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Call me old fashioned! But...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by randyspan, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. randyspan

    randyspan Mu-43 Veteran

    May 24, 2014
    New Hampshire, USA
    Randy Spann
    Call me old-fashioned but I like level horizons. Black blacks. Highlights with just a touch of retained detail. Guess I'm complaining...I see so many pictures on this, our site with washed out blacks, blown out highlights, and canted horizons. To me it's photography 101. I could go on, but I won't!

    (forgive my rant and complaining)
    • Like Like x 1
  2. jamesgehrt

    jamesgehrt Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2014
    Easthampton, Massachusetts
    James Gehrt
    For myself, I would agree with you. My work is traditional. However, those rules can be broken, if you are aware you are breaking them, for your own photographic style. I think the unintentional tipped horizon, especial with a body of water, can look really bad. Also, if I know that the shot could have had more detail in the highlights and shadows, I find myself thinking about how much better the image could be.

    That being said there are many photographers that have developed a dynamic rough style. Contrasty, grainy, edgy portrait work can be engaging and add a lot to an image.

    I think it is important for beginners to learn the basics, then go out and experiment. Find out why tonality and frame are important. Why do you want the the camera tipped? How does it benefit the images message? Why do you want the tones high or low? What effect does it have on the viewer? It comes down to intent, in my book. Is it someone experimenting with the limits, or is it just a mistake. Sometimes mistakes can be cool, but I hope that I learn something from them so I can repeat it in the future.

    My two cents
    • Like Like x 1
  3. randyspan

    randyspan Mu-43 Veteran

    May 24, 2014
    New Hampshire, USA
    Randy Spann
    James, I agree. Divergence from the norm of good practice should be an artistic decision, not a mistake.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    'Divergence' is my middle name. :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Hi Randy,

    I have absolutely no training and I really appreciate it when constructive criticism is directed at my postings, however basic that may be. I'm sure that most of my variances from the norm are errors and often they are because I know no better.

    Your help and guidance is very welcome.
    • Like Like x 4
  6. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'm personally a huge fan of the blue filter effects, especially a warm beach scene. /sarcasm.
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Artistic deviation done on purpose is OK (even if it doesn't work), but I'm guessing OP is referring to incompetence. Personally, I'm hopeless with straight horizons, even with the electronic level so nearly always have to correct in LR.
  8. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    It's a forum open to all people of varying skills so of course you get the good with the bad. Comes with the territory.
    • Like Like x 5
  9. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    we all start from somewhere. And we try things out. imo i like crushed blacks and those instagram sortofthings. but maybe i feel different after two years. u cant tell a kid to skip the learning curve. i like to try and move on.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Many people seem to like extreme tilting in photography of people etc and I guess that's just a taste thing, but tilted horizons in landscapes, cityscape, architectural photography etc is generally considered bad form. As for blacks and highlights, that too can be situation dependent and a matter of taste; high-key, low-key photography has been going on forever (even with colour photography).
  11. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Guys, I'm just happy if The Princess of the Exchequer can recognize our grandkids in the shot...and horizon tilt is apparently inversely proportional to the amount of whiskey left in the bottle.

    (The more tilt I see, the less whiskey there seems to be...)


    • Like Like x 6
  12. randyspan

    randyspan Mu-43 Veteran

    May 24, 2014
    New Hampshire, USA
    Randy Spann
    I like the discussion all!

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Mu-43 mobile app
  13. So i guess as an old timer in the craft of photography - I'll pipe in on this one. Firstly, I have no problem understanding that everyone has different tastes. It's a good thing. Photography can be whatever we want it to be. It is our expression or outlet, Just like sculpting, painting or playing a musical instrument are to some.

    That "traditional values" don't include crooked horizons, crushed backs and no detail in highlights however - - - must be based on a very narrow definition. I realize that at any specific time period, there are styles and trends that are popular and that some "professional organizations" claim as pure or traditional. But those opinions are never defacto.

    I know that when I started out in the wedding and portrait trade in 1979, I chose my own path based on quirky candid photography methods that I based on photos from obscure photographers and images in books of masters I saw at the library. For the most part, I chose to not follow the path of the composition and aesthetic standards set by the organized groups. I used small amateur cameras at times - where medium format and large format was mandated. I figured if 35mm and polaroid and even point and shoot was good enough for old masters of photography - it was good enough for me.

    So it is within the right of any person to determine what "tradition" is. But for me, I also include some of these fellows in the tradition of photography. Do they follow the standards of straight horizons, detail in blacks and whites?:

    Henri Cartier Bresson - http://cloud.lomography.com/576/368/a2/aa3cc751695db6449f18472d08ca7d34ddfd87.jpg

    Garry Winogrand - http://img.scoop.it/BYvgDVZN1kWoJdXTYubP1Dl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9

    elliott-erwitt - http://assets.coolhunting.com/coolh...-erwitt-edition-shore-thumb-620x418-70199.jpg

    Don Mccullin - http://filmcamera999.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/003_don-mc-cullin_theredlist.jpg

    Bill Brandt - http://www.billjayonphotography.com/BillJayWebSized/BillBrandt.jpg
    - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QhfLS1Md1Tg/T2nSouk2uxI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/q3oOBOgjeT8/s1600/IMG_6762-2.jpg
    - http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/041/2/f/bill_brandt_by_kaigalph-d397sqm.jpg

    So I'm not saying that the original posters opinion is wrong - - - just that it is simply his preference and his view of traditional photography. And he certainly isn't old fashioned based on the photographers images that I have linked to. :thumbup:

    I'm not trying to be confrontational - just educational. :smile:
    • Like Like x 5
  14. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I can appreciate the faded look, which will make the blacks look washed out, and I can be forgiving about the highlights. Current digital still doesn't have the smooth transitions into highs that we used to see with film. But I do like a level horizon!
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I can be picky about horizons, but I won't trash a quick snap if the subject is OK. DR, OTOH, is a tough nut for some sensors.
  16. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I don't get some people. They complain about low dynamic range, but then when they get their hands on a camera with wider dynamic range, they seem to be happy with very flat images. The whole point of that extra DR is to give you more choice where to put your black and your whites - not to have grey soot and white-wash. I love rich blacks in my images and whites with a nice rounded compression to them.

    Sometimes, images are so washed out they look like Talbottypes...
    • Like Like x 1
  17. MarkoPolo

    MarkoPolo Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 25, 2014
    Greeley, CO
    Mark Brown
    This brings up a corollary point. I notice most photo topics are only answered with a "Thanks" and are almost never replied as to a specific photo. I know the forum topic might be a certain lens or dragonflies or whatever, but is it against forum etiquette to respond with constructive criticism? Seems to be less interaction about any given photo on this forum than others I frequent. I see photos that I feel I might have something constructive to add, but have not responded as I'm not sure what this forum expects.
  18. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I'm generally hesitant because I'm not where the photographer was. If I recommend something, it might not be possible, or practical. I tend to use the photo sharing threads as a way to see what sort of colour, contrast, and framing the photos have. I've been taking photos for a long time and I still keep seeing new things in the posts I follow.
  19. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    When I see something that I like, I respond personally and give reasons why I like the photo/s or whatever it's about. I'm just used to giving more than a thumbs up.
  20. randyspan

    randyspan Mu-43 Veteran

    May 24, 2014
    New Hampshire, USA
    Randy Spann
    I'm thinking 'to thine own self be true'... I look at some of our photos and think: is that really what the author wants to present? And thank goodness for postprocessing, OOC jpegs done well take a lot of skill.
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