Make : NIKON CORPORATION
Model : NIKON D2Xs
Date Time Original : 2007-04-07 09:45:36
Focal Length : 130/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/49
Exposure Time : 1/50
Aperture Value : 7.1
F Number : 7.1
Iso Speed Ratings : 1250
Flash : 5
Metering Mode : 5
Exposure Mode : 1
Focal Length In35mm Film : 195
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 72.0000000
Y Resolution : 72.0000000
Copyright : Copyright 2007, All Rights Reserved, No Publication or Sale Without Express Written Permission of Photographer or Agent
Software : Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows
Published: Tuesday 15th of May 2012 05:29:43 PM
To carl Vice
I have been on the site since 2004, and indefatigably, I have answered probably to a one with noted politeness the many comments made on my now 1,800 photos posted here. My return comments are legend, like them or not, they are widely read. Some come here just to read them. I treat almost all with great kindness for they do me an honor to come here.
I have on this site and another, similar site, posted just shy of 9,000 comments, many of which appear under my photos and almost unfailingly ended with the inevitable 'thanks' and often much more politeness to the member who made a comment, whether it was laudatory or not, because I understand the value of the critique forum.
I treat this comment section under each of my photos as my salon, my place for polite, adult discussion by aficionados, and I am noted almost everywhere for the kind treatment I give each and every contributor. That does NOT mean I accept every criticism; not all criticism is well founded but I try to accept that which is.
There have been three (maybe four) offenders in the past eight years who have been asked to leave because they could not behave within the bounds of decency; now you are one of them.
You are a relatively new member; you have posted a grand total of 25 photos with 13 critique requests and made less than 100 comments as a first year member, and your photos are not instructive to me of great talent. They are not bad, but they are not standout either. I won't be critiquing your photos, in fairness to you, or rating them.
For my 1,800 photos, I have made over 9,000 comments, nearly and unfailingly all pretty darned polite and inviting, because those who take the effort to come and post here are my guests, and they instinctively know they are expected to behave within the bounds of decent and polite discourse, and frankly, they don't need to be reminded.
You write on your biography page that a photo is about flaws and reality and dirt and grit, then rudely and hypocritically apply just the opposite standard to judging my photography though my photography (for those who take the time to understand it) is noted on this forum for applying just those standards.
That is intolerable and cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged, or at all, here.
My photos have had a total of nearly 16,000 comments, over half I am sure by me, but for some reason you are one of three or four whose comments have fallen below the standard of decency and good taste.
That is the reason I have asked you to leave.
If you were a noted authority, more leeway might be given you in deference to your perceived authority, but you have none.
Even Meir, for some misdeeds when he first joined, posted here without a reply for over a year until he got a response, and then when he changed the tenor of his posts, he was welcomed back. He has made many learned, positive contributions since then.
This is a friendly place for almost every commenter, whether laudatory or not, and you will note that even my commenter above took you to task in a way, even before I did.
I am making a request to Abuse@photo.net that you not rate my photos to avoid the issue of retaliatory rating in case that crosses your mind.
If in a year from now, your behavior changes, and you feel you can make a positive contribution to critiquing here, you might try your luck again and see . . . . for nothing here is writ in stone, and time and experience may temper your callowness.
In the meantime there are at least 800,000 registered members, and many who post, so no reason to bother with me. Some substantial number of those members are dying for just one critique . . . .
If you ever come back, make it a point first to learn the difference between 'high key' (or partial high key as noted in the critique request) and 'overexposure'.
Failure to have such basic, fundamental knowledge or be able to discuss it undermines your criticism.
I was on this site for six months before I made more than token criticisms, but when I did, people listened and intently so, because I knew precisely what I wrote about, and soon I was asked to join a featured group of critics sponsored by the Administration.
I learned early on to keep my powder dry.
