Vision-Driven Photography

Lesson 13/14 - Image Review


Vision-Driven Photography


Lesson Info

Image Review

I want to thank everyone that's tuned, and this has been a lot of fun, and to be quite honest, I was, uh and I tweeted this at the beginning, I was kind of not sure whether I people kept asking me really excited about this, and I was like, on the one hand, I'm really excited and on the other hand, I'm totally terrified and so I think a finish to blend the two into some new terrified excitement and it's actually, I've really enjoyed this gun very well. My fears, of course, were that I'm a really generally a very organic teacher. I don't given the fact that everyone's into different point in their learning process, everyone learns in different ways and technology, as you have seen, is somewhat capricious. I just I was very nervous about how this would play along with my natural tendency to teach somewhat organically, and I think from what we've seen on twitter and the conversations that we've had, we've had a really interesting weekend, and I hope the things that have been taught and the...

things that have occurred in the conversation of the q and a will will serve you well. This kind of course is really different in the sense that you don't go home with a new skill set. You don't go home with new gear, you don't go home having learned how to use your flash, hopefully you've learned something kind of foundational. This is the kind of stuff that has a set of the beginning. This is hard and it's frustrating, and many of us, myself included, will go home and we'll hammer this stuff out over a long, long period of time, and hopefully these lessons will be things that become foundational so that when you get frustrated years from now, you're still giving yourself permission to be frustrated. When you get in a jam with year with your craft, you remember this, and you go back to the starting point, which is what was my intention, what was my vision? And and I think, you know, the photography world is ready for ah bit of a release from some of this, this addiction to the how and addiction to the gear, all of that stuff's good, but I'm just not sure addiction is particularly healthy for us, and I think we, if we're going to be really, truly passionate about something I would much rather see sb passionate about photographs themselves, we need to remember that talking about photography is not photography, making photograph epps is photography and sometimes we get and that goes for myself too I write about photography, I talk about photography, my life is about in many ways photography, but those are not you know, those air not substitutes for actually going out and creating photographs and and and talking about photographs is helpful toe learning, but again, it's still not photography photography is them making of photographs and I think rather than talking about gear and rather than engaging in all of this kind of this silliness, which on one level is important is not the things about which we should be passionate, you know, don't try to impress me, you know, I don't know if you go on any of the forums, but a lot of the forms people sign their name with their clever tag, and then they have a list of the gear that they own, and I think, oh my gosh, have we ever missed the point that we're you know, putting that on display if you want to impress someone impressed them with incredible photographs, press them with an image that that changes the way they see something that makes them feel something that gives them a second opinion or different perspective, but but the idea that, you know were impressed by your gear, it's just we're not right I mean it's just gonna be passionate about something. Be passionate about photography and about photographs the gear is important and it's fine to love something new and shiny but I think the world of photography were beginning to kind of get over it. We've swung so far to one side that now I think that time is right to start swinging the other side and what's gonna happen. We've been in the geek part for so long, we're going to swing hard to the other side because that's, how human nature operates and we're going to miss the middle again. Now we're going to a way or the other side, and we're going to get so heavily artsy fartsy and navel gazing that no one's going to be, you know, taking care of the technique and and the craft is going to stop mattering for some people, I think the best thing that we can do is rather than keep on this crazy pendulum back and forth is kind of instead of reacting so hard to the other kind of go, this is important. This is important let's put them together and continually work out the balance. Remembering that vision is always the starting place it's always if the point of all of this for most of us some people just again they you know they buy their gear and that's all they want to do and that's fine but for most of us especially those of us tuning in you you spend entire weekend learning about this idea vision you're invested in this something in this resonates with you the gear remember is is it's the artist in the geek but probably the artist is the one that should be calling the shots in terms of why we do the things and that determines the how and then the g comes in a plan says okay if you want to say this here's how it's gonna happen because the geek is the one that knows the tools the geeks the one that knows the visual language and that's why we've been talking about all of this stuff it's not just to have some you know, some big art blankets to get together and say how do we identify your vision and put it together with the tools at our disposal? So the reason I put this up on the screen is because we're talking at lunch and some one on one of the chat room said one of my we're going to do after this weekend is over on dh and my feeling is that learning doesn't it's very hard to learn this stuff over a weekend learning doesn't happen over one weekend some learning does learning it happens over a long period of time and in the context of relationship and so I blogged with increasing unregulated e irregularity on pixilated image dot com slash block but I'm still committed to it is a place where I connect with people on with with learners and other teachers and photographers and this is a place where I put up some of my thoughts so I put up in my travels and I would welcome you to become there's a great growing community there that least comments and it's it's actually a place one of the the rarer places on the internet where there is almost never any big bickering or negativity it's a really and I'm saying that you know, hoping that if you're a very negative person just ignore this part because we really have built a community that's very positive and there are learners of every kind of um vintage people that have just started people that have been doing this for a long time and we're all learning together and it's a really great place totally welcome you there at pixelated images my twitter handle I do face but a little but I just, um go tto go to twitter and if you don't like twitter that's you know, find me on facebook I'm there uh and then crafted vision dot com is where I'm publishing my e books um having said that, where's, thie crafted vision dot com, if you go to craft, envision dot com until the end of today, which is sunday by midnight today, pacific time. If you use this coupon vision driven, you get twenty percent off when you buy five or more books, and if you purchase the downloads for this, there are two books chasing the look and drawing the eye that are thrown in for free, and you can download those once you buy the download. So if you're going to do both, don't buy the books twice, because, uh, we're not going send you new books because for only five dollar books, you know, we don't pay for support people, so visit crafted vision, dot com, if you would like a lot of the stuff we talked about this weekend, some of the stuff we talked about creativity and inspiration, that you confined in two books called the inspired I and inspired I to this stuff that we've just talked about with visual mass and the stuff you do in the darkroom and in the in the camera, to kind of draw the eye. That is more taking care of the two books that were giving away with download, drawing the eye and chasing the look, but if you're not buying the download, those air still available for five dollars each on the site, five dollars each. They're cheaper in a starbucks latte, and they will last longer and not make you gassy and bloody as my sales pitch. So, um, what I wanted to do, we're going, we're going to wrap things up and, uh, it's going to be a long, painful wrap up how you're so we're going to do it? Um, I am going to bring up on screen the flicker pool, and this again is going to be fairly organic. It is not orchestrated, choreographed in anyway, not preplanned, and I'm going to go through the flicker pool. I'm going to choose a few images and we're just going to talk about the photographs. This is not a critique in again, we talked about this at lunch critiquing is very difficult because I'm giving my opinion and you have to realize it's only one guy's opinion. So rather than saying this is a good photograph, it's a bad photograph based on some kind of dodgy criteria that heifer randomly come up with, we're going to talk about intention and this is I'm going to look at a photograph and react to it and say, this is what I feel from this. Seems this is where I feel that your eyes and if you're the photographer of that image and you going good that's what I intended then mission accomplished if you're sitting there saying that's not what I wanted all that then you know that you haven't quite nailed it but we're going to make some assumptions here that this is what possibly the photographer was intending and if that is the case then ah, this is how the photograph works and this is ways in which the photograph photograph could become perhaps more powerful either in the capture, the conception or even in the post processing if something's really heavy handed and we're going to do this is a group so I'm going to bring an image up we're going to talk about it what do you think the photographer is trying to say? What do you think about the image I would prefer that we don't use don't say on it'll be hard we'll all do it at some point this is not about I like this photograph I don't like this photograph of course if you see a picture and you resonate within our usual languages oh I really like this that's that's