Human Kite

by Keizer Dennis

human kite seeking critique keizer dennis

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Published: Thursday 12th of July 2001 09:01:42 PM


Robert Brown
I really like the lines here. Also, I recognize some of the technical difficulties you must have been having.

Mark Crame
Aesthetics 8, Originality 10 Punchy! v. original - I guess you took this after the earlier one of your face? Its a first for me - very original, and great colours. Love the yellow/blue contrast.

Matthew Wightman
Great shot Dennis it's a good shot. Kudos for having the minerals to not only parasail but to take your Nikon up there with you. It's a great perspective shot.

Osman Gagavuz
It is a very nice perspective and shot... Well done.

Mark Jacobs
You've successfully captured the moment of... 'oh God, why did I do this?" At least that would be my thoughts at this time, while staring at those knots in the rope looking for unusual movement.

Emese Gaal
Ooh!! Very cool. I love the color, the perspective, and the composition. It definately takes you there.

Mark Hoffman
It's been said, but.. That is a great shot! The lines coming from the angles are great. The color is awesome!

Gejza Cepela
I don't think you anticipated how well the seen will come.This pictures would be hanging on my wall. So long Gejza

Masatomo Ueda
Amazing This photograph's amazing. DO you remember the settings you used for it? I'm asking you this because I'm starting now and would like to know what kind of aperture/shutter speed I'd have to use in such a 'high speed' situation... Also... where did you put the camera when landing? I mean... I assume you landed in the water, didn't you ;) Really good photograph!!!

Gil Archway
Sunny 16 formula Very nice, Dennis. This photo help us to feel like you in the glider. I think you could rotate and crop on Photoshop to get a straight horizon. Tell more about the sunny 16 techinic. How do you find the time of exposure?

Nick S
Straight Horizon or Not? You know what?... I usually like straight horizons also, but I think this may be one of those cases where "rules" may be disregarded. Given the task at hand (paragliding - or is that parasailing?), a disorienting horizon may be appropriate. However, it would be interesting to see it with a straight horizon just to compare the two to see which may be preferable.

Alex Hawley
YES! Well Done, Dennis. All those who think you need image motion composition auto focus super high speed film medium format motor drive to take excellent aerial shots should see this picture. Color is excellent, perspective is excellent, and you had the audacity to do it. Reminds me of doing the same thing with a Piper Cub and an Olympus Pen.

Ken Kramer
Very Excellent How did you keep your camera dry? By the way thanks for the story about your landing, I was wondering about that too. I can see from the responses that this photo generated that you have created a powerful image here - which is the point of the whole thing sometimes isn't it.

Dennis Keizer
Thank you all for your comments Masatomo, I'm sure the settings were 1/125 @ f16. The action is not that fast from up there. The rope was not moving (thankfully) from my perspective. I had a neck strap for the camera and here is the landing area. A small dock about 30 feet square. I had done this the day before and had no problem. The next day I brought the camera. I debated over the Minolta or the Nikonos since it was a piece of cake the day before. It's a good thing I chose the Nikonos because I did land in and out of the water like a tea bag. It wasn't my fault, the guy driving the boat was drunk I think. Response to Gustavo: The Sunny 16 rule has been around for a long time. It is used for determining exposure under "normal" conditions. In bright sunlight, with 100 iso film, 1/100th - 1/125 of a second at f16. Many older cameras had fixed shutter speeds of 1/100th. For newer cameras 1/125th seems to be close enough. Response to Ken. My camera DID get wet. Fortunately it is an underwater camera. Thank you all for your comments.

robin schmidt
Ooooh! Way cool! I did the parasailing thing once and can't imagine taking a camera up there! Really neat shot!

Tom McCoy
Flying Circus You got some real guts doing something like that without a pocket knife to chicken out. Excellant photograph, good exposure and certainly a good 'birds eys' view of the reef. Is that really the color of the water there?