John.. you're a talented photographer.
however, i have to agree with Meir that the "buried" arm looks "emaciated" (Meir is Israeli, so his sensitivity to emaciation is well given to us) , and i have to agree with Carla that it looks "distorted" (Carla and I as women often discuss photographic expressions of the female form, so i believe she and i are sensitive to the fact that No Woman wants her arm photographed in such an unflattering and sort of negligent way).
you had two choices, John... you might have shot her in an obviously formal pose, which aims for a sort of aesthetic perfection, or you could have shot her in a relaxed pose. You're a talented enough photographer of people, and i know that you know that this pose looks like "posed" relaxation, and it's fine to pose relaxation, but it is NOT fine to pose relaxation with the model's arm stuck in a chair that frankly does very little to fit her body comfortably. it's an awkward chair and she looks unfitted in it.
this model is an extraordinary beauty, so i think it's fine for you to admit that she does not look naturally relaxed and that her arm looks DEFORMED, and that a woman of such beauty deserves a more flattering portrayal of what we can only assume is a beautiful arm like her other.. and that you should try to give her another chance to pose if you can. also, there is no such thing as a "perfect" body, John. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder,,, but as photographers we have a responsibility to achieve perfection in our renditions of a body, which entails capturing the photo of the body as it really is in true life. i'm inclined to think that this beautiful woman's arm never looks as deformed as it does here, and nor is she comfortable because her arm is so obviously weirdly squeezed into that chair.
you're a fine photographer, and i'd luv to see another picture of her by you that shows her really comfortable, or really posed to reflect her extraordinary beauty.
Thanks, John... all in good faith... ;-} dp
carla Vice - to me the arm is comfortable, not anything else
I understand your point.
What I see and saw then is a comfortable model, arm partially obscured by a comfortable sofa; you see 'distortion' but I see differently.
That's why they make vanilla and chocolate (and occasionally strawberry (and why there's a critique forum.
You see 'distortion'; I see none. It's all a matter of point of view, and I did solicit yours for which I thank you
This image has been 'nit-picked' to death. It is my perception that it is presented not as a formal portrait - where the photographer is expected to make sure every inch of the subjects face and body are "perfect" before he snaps the shutter - but rather as a laid-back capture (dare I say a snapshot) of say the photographer's girlfriend (or some similar scenario). Additionally, no model on here (or anywhere else) should ever be criticized for her (or his) physical traits (e.g., her right-arm biceps). That is simply unprofessional and unacceptable. Based on the premise of its obvious presentation, I very much like it as a well-done, informal, high-key image. Nice job John, and kudos to your beautiful model!
Very pretty model I'd like to see more :-) Carla makes a good point.
Civilized critique as you well know is quite welcome here.
I think this whole thing for this six year old photo, never to be retaken, may boil down to a battle of the sexes sort of thing; most men who are not pro figure photographers probably never will even notice the arm which variously has been called distorted, emaciated and deformed; I certainly hardly noticed it, and -- in part because of her beauty and the fact that maybe I am able to project -- and obviously infer that the arm is behind the cushions.
Some people are capable of such inferences, others are not, and that may simply be a matter of personal idiosyncracy or one's sex. More on that below.
I hardly gave it a thought, but in future photography, you can bet to satisfy my critics, I'd be aware of it, as I am for almost all things that are brought up for all photos I take which get criticized in the critique forum.
But I do insist that discussion (as you have done) be civilized, and do not resent your mode and manner of expression at all -- you present your case well, and I am informed by it but am not obliged to agree with all of it. In fact, I have an interesting and I hope unusual view you may not have considered.
The male critic before Carla's comment above, hardly seemed to note the arm, same as me, and I think he, also red blooded, was drawn by Alona's obvious, stunning beauty and wholesome good looks, and for me (and I think maybe him) the arm seems like an afterthought (he can interject if he feels wrongly represented).
Men have greater powers of filtering when viewing things female than females, I think.
We know that females play 'dress up' for things like proms (promenades) and 'formal dances' (formals) primarily to please other females, not the males, who are happy generally if their female just looks her best, tries hard to look beautiful and is satisfactorily pretty for the event.
