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Trail of Dumpsters - Oly 25

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mh2000, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Since you asked for input...honestly, I don't see anything interesting/visually appealing in there. Dumpsters by nature aren't the most amazing things to photograph, but I see no interesting angles, no playing with whatever light is available, etc...they just look like random snapshots of uninteresting spots.

    Don't mean to sound harsh, but I think you should experiment going back at a different time of the day, subject/background isolation, juxtaposition of things that don't belong together (a pink doll at the foot of a rusty dumpster or something), unique angles, etc.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    I like the text more than the photos ...
  4. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Totally agreed - my first thought was "that's boring".

    Go out and try again with a few new ideas as mentioned above.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Well, thanks for the criticism! Really, I think these are more landscape shots... and plenty of traditional landscapes bore me to tears... so there is some personal preference things going I guess... but responding to the specific criticisms (recognizing that I won't change your mind, but appreciating the dialog)...

    Regarding near/far elements and juxtaposition of image elements, in this shot, the tenuous stream of water (which is out of place in the desert), with tire tracks going over it provide a contrast to the entrant dumpster as does the building in the background mirroring the dumpster (or does the dumpster mirror the building). There is a tension in this shot without being as cliche as using a pink baby doll.


    As someone who shoots photos, there is no way you can look at this image and say that it is just a "random snapshot." It just doesn't happen like that. I you look close you will notice that there is quite a bit of determination and control of the composition, the space and the planes in space. You may not respond to it, but please don't tell me that a monkey could have taken the shot!


    In context with the whole set, the house shot, mirroring a dwelling with the dumpsters out back provides another balance.


    Also, I treated the shoot as a mini project and it was meant to work with the words I later wrote. Thanks dogs100 for liking the words!

    Best all for looking and commenting!
  6. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    I especially liked the tented space!
  7. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Thanks Chrome! :)

    PS, I like the signature quote you use!
  8. synthetictone

    synthetictone Mu-43 Regular

    May 22, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Even with the explanations... the appeal just isn't there for me. One can create the most technically correct image but it the content doesn't appeal to the viewers, the technical details are easy to overlook which I think is happening here.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Very funny.
    you are taking the Mick, surely!

    And ... I think that's a "container" ...
  10. peterbee

    peterbee Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2011
    Huddersfield, UK
    Peter Bartlett
    I don't often feel the need to comment on threads on this forum even though I read many.

    I must disagree with the comments made to date. This collection of images is an excellent example of contemporary photography - the images need to be viewed as a set rather than as individual pictures. It's true they are not pretty pictures, but there is a lot to see in them and for me the set tells a story about man's impact on the landscape. They don't need words to explain them and others may interpret them in another way - that is the strength of the set, in my view.

    I enjoyed them very much and am grateful to you for sharing them with us.
  11. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    We sometimes see what we want to see. Sometimes we cannot see what is right in front of our eyes. Sometimes we get a glimpse at the world through the eyes of someone else. In those rare instances when an artist opens our eyes to see things differently our minds are stirred. I take photos of Sporks ... WTF is that about?

    Dumpster on my friend!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Peter, I really appreciate the time and thought you put into this comment. Obviously, having someone say something like, "[these] just look like random snapshots of uninteresting spots," is a little disheartening when I put so much of myself in my work. Your comments really made posting these seem worthwhile. I'm glad that you can see what I'm doing and appreciate it for what it is.

    Thanks and best wishes!
  13. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    OK, I want to make an honest opinion in the way that I really want people to state honest opinions of my own shots, because, really, it's the best way to improve.

    To me, these do look like random snaps that any random person may have taken with an iProduct. There is nothing interesting or appealing - they seem to be taken at standing height, no interesting angles, no interesting perspective, and no post processing that really makes the image gritty, or gives it some sort of affect that makes me go

    "hey, what's going on here, that's kinda cool".

    Honestly, I see nothing.

    This is me, and my personal view, maybe there is something here I don't get, and if so, so be it. In the same way we don't all like all styles of music, maybe this is just a style of photography that doesn't do it for me.

    Regardless, I think that with even just the change of the level at which the photos were taken (much lower down or much higher up) could have added interest and a new perspective on every day objects.

    On a side note - if anyone every critics my photos like this, I'd REALLY appreciate it!

    I also commend the op for taking all criticisms well, and also trying to explain the work.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I think your synopsis sums it up fairly well. Honestly, without being given any hints, I wouldn't have had any idea what the theme of the series was supposed to represent and I don't think the storyline was really supported by the shots or vice versa.

    OK, what were the issues that I saw?