totally find again not really the point the point is why do you like it? Why do you resonated with so if you find yourself slipping and saying what I really like this then that's fine you don't have to backtrack that's fine I'm sure the photographer would appreciate that but again not the point so move on to say why do you like it? What is it that compels you in this photograph or if you find like it's doing nothing for you this is not this is not a cheerleading session people have submitted their images to be looked at and discussed and critiqued and we do a greater favor two photographers by saying I see what you're doing with this picture and I I like what I think your intent is but I think you totally missed the mark and here's why I would rather hear that about my photograph than be led down the garden path until oh, I really like it it's really great and then after they've left their comment there ha you know art is not about inflated eagles it shouldn't be about that it should be among peers about improving our craft so again there's a lot of presumption going on we're not the gold standard we're just looking at some photographs teo to try to interact a little more with you folks at home and frankly there's some beautiful images on here and you've put up some great stuff and I would be remiss if that weekend went by way too and look at him so um without further ado, whatever I do is uh let's take a look at some of this stuff and here's how I'm gonna do I'm gonna pick an image not entirely random but I'm gonna pick an image and I'm just going to let you guys loose I don't know how much we need to use that blue microphone but someone will pitch in and say use the mike um remember to hold it close so everyone can hear you we're going to talk about these images once you've talked all kind of guide the conversation all throw my two bits and we'll move on to another one good folks at home excellent okay, so um and again I'm just these air very small and so I can't even really necessarily see what I'm looking at so I'm just gonna pick something and we're going to go with it alright so and I'm going to hide the comments on this um just so all we're doing is looking at the photograph and I wonder if I can can I see this bigger? Not so much ok, so um so what we're looking at here is um ah well you tell me I'm going to shut up in a rare moment of silence can see it bigger if you go to take me down future where take me to the future but I thought that would actually take me to the future wow that is the future but where the rocket packs that's the problem with an international internet audience you don't get to hear the laughter await there was no laughter. Ok, um so tell me talk to me about this photograph first reactions you have to think too hard talk to me about it and this is very much what we talked about before what decisions to the photographer make? What is this saying? Um how could they have made the stronger? Or is it? Is it compelling? What does it remind you of? What does it say? What is the subject was the theme just talk to me about the photograph let's get the language going it's very dark and see a lot of black ah, I see a lot of negative space looks like the photographer got a lower angle perspective on the candles used a larger aperture till it's sharper in the front and it blurs off to the end so we're kind of it looks like we're focusing on the light that's the really bright part of the image uh, what's the photographic about about your first comment was its really dark? Is it about darkness? No, I the majority, the frame is dark, but we're focusing on the light so it looks like and and we're lighting candles two in the photo it looks like, so, um we're really drawn to the patio it seems like he's trying to draw us to the candles which and I admit that I cheated on this because I saw the one word below it saying faith but that there is kind of an inherent it's uh symbolism in um these teacup candles um that uh you know, it seems to, uh, vote kind of ah spiritually mood or something kind of somber at least um the warm tones and especially with the depth of um the darkest would not signify a very kind of intimate atmosphere in a very um I leased to me, you know? Well, um summer's not the word which is very intimate quiet almost um kind of mood what else? How do you see this image? Well, because I've got vision and what story you're trying to tell in my head? Um, like when I first looked at I didn't really see a story I just saw um because really my hand was in tehran up to that to the hand holding it because that's where the light goes like the light leads me up into that hand and I'm not sure that hand is intentionally held there for a reason or not and then I can kind of see that cuff of the clothing some kind of like wondering about the purpose of those because I because I keep going up to those rather than staying it's like I keep it feel like the like he was taking me up to those and I'm not understanding them so so let's let's assume that the photographer did that intentionally okay? Because again we're making a number of assumptions here and so let's assume that that was intentional if that's the case what is the photographer saying? I mean what? That it may not tell the whole story but it implies potentially a story so if you allow yourself to go, the photographer had a story this is a bit of a puzzle what are they trying to tell me then that I think allows you the opportunity really to speculate and say potentially it is this or it is this so I'm just curious if in fact the photographer is trying to imply a story, what do you think that might be? Um well candles can't let themselves there has to be someone there the importance of the hand but not but not as the primary importance to sleep is large and looks heavy so that makes me think of like a robe um and then rope makes me think of, uh, bathroom or religion and this doesn't like bathroom, so I think more like religious type things where they were heavy robes, it could all you know, it also could be my angle because right now like it pretty much is all black except for a tiny bit so it could be because of this strong angle that I'm at I could be getting a very different view of the light on the picture okay? Does it make you feel a certain way? I mean it does it does it elicit some kind of a response from you? Um it makes me feel like, um a sense of calm or like stillness like the atmosphere of that place for like handles are being late is just you think like maybe it's like really quiet and um does like a sense of like respect or something like like providing or giving respect like in the process of lighting the candles I sense that just from like the way that the lighting is and and the tones how they're like really really low but they're red and they're glowing in their warm you know, so that's just the sense that I get from it like quietness but yet like a comforting feeling and calm let me ask you you all a question had had this image been cropped considerably more in in a vertical format? Would the story do you think with this would you know whatever symbolism you think or don't think is in there? Would this have been the same? No, I think it would have taken away it seems like there there is this picture is in a special environment where you know, who knows what that what that rome is but that there is a level of, um, openness to it and I think if you crop that close, you could detract from that or, you know, make it seem different than that, okay? Natalie, do you have something to say before I yeah, I was going to say I think, too, if you would, um, cropped this to become vertical, it would have taken out the importance of or the feeling of someone in the room coming into this spot of light and within the dark rooms or not the fact that it's who it is or there position, but just sort of that someone is participating and they're being drawn into the light and then so we are to the same time, I I agree, I think we have to at a certain point, especially when you can't talk to a photographer who's there, you have to make the assumption that the photographer has in fact intentionally created this, that they have included everything they want to, and they have excluded everything they wanted were making that assumption we're making the assumption that they're good at their craft and that they were even aware of their vision, but I think you have to start there if you're trying to pull out some kind of message or, you know, figure out what their vision is you have to begin by assuming that they pulled it off and I think one of the things youfor said chris, that there was a lot a lot of darkness and yet the story this to me is not about darkness this is about light in the darkness this to me is a very hopeful image not necessarily hope that is yet realized my first thought is this individual and so a vigil is nothing if it's not, you know ah, a few little glimmers of light in the darkness, even if all we're trying to do is convince ourselves the darkness is not that scary because a vigil you know, someone that's close to us has died we're mourning were feeling like we've like we're almost at the point of kind of giving into the darkness and I don't, you know, I mean, I was in english class is a high school student thinking as we talked about the symbolism and these stories, surely the author did not mean all of this stuff, but what photographer puts into one image is maybe not what we get out of it we could get more than what the photographer ever intended and sometimes the photographer doesn't even understand quite, you know, all the symbolism that that is in there uh but to me, this is about someone lighting a candle in the darkness, and there is some hope, even if it's a little bit wavering, even if that candle in the darkness, I mean, look relative to how much darkness there is. And I think if we assume the photographer knew what they were doing, that they have given us this to say yes, it's a candle in the darkness, look how much darkness there is, and yet this candle is they're so again, this is about light, this image, but it's about light in the darkness, and I think that alone that's a very powerful symbolism, even if all they were doing is going, oh, look at that guy holding a candle light, you know, there is some kind of symbolism again, what the photographer and tens and what we pull out of it is sometimes different. That's the cool thing about art is the intent of the author is sometimes I mean it's relevant for them in the creation of their work, but two hundred years later and cultural