The Problem with Photographing Summer


(Mica) #1

I thought this video was quite thought provoking! And well put together.


#2

hmmmm…

the era of the shorter everything, of the pseudo… where nothing leaves the surface, the era of the (self) entertaining crowd, of the choosable spectacle, the era of the self-hosted righteousness (hand risen), where things balance between the short spam analysis and the truckload of bullshit… exciting times :tornado: :ping_pong: :pizza:

Personally I think that the intro was too weak, childishly misleading, manipulative and lazy overall; if this guy wants to talk about Fontana, go ahead, I’d listen, I will care as long as it feels truthful; more so if he wants to tell all about a coffee shop in Italy but if he’s using tricks at least use good ones, there are plenty good enough video essays out there… ohh yeah he’s trying the crossover style between diary, a little gray matter, a little photo advice, traveling journal and whatnot… I retract all my words, he’s cool. Here take my like and some :money_with_wings: $$

2 side notes:

A.
Another example of a bad trick

Going through today’s “articles” in the rss’ stream, I saw this post at petapixel “about” North Korea, the title Joseon: Photos of the Life of Ordinary North Koreans. To be honest, I wasn’t so much interested in the “news” but to corroborate a suspicion… ahh yes, there it was. Here the last photo

What do you think it’s wrong with this, well actually with all the photos in the set?

 

 
the photos are actual but the way they’ve been developed (rendered) make they look like old pictures (late 60s, early 70s or so). Of course this is a petrified nation, of course its aesthetics would have a palette and style that might have share resemblance to that of the one chosen by photog… but if put next to such a title - one that makes us think about photojournalism, about verité, about descriptive non-tampered documents - it’s not justifiable by it’s the author’s choice

 
B.
To see a true artist, subtlety, a moving picture, something truly worth it, check Columbus by Kogonada. Looking at his filmography one can understand he has learned something with the masters =)

PS
don’t be sad Mica :running_man:‍♂ :panda_face::rose::fried_shrimp:


#3

Thanks @paperdigits.

@chroma_ghost I only clicked on it because of the lady. :stuck_out_tongue: (Actually, because I trust Mica.) Here is a short film with an intro that you might enjoy: Algorithms are Thoughts, Chainsaws are Tools. (It’s off-topic but nevertheless fascinating.)


(Mica) #4

Maybe I was just excited to see a video about trying to make a photo by someone who is thinking about making photos… and it wasn’t another gear review or talking about upcoming gear or the best x camera for y. :wink:


(Elle Stone) #6

After recently watching Snowpiercer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowpiercer - awesome film btw) which was produced in South Korea, I was curious about what sort of art, film, photos, etc were being made in North Korea. So I had looked at those Petapixel images with a lot of interest, and that was also my impression - they look like they were shot using film back in the 1960s, and even sort of look like some of the prints had sat around long enough to get slightly faded in some of the colors. Somehow the colors make the images feel familiar and comfortable.

But I’m not sure if changing the aesthetics of the processing to a more journalistic style would make the images somehow more truthful, in whatever sense one might give to the word “truthful”. For example, what impression would they convey as fine art digital black and white prints? or as grainy black and white images as would be seen in a newspaper?

And then there is the question of where the camera was aimed in the first place . . . photography always involves questions of which tiny slice of reality to point the camera at, why this slice rather than that slice, for what purposes, and at what potential costs to the subject of the photograph and also to the photographer . . .

I was hoping Wikipedia could cast light on being an artist, photographer or film-maker in North Korea (Wikipedia being the lazy person’s route to all knowledge :slight_smile: ), and found these articles, which I can’t say actually left me feeling enlightened about the Petapixel photographs, but still might be worth perusing:

I think one of the Petapixel photographs might have been taken in the Mansudae Art Studio.


#7

Back to the video. The gentleman’s photo at the end was so uninspiring. He appears to be more apt at making videos and operating drones than photos.


Concerning Davydenko’s work, based on the 500px link, his Korean photos do appear to be much more processed and polished than his previous shots. Several comments on the article describe the images as being too pristine and manufactured, calling them propaganda. Perhaps, the combination of these factors give us pause when viewing them.

Speaking of the Korean people, those I know say with sadness in their eyes that they hope that one day there would be one Korea. I think that is quite beautiful in an age where there is so much division and people hating one another though they preach justice and reconciliation for their own kind. I went kind of deep with that. :thinking:


(Isaac Ullah) #8

Very interesting to see the dissent in opinion on this video. I’ve been following Ian Wong since he was a lackey for Digital Rev when that channel was in it’s dying days. I have to say that this new channel of his has become a favorite of mine. His videos are always interesting, thoughtful, and often quite philosophical. They are released at a leisurely pace, so you can tell he puts some work into them. I like that he makes videos about the ideas and thought process more than the technical or methodology of photography. It helps to expand my own thinking, which is more than I can say about a lot of YT photo channels out there.

Was his photography particularly inspiring here? No. But I think that was the point. He was going through the motions of travel and summer photography, but not excercising his creativity. It wasn’t until after he got back and reviewed his snaps that he realized this, and wished he’d thought to work more like Fontana while he was on his trip.

Speaking of Fontana, the examples are really quite inspiring. I personally have been thinking about long lenses for landscapes and abstracts for quite some time (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmog3pTn), but I, too, often forget to look for those details when the “grand Vista” is in front of me. There are a few very good Flickr groups to also get inspired by in this vein. Search for “long lens landscapes” and “minimalist landscapes” and you will find them.


#9

@Isaac I like “Saguaro Blossom”.


