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  1. #11

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    Painting taught me to observe even more as a photographer. Although, I will say that contemporary painters have an obsession about mark making as how the paint is put down on the surface. My instructors would always tell me to not go back over a mark once I had made it. However, the retinal painting studies that I did made in Painting I and color studies made me see far more in the world around me as far as color and form. Every medium I have worked in has had an influence on me.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

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  2. #12
    Heinz's Avatar
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    This is an interesting thread in my opinion. I also do both - painting / sketching and photography. I feel that both benefit from each other even if they are different.
    For me producing a photography is in some aspects similar to producing a painting - at least if the painting is done in front of the scene. In both cases placing the objects in a balanced (or purposely unbalanced) composition by changing ones own position and the placement of the different objects inside the image borders is crucial. But in a painting one has more freedom to accentuate the different things like one sees and feels them. In both, painting and photography, unconscious decisions take place - however in photography they are quick actions and one does not realize them directly - while during painting this is the thing which constitutes the main fun for me: how the painting is formed on the paper 'by itself' without thinking too much.
    Maybe I can illustrate this with two examples: I recently sketched two images quickly with felt pens: one in front of a night scene and one of some old tires in the wood - and today I got the slide film back from development with the photos I made of theses scenes too. I find it interesting that for the night scene the painting is much more different to the photo - the painting representing more truly how I saw and felt the scene.

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  3. #13
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinz View Post
    This is an interesting thread in my opinion. I also do both - painting / sketching and photography. I feel that both benefit from each other even if they are different.
    For me producing a photography is in some aspects similar to producing a painting - at least if the painting is done in front of the scene. In both cases placing the objects in a balanced (or purposely unbalanced) composition by changing ones own position and the placement of the different objects inside the image borders is crucial. But in a painting one has more freedom to accentuate the different things like one sees and feels them. In both, painting and photography, unconscious decisions take place - however in photography they are quick actions and one does not realize them directly - while during painting this is the thing which constitutes the main fun for me: how the painting is formed on the paper 'by itself' without thinking too much.
    Maybe I can illustrate this with two examples: I recently sketched two images quickly with felt pens: one in front of a night scene and one of some old tires in the wood - and today I got the slide film back from development with the photos I made of theses scenes too. I find it interesting that for the night scene the painting is much more different to the photo - the painting representing more truly how I saw and felt the scene.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What I find interesting is that the felt pen sketch of the tyres is almost a negative version of the photograph.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #14
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    In my humble opinion photographers would be a lot better served if they stopped naval gazing and worrying how their craft was the poor relation of Fine Art, (which there seems to so much anxiety about on this and other photography forums), and just concentrated on shooting the best pictures they are capable of.
    Ben

  5. #15
    Heinz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    What I find interesting is that the felt pen sketch of the tyres is almost a negative version of the photograph.
    That is indeed an interesting observation, Clive! I had not noticed this and it makes me think about the fact that in sketching (in particular the quick way one does it with felt pens) a number of elements are not depicted as photorealistic image but instead more as a "written sign" - somehow like we identify the "smiley" sign with a face even though it is not more than some lines and dots. Considering photography there are also cases in which such an abstraction takes place - e.g. for silhouettes in backlight. I wonder if I should try to track this idea by producing more photos which consciously use different ways of "sign like" abstraction.
    Last edited by Heinz; 02-08-2014 at 03:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    Though I appreciate the discussion of the concept (and is see so little of this type of discussion on forums, so I'm delighted to see it here), there's such a range of quality and ability of the people in both fields that making the type of generalization that was proposed seem a bit like trying to decide what color is a shirt.

    I suspect, however, that the very best people in virtually any field are the ones who are the most observant, and that this cuts across everything from drawing and photography to things like farming and selling shoes.

  7. #17
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    Though I appreciate the discussion of the concept (and is see so little of this type of discussion on forums, so I'm delighted to see it here), there's such a range of quality and ability of the people in both fields that making the type of generalization that was proposed seem a bit like trying to decide what color is a shirt.

