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Thread: Photo Assignment: Weekend 12/15/07

  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?
    Gail Hatch
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  7. #7
    SNC1923
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRidesABeemer View Post
    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?
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and hope that Brad corrects me if I'm wrong.

    On this thread, we should go with no photoshop because if an image is selected to be used for a holiday card, the designer may want to do a little work on the image her- or himself, without having to undo our best intentions. I'm also going to guess they should be shot in RAW or--if that is not an option--in the very least compression possible.

    As far as our weekly photo assignments go, I've been wondering if we should distinguish between "light photoshopping" as Gail refers to, that is fixing little problems, and "major photoshopping" where a work of art is created from the basis of a photograph. I agree that we don't want to get into the latter, but maybe the former would be OK.

    Anyone else care to chime in on this?

  8. #8
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and hope that Brad corrects me if I'm wrong.

    On this thread, we should go with no photoshop because if an image is selected to be used for a holiday card, the designer may want to do a little work on the image her- or himself, without having to undo our best intentions. I'm also going to guess they should be shot in RAW or--if that is not an option--in the very least compression possible.

    As far as our weekly photo assignments go, I've been wondering if we should distinguish between "light photoshopping" as Gail refers to, that is fixing little problems, and "major photoshopping" where a work of art is created from the basis of a photograph. I agree that we don't want to get into the latter, but maybe the former would be OK.

    Anyone else care to chime in on this?
    well certainly cropping would be aceptable to me and I imagine that's already done some, I know I have, and obviously resizing, but other than that it could easily get a bit gray, how do you define "little"? A shot that's not level should best be reshot, with digital there is really no reason you can't tell its off right away. If it's a "lttle" off kilter such that you may not notice in the viewer on the camera, as I know they can be hard to see in bright daylight and being so small a slight tilt may not be noticeable. But if the point of the asingments is to learn to compose and shoot while looking through the camera, then leave it stand as it is and you may learn more and be more inclined to take greater care while acually shooting. then over time you have fewer and fewer that suffer thusly.

    the differance to me is that sometimes there is no way to avoid unwanted bits in the edge of a photograph, where as I can't think of any set of circumstances that would prevent ensuring a level image. But again mostly I think trying to pin down "little" photoshopping could be combersome. Here again a photography forum would provide a place where that same photo could be posted WITH photoshopping and input/help/suggestions requested. (like the way I worked that in? ha Ha)

    RM

  9. #9
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I think if we want to learn, we need to be encouraged to be more careful about what we shoot.

    I shot a great picture of my /2 one time, but the horizon was tilted. I have since learned to ensure the horizon is square. I shot pictures a couple weekends ago that were ever so slightly out of focus. I've gone back to learn how to focus more effectively. I shot a picture of the bridge and there was junk in the corner of the image. I've gone back to clean my camera. These screwups could have likely been fixed with photoshop in some fashion, but I think it defeats the purpose of this exercise, which is better composition and camera control skills.

    If we rely on Photoshop as a crutch, I think it takes away from developing (so to speak) our skills.

    That said, I will admit to running my photo of the bridge through Smugmug's color correction. I'm not proud of that. I learned, in that exercise, that a polarizing filter will be a good thing to own if I'm going to shoot through fog again.

    I see these exercises as much like riding schools. You focus on a particular skill, trying to get it right. Along the way, I've learned other, very unintended lessons.

    Dave Swider
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  10. #10
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    I think if we want to learn, we need to be encouraged to be more careful about what we shoot.

    I shot a great picture of my /2 one time, but the horizon was tilted. I have since learned to ensure the horizon is square. I shot pictures a couple weekends ago that were ever so slightly out of focus. I've gone back to learn how to focus more effectively. I shot a picture of the bridge and there was junk in the corner of the image. I've gone back to clean my camera. These screwups could have likely been fixed with photoshop in some fashion, but I think it defeats the purpose of this exercise, which is better composition and camera control skills.