differences, and in the case of language, you know, we will understand it differently, and that doesn't make our understanding any less meaningful to us. So I think the choices that were made in this, or are fantastic anymore exposure would have I would have given us more detail than we need all we need is the hint, the suggestion that someone who it is it doesn't matter and the more abstract that that is the more able we are to think that could be me you know, in fact you know if if it's this hand I'm looking it's it actually could be me truly looking at it because if I like it candle with this hand that's kind of the view I'm getting I mean you still have to be down here but you're lighting a candle this truly could be me lighting a candle in the darkness and that length that gives more than this negative space in the darkness gives the balance and I think makes this quite a hopeful image again partly because of these warm tones warm is comfort to us and and light is comfort to us so that's what I get out of it and I assume that the photographer you know, knew what they were doing. This kind of exercise is the kind of exercise that the more you go through it, the more able you are to take these these concepts and the language with which we use and apply it to your own thinking in your own photography and become aware this let's look at another one but is there any anyone piping in with, uh on twitter on any of this stuff yes, um, there were some people that were kind of saying some of the similar things that you have, but nokko photog, um, was saying that votive candles evoke thoughts of religious nature and, ah, bunny trails and twitter was also saying that to me, it says sacred, and that those were the first impressions from those people. And and so what to me is interesting is that using these one word things like hope, sacred, serene, calm, those are the words that will be very helpful when you, after you've captured it, going into your post production, because when you go into a light room and you're identifying your intention to be able to write that down, one word hope sacred, and then you ask yourself, okay, what does hope look like? Well, for me, I would not ever dream of turning that into a gray scale or black and white image, because to me there is a warmth to it and there's there's something about the colors that aaron, that I go, oh, my gosh, like that's, that to me, if I gray scale, that it would just completely change the photograph, it would be very, very different, and and so it will guide your intentions, and it would prevent you, probably, I think, if you would thought about some of this stuff from making that crop because someone might go on and oh you know what you got all that black space that's not part of the picture very powerful e part of the photograph and to crop it would have changed the story again back to you guys tell me about this photograph again not about like or dislike tell me what you think the photographer was getting at whether they accomplished it what they might have done to make the stronger based on those assumptions feel free to take a moment to enjoy the photograph first for me my eyes initially drawn to parking lot the words um and so that angle that was chosen um leading into what's a huge open space um being the parking lot perhaps sort of that play on words and what's actually in the image um and so if it were just what's above it would be a very different image than including that sign and so that way the photographer was able to kind of make a statement um of of what the scenery is what do you think that including that sign um gives to the image it gives it more of a, um a theme of um for me open space being your parking lot where you can take your your mind or yourself or um whatever to to sit and enjoy for you no it's not it's that play on you're not actually park your car there, but you can park something else there, so it's it takes it from being something that was just a nature landscape photo to something adding something another element to make you think about. I want to go off that. What do you think, including the scientists? This potentially could have been in a beautiful landscape and not to say it's, not a beautiful photograph, but I think it's now more than just a landscape, you know, traditional landscape by including the sign. But what is the addition of the sign? Add to this photograph that wouldn't have been there had you excluded it makes you think of a park like you're visiting? Ah national park, more so than you know, being immersed in nature and just being out there in a spot that's unavailable like it makes you think more of like, you can just drive your car in park there and there's maybe a trash can, you know, to the left and to the rider brochure kind of thing. I think it gives you a line to somewhere to go, it'll start. What else do you think? It adds, I bought it at a depth to it. And sort of another, um, a level and helps sort of this is right in front of the parking lot sign is right in front of us, and then you can see it add sort of a distance of two between where we would be and then where everything else is the I guess I could calm structures that are further beyond from where we're standing right now, I feel like it could be a social commentary about how something like you said could have been a beautiful landscape, but because of man's in position on nature, this is what it this is what it looks like, instead, that you have this sign and probably a trash can in a bathroom and and all those other things, so I feel like on one hand, it could be that, or it could also be where you're talking about with elliott erwitt with humor like that it's kind of funny that it says parking lot and it's pointing that way, and from what we can see, we don't see what we think of as a parking lot, so there could be a sense of you. And what is it that that adds the humor to that? Because what the sign says is not what we identify or think of when we see those words, right, eh? So what I was what I was kind of looking for it and you're absolutely right and we have some from twitter to what's that we have some people giving their opinion from twitter. Well, let's, hear someone embrace this interactive? Exactly. Exactly. So, uh, lee's mac is saying tourism as as you have said, that that's what speaks to him that's one big parking lot says simply great shots that contrast is what to jack studio. I'm going to jump on that first because that's when we talked earlier about the about a story moving forward due to conflict, every story moves forward due to conflict in some way. Um and, you know, in in english class, when I was in grade eleven or twelve, we learned that you know, there's man versus man there's man versus himself, for man versus nature of the classic kind of conflict in a photograph that's a little harder, although in this you could actually see kind of a man versus nature kind of conflict going on, but where in a photograph that occurs is through contrast and threw in this case conceptual contrast, I am jarred by this because my initial thought is somewhere along the line of social commentary I look at this and the top half of the image, I think wow that's really beautiful, the bottom half of the image makes me really angry and the reason I think that is because of the contrast it's the juxtaposition of a sign that truly in my own particular feeling about things truly shouldn't be there I mean I just I would love to enjoy this space without man putting his mark on freaking everything that he sees and spray painting stuff and you know I mean in the himalayas you'll go through you go through these beautiful areas and spray painted onto rocks is in broken english is do not litter and then it's some mountain club has had signed a lick I mean that's like putting trash down the and spelling out the words do not litter you know I mean, it just it makes me really angry is that juxtaposition and that I think is what for forms the comet commentary the potential for comedy and to drive a story for it and give it sometimes some that extra depth of meaning whether we're interpreting it the way the author intended or the photog never is not really the issue the fact is it's latent their tire for may not have even been intending for it to be funny you think it's funny because of your particular world view I think it's tragic someone else thinks it's you know yet another thinks someone else doesn't they just go oh look pretty clouds you know we all do interpret these things a little bit differently um all right let's uh let's move on to another one and again if you have something that you really want to say about an image just jump in because I'll just keep going otherwise that's what? I just did this um okay so now my question is how do we how do we go back to the clothes on the upper but what if that closes everything see I can't keep up with this technology um and that's how how do we go back yeah I'm not gonna get onto a rant about flicker have a love heat with flicker um let's go to another landscape something that strong because of the color wait where's the future button I wanna go see it just click on it yeah it's like a magic all right again what do you think tell me about this photograph look destroyed at a sense of timelessness in there because of the motion perhaps thea um steadfastness of the shore um in the sky since the rocks are all in focus obviously and uh really kind of bringing out the fantastic nous of all of it through the color left in the sky and um you know if there's any filters or whatnot on there okay we're their filters used you think uh I think probably but I've seen that color in the sky before so you never know and yet filters air not always about color, right? I mean t get this kind of dynamic range you probably would have had to use ah graduated neutral density so that you could cause these air pretty well lit right very rarely we get see that color in the sky and be able to expose for these rocks without either doing hdr in the sense that we usually think about it we're pulling in and it could be but as a landscape you know a budding landscape photographer um I'm learning to use andy filters and my first thought was unending filter of some sort here and potentially even something like a nd that's not graduated that allows you to blur this because you're going to need I mean that's a lot of blur needed I'm going to guess you know over a minute to get that amount of ghosting and and that sort of thing uh I like what you said about the steadfastness and and the the timelessness and I'm