Mary Ball
286635 Absolutely wonderful! As already stated, who would have the guts to bring equipment up there! I'd be just hanging on to that harness for dear life. In any case it is a terrific perspective and I love the way the ropes bring your eye down to the boat below! Great idea, color, execution and congratulations!

Dennis Keizer
About the color At the time this image was posted I did not own a copy of Photoshop. The image was scanned from a 4 X 6 print. I have not found the neg yet but I'm sure I will run across it someday. Anyway, The image was resized in ACDSee. The ocean bottom near Cancun is blessed by many reefs and many different colored bottoms as well as different depths. The color "apearance" of the water changes as you move very short distances. The color looks pretty close to the print on my monitor and this print is eleven years old.

Edward Kang
vivid! I've never been to cancun, and I've never been parasailing. You make it look like a blast! Adding the rope and the boat in the frame transforms what would have otherwise been a boring aerial shot into something that begs to be a glossy full-pager in a magazine on parasailing. It literally "takes me there". As for any technical deficiencies in the photograph, I would like to see anyone on here do the exact same scene better. Thought so.

Kevin Borden
The Good and the Bad The pictures is both an example of good and bad practices in vacation photography. David did a good job of "capturing the moment" with his shot. This picture show why you should always take your camera with you. At the same time, it is also an example of not following an important rule: a photo needs a subject. Exactly what is this supposed to be a picture of? A rope? The title says "Human Kite", but there are no humans in the picture. This picture would be vastly improved by putting something more interesting in the foreground than a rope. Even something as simple as the photographer's feet would at least let the viewer know this was taken be a person, not a machine.

Terrence Kent
Tripod? Haaaaaaaaahahahahaaaaaaahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa, ahhhhhhh.

Dennis Keizer
For Kevin: ______________________________________________^

Emese Gaal
I like the last pic you posted too. It definately highlights how it must have felt to be up there. However, I also think that the original rope picture is great just the way it is. Great job on all of these.

Marcio Santos
Subject, colors I totally disagree with Kevin. The photo has a subject and it doesn't need to have a human to know there is a human taking the picture. I guess the brain completes the message sometimes. But I still can't believe in these colours, seem like a videogame imagine, computer generated, drawing.

Brian Mottershead
Originality vs Aesthetics The comments on this photo are more interesting to me than the photo itself. The enthusiastic response it has received on the whole are not so much due to the form, content, and technical attributes of the photo itself, but to the circumstances in which it was taken, the context of the photo. This photo is almost all context. Reacting only to what lies within the four corners of the photograph: some blurred rope, a tiny dot which might be a boat, a lot of almost detail-less garish blue sea, and some distant, out of focus, overexposed, buildings on a skewed horizon. All of this in an admittedly quite strong and dynamic composition. What people are raving about is mostly not in the photograph itself. Suppose there were a sturdy tower at this location, and you could go up with your tripod in an elevator. And suppose this picture had been taken there on a day that a boat was for some reason moored to the tower by a rope. And suppose further thousands of people had been up this famous tower and had taken pictures, and we had all seen dozens of pictures from this vantage, including some that were perfectly sharp, with fabulous light, dramatic clouds and sea, tall ships parading by, Blue Angels whooshing across the sky, etc. What would we think of this picture then? Aren't we all reacting to the presumed daring of the photograper, rather than to what can be seen in the photograph itself? If I jumped out a thirty-story window with my Fuji disposable and no parachute and I clicked the shutter a few times on the way down, the resulting blurred pictures might be moving, shocking, sensational, and apparently one of them would be selected, posthumously, for Photograph of the Week. But would it be a great photograph?

Amy Powers
Dizzy is right... Great shot, Dennis! I'm thinking you could sell a big enlargement of this to a support group for people overcoming fear of heights. The POV feels real enough to make just looking at it a legitimate first step in that process!

Belinda Tan
Unique Very refreshing and not conventional.