(Isaac Ullah) #10

@afre Thanks! :smile:


#11

I’m sorry for my postponed reply, I really wanted to (keep engaging and) follow up the discussion but right after my first (bit acidic) reply something unexpected and out of my control happened.

Okay, that’s out of the way =)

@chroma_ghost I only clicked on it because of the lady. :stuck_out_tongue: (Actually, because I trust Mica.)

Give heart to sharks, hat to ladies and always a smile to Mica. Me wise trust him too dear @afre

BTW thanks for the algo’s video (on the top of my watchlist) and Davydenko’s 500 link :wink wink oink oink yours pirilampoon :llama::beetle:

 
 

Maybe I was just excited to see a video about trying to make a photo by someone who is thinking about making photos… and it wasn’t another gear review or talking about upcoming gear or the best x camera for y. :wink:

@paperdigits sometimes I’m an asshole, but I would not be questioning the “right” of someone showing/sharing whatever they feel like. More I believe not that my freedom ends where your starts, but rather that your freedom is my freedom; if that’s understandable.

That said, and with no contradiction (and even if it was, je je ej) I believe people should express themselves honestly, openly, direct; I gave my feedback of the video; a rationalized account of what I felt / thought experiencing the video and right after.

My “don’t be sad mica” was purely regarding your new avatar; I apologise if that led to any confusion

paperdi_web

 
 

@ellen

they look like they were shot using film back in the 1960s, and even sort of look like some of the prints had sat around long enough to get slightly faded in some of the colours.

Yes

Somehow the colours make the images feel familiar and comfortable

and yes

But I’m not sure if changing the aesthetics of the processing to a more journalistic style would make the images somehow more truthful, in whatever sense one might give to the word “truthful”.

Here you’re putting words in my mouth. I talked about “truthfull” referring to the video guy’s experience

{…} if this guy wants to talk about Fontana, go ahead, I’d listen, I will care as long as it feels truthful {…}

then this is what I said regarding Petapixel’s article

the photos are actual but the way they’ve been developed (rendered) make they look like old pictures (late 60s, early 70s or so). Of course this is a petrified nation, of course its aesthetics would have a palette and style that might have share resemblance to that of the one chosen by photog… but if put next to such a title - one that makes us think about photojournalism, about verité, about descriptive non-tampered documents - it’s not justifiable by it’s the author’s choice

You see, I was careful in the choosing of the words… On one hand, relativism can quickly transform into a dangerous path, but on the other, I’m aware that undefined concepts and loose ideas can carry confusion also. Let me try (to further clarify too) again:the record of these still images it is not done on film, neither in the 60’s. My point is that their developing is closer to means used by (either east or west, doesn’t matter) propaganda / manipulative means, a “trick”. Am I saying that the photog wanted to emphasize a sense country living in the past? no; I am not in his mind and I don’t really care; but it is a “trick” (that “produces” such a nostalgia) and, again, a dangerous one when ran along “news” headlines. So who and how did captioned the images? Who wrote the article, who put the pieces together? What about “objectivity” that rara avis? This would not happen within the NY Times, why?.. and so another, maybe more interesting question arises: are sites like Petapixel newsworthy legitimizing factories?! … as museums are to art.

For example, what impression would they convey as fine art digital black and white prints? or as grainy black and white images as would be seen in a newspaper?

Dear @ellen this is a super interesting point to reflect upon and discuss about - with an ultra wide scope as it would touch from deep-fried intellectual concerns (S.Salgado use of the medium to beautify and profit from poverty), to digital manipulation, to content use, to (now) marginal but important ethics issues ( self REF: check apartheid photographs), etc. - which deserves its own thread. Some years ago I had an aesthetics and ethics thread dedicated to this matters… maybe if I have the time and headspace could start a new chapter; it could even make use of Mica’s words and be called about making photos. Right now I’m short, hope you understand.

Thank you for the articles, I most surely will read them =)

 

@isaac

Very interesting to see the dissent in opinion on this video. I’ve been following Ian Wong since he was a lackey for Digital Rev when that channel was in its dying days. I have to say that this new channel of his has become a favourite of mine. His videos are always interesting, thoughtful, and often quite philosophical. They are released at a leisurely pace so you can tell he puts some work into them. I like that he makes videos about the ideas and thought process more than the technical or methodology of photography. It helps to expand my own thinking, which is more than I can say about a lot of YT photo channels out there.

I used to watch and enjoy Kay and Lock’s (digitalrev) videos. I liked the carefree sometimes even obnoxious style of Kay, Lok’s counterpoint, HK’s myriad mixed backgrounds, the familiarity and the energy. Digitalrev (for whatever reasons) then spiralled down; I stopped. Before this one, I don’t recall watching any of Wong’s.

 
Was his photography particularly inspiring here? No. But I think that was the point. He was going through the motions of travel and summer photography, but not exercising his creativity. It wasn’t until after he got back and reviewed his snaps that he realized this, and wished he’d thought to work more like Fontana while he was on his trip.

I can understand this; furthermore, I am totally apologist of personal diaries and approach / introspection / to experience… that does not exclude the science, the repetitiveness, the study / the contrasting / the refutability of the crazy potatoe’s hairdoo :stuck_out_tongue:

 

Speaking of Fontana, the examples are really quite inspiring. I personally have been thinking about long lenses for landscapes and abstracts for quite some time (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmog3pTn 5), but I, too, often forget to look for those details when the “grand Vista” is in front of me. There are a few very good Flickr groups to also get inspired by in this vein. Search for “long lens landscapes” and “minimalist landscapes” and you will find them.

I can relate to this too. For years I’ve been trying to develop (also associated speech / hypothesis) a series around these subjects, mine is called Compression Landscape. BTW from your set at Flickr, like this one

Cheers