The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday. – unknown

Monthly Masters DiscussionMonthly Masters' Discussion: Jan. 2018 - Galen Rowell's Split Rock and Cloud

User avatar
LindaShorey
Mentoris Secundus
Mentoris Secundus
Posts: 1398
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:50 am
Location: Yakima, WA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Re: Monthly Masters' Discussion: Jan. 2018 - Galen Rowell's Split Rock and Cloud

Post by LindaShorey » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:52 am

Charles Haacker wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:43 am
... The lesson is, carry a camera everywhere. Almost everyone has a phone camera now. Maybe a big heavy camera is a nuisance but a wise feller once said, ya can't take no pitchers wifout one.
I would never make it to my appointed rounds! But also, because of all the missed chances with my eagles - and a few other wildlife - I've come to treasure just being able to see and have the experience. I rarely am disappointed anymore that I didn't have a camera with me (and my brief flirtation with smart phones ended, so no help there :) )
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

User avatar
LindaShorey
Mentoris Secundus
Mentoris Secundus
Posts: 1398
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:50 am
Location: Yakima, WA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by LindaShorey » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:53 am

minniev wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:50 am
I heard that they were revisited after his death.
I wonder if that's a common practice, seems so odd to me. Like the books that have been written after an author's death (Robert B. Parker for one) by another person, but in the same style and with the same characters.
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

User avatar
Charles Haacker
Mentoris Primus
Mentoris Primus
Posts: 1835
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 7:20 pm
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:22 am

minniev wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:38 pm
Here is a shot that was taken in response to Galen Rowell though not the Split Rock image, but instead it was taken on Buttermilk Rd near Bishop CA, a location near his home where he took several of his best known images. I had seen his photos from Buttermilk road at his Mountain Light gallery the day before.

I was oddly unsettled by the images in the gallery, with the exception of a few. But the reason had nothing to do with his captures, and everything to do with the "modern" reprocessing of his images which made them into more of an HDR effect. I was in the company of two professional photographers, Jack Graham and Guy Tal, at the gallery, and was relieved to find that both of them were disconcerted by the modern revision of the images, too.
Oh lordy that's beautiful! A stunner of a sunrise. Daphne and I went to the Eastern Slope as often as we could. She wanted badly to get back one more time but it was not to be. It was one of our favorite places in the world, and you can see why!

It's interesting that you and Jack Graham and Guy Tal all felt that a modern reimagining was not doing GR's images any favors. I can see exactly what you mean in the online gallery. I am not a fan of HDR especially if I can see in a glance that it's HDR. Your picture is simply gorgeous as is. I'm sure you have done the requisite tinkering exactly as I would. Contrast is excellent, shadows open just enough, highlights bright but still detailed... This is where I question the need for HDR, especially obvious HDR. I get why HDR was necessary with early sensors having pretty short dynamic ranges, but Galen Rowell shot exclusively in 35mm reversal, all Kodachrome up until Fuji created Velvia. Anyone who has ever shot reversal film knows that it is verrrrrrrrry (!!) exposure critical, especially intolerant of overexposure. Just like overexposing a jpeg, blown highlights is blown highlights. Not even bathing them in tears will help (see what I did there?). I also know from personal experience that digitized slides have more dynamic range in the digital versions, especially shadows that can be brought out with judicious processing, so maybe that's what the gallery folks are trying to do, but I agree that what I a seeing in the digitized versions online look oversaturated, i.e., "HDR-ish." I suspect Galen might not care for the look.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

User avatar
minniev
Mentoris Legatus
Mentoris Legatus
Posts: 3422
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:55 am
Location: Mississippi
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by minniev » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:52 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:22 am
minniev wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:38 pm
Here is a shot that was taken in response to Galen Rowell though not the Split Rock image, but instead it was taken on Buttermilk Rd near Bishop CA, a location near his home where he took several of his best known images. I had seen his photos from Buttermilk road at his Mountain Light gallery the day before.

