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Flowers & Plants CritiqueLeaves X 3 ways

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minniev
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Leaves X 3 ways

Post by minniev » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:22 am

Leaves in Gatineau Park on a rainy day. Shot and processed differently (the last is an artistic version but I wanted it in the same set since they were all shot a few feet apart). Feedback of all kinds is appreciated!

I will add that rightly or wrongly, I never place or arrange,and I deliberately cut off parts of stuff. Feel free to tell me that I should change my ways :D
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leaves (1 of 1)-3.jpg
leaves (1 of 1)-2.jpg
leaves (1 of 1).jpg
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Post by Duck » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:40 am

minniev wrote:[...] I will add that rightly or wrongly, I never place or arrange,and I deliberately cut off parts of stuff. Feel free to tell me that I should change my ways :D

Are you doing a documentary on leaves? Perhaps a photojournalistic reportage on them? No? What's this? You say you're looking to capture the artistry? Well then, that should answer that question. ;)

It's about your artistic vision. About bringing the beauty forth into an image, not your integrity whether you arranged the leaf or moved some debris out of the way. In the end, people will see what you want them to see, not what they can't see, and they can't see if you moved something.

Here are some random examples found online... :photo:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Post by LindaShorey » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:30 pm

#1 is appealing for the lush green of summer hanging on against the change of seasons. #3 is fascinating! Very engaging because at first glance I think the black leaves are silhouettes and the colored leaves are in the sky ;) So I have to examine closer to make sense, and after that I am drawn to the glow and softness.

I'm most interested in chatting more about your reluctance to re-arrange because I know you have no such reluctance once the image is in Photoshop :D Relating my own processes and experiences, if a significant change, I've mentioned before that I just like to know, and I like to tell...in an environment such as photo forums where we give feedback about many aspects of an image.

Have you wondered previously, Minnie, how/why the difference for you when on site vs. at the computer? Any interest in discussing further? I know we've covered the part about fanciful pp already.
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Post by minniev » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:46 pm

Duck wrote:
minniev wrote:[...] I will add that rightly or wrongly, I never place or arrange,and I deliberately cut off parts of stuff. Feel free to tell me that I should change my ways :D

Are you doing a documentary on leaves? Perhaps a photojournalistic reportage on them? No? What's this? You say you're looking to capture the artistry? Well then, that should answer that question. ;)

It's about your artistic vision. About bringing the beauty forth into an image, not your integrity whether you arranged the leaf or moved some debris out of the way. In the end, people will see what you want them to see, not what they can't see, and they can see if you moved something.

Here are some random examples found online... :photo:

Wow, Duck those are beautiful! Thank you for sharing that. I have a long way to go to find the artistry!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by minniev » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:55 pm

LindaShorey wrote:#1 is appealing for the lush green of summer hanging on against the change of seasons. #3 is fascinating! Very engaging because at first glance I think the black leaves are silhouettes and the colored leaves are in the sky ;) So I have to examine closer to make sense, and after that I am drawn to the glow and softness.

I'm most interested in chatting more about your reluctance to re-arrange because I know you have no such reluctance once the image is in Photoshop :D Relating my own processes and experiences, if a significant change, I've mentioned before that I just like to know, and I like to tell...in an environment such as photo forums where we give feedback about many aspects of an image.

Have you wondered previously, Minnie, how/why the difference for you when on site vs. at the computer? Any interest in discussing further? I know we've covered the part about fanciful pp already.


Thanks Linda, for the comments and especially for the question which is a good one. And I have to say "I dunno". My photo travel buddy is a master re-arranger, yet I stubbornly resist, and instead go prowling around looking for things that are already kind of appealing. Why that feels different than fiddling in PS, I can't explain. I like hunting for treasure, I guess. Maybe that's why I can't get into still life? Similar feeling.
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Post by LindaShorey » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:31 pm

minniev wrote:Thanks Linda, for the comments and especially for the question which is a good one. ... Why that feels different than fiddling in PS, I can't explain. I like hunting for treasure, I guess. Maybe that's why I can't get into still life? Similar feeling.
Hunting for treasure makes perfect sense! Especially from my POV of enjoying the stumble-upon brief moments of special light or weather with landscapes. Thanks Minnie!
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Post by Charles Haacker » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:28 am

I like all three, especially #2 for its composition. I too tend to be reluctant to change things. I prefer to "play it as it lies," and yeah, sometimes I shoot something and say, Gee I wish I'd removed that [insert distracting hard-to-clone-out element here]. Lately (when possible) what I've been doing is trying to at least really examine the scene before shooting, looking for the distracting element so I can frame it out or something, but I am still reluctant to change the scene as found. We've all heard stories of photographers doing physical damage to things to get the scene the way they want, even to the extent of cutting down trees! :S
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Post by Duck » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:33 am

We all have levels of what we are willing to do and not do with and to our art. Of course some of those limits come with labels, everything from purist all the way to ground breaker. It is not in my place, or anyone's, to tell one artist or another what they should or should not do with their art because my principles will be different than yours and will be different than someone else's. My expectations are different and my vision will be different and my knowledge is different. The one thing I do know, and have seen it over and over, is that those self imposed levels change as an artist grows.

