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Thread: Ennui

  1. #1

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    Ennui

    Comments welcomed.

    Ennui

    Karm

  2. #2

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    Re: Ennui

    Karm, you have nicely captured the feeling indicated by your title in this image but I have to say that I am not a huge fan of the way it is presented (PP wise). I feel it has a cool retro vibe and the noise is nice but maybe a bit too contrasty?

    I am a big fan of your work and I think, based on your last few images, that you are working on something vision wise - maybe I am wrong? If I am right, then keep sharing as the process is a valuable one for me (& hopefully others) to see as I think that oftentimes we think that great style just happens and don't realize that it is a process...

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Ennui

    Hi Karm,

    For me, I find the 'connection' between the arm of one with the face of the other off putting - if you could have shuffled left a bit before shooting, without the shot being spoiled (one way or another), I think it could have been better.

    The shell on the right is also quite contrasty and attracts attention away from the subjects, as does the stone/shell in front of the young chap on his stomach.

    and finally (last but not least) - the copyright; not fitting the border and being white when the image isn't

    If I may be terribly blunt - having considered all the 'problems' I see with it - my overall impression is this shot wasn't captured as well as it might have been and further, the PP was possibly just a preset "Nik-click" with little creative input from yourself based on shot content.
    Fair assessment?
    Or did you spend hours on it and do I need to apologise?

    Anyway, I do hope that helps, but please bear in mind that I am but one person and these are my own views - I don't produce this kind of art from my shots, but I do see it as a valid style, just not mine. Perhaps why I cannot find anything positive to say, sorry.

    So perhaps I should have stayed quiet, but it had been up for a while with no comments - until I see Shane just has - while I have been considering and typing this post.

    I thought that a comment, even a pretty critical one, was better than no replies.
    Fortunately, Shane's balances mine somewhat.

    I did have to look up Ennui (loosely "Annoyance"), which does at least explain the posture of the foreground subject. All the kids in the background apparently enjoying themselves, yet for some reason, our subject is not.

    If you are offended by my reply, let me know and I will remove it.

    All the best,

  4. #4

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    Re: Ennui

    Dave, unfortunately this is not a set up shot. It's actually a crop from a larger image. I either take the picture the way it presents itself or I don't take the picture. I agree with your comment concerning the shell and I'll remove it when I reprocess this picture in the future.

    Looking through the larger image I spotted these two boys. Playing with various crops I selected this image. I liked the way these two boys were arranged and I liked the background view of the adult legs with the one little boy almost pondering what they are. In fact, I played with this theme as a title but dropped it. I also agree with your comment about the one boy's arm coming out of the head of the second boy. This I can't change with altering the photo.

    The picture was processed multiple times through Lightroom 4 and Nik's color and black and white programs. Did I spend hours processing this picture? Over the course of a couple of days I spent time developing it. One reason I like photography is that when I'm engaged with it I don't look at my watch -- sorry, I have to be a bit snide on this one.

    Let me get to the real question which is how to judge a picture like Ennui. I sense that you believe it is terrible because it violates rules of good photography. You are seeing what it is not. Often, violating the rules of standard photography leaves you with a terrible looking photograph. In the case of this picture, I was going for an image that I sensed was there at a very intuitive level. I was not paying attention to the red lights of the photographer's bible. I call this picture Ennui because it comes closest to what I wanted to achieve. I'm completely okay whether you hate this picture, love this picture, or couldn't give a fig one way or the other. At this point, I don't know how I feel towards it.

    Of course, don't remove your comments. In fact, I welcome more discussion, not less.

    Karm
    Last edited by Karm Redland; 31st March 2013 at 05:12 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Ennui

    Hey Shane, thanks for your comments. In a picture like this one, noise and contrast are being used to convey a sense of the image's meaning. I know if you had this picture in its original you would have developed it differently. At this point, I can't judge whether I over did things or not.

    I'm not mature enough either as an artist or a photographer to possess a vision. I once had the opportunity to spend a month looking at some of the best Chinese jade work in the world. The artists who created these works of art often let the raw jade dictate what it was going to become. My limited skills to see force me to do photography the same way. I take pictures of things I find interesting and then let its raw image determine what it's going to become during processing. Rarely can I see an image in the world and know exactly what it's going to become after processing.

