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Thread: Photo Assignment: Weekend 12/15/07

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  1. #1
    SNC1923
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    Photo Assignment: Weekend 12/15/07

    This week's photo assignment comes to your from our friend Bradford Benn and the fine folks at the BMW MOA Foundation.

    The holidays are upon us and as usual, they are full of surprises. In an attempt to retain some semblance of sanity, we humbly offer these simple rules - with some twists:

    * Photos must be shot this year: between December 14th and January 1st, 2008.
    * Think about if you would like to receive a Holiday Card with this image as the cover, don't be surprised if someone from the BMW MOA Foundation asks if the images can be used for a Fundraising Card. Yup, Brad is looking ahead to the card for 2008. If you haven't ordered cards yet for 2007, check these out.
    * You must provide the EXIF information if asked (we'll help you, if you'd like to know how to get it).
    * No photoshop alteration (we're looking to improve your skills with your camera, not software).
    * Your photograph must adhere to the theme, which will be described below.
    * Post only one photo per post, so that commentary can be easily provided for that photo. You may post more than one photo, but try to keep it to a handful.
    * Title your photo so it can be referred to later.
    * Post your photos in this thread only. Do not start a thread in reply to this assignment. Please post your photos no later than next Wednesday.
    * And, the most important rule: have fun! We're looking to spread the joy that many of us derive from taking pictures, particularly ones that tell a story of some kind.


    This week's theme: "Holiday Warmth and Motorcycling"


    This week you are invited to take a picture of that sums up the Holiday Season and motorcycling. Could this be a motorcycle parked in front of snow? Santa on a motorcycle? Eight motorcycles pulling a sleigh? A motorcycle menoraha? What does the Holiday Season and Motorcycles mean to you? Show us in a picture.

    Once again, we encourage you to think about composition and see your viewfinder as a finished print. What will you include within--and exclude from--it's borders and why?

    Now get out there and show us Holiday Warmth and Motorcycling.

  2. #2
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Links to the Photo Assignment threads:

    12/15/2007
    Holiday Warmth and Motorcycling

    12/01/2007: Element

    11/24/2007: Gratitude – Thanksgiving Special

    11/17/2007: Triangle

    11/10/2007: Harmony

    11/03/2007: Pure & Simple

    10/27/2007: Open Wide

    10/19/2007: Shadow of a Doubt

    10/13/2007: Group Dynamic

    10/06/2007: Blue

    09/29/2007: Evolution

    09/22/2007: Balance

    09/15/2007: Where I Want to Be

    09/08/2007: A Long Way to Go
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  3. #3
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    I have not seen it yet but there is an advert out there with eight Harley's pulling a Santa sled.
    Last edited by PAULBACH; 12-14-2007 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    How Many HDs Does It Take To...

    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    I have not seen it yet but there is an advert out there with eight Harley's pulling a Santa sled.
    here yer go, fer yer viewing 'pleasure'..... (although this should really be a tread of its own) - Bob

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_pHl-2PMOI
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  5. #5
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Good Advert. Lesson in life there - always throw a dog a bone especially a Doberman Pinscher.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled thread:

    Holiday Warmth and Motorcycling

  6. #6
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Question about the intent of the no photoshop rule...

    Since learning photoshop, and other tools, there are two things I'm doing to a lot of pictures...cropping and fixing the horizon (rotating the picture to straighten the horizon). Would submissions with this type of fix be unwelcome?

    Hmmm, who wants to start a altered pictures thread?
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  7. #7
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Speaking as one of the lurkers in the group, I enjoy the raw picture theme interpretations for several reasons. First and foremost are the various understandings of the theme that come through the pictures and the attempt to capture that interpretation. Secondly, the basic picture allows me to have a sense of what the photographer was going after and how I might approach the same subject; rather than being presented with a fine tuned picture. Finally, when I view a fine tuned photoshoped picture I think ÔÇÿI wish I could do that some dayÔÇÖ and go on to the next picture, viewing these pictures I find myself thinking ÔÇÿI could do thatÔÇÖ and wishing I had not left my camera at my daughters house for her to use.

    I would like to see a photoshop thread to learn from, but leave the rules of this one as is. Just the view of a humble lurker.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  8. #8
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1ka View Post
    Speaking as one of the lurkers in the group, I enjoy the raw picture theme interpretations for several reasons. First and foremost are the various understandings of the theme that come through the pictures and the attempt to capture that interpretation. Secondly, the basic picture allows me to have a sense of what the photographer was going after and how I might approach the same subject; rather than being presented with a fine tuned picture. Finally, when I view a fine tuned photoshoped picture I think ÔÇÿI wish I could do that some dayÔÇÖ and go on to the next picture, viewing these pictures I find myself thinking ÔÇÿI could do thatÔÇÖ and wishing I had not left my camera at my daughters house for her to use.