Kevin Scaldeferri
Interesting...I'm usually much more gracious than the average commenter on a POW, but I just can't get behind this. I don't know if it's in the original or just the scan, but absolutely nothing in this image is in focus. I like the concept and the composition, but all of the details that I'd really like to see are missing. Oddly, the other images posted from this roll are nice and sharp.

Emese Gaal
Congrats on POW, Dennis!!!

Tim Klein
Unique! Technically, I wish it were a bit sharper. (I don't know anything about underwater cameras; Is focus optimized for underwater use in some way, such as being shifted towards the blue end of the spectrum?) Still, it's sharp enough to not be distracting and the softness may even add a bit to the dizzying feeling of the photo. As for the horizon: I agree with the comment that it works in this case and I think it contributes to the emotional impact of the image (fear or exhiliration, depending on your point of view). This is defintely a great shot though! I honestly don't remember ever seeing anything quite like it. Kudos for originality.

Werner Van der Cruyssen
Great!! 7/9 Very nice perspective with the rope. The 9 is because you dared taking your equipment up there AND were able to produce a good picture.

I f
Orignality 10 Excellent shot like something out of a James Bond movie,well done.

J. Harrington USA Massachusetts
Fun Sometimes a great image is one simply because the photographer is in the right place at the right time. Photojournalists know what I'm talking about. This is not meant to detract from any photographer's skills. I give it a 10 for asthetics because it offers the viewer something more than just "art". A 10 for originality too.

Malcolm Low
Well done Congratuation on the POW Dennis. Keep up the adventure spirits!

Andy Ly
Despeckle Although this is a great shot, it was definately photoshopped. In photoshop, if you do, Filter, Noise, Despeckle; you'll get this same effect. Sunny 16 is a simple way to get the right exposure on a completely sunny day. It is used by a lot of people who wants to test out their new camera's shutter accuracy, or simply if someone's built in meter is damaged. On a completely sunny day, point your camera at the northern sky (away from the sun of course), and your correct exposure should be f/16 @ 1/iso (ISO 100 = 1/125, ISO 400 = 1/500, etc). I'd like to see the original for a rating. Congrats on POW.

Jeff Moag
Gorgeous Everything comes together here -- the color of the water, the beach and hotels in the background, the leading lines of the rope and wake. Not just a great perspective, but the right composition and moment. Folks, here is a POW made with a camera that has scale focus and no light meter. Who says modern photographers don't need to know Sunny Sixteen and Hyperfocal Focusing? Great work.

Mindy Breslin
Nicely done photo. Definitely draws the viewer's interest. I immediately wanted to look at all the details. Love the colors and the perspective.

Jason Kim
Wow, wonderful! That is a great shot! How did you capture it? Just great.

Terrence Kent
I'd like to second the opinion that there are photos that don't require a "subject" - sometimes the scene is the subject, doofus. To claim otherwise is to seem that you just don't "get it". This shot really works because of that "ugly yellow rope", it pulls your eye down very effectively and makes an otherwise good scenic shot into a great moment~

Dennis Keizer
LMAO ! You guys are "killing" me!

Dr Robert Truszkowski
Aesthetics 9, Originality 8 This photograph reminds me that people with the guts to take their camera 70 feet in the air above the ocean deserve to get good results like this one.

Mark Crame
Okay, who's bloody idea was the braille photograph? I've just wrecked my plasma screen, crashed my touch-screen and put fingerprints over my spare. AND I STILL CAN'T FEEL IT! Congrats on POW Dennis (I knew him before he was famous etc). I still think its a great shot, as for the sharpness, well, how about a 36mb TIFF file to look at? (Photoshop can sharpen some more if that fails to please!) Regards, Mark.

Ibi Al-Ani

Chris Whaley
Great shot!...Congrats.

