it's fossilized bone...), but the composition is weak. Closer,
tighter and without the clapboard background would have been much
more effective. The soft lighting is very appealing with the
selective focus used. Highlights seem a bit over.



That's it.

Cheers,
Alan

--
-- rec.photo.equipment.35mm user resource:
-- http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.--

  #3  
Old August 21st 04, 08:54 PM
Sabineellen
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Mike Henley - http://www.pbase.com/image/32620513

This shot, while portraying something old, doesn't focus on any
one thing. The lighting choice is odd as it doesn't provide
contrast where it would have done some good ... statue of Mary on
the right. The stone work on the left show some nice detail and
lighting ... but not where it was really needed. I think other
parts of the same site would have given you much stronger images.


Thanks Alan. Enjoyed reading your comments - read every word of them - and
learnt some.

I'm often curious if people had taken other images and why they left them out.
In fact, Richard said that if I wanted voting on the SI then I better start
another one. Well, I wouldn't want to do that, but I would more be interested
in an SI Reject Photos gallery where the left out photos can be displayed, say
up to 5 photos, perhaps even allowing, though not requiring, a caption by their
submitter on why they were left out and a link to the one submitted to the SI
and why it was chosen. I guess people who only take one image wouldn't take
part, but those who take a bunch like I do may.

Come to think of it. What do you guys think? I'll happily take care of the
logistics such as an email to send to, simple hosting and display, and time
etc.


Now, this shot, well, my main reason in choosing it is that it's something old
as you said, but also that there is a juxtaposition between the strong,
vertical, sharp, almost incisive lines of the stone work on the left, that are
well-lit (in fact, well-lit enough that the lighting intensifies this
incisiveness), obvious and surprisingly clean (well, relatively), compared to
on the right of the madonna that has feminine, soft, peaceful and curvacious
lines, is unlit, not so obvoius, and surprisingly seemed to have suffered the
elements more that even baby jesus is black! ... (or maybe they're all in the
same state, but the lighting made the difference)... strangely though the halo
oh her head remains clean.

The madonna alone wouldn't have interested me much, the incisive lines on the
right alone wouldn't have interested me much, but the two in balance made
something of a commentary, especially with that lighting. Maybe a subtle
commentary that I read into it attracted me.


You see, I'm a little obsessive when it comes to the lines of an image and
their meaning. Here's another image I took for that mandate that maybe someone
else might've found just fine

http://photos1.blogger.com/img/192/1...4/HPIM0524.jpg

But there's something about it that neurotically unnerves me.

There's a similar image with a slight difference

http://photos1.blogger.com/img/192/1...0cropped.1.jpg

I also considered these

http://photos1.blogger.com/img/192/1...HPIM0550.1.jpg

http://photos1.blogger.com/img/192/1...4/HPIM0547.jpg

I'm often curious if people had taken other images and why they left them out.
In fact, Richard said that if I wanted voting on the SI then I better start
another one. Well, I wouldn't want to do that, but I would more be interested
in an SI Reject Photos gallery where the left out photos can be displayed, say
up to 5 photos, perhaps even allowing, though not requiring, a caption by their
submitter on why they were left out and a link to the one submitted to the SI
and why it was chosen. I guess people who only take one image wouldn't take
part, but those who take a bunch like I do may.

Come to think of it. What do you guys think? I'll happily take care of the
logistics such as an email to send to, simple hosting and display, and time
etc.


  #4  
Old August 21st 04, 10:27 PM
Mojtaba
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On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 13:16:49 -0400, Alan Browne
wrote:

Mojtaba Talaian - http://www.pbase.com/image/32613897

Er. What's the old part?


You are the second person to wonder about "the old" in this picture,
Perhaps there has been several other viewers who have thought so. I
must now confess that I have not been able to show what I felt when I
saw the alley, namely the old way of city building.

ecrepit urban decay, maybe. I do like
the alleyway and the way it curves just so at the end. It is a
bit too centered in the composition and this is a good
opportunity to get down low for the shot and get the dynamics up
high (or get way above it which is not as easy to find).