A woman 'dresses up not to please men but to please other women, and women can be nasty judges or critical judges of their fellows' looks and dress (or undress).
The same applies to weddings and other instances where women judge other women's beauty and presentation.
Women generally dress up (or even undress on occasion) to please other women, and if they are 'into' all sorts of special wear - such as lingerie as here, or posing, men with their special filtering mechanism can simply see and focus on essentials, filling in anything manque.
Women, I think, have a much harder time doing that, and do not understand how males can do that, and often think males are stupid, inept, or idiots for what is essentially a male view that does not concentrate on specifics and defects.
We look, take a mental snapshot, look elsewhere, and digest the snapshot mentally. It's that simple. We are seldom allowed (except with our own woman) a straightforward, unobstructed, long term view, so we have to do it quickly and on the sly, so often.
I know that's how I see things, and how many of my cohorts and acquaintances I've spoken with over a lifetime have described the viewing of an attractive woman to me who is not a spouse or lover.
A glance, a mental snapshot, a turn of the head and eyeballs away but the mental savoring for the most attractive images stored mentally, all over time, like a good wine on the palate.
Yes, men take 'snapshots' with their eyes, as the eyes sweep past a beautiful woman, and over time even though they may not be allowed by social mores or a jealous wife/girlfriend, exigencies of work, or whatever to stare, so in god time they stare inwardly at the stored image in their mind. It gives them solace; it pleases them.
I long have done it and did it during a 17-year marriage to a woman who if I had even acknowledged a look at a beautiful woman would have had a jealous fit.
I learned quickly to be a stealth looker. It could be done in a second or less and had deniability.
That meant I had to exercise enormous control over the urge to look more than a fraction of a second with a sweep of the eyes over a room, just enogh to take that mental snapshot, but like all men, I took that look, and stored all in a lightningly quick reflexive move. It is common among red blooded men who don't obviously ogle.
I cared less about distorted limbs, flexed muscles etc. I, like most straight males, practiced a gestaltist view. If this is new to you, then accept it on faith, but it's not new knowledge believe me, or even peculiar or particular to me.
I think in America and most of the advanced West, most socially adept men have mastered this technique, AND that technique does not allow for the viewing or even noticing of technicalities that are important to women, such as the awkward placement of an arm, the flex of a bicep, or the hidden part of an arm behind a sofa cushion.
Smart men know this is the way of the world, and those parts are there, their minds fill in the hidden anatomical gaps by inference, like a form of Photoshop 'content aware fill' which occurs almost subconsciously, so that they are not even aware of what you and Carla call 'defects'.
They just don't see them, or if they do, they don't care.
So, from a male point of view, to many males it may not be a defect at all.
That's how many males may view a beautiful woman through their own prism.
I'm an expert on this; but don't go looking for research to back me up, as I'm not sure this has been much written about except through comedy club comedians in their night club routines.
But people laugh hard at the jokes those comedians make about the mental snapshot, because they represent 'truth' (male truth).
As you can read here, if you accept my train of thought, this is a far more elaborate discussion than perhaps you thought you were entering into, but I assure you, it is that elaborate, when viewed through the male prism compared to the female prism.
This turned out to be a far more weighty matter than you may ever have realized.
Thanks for stirring this discussion pot.
By the way, on the male-female complaint axis, a complaint from Meir doesn't count; he's a former pro nude photographer and sees such things differently than most males. I'm not suggesting he is not red blooded, just the opposite, but that he has special vision for a male, and that vision is highly trained.
Is this discussion ending where you though it would, Donna? I tend to think things though, no matter where they lead, and I try to be intellectually honest.
See where a well-stated good faith comment gets you?
For Michael C. I am do tired of hearing that models shouldnt be judged on physical beauty? We dont look at them male or female for their intelligence now do we? The fact here is that you John messed up with the arm. You should have taken the time to see the arm and its distortion before you hit the shutter button you should have asked her to just not apply so much pressure to it which still would give her a relaxed appearance.sHE is also overexposed. There is no definition of her hair on the left side. it just seems to me that the photographer was a little shutter happy too excited with the fact that there was a nude woman in his presence and forgot any professiionalism? I am not saying that is what took place i wasnt there but that is what i perceive. Lastly you dont need to be correcting others for grammar or spelling errors we have spell check for that,,, its condescending and from what i see Meir seems to be a very intelligent man.
