Group 83 Bulletin Board


14 threads (1 this week) - 89 total comments

This page is dedicated to discussions about our theme (Monochrome) that are outside the scope of our monthly images.



Thread Title: Why No Vignetting? - Why Limit Any Type of Post-production Application?

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Why No Vignetting? Why Limit any type of Post-Production Application?

(Please slowly scroll to view this lengthy discussion. Thank you).

Good morning, Dianne, everyone. Dianne ask why I recently became less a fan of "adding" post-production Vignetting.

First, I agree, Vignetting is a fine "layer", as it were, to create or enhance (or hopefully increase an already apparent narrative). And is why I used it until recently. Please see these two (with and without Vignetting) examples of mine where I used it to "enhance" an already obvious ethereal narrative: I now use the one without, and will soon make a 16x24 matte & framed print.

  Posted: 11/23/2020 10:41:37
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
  Posted: 11/23/2020 10:42:00
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
As it relates to the PSA, the newest competition rules forbid these post-production modifications: (look at number 5). As a State Membership Director for the PSA, me and others across the country get important Board updates monthly. (See number 5)

The following image editing techniques are NOT allowed in Nature Photographs:

1. Any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.
2. Cloning.
3. Blurring the background to obscure elements in the original scene.
4. Darkening the background to remove elements in the original scene.
5. Adding a vignette not originally produced by the camera.
6. Adding textures or artistic filters.
7. Replacing image elements (such as the sky).
8. Combining images by stitching.
9. Textures applied in processing are not allowed.

Club Oriented Photography:
Outside of the PSA and other "Club" oriented gatherings, (for the most part) these types of post-Production features are not used. (i.e. Professional Photographers that focus on Visualization, Camera Dynamics and Traditional post-production technique to create their art, regardless of the photography genre). Please visit works developed by Bob Kolbrener, Wynn Bullock, and Japanese photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi http://zenne-inc.com/en.html for just three examples of artist that inspire a lot of my work. Kobayashi was introduced to me while I was researching my recent interest in the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi (the subject covered in our groups Bulletin Board a couple of months ago). Please, scroll down to read it.

But back to our question, why no Vignetting and other popular post-production applications?

In the Digital Photography Revolution, we have become accustomed to “easily” applying a variety of “Layers” or otherwise man-made/designed “effects” to “add” to a photograph; in itself this is OK and part of the Creative Process, indeed, but in many circumstances they “inflict” an unnatural (and alternative) reality to the composition as compared to what was scene in real-time at the time of capture. Both number 5 and 9 (above) will ruffle a few feathers, as these are extremely popular with many PSA and other local and national club photography enthusiasts. Simply, PSA is trying to buckle-down or limit adding a lot of the above post-production methods from work being judged in PSA competitions, as a lot more online and local organizations are also beginning to limit non-traditional photographic techniques.

Explanation-1 Nature Photography

For “Digital Art” inspired photography these added layers are key to a successful final piece, but must be banned from some competition (and documentary work) thus dictating the photographic capture of all types of animals in Nature Photography, well, are natural.


  Posted: 11/23/2020 10:44:59
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Explanation-2 Pictorialism:

This type of “adding” effects is Not the same as the methods used in the 19th Century Pictorialist movement: a rebuttal used by many when this subject is discussed. Though indeed 19th Century pictorial photographic work was an attempt to “physically create” (like painters’ with their brush and paints) these processors were done by hand in the darkroom or manipulations to the finished print like the photograph titled “Struggle” (1904) by Pictorialist photographer Robert Demachys (1839-1956) heavily scared Gum Bichromate print shows evidence of brush marks across most of the composition that effectively allows the nude to float among the seemingly chaotic space. In other words, the photographer was still “physically manipulating” the negative or print as opposed to having some type of hands-free method (or automatic present day “preset”) applied to negatives and prints.
  Posted: 11/23/2020 10:47:07
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Summary:

This discussion (and my specific remarks to Dianne’s fantastic November composition) is an attempt to bring to light more traditional (or less digital) methods of creativity: instead, I am trying to inspire even more work (and dedication) be applied to Visualizing, (and creating a narrative) Capturing and of course, limiting the degree or amount of digital post-production used to create a final piece, unless the work is clearly one that is categorized as digital art i.e. conceptual and/or composites for popular examples. It is not easy and in fact makes photography one of the hardest art genres to master: From The Art of Photography by Irina Khrabroff 1927: As Khrabroff, lectures…” In other words, the purely creative function of art is denied to him. He (the photographer) cannot improve on reality; he has to accept it as it is. This is the great limitation of his medium”. Khrabroff continues…’in other forms of art the artist is free to do as he pleases in regard to the exercise of his creative function (rearrangement). It is not a necessary attribute of his work, but although not necessary, it is always potentially present. The fact that it is entirely absent from the field of photography is a difficult limitation, but at the same time it is also the chief characteristic which makes pictorial photography a worthwhile, new and independent art’.
  Posted: 11/23/2020 10:48:12
Jose Luis Rodriguez   Jose Luis Rodriguez
Lance
Personally, I think times have changed, on the one hand for the better, on the other for the worse. I bought my first camera when I was 15 years old, at 16 I developed and enlarged my copies and at 17 I was already manipulating my enlargements with masks and scratching the occasional negative. (that's the current Camera raw). But when I pressed the trigger, I already knew what was going to come out and what I wanted to obtain, because I studied and practiced for a long time to get there. Today in the digital age most people do not even bother to learn. They shoot and shoot and think that even if the photo is not right, then they fix it in photoshop. But it is evolution, if you look we are already in another step within the digital world, the neural motors, and a simple click changes a sky and no one will notice.
I think that we must accept these new technologies and duplicate the categories in competitions, on the one hand nature without edition and on the other nature with edition, somehow the PSA and Fiap should try to learn photography as before not to be lost   Posted: 11/25/2020 09:34:30
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Good morning, Jose! per your Quote...."Today in the digital age most people do not even bother to learn. They shoot and shoot and think that even if the photo is not right, then they fix it in Photoshop"...

...and is what most people say when the topic is brought up for discussion. Jose, it is clearly an Evolution brought about by the ease of obtaining Instant Gratification one feels upon using post-production software (i.e. pre-sets, for one powerful example you pointed out) that instantly modifies a scene (or subject).