guessing because you alluded to it but if we put it into words um what is the contrast in this image aside from color uh the um texture okay now let's talk about conceptual contrast like we had a parking lot sign in front of a beautiful landscape what is conceptually contrasting in this um there is uh just a smoothness um I try to think about best to articulate it um feel free to jump in with some people online saying that stillness versus the movement so the stillness of the in the bottom left corner. Okay, all right, so you get yeah, you've got moving. Moving versus stationary. Okay, what else? Yeah. Okay. Um we always think of water something that's, emotion, you know, and then rocks, they don't move, really, and so that's just a huge, like contrast right there in itself. And you've got you've got hard versus soft to write, even though ironically, it's it's the rocks that get eroded after years of being hit by the soft stuff, you know, the water is no worse for wear, but it is that that meeting of worlds where you've got what drives this forward other than the pretty colors you have a meeting of worlds, you have the sky hitting the land, the land sorry, the sky hitting the water, the water hitting the land, you've got hard versus soft, you really have got dry versus wet, you've got a number of conceptual contrast that khun draw you into an image and make the photograph push it forward in terms of story and again, it doesn't have to be good versus evil. It doesn't have to be some big narrative. It can't simply be the beauty of the natural world, but the way you tell that story is through these traditional story telling me and and you've got a beautiful color depth with the yellows and the warms and the cools. This is a contrast. When you've got warm and cool, you get colored up, you've got a beautiful p o v this is quite low wide, so I'm actually pulled right into this photograph because I can see this. You could have shot it with a long lens, but a long lens would of what it would have flattened my my view it would have provided I would've stood up. Probably the perspective would have been different, so there were very intentional decisions made by the photographer get down low, exposed for the aesthetics he didn't have to use. Um and again, I'm sorry, I'm assuming apollo is is ah, man that's a, uh, silly assumption the photographer didn't have to use this particular, er shutter speed, he he or she could have could have done something a little less in terms of time, and it wouldn't have blurred as much, but the choices that were made gave us this image and not another one. And so again, the point of this is every image, every story, every decision that you make has an aesthetic effect on the image, and in this case, I think those decisions really work now I know there are some people that would look and say well, looks a little overworked a little oversaturated but for me again my focus isn't did it look like this it's asking weeks again that that's in some ways kind of kind of arrogant it assumes that the photographer doesn't know what they're doing I would rather say sort of dialogue within wow, it must have felt like this to the photographer and allow myself to kind of I feel a little more positively about the photographer rather than criticizing while I put colors or to punch you go okay, well it's not the way I would have told that story nevertheless, what is this photographer trying to tell me? And I think when it comes to us learning from this kind of stuff that's a healthier approach and in this case I quite like it I mean, if I were taking it, I would probably like to see a little more light on the shore because it would kind of pull me in a little more, but this at the same time gives a lot of mood right, and even the length of the exposure gives that kind of that uh um that particular look, I don't know what the word I'm looking for it gives that kind of that blurred, ethereal kind of feeling to the cloud rather than kind of like the's air clouds because then you get detail and then and this allows you to feel I think a little bit and it supports the softness of the waves and again you've got that hard versus soft thing kind of going on bunny trails and where's the solidity of the rocks and the fluidity of the clouds and again we don't often we're not going to necessarily look at a picture and go wow I really like this photograph clearly the theme is solidity versus fluidity and I like the meta narrative you don't when you read a novel even or novel with rich symbolism if you're distracted by the symbolism they probably haven't done a great job with the craft because you should read it and love the novel and then afterwards go okay white it out wow there was some really cool stuff in there but being distracted by being hit over the head with you know with references to ancient scripts and itjust hogs you down but if you could tell a story in such a way that you don't get distracted I think it's I think it's a powerful and that's why we like photographs to read a book takes an active riel intention and sit down you got to read it's very active ah photograph is quite pass if you look at it and either respond to it or you don't often if you look at it longer you respond to the details but that depends on how much photographers put in there um one of things I want to say that I haven't talked about in this particular courses thie idea of information versus impact because every element that you put into the photograph will do one of two things sometimes they do both but they will either give information or they will give impact and information's important because it gives visual clues unless it's an abstract it will give visual clues about how to interpret the photograph what is the photographer trying to say about this but the impact is how is the photographer saying that what does that make me feel? How doe I resonate with it? And I think um some photographs are very high information and low impact in which case you know it's an illustrative image some are very high impact no information and that maybe is more, um sort of an interpretive emotional uh what's the word I'm looking for um uh yeah abstract and, um you know there's another another word I'm looking for um it's a word expressionist and uh and it makes you feel something. And so if you're it's not to say one is better than the other but they do accomplish very different things, so if you are looking to create a very high impact photograph, then you need to concentrate less on the visual queues and mohr on elements that any impact on those elements include things like color temperature and emotion and strong gesture and being aware that there's that balance between the impact and information I think is really important there is enough information in this image for meeting to be pulled into it without feeling it's so mysterious I don't even get it but this for me is a very impactful image and again one or the other is not necessarily bad it's just important for us is photographers to know if our intention is to have a high impact uh photograph then we need to put in elements that provide impact don't expect to put in a bunch of information and then expect people to really resonate deeply on an emotional level you have to provide information to feed the brain if that's what the photograph does but if this is a heart image where you just want people to go oh my gosh that's beautiful then you want to put in images that are going to elicit that response from your heart or from the heart of the people that were looking let's uh let's look at another one and uh you know what am I doing here closer close and revealing my terminal twitter delinquency click on the group vision driven or you can scroll through squirrel to another all right let's pick something else a little not landscape ish um let me see let me see do I see one? Make me pick one right there right here sure. See, the power of democracy removes choice fed della music um it's on the festival of music all right. Okay, so tell me about it initial reactions where you see I see black and white no color enjoyment uh from a technical standpoint looked like it was taken about eye level with a middle lens and processing the subject looks very dodged and I get it and I get that because of the halo effect going around the subject there's also under the symbol maybe a little shadow boosting uh he looks happy. Okay, so post processing aside um what do you what do you connect with in this photograph? Really? Did the expression on his face I mean, it seems like it's relaxed it looks like he's enjoying playing and playing with other people. You can see the keyboard there, but he also seems like he's looking at one of his buddies that he's playing with way. We talked about the idea that that, uh if a photograph could only tell one story really well or do one thing say one thing really well, that simplicity and economy of elements is it can be important, so pulling out the elements that don't contribute is the way you would accomplish that. So let me ask you a question if based on what you've just said about the look on his face, um, in broad, sweeping generalities. If I pull out this yamaha keyboard, do you still get the same impact from the photograph? Yes, you do. So you don't need that. Okay. Now again, in broad generalities, are the drums important? Yes. You think the drums were important? Well, I do, because I think that it places what he's doing? Okay, do you think the drums are important in that position? Right there? Could you have moved those? Could you shot this a different way? Because and I'll tell you why I'm asking this, because right now this is an image for me, the images about this looking and this this gesture here, it's not about the fact that there's a symbol smack in front of his chest, right? Right? And that just to me, is my initial reaction, and again were created criticizing in a way, we we could not. Maybe maybe this is the on ly pup, a place in which he could have taken this photograph. It just means, unfortunately, got he got an interesting gesture in a situation that he had no control over. And unfortunately, that's. When you know it's like the pole, buying the head kind of thing, this kind of drives me a little bit crazy had there been a lot of clutter and drum stuff and he was kind of poking up then I would have really liked the contrast then it would have been a pattern and has had it sticking out would have been the break in the pattern I would have been really drawn to it but right now my my kind of my gut feeling about it is the image