Discuss a Joe Cornish Photograph

Discussion in 'Discussing a ****** Photograph' started by roteague, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Ok, in keeping with the spirit of the forum, here is an image by one of my favorite landscape photographers, Joe Cornish.

    [​IMG]

    I find this image to be stunning in its simplicity, yet with rich tones, and just the right moment. The flowing curve of the water, as well as the detail on the sand, just to the left of the rock are what make the image for me. They keep my eyes going back to the rock in the center. This is a stunning image, that I wish I could do half as well on.
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Joe Cornish is a technical master and has I believe been very successful in achieving his own personal vision through admirable levels of dedication and years of effort. His work does absolutely nothing for me at all.
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I love Joe's work too. I find a few a little 'cold' but we must consider what he is trying to do and the breadth of the country he has to cover. I feel his genre is very much what Ansel Adams would have done were he a Brit shooting colour! Both are committed to the wilderness and the conservation thread represents a common purpose thru Yosemite and the Nat Trust respectively. Many of Joes images are sublime and really 'do it for me'.

    I love this image for all the reasons you do, but he has others which I prefer still by quite a margin.

    Tom
     
  4. roteague

    roteague Member

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    It is really hard to pick one of his images to talk about. He has so many great one. This one isn't my favorite, but I thought it would be a good first start, since there are so few here who do color landscapes, and don't have a real good idea who Joe is.
     
  5. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I agree, it's really beautiful. What first catches my attention is the gradual lightening of the stream from dark to almost irridescent where the stream meets the larger body.

    The repetition of the light on the top of the rocks and then repeated on the sand to the left of the stream comes next. That small area of light in the sand keeps the left side from throwing everything off balance.

    Finally, I am always drawn to color that has this type of more limited, pastel type palette. Pretty much dark lavenders and subdued pinks except for that lemony yellow that threads through the sky. If you imagine the image without that yellow it still has wonderful graphic elements but not the same "punch".

    Maybe like you point out it is the simplicity. Earth, sky and water at their most basic, almost primordial.
     
  6. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Robert,

    I agree about the simplicity of the image. The exposure is basically dead on and just holds in places in the sky. The composition has flow of line and rhythm with the main rock both acting as a (the) main subject and additionally acts as an anchor holding the image with some weight. I like magenta/purples/lavenders of the image. As Jim says it has the simplicity of earth, sky and water. I do not like this image as well as you, but I will have to do some investigation to find out more about Joe and find images that I may like better.

    Rich
     
  7. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Look at "Light and the Art of Landscape Photography" by Joe Cornish, for some other examples of his work. My favorite image of his, is on page 141 in this book. It is titled "Ravenscar", taken at Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2006
  8. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    B&W is my main interest, but I find Joe's work inspirational, especially his First Light book. I'm a member of the National Trust and whenever I'm looking through their magazine I can usually recognise which photos are taken by him. They seem to have a certain quality and a something extra about them.

    Mike
     
  9. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I find this picture aesthetically pleasing, but not overly interesting, which I think has something to do with the number of similar pictures I've seen over the years. While this one appears to be technically well done, I just don't care overly for the looming foreground picture so it is hard for me to generate any emotion from viewing it. What I do like is the diagonal line leading into the picture which forms an interesting shape. I suppose that if there were something other than rocks in the foreground it would be more appealing. I don't feel strongly either way about this picture right now, but I will continue to view it and see if my feelings change.

    - Randy
     
  10. Baxter Bradford

    Baxter Bradford Member

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    Ahhhhhhh! The tremendous lure of a Cornish beach..... is why I am leaving in the middle hours of tonight for a few days having a go for myself and then surfing when the light is poor!

    Back to the topic. Interesting range of responses. Deceptively simple image with tension between the rocks RHS and light tones of stream. Another important element as I view it, is the enhanced colour contrast to offset the sunset sky created by the blue colour cast in the bottom RHS caused by the incident lighting from the clear blue sky overhead.

    He uses this technique to greater effect in "Contours in Blue" which I consider one of his best pictures. Sorry, best link I could find..... http://www.leefilters.com/ShowImageByID.asp?PageID=461
     
  11. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I can't possibly find a single technical fault with this...it's well designed, well exposed, and printed with care for all of what's in it. But, as said before, it's repetitive of soooo many other scenic decor images that I don't feel I need to spend more than a couple of seconds with it...in a word, it's boring. He's found an excellent spot to uncover some excellent photographs, but settled on simply recording the site which is what I would have seen had I been there. I don't sense he's shown me anything that matters to him about the place. Great for a calendar, though, especially in New York in February. :wink:
     
  12. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    God, we are all so jaded.

