Sue Rihn #43753
BMW MOA Director - Ambassador
Sometimes it's the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride.
When I was a teen I was involved with a new (at the time) concept called "visual training" several times a week to help correct my visual handicaps and one thing that my eye doctor was always talking about what he considered to be one of the most important the concepts of vision. It was the way vision interacted with the mind and understanding. He often mentioned the idea behind the term "I see" that as he saw it, illustrated the difference between looking and "seeing", when we say "I see" we saying not so much that we merely saw something but rather that "I understand". That has always stuck with me, there is indeed a difference between just looking and seeing.
I have always seen a close relationship of that concept and photography.
I look forward to viewing of what you (as well as others) "see"in the coming photo threads.
I do have an idea for a couple of related shots, but need to wait until Saturday next, then hope the weather holds up.
Or perhaps a series shot at different times of day of the same locale, while the place may seem lacking in interest, a series showing the changing nature simply by changes of light and shadow would tell us a story. Night scenes can often show a whole different side of a town as well.
I'm perplexed this time. Not by the assignment, but by one of the subjects. Sonoma has a fascinating history, but the only photographic representation of some of it is completely unphotographical. A Statue, bronze, in the shade 24/7.
I'd like some comment and critique on these. I've been working on this assignment for a few days. I finally had some modicum of success today. I'd picked out a few landmarks that I thought distinguished this town. It became apparent that these shots would best be rendered at night. I had a sunset shot in mind, a compressed telephoto shot of oil rigs, but the atmospheric conditions are not cooperating. I'd be interested to know which of these four images you prefer and why. Click for exif.
Guthrie's Alley Cat
Legendary Bakersfield watering hole
Another famous landmark is the Bakersfield sign. Originally, the sign spanned Union Ave., the town's major thoroughfare before the now-ancient Hwy 99 was constructed. In its original incarnation, the sign was actually a bridge connecting a hotel that occupied two sides of the street. Eventually falling into disrepair, the sign was taken down, but Bakersfield's favorite son, Buck Owens, had this replica built over the street next to his Crystal Palace.
Again, which do you feel is the best photo? Why?
The Bakersfield Sign
Bakersfield's Iconic Landmark
Thanks for sharing. I am also banking on atmospheric conditions and also fighting a bad case of artistic malaise. I commend you for trudging forward and getting shots in the camera. I really like your fallback position and I really like the compositions below. Very nice exposures, too. Collectively I like the juxtaposition of the color of the neon against the night sky, but more specifically the nightfall sky that still has color in the Alley Cat shot.
This shot shows more of what my mind wants to see: the subject in its overall environment, which allows me to get a feel of the Alley Cat and its relative position in Bakersfield (at least as I imagine it)ÔÇöotherwise it could be ÔÇ£anywhere.ÔÇØ ThereÔÇÖs obviously plenty to explore creatively on the Alley Cat fa?ºade, particularly if you wanted to go ÔÇ£macro,ÔÇØ but as a stranger I enjoy having an overview. This composition seems the most natural and balanced (recognizing it may not be the most artistic, but it is the most ÔÇ£comfortableÔÇØ for the uninitiated. The overall balance pleases my eye and my imagination. The colors have just the right amount of ÔÇ£popÔÇØ and donÔÇÖt steal the show from the overall scene.
I like this one best. ItÔÇÖs creative, yet itÔÇÖs easy to see the sign in context. The zooming provides a sense of excitement and movement and makes me really feel like I just drove under it in a car seeing it for the first time. It is one of those ÔÇ£instant memoriesÔÇØ captured in a fraction of a second for posterity sake (isnÔÇÖt that what Kodak wants us all to try to do?) Again, this composition is the most ÔÇ£comfortableÔÇØ for the unacquainted viewer. And again, youÔÇÖve used the available color in a balanced, but not overly dramatic way. This shot is an improvisation, but one that allows the ÔÇ£listenerÔÇØ to understand the depth of talent of the soloist (to speak metaphorically for a moment). PLUS, it puts the subject and theme right there in front of me in a very ÔÇ£unobnoxiousÔÇØ manner. Well done. Congrats on getting a trick shot in a conventional composition without looking amateurish or hokey.
Those are my thoughts. And damn you for pushing the bar up so high!
Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST
Hey lensman, pretty good stuff. I prefer Ally Cat #3 because I like the darker streets which plays into the "Alley Cat" name. #4 plays off the lens distortion on the straight lines and right angles. A drunk sidestepping into the club would've really made this work. Sorry I am geographically unavailable for the role.
As far as the Bakersfield signs go, I take #2. As for the multiple exposure/zoom WOW shots, things must be a lot different down there since the last time I passed through Don't remember that much going on.
All in all, great shots. Like some of the others' lamenting, when I had the time, don't have the weather and visa versa. Regarding my shots, I know I could do better, if I have some time this week, I might do a redeux.
I really appreciate all the substantive feedback. There's seems to be some consensus among you as well.
My feelings on the BF sign are the same as Franz's. I feel #2 captures the feel/mood of the town. The others might be good for a chamber of commerce brochure, but I'm not sure how honest they are. Still, Ben's reasoning on his choices makes good sense.
You've all give me new insights into my own work. Thanks.
It wasn't my intention starting out for this group of photos all to be taken at night, but that seems to be the way things have emerged. It almost seems as though one daylight pic in the three would be out of place, but that may just be me.
In any case, another iconic BF landmark is the Fox Theater, which opened on December 25, 1930.
Here are the two views I'm considering:
The more I considered it, the more resolute I became that I'd not take a shot of a strip mall, or a new homogenised "town centre". The signs I shot are everysoddingwhere, as more forestation is cut down to build grey or beige/taupe look-a-like executive homes for the Microsoft/Boeing influx. "Low 400s" for a characterless box, in a row of characterless boxes on an estate or characterless boxes. I did ride onto one, to try and get a representation in photographic form. I was disorientated within moments due to the similarity of what was infront, behind and to the sides. Spoiled for banality I ended up not shooting anything, except the signs.
Hope you like the bird pics instead...there's still some green that's not got a, proposal for development, sign nailed to it.
On the cross USA ride, I met an Indian guy, if I recall Cherokee. He said, "First we gave away land to the early settlers. We had so much, it made no difference. Then the next settler came and asked for land because we had given some to his brothers.
One day we looked and saw we had no land left, because we didn't see it going, except in small amounts each time".
I hope the new home frenzy doesn't take away too many small amounts.
This sign pic is better than the one posted in the assignment, so I have no idea why I didn't use it.
Very happy with this shot. Is it a mirror or a window? The book gives the answer.
Prefer this version with the signs corners cut of, to a clearer more clinical shot where they appear.
Finally, and I had to crop it to get it to work, I like this because of the hand on the counter, the stick and the writing on the wall.
I've really enjoyed this assignment. Not only have I had my camera with me, but now my tripod seems to be living in the back seat too.
I was influenced to take a different angle at this assignment after reading a couple of people comment that they didn't feel any connection to their city/town. I thought that I'd like to show the parts of my town that that makes it home; therefor I didn't go for the typical shots that are used to portray the variety of the city, rather, I trudged through the snow to places that I feel at home; for while I live in a small city, what I enjoy about it is the country feel.
Stage at Greely Park, Nashua, NH