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Friday, 13 March 2009


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Great shot. I connected it with this one:

A-mazing composition, and a fun image to look at.

The Koudelka dog photo (that you linked to) is awesome.
I had the impression that Koudelka was just a documentary photographer, but if he can make pictures like that, maybe I should check him out closer.

Oustanding image; for me it has such a direct connexion to this


that I'll risk that you moderate this message out as a shameless plug

Wow!… this guy's work is wonderful, I've been thoroughly side tracked.

I'm sorry to disagree with you, Mike, but that is a very bad photo. Here's why:

1) The dog is in the center, clearly violating the rule of thirds. The Sun is, too. I mean, everybody knows you just don't do this.

2) Speaking of the Sun, everyone also knows you shouldn't shoot into the Sun because you'll get lens flaring. Giuseppe should point his camera in another direction and use a hood on his lens.

3) The dog is severely underexposed; I don't know what metering mode he was using but I would suggest spot metering for his next attempt. Maybe he can still save this photo by using the fill-light feature in Photoshop. If his camera has a pop-up flash, maybe he could use it for some fill light next time.

4) I find the kite and the two people on the left to be really distracting. Giuseppe should clone them out; this is easy to do in Photoshop too.

5) The plastic bottles on the right are not only environmentally hazardous, but they look ugly. I would also clone them out.

6) The dog is quite ugly too, I would have used a German Shepard, but maybe they don't have those in Italy. To be honest, if you're going to have an ugly dog, and not even show any detail because you overexposed the shot, you might as well clone out the dog. This might be a bit tricky, as it will require the use of layers, but at this stage it really will be hard work to save this photograph.

Don't get me wrong, all in all it's a good effort, but Giuseppe needs to try harder and learn to use his equipment better as well as paying more attention to his surroundings.

PS: Nobody uses square format anymore, and landscapes should be shot in 16:9 anyway.

Someone help me out here....

Okay, this is an, er, interesting photo. Interesting in that there's an awful lot going on, all disjointedly, in the image. It is certainly something I'd stop and and give a second look at if I were browsing an exhibition. But, buy it? Rave over it? To me it's a visual train wreck in the same genre as those paintings where the artist throws the kitchen sink at the canvas and then steps back and stares. My reason for the double-glance would be to wonder if the artist is showing such an image to laugh at his audience, as in, "Wow, this is so random and meaningless that the critics will have to love it... or admit they don't understand it."

Similarly, Koudelka's 'Hound' didn't appeal to me at all. I guess I see two potentially interesting images (dog, vista) combined into one uninteresting image (dog in front of vista). It's like he was prepping this landscape shot and the dog off of its leash came running over to poop and ruined the shot... "Damn dog! Do you know how much sheet film costs??!! Oh, well, I can salvage this somehow, maybe cut the contrast a little and make it a mood piece."

Come on, guys. How much of art is basically the Emperor's New Clothes? What am I missing here? Seriously.

Hey Mike,

You are very welcome, glad I could return the favor you have provided so many times. I just made a frame and hung this print I bought from Giuseppe a couple weeks ago.

I didn't think it was just me who would think he is good.


"Someone help me out here...."

The help you need is merely to have a little confidence in your own taste. If you don't like a picture, then you don't like it; be comfortable with that. There's no law that says you have to agree with my choices or anybody's choices or taste. Photography (and art) isn't some stuffy 19th century academy with memberships and juried shows and blue ribbons: we don't all have to agree on what's good or not and then make sure our choices are enforced across the board, shouting down dissenters and propping up the status quo. I don't particularly like Karsh, for example, but I'm delighted that other people are moved to engage with his work in such an immediate and personal way in the wake of Ken's review of the Karsh show, and that people to whom his work is meaningful have left testimony in the comments to that effect. I'd never argue with them, even if I don't have identical feelings. It's about the engagement, the enthusiasm, not about exactly what you do and don't engage with. A lot of my friends and some of the people I respect the most in photography have tastes very different from mine. In fact sometimes almost *exclusive* of mine.