is this gesture here yet the drums are important but for example would you have zoned in mohr on him if somehow he had used a depth of field that would have allowed these drums to be less drum ish okay yeah when you asked about the drums I specifically was thinking as well about the drumsticks I think though his face in the drumsticks are the two most important things that add to the whole of drumstick places what he's doing shows he's in motion playing and then it's obviously space as this relaxed so in a discussion where we now talk about impact and information right if I if I shoot this now again you know there's op get involved in this is all hypothetical but were I to shoot this with uh in a way that allowed this to be a little more blurred I could still see the shape of the drama's what I still know they were drums yes, I would. I would have a little less visual information was still enough to know they were drums, so I would still have enough to, you know, not to lose the impact of the fact that because as soon as you get distracted by going so what is that? You know, what's that crap all in front of him there's a blurry bunch of stuff and he's holding a stick? You don't know their drums don't know. He's playing drums you miss a part of the story, that piece of the information's important, but not at the expense of the impact. And I think this much information detracts from the potential impact of this great kind of gesture. This is not iconic. I mean, this is not the most brilliant gesture ever in the world, but it is an interesting gesture, and especially probably if you know this guy your public oh, that's so him he's always distracted, not paying attention and looking to his buddies, you know, whatever it is that you know about him that's a very interesting gesture and I like if you cut it here I like the fact that he's looking off frame and then thie image is actually a little more balanced right now is kind of in the middle and if you crop it into here it changes the balance a little bit, doesn't it? He's, looking off, makes it a little more dynamically balanced. His hand over here balances thie image with the rest of him. But I would just love to have seen a different perspective. We're even this, you know, if the photographer had shifted the p o v toe around, then that symbol would have correspondingly kind of done this. And then he would have been looking over top of the symbol and not been sort of, you know, obscured by it. So again, not an issue of good or bad it's just about possibilities. And how could you have potentially better told the story and remove distractions and that sort of thing? So, um, any further comments about that music, man no. I mean, I shot one of her earlier today when we were on the boat that she has this absolutely fantastic expression on her face. But it's, she was right in the middle of the picture, and there was something sticking right out of her head, and it was just kind of I kept it because it was just captured everything about what she went she had going on in that moment, and I'm not gonna lie, I took that thing out of the top of her head, you know? And you know that that's a possibility the other thing too I think as photographers we kind of react I mean someone I can hear a voice saying yeah, but I couldn't have done that I couldn't get the fact is I was that was the situation how could I have made this better? Well, the sad truth is sometimes you just simply can't sometimes this given the fact that we're collaborating with actual reality and we can't just, you know, move the paint around and change it sometimes you can't people on my workshops will often say well, okay, well how would you make a great shot here and I go, I wouldn't I just the layers of impact are not there the light stinks the moments not there the composition I can't work this into some incredibly iconic moment at the iconic moments not there. So now you could wait for this guy to stand up a girl wow with his sticks or do some kind of unexpected gesture or to you know really do this and then make some a lower shutter speed so there's blur you could have waited for a better moment, but given this moment you might not have been able to do it you might not have been able to change your p o v and so the idealist is going ok, but tell me how I could have made this moment there's only so much you could do I mean I'm not a miracle worker so what I would suggest is this is a sketch image it nearly pulls it off good for you for getting the moment good for you for seeing the potential but it could use a little work in my opinion if you crop it a little bit and if you change your p o v and potentially use a longer lens with two point eight and, you know, isolate him a little more because again this background it's kind of distracting it doesn't do anything for me it pulls my eye away from this great expression and I go oh, look he's got a great overlook something shiny behind him you know my I mean we're all a little bit at visually we're looking for information that's just you know, it's sort of ah, the way that we've, you know, developed we're always looking for threat we're looking for something interesting we're looking for food, whatever it is but there's a reason we're always kind of doing this and if there's something from my eye to fix on it, we'll fix on it so depth of field could have potentially, you know, helped with that and and drawn you in or you might have had, you know, it might have been lit differently and then you could have exposed for the bright and the background would have gone dark and there's a lot of things you would've should've could've, but sometimes you just can't. And then you go it's a sketch image I nearly got there didn't quite put in the file move on, and next time I'm going to get a better seat. Next time I'm going to bring a different lens next time, there's nothing wrong with saying, next time you learnt from you, learn from the I almost got it, and you move on. Well, it just sorry one last quick thing is what you're talking about on the background of that I mean, um, you know, having it in there, I feel like it gives it kind of that's it almost feels like a seventy studio vibe like that just kind of place and put a little more than atmosphere and as well, if you're talking about, you know, wait until he stands up and starts, you know, like, going for the kill shot on the last note, that's, a totally different vibe and it's just completely opposite story. Exactly. And I think this is where knowing I mean, if you're someone who shoots band for target, does band photography, you know, a little more about music, you know, that that might happen, you no the band you know their characteristics you could wait for that moment can predict that moment when you know when he's going to break his guitar on the stage and you wait for that moment and the fact is that breaking the guitar on the stage is waiting cooler than just the you know, tuning his guitar at the beginning of the show you wait for the appropriate moment and in this case yeah, all of those things would have been completely trumped by an amazing gesture so again you look at those layers of impact and several of them together would've been awesome but one that is super powerful like him standing up like whoa you know or whatever then I'm not looking at any of this stuff because his expression is so powerful that I'm just going to be fixated on maybe all after awhile look around but I'm still not pulled right back to that expression so you're right it could be and as a documentary photo I mean maybe this guy becomes a famous drummer at some point and this is, you know, but again the information's there but the impact will always trump you have a great moment and I'm not going to be picky, but any of that stuff can be like look at that cool moment when it's funny I I apologized to belabor the point is I love this believer away I love this hours to kill that's the thing is I love this moment because it's in it's not that crazy moment sometimes I think the coolest shots att leased for banzer performances when they're tuning it's those off moments that you know everybody sees bon jovi hitting the huge node on him you know they're big hits and what not but it's that side stuff there's just a calm relax think about that that I really dig your kind of with them as opposed to watching them from afar and again that's that's where you stop and you go ok let's assume the photographer does know it's kraft let's assume he really is trying to say something and he did it his way and he doesn't give a wit about my opinion what what is he trying to say and then you look at and you judge it on its own merits and you go you know what um all of my little criticisms aside there is a great moment there and that great moment will actually be enhanced by the fact that you happen to know the band you know the guy there's the way I interpret a photograph is different than the way you interpret and that's why you know where this is this is art and this is not science and you can't apply a formula to and go well there's three layers of impact and if you multiply it by the value of does not math, and so your reaction will be different than mine, and and I think it's kinder to assume that the photographer knew what he was doing and look at it go, you know, maybe what he's saying is, look at all the crappy clutter, what I would contribute to that is if you're going to show clutter, show a lot of clutter, I mean, really make it work, I mean, really then get really low so that his face is just kind of obscured by a blurred symbol, right? Do something to communicate more powerfully, that thing that you're trying to say, if it's the moment that is the subject of this, then do everything you can to make the moment the subject right doesn't make it a bad photograph. It's not gonna be iconic if you want it to resonate with the most amount of people you've got, you've got a kind of consider this as part of your critique, david, we we do have the photographer watching too fantastic and, uh, he tone france. He is, you told dot fr yes, he is from france, where he told and here it tells us, he told tells us that it was it was a street performance in front of a store with crowded people. Okay, so outside what was so I just thought it was inside in a band practice that was what a number of people were saying oh, it looks like he's interacting with the keyboard player um but in fact it is a huge crowd around it's it's interesting isn't it to know a little bit more information how that changes the way we read a photograph