Donna, when you call men 'swine' for being men, that comes near the limit
Donna, however you phrase it, calling men 'swine' for being men, and exhibiting common and usual male characteristics comes near the limit of civility, and the same with seeming to suggest that somehow includes me among them.
I will ask you to tone down such references here if you wish to participate; this is not a political rally but a place for reasoned discourse.
I am sure there are place that welcome such discourse, but not here.
Alona's arm does not appear deformed, except that you see it as such; I do not.
Now that we've agree to differ, and that I do not see it as grotesque but as a normal appendage behind a sofa cushion, but you see it differently, let it go.
I suggest you seem angry because your friend (you say Carla's someone you converse with which suggests friendship) got out of hand and was asked to leave and you sound full of venom; this is not the place for that.
You see things differently than I, as explained above, and trying to contort those who see things differently than you into some sort of swinely brotherhood does you no grace and demeans your cause.
You see grotesquerie; i see a lovely arm behind a sofa cushion.
End of story.
End of discussion.
Goodbye for now.
The photo is exceptional as well as the model however i find her right arm distorted and distracting?
I would say deformity as in emaciated arm (not distortion). I understand that the arm is "ingulfed", not emaciated, but the initial sense of being otherwise (before figuring it out) is enough to... The other thing that I picked up on when coming back is that her right arm appears to have a strong non-feminine bicep because of its resting position. These two issues would be enough for me to pull the foto and that is why we have the critique forum (Yes?) -to learn how others perceive our image which sometimes is not the same as our own peception (often biased in our favor). Perceptions are not opinions but rather the known phenomenom of "perception is reality" and in that context I suppose that you can equate perception to ice cream flavors.
I like the 'high key' in this photo, but I expect you have better images of this pretty model.
John, my friend... i cannot in good faith entertain the hyperbolic defense you provide for the fact that the arm is unconscionably rendered to look grotesque. Alona should never have crimped the deformed-looking arm in that horrific position, and you should never in good faith have depicted the arm so grotesquely. we can tell from the arm on which her hair flows that Alona has an elegant elbow and quite a healthy muscle. if Alona does in real life have a deformed arm, well then fine.. photograph the truth because she is beautiful with or without a compromised arm. but to portray a mistruth that she might have a deformity if she does not is unfair to her and the viewer. i wish i did not have to agree with your believe that all men are swine when it comes to their "manly" interpretation of a woman's body. but even if it probably is true that men can be catty and single-minded about women, it doesn't make it right that Alona's arm looks deformed here. with its flaw, the photo may well seem more "real" or "unposed", but for those who have no other knowledge of the health of Alona's arm, it's a shame to imagine that a viewer might believe her to be deformed.
and i direct this to both you and carla, john : there is no such thing as a perfect body! no matter what design a body actually is, diversity is beautiful, and the beauty of it is the way the owner of the body uses inner truth to define the actual body. toothpick women with perky tits are not beautiful in and of themselves; only something beautiful from within can animate the beauty of such a body; only something unique about the character in a particular mise en scene can make a body beautiful no matter what its shape and features. i believe we call this "grace". you say Meir is a pro and looks at the female form different from how the average Joe does... well then who else but photographers can train the swine's eye to look more open-mindedly and deeply and honestly? dp
I am a different kind of photographer than some people expect; I seek a different soft of perfection, one that depends more on naturalness than one that depends on meeting people's expectations or 'mental pictures' of what they imagine a picture taken by me or another should look like.
I take my kind of pictures, not someone else's idealized photos, and will not be held to the standards of others. I invite criticism, but not rude criticism.