I was oddly unsettled by the images in the gallery, with the exception of a few. But the reason had nothing to do with his captures, and everything to do with the "modern" reprocessing of his images which made them into more of an HDR effect. I was in the company of two professional photographers, Jack Graham and Guy Tal, at the gallery, and was relieved to find that both of them were disconcerted by the modern revision of the images, too.
Oh lordy that's beautiful! A stunner of a sunrise. Daphne and I went to the Eastern Slope as often as we could. She wanted badly to get back one more time but it was not to be. It was one of our favorite places in the world, and you can see why!

It's interesting that you and Jack Graham and Guy Tal all felt that a modern reimagining was not doing GR's images any favors. I can see exactly what you mean in the online gallery. I am not a fan of HDR especially if I can see in a glance that it's HDR. Your picture is simply gorgeous as is. I'm sure you have done the requisite tinkering exactly as I would. Contrast is excellent, shadows open just enough, highlights bright but still detailed... This is where I question the need for HDR, especially obvious HDR. I get why HDR was necessary with early sensors having pretty short dynamic ranges, but Galen Rowell shot exclusively in 35mm reversal, all Kodachrome up until Fuji created Velvia. Anyone who has ever shot reversal film knows that it is verrrrrrrrry (!!) exposure critical, especially intolerant of overexposure. Just like overexposing a jpeg, blown highlights is blown highlights. Not even bathing them in tears will help (see what I did there?). I also know from personal experience that digitized slides have more dynamic range in the digital versions, especially shadows that can be brought out with judicious processing, so maybe that's what the gallery folks are trying to do, but I agree that what I a seeing in the digitized versions online look oversaturated, i.e., "HDR-ish." I suspect Galen might not care for the look.
Thanks Chuck for adding your expertise to this discussion. It helps make sense of the prints for me, as I've puzzled over it ever since I visited the gallery.

And I'm glad you liked my version of Buttermilk Road! It was one of the loveliest sunrise spots I've ever been privileged to shoot in, and it very popular, tripods abounding, but it's so wide open that you could wander about and find your own area away from the others so it wasn't as bothersome as some popular spots I've found myself in.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 am

minniev wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:45 am
...
As you evaluate your response to this image consider the following:

1. (Deep Dive) How much does our affinity for and immersion in our subject matter contribute to our work? Can a drive-by shot of Grand Teton taken by someone who is simply passing through be as impactful as one taken by a photographer who lives in its shadow and knows it intimately? How much intimacy is required? Can one gain this kind of place-awareness while vacationing or is it the sole province of those who delve more deeply or over a longer period of time? How important is the concept of “wildness” in landscape photography?
2. What do you make of the composition? The framing? The colors? Do you like the image? Would you want it on your wall? Why or why not?
3. What do you think about the large percentage of dark-space without detail? Does it detract or enhance the impact of the image? Why or why not?
4. The composition is rather simplistic when compared to many landscape images we see today, and even compared to other of Rowell’s images. Does this simplicity appeal to you? Why or why not?
5. Do you see influences from this type of work in your own photography? If you’d like, share a landscape photo of your own that you feel was made in a similar vein.

Resources for Further Study

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen_Rowell
http://www.mountainlight.com/news.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/e ... ml?image=5
https://www.naturescapes.net/articles/o ... en-rowell/
http://articles.latimes.com/2002/aug/15 ... v-rowell15
https://photographyconcentrate.com/7-th ... otography/
https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/on- ... en-rowell/
Anyone with a camera can take an image and some may even know how to process it but I think it takes someone with a love for the subject matter to truly tell the story. Put me in a studio with enough instruction and I'm sure I can take a decent portrait, but will I find their soul? It's different for me in nature though, it's my church and I feel connected, everything speaks to me so how can I not find the beauty waiting to be seen? It's not about the subject it about the storyteller. Everyone has their gifts, some take, some make, but only the gifted know how to tell the story.

I've seen this, done that, and passed. I live for nature but Split Rock And Cloud is not my thing. It reminds me of a sea creature vaulting up to eat a jelly or the used cotton of a band-aid I've pulled off a wound. Did I say I didn't like it? I understand the colors and the framing but I wouldn't want it on my wall, I'd grow tired of it and draw other sea creatures to keep it company. The dark space doesn't bother me so much, but I think it would be so much better in color. It's not the simplicity either, I love good minimalistic work, this one just doesn't do it for me.