Emphasizing on your comments:

By all means, an Evolutionary progression born from 21st Century digital software that has directly morphed the virtues that has traditionally defined the "Art of Photography", thus interfering with Photography's special and "proprietary skill-sets" that culminate into its unique photographic aesthetics: we have reinforced the blending of the Graphic Arts with genuine Photographic practices (note a similar declaration was made at the turn of the 20th Century by some critics of extreme Pictorialism).

In itself these changes have spawned new types of artistic expression (i.e. Digital Art) that by all means deserve a place within Art, but must be categorized separately next to to work created through more traditional photographic means.

We are beginning to see more and more online and local photography groups moving to do just this: a more detailed approach in categorizing photographic standards for competition.   Posted: 11/29/2020 06:09:28
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Jose and Lance
<br />
<br />I am neither as eloquent and experienced as both of you. Your post was timely. I have spent a frustruating morning reviewing images I took while accompanying a professional photographer on a photo shoot of a young musician. Blindly, I took images after the photographer stepped aside letting him do the previsualization for me. Never again. There were so many problems with the images. Therefore, I concur, it is important to previsualize and know what you want to get out of the camera before pushing the shutter.
<br />
<br />I have done several sky replacements. PS has made sky replacements easyto do. However, one still has to understand light and color and how it falls on the land to make a good sky replacement. I found myself studying how light reflects in the sky and then on the land at different times of the day and with different weather conditions. I became like a child again, asking why is the sky blue, and why is the sky light blue on camera left but dark on camera left. Then what is off about the tones in the sky vs the land.

The neural filters for skin softening speed up work flow so much. However, they just deal with the face, not the neck and arm areas. I still had to think about how should light and shadow fall on the face to create dimension? How should the filter be applied to a man's face compared to a woman's. Does one crank up the crevices and age a man? etc. etc. So these filters and digital editing, to be used properly, bring on new questions.

<br /> Judge for yourself my self portrait applying one of the new filters. Suddenly, I am an artist......   Posted: 11/29/2020 09:17:47
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Very Glad we are enjoying a very constructive discourse:

I will just touch on applying "Wedding" skin softener digital software in post-production: it is a very vital tool in helping photographers (and especially Professional Wedding Photographers) edit digital files before presenting a final product is presented to clients. On the other hand, and similarly, it is often used for family portraits as well, (everyone needs to look "Great" in every picture!). :)

For these types of work I see no reason to shy away, but for all other non-family work I rarely use this tool. All other landscape (with human presence) and Documentary work, No Edit to people is done. This is my workflow, my opinion. I hope others see the merits in this practice. Hope this helps you, Judy.   Posted: 11/29/2020 14:13:13
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

I am finding this quite interesting. I went onto the PSA website a month ago, and cut and pasted rules for the various categories including the nature division. I reviewed the criteria under the nature division and the item on vignette was not mentioned.

When I commented on my DSG 52 Competitive Images, I suggested using inverse vignettes to highlight items. Given that these may be fall in the nature category, I have to revisit my suggestions.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
JPS   Posted: 11/23/2020 12:04:27
Dianne Arrigoni   Dianne Arrigoni
Thanks for this Lance. I have skimmed over this as it is late but will come back to it tomorrow. You make points I have pondered in the past about too much post processing, though I love doing it. It shall make me look at my photos differently and definitely would force more care with the actual camera work.   Posted: 11/24/2020 01:29:52
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
....well, I post these types of Discussions as a means to contemplate alternative ideas/concepts/practices from popular habit: in this case, the ease to fix, alter, or create a visual narrative (or aesthetic) via digital post-production software, as opposed to predominately doing a majority of the creativity in the field, and then of course by all means, enter post-production to modify or otherwise manipulate our image files in fine tune our goals.

I hope you do read-over the post and also scroll down and read the post about Light & Shadow, and Wabi Sabi, I feel both have relevance to (this) discussion. Thank you. :)   Posted: 11/25/2020 08:29:19

Thread Title: Setting White & Black Points

Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

This month I am concentrating on learning how to set the white and black points using a curve and threshold layer and how to color correct and then use the curve to determine contrast. What struck me in my image, was that my eye did not see the blue color cast that the color image revealed until I applied a pro contrast CEP filter.

Similarly when I looked at an image of eggs in a dish that I light painted, my eyes did not see the blue color cast because of the color temperature of my flashlight. It only saw the shapes, texture, and how light and shadow created dimension, and composition.

Thus I am asking myself, do I correct for color casts on a color digital file, to create a full range of tonal values? This question can be answered on the image I submitted this month. The basic question is what is it we are doing, when we take color values and render them into tonal values. What are we really doing when we select one color filter over another. How do we move beyond experimentation, to really understand the outcome.   Posted: 11/05/2020 10:20:02
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
First, thank you for starting this conversation as it does bring up a lot of questions about 21st Century photography dynamics.

To basically summarize my view (my opinion) on the matter I feel we have become more and more reliant on digital software mechanics: we seem to be enticed with "digital tools" and the seemingly endless experimenting on new ways to make the wheel. In other words, in my opinion we are working too hard to get results which was previously achieved with less technology.

I suggest these heavily post-processed compositions will not reveal a (proportional response) to those who did not learn and then use these advanced tools.

As the new Black & White Photography Mentor for the PSA I will be teaching a far less complicated path to achieving a final piece of fine art photography: a piece that will look as good on computer monitors as it does as physical print.

In conclusion, I feel it is still beneficial to learn some of these digital tools as I see no downside to this in itself. However, I do warn the artist not to over-think a composition during post-production review and thus become heavily reliant on post-production alterations to fix every tiny area within a frame that may have been addressed (and fixed) at time of capture and/or will have little consequence to a printed version.   Posted: 11/06/2020 07:53:48
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

For me the question is, does one need to color correct an image, for a monochrome image?

With my light painting, I have been using a LED flashlight with a blue color cast. The problem is that it has toned the image with a blue color. By color correcting using a curve, I can remove this color cast and the image immediately brightens.

I suspect that when I convert light painted images into monochrome, without color correcting, the color cast does not matter.   Posted: 11/06/2020 10:39:04
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
All good speaking points, Judy. Personally, I fix any color cast observed when reviewing my Digital color image before converting to BW. I do not work any other way. In other words, I try to create a very successful color version (as seen through the viewfinder) and/or how I feel like it should be interpreted, before any attempt to converting the work to BW.   Posted: 11/07/2020 10:19:24
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

Thanks for answering this question. Greg Benz had told me he liked to work use the PS monochrome adjustment layer because he had access to the color corrected information. I did not understand the importance of this concept or what you meant when you said you color corrected your image first. I hope others will read this thread.

