December 07, 2013

Twelve inches and twelve feet

Found another interesting pearl of wisdom in Kit White's "101 things to Learn in Art School" (The MIT Press, 2011) as lesson #65:
"A painting should be satisfying at a distance of both twelve inches and twelve feet.
 At the shorter distance, the facture* should establish the painting's integrity and be sensually satisfying. A confused or poorly constructed surface signals lack of command of the medium. At the greater distance, the composition of the whole needs to reveal itself as a convincing and meaningful assemblage of information. Rework the painting until it can pass this test."
* "facture": the quality of the execution of a painting; an artist's characteristic handling of the paint.
 Kit White accompanied this by an own image after Claude Monet.

Now, with photography you normally capture enough details to give more information to the viewers of your images that step up close enough. Whether that additional detail is satisfying is a completely different point. I generally find textures of a subject in a photograph interesting and satisfying so I normally tend to be one of those spectators that zoom in close on any image - be it a painting or a photograph.
What the specific charm about textures is I don't know. But I know that I mostly dislike images without such textural details: Some images of Jeff Coons just look like plain "painting-by-numbers" to me because they are devoid of brush-strokes and thus revealing no more details, no more passion, or any subtleties once you step closer.

December 03, 2013

Testing again. No time for the abstract...

With the arrival of two new and interesting "normal" lenses I'm back to testing-mode. So no time for pursuing the abstract.
- The new lenses are the Nikon AF-S 58mm f1.4G with my review-in-progress up here.
- And the Zeiss 55mm F1.4 "Otus" which I have tested over there.
I know this is all excuses keeping me from shooting more - but that's how it is.
So if you're interested in the hardware-side head over to my thoughts on those two very interesting lenses.

November 02, 2013

All images are abstractions.

Found this in Kit White's "101 things to Learn in Art School" (The MIT Press, 2011) as lesson #14:
"All images are abstractions.
Even photographs. They are never the thing pictured; they are a conceptual or mechanical reproduction of a thing past. This may seem obvious, but it has everything to do with the way we perceive and use images. As pictures are symbolic assemblages of forms, recognizable or not, they are always metaphors. Metaphor is the medium of symbolic language and is the language of art. Realism in art is anything but. The greater the art, the greater the illusion."
Kit White accompanied this by an own image after Rene Magritte, a creator of great illusions and metaphors.

Square Seascape, abstract

Searching for the abstract in photography is not always easy: because unless you defocus the lens or do some weired post-processing photography tends to reproduce reality. So where's the abstract coming in?
Well, the following might be an example that needed only a little tweaking color-wise to lead the eye/brain into seeing something different than the subject I was reproducing here. It also has the interesting side-effect of working better when viewed small: The larger you view the image the clearer it becomes what it "really" is.
I also used the square format to make the geometry pretty simple and not distracting from the colors and textures.
But anyhow, I hope you like it:

Square Seascape 70084

October 20, 2013

Spiralling what?

Well this one is not too hard to identify, isn't it? Hint: it's not a snail shell. So it must be a staircase.
Still I like the strong geometry and the almost monochrome colors, which btw. were tweaked here to get a little more dynamic in the violet and the green on the right - which I like as a contrast to the black, grey and white of the staircase. Enjoy!

Spiral 70105

Rusty Landscape

Finally hit some nicely abstract subjects while looking through a burnt-down barn. This was a partially rusty metal plate. Which I don't see too often: either the metal is fully rusted or only afflicted at the edges. But lucky me....

Abstract Landscape 70076

January 19, 2013

Abstract Forest

Today I was out in the snow looking for some interesting trees or images from the snowy forest. I shot the following with the idea to isolate single interesting trees out of the plethora of trees.
But I ended with another idea: to give the trees in the wood a ghostlike appearance.
So beware: this image was heavily processed and is not at all like "reality" - which defines it as "abstract"!?

Ghost Wood 63200

Should be viewed in larger size. Click through the image to access to the original 7360 pixel wide shot.