Featured: 'pour' by pdh

SnapDawg

Rorschach Test Pilot
Apr 18, 2014
Canary Islands
Ken
It might have taken me even longer to hit 'like' as it took you to release the shutter button and process those images. Each one made me stop for more than a moment; more than once.
Thanks for sharing!
 
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pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
I guess that either this got voted to featured status, or someone made an executive decision to make it so.

Whichever is the case, I do want to express my thanks for having done so. I appreciate it greatly.
 

marlof

Trying to focus
Dec 25, 2010
The Netherlands
Marlof
I love the meandering effect of shadowsplay on the soil, in the water and in the sky. It is the combination that made me look, and look again. And again. And....
 
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BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
wish I could understand these and why 19 people like them

I don't dislike them but I would like to know what the intention was and why people like them

Now we have "Like" rather than "Thanks" presumably there is an intention for critique

Paul, what is the message, ("pour"), or whatever that you are trying to convey with these images as it would be interesting to have an open discussion on them

Maybe I can see a relationship to "pour" in #1 and #2 but why did you choose that description
 
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Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
wish I could understand these and why 19 people like them

I don't dislike them but I would like to know what the intention was and why people like them

Now we have "Like" rather than "Thanks" presumably there is an intention for critique

Paul, what is the message, ("pour"), or whatever that you are trying to convey with these images as it would be interesting to have an open discussion on them

Maybe I can see a relationship to "pour" in #1 and #2 but why did you choose that description
Because they are a great study in composition.

Because they lead your eye into the image.

Because the aspect ratios compliment the composition.

Just because.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
wish I could understand these and why 19 people like them

I don't dislike them but I would like to know what the intention was and why people like them

Now we have "Like" rather than "Thanks" presumably there is an intention for critique

Paul, what is the message, ("pour"), or whatever that you are trying to convey with these images as it would be interesting to have an open discussion on them

Maybe I can see a relationship to "pour" in #1 and #2 but why did you choose that description
Well Bill, my first response is that I don't think the fact that Amin has swung over from "Thanks" to "Like" implies an intention for critique at all. (That change was the subject of another thread). Nevertheless, particular words carry a certain weight and so it doesn't surprise me that you might think so. Perhaps another reason for Amin to reconsider the change?

But it would be a shame for an image thread to become a discussion about forum software, so let us leave that point for debate elsewhere.

As for your other questions ... well, if you have a look at my signature, you'll find a link to an "interview" I did with Olivier Duong in which I write about some of the whys and wherefores of what I do when I take a photograph.

Let me quote a salient gobbet:

Paul said:
the impact of a photograph on the viewer can be quite independent of the aims of the photographer. We can plan the content and composition all we like, but viewers’ responses will always contain an element of unpredictability.

I rarely discuss or explain my photos (much to the annoyance of some folk on forums), because once a photograph is made, and is out there, that’s it for me – it’s over to the viewer and is there to be responded to in whatever way
To expand a little, precisely because of that latter wish on my part I prefer not to provide a context at all. This has changed over the past couple of years - I used to sedulously title my photographs and post them here with details of lens/exposure/whatnot because I thought that sort of thing mattered :rolleyes:.

This desire to provide no context is foiled on the forum as of course it won't permit posting a thread without a title. I suppose I could title all my image threads "untitled" but then frankly I think I'd look a pompous arse :biggrin:

I see that you've edited your original reply, as it used to say that you found this set of photographs "rather ordinary".

Now I don't know if that's because you thought better of it and wanted to save my feelings (no offence was taken, by the way) ... but it is a strong, clear response, and thus an interesting one.

These are indeed rather ordinary scenes, ones of a sort anybody might come across while they go about their daily business. Make of that what you will.
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
Thanks Paul

have you chosen the title to indication a "pouring out" of part of the subject, or are you using the word in another context, i.e. as a French meaning ....... or is it just meaningless

Is it the processing that your are also illustrating

I'm just trying to get a "handle" on what was behind your thinking when you took the image .... and went through the creative process

I just found the subject "rather ordinary" not the image ...... but I was also trying to illustrate the point that if you say "Like" there should be some reason why that is said

some people seem to ask you to explain your image others say it is up to you to make up your own mind

I personally was against the "Like" change .. but that was not why I posted my comment
 
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Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
pdh,

For what it's worth, I think the notion of letting the photograph speak for itself is a pretty good one.

In plain fact, it doesn't matter if an image was shot with an Instamatic while hanging from the landing gear of a Steerman biplane or with a Bronica while riding a yak . . . the thing speaks for itself.

I saw an interview with a famous photographer (Ansel Adams, if I recall correctly) in which he said: "Nobody asks Hemingway what kind of typewriter he uses." To beat it to death: nobody (that I know of) asked Rembrandt what kind of paint and brushes he used or what he was thinking when he made a painting. Again, the thing speaks for itself.

Having said that, once I like or admire an image, I do sometimes like to hear or read the story about how it was made. Adams' Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, apparently was made in a tremendous hurry in a dynamic situation. Galen Rowell had to run a considerable distance to capture the rainbow leading to a Tibetan monastery.

Finally, the "ordinary scenes" of everyday life are wildly under-appreciated. There is a lot there, but so often we don't look, don't see.

Thanks for looking and seeing.