JPS   Posted: 11/07/2020 12:49:51
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

The importance of getting a correct exposure in camera and looking at the histogram, did not really sink in, until I went through this excercise of looking at the white and black point. I understand that the histogram takes on many shapes, depending on the subject matter photographed. I also did not fully appreciate the power of using the curve to control contrast on a flat digital file.

Manipulating the curve, I became aware that I really need to focus how light and shadow fall, and how light rakes on a scene in image capature. P

lease look at how I adjusted the curve on your image this month to create a slightly different mood. My adjustment was neither better nor worse. I did not see the original scene; therefore, I was not constrained by how I thought it should look. That in itself was another lesson in understanding the monochrome aesthetic. Without color, we can better see nuances of light and shadow.   Posted: 11/06/2020 15:27:06
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
As it relates to Exposure I spend time "bracketing" and rarely look at my Review Screen. In this way I am very focused on the act of capture and all that need to be done to capture the subject in its best light. This workflow usually rewards me with proper to near proper exposed images.

With film, I am even more alert to my immediate environment and camera settings, as there is no review screen to check every once in a while.

Sometimes a favorable exposure is hard or impossible to do, so post-production is handy to correct issues for low exposure (and even harder to fix) over exposure.

In summary, complete understanding and use of the camera, your subject and ones ability to visualize, design (or compose) before pulling the trigger is key to capturing more "keepers" (with less post-production revision) to the occasional Exhibition print.   Posted: 11/07/2020 10:31:43

Thread Title: Black and White Photography: Interpretation of the Whole

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
A few words beyond the popular definitions of Monochrome and Black and White Photography (BW): here I speak a few words on the philosophy of BW photography and its place within the Fine Arts. (This piece is also posted in Group 64-Mono).

When we view the world around us our eyes and mind work together in a process that is quick and efficient at first, we spend little time discerning between individual objects (including both light and shadow, color and texture) when deciding…" oh, what a beautiful scene or view or architectural skyline" …we simply 'take in the whole'…and immediately interpret what we are viewing is something of immense interest. The BW photograph, and as important or relevant in this discussion, black and white Cinema, allow our senses to work in a similar fashion: upon viewing these BW images (or videos) we very quickly digest the content and form an interpretation. We are not transfixed on color objects and/or artifacts that can interfere with the normal eye and mind collaboration we rely on in everyday life.

Successful photographs are ones that can reveal its Gestalt; where interpretation of the whole is more expressive (interesting or seems to "prick" the viewer, as Roland Barthes so eloquently coined in 1980) than the artworks individual details. Many BW interpretations help reveal a subject more completely, maybe even more emotionally then its multi-color alternatives.

Nowadays, (as a consequence of the Digital Photography revolution) everything captured is rendered first as a color image - this initial color rendering is unique in its influential slant: we are dictated to interpret the color image first - even edit the color image in post-production before converting it to a black and white photograph. This process is much different from shooting a roll of BW film where the photographer is never introduced to color, as such, their interpretation is purer, (or unbiased) towards the BW print upon development. (We see this conflict in every PSA Mono critique group: …" does everyone like the color or my BW version better?").

Alternatively, the (Film) photographer who chooses and wants to capture subjects as a black and white rendering does so without questioning or engaging the scene in color: their choosing a color version over capturing a BW one is not part of the equation or conversation. In my opinion, today's digital photographer needs to disconnect from the color original as soon as the BW version has been created, in an attempt to practice a purer engagement with the BW rendering. Thank you, everyone!

Photographer Lance A. Lewin

Visualizingart.com
  Posted: 10/24/2020 16:22:26
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
After reading this, I purposely photographed colorful fall images of gourds set against brilliant leaves trying both ight painting, and also outdoors once using a continuous light and flashlight another just natural light. The colors were so brilliant. What struck me on editing to color correct, was that I could not see the image through the confusion of color. My attempts at compostion were entirely lost amidst the confusion.   Posted: 10/27/2020 15:58:57
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Judy - this is a very intriguing discourse - where color (or too much color) has thwarted the ability to properly see the "whole" image (or composition).

  Posted: 11/05/2020 09:47:35

Thread Title: Continuing the Discussion on Light and Shadow

Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Continuing the Discussion on Light and Shadow

For this month, I wanted to understand how light and shadow as well as approaches to toning can enhance an image. The corn was bought freshly picked from a farm. Two days later, the leaves had wilted and become more translucent. Peeling back the leaves just slightly, looking at what is hiddent underneath, creates a more dramatic image than completely husking the corn.

I light painted the corn, ISO 100, f6, 8 sec., 62 mm, tripod. To increase the translucent feeling, I backlit the leaves. Rotate this image and you have a flying corn.

One version was created in PS using a red filter and BW adjustment layer. Th other version was done in Silver Effex Pro, with a copper tone 16, a red filter, and border 10.   Posted: 09/10/2020 07:52:55
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
  Posted: 09/10/2020 07:53:49
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
  Posted: 09/10/2020 07:54:49
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Rotating the image, the corn looks as if it were flying.   Posted: 09/10/2020 07:59:20
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi Judy! Yes, this example is a great exercise in learning how to use/understand Light & Shadow, but as important in developing ones sense of creativity. You have done a marvelous job showing us this.

One question: you said you used Back-lighting, but I do not see evidence of this: usually it provides a translucent-like appearance - but I do not see this. Can you explain exactly how the Back-lighting was applied in this shot?

Thank you Judy, and thank you for this presentation!   Posted: 09/13/2020 04:54:20
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Back-Lighting for Effect:
In my Trumpet Flower composition seen here...most of the illumination is Back-lit by the sun: consequently, the signature Translucent glow overwhelmingly anchors the soft aesthetic on the flower and surrounding leaves.   Posted: 09/13/2020 05:03:16
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

I backlit the corn leaves to create a translucent feeling. Then I lit the remainder of the corn from a 45 degree angle and tried to maintain this direction of light. What you see is this main direction and would not realize I backlit unless I specifically mentioned it. The flashlight gives me freedom to change my direction as I paint. Thus the image has a combination of light directions.