What we do with art is not set in stone. We are limited by so much. What we know (and don't know), what we are willing to reveal of ourselves, our fears and strengths, our political, social and religious beliefs. The path through art is not linear either. Outside influences shape our art. What we learn in other disciplines can influence what we create. Life experiences can alter it as well, or we could simply change our minds.

Paula, I can understand your position in the capturing of these images. You have a very clear love for nature and you prefer to tread lightly, as we all should. My preferences lie more in studio work so I am at ease taking elements and arranging them in order to create an image and I take that mentality into the field. I have moved plants out of the way to isolate a single flower and cleared debris from around a mushroom in order to capture it against a clean background. I've planted bird seed to attract birds and squirrels and worked with a breeder to get cool shots of spiders. These are, as I see it, low impact influences to hedge my chances of creating images worth showing. In the end it's, "to each their own," though I don't advocate felling trees for a photo, as Charles commented on.

I will say that one should question things. You need to question your integrity against the reality of a situation. You need to question your beliefs against expectations and results. Will moving a leaf lying on the side a streambed out of the way (or rearranging it) do any serious impact to the environment? Will that change make a serious impact on the image? How does one weigh against the other? Is it lying or is it revealing the inner truth?

Only you, as the artist, can ever answer that question. But don't be surprised if that answer changes over time.
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Post by minniev » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:20 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:I like all three, especially #2 for its composition. I too tend to be reluctant to change things. I prefer to "play it as it lies," and yeah, sometimes I shoot something and say, Gee I wish I'd removed that [insert distracting hard-to-clone-out element here]. Lately (when possible) what I've been doing is trying to at least really examine the scene before shooting, looking for the distracting element so I can frame it out or something, but I am still reluctant to change the scene as found. We've all heard stories of photographers doing physical damage to things to get the scene the way they want, even to the extent of cutting down trees! :S

Thanks, Chuck. Your advice about "really examine" is good advice for me, since I am reluctant to fiddle. I have "pulled back" branches temporarily, but I seldom move the elements I'm photographing. It isn't so much a philosophy of feeling there is something wrong with it (I've happily helped my photo buddy do rearranging but seldom make my own shots of the arrangement once it's done. I just prefer photographing the "found" version.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by minniev » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:56 pm

Duck wrote:We all have levels of what we are willing to do and not do with and to our art. Of course some of those limits come with labels, everything from purist all the way to ground breaker. It is not in my place, or anyone's, to tell one artist or another what they should or should not do with their art because my principles will be different than yours and will be different than someone else's. My expectations are different and my vision will be different and my knowledge is different. The one thing I do know, and have seen it over and over, is that those self imposed levels change as an artist grows.

What we do with art is not set in stone. We are limited by so much. What we know (and don't know), what we are willing to reveal of ourselves, our fears and strengths, our political, social and religious beliefs. The path through art is not linear either. Outside influences shape our art. What we learn in other disciplines can influence what we create. Life experiences can alter it as well, or we could simply change our minds.

Paula, I can understand your position in the capturing of these images. You have a very clear love for nature and you prefer to tread lightly, as we all should. My preferences lie more in studio work so I am at ease taking elements and arranging them in order to create an image and I take that mentality into the field. I have moved plants out of the way to isolate a single flower and cleared debris from around a mushroom in order to capture it against a clean background. I've planted bird seed to attract birds and squirrels and worked with a breeder to get cool shots of spiders. These are, as I see it, low impact influences to hedge my chances of creating images worth showing. In the end it's, "to each their own," though I don't advocate felling trees for a photo, as Charles commented on.

I will say that one should question things. You need to question your integrity against the reality of a situation. You need to question your beliefs against expectations and results. Will moving a leaf lying on the side a streambed out of the way (or rearranging it) do any serious impact to the environment? Will that change make a serious impact on the image? How does one weigh against the other? Is it lying or is it revealing the inner truth?

Only you, as the artist, can ever answer that question. But don't be surprised if that answer changes over time.


Thanks so much for your detailed comments, Duck, this would be good reading for anyone trying to clarify their own vision, and a good basis for an in depth discussion all its own. Linda's question and your comments really set me to thinking. While I would never damage anything I find in nature, I don't really have strong feelings about arranging being right or wrong (and goodness knows I do plenty of digital rearranging in photoshop). So why don't I fiddle with my targets as I'm shooting? I don't pose people either, I just catch them on the fly. I reckon it is as much preference as philosophy. I just prefer to find a way to shoot what's there rather than design it. Your own expertise as a studio photographer gives you such a different perspective than I have as an inveterate snap shooter. I admire your skills but I would never be any good at the precision kind of work you do. I don't use flash, I seldom use a tripod, and I never set anything up. Because I am an experimenter, I try things like still life, off-camera flash, slow exposures, but it is usually like wearing someone else's shoes.

Thanks again for making me think!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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