Cheer, Jock
 
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pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
I'm sorry Bill but I am going to disappoint/annoy/frustrate/whatever you by not answering except very obliquely.

I'm sorry if anyone considers the following "overthinking", but I take thinking rather seriously, so any followers of the "I don't know much about art but I know what I like and my kid brings better things home from nursery" persuasion might want to change to another channel :biggrin:

I have taken photographs and presented them to public view. On this occasion, I have selected a set of three and given them an overarching title. Had I hung them in a gallery, I might well have hung them together as a group but without any title.

Let us say I had offered them up with highly descriptive titles including locations. By doing so, I feel that will immediately place the viewer into a situation where the general aesthetics of the image and the viewer's emotional and psychological responses are subordinated to other speculations: "Is that an accurate representation of that scene ?" being one, and perhaps the most obvious.

Now, when I stand in front of a Jackson Pollock, or Bacon's "Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X " or indeed a Gainsborough (let's say "Mr. & Mrs. Andrews"), I am not supplied with any information beforehand by the artist about their state of mind, what they were thinking or feeling, why they chose the materials they did, how they prepared their canvas and applied their paint, or what they are trying to "tell" me or what the "message" is in the titles.

I've just got the pictures and the title (if any) - if I haven't been silly enough to read the gallery guide of course which will purport to give me all the answers about what a picture "means" - and I respond to them accordingly. I might respond with rage or terror or a secret smile or a tear.

And of course, I have seen many conceptual and installation pieces which thoroughly and explicitly explain themselves and their creators' conceptions. In this case of course the explanation can be considered to be part of the work itself.

But there is so often this tension with photography that because people imagine that it has more to do with "reality" than paintings or drawings, other things are asked of photographs than are asked of paintings and drawings - in particular "what is this we are looking at? where is this place? "

In the same way that an artist might write up an "explanation" of a painting, some photographers like to do so too. And of course the purposeful titleings and explanations of great American documentary photography (the FSA project in particular) of the early 20th Century form part of the "meaning" of the photographs,

But when I take a photograph, I feel no need to provide a title and explanation. There is a sense in which by not doing so, of course, I am also placing it in a context - the context of an object to be considered as sui generis

Finally - this is not an original thought but I can never be sure who said it first - the question for me is not "What does this (image) mean?" but "What does it do?"

Oh and just to be clear - I'm not considering myself to be in the same league as Pollock, Bacon, Gainsborough, or indeed Hine, Kertesz, Brandt or Springer !
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
My appreciation of Paul's photography is like my appreciation of R.E.M.'s debut LP "Murmur". I've listened to that album several hundred times (and even sung along with it) without every learning or understanding the lyrics.

I just LOVE that second photo. I have no idea what it even IS.....but I LOVE it. Knowing what the subject is would not allow me to enjoy it any more.

Although I understand Bill's wanting to know more. Like my friends in high school, we wanted to discern the obscure lyrics from that album we loved so much. Wouldn't understanding what he was saying make the songs more meaningful? He famously wouldn't "explain" his songs, leaving the interpretation up to the listener. So I'm left to listen to "Laughing" and NEVER understand it, but still LOVE it. If I knew the words (or more importantly the meaning), maybe I would love it more.....and maybe I would suddenly hate it. When I was young, I hated that the singer would not explain himself, but now I think I finally understand it and am OK with it.

So to get back to Paul's photos, I am left to what amounts to slightly more than knee-jerk reactions. But that mainly points to my own shortcomings as a viewer (I think) rather than any shortcoming of Paul as a photographer.

So sometimes I love a pdh shot and sometimes I don't. I rarely know WHY I love it or don't. But it's the ones that I just don't understand that really make me the most curious, and maybe that is what Bill is saying about this particular set. I know I don't "get" why Paul has selected these three to present together or why he he chosen "pour" and whether we are to read that in French or English, but all I CAN know is that I dismissed the first shot too quickly as being a tedious cliche long shadow shot (I now quite like it), I LOVE the second photo (and don't know what it is and don't care), and the third one I just straight up don't understand (but who cares what I think.....the photographer creats photos for himself).

In many ways, I'm glad that I view photos with a very untrained eye and an uninformed intellect. I think I can enjoy more of them being a bit of a rube (meaning photos in general....not Paul's. Actually, I'd probably enjoy more of Paul's photos with a greater intellect and understanding of the history of photography and the language of the medium).

I wish I could live MORE aspects of my life in that way.

Sorry for my ramblings. I hope I articulated myself well enough. It's not very easy to explain why one enjoys photos. It's even more difficult to say why one doesn't like a photograph (even when it is clearly a well crafted one).
 

Boid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
Bangalore, India
Rajiv
I often feel that a photograph (or any work of art really) is like Schrodinger's cat. One can't pick it apart and try and understand it without losing something in the process.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I often feel that a photograph (or any work of art really) is like Schrodinger's cat. One can't pick it apart and try and understand it without losing something in the process.
+1

I find a work of visual art either reaches me pretty quickly or it doesn't reach me at all. At whatever level, from superficial to much deeper than that. It never helps me to think about it much beyond that unless it's one if the very rare works that pulls me back for repeated viewings. And even then, I generally just consider the pulling me back for repeated viewing the compliment and don't break it down much beyond just experiencing it...

-Ray
 

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