Here is an example where the image is entirely back lit. For this, I made sure that the subject was perpendicular and only lit the back side of the flower.   Posted: 09/13/2020 07:25:41
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Another example of backlit. See how the leaves are so translucent.   Posted: 09/13/2020 07:37:12
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
....yes, here is what I look for in Back-lit subjects (mainly flora). Thank you.   Posted: 09/13/2020 20:06:00
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
These are nice. Well illuminated. Nice Aesthetic.   Posted: 09/13/2020 20:07:27
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
The baseball image below shows how white against black immediately draws and holds attention. With a black subject on a black background, it is challenging to achieve separation. Therefore, the glove is placed so the leather trim on the glove helps create visual separation.

The area around the ball was carefully light painted to avoid blowing out detail on the ball but still provide the right balance of shadow under the glove. Thought was given on how much of the ball to reveal. Too much showing, the ball would dominate. One must look for the ball in the shadows.   Posted: 09/20/2020 19:23:33
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
A very well prepared and executed example of creating engaging photographic work from a common placed object - or otherwise seen as understated. The light & shadow work extremely well resulting in a pleasing composition. The particular aesthetic used likely in a commercial setting or in your case Judy, a piece of fine art in your home - as the piece is very special to you.

There is nothing I can add to this shot other then..well done!

Again, I really appreciate your detailed analysis of your work - it goes a long way in teaching others how your thought-process and work-flow is organized.   Posted: 09/28/2020 05:09:50

Thread Title: Light & Shadow

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Happy September! I hope you contribute your thoughts (and photographs) on the discussion of Light & Shadow throughout the month.

As Photographic Artists we should be looking for the best "Light" to define a dynamic composition. This will usually also reveal interesting Shadows...but not all the time. Sometimes the Light (i.e. how it paints the subject or alternatively, how it defines the white or dead space in a composition) is the main attraction at first look...but shadows, sometimes very subtle within the frame, also add to a good recipe. In other words, we head into our photo-shoot envisioning one Aesthetic, and ultimately we are gifted with seeing even more than what first meets our eyes.   Posted: 09/02/2020 06:34:52
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
  Posted: 09/02/2020 06:36:33
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
With light painting still life, I found that it is important to understand the play of light and shadow and how to use it to create mood, dimension, tension and focal points. For example, the shadow under the large yoga tune up ball draws attention to the large ball while the bright white net around a small yoga ball creates another focal point. Thus the eye moves in a circle around the compositon.   Posted: 09/02/2020 17:33:06
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Thread Title: Wabi Sabi Continued

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Continuing the Discussion on Wabi Sabi:

Long before my recent introduction to Wabi Sabi most of you have heard me speak and promote the "Visualization" process: here we seek to become one with our immediate environment in hope of initiating creativity. In my opinion (and a thought I also shared with two of the Japanese photographers I listed previously) the Wabi Sabi philosophy works well (and seems interconnected) with the process of visualization. Here are some of my thoughts from my Intimate with Nature Series I began about three years ago:

'creep along the forest floor or climb tree limbs and seek the often hidden spaces in bushes, thick grass and behind rocks, or explore the crevasse of tree-bark and moss examining the intricacies and interaction between light, shadow and texture. Take a full breath and smell the varied Earthy scents from the fallen and dried leaves of fall or the sweet smell of roses and wildflowers in spring. Thus, I invite you to look closely and seek more than what initially meets the eye and is perceived as austere, or common place in nature, and instead, explore and find deeper meaning within your immediate environment. In this instant, the camera is a tool to capture artistic perspectives that bring to print a swatch of the normally hidden beauty, mystery and foremost, reality that surrounds our space'. LAL   Posted: 07/12/2020 06:42:55
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance


Your image this month and the concept of wabi sabi and discussion of film has so intrigued me and opened me up to a new path. I photographed images of an antique carpentry tool and using Silver Effex and applying a film type, toning, and borders, along with moving the other sliders found myself creating much stronger images. Indeed, I started exploring the tool from different directions all in the same setting, the wooden rail of my deck, and in different light conditions. It is amazing how one object, in different light conditions (even light painted in the evening) could reveal such different secrets.

This exploration led me to look at my pond in a new way. I found myself meditating on a dying leaf from a water hyacinth floating pushed by the moving water with small bubbles forming around it. Before, I would have ignored the dying leaf because it was not perfect. Now I looked at it, wanting to capture it in its last day(s).

The concept of wabi sabi has led me to explore the hidden treasures of the pond under different light, time of day, and weather conditions and watch nature unfold. To capture the beauty, I have learned to use a polarizing filter. It so enhances water images.
  Posted: 07/21/2020 15:55:47
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Judy, I am very happy to hear your enthusiasm about this latest topic - The BW floating leaf is a prime example of finding beauty in the austere - or common place. Similarly, the antique tool is a portrait exposing that can reveal many different details, emotion, and surely, mystery.

Please, continue to share your photographic compositions and details on how you created the final piece - these are wonderful lessons in the Art of Photography. Thank you, Judy!

  Posted: 07/22/2020 09:40:45
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

Given your comment of creeping along the forest floor, I looked along and under the lily leaves in my pond and saw these three newborn frogs. I used a circular PL filter to darken the water and reduce the glare on frogs, leaves and water. In LR, I did not open the shadows in order to retain the dark water. When editing in PS, I applied a levels adjustment and moved the black point minimally to increase the black in the water but allow some of the leaf stems to show through the water.
On each frog, I did a curves vignette to draw attention to them. Also, I applied a Nik Color Effex light centre on the frog in the lower left corner, and the CE detail extract and color contrast filters to the entire image.

I did compare using minimal flash from my pop up on camera but found that it flattened the texture on the frog, revealed the debris in the water, and left some tiny pin prick highlights on the frog texture. Therefore I concluded it is better to use the polarizing filter to obtain the dark water effect.

Using the PL filter, this same technique,and a levels adjustment I was able to achieve the black in the lily image above. The black background simplifies the image, and helps the lily stand out.