I have work from a similar area but not like this as it's not something I would have spent my time on. It's not there for me, there's no story. Maybe that's bad, but my landscapes are about depth and color and emotion. This is something a rock climber would love but to me, it feels like death.

The best take away from this is "The Power of an Image Comes from Emotion." S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:46 am

Charles Haacker wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:55 pm
I think absolutely one can drive by and be immersed, intimate, gobsmacked, place aware. I think it is essential.
...
If I'm ever near the Tetons I'm going to look for Bucolic, 20 miles from the "back side" of the range. WOW!
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:58 am

minniev wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:38 pm
Here is a shot that was taken in response to Galen Rowell though not the Split Rock image, but instead it was taken on Buttermilk Rd near Bishop CA, a location near his home where he took several of his best known images. ...
That's Mount Humphreys, an almost 14teener, most likely taken from the end of Buttermilk Road just off the 168/395. There are so many beautiful sights to see on the Eastern Sierras, but one of my personal favorite sideroads is Rock Creek Road just off Tom's Place. The road climbs into the mountains eventually stopping at Mosquito Flats as an outlet into the backcountry. It's especially pretty in the fall when the leaves have turned.

If you're ever that way let me know and I'll take you to my favorite spots. We can even shoot Humphreys! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:02 am

minniev wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:52 pm
...
And I'm glad you liked my version of Buttermilk Road! It was one of the loveliest sunrise spots I've ever been privileged to shoot in, and it very popular, tripods abounding, but it's so wide open that you could wander about and find your own area away from the others so it wasn't as bothersome as some popular spots I've found myself in.
That was your Humphreys? Well that puts a whole new spin on it. Mad Respect! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
Charles Haacker
Mentoris Primus
Mentoris Primus
Posts: 1835
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 7:20 pm
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Charles Haacker » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:59 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 am
Anyone with a camera can take an image and some may even know how to process it but I think it takes someone with a love for the subject matter to truly tell the story. Put me in a studio with enough instruction and I'm sure I can take a decent portrait, but will I find their soul? It's different for me in nature though, it's my church and I feel connected, everything speaks to me so how can I not find the beauty waiting to be seen? It's not about the subject it about the storyteller. Everyone has their gifts, some take, some make, but only the gifted know how to tell the story.

I've seen this, done that, and passed. I live for nature but Split Rock And Cloud is not my thing. It reminds me of a sea creature vaulting up to eat a jelly or the used cotton of a band-aid I've pulled off a wound. Did I say I didn't like it? I understand the colors and the framing but I wouldn't want it on my wall, I'd grow tired of it and draw other sea creatures to keep it company. The dark space doesn't bother me so much, but I think it would be so much better in color. It's not the simplicity either, I love good minimalistic work, this one just doesn't do it for me.

I have work from a similar area but not like this as it's not something I would have spent my time on. It's not there for me, there's no story. Maybe that's bad, but my landscapes are about depth and color and emotion. This is something a rock climber would love but to me, it feels like death.

The best take away from this is "The Power of an Image Comes from Emotion." S-
There is not one single thing wrong with not liking a picture. Or a vegetable. Or some other person. I like it, Linda does not. You do not. S'awrite. Close de box. (By the way, though, I like that you see a sea critter, a jellyfish about to be engulfed by Jaws; I saw a comet. Cool interpretation.)

I don't want to skew off topic but what really caught my attention was ...
"Put me in a studio with enough instruction and I'm sure I can take a decent portrait, but will I find their soul?"
I shot portraits day in and day out for a living for 16 years. I do not think I ever captured a soul. Now, I was doing it the way I was taught, pretty cut-and-dry, "good likeness" stuff (in defense a very high percentage of it was business headshots). This is where I tangent off into the "I ain't got no talent" thing, because (no gooshy hero worship here or nuthin') looking at the portraits Ernst posts, even right down to the "business headshots," I think Ernst has that ability. It may be an innate thing, ya got it or ya don't. I was pretty sure "capturing the soul" of a person was a silly myth, no more possible than the literal capturing of a soul in a magic box. I sure as heck couldn't do it! But it appears to me that Ernst and others on our site can. It can't be a technical thing. I can take a pitcher. But taking a pitcher and capturing a soul, the soul of something...?

