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Thread: Moonlight on Morgon

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Moonlight on Morgon

    Continuing to work my way through what I think are my keepers from my holiday in the Beaujolais area of France, I turn to night time.

    Morgon (pronounced Mor-goh) is one of the 10 cru wine areas within Beaujolais. A cru, in Beaujolais, is a delineated geographic area and wines grown and made within that area are allowed to use the name on the label, as opposed to the more generic 'Beaujolais' or 'Beaujolais Villages'. It's a quality mark. Where we were staying was within the Morgon appellation (area). This looks south-east down over the Morgon cru area.

    It's remarkable how quickly the moon moves across the sky. The pixel peepers can get in close and spot my errors in the blending process.

    I'd suggest viewing it in the lightbox.

    Comments always welcomed.

    Moonlight on Morgon
    40D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM @ 44mm. ISO100. 4s @ f22 (Moon - 1/6 @ f22).
    Last edited by Donald; 12th July 2011 at 09:30 PM.

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Looks like our old friend lives on: Moonrise, Hernandez, Ansel Adams, 1941

    Moonlight on Morgon


    see ya in New Mexico

    paul

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Moon lite, page 2

    How did Ansel get this picture...

    A ton of photographers try, but few succeed...

    Over 20+ years of teaching and none of my students gets it right...

    Bright moon, normal town exposure, stark white clouds, what a mix.

    Now Ansel used what, a camera and film and the missing / key piece of magic.

    A dark red filter, yep, that's what turns the shy into night (dark sky). With the rest of the negative normal.

    The moon was "up" during the day, as it so ofter is.

    See what ya miss from old school. I'm not too sure you could do this with digital. I'll leave that to you guys

    nite-nite / paul

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    As with a number of your other posts, I regret I don't understand the message that you are trying to convey.

    I'm not sure if you're suggesting I have plagiarised in the making of this image, or just that I lack basic skills to capture an image using similar techniques to that employed by Adams (which is undoubtedly true).

    You've told us how your students always fail. Perhaps you could show us how to do it.
    Last edited by Donald; 13th July 2011 at 07:26 AM.

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Donald, that photograph does me good. Sure it is reminiscent of Moonrise over Herhernandez but it isn't the same and stands very well on its own. Don't ask me why, but my first thought was Under Milkwood, perhaps because, if I remember rightly, that describes a village at night and I think good photography has a natural relation to good poetry. So never mind Ansel (who would probably agree) you are up there with Dylan.

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwilbur View Post
    How did Ansel get this picture...
    In Formula 1 circles, there's always "much debate" over "who is/was the best driver of all time"; some will say "Fangio" - some will say "Senna" - some will say "Schumacher". I'll leave the Senna / Schumacher debate for another day, but the comparison with Fangio is - for me - an interesting one.

    If one were to put a present era F1 driver like Sabastian Vettle or Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso in a "Fangio" era car, I reckon they'd easily be able to match and probably easily beat the laptimes of the likes of Fangio. On the other hand - at the peak of his considerable skill and talent - if it were possible to put the likes of Fangio into a modern F1 car, I can guarantee that the current drivers would drive circles around him - the G-Forces alone would be more than they could stand.

    So in my opinion - ALL current-generation drivers are FAR better drivers than the likes of the "Fangio-generation" drivers. If one wants to compare drivers, then one can really only do it in relation to the other drivers of the same generation.

    What the heck has all of this got to do with photography?

    In my opinion, a lot. Ansel Adams was - undisputeably - a legend in his time. Literally in a league all of his own - but - times have changed. What Ansel did with the technology of the day was remarkable - but - technology has improved to the point where the kind of results that Ansel Adams achieved are now routinely surpassed my even serious amaturs.

    Personally, I look at work (like the example above) and think "Incredible mastery of his craft in his day", but at the same time, I also think - when comparing the image to what's achievable by modern photographers - that they're now (with a few noteable exceptions) pretty "below-par".

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    As you say Colin, technology has enabled mere mortals such as myself to produce images of a reasonable quality. Indeed, Adams himself anticipated the increasing use of electronics, if not digital, "I am sure that scanning techniques will be developed to achieve prints of extraordinary subtlety from the original negative scores. If I could return in twenty years or so I would hope to see astounding interpretations of my most expressive images." - Ansel Adams

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    It is lovely Donald, I am really enjoying the journey as you share these shots, the aspect ratio and the position of the clouds and the moon set this one up perfectly.

  9. #9

    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Moonlight on Morgon
    40D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM @ 44mm. ISO100. 4s @ f22 (Moon - 1/6 @ f22).
    Well, first off, I did gasp when I opened this, last night. It's on the surreal/ethereal side. I love how much space there is for everything. I think that the way you've used the composition just "speaks". It's a Katy thing but, I can 'hear' the stillness and the night and the darkness advancing. (I have more Katy feelings but I don't know if I should subject you to all of it.) Anyway, part of all of this is that wonderful, suspended cloud. It's really lovely. The only thing that kind of natters at me is how bright those foreground white houses are but I'm assuming that they're supposed to be like that - that you have a reason for it.

    More, please!

  10. #10

    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    It is lovely Donald, I am really enjoying the journey as you share these shots, the aspect ratio and the position of the clouds and the moon set this one up perfectly.
    or, in other words, "yeah! what Kay said!"

    (Kay, why do I even bother trying when you just swing in and express it perfectly?)