  Posted: 07/22/2020 16:02:29
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Judy, this is an excellent review of your procedures and findings - as it is with a lot of the techniques used within the photography genre, nothing is set in stone - and variations are key to creativity - and even more important, individuality. Well done, Judy. Thank you.   Posted: 07/26/2020 13:50:03
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

You encouraged us to seek along the forest floor, not to stop, but to find the hidden beauty that lies there. It would have been too easy to just photograph this beautiful day lily. Taking that extra moment to look what lay under the lily, I discovered the natural harmony of nature - bright light vs shadow, smooth petals vs reptilian skin, both were in harmony sharing the same space. Thirty minutes later, when I went back to my pond to photograph the scene, the lily had closed her petals for the day and the frog was gone.   Posted: 09/02/2020 17:45:03
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

You encouraged us to seek along the forest floor, not to stop, but to find the hidden beauty that lies there. It would have been too easy to just photograph this beautiful day lily. Taking that extra moment to look what lay under the lily, I discovered the natural harmony of nature - bright light vs shadow, smooth petals vs reptilian skin, both were in harmony sharing the same space. Thirty minutes later, when I went back to my pond to photograph the scene, the lily had closed her petals for the day and the frog was gone.   Posted: 09/02/2020 17:45:05
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Thread Title: THE PHILOSOPHY OF Wabi Sabi

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
7-9-2020 NEW TOPIC: THE PHILOSOPHY OF Wabi Sabi

The Japanese Wabi Sabi philosophy includes several aesthetic principles:
1. simplicity
2. asymmetry or irregularity
3. beauty in the understated
4. naturalness without pretense
5. subtle grace
6. freeness
7. tranquility

Within these ideas beauty is found in the simplest of forms and perhaps, inspires tranquility: for example, a single rock or the draped dried flora that seemingly cascade like fireworks from an old Bald Cypress Tree - (see attached example). Or the eeriness of the swamps located in the deep south - but to some a nostalgic feeling, as it did with me. (See my July post).

Alternatively, a photographic composition of old tools, a torn or used leotard next to a similarly used pair of ballet shoes will evoke many different emotions - including those that describe the beautiful.

Shooting in film helps to capture the many aesthetics outlined in this Japanese philosophy - but careful planning and proper used of any both digital and film photography techniques can also capture and produce engaging compositions. Landscape and natural photographers like Bob Kolbrener, Nobuyuki Kobayoshi, Naohiro Ninomiya shoot film exclusively: that film captures and amplifies the aesthetics outlined above. (I too, have now dedicated myself shooting up to 35% BW film using my 1970's camera and lenses). Another photographic technique that helps build an aesthetic is the paper you use to print on: this is also an important process regardless if you capture using film or digital means.

The topic is grand - and needs serious research, practice, and also examination into ones own means of inspiration to fully appreciate. However, this initial introduction can help us all "look" and "see" photographs with a new perspective and surely, appreciation for the individuality in work that follow and help sustain the traditional values of photographic fine art - and the work most collectors are hunting for.

Thank you.   Posted: 07/09/2020 14:34:19
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
The Wabi Sabi philosophy is also very connected and in many ways, compliments the "Visualization" process. I speak about this concept regularity in all my photographic clubs and PSA groups, as it is central in becoming one with your environment as a means to initiate creativity from behind the lens. A subject talked about with passion and conviction by Ansel Adams in the 20th Century.

Image: "Destiny" digitally captured from my series Intimate with Nature.   Posted: 07/09/2020 14:54:34
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

I attach a dying leaf image that I discussed below.   Posted: 07/21/2020 16:00:20
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Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

I attach an image of the antique tool with the background described in another comment.

It was difficult for me to decide which image to choose. I had angled the tool in different ways, photographed in under different light conditions, experimented with flash in broad daylight to create black backgrounds, and light painted it both inside and outside. I used it to explore depth of field because of its unique shape.

I researched but do not understand how to use it. However, it has taught me so much about photography and editing wanting to explore its beauty.   Posted: 07/21/2020 16:12:10
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Thread Title: Making Your Own Textures

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Recently, Judith asked about textures. It is so easy to make your own. Of course, you can photograph textures all around you. But you can also make textures out of an image that has the color pallet that you wish to capture in a texture. I searched for classic images on the Internet, because I love the colors in most of those old images. I also used some of my own flower images.

1. Select your image and open it in PS CC.
2. Copy the first layer (Ctrl J).
3. Make any color adjustments you wish with Adjustment layers.
4. Play with your image. Here are a few tricks I used.
a. Copy the image to a new layer and invert that layer (Edit > Transpose > Invert (horizontal and/or verticle)
b. Change the blending mode on the inverted layer. Just page through the blending mode with the down arrow key on your keyboard.
c. Merge up to include a merged layer on top of your underlying layer, without loosing the underlying layers (Cntl Alt Shift E)
d. Take a merged layer into Topaz Studio Impressions and find an effect that you like and save it. You can also play with the properties of any effect, e.g., change the brush, change each color, smudge it, etc.

Here is a flower I put on a texture background that I created from a classic angel picture I found on the web.   Posted: 06/12/2020 14:28:20
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
This is incredibly gorgeous, Georgianne! I hope you plan to print this!   Posted: 07/09/2020 13:56:04
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Georgianne

Thanks for describing the process. I made a screen print of it.   Posted: 07/21/2020 15:19:32

Thread Title: Is Black & White Photography Manipulative?

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Secondly, asking if Black and White photography is a manipulative process is a bit strange and in my opinion pointless - and my feelings well described in the document.

However, when we talk about "manipulation" as a whole (color or BW, still or cinema) this is a logical and legitimate discourse: as many feel the very Preservation of the Art of Photography is in question.

But this is entire different debate. Thank you.   Posted: 06/10/2020 16:29:29
Peter Newman   Peter Newman

Hi Lance,

How many time have any of us heard the claim in essence, that a particular image is not photography, because it does not accurately represent what the camera saw.
I think that a statement by a photographer claiming that they are from the f64 school, just like AA, is either hypercritical, or made without knowledge of the facts. One of my former clients was one of his lab technicians. According to him, just about all the original negatives were flat. Each one had extensive notes concerning the amount of manipulation should be done during the printing process. Each plate had detailed instructions on how it should be developed. i.e. How much time in each type of developer, and the temperature foe each stage.

As a veteran of a wet darkroom, who made some of his own developing chemicals from scratch, I understand his reasoning. No, I don't remember my formulas, but many were based of information contained in the CRC handbook.


  Posted: 06/10/2020 18:47:10
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Peter, your comments (and those of your friends) are correct and have merit, but the differences between 19th and 20th Century manipulation and 21st Century digital alternatives are not even remotely close: we have pushed photographic manipulation way past the boundaries of traditional photographic technique and have entered a new realm of art: Digital Art with a photographic base. Your comments fall outside the topic posted initially, so I will not comment further until we all decide to close this chapter and move forward with another. :)

Sadakichi Hartmann reflected on a similar point: “I do not object to retouching, dodging or accentuation as long as they do not interfere with the natural qualities of photographic technique”.

