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Showing posts 2251 - 2275 of 2396, (reverse)
01/09/2018 02:17:56 PM · #2251
Dream of a Free December


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01/19/2018 05:10:28 PM · #2252
Natural Light Portraits


there's such a nice variety of portraits here, I'd like to talk about the qualities of each one. Because of this I am going to reverse my usual order and go from highest scoring to lowers scoring, because high scoring photos are easier to explain.

direct sunlight makes for harsh shadows and high contrast, but having the subject sit in the shade allows for us to see a much more gentle and pleasing play of light and shadow. Abra has managed to bring us outdoors while still protecting us (SPF 50). The bright day is conveyed by the luminescence of the background. This feeling of naturalness and gentleness is also seen in the subject, who sits in an arms-crossed, tentative kind of posture like you would expect outdoors, but is also relaxed, distracted, looking to the side, smiling in an almost accidental way.

this portrait is the epitome of "brisk." The subject's face is pink from cold, and we are confronting her condition, brought as close as possible to still convey her bundled-up outfit and the snowy environment behind and in front of her. this is a great example of how a photo can make you feel something, even if it's just a stiff breeze. All this coldness makes the subject's smile something to be admired and envied. She clearly makes her own warmth.

I wrote that this is the decisive portrait moment, a deliberate paradox on my part. After all, a portrait is about a person, not a moment... but of course that's a lie. Every photo exists in a moment and conveys a moment. This one shows us a decisive pause, a direct look, the slowing one feels when someone looks us in the eyes and we wonder, do we know this person? do we want to know this person? The noise suggests that details are unimportant at such a moment. Everything is in the eyes.

here we have the opposite, a subject in motion, a subject leaving the picture. It has a certain poignancy because of that. Wait, I hardly knew you! It's an honest portrait, letting us know that it's impossible to really know someone else, that they are always hiding something, or simply don't know how to show us everything.

I consider this photo a portrait of natural light. This rich, gorgeous light, pushes Bear Music aside and takes center stage, making his face like a sideways landscape.

ah, remember before how I was talking about the harshness of natural light? No shade for this fellow. No protection for us. The photo is exposed for a middle range, allowing the light is allowed to blow out and the shadows to black out. It becomes a portrait of the contrast, the subject caught between light and dark, containing both within himself while also surrounded by both. It is a portrait of a man indifferent to us, who continues his own struggle, which is something beautiful to see. The privilege of looking at something which doesn't need us, doesn't even know about us. We are granted the impossibility of observing something without affecting it.

Message edited by author 2018-01-19 17:11:16.
01/20/2018 03:26:25 PM · #2253
Wow, Don, that's lovely, And many thanks.
01/20/2018 04:00:57 PM · #2254
Thanks for posting all these comments together, Don, and for including this in your gallery.

01/20/2018 07:50:49 PM · #2255
Thank you Don for the great summaries, and how nice of you to share!

Now what about Clive's would-have-been-ribboned image?
01/20/2018 09:35:36 PM · #2256
Thank you Don!
01/21/2018 12:02:01 AM · #2257
Thanks Don,

You have amazing insight with these images.
01/21/2018 10:42:28 AM · #2258
Originally posted by mitalapo:

Now what about Clive's would-have-been-ribboned image?

Clive's image only had one 5 and nothing below 5. I have nothing to add. His portrait style appeals to everyone, including me. And I actually have no more clue how he does it than anyone else does (low aperture plus tack-sharp focus? or is it just the illusion of low aperture?).

01/21/2018 02:01:54 PM · #2259
Thank you Don.
Your poetic self is showing a winter bloom.
01/22/2018 11:54:09 AM · #2260
Extended Free Somewhere In January

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Message edited by author 2018-01-22 11:54:27.
01/24/2018 12:04:32 PM · #2261
Nodding to Gowin

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Gowin and the Green Night


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01/24/2018 02:06:47 PM · #2262
Thanks Don Giovanni
01/24/2018 03:22:13 PM · #2263
Many thanks Don.
01/24/2018 03:49:28 PM · #2264
Thanks Don
01/31/2018 02:30:49 PM · #2265
Untitled Fantasy


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awards for best titles will go in the best titles thread....
02/01/2018 02:37:47 PM · #2266
Thanks again Don.
02/01/2018 03:23:57 PM · #2267
Don, thank you so much.
02/03/2018 03:11:51 PM · #2268
Merci pour le bling Don.
02/09/2018 02:50:35 PM · #2269
Such stuff as dreams are made on


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02/10/2018 07:00:07 AM · #2270
Much appreciated Don.
02/19/2018 12:30:57 PM · #2271
What is Art?


The arms. One set is firmly supported against the earth. The other set is almost impossibly akimbo. The darkness and the blur dissolve everything else, helping us to focus on these arms. Some people think it's art because the arms on the left symbolize X and the arms on the right symbolize Y and together they symbolize blah blah, and that's supposed to be a deep interpretation of the art. But what really makes this art is that it makes you want to find symbolism, because it sets you off balance and makes you feel like there's another world behind this one. So, art isn't about the conclusions you draw, it's about creating a desire for conclusions.

Photography is to painting as nonfiction is to fiction. There might still be some metaphorical or symbolic weight to that man on the roof aping superman, but there is also the real man and whatever quotidian or personal reason he had to wear that shirt... and it haunts the symbolism. The same can be said about the composition, which is so visually appealing and strong, the flat surfaces spiraling into each other... cut by two figures and a ladder... but this composition is also haunted by the realities of these two people and who they might really be and what they might really be feeling. Art is in this tension between ideal beauty and concrete concerns... the sacred and the profane.

I would say a lot of it is ambiguity. We know what is going on here. A woman is about to blow on a dandelion. But the photo seems like more than that. To me, it looks like she is about to eat the dandelion. She is so intense at this moment. Meanwhile, the sun is drawing its own picture on the lens, ignoring the natural forms of what's in front of us. And the framing is so close up that we lose the connection between foreground and background. The dandelion becomes its own sun. The grass is right against her face. She is kissing the sun.

Art is two impossibly different things facing each other across an eternity and becoming one.

Putting a child next to an old man is the biggest cliche in the world, but to subvert a cliche is a great artistic pleasure. And this you do by putting the old man on a bike and having the young girl awkwardly waiting for ??? with a red heart balloon. And what's the chair for? In the middle of a field? It's so wonderfully dumb and campy. I mean, it sort of evokes more serious issues, like why is she waiting by an empty chair? Is it because society expects that when she grows up she needs a man to complete her? Meanwhile, the man is self-sufficient to the grave. The girl is clearly questioning this dichotomy. But at the same time, I'm not sure you really meant this, and I can just enjoy this as a nonsense collage of cliches. Your title, after all, only evokes the original cliche of my first sentence. Anyway, this is what art is about... collage, juxtaposing symbols and motifs in weird new ways. And I don't know what your intentions were, but art can happen accidentally.

This is art in a very photographic way. It disorients us, takes some context away so foreground and background create one pattern. The architectural space and purpose disappear, and that vase floats in the same aether as the tree. Everything is just... lines.

The sun is the artist of this photo, deciding what to show and what not to show, relating two beings who probably are not related. That is art, to cover and uncover, to expose and hide. Someone could write an essay about what the man means and what the ox means, and why he's walking out of frame while the ox is stolid, but that essay doesn't make it art. The art is what makes someone want to write the essay, and it makes ten people write ten different essays.
02/19/2018 04:31:54 PM · #2272
Thank you for the recognition Don, I am truly delighted!
02/19/2018 04:38:09 PM · #2273
Long time since my last award! Thank you Don, much appreciated
02/19/2018 10:18:12 PM · #2274
Thanks Don. Very much appreciate the comment and posting. Thanks!
02/20/2018 10:44:38 AM · #2275
Thank you, Don. Very generous of you to provide this kind of feedback.
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