I shall admit that I have been waiting and hoping that you comment on
this round of SI. Thank you, your comments are as usual useful and
correct.

regards,

Mojtaba (Wishes to find a good motiv for "Heat", while it's showering
outside)

  #5  
Old August 22nd 04, 12:35 AM
McLeod
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On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 13:16:49 -0400, Alan Browne
wrote:

McLeod* - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611103

The old lady running the old style lunch counter. Says it all.
Shot seems a little out of focus or shaky and the pose is very
contrived. Would have perhaps been more interesting if she were
active, belying her age. One of the finer restaurants in your
area, I take it? (jab at Ontario boy).



The image was shot with a soft/warm filter. Illumination was open
shade through front window of the diner so it would have been blue
without it. The soft filter was as a kindness. Unfortunately, most
of the softness in the submitted image was due to a very quick scan
job and a quick blast with the dust and scratches filter. As for the
pose, I asked permission to take her picture and she posed herself. It
is her usual pose when working. The burger and fries in the
foreground are mine; the other is my wife's. The restaurant isn't in
ON, it's in Winnipeg's North End.
  #6  
Old August 22nd 04, 12:35 AM
McLeod
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On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 13:16:49 -0400, Alan Browne
wrote:

McLeod* - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611103

The old lady running the old style lunch counter. Says it all.
Shot seems a little out of focus or shaky and the pose is very
contrived. Would have perhaps been more interesting if she were
active, belying her age. One of the finer restaurants in your
area, I take it? (jab at Ontario boy).



The image was shot with a soft/warm filter. Illumination was open
shade through front window of the diner so it would have been blue
without it. The soft filter was as a kindness. Unfortunately, most
of the softness in the submitted image was due to a very quick scan
job and a quick blast with the dust and scratches filter. As for the
pose, I asked permission to take her picture and she posed herself. It
is her usual pose when working. The burger and fries in the
foreground are mine; the other is my wife's. The restaurant isn't in
ON, it's in Winnipeg's North End.
  #7  
Old August 22nd 04, 12:38 AM
S Lee
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Alan Browne choreographed a chorus line of high-kicking electrons to
spell out:

Simon Lee - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611101

Yet another dig at the old film world. (See Nick James' shot in
Boundaries). Composition here is a bit too simple for my taste
and usually expect something more dynamic from Simon. (
http://www.pbase.com/image/27382282 comes to mind.)


"Do not look into laser with remaining eye."

In the
presented shot there is some selective focus and mild converging
lines... the Y&B coloring is strong. A sheet of black paper
camera side (with a hole to shoot through) to eliminate the fore
highlights, and a flatter/softer light off the to the left/back
to produce white-flat highlights would have been more effective
and really pops the yellows. Very cool idea, but I don't think
you maxed it here... the collection of old Kodak cans is impressive.


Thanks for the lighting tips... (hey, it's always about lighting)
this is what I get for not bringing an off-camera flash cable with me
also.

--
__ A L L D O N E! B Y E B Y E!
(__ * _ _ _ _
__)|| | |(_)| \ "...and then, the squirrels attacked."
  #8  
Old August 22nd 04, 01:46 AM
Graham Fountain
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"Alan Browne" wrote in message
. ..
Graham Fountain - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611108

I'll blame a lot on the scan quality here. The shot appears overexposed,
on the other hand detail inside is missing, so appears more to be just a
bad scan.

The neg is very slightly overexposed, but not too bad. It does have detail
inside the shed visible, and there is more detail in the grass and in the
sky than what is visible on the scan. A few other negs that I have scanned
with this scanner have turned out rubbish - they seem to have areas where
there is no graduation in grey-scales, they go from mid-tones to black or
white with nothing in between - some almost look like they are 4 bit instead
of 8 bit. I suspect it scans in 8 bit, then applies
brightness/contrast/negative adjustments on the 8 bit image, thus losing
even more bit-depth. It's colour performance is even worse, some scans look
like when you have windows in 16 colour mode.
It's a scanner that we have at work, and I only get to use it for a few
minutes in the morning before we start, so I didn't get enough time to
really experiment with it's best settings. I get an Epson RX510 soon, so
here's hoping that it'll be able to do a significantly better job of negs.
Unfortunately my budget doesn't extend to a specialty film scanner, or for
that matter a darkroom and optical enlarger.
The composition almost works except for the great blob of tree behind the
barn.