This is a very involved and deep discourse needing its own space to breath. Thank you.   Posted: 06/11/2020 05:57:54
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
I'm not sure that I follow the "arguments" here. Perhaps that is because I tend to agree more with Jose. To me, some images look better in monochrome, others in color, as inferred by Lance.
I think it is important to remember that, before the advent of digital art/photography, the only way to share an image was in print (or TV/Movies). Initially, that meant monochrome. I recall that the only reason that Ansel Adams printed in monochrome was because he could not find a printer who did justice to his color negatives. As humans, we do have a tendency to hang on to that to which we have become accustomed and there is still a tendency to prefer monochrome because that is the "way it used to be".

Color has a very emotional impact upon people, so it is, indeed, part of the authenticity of a scene. The emotions evoked vary by time and local, so an image in color more authentically represents "reality" if the colors in it are synchronous with both the local and the intent of the photographer. There is nothing in our world to which we react without some kind of emotion, unless we are a psychopath. So a captured image is INTENDED to convey some kind of emotion as translated through a photographer to an audience. The audience had better have the same emotional reactions to the colors in a scene as does the photographer, or else the image is wasted as a document that records "reality" of the scene. of course, if emotional color reactions are not synchronous between the photographer and the audience, then the image must have enough meat in it to stand by itself in monochrome!   Posted: 06/10/2020 19:29:01
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
These are good and valid points, Georgianne.

Indeed, there are many color renderings that can be strong and dramatic. But as you point out, the photographer needs to have a skill set that will allow a scene to reveal itself. However, the viewer may not necessarily engage the piece with the same interpretation as the photographers: There will always be room for interpretation - the mere fact that the composition "moves" you or "Pricks" you (effects the viewer emotionally or as you already stated, it needs the "meat" to be a powerful image)is all that is important,

The degree of this difference in interpretation between the photographer and viewer can also change significantly depending upon the type of work being viewed: i.e. traditional abstract and landscape for two examples.   Posted: 06/11/2020 06:15:16
Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Lance, This may be OT, but I congratulate you, and thank you for sharing your well written article.

I I read it correctly, I totally agree with your point on the importance of visualization, and by implication, its effect on the emotional impact of the image.

  Posted: 06/11/2020 12:34:20
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Peter, at this point...we have been north, south east and west of the original topic!! LOL!!

Really appreciate you liking the piece - and yes, I am very passionate about preserving this (the Visualization process) as a vital component within The Art of Photography:

The art of "seeing" lies in our ability to slow down, step back and retrace our steps: elaborating on the old trope, "Stop and smell the roses", be cognizant of your surroundings by slowing down to experience the sensations that infiltrate our space we do not notice in our hurried pace. Experiencing more from our environment by opening all our senses to see, hear, smell and taste a wider sampling, stoop low and see what the insects see, or pull back and glee at the grandeur of a majestic landscape. With a stronger awareness of the world around us, helps expose hidden nuances in helping to initiate creativity in the pursuit of achieving dynamic compositions.
  Posted: 06/11/2020 18:35:55
Debasish Raha   Debasish Raha
We the photographers have the gift to find beauty and interest in things most of the people usually overlook. In addition we have the interest to capture the beauty through photographs. How we present what we captured is up to us, the photographers. That is her/his interpretation, reflecting a way to tell the story. The final photograph might reflect a photographer's interpretation of what he/she actually saw, or a variation that reflects the mood and sometimes a dramatization, all reflecting photographer's interpretation. So it is pointless to argue about authentication irrespective of color or monochrome because photography is about an artistic interpretation, as always has been, of individual photographers. That is why every photography show is a unique experience.   Posted: 06/13/2020 22:41:34
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Debasish, indeed, we are all individual artist - and our interpretation of a landscape, event or portraiture is all within our artistic means: as far as BW not being authentic, the idea is baseless and why I presented it here to see everyone's reaction.

Thank you for commenting!   Posted: 06/18/2020 14:39:58

Thread Title: A Very Engaging Conversation

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
From a very engaging conversation with participants and fellow photographers on PHOTOPXL.com some months ago. I am confident you will all enjoy reading (part) of my tran. I look forward to your comments regardless if they are for or against my comments. Enjoy!

As it relates to BW photography, as many questions about the authenticity of color photographs now has equal competition from its BW alternatives, including film based versions. I see every day in both online posts, and speaking with people at gallery exhibitions, including my own solo exhibition in 2017. However, (the participant) brings up an entirely different topic that questions the 'authenticity of a Black and White photograph' (regardless if it was digitally converted or a result of developing BW film negatives).

Rendering a subject in grey scale (again, regardless if converting a digital file or developing a BW negatives) is all about “seeing” and ingesting the “whole” frame. Successful photographs are ones that can reveal its Gestalt; where interpretation of the whole is more expressive (interesting or seems to “prick” the viewer, as Roland Barthes so eloquently coined in 1980) than the artworks individual details. Then we can also suggest a BW rendering, perhaps, even more than color, reveals how we “see” in real-time and thus BW photography presents a truer sense of reality. A “Point to Ponder”, indeed.

“Why BW?” Even after color film was introduced, (especially in the early years) BW photography was still the hallmark of what represented Photographic Art - and like then, even now, viewers of Black and White photography are dictated to interpret the “whole” as opposed to the individual sensations of color - as a consequence, BW renderings still stand as the forefront of what defines Fine Art Photography to many photographers and especially to patrons of photographic art.

No. Black and White photography is not manipulating or otherwise represents a skewed reality, instead, may actually support more closely how our eyes and brain work in union to reveal our World in all its beauty and intricate detail, and thus, how we conceive reality; an ideal pursued through Impressionism in painting (color) and Pictorialism in (black and white) photography. Thank you.

Lance A. Lewin
  Posted: 06/10/2020 14:54:55
Jose Luis Rodriguez   Jose Luis Rodriguez
My humble opinion
Talking about the authenticity of color photography or manipulation of the BW is a bit pointless and absurd
Is it like saying Canon or Nikon?
is that Canon colors are more real or I like them more
or before when we were working with a movie, the question was Kodak or Fuji?
To argue for the authenticity of color photography is absurd. Digital cameras do not see in color, (they interpret colors with formulas that someone has created because they only "see" light and shadows.
I don't even know how my daughter sees the colors nor does she know how I see them, the color has so much of a subjectivity that you can't speak of authenticity.
Photography is an art and as art everything is valid within it and no part is more authentic or real than the other.   Posted: 06/10/2020 15:14:43
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
...and to be clear...the question that was proposed by the participant was if Black and White was authentic, and not a manipulated genre of photography!   Posted: 06/10/2020 16:24:16

Thread Title: Reasons for Using Monochrome

Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Reasons for using monochrome is that reduces the distraction of color and can assist in making a story stronger. Also, it can produce a more timeless image.