    I would like to see a photoshop thread to learn from, but leave the rules of this one as is. Just the view of a humble lurker.
    I don't know jack about PS, so I'd like to see something along those lines, too. Tips and tricks?
    Dave Swider
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  9. #9
    Hogaan! testinglogin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post
    This week you are invited to take a picture of that sums up the Holiday Season and motorcycling. Could this be a motorcycle parked in front of snow?
    How perfectly timed. While I got a nice ride in today, the weather is supposed to turn more "Christmas festive" around here:

    Saturday: Periods of snow, mainly after noon. High near 29. East wind between 11 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Saturday Night: Periods of snow. Low around 25. Blustery, with a northeast wind between 15 and 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.


    After I run the snowblower on Sunday I should have a good chance of getting that "bike in the snow" shot.

  10. #10
    @ the Big Muddy & I-80 bluestune's Avatar
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    Ansel Adams said, ÔÇ£The negative is the score, the print the performance.ÔÇØ

    My favorite photography instructor would grade us not only on our prints but also the processed film and contact sheets of our B&W or color negatives. The rational was to learn how to make consistently good exposures and compositions, creating a more efficient and productive darkroom and hopefully better photographers. Other reasons for examining our contact sheets were to see just how efficiently we used our film, meaning, shooting to fill the frame so we would need as little cropping as possible and to see how many exposures we used to get ÔÇ£theÔÇØ shot.

    What IÔÇÖm saying is SNC 1923 has set up a great template for learning the most basic, often difficult, but essential step in creating a photographic image, that is to look at and constructively critique photos before any manipulations occur. Ansel Adams was a master of negative processing and print manipulation, but it all started with ÔÇ£the score.ÔÇØ

    Its really difficult to not crop or tweak a photo before posting, but it is a terrific learning experience. Perhaps we could consider leaving the original guidelines in place, that is, post only one photo with no alteration (other than sizing for the forum.) And then those that want to could take there one image and re-submit a processed, altered, posterized, dodged, burned, cropped, split toned or just tweaked image for a second critique. Discussion of image alterations and techniques could follow the second submission. The second submissions could be on the same thread the following week or on a different thread. Just my two cents worth.
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  11. #11
    grossjohann
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestune View Post
    Ansel Adams said, “The negative is the score, the print the performance.”

    My favorite photography instructor would grade us not only on our prints but also the processed film and contact sheets of our B&W or color negatives. The rational was to learn how to make consistently good exposures and compositions, creating a more efficient and productive darkroom and hopefully better photographers. Other reasons for examining our contact sheets were to see just how efficiently we used our film, meaning, shooting to fill the frame so we would need as little cropping as possible and to see how many exposures we used to get “the” shot.

    What I’m saying is SNC 1923 has set up a great template for learning the most basic, often difficult, but essential step in creating a photographic image, that is to look at and constructively critique photos before any manipulations occur. Ansel Adams was a master of negative processing and print manipulation, but it all started with “the score.”

    It’s really difficult to not crop or “tweak” a photo before posting, but it is a terrific learning experience. Perhaps we could consider leaving the original guidelines in place, that is, post only one photo with no alteration (other than sizing for the forum.) And then those that want to could take there one image and re-submit a processed, altered, posterized, dodged, burned, cropped, split toned or just tweaked image for a second critique. Discussion of image alterations and techniques could follow the second submission. The second submissions could be on the same thread the following week or on a different thread. Just my two cents worth….
    +1

    Alright, Guys.

    We all must acknowledge the difference in the photographic technology available today vs. in the past.

    The printing process of the past required a great amount of skill, and those most skilled could correct for errors on the negative, or could adjust the photograph slightly to suit their inspiration. Yes, some have done amazing effects with film photography, but like “heavy photoshopping” this is a subject for a different thread.

    My point is that in the past, the exposure was difficult to achieve as was the actual print. Both of these skills needed development before one could be a good photographer.

    With exception of very specific professional digital cameras and professional lenses, today’s digital cameras eliminate the need for post processing because they can store the image in the same medium in which they will be displayed. Most of the digital pictures which are taken never make it to paper; rather they are displayed on countless screens. Once a .JPG, the files never “need” to be adjusted. Few of us can study a negative and see subtle shadows and/or vibrant colors, so the traditional photograph must be printed to be appreciated (or not so).

