Brad Becker  


Lightness of Being by Brad Becker

December 2019 - Lightness of Being

December 2019 - Brad Becker

Original 1

December 2019 - Brad Becker

Original 2

December 2019 - Brad Becker

Original 3

About the Image(s)

n this image I wanted to play with light. I've always found city lights, sunsets, stars and fires mesmerizing. Do you prefer the version with the flame or the sun flower? I also am not sure if the addition of a stream of stars(actually a planet) trailing behind the hummingbird adds or is distracting.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
12 comments posted

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
The concept here is really clever. I like the blend of trees and houses, especially the lit street lamps that you added.
I am not so sure about the bird and flame, nor the "star-track." Would you consider just the star-track arching across the top?   Posted: 12/13/2019 13:13:51
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Stephen, Thank you for your input. I appreciate you visiting our site and sharing your insight.   Posted: 12/13/2019 22:50:56

Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
When I lived in New York City, whenever I went to the Museum of Modern Art (which was often), I went to see the Rene Magritte painting I've attached. It is one of my favorite paintings by a surrealist painter--less is more personified.Your composite reminds me of Magritte's work. I feel he would love your blending of the buildings, street lights, night sky, and the trees. This is where I feel K.I.S.S. applies. I find the bird, the trail of stars, and the fire distracting and superfluous. Without the above mentioned distractions, you have here one of your best works. Straightening the two trees on the right would be icing on the cake. To paraphrase the title of the powerful movie to allude to, this composite is anything but "unbearable."   Posted: 12/13/2019 21:41:08
Comment Image
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Alan, Margritte is my favorite surrealist. I used to belief it was Dali till I realized Margritte's sensibility has inspired my photos more. Thank you for your feedback. I do sometimes get carried away with these images. I hadn't thought to straighten the trees on the right, a great idea. I am going to go back and try simplifying this image, much appreciated.   Posted: 12/13/2019 22:54:09
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Alan, I reworked it a little. Do you think the bird adds or detracts now?   Posted: 12/16/2019 23:34:13
Comment Image

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Here is a sample of Rob Gonsalves' surrealism. I don't think he is as important an artist as Magritte, but he sure produces a lot and is "popular." I selected this sample because it has a slight similarity to you image--the merging of nature and city.   Posted: 12/14/2019 11:09:28
Comment Image
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Stephen, I discovered Rob Gonsalves a couple years ago. He may not be as ground breaking as Margritte was but he is clearly a genius and his images are mind bending and impeccably crafted. I think some of his images may have been what unconsciously inspired my photo above.   Posted: 12/14/2019 18:04:26
Peggy Nugent   Peggy Nugent
Stephen, thanks so much for providing Rob Gonsalves's picture! I have never seen his work before, so it is like having a door opened to a wonderful world.   Posted: 12/25/2019 16:10:13

Aavo Koort   Aavo Koort
Usually I do not like trees and buildings tilting inwards. On my images I straighten them. I agree with the tilt on Rob Gonsalves surrealism image.
Also I do not understand the flame on top of the tree and the bird approaching it.
Otherwise it is a wonderful night image.   Posted: 12/14/2019 17:45:00
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Aavo, I added the bird as I was trying to create some visual movement towards the right side of the image. After the bird was in the photo I wanted to suggest why it was there. As I look at my image now I do see how I've added too many elements. Since this is a surreal image I wanted to push beyond ordinary logic in the image. I chose the flame for the orange color and to extend the idea of light as the stars are a type of burning fire as is the sunset and in a more controlled way city lights.   Posted: 12/14/2019 18:08:34

Peggy Nugent   Peggy Nugent
I love how you have blended the trees with the buildings and the streetlights. The stars are magnificent with the lingering color and light of the sunset.
Of your first versions, I personally prefer the sunflower. I found the face on the flame a bit difficult to see, and so found it a bit discouraging . With the flower, my eye seemed to sweep from the line of the streetlights through the arc of the star trail to the bird and the flower.
I love your third version with the bird and the star. Very effective to have reversed the bird. I like the addition of the street light on the tree on the right, as well as the straightened trees. The trees nicely frame the bird.
Excellent light on the bird! Perfect for the setting, and just enough detail.

Personally, I might consider cropping out half of the tree on the right, but that's just a personal preference .
  Posted: 12/25/2019 17:00:44
Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Peggy, As always I appreciate your attention to detail. When you mentioned you'd had trouble seeing the face in the fire, that got my attention as I didn't put a face in the fire! I have been fascinated by pareidolia for years. I think photoshop lends itself to seeing images in images. Clouds and fire are the most common places that occurs for me. I really like this image but find there are so many possibilities it is hard to finish this one off. Fortunately I have some great suggestions here. Another friend of mine suggested having two hummingbirds in the image, the first feeding on the light on the left side of the image and much closer up and another feeding on the light on the right side of the image. I think that may create an even stronger image which I am going to play with too. Your crop suggestion is excellent, thanks.   Posted: 12/26/2019 15:40:52