For me, another benefit is allowing us to more easily read across multiple images at one glance and simplify a message.

Using focal length, I compressed an image, and challenged the question of social distancing. One image, may seem aberrant. However, compiling three images taken within 10 minutes apart, eliminating the distraction of color, the message is stronger.


  Posted: 06/10/2020 13:38:08
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Great topic Judy:

Street Photography takes on more than one type of narrative: for example, the implied "instantaneous" capture as we see in Georgios example is one narrative (and in itself, has two possible methods of capture; we will expand on this shortly)in creating a narrative, and the second is more like Judy's, that of which resides within a documentary narrative.

The two methods of Instantaneous or Spontaneous or Reactive technique in capturing a subject - in creating a narrative - can 1. after studying a particular location or space (i.e. a particular street corner or the entrance to a movie house) the photographer begins to become one with his immediate environment and the things and people that reside within its boundaries: from this point forward the photographer can gauge and interpret his subjects before finally pulling the trigger at the optimum moment, or Cartier's "the decisive moment". 2. the shot is truly instant or likely "Reactive" to fast thinking (and experience) as Jose pointed out earlier on review of Georgios photograph.

Lastly, we have results that are a manifest of Luck, Intuition/experience, Visualization, or a combination of all these important and varied variables.

On Documentary Street Photography - lets here from everyone. :)   Posted: 06/10/2020 15:13:19
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

I am very familiar with this area. However, when I took these images, I was not waiting for something to happen. I was intrigued by the man in an orange jacket on the scooter behind my husband with a blue jacket and thought orange and blue were a nice color contrast. Then I had to run to catch up to my husband and saw another image and without thought took it. Ditto for the third image. When I saw the images, the theme of Social Distancing came to mind. These images were spontaneous.

That same morning, I took other images of landmarks along the Thames River. Some were horrible with ugly colors but I converted them to monochrome and created a triptych with them called Along the Thames. This to me is straight documentary.   Posted: 06/10/2020 17:17:44
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Peter Newman   Peter Newman
I think it depends on the image and its purpose. A few days ago I would have agreed that, especially with street, That color often only interferes with a good monochrome. I am showing both a color and a mono version of one of my old images. Yes, I could have played around with the luminescence until I got a much better conversion. However after the properly converted version was complete, I am not sure that it would tell a significantly different story than the color version.

I think that this comparison does illustrate that: it is far more difficult to get a good monochrome image, than one in color; that there times when color can aid in telling a story; color is not always a distraction.
  Posted: 06/10/2020 17:43:51
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hello Peter, and thanks for stopping by....but no, this is not a good example to show the differences between color and BW photography and how it is viewed and interpreted: a more complex example needs to be used...the conversation between the importance of (or significance) between color and BW photographs, well, is not as simple as black and white. :)

All kidding aside, I think most artist will agree we are discussing more complex pieces that reveal themselves differently through BW and color renderings.   Posted: 06/11/2020 05:43:44
Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Lance, I probably did not make my paragraph clear. I posted that image for the very narrow purpose of not agreeing with Judy's statement that: "Reasons for using monochrome is that reduces the distraction of color..." more specifically I was trying to illustrate that color is not always a distraction.

I apologize if my above statement moved the thread. That was not my intention.   Posted: 06/11/2020 11:49:33
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Peter

This conversation about monochrome vs color has really made me think about how, when, and where to use monochrome vs color.

I am so new to photography (3 years vs the vast experience of those commenting) and have simply concentrated on learning techniques. My desire to learn monochrome was simply because webinars would state learn monochrome because your photography will improve. Thus I joined the DDG 83 group Dec. 2018. I would research to find simple answers to what makes a good monochrome image. Nowhere, did I find the type of conversation in this thread.

Last November I started on a journey to learn still life, how to create themes, and then light paint,. My images changed from monochrome to color because I was challenged to use color to create mood and story. How can one appreciate the artistry of Italian Faenze hand painted ceramic without seeing the rich tones and gradations of color or the oozing of the yellow egg yolk that tells the story. When I converted this image to monochrome, it lost impact and story.

I use images as a way to remember and have never considered them as art. This thread is challenging me to think deeper - documentary? art? choice?. Therefore, I appreciate the different points of view.

  Posted: 06/11/2020 13:23:46
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Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Judith, it surprises me that you are someone who is new to photography. your work is amazing! You are obviously someone who really approaches learning in a strongly focused and dedicated manner! I do love your egg image. Last week, I was day dreaming about how to photograph just such an egg, in an old fashioned holder such as the one you used. however, I didn't have one or know where I could find one. I can't go shopping, due to susceptibilities and COVID. Do people even use those wonderful egg holders anymore? They used to be common (am I dating myself?)   Posted: 06/11/2020 17:07:59
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Georgianne

I just saw your comment. For some reason, I am not getting messages delivered from the server.

This egg cup holder is from Faenze, Italy famous for its ceramic. My husband grew up there.

I have attached another idea for an egg. This image is light painted on white card stock and the color temperature adjusted to blue. I also tried this setup on my black granite kitchen counter to purposely catch reflections.   Posted: 07/21/2020 15:14:17
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Thread Title: CALL FOR ARTIST

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
CALL FOR ARTIST Gilmer Arts National Photography Exhibition 2020

Please, follow link to the Prospectus. Reach out to me with questions. Thank you, everyone!

http://visualizingart.com/events   Posted: 06/05/2020 12:02:18

Thread Title: ArtTalk

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Good day, everyone! Hope you take time to copy and paste this link to a 3min read on my work and the other artist on the site, too. They recently highlighted my work. I also use this site to promote photography exhibitions scheduled at Gilmer Arts in Ellijay, Georgia. And please, leave a Comment after the article regardless if Pro or Con on what you read. Thank you.

https://theartguide.com/artalk   Posted: 05/22/2020 09:02:34
Georgios Kazazis   Georgios Kazazis
Have a good day everyone!
Great idea indeed!
For me is Pro definitely!
Well done dear Lance!!   Posted: 05/22/2020 10:33:44
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Good day, Georgios. I am glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you.   Posted: 05/24/2020 06:02:58
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
This is a comment on your article, Lance.

