Sunday, April 20


<- Click here (Virgin)
Nothing deep tonight. Actually this is a touch of self defense. A friend said, "Ted, like the way you reveal your imagination through all of these enhancements. But come on... can you actually take a straight picture?" To tell the truth, it's been a long time since I've just pulled a naked image out of my camera, spanked its little bottom and sent it out into the world. It almost felt unnatural. But ... errrrg.... okay, okay. Suppose I... I did it, but really quickly slapped a couple of layers of stuff atop them? Huh? Huh? So... here are three sets of Pigeon Pt. Lighthouse. That's about as vanilla a site as possible, right?

<- Click here (Romantic) Let's crank up the volume, lather over glam filter, and diddle with the relative values so that everything enters that romantic dream world where we store memories of lighthouses in the sun.

<- Click here (Heavy Metal)
Nahhhhh... too gentle... too girly.... What I need are edges sharp enough to shave my beard. A sky that crackles in the clean air. Images harder than than a heavy metal guitar lick. Can't you feel the wind swipe across this point?

So see? I can kick the habit and do straight images, right? But, um, not for long. Hmmm.... you think I need rehab?


Anonymous said...

Hi, Ted - my goodness! Such self-restraint! And you really can take decent images and leave them basically "straight"! Congratulations!

Of course I wasn't one of those who have teased you about this. Where are they all? Why aren't they commenting? ;-)

I know how you feel, tho, as you shoot with an idea in mind - the end result - and so sometimes - or perhaps many times, your straight-out-of-the-camera images wouldn't measure up very well in a competition. But then, who the heck needs competitions!

Indulging in competitions tends to lock one into the "Rule of Thirds" mentality. It tends to stifle the urges people like you and me get to indulge in our creative impulses.

So I'm sure glad you've listened to this particular challenge just a little bit - but you won't be allowing it to derail you from your creative direction for your photography in the future.

Now to the images - those 4 out of the camera are beautiful. I love their points of view, the time of day, the light quality and the subject - and that you put them together as a foursome. (Bridge, anyone?)

The first diddle doesn't do anything for me. The 2nd comes a bit closer. But not very much. It's just not up to your usual quality. Because you shot these with the purpose of making them the best you could for posting out of camera images - and not for a creative concept?

Keep up the great work, Ted. Like Craig, I do admire your talents :-)


Stacey Olson said...

Morning Ted, Ok I admitt, I am girly, I liked the second shot best. I agree that the first are nice, but they did need a little somthing more. But the last set is a bit scary for me. I don't usually picture light houses as frightening.. LOL Great work on each and every one of them.. I admire your tallents and can only hope that some of the will wear off on me.

Marti said...

Hi Ted

"I can kick the habit and do straight images, right?" Don't even think about it. Our world would be much less colorful if you did!!!

Keep turning out those visual poems.


Ted said...

(Flo): I spent a whole bunch of years learning the photographic rules, after all, we have to know our craft to be able to apply it. I agree with you that contests seem to be more attentive to craft guidelines than those characteristics of an image which pull the viewer into the thought/feeling of the artist. They are more likely to judge the process than the conclusion. But for photographers young to the field, they certainly do teach them how to control their techniques.
And of course, thanks for the kind words.
(Stacey): Maybe it is my feminine side that informs the "Romantic" set. But I frequently find myself first examining the tools in my "romantic" toolkit when trying to eke out my meaning from an image. However, the "Heavy Metal" set and its razor sharp message does make my male appetite for grit sing. And thank you as well for your supportive thoughts.
(Marti): I noticed that while you are very supportive here of the artist's freedom to enhance the naked image... that you show no preference among the three approaches I've presented. This is an inkblot test... Heh heh heh... Which blot resonates most with your tastes?

John Roberts said...

After shooting digital for 5 years, I am addicted to Photoshop. I can't bring myself to post a photo straight out of the camera with out tinkering with it just a little. I'm an unapologetic manipulator.

mcmurma said...

I walked down this particular path very slowly. Once I realized that you were revealing the naked Ted in these images I wanted to see what I could uncover from the way you get dressed up.

Since I was reading slowly I didn't realize that there was more to the post than the first two sets of images. So I had decided that I liked the first set the best because of the extra detail. (In the first image my mind kept wandering to that massive foreground object--what is that thing? A rock? A giant toadstool? Someones forgotten lunch sack?

Then I got further down the page and realized that no, you weren't done. And even though the color and mood stretches pretty for from the original, the detail was back, and I gotta admit that I prefer the power chord edginess of the last set. You took a sunny day and transformed it into an approaching storm. What's not to like?

Chad Oneil Myers said...

First of all, thank for what you wrote about my opera post. You really "got" where I was coming from. I'm glad you really enjoyed it.

I believe you can take a "straight picture"...meaning, "simply a good photograph". As far as that's concerned, I think you nailed it with that bottom left corner image. All four are good, but the composition in that one rocks, man!

Debra Trean said...

I just soooo love what you do and what a creative eye you have to do it with... I just love this....all of them...all the possiblilites

Ted said...

(John) It does feel like an addiction sometimes. I get the same urges for the rush of revealing what was supposed to be in my image… supposed to be, but … grumble… just didn’t’ seem apparent. But you are not a manipulator… Neither am I… we ENHANCE!

(Michael) “The naked Ted”? Yipes… why do I feel a need to cover my genitalia? First off, that hue thingee on the lawn is (I think I heard someone say) a whale’s jaw. And as for the last – Heavy Metal – set… I hadn’t though of it as a storm until you pointed it out. Now I can’t get the image outta my head. Actually I was going for “stark”, and how at its root nature is a neutral thing and when you strip away its pretty packaging it may even have a bias toward contention. But now… I see the storm.

( Chad) First off, everyone will benefit from clicking on the link to your website in the right column of the ImageFiction homepage to see your engaging essay on a first visit to the opera. It is beyond charming.

Secondly, thank you for noticing the work I put into that composition in the lower left image. Yeah… things came together there, it is almost an exercise in the rules of classic composition.

(PNF) Welcome back from OZ-West? When last we wrote you were touring the Bay Area. I have not yet stopped by your website (another must stop… see link also in the right column) to see if you returned with you idiosyncratic take upon your old stomping grounds.

But you are cheating in your comments re. my posting. Surely you have a teeny preference toward one set as opposed to another????

Ashley said...

Great photos of Pigeon Point! Mine didn't turn out so perfect. Isn't that area so beautiful!

Andreas said...

Oops! I missed a party here :)

What do I like most? Well, the Orton-like effect in the "Romantic Set" is something that I use myself regularly, and obviously I am attracted to it, though I normally dial opacity back to about 50%. Of course subtlety was not your intention here :)

Interestingly enough, I didn't like #3 on first sight at all. Personally I can't tell where I'd tried to go, but after seeing your variations, I really would like to see something between #2 and #3. Is this possible? Sweetness and harshness combined? There are cases when increasingt local contrast, especially on walls, can work wonders.

Anyway, that would be my work and it would be foolish not to be glad that you give us your's :)

Compositionally, well I can only second Chad.