Maybe it's not totally off topic because, veering back to Split Rock and Cloud, I think Galen Rowell managed to capture something very intangible on the mountain, something not simply a cut-and-dry mountainscape but rather a piece of the landscape's soul at that instant in ephemeral time, scudding past as fast as that cloud, never doubling back.

I imagine I was there when that extraordinary cloud scudded into view. What I would have done is raise the camera and shoot it fast. This is not an immovable landscape: It's an amazing cloud, I've never seen one like it, I may (probably will) never see its like again, so grab it! Quick! It's a frickin' cloud f'cryin' out loud! The wind is gonna tear it apart in a minute!

So I grab my typical record shot. I have enough experience to include some foreground because it will give some scale and context, but the foreground is whatever happens to be there at that instant. If I think I have it I move on. I got it. Yay. Buh bye cloud.

I don't know what Galen Rowell did when he first spotted that cloud, but as a pro I bet he grabbed it for the simple reason it's a cloud and there are few things more ephemeral. Get it while the gettin's good. But then what does he do? Watching him and his thought process in my imagination I see him grab his gear and start scrambling. He's already got some exposures. He can stop. But he's not me; he's Galen Rowell. He is looking for something as ephemeral as the cloud itself, a foreground that makes the difference between a pitcher of a (frickin' cloud f'cryin' out loud), and Split Rock with Cloud. Imagining further, in his slightly mad scramble to get there (and he doesn't know where There is until he sees it) he's barked his knuckles and knees because he can't take one eye off the cloud because he knows that any second it will blow apart but he hasn't seen the --- THERE! There it is! That boulder! With the big crack! He plants his tripod and almost prays that the cloud will go where he needs it. There is pretty much zero control of the scene. He can control the exposure and the focal length, but if the cloud breaks up before it gets there, well... he tried. But luck is with him. His preparations and that scramble on the boulder field pay off. He had only minutes and there it was. The whole thing might have blown up and he'd never have gotten it; only he would know. Serendipity always plays a role.

So that's my scenario. I like the picture but it's perfectly all right to not like it. What impresses me (jus' me) is what I perceive as the genius required to not only perceive the cloud (cool cloud that), but to see beyond the disparate elements to the A R T that happens when an artist puts the elements together. If I am on that mountain I am perfectly satisfied with my first couple of exposures of a unique cloud. A Galen Rowell on that mountain will chase down its soul.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:19 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:59 pm
...
Maybe it's not totally off topic because, veering back to Split Rock and Cloud, I think Galen Rowell managed to capture something very intangible on the mountain, something not simply a cut-and-dry mountainscape but rather a piece of the landscape's soul at that instant in ephemeral time, scudding past as fast as that cloud, never doubling back.
...
I like to think Galen was out climbing, saw a pretty cloud, grabbed the nearest camera and snapped away. It was only when he got home he realized he forgot to check his metering and was so thankful the cloud wasn't blown out he printed it and called it a day. Knowing too many People Of The Dirt I know this isn't true though and he took his time, gave it his best and tried to capture the moment as much as he tried to show it to the viewer.

I've talked with a few climbers and they tell me the rocks talk to them, there's a knowing, a bond. Rocks are rocks to me, but a tree, a stream, a flower, a trail, they all have so much to say it's overwhelming at times while at others their silence is joy. I understand Galen better than I should and I understand his photo more than I want to, but rocks are rocks to me, I see hard, I see cold, I see ancient.

I thought of you when I wrote my piece and almost edited it out knowing how well you shoot but thought you might pick up on the metaphor and left it hoping it would spark something. I think we can all learn to shoot, it's not that hard really and is why it's called Point And Shoot, but learning to see is a whole other thing, and I think in a way you either see it or you don't. Seeing isn't all that hard either, but there's some mystical something that keeps most of us from it and I love learning why!

This is an interesting discussion, for as much as I don't like the posted image I am jealous of the experiences he had and the life he made. I'm pretty chill so I think it would have been challenging to work with him, but would I if I could - I'm already packed! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest