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Thread: Perlethorpe Church

  1. #1
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Andrew-Bede

    Perlethorpe Church

    This is another view of St. John's Perlethorpe, and I would like c&c especially on the processing as this is something new I have tried and I would like to know if it is something people like. Personally I quite like the atmosphere of the result but not sure whether or not is comes across as a bit 'false'

    Andrew-Bede

    Perlethorpe Church

  2. #2
    CBImages's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Hi Andrew-Bede
    In my humble opinion we should take images of subjects that appeal to us and then process them in a way that we like and not worry too much about what other people think. With the advent of modern technology photography has moved beyond being simply a way to record a scene and has firmly entered the realms of art and therefore anything goes. If you are happy with your image of Perlethorpe Church then you have created a good image and should be pleased with it.
    Was your intention to create a piece of artwork or a faithful reproduction?

    You ask if it "looks false"?
    Yes it does, if I was stood there under the same lighting would I see the same image? No I wouldn't, is the lamp post really that bent, is the church wall really curved like that, does the spire really lean at that angle? These can be corrected in software programmes like Photoshop, Lightroom etc.
    It also looks to be over sharpened but that is only a problem if you are trying to create a faithful image of the church.

    Does the processing and the fact that it looks false mean its a bad image? No, not at all.

    As I view the image now, I see an image that is neither a true representation of the church nor is it a piece of artwork - it seems to fall between the two stools.

    When I take clients out on Photographic Workshops I always ask them 'why did you take that image'?
    "What was it about the scene that appealed to you"?
    Once you have isolated the main reason for taking the image then you have a basis for knowing 'how' to process an image and if that image matches up to your expectations.

    Hope that helps

    Regards

    Chris

  3. #3
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Thank you Chris for your comments, they are exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for!

    You ask a very important question, "Was your intention to create a piece of artwork or a faithful reproduction?" If anything I was trying for a piece of artwork rather than a faithful image of the church but that really is not the whole answer as I try in my photography to explore how I feel about the world in which we live rather than recording faithfully how the world may appear to the anyone else. For me photography is a spiritual exercise, but even saying that makes it seem more formal than it is, rather it is part of my spiritual journey and what I value in photography is the ability it has to draw out of me that response and in the process to stagger a little bit further along that road. This image as it stands now certainly for me achieves that aim as it somehow speaks on how I was feeling when I shot the photograph, even the curves on the flagpole, (not a lamp post) and the church as a whole record something of that feeling I had as I was on the way to attend a Eucharist, also the person in the image who happens to be my wife and the Priest who was to take the service is part of that.

    So when you say, "As I view the image now, I see an image that is neither a true representation of the church nor is it a piece of artwork - it seems to fall between the two stools" you are pretty much hitting the nail on the head!

    Andrew-Bede

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Hi Andrew-Bede, when you post an image like this and are looking for feedback, it might be helpful to point out what kind of a 'look' you are trying to achieve and perhaps, what steps you have taken in that direction. By knowing what your goals are, we can be more specific on how to reach them. My tastes tend to run toward sharp, colorful, contrasty images, but others think about providing C&C from B&W, muted tones, and other perspectives so our comments may be based on our personal tastes if there are no specific questions asked. I think I would try to add more definition to the sky.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Hi Andrew-Bede,

    I'll chime in with something else
    I can accept most things with the image as it stands, given you'd acknowledged it may come across as false, but you like it.

    The one thing, ok two, I would query are;
    the white balance, it looks quite high on yellow to me and
    the CA (chromatic abberation), but only where it is most noticeable; the red/green edges on flag pole and the trees against the sky

    Forgive me mentioing the CA, I am particularly sensitive to it having been trained as a video camera engineer in the seventies when the broadcast TV cameras (and the first colour CRT monitors) needed that kind of thing manually adjusting out (well, as best you could )

    I hope that is helpful, to add to the others views,

  6. #6

    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    I try in my photography to explore how I feel about the world in which we live rather than recording faithfully how the world may appear to the anyone else. For me photography is a spiritual exercise, but even saying that makes it seem more formal than it is, rather it is part of my spiritual journey and what I value in photography is the ability it has to draw out of me that response and in the process to stagger a little bit further along that road.
    Andrew-Bede, I fully understand and commend this. Although my definition of spiritual exercise may be wildly at odds with your own definition. Art must be about expressing our deepest feelings. This does not always make for popular acceptance in a purely aesthetic sense but nevertheless we must be true to ourselves otherwise we can never put 'soul' into our images. I will be quite honest and say that it does not appeal to my aesthetic sensibility. There lies a dilema that we all face - is it our duty as photographers to translate our inner most thoughts into something that will make our messages more 'readable'? Personally I would say yes simply because unless we are producing something that evokes an emotional response in others we may as well keep it in our heads. I hear again and again that we should take photographs for ourselves rather than others but to me this is hard to accept as a philosophy. Photography (and Art) is about communication and if we communicate badly we ultimately fail. Pure art in the sense that we pour our deepest emotions out without apparent structure or discipline cannot fail to catch the attention of others. It is to expose our raw thought/emotion and that has to be engaging. The image above goes nowhere near pure art but neither is it a faithful capture. It feels constrained by tradition and a sense of structured faith somehow. The wild lines and perspective are not enough to hide the fact that it is a very traditional format. If it were me I would be analysing the elements that represent my feelings and focussing in and/or accentuating these areas. If the curves and the distorted perspective have some connection with your deepest thoughts about the subject then accentuate these but apply them in a way which channels the viewer into the area that represents your own truth. To be honest I find ecclesiastical subjects far more engaging when the photographer gets close in. I think the main obstacle with these subjects is that they are designed to represent a strong ritualised message where there is little to encourage the photographer or viewer to be honest to there own reaction. This makes it a very difficult subject to use as a conduit for our deepest thoughts and emotions. Its a great challenge and I think getting in close enables the photographer to overlay preconception with his or her own message.

  7. #7
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Andrew-Bede, when you post an image like this and are looking for feedback, it might be helpful to point out what kind of a 'look' you are trying to achieve and perhaps, what steps you have taken in that direction. By knowing what your goals are, we can be more specific on how to reach them. My tastes tend to run toward sharp, colorful, contrasty images, but others think about providing C&C from B&W, muted tones, and other perspectives so our comments may be based on our personal tastes if there are no specific questions asked. I think I would try to add more definition to the sky.
    Thanks for this Frank and for your suggestion about the sky. I have posted elsewhere about sky problems and hope to get some good advice. Cheers.
    Andrew-Bede

  8. #8
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Andrew-Bede,

    I'll chime in with something else
    I can accept most things with the image as it stands, given you'd acknowledged it may come across as false, but you like it.

    The one thing, ok two, I would query are;
    the white balance, it looks quite high on yellow to me and
    the CA (chromatic abberation), but only where it is most noticeable; the red/green edges on flag pole and the trees against the sky

    Forgive me mentioing the CA, I am particularly sensitive to it having been trained as a video camera engineer in the seventies when the broadcast TV cameras (and the first colour CRT monitors) needed that kind of thing manually adjusting out (well, as best you could )

    I hope that is helpful, to add to the others views,
    Thanks Dave for your comments which are indeed helpful. I am quite a novice with PS and to be quite honest a little scared of it! What I hope is that through practice and comments like yours I can get better at using it and a less scared

    Andrew-Bede

  9. #9
    Benedictine's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Thank you Steve for your thoughtful and interesting comments which I appreciate very much.

    When you ask, "is it our duty as photographers to translate our inner most thoughts into something that will make our messages more 'readable'?" you ask a question that I suppose is at the root of why we post anything to forums in the first place and I do think that perhaps sometimes we are looking for praise rather than helpful comments! But for me your question touches on an aspect of my reasons for photography and made me examine my reasons for posting. To put it bluntly the alternatives are (1) Post if primarily it is for others, (2) Don't post if the image is primarily for yourself, (3) Post if you genuinely want to learn where you are going wrong!

    Your own answer to this dilemma of, "yes simply because unless we are producing something that evokes an emotional response in others we may as well keep it in our heads" is really the point.

    You go on to say, "If the curves and the distorted perspective have some connection with your deepest thoughts about the subject then accentuate these but apply them in a way which channels the viewer into the area that represents your own truth" Okay I totally agree with this and it is important I think to at least try to do this, but I do find it a very big challenge to get this right! It is finding that way that is so difficult but I think worth striving for.

    So where am I now? The philosophy of photography is a truly huge subject and I do not see it addressed much which makes me wonder just how much photographers consider why and for whom they are photographing. I am constantly learning and constantly questioning why I took a particular image and this for me is more important than creating the perfect image, ("whatever that is", as Prince Charles said of a very different subject) but I recognise within myself the human need to please others which is also tinged with a little vanity!

    Thanks again for your contribution.

    Andrew-Bede

  10. #10
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: Perlethorpe Church

    Hello Andrew-Bede,

    I haven't commented on these last two churches because I have only recently started to teach myself PP and don't feel confident enough yet to offer advice

    However, I'm so glad you've talked about your reasons for taking photographs as I've found all the posts on this thread really illuminating

    I'm agnostic, but do have something akin to a spiritual life through contact with the natural world. This is not fey or New-Ageist at all, as science evokes much more of a sense of wonder in me than fiction, but it's very hard to describe in words (like all strong emotions) and photographs have the ability to convey it so much better

    I think we all do photography for different reasons. I want to learn everything I can about photographic techniques and PP so that I can try to share the feelings I have when I'm speechless in the face of beauty; to try to let others see what held me there.

    I'm really looking forward to watching the evolution of your photographs as they chart your spiritual journey. it will be fascinating to learn more about your relationship with God, something almost impossible to express using such clumsy containers as words.

    Once again, many thanks for starting this very interesting thread.

    Seri

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