    I suspect, however, that the very best people in virtually any field are the ones who are the most observant, and that this cuts across everything from drawing and photography to things like farming and selling shoes.
    You are correct, I did make generalisation for which I apologise, but it was merely to provoke discussion on the topic. I will try and word any future thread starters more carefully.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #18
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinz View Post
    This is an interesting thread in my opinion. I also do both - painting / sketching and photography. I feel that both benefit from each other even if they are different.
    For me producing a photography is in some aspects similar to producing a painting - at least if the painting is done in front of the scene. In both cases placing the objects in a balanced (or purposely unbalanced) composition by changing ones own position and the placement of the different objects inside the image borders is crucial. But in a painting one has more freedom to accentuate the different things like one sees and feels them. In both, painting and photography, unconscious decisions take place - however in photography they are quick actions and one does not realize them directly - while during painting this is the thing which constitutes the main fun for me: how the painting is formed on the paper 'by itself' without thinking too much.
    Maybe I can illustrate this with two examples: I recently sketched two images quickly with felt pens: one in front of a night scene and one of some old tires in the wood - and today I got the slide film back from development with the photos I made of theses scenes too. I find it interesting that for the night scene the painting is much more different to the photo - the painting representing more truly how I saw and felt the scene.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	paint_comp_2.jpg 
Views:	80 
Size:	437.9 KB 
ID:	81671

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	paint_comp_1.jpg 
Views:	83 
Size:	476.6 KB 
ID:	81672

    I think your post shows just how difficult photography is. Both photos are basically just snaps with poor lighting and poor composition. But in your "mind's eye" you were able to see the true light and content and paint it as it would have been if the lighting conditions and perspectives were better. With a camera, the photos fail.

    The painter is blessed with a blank canvas. He only puts in the things he wants in the way that will make it aesthetically pleasing and/or to accentutate the content. The photographer starts with a full canvas containing all sorts of things he has to get rid of and force perspective, lighting and other issues to eliminate the things that detract. A more difficult process.

    By the way , I like your sketches.

  9. #19
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Another thing about your sketches and photos is that they create a learning experience for all of us. And that is how balance and "rules" of composition apply to painting and photos.

    In your building picture, the right negative area was eliminated in your sketch. The tree was inserted in a more balanced position against the weight of the dome. One can see the "rule of thirds" at work.

    Likewise in the tire shots, the negative space on the bottom and right were cropped out in your sketch something I could have done with the photos as well to make them better. It created a pleasing balance in the shot.

    There's a lot photographers can learn from painters about composition, balance, content, lighting etc. Yesterday while waiting in a doctor's office, I was looking through their magazines in the waiting room. Some were painting art related. I was impressed by how so much of what photographers should learn come from the experiences of painters.

  10. #20
    Heinz's Avatar
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    Alan, thank you for your very interesting comments. They led me to a few more thoughts on the photos:

    Indeed their composition could be improved by cropping according to the sketches - I showed here the full frames. For the night photo I even put together (digitally, but this might be allowed here for a discussion-example) a mosaic of the left slide taken in portrait orientation and the right one taken in landscape orientation - the latter one a little bit blurred by shaking (not visible in the small size here) - at least the night photos were taken mainly with the idea to compare them later to the sketch - I stabilized the camera by pressing it to a lamp pole and used something around 1/8 sec at f/2.8 if I remember correctly.

    The lighting in both scenes was difficult for slide film - and this gets worse by scanning (on the lighttable I can see better colors and more shadow detail). However I notice that I saw much more lucent blue in the real life night scene - I think I will try tungsten balanced slide film for future night photos. I have some Fujichrome 64 T in 120 format in the fridge - some of these rolls I bought in the APUG classifieds :-) If I read this correctly it will result in a more blue night-sky and it may have also rendered the roof of the dome more blue. The sketch helps here to see how 'incorrect' these colors were imaged by the daylight balanced slide film - as compared to the direct visual impression.

    Thanks again, for your helpful comments!
    I hope my thoughts on the comparison of the photos and the sketches are interesting not only for these specific images but also in a more general way...
    Heinz
    Last edited by Heinz; 02-08-2014 at 04:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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