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  Mini#26 Best of 2014, So Far ...
Entry 10 of 30
   
 
Rolleiflex & Ray-Bans       ©2014 MiguelATF
Panasonic DMC-GX1       10th place, 95 points
1/40s, f4, ISO 200, 29mm, Aperture Priority, Spot, no flash
 
Post-Processing: Processed in Lightroom 4, X-Equals and Silver Efex Pro.       Extra Info: The classic Rolleiflex - and the classic Ray-Bans - belong to a fellow photographer who is a good friend of mine. The look is intentionally high-contrast, emulating the tonal characteristics of Fuji's legendary Acros black & white film.
 
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Jade O.
Jul 15, 2014
    I appreciate your long note. It is a helpful insight and an instructive one at the same time. I share your thoughts to a degree as you might derive from my first comment.

While life is imperfect, I think by its essence taking a photograph grabs a slice of reality as it exists in that instant. I agree the collateral objects give the photo a sense of place and purpose but I still think the "technical imperfections" detract from the message.

It is interesting to read your reflections on HCB. I think we are all guided to a greater or lesser degree in whatever pursuit we are undertaking by a guiding principle (even if it not obvious to us.) In flying, my core principle is "You have time". No matter what happens, that mantra I believe will keep me alive. In photography, I am oriented by the comments of tchuyane, who is not so famous but I keep his mantra close in mind when shooting. He said something like, "The first rule is to make it technically perfect. If your image is out of focus, nothing can save it." Whatever I shoot, whatever the conditions, I am always mindful of that even if only at the periphery of my thoughts. While blur is not an issue here, I still think there are some technical details that detract from your impressive presentation.

mrsawyer
Jul 15, 2014
    Congrats on another top ten. You seem to have enjoyed the challenge and I hope you'll find the "Hands" challenge just as rewarding.

Lo
Jul 14, 2014
    Thank you so much for sharing your philosophy on photography with us. It is always important for all of us to know that we each bring a different skill set and perception to our photography, and by understanding that, we open ourselves to so many learning experiences.

Mepo
Jul 14, 2014
    This brings back good memories for me, not the least of which are being able to shoot over the heads of a crowd with my TL reflex held over my head upside down. Your choice of processing is perfect for the subject. Thanks for sharing this.

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mrsawyer
Jul 14, 2014
    The camera really stands out here. The clarity and lighting are superb. In my favs.

MiguelATF
Jul 14, 2014
    My thanks to everyone for every comment.

A number of comments have mentioned various aspects of the composition - or the background - which they wish had been altered. Obviously each of us, as photographers and human beings, see the world differently. Photography is both a complex and a simple process - the act of taking a photograph can be very simple - and can also be as complex as any other art form. Much of my own personal philosophy as a photographer has been influenced by - and guided by - the work and words of the great French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson.

HCB once wrote that - “To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” He also once said - “For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”

Often, or at least to the extent possible, I try to practice some of the things that HBC preaches. So for me, the moment that is important is, in the best of my photographs, one which occurs, almost spontaneously, right before and during the moments when I see the subject - when my conscious and unconscious mind reacts to it and processes it (including making specific choices about aperture, framing, shutter speed, depth of field, contrast, etc), and then actually takes the picture. Once it's done, I try to move on.

It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes I have to take dozens or scores and scores of similar photographs to find the one which works. But there is an inherent laziness to this approach which I don't like. So it's more important to me to take one photo that I like - instead of hundreds that approximate some goal.

Which brings me back to some comments - suggesting a cleaner or less cluttered background or composition. For me, taking this photo, the main subjects were important - but the background 'elements' were as well. The objects which for some add clutter - or detract from the composition by complicating it - for me do the opposite: they reveal parts of the space, the life, and the world which my friend (to whom the Rolleiflex and the Ray-Bans belong) inhabits. As such, they are just as important as the foreground subjects. My mindset in this photograph was not so much the creation of an elegant, focused, classical composition - but rather the discovery of a small corner of the world and of someone's life, through my camera.

But each of us brings our own way of looking at things....to the things we look at. That's always true, even when we think it's not. We're all deeply and personally 'subjective' - which makes getting comments and reactions, that are different than mine, very valuable. So, again - thanks for the comments - and thanks for looking.

johncomyn
Jul 14, 2014
    Very well setup, the blacks are amazing.

Amberbug
Jul 14, 2014
    Like this B&W but would like to see the table level.
Edited on Jul 14, 2014

babysister
Jul 14, 2014
    Good subject and exposure but it is not level and the background detracts form the main subjects in my opinion.

Lo
Jul 12, 2014
    The contrast and detail are really excellent - great choice for B&W

BarbroS
Jul 12, 2014
    For me this would have been a very nice still-life indeed, if the background were less cluttered or seriously blurred out. Nice work on the B&W rendering, in any case!

Adirondack Gal
Jul 12, 2014
    Interesting image. I love the effects in the black and white!

forkcandles
Jul 12, 2014
    having used twin lens reflexes the separate lens gave no noise when taking a shot and could be held underneath and speeds of 1/10 per possible. i see you were taking it easy in the chair at the point of button

aoc46
Jul 12, 2014
    Great image, nicely composed.

fistfulofpowder
Jul 11, 2014
    Great Depth and sharpness, cool shot!

RobertLavker
Jul 11, 2014
    I love the tonal contrast and the subject matter is marvelous. IMHO the background chair and bag on the left detract from this image. My eye keeps going from the camera and glasses to the distant chair.

Edward
Jul 11, 2014
    Love the look and how you've processed this.

Jade O.
Jul 11, 2014
    The tonal characteristics and subjects are very well done - the camera superbly sharp, the glasses suffer a bit perhaps from a narrow depth of field. The background clutter and off angle table don't help though they may not hurt too much; they give a frame a reference and make the shot look "candid".
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By MiguelATF


United States

2 Challenge
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#170 6th
#171 10th

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