Monday, January 26, 2009

MONOCHROME ODD SHOTS - LOOKING GLASS

Bresson-esque by Babooshka

Reflections of Ramsey 



Last week we had a trip around the two beaches of Ramsey. This week I am purely indulging myself with for me pure photography reflections. As it is Monochrome Odd shots I used this one to start the theme, "Looking Glass." It's Mooragh Lake with the park. I was standing one side taking upside down reflections, a particular speciality when I spied the couple of walkers. I purposely waiting for them to walk into the frame.  I have often tried to convey that photographers are born not made and you either think photography or you don't. I saw in my mind's eye how the image would look and waited for the walkers to arrive into my image naturally. Not serendipity, not stage managed, but a natural image nonetheless. 

(Photography, what is it?)


This week I am going to use one camera, the reasonably priced Nikon D50, wide angled lens on various setting, times, weather conditions. All images will be pure. No cropping, colour balance, contrast, brighten sharpening. The ugly and the beautiful will stay within the image. The common links will be around Ramsey and all reflections of one kind or another. One camera, one lens, one photographer. Ramsey is a very normal looking town as I have shown you. I intend to make it look surreal in a natural way. Twin Peaks, Alice In Wonderland anyone. You may or may not like these images. They may not be easy on the eye, or may be too easy. For me photography is using my eye, my brain, my natural ability. I think when we employ other techniques ie photoshop then it should be classed as photo art,a new genre perhaps. We really do need to make the distinction to safegaurd both photographers and artists. I am a photographer and I take photographs. I am a dying breed, please don't make my partner or I the artist extinct.



Aileni will see to your Monochrome needs
Katney will see to your Odd shots.



To know me as a photographer, go google one word Bresson.

59 comments:

Dina ... UK said...

I like your reflection....

Ruby said...

Whenever I see water, I always have this urge to jump in it (I am quite a good swimmer, so it's not suicidal!) and when I saw this photo I swear I heard the sound that a nice neat dive right in the middle would make. Sploosh! Beautiful shot.

Pam said...

Masterful B.

BJ Roan said...

Wonderful reflection.

~Just Me Miranda~ said...

Beautiful reflection. So peaceful.

Virginia said...

You're the pro. You may be able to post untampered photos but I"m not there yet. All mine need a crop here, a contrast hit there etc. You know where I'm going. Can't wait to see the RAW B.! I like this one today. Read the blurb about Meredith M;ullins on my Paris blog. The art of the wait. YOu nailed it with the walker. Sometimes we can't wait, when it's possible.... it pays off, oui???

Gaelyn said...

Certainly worth the wait. Look forward to more.

Still drinking now that the editing is done?

Barbara said...

Great Reflection shot. Smiles B

Elaine Dale said...

This is the main reason why photography has remained a hobby for me, I knew that if I pursued it professionally (ie weddings, portraits etc.) the joy would gradually ebb away. I shoot what I want, when I want. Looking forward to more of your normal magic.

Babooshka said...

Virginia-What I'm driving at is images need not be perfect to be exceptional. This is granted an extraordinary image. I can do these in my sleep, but today many would even out the trees to level each side to balance the image and make it sterile. This then ruins and manufactures the very nature of a pure photo. I know I may be shouting in the dark, but I would rather visit blogs with images that tell me something of the photographer, not the laptop. Am I making sense? You have a good eye, remember that.

roentarre said...

This mood is so stunning in deed! I love it!

Kim said...

You really are a lone voice. Photo tweaking is here to stay. It has made me lazy. I hack my images to death because I just can't take ones I like. I will have another go though. Thanks for the nudge. This is drop dead gorgeous.

Ken Mac said...

love today's title! and please, rant on my man!

Ken Mac said...

is dina correct? is that your reflection?

Babooshka said...

Ken- No not me. The image was shot this way up so I would be positioned at the bottom of the photograph looking onto the lake. Now I really am off to bed folks.

Jan said...

Babooshka: I like your reflection on photography. Usually I keep my photos as true to the original as possible. Thank you for stopping by my blog today. Your positive comment made my day. I've only been at the daily photo for three weeks now and so EVERY comment means a lot.

My Tue. photo will be a nature shot. I did manipulate the exposure and contrast a little bit on that one, but I think you will like it. Stop by if you have a chance.

Jan
www.greensborodailyphoto

Frankie / Nick said...

Your photography is truly a wonderful piece of art! The Duck Snoop is awesome, thank you for sharing your beautiful work.

magiceye said...

brilliant
the pic and the post!

George said...

The water looks as smooth as glass. I'm looking forward to your posts in this coming week.

Dusty Lens said...

You asked; "photography, what is it?"

The answer is quite simple, yet so complicated. Simply put, we all know photography is a recording of what we see via a black box on medium.

Photography has always lent itself to become modified. In the dark room with film, we learned how Dodge and Burn, even crop to attain a specific result. We at times would push film for a different ISO than the specific film rating. We add filters, color, neutral density, gradiated ND, and polarizing filters to our lenses.