    Add to this digital technology which makes photography virtually automatic. The standard P&S cameras available to the general public today with auto focus, auto exposure, facial recognition (up to nine faces at once…and then finds the best focus!), vibration reduction, auto ISO, flash intensity, and a host of presets for “sports”, “portraits”, “landscape”, etc… which have been tuned so that we barely need to understand how the combination of shutter, aperture, flash, etc. should be used together for the desired effect makes great digital photography easy for virtually anyone.

    My 10 year old daughter can take crystal clear snap-shots which are nearly always just what she wanted, or more because the camera “saw” subtle details in the image that she didn’t.


    I think the question is:

    Is this a PhotoShop class, or is it a Photography class? This is up to Tom to decide as it was he who set the rules, “No photoshop alteration (we're looking to improve your skills with your camera, not software).”

    The challenge is to learn to better use the photographic instrument, and then to keep your wits about you in the heat of the moment. This is an essential piece to the photography puzzle; not to mention an important life lesson (particularly for those who voluntarily put themselves at risk for the sake of personal enjoyment).

    Further, may of us have been impressed with Tom’s ability to see the process behind the image. This is possible because of his careful eye, and of his experience in this field of photography. Adding digital alteration to the submitted image may muddy the waters to the point where the teacher can not aid in the development of the student.

    This has been a great discussion, I have to admit that few of my shots have ever made it to print or frame without some “post processing” in PhotoShop or the like. This is hardly scandalous as most of you have already pointed out the long-standing tradition of adjustment after the fact, but in the case of this exercise…

    …I choose not to alter the images which I submit for Tom’s careful review.

  12. #12
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Interesting the debate starts this week

    What is interesting to me is that the rules are the same as last Photo Assignment, and the one before, and ... etc.

    I am not against considering a photoshopped, digitally altered image for the Foundation Holiday Card, but the purpose of this thread and assignment is to better our skills as camera operators, not computer operators.

    If you have something you would like to submit for the Holiday card that is computer composited, yes, it would still be welcomed with open arms and be considered for the card project.

    -=Brad
    VP of the BMW MOA Foundation
    Beginning Camera Operator.
    -=Brad

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  13. #13
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I vote for straight out of the camera, no Photoshop.

    Images that might have been less than successful might be useful for a parallel PS thread, if we had someone on here that could explain basic PS operation and think of an assignment each week. Where each week the photography thread works on a composition theme, the PS thread could work on a specific task in PS. Participants could produce before and after images to show how they've applied the current week's skill to an image.

    This would require significant time investment for the thread leader, as they'd have to essentially prepare a lesson each week. This might be better to do on a biweekly or monthly basis, I think. The result, at the end of a year, would be a rich online reference of how to use PS.
    Dave Swider
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  14. #14
    R12ST bricciphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    I vote for straight out of the camera, no Photoshop.
    There have been some excellent points made about traditional film technique versus digital-age photography, and photography in general. I too believe the absolute best approach to this, keeping the nature of these threads educational, is to use an image that is as unaltered as possible. The one exception I see is cropping (see bluestune's posts above). If someone doesn't crop a poorly framed image, or doesn't see the finer image within the larger frame, then they are demonstrating a compositional weakness*. Composition (IMO) is one of the most critical artisitic skills a photographer can develop.

    Despite this being the digital age, the print is still the standard by which photography is judged--because we can't share prints we're using this electronic medium to display our work. A submission should be posted as it would be displayed in a conventional sense.

    I don't mean to get on a soapbox, but it doesn't make sense to me for Tom to point out a photo could be cropped differently if the shooter doesn't have that capability. Conversely, if they submit a shot that is cropped, and Tom (or anyone else) suggests better or different cropping, then the photographer is still learning from the experience.

    *Recognizing the photographer should have strived to compose in a manner that would minimize the need for cropping.

    Lastly, I think every comment made on this topic has merit. I see both sides of this debate. A few of the finer points have become a conundrum. (I know I am being annoying because I don't participate that much. I'll shut up now. Sorry. )
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  15. #15
    SNC1923
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    Just checking in.

    I'm not posting a new assignment this week as I don't want to distract from the potential of this one which runs until January 1st. I've seen some really creative efforts to satisfy a pretty specific assignment.

    Those of you working on improving an image, do let us see what you're up to. Those of you that haven't tried yet (present company included), let's see what you've got!

    Thanks everyone. As you were.

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