and again, this is the kind of thing where you can't critique an image purely on objective terms I mean either their objective criteria by which we can we can look at it and say, well, we could have done this so we could have done this but not knowing now that you know it, you do read it a little differently doesn't change anything that I said about the impact or anything but I think now you read it a little bit differently, okay that's that's interesting now I get something different out of the photograph it's still in my opinion about the gesture it's still about that face on their ways you could have made the image stronger if that is in fact what you were trying to say don't thank you he tow fricka why do I keep doing to take this away from me? I cannot be response I'm not I'm not mature enough to use a mouse okay let's to something completely different was waiting for that title you know I was going to try to hide that seems somewhat inflammatory, but as as thie delay as the photographer's name is would be check I assume it's a woman and she I guess has the prerogative toe say um okay, tell me about it don't look at me, I'm gonna be quite for me the overall feeling is, um you know, you think of something you think of it as women's work but it's sexed up so it's kind of got that contradictory I could be sexy and I can iron at the same time. In fact why is she ironing at the same time? Why is she yearning and sexed up? Well, she probably got something on her skirt or got wrinkled and she ran in tow six it was not what should be the only one that could do that he's still wearing it that's what makes me laugh is I mean, you know, of course is women's work I mean she's wearing thin skirt while she's ironing that's what you know and I didn't get that anyone have also some something for me which I know this is attended or not, but the title obviously is uh gender related and that ironing board looks kind of ballot to me the placement of it like it looks, it really does so I don't know if that's intentional, but it seems like it is pretty intentional. Okay, yeah, I will never look at that image the same thing. But again, I mean that that's not that's, not an invalid criticism. And to be honest, it may have been part of the, uh, the photographer's intent. May not. I would be intrigued to know if we'd be chick is online listening. Uh, but tell us about other tell us about other contributions that you know that play into this image image aesthetically. Ah, there's. A heavy backlight to it. Uh, it's like I can't focus specifically on like, the details of the dress. I I know that it's a dress because the light shining through it so we could kind of see the shape. Um, lots. I see. Lots and lots of contrast is mostly what I see with the with the color uh, there is color in the image. Does it add to the image? And it makes it kind of interest. I mean, the color is interesting. I don't know if it it adds to it. Really. If if it makes you say it's interesting, I say it adds to it. Yeah, I see that as shoes, shoes in the wall or kind of the same color and makes me think of something old for some reason, I don't know that because of the design of the iron it's really old, you could see through it's got the old style hand on there and there were they clearly there were decisions made in post processing, right? This is not straight over the camera. Um, I mean, doesn't look like it is t me, I think that the photographers made some decisions about the color hughes, and that changes the way that I feel about the photograph. There is kind of a bit of a retro kind of feel or I'm not sure if rachel's their word, but there is an emotion, a very specific emotion that I get from the color and he always will color will always contribute to the emotion of photographs so you can never dismissing a well doesn't make me feel anything colored always makes us feel something in some way, even if you can't pin it down, even if it's not something really, you know, earth changing, it contributes because if you suck the color out of this image grayscale, I think you would considerably change the mood of this photograph. No, maybe not the information. I don't think this is adding anything in terms of how I interpret this or how we understand the photograph, but how I feel about the photograph, it adds impact. Uh uh, great deal. I think. Natalie, you're shaking your head. You're not in your head. Well, it's, no secret that I like color by now, we kind of had a stroke figured this out, and I thought that when you mentioned black and white, I think seeing that in black and white wood for me, it would feel like a much, um I think the color adds kind of a little bit of playfulness to it because we have it in the wall and then also in the shoes and there's a little bit in the dress, too, and taking it to black and white would just sort of at a much more somber tone to the whole thing. And so I would think of bit more of a darker way then with this color it's, like, maybe she's ironing her dress right before she goes out for the night. And so it has a little bit more of, like, um, just fun to it than otherwise. And I think what you said is absolutely important this is not about whether it would be better or not better or worse um by taking it the color out rendering in a black and white this is about how would I feel on how would I respond to this photograph? And you're absolutely right there's a playfulness to this? You interpret it more playfully, I think because of the colors that are present if you rendered in black and white first inclination usually is to interpret something a bit more documentary and there is you would respond very differently the choice to leave it in or take it out is up to the to the photographer. However, you can't deny that it changes the way you respond to the photograph so it's never a matter of just I don't know, I think I'll just make this one black and white you you will first have a reason for doing it if you want to suck the playfulness out, if that was not your intent, then by all means rendered in black and white you want to keep the playfulness the color does a really good job of that. And and so I guess my point is we have to just simply be aware that these choices to not render it in black and white is a choice to render it black and white is the choice you're deciding intentionally to keep or remove an element that will affect the way we respond emotionally to the photograph interested in staying in the chat room how differently men and women are responding to this photo on twitter as well, very different responses sure and how were the women responding there saying I do that all the time they're saying yes you're just getting last minute touch lately, right? I'm laying it's funny it's it's that anywhere that you you know how I'm thinking I'm going I don't think I have an iron it's my response but they don't see any it's not that I don't know and that's that's the interesting thing about art and about photography which makes it a challenge and I think should encourage us not to take it so seriously talk about all of this stuff but in the end people will interpret it the way they want to interpret it and their culture plays into what their memories play into it their background plays into it there's all kinds of stuff I mean someone who was burned by an iron as a small child will read this image differently respond emotionally you know t this because they see the iron on they're currently in a fetal position rocking back and forth saying for the love of all that's good change the picture we all respond in different ways and you can only do so much you put your intention into it like as a as an author you write the novel you mean a certain thing once he let it out into the world, it's got a life of its own and people will interpret, so you've got to give it the best shot at being if it's important to be understood, maybe it's not, but if you want to do something with your, you've got to give it the that shot you can just putting it out, hoping that the world kind of gets it, you know they want and and unfortunately that's, why we title are our work and that's why we do author statements or vision statements is because we don't trust our work to speak for us and whether we should or not, I'm not saying I'm just saying sometimes clearly we're just not giving the work enough credit and allowing people to interpret it and just run with it, you know? Because really, I mean, you can interpret this under different ways and again, even gender plays into it, and an eight year old would probably respond differently to this than ah, forty year old woman it's just it's just different. Um, I just want to say one more thing, I love the lion of this extension cord I really like that I just I'm guided up through this and then it's almost I mean, I know it's the hem of the skirt, but I love the way it kind of continues here and it's just got this really graceful line and there's lines here there's a beautiful rim light that kind of outlines this it's a little more subtle it's not just a silhouette there's his gorgeous kind of room light that comes here and outlines the foot I just there's some subtleties in this photograph that I really uh that I really like that just kind of and again when I say I really like them I like them because they pulled me in and they make my I go around and explore and I think that's one of the things that we can do is the photographers but little hill hidden mysteries, you know, photographs so that your first impression you go ok, I feel this way about the photograph, but then the more you look at it you see something and he noticed anything engages you when you're pulls you in and maybe five, ten, fifteen minutes later you're still looking a photograph and you feel a number of different things. You have a few more questions, you have your own set of what ifs, and I think that the more a photograph kind of pulls you in and engages you even again if you're not getting exactly the intention of the photographer really not relevant, the fact that it has engaged you and made you think and, uh I mean that's the highest praise I really don't honestly once people say you know I love your work well that's wonderful but what I really want to know is that it made them you know it engaged them even if they say I really didn't like it I'm okay with that if you spent fifteen minutes deciding you didn't like it and engaged you I'm okay with that too you know the worst thing you could do is just dismiss it I mean that's honestly if you just relax and dismiss it then I'm gonna crap you