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Duck
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femini piperis

Post by Duck » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:48 am

Inspired by Edward Weston's Pepper images I thought I'd play around with a few I picked from the store. I saw the extreme curvature of these and was contemplating a heart shaped theme with them. However, I was not liking how the heart was coming out that I changed directions. What are your thoughts? More importantly, can I (or should I) include this in my online portfolio in the food section?
Unitas_Photography-3586.jpg
femini piperis
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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:01 am

Long have I looked. Technically it is superb, beautifully lit, shaaaaaarp, detail everywhere, outstanding "print quality" (I can't express it any other way), but for me it is not arresting. As you know I wander through hypothetical museums and galleries looking for that which arrests me, makes me stop and look and ponder. I don't want to say I don't like the picture; I do. I always like technically excellent work, but this one doesn't make me gasp (let's say). I wish it did! Let's see what other folks think.
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Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:26 am

Duck wrote:Inspired by Edward Weston's Pepper images I thought I'd play around with a few I picked from the store. I saw the extreme curvature of these and was contemplating a heart shaped theme with them. However, I was not liking how the heart was coming out that I changed directions. What are your thoughts? More importantly, can I (or should I) include this in my online portfolio in the food section?
Unitas_Photography-3586.jpg


Very phallic for me; if it is your intention to convey that, you have. The tones on the "shoulders" of the back pepper appear washed out on my screen. The white interior of the front pepper support the phallic aspect. I find it amazing you have been able to make a black object stand out against a black background. Very well done. I think the framing is just right; anything smaller or larger would have cramped or lost the peppers.The white interior is in very sharp focus while the background pepper is not, calling attention to the core. I don't know whether it would be possible to keep both equally sharp and what effect that would have. I have tried that myself with other close subjects and have not had success with the depth of field. Overall, I find this an arresting image; it has stopped me and made me think. Thanks. Matt
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Post by Psjunkie » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:18 pm

Most has been said Duck...not sure how this would go over in the food section of your portfolio...might be better perceived under and art heading.

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Post by Duck » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:21 pm

Thanks for offering comments folks. This is one of those images that ride the cusp between like and meh for me as well. As I stated, my original concept was good in theory but did not realize well. As I was playing with arrangements this composition caught my eye and, as Matt pointed out, seemed rather phallic. I opted to explore that concept. That led me to my "dissecting" the pepper as I had a vision of anatomical illustration in mind and that, of course, returned me to ask whether it actually works or not.

Unfortunately the peppers were not without damage but, as the shapes were what caught my eye initially, I had to take what was on the shelf. I can't claim that is why the focus is softer to the back. This was shot at f/16 with the focus set deliberately on the seed pack. In retrospect I think Matt is right and the back should be more in focus. I'll just need to find a replacement for the dissected pepper as that was happily consumed.

I feel inclined to continue exploring the sexual theme with these peppers. In working with these last night I had another concept come to mind. I just ran out of time. I'm thinking of trying again tonight.
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Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:22 pm

Can't wait for the next attempt. Critiquing the first was a good exercise for me in avoiding the "I don't like it" approach and trying to focus on principles. Good larnin' . Matt
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Post by minniev » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:50 pm

Duck wrote:Inspired by Edward Weston's Pepper images I thought I'd play around with a few I picked from the store. I saw the extreme curvature of these and was contemplating a heart shaped theme with them. However, I was not liking how the heart was coming out that I changed directions. What are your thoughts? More importantly, can I (or should I) include this in my online portfolio in the food section?
Unitas_Photography-3586.jpg


While Weston's peppers have always appeared to me to be female, yours appears to be male. While I don't mind the back-most part of the pepper being softer in focus, I think I'm affected by Westonian expectations, rather than accepting Duckian interpretations as being a new and different thing of equal worth. For some reason, I'm inclined to want to see this version in color, perhaps to help exorcise Weston's from my mind.

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Post by Duck » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:08 am

minniev wrote:While Weston's peppers have always appeared to me to be female, yours appears to be male. [...]

Interesting as I did not see this as male. Go figure, eh? :S

Anyhow, this is another concept I had in mind. The actual final one (which I didn't get to finish) has the two end pepper dissected as in the first image and the red pepper in a more central position. I'll get to that later, before the peppers start going bad. :D

Unitas_Photography-3649.jpg
A black and gray version...

Unitas_Photography-3649-2.jpg
...and a subdued color version
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Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:38 am

Now this new one I like, in black and white. I don't care as much for the muted color. This has that arresting quality but if you ask me why and what I really can't say. If I saw it in a museum or gallery I would look at it for some time. Would I wonder what the artist was trying to say? Noooo. Would I see sexual or other symbolism? Noooo. Mayyybe. I like the quality of the light. I like its dimensionality. I like the vignette, whether done with the lighting or in post. I like the balanced composition with the red pepper at fulcrum. Taken all together I like the picture. Whyyyyy? I dud-doh. :| But I likes it.
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Post by St3v3M » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:05 am

Duck wrote:Thanks for offering comments folks. This is one of those images that ride the cusp between like and meh for me as well. ...

I've come to believe there are images you post and images you love and if you don't know it isn't it. I hope this helps!

If I may offer an opinion though, crop it square and darken the background the point it isn't the focus. S-
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