New project - discussing the other side to the photographic art

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Overread, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well we have lots and lots of talk of cameras - from lenses to ISOs and shutters the forum, nay the entire photographic world is all talking of tech gear - from books to websites to in person. It's worthy talk indeed and I won't begrudge anyone to chat about camera gear (heck I know I like to!)

    However that is only one side of the game - there are others. Many jump from tech to comp - to debating and understanding how to frame the subject, how to compose and create art that will please the viewer - be the viewer just the photographer or the client.

    But there is yet one more area, a dark area that fewer speak of and one that tends to get sidelined into shot sharp common advice and to be often overlooked. I am talking of course with working with your subject. The act of not just working with camera, light and art, but also of working with your subject to attain the best possible result.
    Be that subject a bride and groom, a child, a building, a landscape, a fox or a fish!

    So I'm proposing that we start up some discussions about these very aspects of photography. From basic to advanced skills - to generate some discussion that is not art or tech but which allows us to bring those two elements together with our chosen subject.

    So I'll need volunteers to help spearhead these discussions I'm not going to start them all at once - nay that would defeat them through overload. So I'm aiming for at least one if not two a week - activity on the discussions will of course play a part in how long it it before another appears. I also need your input in how to work this - how best to start these discussions - what subjects we can include etc...

    So anyone out there think this is a worthy idea and willing to take part?
     
  2. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    Its 1 am Over. Go to bed! In all seriousness... will edit this in the morning
     
  3. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I do not have the experience of others here, yet I am going to start this first part.


    What I have learned of late.
    BASIC

    Types of landscape:

    1. Large, open, expansive vistas. Whether they be mountains, lakes, valleys, fields, oceans...I think you get the idea.

    a. Horizons:
    When composing these, first and easiest (in my mind), is to try and get the horizon straight. Where in the image to place the horizon can be up to the individual, the guidelines of 3rds is not set in concrete.
    Now mind you, the horizon placed in the middle of the image works if there is a reflection. Other wise holding true to the 3rds guidlines may be more important for other images, again discretion can be decided during the moment before click - although cropping is an excellent tool for remedy of this mistake.
    b. Time of day:
    This can be critical to the WOW factor of this type of image. This could mean an early morning climb...and I mean early. Or a late afternoon with a potential of a nasty climbe back down. Or an overnight experience...depending on weather could be a great part of the experience.
    Capturing the sun, or storm or mist rolling on, around, up, down can be a fleeting moment and sometimes it is just timing, while some are very good at planning these events.


    (This is a beginning-part1, for me- I am not sure how long to make this and still keep interest, and generate response)
     
  4. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Format
    Your avatar is exhausting to watch...[​IMG]
     
  5. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Not sure how much can be said about this subject but since I can't sleep (3 am here) I'll throw out a couple ideas of mine.

    Models: For commercial work, I only work with pro models. Because they know what they are doing, shoots go faster and shots look a lot more natural. When you have to manipulate a model into position, they often end up looking very stiff and unnatural. Plus pro models know and accept the fact that the work can be torture and they'll keep working in weird situations.

    For my personal work (about 99.99% nudes) I prefer to use non pros. I'm in no rush and I tend to get better/more interesting poses as they haven't learned yet what the poses are supposed to be.


    Lenses: I prefer fixed focal length lenses because they force you to look at your subject while you are walking towards or away from it which makes you discover other ways to approach said subject. With zooms, people tend to zoom in, zoom out, click, let's move on.

    Babies: Do women take better photos of babies? Considering who is well know in that field, I would say yes. Which, frankly, shouldn't be surprising. Women have a bond with kids that men cannot really have. Of course, like any other generalization, this is not always true.

    That's it for now.
     
  6. Morpheuss

    Morpheuss TPF Noob!

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    I personally love taking photos of landscapes/nature so I love to go in the early morning to get the sunrise or the sunset. I prefer sunset because you don't have to wake up super early and sometimes you can get some really amazing shots when it is dark also. For nature photos I like to just go to a park or someplace and just walk around and if I see something I like I take a photo of it.