know um anyway moving on anything else you want to say about women's work like that the shoes of the same color is the wall are seemingly yeah you know I'm not sure they are I mean maybe there but I think that's just reflection on the ana really shiny black what I said what's that what I said okay getting tired uh back division driven and I'm gonna get you guys to pick another one here for me hey, look there's some from chris hunt if only the photographer here were here with us to explain his vision for us let's let's sit forward and pick something else here. Um okay one more page random pick help me out pick one for me is there the one I guess we didn't hit the dog of dogs? I don't know I was on a lot of bottoms right there they're your hat I love this picture I think I think it's hysterical I have to tell the internet world out there nathan has been waiting for we've had these images on rotation there have been a couple images that we all have our favorites and nathan continually waits for this great game to come by and every time he does there's the dog with the hat so, uh whoever had the one with the news for the tie that one was fantastic pretty into that that it had something to do with the dog was a pretty big hit so as you are such a fan of the great dane with the party had on uh why don't you begin the conversation and talk to us about this photograph? Uh I love the use of color with the dog being black and white and then obviously the pink on the nose in the eyes I think kind of offsets that it draws my eye to that and then there's no denying the hat this dog's wearing and I love the droopy face and the jowls and it just uh it just it makes me smile yeah and the negative space behind it there's no other distractions you have, you know, droopy and his birthday hat and I just uh what what is it that makes you smile because there is that they're in I'm not making commentary. The dogs have expressions or not but just the drew penis of his face if you were it gives it ah personified form um that he's just really ashamed of having to wear that hat right now. So without the hat, not the same image correct. Okay, sew the hat step forward so it wouldn't be fair to say without putting words in your mouth so I will right now that it's the contrast in the juxtaposition of this, you know otherwise potentially dignified animal and a really goofy, stupid party had that most of us humans would never be caught dead wearing and so yeah and so then we look at it and the other thing too that I think is really important is there's a catch light in his eyes that gives us an indication of where his eyes are looking and that's the gesture in the photograph is the look in his eyes and that is truly I mean again a big beautiful dog otherwise dignified but that's a really pathetic look he's looking at someone going please, please take this thing off me even I know how stupid this looks right it's that it's that look and because we kind of anthropomorphize and and we we see this kind of almost it's almost like an elderly gentleman that just deserves dignity and respect and he's had a stupid you know party had put on his head what kind of read into and I think I think it totally makes it I think you're absolutely right you know again not a deep, powerful image and it's probably going to end up on a greeting card that birthday card that's going to sell an awful lot of copies and make someone a lot of money but it's the reason it does that I think is that gesture in his eye of course the jowls a different dog might not look as goofy, innit? Right? I mean, if you put a funny looking dog with a funny hat there's a little less juxtaposition still may be funny, but it's not the same funny right it's not dignified guy wearing a hat it's funny goofy dog wearing a hat and we kind of frankly dogs were had all the time we expect that that would be the hat he would wear it would just be a different kind of funny and therefore a different kind of photograph right when I feel like that's a great point you make about the catch light and that being the movement I hadn't thought about it before because instant I'm still thinking about the drummer with his drumstick and to think about catch lights as you know the the movement of the photograph that's an interesting point and I was going to say to when you mentioned the catch lights the first thing that I thought of the very first time I saw this picture was the four year old at the birthday party and she takes her hat off and puts it on her dog's head and the dog just looks right to mom or dad is like please help me just get this off and she's like good puppy so that's what it made me think of even though all we have here is a dog and a hat, right? And so for you there is because of that you know that contrast there is the implication of story you're reading something into it potentially the photographer didn't play out in his mind but it gives you an opportunity to engage and the more you in your mind or engaging and imagining a story the more you're engaging this photograph and I think the more successful a photograph becomes even again if it may be not be some deep theme it may just be a goofy cat doing a goofy think that's why lol cats succeeds they may be the worst photographs you've ever seen in the world technically, but they captured juxtapositions and moments and then of course they've got, you know, the ridiculous captions which add to that but I think the success of it is is those juxtaposition where someone seen a moment and that's what's funny you know and and the the emotional story moves us story gives us meaning anything else to contribute to this poor dog before we put him out of his misery and move on in the chat room says I'm wondering if the dog is plotting revenge to whoever put the hat on that's the that's the next frame actually I would be really funny to take to take uh too because often one frame can't tell a full story but it can apply a story what if you took, uh a series of photographs where you had the goofy you know, the goofy dog telling the one story and then you turn the page and dog no longer has had but you know, he's been eating red meat and has a you know, a particular look in his eye. Well, then you've got two very different stories, but they're connected did the dog eat the person that put the hat on his head what's going on? And I think then you you actually into frames have a potential to imply uh, you know, an arc of a story because you have the beginning in the end here you just have some point in the story and we have to imagine where is that along the arc of the story and which is fun, it engages us, but when you you begin to tell that story with two frames or three becomes a lot more exciting are we missing something? Okay you want the bottle got good I'm sorry let's move on uh do we have any further comments from the internet world I think we're ready to move on we do they're they're similar to what everyone's okay all right okay that mastering this going to be a flicker maniac by the time we're done uh let's go teo um you see void the buxom women and go to something uh you know what I mean I wonder if they let me go back to that one don't screen saver ok what what do you think what do you feel? How do you react what is it? Well it reminds me of your blue yesterday um because it's out of focus um and and so photographer wass not concerned as much about I mean looks to me like that's a person um maybe playing an instrument uh and and if so it wasn't about that particular artist um but perhaps um a feeling that you get from and you know it's it's just the circles and the color is basically what? The images um so choices that were made was the the uh the aperture um it's probably in postproduction these colors ask him about and so for me it gives that um those air warm colors although it's not a soft relaxing image like the candles were um but the it's just it's kind of abstract and lights camera action um those are the things that matter to me what you think I see a lot of the same I actually do see I see the guitar and it looks like a concert looks like stage lights so the colors might might be that color maybe I don't know but um at first I thought we were saying it may be from the artist's perspective but then I wouldn't know where the lights are coming from so I think we're it makes you think we're looking at the performer and we see the stage lights behind them and uh yeah I'm not sure what the blurriness signifies in this image but it does make it so I have no idea what I mean speculate assume the photographer knew exactly what they were doing and they were trying to say something what might that be? What is the what is the potentially implied sort here give it to the girl who goes to raves the really high saturation in that color gives me a sense of like high energy in that moment and then the choice of like the kind of silhouette ing behind all that bright color makes me feel like it's just trying to portray like this is a moment of intensity of like so much energy like liveliness so yeah that's what I get out of it move some people on twitter that air saying, yeah, it looks like somebody who's drunk in the audience or it just kind of gives that feeling of of blurriness and yeah, I mean, to be honest, I I mean that's honestly that's one of things that I thought I thought and not that I have ever been drunk it a concert. In fact, I don't particularly like concerts, but it doesn't necessarily have to be, you know, drunk on alcohol, I mean, to be honest, this could be someone who is just experiencing this is very impressionistic me the warm colors three shadow I'm not sure if that circle is a bit of lens flare, but to me it's evocative of, you know, the sound hole on a guitar and this is the neck of a guitar, and so I'm reading this is me being at a concert, seeing the guy on stage and and it's a purely evocative is purely emotional and maybe I'm sixteen and I'm there with my first date and it's simply the euphoria of being in love and information is totally irrelevant. If you were on your first date and you were madly in love with the person that you were with and you're at this concert, this is what you remember years later is this this warm memory of a blur and and the information's irrelevant you may not even remember who the guy on stage was and so these kind of things I think again you we could bring to it our own assumptions go mad I like it it's not sharp enough forget that for him and ask yourself assuming the photographer knew what he was doing or she okay johnny assuming it's a guy this photographer