Did you know that in Australia you can leave Texas, drive south and be in New England a short time later? True, Texas is a small town on the Queensland/New South Wales border and New England is a region just north of Tamworth (Country Music capitol of Australia). Just a little triva for your day.
Originally Posted by photomc
Francesco, that would be very true..your image of the interior with smoke and of course the most famous example - AA Moonrise are proof enough of know your equipment and reading the situation (my take is reading the light) before the moment is gone.
Originally Posted by Francesco
However, I think there is the time that must be spent BEFORE those images that the process of learning takes place. You have to know how your tools will respond (read film/exposure) that allows these wonderful images to be made. For many on this site, I think your skills are at a point where you do not think so much about these things, where some of us still lack the skill/knowledge to take what we know to the next level. That is what you give to those of us that are still trying..it can happen, it just takes work, there are NO special formulas, developers, papers, or equipment. But if we spend a lot of time reading how such and such an image is made it helps, but only to a point - I guess we all need our failures, without them we can't know what we did wrong or what we DID do right when we get the image we were after.
Thanks to everyone, this was everything I expected from the members of this site...maybe the staff at that new publication - Emulsion, will notice what went on here...sounds like it would make a very good article. Seems like most aritcles just don't have the meat that is needed and most books still don't cover the subject that well.
Now that is good trivia, of course I can drive from Paris to Rhome, then visit Italy and Venus...glad to see that fun names show up in many places...of course for then there is Trukey, Texas and POST...yeah, the same guy that brought us Grapenuts.....
Originally Posted by roteague
Hello Donald, glad to see your thoughts on this, as always good input. Your comment about local contrast giving the glow was something I had not considered. Will have to pay more attention the next time I view prints in person.
Originally Posted by Donald Miller
One of my favorites of hers was made in Maine with only two zones of contrast. She expanded it in development something like +3. The print is stunning.
Originally Posted by Donald Miller
Light is to photography as sound waves are to music - signals which make possible the apprehension of the artist's finished product. You don't need high contrast lighting to make beautiful photographs any more than you need loud sounds to make beautiful music. Photography is about the space. It has nothing to do with the subject or the quality of the light reflected off of the subject.
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IMO, this means it has to do with both.
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
My curse is that whenever I run across a scene or an immovable object that would make a nice photograph, the Sun is _always_ in the wrong position. If it is obvious that the light would strike it perfectly in the afternoon, you can bet that I am there in the morning and vice versa. One of my first posts to APUG , (Way, way back when I was a mere lad ) was to ask if anyone knew of a calculator or program that would allow me to plot the position of the sun so that I could determine the right time to return to a spot when the light would be as I wanted it. Aside from that, some scenes benefit with a dramatic sky full of clouds some in overcast, some with leaves on the trees (that's where I am in Winter) some with bare branches (me... Summer). I'm always in exactly the right photographic place at exactly the wrong photographic time.
When I find a good subject under bad conditions, which as I say is mostly often, I might take a couple of snaps, but I just file it away for a return when the conditions are right. Some of my best shots are ones that I had to return to at least once, usually more.
And then there are those times when you walk out the door look up, and the light is so unique and beautiful that you are desparate to find something to photograph. It's good to have a mental card file of reachable places at the ready.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
You make that sound like a bad thing. But aren't all the shoes old?
So light, as part of what will be captured, cannot be entirely ignored. But too often it is used as a glossy polish on old shoes.
With rare exceptions, the content is derivative, it's been done to death. Waterfalls, old buildings, quirky faces. It's hard to be original. What sets a great print apart is lighting and composition, executed well on fine materials. As Francesco said, making the ordinary appear magical.
There is nothing more satisfying that finding something ordinary with the right light that makes it radiate, shine, glow, etc..
I'm all about the direct experience of the print. That's why I rarely look at any online photography; it falls so short of being there. I find the scans in my personal gallery to be embarassing, but in person.......... not bad.
"If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition
Neal you might try, as aposed to setting out to shoot a great photograph, set out to photograph light. The shapes within the light. Keep in mind that buildings and mountains and light colored soils are great reflecters so look at reflected light also. Just a suggestion.
Originally Posted by Flotsam
Tom's is a really great suggestion. This approach definately works (for me). Putting yourself in a place that you feel will be likely to turn up the photographic opportunity that you are after, then just watching what the light is doing.
Originally Posted by Thomassauerwein
I just attached the two examples below because I think it illustrates a couple of things.
The first had absolutely no direct lighting. It was 20mins after sunset, and almost too dark to see. The ambient lighting was very diffused. And a very long exposure could take advantage.
The second had strong and direct, horizontal sunlight. It's perhaps debatable whether it works at all :-), but certainly would not have with diffused light.
My approach to both was to look where the light was falling and use some old stuffy ideas from the back of the head, and try to visualise an end result that might work, and have a go. Tom's approach definately works for these situations (as well!).
There are certainly different approaches required in other circumstances, however. For candid people shots, the content and timing are paramount, and it's just too hard to get the perfect expression captured on the fly, and happening to have perfect lighting. So an educated viewer will subconsciously make allowances for what could perhaps be regarded as technically substandard lighting, when the capture of the old fella striding over the puddle is so perfectly timed.
Point is, I guess lighting has varying degrees of importance depending on what you want in your photo. I think in a landscape, good lighting can lift an image above the ordinary. As it is in other areas of photography as well, of course (that I know far less about). For me Good Lighting is the next most important thing after the need to click the shutter. Anything less, and it becomes an uphill battle to achieve a good picture.
And it will not usually appear there by chance or favour! It's got to be found and captured.
sorry .. turned into a ramble .. just 2c worth
Last edited by John McCallum; 09-21-2004 at 01:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.