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Sunday, 22 December 2013


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"That way when I argue with the staff I'm just talking to myself."

Sometimes those are the toughest arguments!

What a clear, concise, & cogent analysis of the editing process. Very nice, very nice...to borrow Arthur Lipsett's title.

"Take a look at this page to get an idea of the kind of pictures that people think illustrate the word "quiet." Nothing wrong with any of it, except that a little goes kind of a long way for me."

Thanks for that link. About 1/2 of those I'd cull right away (not plain enough...), but I totally love the rest. This is the sort of thing I can't get enough of, in contrast to you, Mike. Here is one of the places where I think framing in photography is a big "value add"---isolating the kind of thing we daily see and pay no attention to, yet with the aesthetic distancing provided by the photographer's selection, we get a transcendent moment/image.

Just wonderful.

Hi Mike,
Happy Christmas and New Year to you.

Do you find your mood affects the images you select? I slideshow pictures I took a while back, and sometimes find one I like once the emotion or the situation at the time has faded.
I reckon it's always more difficult to formalise a concept rather than an object as folks have differing perceptions - it's why we're so fascinating!

best wishes phil

I'm so glad you write again about editing.

Though this subject is important for all photographers, there's so little to find about that subject for educating oneself.

How to use a camera? One billion webpages.
How to post-process your shots? As many.
How to select work for for a book, portfolio etc? Errr.

I find it sad. For instance most professional photographers have a portfolio, but many an amateur could also present their work beautifully that way. But we don't learn how to do that, and often present our work in quite messy ways (I want to say shitty): our shots on a social website won't ever look as nice as in a trully personalized place.

I hope we'll soon read about editing again!!

Best of luck on your current troubles.

"our next book will have a very robust cue(ahem)" which made me think of playing pool with Hells Angels and a bevy of blondes...and then you said "birds". Goes to show that whatever the theme, you'll get grief, so just don't worry about your viewers feelings Mike, you are well respected by the majority of us so just keep on doing what you do. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
ps I can relate to the "relationship issues" stuff. It's why I gave up drinking and live happily as a reclusive artist.

I remember at the time you announced the book and thought, 'yes I have some pictures that could be called quiet colour' . Then I thought, 'yes, but they are not about quiet colour, it is just incidental'. As such it would misrepresent the photograph based on a coincidence.

It's not for instance like making a selection of pictures based on a concrete subject, one that could be represented in full colour, quiet colour, or even B&W, perhaps maybe 'what I did on 4th of July'? To have any satisfaction in having a picture reproduced in a book surely it requires the picture to stand on what it was about originally, not what it became about by chance selection to fit into an artificial category? The photograph has its meaning stripped away like 'music for elevators' , where almost any song can be made as bland as the next, but in this case it is the inclusion of an image into a book. And it would hardly matter if a soc doc picture got included from a war zone, because by its context it would be 'about' quiet colour. Neutralising any covert message in the common message and title. I can't see how it would work, or why anybody would want their photograph to work in the same context, unless miraculously you found the motherload of photographers who's work is based on 'quiet colour'.

[So you're saying I should not have used those words as the cue in the call for work. Which is precisely what I just said in this post. --Mike]

Got It !
Already working on my entry for the next book.

An unmarried pastel colored bird, with no sign of bird family drama.
I think it's a lock.....
....I'm not being too literal am I ?

[You might be, yes. Bird family drama I have no sensitivity to. And a picture of happily married lovebirds will work. --Mike]

Reminds me of the Monopoly millionaire guy...without his top hat.

This is somewhat off topic, but, the best program for reviewing, assessing, comparing, and rating photographs by a large margin is Photo Mechanic by CameraBits. Peter Turnley turned me onto it--he uses it in his workshops to rapidly review and rate his students daily shoots. It is pretty much universally used by photojournalists, sports shooters, and anyone who needs to review and sort a large number of images efficiently. It is better than Photoshop or Lightroom for this purpose mainly because it is blazingly fast. You just drag a folder of image files onto the program icon in in literally a second or so it generates beautiful previews. It provides very efficient rating tools, has a bunch of programmable automation built in, and can export to anything while renaming, adding metadata, making backups, etc.. It would be worth trying for your project just to use the viewing function. I use it to do my viewing, sorting, rating, and tagging and then bring the photos into LR or PS to work on. Check it out, they have a 30 day free demo. (I have no relationship with the company, they just make a great product).

Birds, huh? Hopefully Ctein's bird picture will be in there.


Birds eh? My favourite picture of mine has a bird. I'll keep it under my hat for now, but once you announce the call for submissions, I'm on it!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mike

When you said you wanted "quiet color" photos my first thought was "pastels".

Found a scene that I thought was perfect, a house w/porch and swing in soft shades of green with a light always burning in the room visible through a window, shot it, got the film back and the shots were out of focus......

Going to reshoot it this spring. Your quiet color has turned in to a project for me.

cheers, Bob

Birds? Mike, I think you may be setting us up to buy 400&600mm lenses through your affiliate links and make you wealthy so you can quit writing TOP! Say it aint so! ( at least about the end of TOP)the wealthy part would be OK with all your readers!

[Okay, I will...it ain't so. [g] --Mike]

As the wise man once said: You can see a lot by just looking.

As for the next book, I have exactly one bird picture in my archives that I consider artistic, so you better damn well like it, Mike!

Off topic: Happy Christmas Mike - thanks for another year of entertaining posts and thought provocation.

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