What you say, about slowing down and really visualizing the beauty around us, is right on. I do think that gift of 'seeing' comes mostly from a lot of practice. After awhile (perhaps years), a dedicated photographer begins to really see the components of a scene that would make a good photograph.

One comment on your article involved the wish for a resurgence of "documentary" photography. Indeed there is a place for good images that purport to "document" something. However, it is important to note that ever since photography began, photos have been altered in development, to the point that it is unwise to trust that any photo is really a straight photo. Indeed, there is always a difference between what is "actually" there, and what the photographer perceives. The camera records straight pixels, and in development, the photographer attempts to tweak them to look like what they perceived.   Posted: 05/22/2020 11:13:59
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Perhaps part of the reason why there is often a difference between what the photographer remembers and the actual scene as captured in raw by the camera, is because of the lack of context in the image, verses what surrounds the scene in the photographer's memory. The photographer has a multi-sensory experience, including their own perceptual historical memories. The camera has only one of the senses, in that it sees, but does not perceive (perception is a brain function which incorporates memory).   Posted: 05/22/2020 11:30:11
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hello, Georgianne. I really like your comments and insights...thank you for this wonderful detailed response.“To those who believe that beauty and meaning exist only in people's imaginations, photography would seem to be too closely bound to reality; to be too wingless an art to be interesting. But to those who love life, photography will appeal because of its very closeness to reality.” Irina Khrabroff

However, we are all aware in recall, our joy of an event, place or thing is not as clear as the experience in real-time, as such we tend to modify details which may be a bit left or right of what was experienced. Traditionally, and for the most part, in both words and pictures, we do our best to convey the deep emotional real-time experience in a clear and authentic manner.

A great example are the landscape photographs of Ansel Adams - Adams openly admitted his long time in the dark room ended in final prints revealing more drama than experienced in real-time. His heavy hand in Dodge and Burn techniques have produced many extreme variations of light and shadow helping him bring his deep emotional experience to the viewer. However, never is the work questioned of its authenticity: his darkroom techniques are pure as most (but not all) 19th Century and early 20th Century photographers during the Pictorialism movement, and the final print reveals an authentic visual experience - one that any viewer could have experienced and appreciated.

Another example can be seen in my many pictorial sea-scapes - as I tend to sometimes use a slow shutter speed to reveal motion of waves and clouds in attempt to bring the enormous emotion felt during the real-time experience.

And this is because, as you shared in your comment - environmental nuances that surround our space often reveal themselves only after time has passed or alternatively, as you also stated, through years of capturing photographs and learning to “see”: as experienced photographers’ have learned to visualize and capture all that lay before them.

“Art is hidden in nature…and that he who can tear her out of it, owns her”. Painter Albrecht DŸrer (1471-1528)

  Posted: 05/24/2020 07:22:16
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
  Posted: 05/24/2020 07:41:09
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Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Lance, thank you for your excellent reply. I do love the quotes! But most of all, I LOVE your beautiful boneyard image! Wow! I do love to photograph boneyards. There was an excellent one a Hunting Beach, SC, but last year they cleared all the dead trees from it, and totally ruined it for photographers! We also found a good one on Jekyll Island, GA. Is that where you took this one? The moodiness of your image really communicates. Thanks for posting it!   Posted: 05/24/2020 12:17:30
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Here is one that I took at Hunting Island, when the trees were still there! I just love working with these images of trees. I called this "Cold Storm Coming", and used the blue cast with white vignette to induce the feeling of coldness.   Posted: 05/24/2020 16:13:31
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Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
....appreciate this meaningful dialogue, I feel it is good to discuss the many facets of our art genre.

Yes, I love visiting these places as well, Georgianne. Captured on Long Boat Key, Florida a couple years back during a very strange optical event: the late afternoon-evening sun was just cutting through very thick fog which had descended upon the beach - in post-production I decided to convert to BW and use similar Toning to mimic the experience: though the color version is outstanding - the BW w/toning made the scene more stark.

Oh, gee...I really like your shot...the cool tone fits it well! I need to visit your neck of the woods (or coast) Georgianne - where do you suggest I visit and at time of year? Thank you for sharing...very cool!   Posted: 05/24/2020 17:11:38
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
This shot was taken at Hunting Beach, and the trees there have been removed. The beach is baren. Perhaps the Jekyll boneyard is still there. If you visit Jekyll island, also take a full day to visit nearby Cumberland island. Actually, Cumberland is best explored in two days, as it is huge. We loved it, with its ruins and amazing vegetation and wild horses. We ran out of time to visit the 14 mile long beach, as we took the amazing tour of the north end and walked the south end. Access to the island is by ferry only, and aside from the tour, you have to walk or rent a bike. As we didn't visit the beach, I don't know if there is a boneyard there. We'd planned on exploring it this year, but got sidelined by COVID-19.   Posted: 05/25/2020 08:00:09

Thread Title: Welcome to the Bulletin Board

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi everyone! Hope you like this added feature to our group. Again, this Space will be available regardless of the month we are reviewing: however, feel free to post specific questions on any photograph, from any month.

Thank you.   Posted: 05/19/2020 12:12:23
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi
Lance

This is a wonderful idea.

My questions is: from what sites, can I download free textures to experiment with?   Posted: 05/19/2020 12:51:21
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
The best thing I can recommend is to do a search for "free textures". This is how I started collecting them. Eventually, you can bite the bullet and start capturing your own - take shots of walls, flooring, asphalt, concrete, etc.   Posted: 05/19/2020 17:05:25
Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Judy.
I do not intend to sound snarky, but why purchase textures.

I prefer to make my own, for essentially the same reason I don't buy picture postcards. Then there is the practical purpose: I have to search through my collection to find an almost fit, and then modify it. Creating my own background sometimes can be a real PITA. See my image posted this month in Group65, which has a fairly detailed description of how I turned a garden into a putting green.

To get you started see the video at: <https://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/starry-sky/>
Once I started getting into it, on some mages I sent more time on the background than the image itself. I also learned that PS will do some strange things, which I might want to use later. e.g. If I change a red to a green, using the color replacement tool, or curves in LAB mode, (probably the fastest way to change a color,) HSL may not recognize the change as either red or green. etc.
  Posted: 06/10/2020 19:30:13
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
thanks for the kick in the behind, Peter. I have a collection of my own textures, made from photographing cement, walls, peeling paint, clouds, etc. However, your suggestion made me think. I don't like nor use most of my textures, so I am going to embark upon a project to actually paint my own textures. it will give me something to do while being so home bound.   Posted: 06/11/2020 17:12:10

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