    - First off, you started by emphasising 'dumpsters, neglect, loneliness and forgetting', somewhat separate things and then said it's possibly a '..nice place to go and be alone.' Mixed message?

    - Then you showed varied shots that didn't necessarily reflect or tie in, in a logical sequence, any of the emotions or story that you were trying to convey.

    - The final theme seemed to be about personal baggage and anger, yet that didn't appear to be what was conveyed at the beginning.

    - The story is fine, but the images don't really support the emotions or storyline conveyed in the narrative, or help to build on the narrative.

    - The images need to support the narrative. Was there actual stuff that you could photograph, close-ups that reflected some emotions in the narrative? Were there other things that you could photograph, such as taking some shots through the restaurant window/door, to emphasise your initial relationship with the back yard etc? Maybe some shots of your son's performance to highlight the contrast between your observations of life.
  15. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    The photos are certainly not meant to be illustrations for the essay. They are related, in a way that the the photos are related to one another. Looking away from where we have to dump our *stuff* is meaningful to many people. Emotionally, all the elements are related for me. The photos were really meant to provide the viewer somewhere to put their own emotions... didn't specifically want to control what emotions they would be.

    I considered ending with a photo from the performance, but in the end, wanted to just stick with the landscapes.

    Thanks for the comments... if nothing else, they definitely make me think more about my work!
  16. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Thanks for the comments Zee! No, not going to flip over negative comments, just makes me think harder and reassess my work (a good thing for everyone to do!). I agree that there is also a lot of personal taste involved. I got a fair amount of personal support for the series as well from other sources... not that those people's opinions are anymore valuable than yours.

    Back when I studied photography, my most influential teacher told me (after a particularly harsh critique of my work) that my work was never going to popular with the majority of viewers, but that he thought that what I was doing with my photography was meaningful and that he hoped I would continue with it. He also said that I would also find people who really appreciated my work... this is fairly true... I get lots of people who say they don't see anything in my work and others who really love it and are very supportive. I'm fine with that...

  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The thing is, people expect the photos to relate directly to the narrative and to clearly support the narrative. You've written a photo-essay, an essay that is supported by, or dependent on, the photos (not accompanied by them); both are inextricably linked if you want to do photo-essays properly. Both the narrative and the photos need to have a beginning, body and end, just like a purely text essay and they need to flow from the beginning to the end.

    When you post: 'Let me know what you think of this new set from my Oly 25!' and people are clearly confused by what you are presenting, then you need to reflect on the fact that the message is not quite clear. People aren't criticising your narrative or the photos, but simply the context of narrative and photos within the photo-essay.

    I would look at each paragraph, or idea/concept represented in each paragraph, and think about what sort of photo would visually represent that idea/concept, and see if you can find a photo or modify a photo to reflect this. Personally, I'd also put the photos with the paragraphs, so that they provide a pause for the reader to contemplate what you've said with a visual representation, before they move on to the next paragraph. This adds another dimension to your words and reinforces the ideas you're trying to convey.
  18. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    OzRay, I think it can also be stated that people want easy... and I'm just not giving that to them. I don't intend on it either.

    As I said above, the photos are not intended to illustrate any idea directly... I guess mentally, I view the combination of words and photographs as you would typically see at a museum or gallery... the work is the photos and they can be viewed on their own... like at a museum when you have placards with lots of words posted here or there and people can choose to read them or not. Granted, publishing on the web makes it different and whether or not my layout works for you is open to debate. I am not a webmaster by any means and am just putting stuff up that looks basic and nice to me... following the KISS principal.

    Thanks for looking at my work. Maybe you can see how this piece works within the greater body of my work. For me, the importance is the interconnectedness of all my work.

    In 2011, this article was written about my work for the Miami Art Exchange:


    Unfortunately, the photos were stripped from the article after their server crashed, but I think this might serve to give people another take on what I'm doing. (Maybe I'll reconstruct the original article with photos and put it up on my own website.)
  19. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Actually, I posted, "Trail of Dumpsters - Oly 25." The set is Trail of Dumpsters and I note that it was taken with the Oly 25. I like seeing what other people are doing with equipment that I also own -- kind of spotlights that photography is a lot more than just your choice in equipment. Then I asked, "What do you think?" I don't see why anyone would be confused. People aren't having trouble telling me what they think, are they? :)
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    At the end of the day, it's entirely your call, I was simply trying to be constructive from hopefully an objective point of view. Unfortunately, it's impossible to have a conversational chat with someone on a forum, especially when you're trying to convey potentially complex concepts; therefore, it means you have to be clear and concise, and write in a purposeful manner. That can sometimes come across as being cold and heartless, but better that than just ignoring when you might be able to help, or just giving a like because you want to feel good.
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