Dennis Keizer
Well I guess there's only one way to find out Brian. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment on my photo. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. I agree with a lot of your comments btw. The technical merits of this photo were not something I was all that proud of as a photographer. In fact, if you read my previous comments you already know that I really never intended to post it. However, after joining I have realized that "art" consists of much more then proper exposure, accurate focus, and a strong subject. In the past I have spent way too much time worrying about such things. Seeing it again after ten years of sitting in storage, reminds me that it was one of the most FUN times I ever had taking a picture. And I think that's what photography is all about. Thanks again for your comments! Regards, Dennis Keizer

Seven Stuartson
Ibi goes pshopping!! DK I'm not getting knees in the Braille version - should we enlist Ibi's help? Best.

Christie Newcombe
Interesting photo! I have a similar one that I took when I was parasailing in Mexico a few years ago. I however took up a disposable camera with me. I could have taken up a fancier camera with me since I took off and landed on the beach - it was a very smooth landing. My favorite shot I took up there was when I stretched back and photographed the parachute, you'll have to try it the next time you go up!

Dennis Keizer
Sunday Drivers Wow, I'm seeing tripple. And the horizon is straight! Don't get too close Ibi. And use your turn signals. :)

Belinda Tan
To Ibi Al - Ani I like that SHARK !!!

Ibi Al-Ani
To Belinda Tan I didn't take the shark's photo myself (I’ll never try to take such ones in my life) I just searched the net for it. but I'm still happy that u liked it :)

Seven Stuartson

Dennis Keizer
getting crowded up here It used to be so peacefull up here......hey, that's live ammo!

Patrik Skolling Möller
WATCH OUT FOR WATER SPLASH ! I´m glad you were using a Nikonos! You´ll never know where to land. I mean... any PRO-SLR could withstand some amount of water, but this much? Did you land in water or safely on land ? Anyway, nice picture ! / Patrik

Seven Stuartson
Subject Matter? Rules? As I experience DK's unique image, the VIEWER is the SUBJECT. We're flying, man, FEEL it? As many viewers are likely imaginative humans the title is apt. Thanks for the flight DK. (BTW I'd like to see the Braille version too...dare you to upload it - oh, I feeeeel you already have, yes here it is, got my fingers all over it now. Superb : subject and object orl present and korrekt.) Keep bending those "rules" : like so - Originality 13, Aesthetics 7 Congrats, sympathies and regards 7.

Dennis Keizer
You dare me? lol Seven, you dare me? Ok here it is; the "Braille Version"

Mark Crame
This reminds me of a shot my grandfather took durung the battle of Britain.

Ibi Al-Ani
Nice photo. :)

Dennis Keizer
for Christie

Dennis Keizer
Another one. If this keeps up the whole roll is going to be on this page.

Ibi Al-Ani
Was the landing like this?

Amy Powers
"Aren't we all reacting to the presumed daring of the photograper, rather than to what can be seen in the photograph itself?"

I think many of us are reacting to how the photo makes us feel rather than the technical aspects of the picture, or and whether it does or does not conform to the rules of photography.

Jeremy Hood
Delicious picture. Screw focus, screw horizon. It looks good, it feels good, so "rules" be damned, it IS good! Do people not read the comments before posting? The effect is clearly some kind of jpeg artifact, I can't see a reason why anyone would want to do that "watercolour" effect to this picture... that's like splashing varsol on the Mona Lisa. To an extent! :)