Point taken.
Shot appears mildly fuzzy, and again this might be the scanning process
(look into unsharp mask). A tighter composition, and a lower shooting
vantage might have given this very work oriented barn a little more dignity
and importance and possibly mask a lot of that damned tree. The tractor
with the canted front wheels looks damned old, but the serviceable
equipment looks to be same era ... how old is the photo?

uhm... either the 7th or the 8th of August. we went to visit my in-laws who
live on a farm a couple hours drive away. Saw this old shed with the old
tractors inside so took a couple of shots. Took a few other possible shots
on that weekend - an old tractor, an old car body, but the shed seemed to me
the best.



  #9  
Old August 22nd 04, 09:26 AM
Ken Nadvornick
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"Alan Browne" wrote:

Ken Nadvornick - http://www.pbase.com/image/32611104

Another documentary shot from Ken that is little different in
style from his last shot for Entrances and Exists. This one is
more interesting and less cluttered than the prev. example. The
reason is that this shot is nearly 2D in depth (prev. one had a
lot of BG clutter). Here there is some shadow that lifts some
elements off of the image in a pleasing way. Shot is contrasty
and sharp. I wish that Ken would begin a more 3D and detailed
look at the world ... this style shot is getting ... old.


Hi Alan,

Old? After only two images? Hmm. Interesting implications, that...

But thank you for the comment (seriously) as I hadn't noticed that aspect.
I honestly don't let my previous subjects enter into my choices for
subsequent subjects. If I see something I find interesting that I think
fits the current theme, I simply concentrate on that subject. That a pair
of more-or-less single-plane compositions snuck their way in back-to-back
implies no conspiracy, I can assure you...

Regarding "2D" versus "3D," I assume you are likely grappling with the lack
of an immediately obvious vanishing point in the picture. This was
intentional, although the converging lines between the sections of sidewalk
do subtly hint at its location.

The objects that originally attracted my interest were the wonderful old
signs. Especially that sheet steel "Coca Cola" sign with all of those cool
bullet holes in it, presumably courtesy of its original rural roadside
location somewhere. The signs are, by their very nature, visually 2D
objects and were most effectively presented, I felt, in a 2D-style
composition.

The presence of a few additional 3D objects, the wood-burning cooking stove,
hand-crank clothes washer and rust-frozen tractor/plow, was simply a
fortuitous coincidence. I felt the inclusion of the tractor's circular
wheels served to provide a nice counterpoint to the otherwise heavily
right-angled layout of the various signs, door and windows.

In fact, one of the aspects I like best about this photograph is that -
other than possibly the Delco Batteries sign on the far right-hand edge -
every single point in the picture meets the mandate of depicting Old Stuff
of some sort. Even the sidewalk itself.

And as far as "begin a more... detailed look at the world" is concerned, I
wish you could see this as the original print. (The *only* way to validly
experience a true photograph. They are not virtual things, but rather
something real which must be holdable in one's hands, IMHO.) Kodak Plus-X
film is capable of rendering almost magical prints, if properly handled. I
can't imagine packing much more detail - both the literal "detail" and
figurative "looking" - into this photo without risking it becoming, well...
cluttered. Something we both appear to agree on. ;-)

As always, Alan, thank you for your usably detailed review. Yours are the
comments I most look forward to reading, as I can almost always find within
the kernel of your observations something which I can apply to a future
effort. No TD here...

Ken



  #10  
Old August 22nd 04, 11:28 AM
Colm
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Thanks for your comments Alan,

The shot is very ordinary I'll admit. I hadn't really got anything done for the SI, but felt I
wanted to enter something to keep Mr Young happy :-)
The subject of the shot is the entrance to Grianan Ailigh, which is a fort in Donegal, Ireland,
dating back 2,000 years. It commands a strategic view of the surrounding countryside.
http://www.colmgallagher.com/photo/grianan/index.htm

--
Colm


"Alan Browne" wrote in message
. ..
: Colm Gallagher - http://www.pbase.com/image/32663387
:
: When I first saw this shot it reminded me very much of
: Chichen-Itza in Mexico. While clearly old, there is so little
: information that we can't really place it. Great detail and
: contrast, ordinary composition, but at least not "flat on" as too
: many recent contributions from SIers.


 




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