Death Valley - in the Details

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by abraxas, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From a hike up one of the DV National Park Canyons
    [​IMG]
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Always appreciate your photos abraxas.

    For me there are several factors to my pleasure of this photo.

    Firstly, the B&W is a nice look for this shot.

    Secondly, the angle of the lines in the background wall, with thousands of years of wear are remarkably transfered by the boulder in the foreground.

    Tertiary, I'm seeing four caricatures in the background wall (right hand side). Three skinny ones and one robust (far right).

    I also see a pair of bullet breast, like on a '53 Caddie, curving down to a Jane Mansfield waist, but then again, maybe I'm just lonely.

    Well done. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Nice, cool cliffs. I agree that the B&W adds to this shot.
     
  4. Stan (AG)

    Stan (AG) TPF Noob!

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    Chiaroscuro is the way to go which gives overwhelming emotion to this composition. Nicely done.
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    This is a tough call for me. It's good, but I don't love it. I think because there isn't enough shadow and/or detail. What strikes me about the older shots of this style is the level of sheer grittiness in the rocks, which of course lends to a deeply earthy feel (obvious, I know, but critical nonetheless). Usually, this was achieved by some either/or combination of highest resolution film possible (notably, this was sometimes ortho), and really adept printing. You also have to remember that the actual era photos were printed on pretty specialized papers, which would have been a) Bromide based, b) Chloro, but selected for particularly rich blacks, such as the famous Dupont Velour that was known to be a favorite of Weston and Adams', or c) Azo.

    As such, I think a couple things could be better:
    1) It could be a bit sharper.
    2) I'd like to see more emphasis on shadows and shadow detail.
    3) Printing in general is really important here. You might be able to come close on a computer screen, but it won't ever quite approach the surface of the paper that this shot would have or ought to be printed on. Bromide papers are going to be tough...most of the ones floating around now are a bit foggy. The chloro papers I'd recommend, in order, are Ektalure (I can hook you up if you'd like some), Oriental, or Foma VC. Alternately, AZO is still available and astonishingly, not too expensive. It would require, of course, that you learn how to process in Amidol. Remember, as well, that paper selection doesn't have to lose significance because you're working with a digital workflow. Generally speaking, matte inkjet papers tend to absorb too much black. As such, while you can get very black blacks, it's hard to maintain good shadow detail at the same time. All of the papers I mentioned could be printed on with a Lightjet at a pro lab, with the exception of Azo.

    If that was all a nostalgic, nonsensical rant, then I apologize. But I hope that made some sense.
     
  6. The Empress

    The Empress TPF Noob!

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    I agree also that the b&w adds to the shot, the shadows and natural lines are amazing! Great capture!!!
     
  7. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks everyone- it all makes sense. I've learned a lot by posting this.
     
  8. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    beautiful,

    I love the shadows... really nice shadows....
     
  9. This is a very nice image, but I bet this is a LOT better as a print than as a tiny JPG at 72 dpi on a back-lit monitor. I think Max is right, a lot of concerns could easily be a monitor issue, and printing will really take this to the next level.
     
  10. Oh, and let me be clear, it's a great image!
     
  11. Mohain

    Mohain TPF Noob!

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    Great shot and I like the tones. Very old school!
     
  12. T_J

    T_J TPF Noob!

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    I really like this picture.

    In fact I have come back to it about four times now.

    A lot of times, shots like this fail to capture the things that are truly amazing about these structures. Or they overemphasize one thing and fail to give a "whole picture" look. I think you have struck a nice balance of texture and perceived size, resulting in a fine picture.

    Also, the color, texture and form of the foreground remind me of an elephant.
     

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