    Oh, and one other thing. I've heard Ansel Adams talking about his excitement and hopes for advancing technology. I just love his attitude - towards most everything, in fact. What a guy! But, this time, your words, Donald, reminded me of a great pianist - Glenn Gould. When recording came out, he embraced it when most other musicians were complaining about how constrained they felt. He saw the possibility to record and record and slice and splice to get the "perfect" recording. He died at the age of 50 in 1980 but he was looking forward to a much more interactive and intimate experience for the listener through technological mediums.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    I have more Katy feelings but I don't know if I should subject you to all of it.
    Well, the other thing I didn't reveal, is that the group of houses nearest to us form a little community. And that community is called .......... Vermont.

    Now, you need to do some research. Was your, now, home state named by someone who was born in one of those houses?

  12. #12

    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Well, the other thing I didn't reveal, is that the group of houses nearest to us form a little community. And that community is called .......... Vermont.

    Now, you need to do some research. Was your, now, home state named by someone who was born in one of those houses?
    Oh, that's a funny coincidence! er,.... are there green mountains anywhere in the vicinity?

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    While I love Ansel adam's work and find it rather difficult to surpass, I find your moonrise shot equal in that stature. It is quite lovely and I think Ansel would buy you a pint and have a go at discussing the finery of shooting digital.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    I think Ansel would buy you a pint and have a go at discussing the finery of shooting digital.
    Now that would have been something.

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Katy I am a boring old thing, whom understands and uses weird excel functions with names longer than the list of dishes I can safely cook without giving anyone food poisoning, so please don't change and be like me
    We understand Katy thought and speak and are always the richer for it....
    So Donald ... More please

  16. #16

    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    We understand Katy thought and speak and are always the richer for it....
    This is SUCH a relief, you know! Finally,....someone who understands me....

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Donald , this is just a fantastic image. One of your best for shure. The clarity of the image is great, especially for the cloud cover. And having a crisp moon above the clouds , really sets it off. (kind of unusual to get that crisp of an image with cloud cover).

    A very pleasant scene, great sky, great comp., b&w is very well done, what's not to like.

  18. #18
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Donald , this is just a fantastic image.
    Thank you Steve. I am pleased with it myself.

    It's inevitable as you attempt to make an image like this that you think about a certain Mr Adams and his 'not-too-bad' effort! But, you tell yourself, you're hopefully not making an image that plagiarises from what he did nor are you trying to replicate what he did. You're trying to make your own image.

  19. #19
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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    Donald, I'm late in making comment because I think your image is very beautiful, but whenever I try to say why, I can't find the right words.

    Dylan Thomas is my favourite poet, and when John said that your photograph reminded him of 'Under Milkwood' I instantly felt that same connection. Morgon is far from the sea, and Dylan's night was moonless, but even so it's a perfect twinning of poetry and image, as John said.

    It brought back a lovely memory of the first time I ever heard Richard Burton's renditon of 'Under Milkwood' I was sitting with a friend - a very old Scottish lady, in her front room. She knew Richard Burton and wanted me to sit with her to hear the recording and listen to her stories about him. It was one of those unforgettably perfect times.

    On reading your thread I realised I didn't have a copy, so ordered the text and recording. And I will sit with my daughter on Sunday and I'll tell her about the old lady, and she'll hear the play for the first time....strange how much flows between forums and real life...

    I'll conjure up your photograph in my mind as the 'First Voice' begins

    Here are a few fragments from the introduction, leaving out the moonless and sea references :


    You can hear the dew falling, and the hushed town breathing. Only your eyes are unclosed to see the black and folded town fast, and slow, asleep. And you alone can hear the invisible starfall...

    Time passes. Listen. Time passes.

    Come closer now.

    Only you can hear the houses sleeping in the streets in the slow deep salt and silent black, bandaged night. Only you can see in the blinded bedrooms, the combs and petticoats over the chairs, the jugs and basins, the glasses of teeth, Thou Shalt Not on the wall, and the yellowing, dickybird-watching pictures of the dead. Only you can hear and see, behind the eyes of the sleepers, the movements and countries and mazes and colours and dismays and rainbows and tunes and wishes and flight and fall and despairs and big seas of their dreams.

    From where you are, you can hear their dreams.


    Seri

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    Re: Moonlight on Morgon

    While I do not wish to be the only naysayer (and I am not, really) I found myself repeatedly going back to the image and wondering why. This morning, after reading Seriche's lovely missive, I saw what was "bothering" me, and keep in mind, not so much as to detract from the artistry of his image, but enough to make me squirmy - it's much like seeing those slightly askew lines in a building.

    The moon, she is full, the reflective values of that fullness are not in concert with the lightness of the clouds' underside, nor with the foreground where the brightness of the moon would be far more pronounced. This critique is all about light and in my case, light is more about the moment than the tonal value (though, I think they are probably the same thing - I just like to be different). So, I did go in and have a little play time. I used the simple method of pulling up the curve to a point where I liked the light on the foreground, then using a layer mask, painted back the areas which were just right, to their original state.

    In doing so, and please forgive me, Donald, I found an issue with some pretty severe sensor dust. (Not nearly as bad as mine, but not good.) In my version, I've allowed for the reflection of the moon on the earth's surface to "bounce" back to the underside, ever so slightly, andto highlight the clouds' top, again, ever so slightly. Where I made the biggest adjustment is in the foreground, allowing more brightness on the lighter buildings as it would be, had I been there. Somewhere, in the middle, as Donald and I march to different contrast drummers, there is a happier median for this truly remarkable shot. I am envious of the shot and make this critique out of the utermost respect for Donald.

    Moonlight on Morgon

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