Throughout the history of photography, we have manipulated the end result by post processing whether chemically in past years, or currently through photoshop. The methodology are quite different from film to digital, but the results are similar. We end up with our own perspective of what we see, whether through our eyes, or our minds.

One could look at Ansel Adam's zone system as a form of manipulation; the end result could be different from what is reality.

This is my take on photography; it is art in the raw sense of art. We manipulate our images just enough with gadgets / tools to add our own style, personality to what we witnessed or view in our minds. Whether this is done digitally, in a real darkroom with film, or with filters, to me, photography is art.

However, I do understand what you are driving at; a non edited, non manipulated photograph. This appears to be an excellent exercise to get back to the basics of what makes a photograph; shutter speed, f-stop, and ISO. Even then, by using these 3 basic elements, we can manipulate a scene by increasing or decreasing depth of field and motion.

Olivier said...

très beau reflet en b&w, cela rend très bien.

beautiful reflection in b&w, it makes it very well.

Bibi said...

This does remind me of Henri Cartier-Bresson's work. He did not crop either, and coined the phrase, 'l'instsnt decisif,' meaning 'the critical moment,' or 'When you see it, capture it fast!'

Gattina said...

It's a beautiful picture, so peaceful !

Aileni said...

I can only agree with you comment to me.
Incidentally, my picture was taken on a Minolta 16mm sub-min.
I have indulged myself and await delivery of an Olympus Pen F half-frame which will be exclusively for B&W.

uncleawang said...

Whatever it is..to me mono or B&W image is always beautiful and cool.
Have a nice day.

vincibene said...

Fascinating reflection shot and an interesting posting!

Small City Scenes said...

I agree--I think. The pics I show are what I take. I like 'em and I hope others do too. I don't know how to tweak or anything else.
But I just like everything and I do love a good reflection. thanks. MB

Brett said...

No problem with you mentioning the photo course, the more people who read it the better. Hope to get the next installment on tomorrow.

Robin said...

A beautiful reflection, the walkers really add to the interest of the scene.

Lots to think about in your post. I think I personally tend more towards the photo-art end of the scale. I don't necessarily add or subtract elements and don't want my images to be "overly processed" looking, but for my own work I do tend to prefer strong textures and contrasts. I see the tweaking I do more as releasing the vision of the scene that I see in my mind's eye, rather than seeing photography as a way to faithfully capture beauty as it exists in the world. Both ways are equally valid, for me it's more an issue of personal preference. After all, haven't artists been altering scenes since the first painter left out a prominent mole or a wrinkle from his subject's portrait?

Marie Reed said...

Ahh.. very relaxing shot..It's lullabye-ish!

Mamapippa said...

Love the reflections in the water !
Have a nice day !

angela said...

As always interesting debate is to be found here..I'll be interested in seeing the unprocessed images.
I enjoy this photo and can grasp what you mean by making the photo. It still seems unattainable though to me..

Mo said...

A great result. Sometimes it seems to take ages to get a person or bike or whatever to pass through an image exactly where you want them to be. Always difficult in London as someone else will pop into the image at just the wrong second. I love your lessons. As I have said before turn it into a business that we pay for.

Anonymous said...

What Mo said consultancy may be the way forward as an off shoot business.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Interesting post, Babooshla. I can see both sides. Many of my photos are untouched...but not all. Sometimes my photos are well-taken, others need help later.

But let's face it, even Photoshop can't save a really bad photo.

I admire your photography skills ad wish I were more successful more often ;-)

Jilly said...

A beautiful photograph and fascinating commentary. I too have waited for 'the moment' for someone to walk in or out of a frame. I love the fun of that.

I wouldn't know how to use Photoshop. I try to make the image fill the frame but sometimes crop, especially when I discover something interesting. For instance, yesterday on Monte Carlo (and thankyou for your comment - I think I'll frame it and read it when I'm lacking confidence!) - well that was a longer shot, cropped to show the couple and then put into B & W. Truly thanks for the comment. Meant a lot.

Looking forward to your next images, following today's discussion.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Great shot Babooshka.
I most never alter my images, I know how to get what I want out of my camera, it's just easier for me not to alter it- but I am still an amateur!

Carver said...

That's a wonderful shot. Looks like a painting to me. I know what you mean about tinkering with photographs. I do crop my photographs but don't do a lot of tinkering most of the time. Sometimes I will work with saturation or contrast to make it more like what I saw although I don't do a lot of that.

RuneE said...

Reflections by water (if I understood you right) - I like that!

laxeylass said...

I could never do this. i can't use photoshop either. Let's just say I don't really use a camera unless it's my mobile phone. That is why I am into your work. You show the island as it, not those phony souped up colours and still have perfect photographs.

How about doing a back alleys series?

Peter said...

Interesting reflexions obout photography here! Arent't there many "schools"? I have no photographic pretentions personally, but I believe that to let people do as they like it is the most interesting way! That's part of the charm, looking around at different sites - to see so different photographic attitudes!

Yours is certainly one of them - and a good one!

Daryl said...

As always a superlative shot!

Abraham Lincoln said...

The sound of water bothers me more than the sight of water.