    I do really like the idea of people sharing how they work with their subjects to get the results they want say if I want to try out some other photograhy I will have a sliver of an idea.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  7. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    Might I first say - brilliant idea this discussion, really.

    And then, well, since most of my work is studio based, I guess it really gets more technical than anything else - although posing be a science I might add.

    But for the more creative me - Urban Photography.

    I love venturing out either in the middle of rush hour and try and capture those moments, or in the dead of night, when a lonely passer by surely has a story to share.

    What I look for:

    I try to capture subjects without revealing who they are. This could be done by angle (try not to get the face...) or by focus (make the faces a bit blurry, which however, more often than not looks a bit...well, shall we just say - not good) but most of all I love to work with light.
    Street lights casting shadows, buidlings casting shadows, cars casting shadows, heck...anything could cast a shadow and with these shadows I play.

    In my opinion, Urban Photography is best shot in B&W, but that is just my two cents on that matter.

    One thing that I really love about UP is, that seldom is there a need to crawl out at the break of dawn, or down enough coffee to stay up late (well, relatively speaking) as there is always light of some sort in the city :sexywink:
     
  8. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    I hate subject matter.

    Photography, of all the expressive arts, is hostage to subject matter and there is no way around the problem without becoming a painter or a Photoshop expert; painting by numbers in effect. A picture, if it is aimed at doing more than showing what something looks like, if it is intended to reward intense looking, needs to have deeper levels of meaning. These deeper levels are carried by visual metaphors and similes. For example if you want to express "drama" then a gothic castle at night during a thunder storm will do fine; for "beauty" try a sunny landscape with rocks, flowers, trees, clouds, waves, and so on. It is the hardest thing to find subject matter so that your photograph will say what you want it to say. As Minor White put it "Ask not what the photograph is of, ask what else it is of".

    I love subject matter.

    Photography is the only picture making process that is directly and physically linked to subject matter. An 8x10 sheet of film actually absorbs about 10 to the minus 25 kilograms of stuff that a moment before was part of the subject matter. The penetration of this stuff, at 300 000km/second, into a sensitive surface causes the photograph to form where it hits. Photographs are, of all picture making processes, certificates for reality. It is a shocking thing that photography teaches us: there are real things out there that can say "truth", "beauty", "grace", "sadness", and so on. It's enough to give you goose bumps!

    That is the power that subject matter confers on photography.
     
  9. bentcountershaft

    bentcountershaft Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Don't yell at your subjects to get them to pose correctly. Unless the subject is a tree. Trees have attitude problems and need to be lined out.

    When shooting wild animals, such as children, the most important tool in your belt is patience.
     
  10. Mendoza

    Mendoza TPF Noob!

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    - With landscapes, there's you and there's nature. You set the place and the time, nature sets the scene, and the alignment of the two determines the outcome. Of course, one doesn't follow the other, they simply coexist.
    A little while ago I went into a forest campground I hadn't been before. It was overcast, there were a million people, and the area was not looking promising. I went off on a side trail, convinced I was in the worst place in the universe for taking nature shots when something caught my attention.. something sensual. And here I look down to find two millipedes mating -- something I've never seen. Grabbed the macro lens and even in absolute shade managed a couple decent captures of an intimate, alien moment.
    To answer the original query, I work with nature by planning, adapting, observing, repeating, and accepting the forces beyond my control. I also tend to move around a lot to try and find the best spot/angle, which is partly why I avoid tripods whenever possible.
    - Abstract stuff is a bit like still life, except with more latitude. My abstract photos are usually staged, so that's an instance where--apart from the sun and its effect, if any, on the photograph--I'm completely in control. The key there seems to be previsualization and intent; knowing when an arrangement of objects, for instance, will "work." Or maybe it works better from a different angle, or with different light. Or it could be completely experimental. It's technical and intuitive.
     

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