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Alan Brown's picture

Presenting 'Snow Pines'

A bit of departure from my normal work. This is an image I took a while back and love the strong bold blacks set against the canvas of fresh snow.

As the community is diverse I'd be interested to hear what others think (all comments whether good or bad accepted as gifts), especially what you may like or hate in the image.

For all/those who wish to remain anonymous it would also really help if you could rate in my profile so I can get a general sense of feeling for this.

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Mike Pitts's picture

I love this photo. Really beautiful.

If you don't mind my asking, how did you get that effect in the trees that looks almost "streaky", for lack of a better term. A long exposure on a windy day?

Alan Brown's picture

No problem Mike - it’s path blur in Photoshop,
Thanks for the feedback.

Chris Jablonski's picture

My immediate reaction to seeing this was a positive "WOW!", Alan. The overall composition and graphics are great.

However, once I saw the effect Mike asks about i.e. very quickly, I went off the image because it looks contrived. But that's my arguably conservative "straight photography" taste, and I can't really criticise the image, which is striking, beautiful and imaginative. It just isn't to my taste to do certain types of manipulation. I don't like montage, "ICM", radical colour changes, skies darker than the ground they're lighting, and more... but I'll happily apply a vignette, or fiddle with contrast, especially if the result looks "painterly" - whatever that means! We're not rational creatures, or maybe it's just me. ;-)

I suspect I'd have much preferred a more conventional, you could say literal interpretation of this beautiful scene. Not that monochrome is ever literal. Keep posting!

Alan Brown's picture

Thanks Chris, I always appreciate your honest feedback.

I understand and respect your point of view. From my own perspective my goal is to create images that are interesting and generate feeling. To that end I am happy that this evoked such a strong initial response.

My personal perspective is that as photography is an art form any creative manipulation is OK unless we are trying to present as a true documentary and deceive the viewer.

Thanks again - I always enjoy hearing your viewpoint.

Scott Steinson's picture

Sometimes I realize that I am closed minded, but most of the time I don't notice it. I loved the photo until I read about the adjustments. What the hell, I need to open my mind and understand photography can be art, and there are no right and wrong, just individual taste.

Alan Brown's picture

I find it interesting that you/Chris liked the image until you read about adjustments. Whilst I fully respect that feeling I think that photography is a visual art and the end result justifies the means (unless you are clearly trying to deceive the viewer).

Myself, I would be less likely to enjoy an image if the photographer indicated it hadn't been adjusted in any way (aren't they all?). In this case it would be hard to pull off as being a natural/out of camera image.

Curious - do you feel it is perhaps better not to offer details and allow the viewer to decide whether they like an image or not based purely on face value?

Thanks for the feedback - this all helps in understanding our differences.

Scott Steinson's picture

I think posters should post what they want. The non-Cro-Magnon Scott thinks the photographer should do whatever makes them happy with their photos.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Neanderthal Chris grunts in agreement.

Robert Tran's picture

I really like your final image, Alan, regardless of the process you took or how you would categorize it i.e. photo or art. FWIW, I would categorize this image as fine art.

Now, when I evaluate fine art photos, knowing that the underlying process was painstaking gives me appreciation for the artist / photographer. However, it generally does not impact my feeling about the image itself.

Conversely, if the underlying process is relatively easy to achieve, but the results still evoke a reaction, I also appreciate the artist / photographer for recognizing the situation to use it. Done tastefully, selectively, and in the right situations, even the gaudiest PS filters can enhance an image.

Alan Brown's picture

I think this is a great discussion. I can't think of any other art form where the underlying process has any relevance to the impact on the viewer (or where that process is even published).

I know that I am guilty of over-analyzing images (mine/others) at times.
My new goal is to switch off the brain and just allow my eyes to see.

Kjell Vikestad's picture

The picture is like a surreal transformation. Like I'm waiting for something to happen. Like sitting on the edge for something new.
I like the picture, composition, monochrome look and the effect.
I dont read this picture as a nature photography or landscape photography. More like a feeling of something is about to happen.
I like this picture a lot.
Well don.

Alan Brown's picture

Thanks for your positive feedback Kjell. It is always heartwarming to understand that others enjoy your work, and acts as motivation to create more.