    If we rely on Photoshop as a crutch, I think it takes away from developing (so to speak) our skills.

    That said, I will admit to running my photo of the bridge through Smugmug's color correction. I'm not proud of that. I learned, in that exercise, that a polarizing filter will be a good thing to own if I'm going to shoot through fog again.

    I see these exercises as much like riding schools. You focus on a particular skill, trying to get it right. Along the way, I've learned other, very unintended lessons.



    and we should keep in mind too that any number of the great photographers have done some amazing work with the simplest of cameras. I was watching a series just recently on photography and some really talanted artists and noted how many were using simple rangefinders and box cameras, truly it is in the eye not machine where the best photos lay (lie, lye?) hidden.

    RM

  11. #11
    Living in exile Threeteas's Avatar
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    Photoshop here...No.

    If you need to crop, you aren't learning to frame your picture.
    Once you get into degrees, then it gets awkward. Keep it simple. Keep it focused (pun well and truly intended).
    There's enough farkling buttons on most digital cameras to play with as it is.

    This isn't a ludite stance (photoshop sits very happily on my mac), but the purity of these assignments comes from their simplicity of concept.
    And finally, do you want to increase the work load of SNC?
    It's enough that he critiques our images, without adding the need to analyse our software skills too.

  12. #12
    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

  13. #13
    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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  14. #14
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    A Nova Scotia Example is ...

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post


    and we should keep in mind too that any number of the great photographers have done some amazing work with the simplest of cameras. I was watching a series just recently on photography and some really talanted artists and noted how many were using simple rangefinders and box cameras, truly it is in the eye not machine where the best photos lay (lie, lye?) hidden.

    RM
    ...Wallace R. MacAskill. His work is a local treasure and a significant part of our history now. (note Sherman Hines also in his own right. The following link showcases MacAskill's work though on Hines' site)

    http://www.shermanhinesphotographymu...lect_mac_.html

    I really can't say whether he modified his photos later by cropping etc but he sure did a lot with that box camera. Having digital clearly puts us at an advantage I suppose but it also may take a bit out of the 'edge' which a do-it-right-the-first-time approach provides. $.02 -Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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  15. #15
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourunigo View Post
    ...Wallace R. MacAskill. His work is a local treasure and a significant part of our history now. (note Sherman Hines also in his own right. The following link showcases MacAskill's work though on Hines' site)

    http://www.shermanhinesphotographymu...lect_mac_.html

    I really can't say whether he modified his photos later by cropping etc but he sure did a lot with that box camera. Having digital clearly puts us at an advantage I suppose but it also may take a bit out of the 'edge' which a do-it-right-the-first-time approach provides. $.02 -Bob
    which is why I'm cleaning out my old Nikon F and gonna load it with B&W film, still not quite happy with the B&W stuff I've done in digital.

    I remember the smell of a darkroom, fumbling with the film trying desperately not to touch the surface while you load it into the developing can in pitch darkness, fearing every second that someone will open the door ( we never got around to putting a lock on it) during those oh! so critical moments when light is now your enemy when just a few hours ago it was your friend that fed the film you now hold so dearly….

    As you feed it to the spool and crank it then feel the film catch and slowly wind its way onto the spool and finally you slip it into the canister and seal it with a sigh of relief ......

    Then comes the process of making the exposures after the film had dried ....

    dodging the image that is as yet merely a play of shadow and light on paper in a red lit room, correcting for bright spots or glare from a street light from a night of shooting,

    and still all you have is just a ghostly inverted B&W negative image that only hints at the truth that lies within....and that only lasts as long as the exposure from the enlarger….

    then finally the rush of satisfaction and excitement as the print you've just exposed sits in the bath and the image slowly emerges......as if being pulled reluctantly from some other dimension.....its not so much science as it is magic....you actually find yourself talking to it.....coaxing it forth.....as if you need to convince it its OK to be......and be seen.....

    an all day love affair in a red lit secret room of smells......

    kool stuff indeed....

    RM

    Digital is a breeze indeed…….

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