    Since we have all been inundated by millions of images, is there nothing that can fill us with wonder anymore.


    Michael
     
  13. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    not jaded at all - this is just a fairly mundane (if pretty) beach scene photographed with a certain level of technical confidence.

    The wonder would have come if he had managed to show the world in a single grain of sand. Instead we have something suitable for a LowePro ad - now that's jaded
     
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  15. Baxter Bradford

    Baxter Bradford Member

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    I think it is tremendous pity that the APUG galleries aren't regularly populated with such 'mundane' images. This would enable us to fully appreciate the truly original and interesting images which we see on a daily basis there.

    Possessing a thick skin, on my return from Cornwall, I shall do what I can to put my pictures where my mouth is and post a few far more mundane images than the one Robert has suggested we discuss.

    In the meantime I shall direct my energy positively to making some pictures. I've heard that this process can be even more enjoyable than spending time in a web forum.
     
  16. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    conference a ready man

    Baxter

    This is a sub-forum recently created to talk about pictures.

    Passing judgement comes naturally,
    it's the 'talking' that takes a little learning,
    and we're trying. Bear with us.


    .
     
  17. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    True Baxter

    Maybe there should be a requirement/strong suggestion that people add images to the thread as an ongoing riff of VISUAL ideas

    [​IMG]
    (Ouch, one dark scan)
     
  18. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Sure :smile:
    4x5 Velvia 50.
     

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  19. Amund

    Amund Member

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    And yes, that Joe C photo is spectacular, very strong composition.
     
  20. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    A work colleague brought in a coffee-table book by Joe Cornish of Scottish coastal pictures. While the photos themselves were beautiful and managed to catch the Scottish countryside in all seasons, I found by the end of the book that I was longing to see something living in a picture, either people or wildlife.

    I get the same slight sense of dissatisfaction in my own pictures where there aren't any people involved, so perhaps that's the kind of work I need to concentrate my efforts on.

    Euan
     
  21. roteague

    roteague Member

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    "First Light" is the name of the book I reference above as it it titled in the UK, in the US it is "Light and the Art of the Landscape".
     
  22. roteague

    roteague Member

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    That's OK. Personally, I would live to be able to take images of such magnitude as Joe Cornish. For me, this comes from having a love of such places ... and even though, I may never visit this beach, I will at least have visited it in Joe's images.
     
  23. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I think I read in an interview with JC that his stated aim was to "record discovered beauty." This to me is both his strength and his weakness, he goes out and captures in film what he is looking for, but this is a kind of over-romanticized ideal, essentially a preconception that he has brought to the scene. This is not in any way to deny that JC's work is technically impeccable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2006
  24. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    It's a sentimental picture,
    referring to the ideal of 'beautiful nature'
    rather than to the scene itself.

    Does nature need be perfectly exposed
    and rigidly composed to the law of thirds
    to be 'beautiful' ?

    Hadn't thought so.

    This is 'man's view of nature',
    recreating the world in his image,
    a pastel dream of the perfect place,
    as much a falacy as the starlet's plastic surgery.

    It reminds me of the outfits the young dancers wore on Lawrence Welk.

    It is as damaging to the 'natural world' as a pipeline,
    for it leads 'the masses' to believe only the pastel and perfectly composed
    has value.

    Sentimental, and superbly executed
    it shows exactly the power of a an idea supported by craft.

    It also demonstrates that you can only go so far
    when you keep your passion out of your work.

    Cornish could be FANTASTIC if he risked imperfection for the sake of his heart.
     
  25. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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  26. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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    One of the benefits of this forum is that it may introduce us to photographers/images we don't already know (particularly some of us parochial folks in the USA, myself included). I now plan on buying Cornish's book. Thank you (I think).

    I like how people react based on the subject of the photograph. While I like landscapes/nature, after sitting with Adams "The American Wilderness" for an hour or so, I like to then pick up Dorothea Lange or Helen Levitt - and vice versa.

    And we do become jaded as the glut of images go by. The same thing happens in other fields: a sacrificial combination in chess, thought beautiful and brilliant in 1900, is considered a mundane bit of technique 40 years later.....