Vintage photograph of the day

Today’s image of the day is called Hand on Door from the Som­nam­bu­list series by mas­ter fine art Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Ralph Gib­son;  it was shot in 1968. Many of Gibson’s most famous pho­tographs are high con­trast images, and this high con­trast has become part of his sig­na­ture style. Gibson’s pho­tographs were cre­ated through metic­u­lous film devel­op­ing (by Gib­son him­self) and printing.

What attracts me to this and many other Gib­son images is the strong sense of story and the very strik­ing graphic qual­ity of the image.

Hand on Door from the Somnambulist series by Ralph Gibson - 1968

Hand on Door from the Som­nam­bu­list series by Ralph Gib­son — 1968

Photography forum image of the month June 2011

Every month on our pho­tog­ra­phy forum mem­bers nom­i­nate images that they like. Then at the end of the month I choose an excel­lent image and talk about why it rocks. The photo I choose is not nec­es­sar­ily the best one of the month. I’ve come to real­ize it’s not really log­i­cal to pit images from totally dif­fer­ent gen­res against each other. That’s why there are cat­e­gories in photo con­tests. I just choose a photo that has extremely strong ele­ments that we can learn from.

Flower Pick­ing at Ast­bury Mere by Richard

This month’s choice is Flower Pick­ing at Ast­bury Mere by Richard

I chose this image for sev­eral reasons:

Gesture/Mood — The over­all ‘ges­ture’ is beau­ti­fully cap­tured in this image. Richard cap­tured his daugh­ter in mid-step while walk­ing through nature play­ing with a leaf and a flower. It feels as though she may have been day­dream­ing; in fact the whole image has a day­dreamy qual­ity due in good part to the ‘ges­ture’ and won­der­ful backlighting.

Post-Processing — The (PP) post-processing here works very well to sup­port the image. I really like the vignetting all around the girl as it empha­sizes the girl’s walk through a field of flow­ers and sunshine.

Selec­tive focus — Shal­low depth of field is clas­si­cally used to have the girl stand out against the dreamy background.

Lighting/exposure — Back­light­ing was well cho­sen here as the light is quite harsh but the image doesn’t have a very harsh feel. The girl’s face looks well exposed and appears com­fort­able and nat­ural because the sun is not blast­ing it directly. The spec­u­lar high­lights on the hair, hand and around the cloth­ing are won­der­ful warm accents and do not distract.

For all these rea­sons, this is my choice for image of the month. Since we all have opin­ions, some mem­bers may dis­agree with my choice. That’s cool but THIS thread is not the place for debate over my pick, NOR is it the place to fur­ther cri­tique the image. The pur­pose here is to sug­gest strong ele­ments in the photo that we may learn from.

Con­grats again Richard for see­ing and cap­tur­ing this won­der­ful photo!

98 — 3 reasons you SHOULD crop photos

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #98 talks about why it’s OK to crop pho­tos.
Many pho­tog­ra­phers on the Net and through­out Photography’s his­tory seem to be against crop­ping and in this pod­cast I explain why I am NOT one of them.

Guer­rillero Hero­ico by Alberto Korda — The cropped pho­to­graph of Che Gue­vara is one of the most rec­og­niz­able pho­tos on planet earth. Although the orig­i­nal is still a strong pho­to­graph, unlikely it would have become the icon it is with­out the crop.

Pablo Picasso by Arnold New­man — Arnold New­man was a strong believer in doing what­ever worked to improve his pho­tographs. This obvi­ously included crop­ping out about 65% of this very famous portrait.

Igor Stravin­sky by Arnold New­man — Most peo­ple would agree that the cropped ver­sion of this pho­to­graph is much stronger. In this case, less is WAY more in this unusual but extremely effec­tive crop.

Woman at the Door by Marko Kulik — This crop is uncon­ven­tional and delib­er­ate but I feel it helps the image and that’s the only rea­son it’s there.

Links /resources men­tioned in this pod­cast:
July’s reg­u­lar assign­ment on the forum — My city OR my coun­try
July’s level 2 assign­ment on the forum — Cre­ative use of my country’s flag

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Thanks to forum mem­bers Jimmy, Scorpio_e, and Bren­dan who posted  blog com­ments about our last pod­cast. Thanks as always to every­one that sent com­ments by email about our last pod­cast. Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board. Most of the links to actual the prod­ucts are affil­i­ate links that help sup­port this site. Thanks in advance if you pur­chase through those links.

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