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Reality

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Zou, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Further to the silky vs frozen water discussion, what role does reality play in your picture taking?

    Personally I like to represent the natural world more 'realistically' (more natural colour for example) and the man-made in a more abstract way, although I am not 100% sure why.
     
  2. chris000

    chris000 Well-Known Member

    Well I shoot virtually nothing but black & white so I guess that rules out realistic! I think that if you visited the locations of most of my shots you would probably recognise them - as for the moving water thing, I'm halfway. Movement yes silky misty no, or at least only very sparingly.

    If I were aiming for 'Abstract' rather than 'Landscape' it might be different.
     
  3. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    I try to go for reality too, as it creates a more instant connection with the viewer. I'm trying to transport the viewer to the location, so they have to recognise it as real. That's just me though. It doesn't mean that unreality isn't OK too.

    I think you can have reality in black and white too. I know that sounds daft, but I think there is more than an element of black and white about the way we see.
     
  4. Clodhopper

    Clodhopper Well-Known Member

    I'm not a fan of misty water and have no desire for a "big stopper" ;) However, I do have what some might consider to be a bad habit of trying to make things look how I wish they were, rather than how they actually are... it rarely works though, and I end up with something that looks more or less how it was.

    There have been a few occasions when I've had to tone down sunrise shots because they looked too lurid straight from the camera (oh, how I love cheap ND grads and their colour cast)

    Reality is all very well, but how many people want it? Give them disgustingly detailed HDRs (no, I can't do HDR either), unbelievable sunsets with misty waves lapping at dramatic rocks, beautiful people with flawless faces (or wrinkly old people that appear to have be made of etched steel), a countryside with no pylons, no fly tipping or electric tape fences...

    Reality sucks - bring on the fantasy :)
     
  5. Clodhopper

    Clodhopper Well-Known Member

    May be something to do with news pics being mainly black and white? To me, a B&W press shot seems to have a little more impact and meaning than a colour one. I have no idea why, but it seems more "serious" somehow...
     
  6. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    LOL. I am worried that you are probably right. I went to visit the Agfa factory when they were introducing their RSX slide film. They explained how long they had worked to get it as neutral and colour-accurate as possible. Of course, no one wanted it, because it was a bit real. Fuji's hot and saturated Velvia sold so much better.

    The reality is, reality isn't all that popular
     
  7. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    Back in the 70s when I shot lots of C41 film my film of choice was Sukura,later marketed as Konica.I suspect it was not made by them but I liked it for its neutral colours.
    The others of the day,Kodak,Agfa were much too colourful for my taste.I hate un natural looking saturated colours.
     
  8. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    My landscapes just end up "natural" coloured. Try as I might to get the highly saturated (even HDR, pray for me) they still seem more like water colours. Perhaps I should stop trying, judging from these posts.
     
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The beauty of photography for me is that it's not at all a depiction of reality. We don't see still pictures, for a start. Any photo is composed to offer you the view that the photographer chooses, and then there are so many techniques available such as differential focus, slow shutter speeds, panning, fast shutter speeds - you name it, it's a way of getting further from reality - and closer to how the photographer chooses to depict a scene. Take as just one example - a head and shoulders portrait. The eye doesn't often see just the head and shoulders - the photographer has already moved it away from reality. And it's that power that makes photography interesting to me, that makes it more powerful than reality.
     
  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I find unsaturated colours far more unnatural - they don't represent at all what I see.
     
  11. geoid

    geoid Well-Known Member

    Photographs can re-present either I reckon. I think I've gone through phases of having to have everything as sharp as can be, then through a high colour phase of everything being super saturated. The candy-floss look of the HDR is one example of fantasy.

    Now I feel more comfortable with some weirdness creeping in, and variety and creativity.

    So I like reality, but feel it works well with some element of fantasy too.:cool:
     
  12. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I try to rationalise my views as being about belief - I like to be able to believe that a shot is real, or it needs to be unreal enough to suspend disbelief. I'm not a fan of the milky seas either - I like some movement, but not too much, but on the other hand if you could create a shot with the "Wow!" factor, I could get over that dislike. On the other hand, I can believe on over-bright colours from someone shooting exotic locations, but if the same person does it with somewhere I know, I feel it's overdone. So much for rational!

    Funnily enough, someone posted quite a heavily fiddled sea shot a while back that got quite a lot of negative comment, but I loved it because it took me right back to my student days, watching storm waves breaking on the beach, rendered artificial and toy-like by the sodium street lamps. It wasn't what they were trying to do, but it ticked my box.

    Just to really confuse, I loved Kodachrome's palette - only ever shot one roll before it died. I guess all that makes me unrealistic!

    Adrian
     
  13. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    I think the same way - I have no interest really in presenting reality, but I like to think I manage to present a realistic seeming reality :D

    I read an interesting interview with David Bailey the other day, the pertinent bit is:

    AGD: Is there such a thing as a great photograph that’s been touched up?

    DB: I think so. I mean Raphael used Photoshop didn’t he?

    AGD: Did he?

    DB: Of course he did. When Medici said to him: “I fancy that bit of stuff over in Portugal, can you go and take a photo of her?” he didn’t show her dandruff and her scabby skin and her black teeth and the spots, did he? He used Renaissance Photoshop.

    AGD: Like Holbein when he painted Christine of Denmark and when she actually turned up Henry VIII thought: ‘What?’

    DB: Exactly. He would have said: “It’s a dishcloth, I’m not marrying a dishcloth!” I mean it’s true, nothing’s changed. Even in old photography, real chemical photography as I now call it, you still used to scrape the negs or the pictures to take out nasty things. It was just much more expensive. Now you can do it in seconds.

    The full text is here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...in-conversation-with-Andrew-Graham-Dixon.html
     
  14. ascu75

    ascu75 Well-Known Member

    What is reality? I liked the Toy cars in this weeks AP all set on realistic backdrops and even using 'real horizons' when I first thumbed through on first glance they were REALISTIC it wasnt till I stopped and read the article I realised they were toys. So is one sense they were realistic enough to deceive. Most of my shots dont leave any doubt in peoples minds, at first glance the are left with no doubts. He IS CRAP but the camera looks realistic enough.
     
  15. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I found that feature to be one of the most inspiring I've seen in AP for a long time - the fact that taking the pictures opened up a new avenue (pun intended) for him to explore, with no cares about what kit or settings to use. Photos making lives better, what more could you ask for from a photography mag. :cool:
     
  16. dachs

    dachs Well-Known Member

    Then again Kodachrome 64 (just before they stopped) in the murky storms of Skye last autumn, and even a few of my slides were worth a glimpse. I believe that 'hi-fi' lenses and camera combinations with the best of the modern films - chosen carefully for what they do - is part of the art of it. There's an argument raging now about Portra at various speeds, I suspect that is due to not selecting the film to suit the topic. Unfortunately if one is not a 'pro' it is generally better to pick one medium (provia 100 for me) and really get used to it, I find changing about is highly confusing because I only go on photo expeditions irregularly as an amateur. Anyway we are all lucky we are at the highest point of film design there may ever be, coinciding with the art of making cameras as good as they can be, so enjoy your imagination, as that is irreplaceable.
     
  17. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Far too much in mine is the answer. Must get out of the awful habit of doing real. Ultimately just recording reality can be reduced to following instructions in a book, but creativity can't. Some perceptive souls get a feeling about a place or event that is far more than what they see with their eyes, so just like the French impressionists, they use the full possibilities of the medium to portray it.Turner didn't have a big blocker (neither do I) but if he had, I'm sure he'd have used it.
     

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