    This photograph, Ennui, started out as something completely different. What I produced is what I thought it wanted to become.

    Karm
    Last edited by Karm Redland; 31st March 2013 at 05:03 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Ennui

    Karm, your comment made me chuckle! Heck, I am happy just to be able to 'see' a shot and have it turn out at all let alone know exactly how I want it to look after PP (when this happens it is the exception not the rule at this stage in my development as a photographer as well). I have way too many shots that I think are 'the one' on the camera LCD only to find out that it definitely isn't the one when I see it on the computer. On top of that I am really just a beginner at PP so no, I hadn't even gone so far as to think of how I would process your image, I was just offering my reaction to it.

    In questioning my reaction to this image (a valuable experience for me, I might add - so thanks!), one thought kept returning to me - I see this image as part of a series done in the same style and I am having a hard time putting it into context as is. I'm not sure if that is because it is a bit of a departure from the work you usually post here at CiC or something completely different that I am unable to put my finger on...

  7. #7

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    Re: Ennui

    Shane, I have previously experimented with the technique I used in Ennui. When I see a photograph that would benefit from it I apply it. It's a hard technique to apply because it's easy to go overboard with it.

    Just a side note: I think the way you learn the software side of photography is by playing with different development techniques. You've got to be willing to move those software sliders to learn what they do.

    Karm

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Ennui

    Hi Karm,

    I apologise - you did spend hours on it
    I will write out "I must not make assumptions" 10 times - well, it was going to be a hundred, but I didn't think I'd keep to that.


    I should probably "stop digging", but you did say; "I welcome more discussion, not less"
    So if I make this hole I'm in, any deeper, it's your fault - ok?

    I don't think it "violates the rules of good photography", although by your own admission, you often select/'find' an image from within a photograph you took of something that interests you and I think this shows. My ill-founded suspicion was that it was a '2 minute job' arrived at by flicking through the preset filters until something that looked half decent appeared* and then posting without looking at the image to see what else needed to be done to finish the job. Instead it seems you spent perhaps too much time on it and missed the other things, I find it easy to get 'caught in the challenge' of one aspect of an image edit, then forget the basics, I am as guilty as the next man/woman of this on occasion.

    A lot of our successful members pre-visualise an image, then go and photograph it - spending weeks, months or even years waiting for the 'right light' on their landscape (for example). I suppose I consider this "best practice", but now I think about it more; it isn't feasible for all types of photography.

    Just so we're clear, I do not consider myself one of the elite group - while (I think) I could work that way, I too often don't have 'the vision' - and even if/when I do, I am usually just too darn lazy to get off my bum to shoot it
    My excuse (apart from time) is; well it won't be as good as so-and-so's, so why try and come up short (at myself)

    I predominantly shoot wildlife and with that I find I have to take it as best I can, positioning myself to get the best background possible, etc. Since 99% of the time, I'll be cropping anyway, the final composition is left until PP, just as you did here. Sometimes there's an unfortunate parallax issue, as you have here, the bird will be in front of, or worse, behind a bright branch or similar, then cloning out is my usual remedy, that's not really available to you, as you say.

    If the kids/people are not known to you, shooting them on the beach could be likened to "street (beach)" or even "wildlife" genres.

    BTW, I have spent so much time on this reply I could have (perhaps, should have) PP'd one or more of my shots from this morning's trip out.

    Dun diggin' (for now),

  9. #9

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    Re: Ennui

    Dave, right now I have in my head visualized images that I want to shoot. One image in particular I tried numerous times last summer and failed miserably on each attempt. This summer, I'll try it again. Meanwhile, I take my camera outside and take pictures. Taking pictures and developing them not only makes me into a better photographer but also informs me of what I want to accomplish in the future.

    I have listened to numerous successful writers describe their writing process as sitting down with or without an idea and begin writing without having the foggiest idea of what was going to appear on the screen or the page. Sometimes we know where we are going and sometimes we don't. Creativity, often locked away in our imagination, needs the the act of doing to be released.

    I recently looked at a 2002 Christie's (auction house) photography catalog. You can tell that sometimes the photographer went out hunting for a pre-visualized image. Sometimes great images fell into their laps. Who really cares? The only that matters is the end result: a great image. Why should any of us care if an image took months to create or five seconds of time selecting some canned processing algorithm.

    Karm

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