December 28, 2010

Minor White on Equivalence

It is not only with the more abstractified type of photography that the question arises of how much of the perception of an image is driven by the viewer. But the more abstract a photography is the larger the role of the viewer is: his imagination, his experience, his current state of mind.
The more explicit an image is the less is left to the imagination of the viewer.
Surfing around I stumbled across an essay by the photographer Minor White on what Alfred Stieglitz and others called "Equivalence". You can read Minor White's essay here.
As the perception of "Equivalence" relies solely on the imagination of the viewer there must be different classes of viewers out there. And some which Minor White was not very fond of: "And we observe that all too often the persons who cry "Sick, Sick, Sick" have no imagination. Or, for reasons obscure to them, they deliberately blind themselves to visual experiences that might disturb their basic insecurity."
When reading his comments I started to think of whether they might be still valid as of today, more than 50 years later. Well, I think the flood of images now molding current viewers is still mostly non-abstract - so abstract images might still be hard to grasp for todays average recipients.
But that is my honest opinion - and open to debate. I'd love to hear your commentaries on this topic!

December 26, 2010

Surreal = not quite real?

Well I thought I looked quite astonished when I stumbled across this wedding scene:

Wedding 18485

The photographer was shooting the kissing couple while behind him some (un)invited guests were serenely watching. What a hilarious scene this was!
I raised my camera and found out that didn't have anything longer than a lowly 35mm lens mounted and - as I didn't want to intrude - had to make do with the equipment at hand. Fortunately the "normal" lens and a little cropping were enough to capture the surreal flavor of this vista - my first wedding shot!
According to Wikipedia "Surreal in general means bizarre or dreamlike". So I claim that this image has a place right here, although it is not "abstract" - but it is "not quite real" either.

December 14, 2010

White Wine with the Fish?

This is absurd: You're looking at some random abstract figure and imagine seeing things! I imagined seeing a fish in this rust-image I captured the other day when visiting one of my favorite subjects in the vicinity: a derelict rusty old excavator.
As always with rusty material you don't need much to get crazy colors not only in the oranges but also in the blues:

Fish 25612.jpg

Interestingly I captured this image after having been there many times before. So it always pays to revisit certain locations again and again to cover all the possibilities...

December 07, 2010

Black (and white) Sunflower

I captured another view in this sunflower field. This time of two single flowers. I went for a b&w conversion - just out of gut feeling.

Sunflower 27540_52.jpg

December 05, 2010


I was standing in front of this field of snow-capped sunflowers wondering whether I could produce an image that conveyed the decay of the flowers, the jumble of their stalks, and the eerie atmosphere of a field of flowers that belong to summer shivering in the cold of winter. I made a lot of shots, naturally also with close-ups of single flowers, but I found the visual chaos of this specific shot fitting.

Sunflower Field:
Sunflower Field 27536_13.jpg

In post I chose an amplification of the brown-reds and a yellowish tint for the snow which emphasized the drabness of the scene.
Best viewed at 1024 or 1920 width, so feel free to click through the image to the larger versions...