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Charlevoix chair
 
© copying only upon request

Charlevoix chair


aplumpton
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Leica M8 with 21mm

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© copying only upon request

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This photo really appeals to me. I see it very much as an Equivalent.

 

The way the shadows actually relate to the subject, rather than just qualifying the subject, is very effective. The shadows themselves almost recreate the geometry of the chair, off balance and quirky as the angles and formation of the chair are. The worn texture and muted colors add a layer of emotional depth. Your playing with the edge of the frame seems to recognize not just the abstract philosophical considerations we're discussing currently in the Philosophy forum but also that this strangely formed and somewhat trapezoidal little chair wants to play with the right angles and straight lines of the frame in an off-beat manner. Your downward-looking perspective suggests to me the person missing who would use this chair, possibly even the unchairness of this chair, since it might not even be usable for the purpose for which it was likely originally designed . . . that is, sitting.

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Fred, I am amazed at your sensitivity in seeing the different aspects of this image, this chair and the shadows that embace it. One of our recent projects (well, not so recent, two years ago now) was to photograph, sculpt and paint two or three of the symbols of our island community. One was the island type of old chair, the other our suspension bridge (our umbilical cord) to the mainland and the third the characteristic roofs. I only got to the photography stage while the painter did several chair abstracts and the sculptor abstracted bridge elements and sculpted them in wood. The inspiration of the others, coupled with my own desire to distort the chair (a very wide angle lens and a downward angle of view does the job nicely) and to use the directional light through a small paned window to create a sort of counterpoint to the chair geometry worked quite well. Hand stripping of the paint from the chair left four different colors from different periods and perhaps a bit of warmth to entertain some desire of the viewer to actually sit in it (altough the apparent geometry is, as you say, not particularly "comfortable").

 

You have a great eye, not only for your own pictures, but for seeing into those of others.

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This is beautiful; I like chair images in general but this one is really outstanding with the play of light and the darkness of the background suggesting a rather bleak feel contrasted with the vitality of the blue on the warm tan. Very well done and intriguing to the eye; it has mystery! Thank you for sharing. :)
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Thank you, Trisha. I am not sure I always photograph with that objective knowingly, but mystery or intrigue is one of my sought after image characteristics, and something you also exploit particularly well in your own portfolio (e.g., Interiors).
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The only post processing on this one are some small paint outs of light appearing to

the right of the chair on the dark floor. Tried a normal focal length lens but went to a

21mm (effectively 28mm on my digital camera) to distort the rectilinear chair form

and to bring the viewer into the chair, which was placed to receive the window frame

shadows emanating from the only light source. It's a stripped paint chair that

originally had four coats of paint over the light blue original coloring.

 

Welcome your comments and how the image comes across to you, and if it does

not work for you or your are indifferent please do not hesitate to say so, and perhaps

why. Thanks.

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Surrounded by shadows, no legs visible, this almost seems to float in place (ironic, considering your image of the chairs in the pool).  It is a rather battered old chair, but the darkness by which it is surrounded, and the criss-crossing shadows by which it is decorated, give it a certain dignity and elegance.  The distorted angle and the shadows seem to pinch it in like a sharply angled corset.  

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Steve, as one who appreciates your eye and your photography, I am very glad to receive your comments. I had not thought of the floating context as such, but you are quite right, it does seem to be detached from its normal base (the floor). My perception was rather spontaneous and I'm not altogether sure of all the motivations to shoot it this way, and your comments and those of Fred and others help me to see what I saw in it (at least partly). and to gather other ideas that the image evokes. The latter helps us to define, or redefine, some of our work. I would very much like to explore further the concept of the chair (including others chairs). It is amazing how much one subject matter like this can induce us to find other visual and mental relationships.

 

I did paint out (using PS) some of the reflection of light, that on the floor, as it seemed spurious and/or did not fit composition-wise, but did not realise that doing so would detach it as you have noted. Old chairs like this are typical of our household furniture, as my better half and I are nuts for old furniture, especially painted pine stuff, which complements the age of our old house. 

 

I had a marvelous experience a few days ago, when I discovered your senitive portrait of a little girl sitting on a chair. Absolutely top photography to my mind. If you were closer, I would beg you to exhibit it in our small summer gallery. Beautiful.

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I like the lighting, tension of line and framing. The colors keep screaming at me though. You might try a strait B&W conversion then move the gamma up about .70. I feel it will make a good shot a great shot. With the deepening of the shadows, the form begins to flatten out increasing the figure/ground ambiguity.

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Lannie, thank you. I was lucky, as I just stumbled by accident upon the chair which was near a window and just chose to photograph it this way with the wide angle lens. The light on the floor was (for me) a problem, that different angles could not alter, so I simply painted out the floor in PS. If my knowledge of Photoshop Elements was better I might have cloned darker portions of the floor rather than paint it out. The chair is one of five different chairs from the Charlevoix region of our province that I bought together from an inexpensive rural antique shop and stripped partially (they were all painted glossy white at purchase) the texture of which is the product of removing several paint layers down to the original blue. I sort of like the several lives of the chair which also speaks to me through the texture and three or four remnant colors. 

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