Laurie said...

I'm with you Babooshka. I appreciate the Photoshop images, but I also long for the reality of unaltered photography. As a freelance writer, at least half of my clients have been in advertising. Working in that industry of artifice for so long made me cringe at the Photoshop "perfection." All women have plastic skin. All grass is preternaturally green. All skies have cloned birds and clouds...

I never use Photoshop, but I crop almost every one of my pictures -- mostly because I learned to shoot with an old early 70s Yashika twin lens reflex (in the Rolleicord style) with those big square film negatives. I really began seeing the world in terms of a square frame, and I still lean that direction.

One of the reasons I fell in love with the City Daily Photo community is because so many photographers were presenting basically unaltered images -- or images with only enhancements that might have been done in the darkroom. (I regularly pushed the contrast in the darkroom with my old Tri-X film!) I had hesitated making the jump into digital photography because so much of what I saw was not what I thought of when I thought of photography. There is some amazing digital art, to be sure, but I missed the purity of shooting a roll of film and going into my darkroom to see what I got. (Or sending it to a lab -- if it was shot in color!)

Thanks for an interesting discussion. You know how much i love Bresson-like shots! This one is just aces.

Liz said...

Lovely!

Dragonstar said...

Reflections are magical, and you've certainly caught the magic here. I love it.

marley said...

Nice reflection in B&W, it looks very moody.

I like the idea of what you are going to do this week and I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Stephen. said...

Love it. 10 out of 10

Snapper said...

One camera, one lens, one week. Go for it! We'll be watching.

Mojo said...

Natural or managed, I don't find this at all odd. Striking, yes, but not odd.

Photography: What is it?
Nearly equal parts art and science. Which gets more weight -- the art or the science -- depends on the shooter I guess. But the science you can learn. The art? Not so much. The question is, does waiting for the walkers fall into the art or the science category? Or is it both? A better illustration of my point might be the shot I got of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse at sunrise. I was several miles away, and in the not-quite-full light you couldn't really make out the shape of the lighthouse on the horizon. But the beacon was easily spotted. After timing a few cycles, I figured out that there were 4 seconds that the light was visible, and 15 seconds interval between. And with the light being so far away I knew I'd need all of it I could get. So I set a 4 second exposure, timed the next cycle and triggered the shot to capture all four seconds of beacon. Art? Or science? Or both?

On the subject of Photoshop (and its brethren), in digital photography those tools serve in the same capacity the darkroom used to. Granted, they'll do far more in addition to darkroom tasks, but I don't see them as "adulterating" the art any more than, burning in a shadow on a wet print or using a filter on an enlarger. Print a black and white negative on color paper and what do you get?

Altering the final print image from the original capture -- whether silver or silicon -- has been a part of the process since we left the era of the glass plate. And I only make that concession because I've never shot glass plates or tintype or daguerrotype. It's entirely possible that the same modifications were in use even then.

We do the same things with Photoshop, we just make less mess and spend less money and time doing it. That said, there's a lot than can be done with software that can -- if not used judiciously -- make us lazy as photographers. But in truth, if you don't have a good image to begin with, Photoshop won't save it -- at least not any more than conventional darkroom techniques would. A different crop, conversion to monochrome... I've rescued things that way that were unexciting. But just a flat out bad photograph? You can stylize it and make some kind of digital art from it, but then it ceases to be a photo and becomes... something else.

I think we're in agreement for the most part. Or perhaps not. It's much the same as moving from film to digital, which was much the same as moving to film from glass. The art is still the same, only the science has changed.

Susie of Arabia said...

I love this photo, Babooshka. You are so talented!

Babooshka said...

Thanks all for chipping in. I believe in democracy so if the fors and agiainst stay. Laurie we are like minds. V, under sells herself. Mojo- Interesting thoughts, and you are spot on about a bad photo can be made into anew art form.

I'll do a follow up post and let you know why I asked this. Many thanks all.

starnitesky said...

I love reflections I will look forward to seeing the rest this week, I like the idea of one camera -one lens.

Joe Narvaez said...

Wonderful reflections! Very good framing too!

Brad, Boston said...

LB,

To die for photograph. You got to exhibit.

Chuck Pefley said...

Timing and point of view are everything, and being aware of what's happing both inside and outside the frame makes the difference between success or not. We, as photographers, are responsible for every square millimeter within that frame. Because we are responsible, we alone must choose when, where, what and how to make our images. Well done today. Dusty is right, btw; Photoshop is simply a tool, and nothing more or less, which like our hands in darkroom days gives us the ability to shape our creations into their final and publishable form.

Claude said...

C'est magnifique. Bresson bravo.

Gresham Photo Blog said...

This is a really beautiful shot!

Manz said...

Amazing relection photograph!!

And an terrific "refection" on the world of photography and the medium!!

Ever consider rotating this 180 degrees? Or would that be going against the "original state" of the image?

I have a reflection image that I've always loved - it is exactly as the view finder captured it. I'd love your thoughts... I posted it some time ago - it's at: http://gritfx.blogspot.com/2008/10/darkroom-intrigue.html

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