In fact, I might even venture to say that if you *don't* have strong and particular tastes, you don't stand much chance of creating anything meaningful. As an art school classmate of mine used to say, "Never trust an artist who doesn't have strong opinions about art...."


P.S. How can you *not* like that killer picture? What's wrong with you?


So you're the guy who mentioned him a few weeks ago, in the comments? Thanks. I always "check the links" in the comments, mainly just to see if they're working, but often it's fun to follow where they lead. I think Giuseppe's work is uneven, at least what we see on photo.net, but he's talented, no question. Good to look at.


Very funny Miserere....


Mike, a question to your lens expertise - how come this photo appears to throw up flare in four directions at once?

This is one of those photos that has me looking at it more and more, liking it a lot and having no explanation as to why.


(both of them)

Hi Mike,
I first suggested Giuseppe in an email to you, and then I snuck in a link in a post because I felt he deserved the attention.
He has an exhibit coming up in Belgium that includes your selected image. Obijon's attitude aside, I frequently find that your tastes and mine differ substantially, I am a huge Karsh fan for example. But I hang out here not to support what "I" like but to look through other viewfinders to see what I am missing.
Rather than chastise Giuseppe for the puzzling "dog" shot, in fact its strong composition is unquestioned in my mind, I was just puzzled as to what moved him to take it. I didn't question his judgment It's just that I wanted to understand it better. To educate myself. That's why I look at art not just to comfort myself, but more often to challenge my understanding.

Have some fun, Giuseppe was good discovery for me, I have visited often. I disagree on your take on his consistency, because I can and because If I suggest that he "edit" his display I would worry that he might remove the stuff I find compelling and just be something you like:-)

... My main exposure to Koudelka, you see, was 30 years ago (jeez) in the photo club. They were showing his documentary work of underprivileged people somewhere, I think Eastern Europe. And one of the old pillars of the club, wonderful person but unusually right-wing for Denmark, protested against all that "socially aware" art, and persisted in pronouncing his name as "Kodoolka" as a token of disrespect. :-)

ObiJohn sees two possible traditional images (dog, vista), neither of which are fully realised; others see a dazzling new image that delights them with its freshness and seems like a new view on the world. The situation reminded me of Jonathan Haidt's interesting recent Ted Talk, which addresses just this topic, among other things.


Haidt talks about the way different people react to novelty and tradition. His presentation conclusion is a little weak in presentation but despite that, do watch the talk right to the end, whatever your views - it's really not as partisan as it might initially seem and actually rewards a second or third viewing. The talk and Haidt's excellent book The Happiness Hypothesis are both fascinating in different ways - some things he says in the talk and book seem wrong to me but I highly recommend both.

By the way, I really love this image and did so from the moment I saw it on this page. :)

That was probably his work from "Gypsies," a landmark book that put Koudelka on the map.

He was quite "gypsy" himself for years, refusing to have a residence and famously sleeping in the hall at Magnum in Paris and New York. Then when he had a child he settled down, started selling prints, and I hear now has an apartment in Paris.

BTW when he first started selling prints I had a chance to buy them for $1250 each. It was too much for me at the time but if I had bought one it would be worth a lot more today.


I love seeing photos that eschew cliche. ;)

It´s simply amazing! A very nice shot!

Raphael Fraga

Hi Giuseppe
I am happy to see this work. A greeting.

Yup, It is a wonderful "found" moment where every element including the flare, the rubbish in the RHS, the people on the LHS all balance each other in weird and wonderful ways. One of my moments was http://www.lubomirski.co.uk/gallery/Fgallery7-6.jpg

For those interested and living near Bruges/Belgium: Giuseppe is having an exhibition at the young KR-line art gallery with mostly B/W photos. This particular photo is on display too, and it just looks stunning. A web photo can't compare with the real print! (e.g. the dog is not underexposed, there is still some detail on his side).
Having met Giuseppe while preparing the exhibition, I can tell that he knows what he is doing with his photography. He looks at life in frames. Remember his name, you will probably see more of him in the future. I for sure believe in his potentials as an artist.

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