knows what he's doing and he's creating something intentional what might that be and that's what I feel I mean, it just feels purely evocative to me and the only criticism I have in terms of how I would like to see from a balanced perspective I love the circles going on I would love to see a little bit more frame here so that this circle which to me I keep I love that circle whether or not it's the actual sound hole of the guitar I really like the fact that it's kind of resting on the frame uh distracts me, lou because my I can't get under it kind of explore the frame a little more that's are a little bit of a nit picking detail. Um I think evocatively this is pretty pretty strong and I jumped in there didn't give anyone else a chance to talk, so you have any thoughts about this uh it reminded me of this skateboarding picture that we looked that yesterday but with more that impressionistic vibe turned up a little bit more um that it doesn't matter who the guy is specifically but it's evocative like you said of you know this feeling obviously very warm um concert you know, when it's just the I think more than anything else the idea or the vibe of being there in the moment again doesn't matter who the guy is what song is playing um it's just it's more of an ideas opposed toe you know a specific rendering of specific any other thoughts from the internet world? Well, literally right before you said your reading scotty webs mind because on twitter right before you talked about it he said it's a sense of nostalgia you might not remember the person's face but that feeling of the concert so all about that feeling um doesn't matter what concert it wass um people are something that nobody here has mentioned but a couple of people have mentioned here um that um bunny trail saw it as the end it's the perhaps it's the end of the concert maybe the end of that musicians career the blurring into the sunset colors so that those colors spoke to her about ending's ending of the day ending of the career um and somebody else mentioned the whole negro mentioned leaving a fire so that those colors yeah it's interesting I might have thought actually was kind of the the finale of the concert and um, you know, and probably at the end of the concert, you're you're you're a little less inclined to be focusing on the details you're a little more you're left with after the concerts over left with more emotion and memory and that sort of thing and, um, fading to black, yeah, a little bit and he's kind of, you know, he's taking his curtain call, maybe he's on his last ballad or whatever, but there is a real sense of nostalgia and don't don't forget nostalgia is incredibly power level for us on obviously the older people get, the more you're able to tap into nostalgia because they have more of those memories and memories are associated with, you know, with emotion and experience tying into nostalgia is incredibly powerful anytime you khun bring that in in some way, it's not always easy without, you know, just including, you know, memorabilia from the fifties to create that nostalgia, but anytime that you can create a memory and that's, I think why exploring abstracts and exploring expressionistic photographs is really helpful to us because you're working purely on impact and emotion and feeling and that for some of us who are a little more cerebral at times, it may be a very good exercise to get out and completely strip away information from the equation don't photograph anything with information purely photograph, impact and emotion and ask yourself how would I photograph warm if I I couldn't do it with any information, right? I mean most of us would go well warm I'm gonna go take a picture of a radiator were very literal about things but how can I if I if I pull the ability to use information out, how can I create emotion and that's one thing and then going back to this issue about color? What if I remove color from this photograph? Well there's there's no there's, no photograph without the color in this I mean it it becomes a different thing but would you respond even remotely the same way to this it's just a blurry guy on stage with a guitar might have its own interest might it would but it would be a different photograph with a very different emotional response because those colors are extremely as was said before extremely seductive and they just even if we try to fight against it for most of us that's a warm feeling and creates, you know something specific within us even if that's a different thing for each of us well adrian adrian in the chat room who said he took the photo he or she said they just forgot to put on auto focus was her car there you go all right happy accidents and me too I wonder how much of our photography if if in fact that's true and I you know, maybe this um I assume johnny campus was the uh was the photographer but it looks like johnny campus is in fact the name of because this is johnny campus in the super happy fun family fun fund family at egg stock um then it may entirely be true that this was shot intentionally out of those are accidentally out of focus but so much of our work depends on serendipity and discovered moments and you know that I don't think that diminishes that edit all although I would prefer to think that this was taken by some emotionally in tune genius uh creating something beautiful in abstract so can I ask a question about never stops being funny for me please clearly so when you're doing this process which I'm I'm assuming the reason we're doing this like as a group is so that we can take it back and and do it on our own as an exercise so is it should you be picking and I know there's no should but do you think it would be more valuable to pick basically pick apart and analyze pictures that resonate with you or pictures that don't resonate with you or um like what's the difference involved because because one of the things that you're saying is to assume that the photographer did whatever they did with intention, which in this one it sounds like they actually didn't do with intention and so I think I think if you approach it from that way, you look at it differently because you look at it as if everything is correct and the way they wanted to be, when in reality a lot of times they probably aren't, and there may be things that people aren't even thinking about, and so then could you? I don't know, so I don't maybe you think that's what I'm doing is I'm trying to remove the intention of the author as as even relevant, so I'm just making an assumption, and so what I'm doing is I'm saying in some ways, regardless, even though I've said let's assume they're doing it, they have intended to do this regardless of what the photographer intended, the photograph does say something let's reverse engineer that's what what do we see? And what does that say? At least to us? How do we read that? Because the more we understand how we read photographs and what we infer in an image or from an image um whether the photographer meant to do that or not the lessons learned, we will take back and have a better understanding of the visual language because, well, no, ok, what is this now? I mean, what is this for? Communicate? What do we feel about this color it's a way of engaging so that we better understand the visual language our own visual language because things that everyone else has said like about different images are so can't have been sometimes so polar opposite the way I respond or think about or connect or resonate with a photo that it's not like there is a visual language versus, like announce verbs I mean, you can you give a verb and hey, who say jump when everybody may have different interpretations of jump but it still jumping? Uh, yeah, I was still suggested I mean, it is different it's not exactly same it's still just a metaphor but written language can be misunderstood as readily the intent behind written language could be misunderstood as readily as the intent behind a photograph. What I want us to be aware of us photographers is that photographs do in fact say something and you read a photograph a certain way and yes, so what? Always be a latitude of interpretation but you read a certain way and if you understand what these things do in the frame for me that will allow you then to to create photographs with a better understanding of how can I create something that says that expresses my intention, right? You're just becoming aware of things there was always this is art it's, not science. You're not learning a formula, so and by extension, what you said, do we pick a pick? It works for us, or doesn't I think it helps to pick both. I think it helps to look at a photograph, whether it's our own or someone else's that does nothing for us and go, why does this not do anything for isn't lacking a moment, is it lacking the right light? Is it? Is it like in colors that lacking gesture it? What is it that fails for me in this photograph? Because then we take that back to our photography, and we become more aware when we looked through the frame, all this one doesn't have the gesture, either. We just get used to using that language or that thought, process and turn it into something you know, an improvement in our own, you know what kind of work?

Class Description

Join David duChemin, author of the best-selling Within The Frame, as he teaches you how to use your camera and the digitial darkroom to find and express your vision as a photographer.


Maros Matousek

I have just finished this great class and ended up with a notebook full of notes. I highly recommend this class to all who would like to take not only technically perfect photographs but more importantly who want to express their vision and create something that moves others. I read many books by David and still enjoyed and got a better understanding throughout this course.

Melvin Williams

This course may seem to drone on at times but I firmly believe that repetition or other restatement helps learning. I highly recommend David's course, his ebooks and his site. He gets to the important stuff about photography. He focuses on the conceptually tough stuff like vision, finding your own, and less on the "geek" technical stuff that, while necessary, is only a tool to accomplishing your vision, what you want to say in your photograph.

Phillip Ziegler

David is always worth listening to. The course might have been shorter given there was a lot of repetition and conversation that wasn't terribly interesting or valuable. But when it was good it was amazing. I learned a lot and it was worth the time and money spent.