Alona was not my girlfiiend six years ago when this was taken; God had been kind to me however in the girlfriend/model department, and I've been monogamous, so I was not eating my heart out, nor shutterhappy, though I certainly enjoy female beauty.
I take my time in photographing and often it's the last of a series with models that is the best, and the first are discards as I learn to how best to approach, then to bring out the beauty of each model, a process that for me takes time, much energy, and lots of intuition; it is NOT a task that depends or uses any sort of formalism; and formalism is something I eschew.
Alona was a friend of Rita, close friend and fellow model, who was the primary model being photographed that day, and Rita brought her friend Alona, so they could ber photographed together as a pair, so as a bonus I got a chance to photograph two beauties together (see my portfolio for the two together in a traditional pose which Rita desired and which remains on her web site.)
Frankly I don't give much of a damn about what people expect a photo should look like, only whether the final product is pleasing and reveals something about my model or subject, rather than adhere to someone's ideas of traditional posing of nude models or other posing.
I'm not a professional, but I have achieved tremendous success here and elsewhere despite that; and have been taking MY KIND OF PHOTOS FOR OVER 45 YEARS WITH NO SERIOUS CRITICISM (until now), and I frankly disregard that as being part of a nude posting critique epicycle, because it's related almost exclusively to the incredible pickiness of those who haunt the nude women critique forum and nowhere else on Photo.net.
What is it about nude model postings that tend to bring out such pickiness and fussiness in so many and makes so many think they're the experts?
Well, I'm also fussy, but about getting naturalness.
Here, Alone rested, closed her eyes, and for a split second she was a beautiful woman relaxing, not a model posing, though dressed for a shoot.
That's what I think I captured.
To have disturbed her to tell her not to allow her bicep to contract or not to relax her left arm would have been unthinkable for MY KIND OF CAPTURE.
For the Amelkovichs and others who do formal nudes and have built a reputation on taking those, they can be judged one way, but I do not compete in those circles, and do not wish to be judged that way.
I note the pickiness on this service that surrounds critiquing of nude model photography as here can be unthinkably rude (ref. comment after yours.)
You correctly have understood my motives and my intentions, but mistake this lovely woman for more closeness to me than there was; she showed up in my flat one afternoon, stayed with her friend (my friend also) Rita, for a shoot, and was most pleasant, got paid for her time, then left.
Rita used to drop by for brunch and friend things that were NOT boy-girl things as we each had lovers of the opposite sex --- she was lovely beyond means, but I never entertained opposite sex thoughts of her -- she was a model and a friend, and that was that. I am capable of compartmentalizing such things.
The lines were clear. I always was a huge supporter of Rita whom I regarded as extraordinarily talented and bright (two degrees, an undergraduate degree and a Masters Degree, all before age 22, and wildly successful financially for a poor girl from a backwater big city 400 miles from anywhere that no one ever heard of with a gorgeous, bubbly personality.)
Now I understand she travels the world, and haven't heard from her for a while.
It is ujnthinkable to be told for my type of photography by anyone that somehow I 'blew it' in a candid shot of friend Alona- especially by someone who is neither a friend nor has any good will with me to say such an intimate thing and does not have enough credentials to have her credentials recognized by me or wo obviously even does not understand my type of shooting.
Chutzpah is OK from Meir, he's earned his chops, and he and I spar, he has my respect for his knowledge, but from time to time he also gets in trouble with me.
I've been criticiized by Lucie Award winners, Pulitzer winners and the highest echelons of the Associated Press editorial staff, and short of that, while the Photo.net critique forum is fun and often educational and eye-opening, I'll disinvite anyone who deigns to so rudely scold me in my own house (my forum here).
So, to Carla V. goodbye.
You're no longer welcome here.
That makes you the third person I've said that to in eight years on Photo.net,-- a place where I count a huge number of warm acquaintances and some very, very close people whose friendship I value highly, and whose criticisms I hold dearly and take to heart even when I do not agree -- especially when I do not agree.
Your comments are lacking in tact and as such are not welcome, and for my style of photography are not a pro pos.