Dennis Keizer
for the other Dennis Ok I'll take the bait this time. First let me say thank you for taking the time to post your comments. They are greatly appreciated. That goes for all of you. Second let me address the lack of sharpness. In retrospect I think the shutter speed might have been a little slow for all that motion. I wanted the smallest apeture possible for the DOF on the rope. Focus was infinity. This was scanned from an eleven year old 4x6 print just for the purpose of archiving it. I never had any intention of posting it so unlike most of the other photos in my portfolio, this roll was scanned as a low quality jpeg. I just got bored one night after seeing so many "abstracts" with no "clear subject" posted here, getting favorable responses. It seems like anything "wierd" is well received on this site. So, I uploaded it. If you have read all the previous comments then you know it was not "Photoshopped". Personally I don't like to spend any time in Photoshop because I would rather be out shooting. If I have to work on it in Photoshop then it probabally isn't a very good photo to begin with. Adding the rope later would not have been "capturing the moment". As far as parasailing goes, if you haven't been parasailing in Mexico, then you have never been parasailing. Parasailing in the US is not the same, believe me. When you land they don't "snatch the rope". You have to pull strings, one in each hand, that work shrouds to guide yourself down to the dock. I have another friend who went parasailing in Mexico and the boat turned too sharp and the line went slack. It was severed by the prop and he was cut loose. The wind blew him past the beach, over the houses and he landed on a roof top. He was injured but not too severely. The chutes have round holes in them and they are not designed to freefall so he came down rather fast. When the guys from the boat came to find him they were only interested in getting their parachute back which was tangled up in the telephone lines. The Nikonos belonged to a friend of mine and it really was not a "risk". I did have a strap around my neck for the camera. As far as a disposable camera, this shot was taken in 1990 and considering the lack of availability and quality of disposable cameras back then, along with the fact that I had two "real" cameras to choose from I opted for the Nikonos because it was water proof. This shot would have been crisper had I used my Minolta, but I would have rendered it useless after being dunked like a tea bag in salt water. I have since found the negative and as mentioned before I will try to have it scanned as soon as possible. The neg looks sharp through my loop but we shall see. Thanks again Dennis and all the rest for your comments! And a special thanks to the elves for choosing this photo. And also a special thanks to my good friend Tom McCoy for scanning all this stuff. I'm done rambling for the moment.

Vuk Vuksanovic
subject My biggest complaint is that it (the subject?) is an ugly, plastic rope. The crooked horizon could be an issue with some, but I think it makes sense here in view of the activity being portrayed.

Kurt Kramer
Aesthetics 4, Originality 7 This is more interesting than aethetically pleasing. I commend the maker for seeing the geometry of the image, but it isn't compelling or beautiful, just interesting.

Pat Morgan
kudos Kudos to you for taking the camera with you. I read what you said about trying to decide between the underwater and above-water camera quandry and you obviously made the right choice. I have taken waterski photos from in the water (with some flotation assistance) using my Nikon FE and Pentax -- so far without dunking the equipment. Again, thanks for a great photo. You can't take the picture if you don't have the camera. You did what most of us don't.

Robert Powell
cool! Nice shot! I've actually been to Mexico and Central America and can vouch for the vivid colors present along the coast. I'd be willing to bet the naysayers have not been near a reef!

Vadim Makarov
Just a good snapshoot Sorry, it doesn't make it for me. I'll try to look for explanations why this image doesn't invoke any reaction in me. As somebody already mentioned, there really is no main object. Foam from the boat is burned out (and looks a bit yellowish. I'd tweak color balance a bit). Sky is dull. There is nothing interesting on the coast. Light looks flat. Yes, there is a geometric composition of the rope/wake, and for that I give it 5 in originality. Yes, the color is kind of vivid, but doesn't convey me anything... 4 in aesthetics. Then, I might be not a big fan of this type of photography/object.

michael feiertag
this shot is from the perspective of the kite (or its passenger) -- the angled horizon indicates a banked turn, gives feeling of motion, is more dynamic and dramatic than a level horizon would have been. i might have liked a little more angle. i wonder whether the horizon angle was dictated more by actual flying at time of photo than photographer's choice of camera orientation. i would like for the boat to have appeared bigger. however, to include the strip of land at top of frame (highly desirable), one would need a bigger boat. colors are great (yellow/blue) and i think ropes are in pretty good shape (clean and colorful)considering their use and owners. how much more could the photographer have controlled without choosing the parasailing equipment? GREAT JOB. but these are the comments of a rank amateur/beginner.

