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  1. #41

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    For me, paul caponigro is the master of subtle images, especially his stonehenge series. I didnt recognize it until i saw them in a person but the understated composition adds a depth and beauty that not many others can match.

  2. #42
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague View Post
    Try looking at your image on this site: http://photoinf.com/Golden_Mean/photo-adjuster.html. I think you will find your attached image follows the Golden Mean a lot closer than you realize...
    That is so cool! Thanks for the link.

    Joe

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach View Post
    Note 1 ... "Logic"? Is there any place for "logic" in art? Isn't "aesthtic" really an antonym of "logical"?
    Ed:

    I don't think aesthetic and logical are antonyms, but rather in different but parallel universes.

    They both relate to attempts to measure things of value, but their strengths are very different.

    IMHO, if you try to make an argument that one is more important than the other, you will inevitably fail.

    They can, and do, however complement each other very well at times.

    In a past life, I spent meaningful amounts of time with some very accomplished mathematicians. At first blush, they appeared to be immersed in a world where logic was the only valuable commodity. The interesting thing, however, was that they tended to measure the success of a proof or a theory by how elegant it was - clearly a measure that was as much related to issues of aesthetics as anything else.

    The irony - the most impressive proofs were the most subtle, with logic that was most pleasing in its aesthetic.

    Maybe the best description for a subtle photograph, or subtle mathematical proof for that matter, is it tends to sneak up at you, and eventually smile with wild eyed wonder.

    Matt

  4. #44
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    Eliot Porter subtle?
    That's the work that comes to my mind.

    I get tired of sunsets and cityscapes and tide pools and
    I like to see the beauty in everything.

    I think most subtle photographs are very complex in composition ..they have to be, I guess
    They work the way abstracts work
    balance of negative positive space/color/weight
    Only when that relationship is mastered does a subtle photograph appear "easy"
    Many would call a masterful photo/painting of this kind
    "snapshot" or "child's play"

    No main subject?
    I start thinking about introverts and extroverts

    A good photo can smack you in the face
    A good photo can run away from you

    There are plenty of both that never make it anywhere.
    The ones that never make it are the ones I see as being nothing
    empty
    Not the subtle

    Subtle is more everything than nothing

    Think of a Jackson Pollock
    How would you describe it?
    I'd be willing to bet that if you don't see greatness in his works
    your "subtle" photography isn't any masterpiece
    yet rather
    empty
    "sucks"

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    I don't think aesthetic and logical are antonyms, but rather in different but parallel universes.
    Well - there's the 'academically' accepted use of universal 'english' - and then, interestingly a 'shadow' or street language that many people seem to use - that, interestingly, based on an economy of meaning DIFFERENT from that of the 'neutral' or academic language. A language of the emotions, if you will, so commonly employed by politicians (see also george lakoff). Tell me you haven't noticed this...? (the way that, for example you can use the word 'exploit' and many people will take it as a so-called 'negative' act? So- anyway - I think for some - the concepts these two words denote, are maybe somewhat polar.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    The irony - the most impressive proofs were the most subtle, with logic that was most pleasing in its aesthetic.

    Maybe the best description for a subtle photograph, or subtle mathematical proof for that matter, is it tends to sneak up at you, and eventually smile with wild eyed wonder.
    Okay - NOW we're on to something... I was following this thread a bit - but found most of the talk too vague to really respond to. But this, I guess I can sink my teeth into. That's actually a pretty great analogy, Matt! I've always thought of images, at the VERY least, to be 'embedded information' whose 'subject' needs to be found by interpolation of a sort. I think, maybe, it's got to do with using language efficiently at more than one level at the same time, whether that language be visual, mathematical, poetry, what-have-you. And I suspect that the ability to embed and decode at those sorts of levels probably has something to do with the 90-odd percent of the brain that we purportedly never use.

  6. #46
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    Richard, I like yor first example very much. The other 2 not so much. Hard to explain why.

    Here is a recent example that i think would qualify as subtle yet is very powerful:
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=14291

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Boutwell View Post
    Personally, I prefer photographs that are subtle-- whether it is in terms of the subject, contrast, composition or pallet. For me, there is something about the photographs that don't beat you over the head that lend themselves to be appreciated more over time.

    Me too.

    I've been having trouble following this thread because the definition of "subtlety" seems to keep jumping around between subtlety of subject, subtlety of contrast, subtlety of composition, sublety of color saturation, etc. I like subtlety in everything, but in analyzing why I prefer Richard's first picture, the tire tracks, over the other two, I realized that subtle contrast is what I like most, along with subtle color, if the work is in color.

    My favorite bodies of work tend to be rather subtle in contrast and occupy narrow tonal ranges : Joyce Tennyson's and Lilo Raymond's high-key images, Bll Jacobsen's low-key portraits. I thought I disliked Ansel Adams' work until someone introduced me to his earlier, subtler work, which is very nice. I consider subtlety more sophisticated and interesting than "punch" or "pow" which after all are cartoon notations for being socked in the face.

    Katharine

  8. #48
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    Subtle photo?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails subtle-picture.jpg  

  9. #49
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    I would not call that subtle.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach View Post
    Note 1 ... "Logic"? Is there any place for "logic" in art? Isn't "aesthtic" really an antonym of "logical"?
    Certainly not in music composition, in which there are "logical" structures based on defined rhythm, harmony, temperment, etc. This goes for all kinds of music, including various popular kinds as well as kinds from elsewhere in the world. Aesthetic choices are based on an understanding of these structures. It may be very intuitive to composers (which I'm not), but if you listen closely, a lot of phrases in classical music deal in tension and resolution.
    Last edited by DrPablo; 06-10-2007 at 09:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Paul

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