Michael, thank you for your understanding comment, you certainly understood this photo and the circumstances.
Oh, and this is NOT a case of 'shoot the messenger'; Meir makes the same observation and he's entirely welcome here, but he does so in a manner that is socially acceptable.
I always listen to Meir's comments, and whether I agree or disagree, I always consider them, even when they're sometimes a little hairbrained and meant to taunt (all in good fun, as we've agreed).
You see folks!! we photo.netters are like one big family. Who else can one quarrel with other than cousins and siblings and then get over it in a minute. Today it is "fuck you" and tomorrow it's "hey, don't forget Sammy's Bar Mitzvah is this weekend. I'll kill you if you don't come." Italians are like that too. Yes?
Meir, your points are well taken
(the word is engulfed, but that's a 'nit')
I don't look for things like biceps, especically behind hair but if I do, I find nothing unfeminine about a female with a bicep that's contracted; I like strong women, especially if they are put together like Alona.
Her friend, Rita, was very feminine, yet she went on to model as she got older and developed quite an athletic build, despite my photos depicting her with what I think we both would call the 'perfect' body (I think you remarked on that at one time, six or so years ago, either here or in correspondence).
Alona was photographed and looked pretty good, but almost all poses were trite to say the least, but for a moment I caught her off guard. However the sofa was deep, dark blue and she was NOT high key, so I selected her and worked on her to create her as 'high key'. This is not the way I normally work, but I was pleased with something new I had done, so I posted it. This is an 'exercise' for my own good that just seemed to show well enough so I shared.
She was brought in solely to pose with Rita as a pair and for Rita's portfolio, not to work alone, and I grabbed her just for a few solo shots. This thus is one of only a few shots of her, alas.
I have tons of photos that I'll never post of women who are entirely forgettable, and even posed wonderfully would not be worth a second look.
Alona with all my faults in showing her with the 'faults' you and Carla see, is so head and shoulders above those others that I'd post (and not pull) this relaxed looking pose in an instant over a more formal and/or trite photo of her that does not show those purported 'defects'.
There's something about her,her face and her languidness in this pose, that for all the negativeness that you and Carla have emphasized about her arm(s), I tend to say 'so what?' I just like it,and although I have far better technical photos, none seems very worthy.
I was working on practicing taking commercial glamour shots (practice only, mind you), and my strength really always was in capturing the idle moment when things just coalesce, not in formal posing. . . . . or that was the case six years ago when this photo was taken.
I think it still is.
I only saw Alona that day and never since, double alas.
Thanks for your astute observations.
Oh, if member Jason Heyman, contacts you, it would be on my recommendation; please help him with contrast, histograms, and developing his tonalities, etc. I recommended you to him as a sort of kick start for some black and white street work where he shows promise - an area where you have technical strength I do not have, or which I learned from you.
He might also work on his artistic vision in view of post processing possibilities which currently he seems not to use.
Her right arm is over the right side of her head.
Perhaps you meant her left arm, buried in the upholstery?
Did you make allowance for that before getting upset over the 'distortion' you perceived.
After all, sofas have upholstery. and they are meant to engulf body parts, including her LEFT arm. (It's on our right as we look at her, perhaps you were confused?)
Thank you for the compliment on the model.
I would direct it to her. but we are out of touch.
If she sees it, she deserves it, and if her friend Rita sees it, I hope Rita (shown elsewhere) tells her of that.
Hi John. To be fair when you look in a mirror the right side of your body remains the right side of your body only in a photograph does the image become the opposite. With that being said if this wasnt a critique site and if the photo was taken by a novice the distorted arm could be forgiven perhaps? You should have noticed the arm before you took the shot. . Sorry for the confusion ...... i hope this clears things up as to which arm is distorted and which one is not? CARLA
'Alona' This is Alona in partial high key. Your ratings, critiques and observations are invited and most welcome. If you rate harshly, very critically or wish to make a remark, please submit a helpful and constructive comment; please share your photographic knowledge to help improve my photography. Thanks! Enjoy! john