Dennis Keizer
update Ok I found the neg and I will try to have it scanned this week. Also now looking at the neg it appears that the film was Ektar 125 and not Kodak gold. Sorry for the mistake.

....Jealousy I really like this photo. Great lines. Everyone else complaining of a "subject" is just jealous. Keep shooting!!!

Chris Grady
9 / 9 I gave this a 9 / 9 simply based on the sheer size of the cajones Dennis must have to risk the well being of his Nikon in this environment... and knowing he would have to land in water. The tilt of the horizon gives the image a unique feeling of speed and direction. Congrats!

Carlos Pimenta
Try a tripod next time ;) GREAT picture!Congratulations.

Joachim Gerstl

Tim VanBlaricom
Technically speaking... Technically speaking, who cares! Good photography stirs EMOTION and this shot has it in spades. I think this shot has an overpowering subject, the distance between those knots and the boat. What it was shot with makes no difference, F5 or disposable, it makes ya go "whoaa".

Mark Fonz
Hang in there Dennis I like your shot -- I tried to take the same shot while in Cancun one year. I took one of those water tight disposables up there in my belt and actually got it out and shot, but it didn't come out so good. The thing people don't know from looking at this is that you are being pelted with a might gusty wind and I was having trouble keeping the tears out to take the shot. I remember it was very hard to see through the finder. And hold still. And hold on! Anyway, good shot. As for the guy (no-subject Kevin): An artist can choose to tell you as much or more about his story by what is explicitly missing from the composition. White space and pause are sometimes much more useful than rote, rules-keeping documentary. Think of all the great music that begs you to fill in the gaps. The impressionist and minimalist paintings that evoke the deepest intrigue. This is a case where the subject is the very lack of subject and in that way it screams subject. But I did enjoy the shot of the feet, that was a bit telling!

G.Alan Fink
I am the subject Being a former (?) photojournalist, I can respect the personal impact such a picture places on the viewer... the subject (my dear friends) is the viewer (duh)... Dennis, you remind me of a few of us that might enter a burning building to get 'better perspective'. Bravo. And, to all of you techno idiots who think a picture has to have all that garbage (conform to the rules)... welcome to where there is only one rule: THERE ARE NO RULES. Photography is a passion to some, a livlihood to others but to all, it is a memory recorded.

Marc G.
What an interesting thread indeed ! :-) I read this above: "The comments on this photo are more interesting to me than the photo itself."

Well, I agree. And I read as well that the viewer was in fact the subject of this image.

And I agree.

But then I would make a simple observation: it takes absolutely no guts at all to bring a Nikonos up there... What takes guts, to me, but only a reasonable amount of guts, is to go up there yourself...:-) The camera is waterproof, and if you wanted to, a simple plastic bag with foam in it would be 100% safe for the camera, so I am a bit perplexed by the number of times I've read in this thread about the courage needed to get there...

Besides that, the colors are nice, but all the critiques I read above are valid imo. ALL of them.

Yet, the picture works somehow recisely because the viewer feels dizzy, precisely because of the angle chosen and the fact that we feel WE are up there. Now that's the smart thing about this shot, as far as I can tell...

Could it have been better technically ? As stated by many, yes. Could it have been better artistically ? Of course, very much so. I don't care much for far end of the background here...

There is a picture by Daniel Bayer on this site which is absolutely awesome - same subject more or less... This just can't compare imo. If we could keep the smart idea and end up with the Beauty Daniel managed to capture in his image, then yes, that would be an excellent image indeed.

Besides that, this isn't original, except for the "missing flyer" of course. There are plenty of such images available in stock libraries, shot with wider angle under amazing lighting conditions. So, I'd say this works somehow, but it doesn't strike me as fantastic nevertheless. Best regards.

Dennis Keizer
Human Kite : Please Rate Took this one while parasailing in Cancun. It was a rather difficult composition. Does it work? All comments welcome

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