Published: Friday 24th of February 2006 02:12:20 PM
Imar van Riet
WOW!!! Amazing!! Just amazing! Thank you for sharing.....
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias This image has been selected for discussion. It is not necessarily the "best" picture the Elves have seen this week, nor is it a contest. It is simply an image that the Elves found interesting and worthy of discussion. Discussion of photo.net policy, including the choice of Photograph of the Week should not take place here, but in the Site Feedback forum.
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Thank you and enjoy!
* Maybe I'm missing the point? I guess I'm not seeing the interesting points in teh shot, either from an aesthetic or conceptual point of view. It's nicely done shot, but in my opinion....Nana has many more interesting shots in her OUTSTANDING portfolio. If I had to offer some suggested changes (always trying to make any criticism constructive, not just bashing), maybe more contrast would help add some depth to the piece? Beautiful portfolio, though, as I said. You're a wonderful talent. Regards--j
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias It's interesting how the head looks like a kiwi, in his hands. BW and lightning are also good (it was not SO difficult, I think), and the result is good. I can't see any "conceptual" meaning, but it's a beautiful image to see.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias ooooh, can you feel the round? And the despair! I'm glad there's no air at the top, I mean that the crop is trimmed to include only his body. And beneath the arms, the background that is visible, is tonally in tune with the subject's skin. Nice light, soft with open shadows.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias As an attempt to reply to Jim's comment, I think what's interesting about this POW is simply that it shows a new perspective on something well know. Top view of an egg... oooops... of a head, I meant...:-) I'll add to that, that I really love the fairly low contrast in the picture's skin and background areas, because it helps the neils to stand out. As Doug said, the disappearing background and the light are very subtle, and it's all so well done. If anyone who has no or very little experience in studio photography would take this POW in his hands and enter a professional studio, and if he was asked to simply COPY this picture, I think he would then start to realise how difficult it is to produce such a well executed picture, and how easy it is to make a mess of it. That said, I can certainly imagine that this subject matter may not appeal to everyone. Honestly, I wouldn't frame any picture of the same subject matter in my home either. BUT... it's still very beautiful... Congratulations.
good idea, somewhat flawed execution although i am a big fan of light coming in from the left like this, i feel that it seriously undermines the effort at symmetry--one of the key aesthetic ingredients in this picture.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I don't know if this was the intent of the photographer, but when I first looked at the image it looked to me like someone was holding a football in front of them. Neat illusion.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I don't think the idea was symmetry, rather creating a sense of detachment and motion. It's amazing how many different elements create the effects--texture, angle of texture, lack of texture, detail, lack of detail, and the relative size of the foreground and background fingers to name a few. The barely visible detail of the fingers on the right side is very well done.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias david. i didn't say that the idea is symmetry, but surely you can't deny that it is an aesthetic component? actually, it's not just the lighting that's "off" in this regard: everything is off to the left and, if you really want to be pedantic, the head is crooked/turned. for a street candid, all forgivable; for a posed studio capture, not really. i am surprised marc g finds all this accpetable--perhaps it is in the context of the air-brush fantasy novel cover "art" that passes for photography here these days.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I like the photograph very much. At first glance I thought of a basketball player with a very small basketball, but it kept my attention long enough to realize just what it was I was seeing. Very clever photographer. I would like to show it on my wall. I have some idea that the shoulder should be a tad more burned in. Maybe not, but I would like to see it that way and then judge it again. Great photograph. It needs a name. Willie the Cropper
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias The only somewhat symmetrical elements in the photo are the tips of the fingers. These are not evenly lit. So no, I wouldn't agree that symmetry is a component. I think there is a deliberate attempt here not to be symmetrical. I can see that there might be a certain expectation by the viewer that things should be symmetrical. The fact that they are not creates the desired effects.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I'm assuming that the subject posed for this shot. Okay, so it's a guy holding his head while he looks downward. I suppose the pattern of the fingers is interesting as a graphic element. I consider this sort of photo, graphic design. I don't know why he's doing what he's doing...perhaps he has a headache..perhaps he's depressed. No clues as to the "story" behind the photo. Technically well exposed. Otherwise the pic doesn't hold my attention. A one liner.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I don't know. Too much symmetry and it would look phoney, like it had been photoshopped. I think it shows enough symmetry to achieve what Vuk calls the "aesthetic component", but not so much that it looks fully posed (which I'm sure it is). I think the idea of the photo, if it had one from the start, was not to portray any specific kind of human pathos, but in reality, it is probably just the result of a collaboration between a photographer and a model. I don't mean to belittle the image, but to suggest that there may not have been any grand theme from the beginning of the session. They got together, this is what resulted. Making emotional photographs is hard. If 5 out of 10 people see, or better yet feel any emotion whatsoever, let alone the emotion the photographer intended, call it a success.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias ...although, Jim has a point. It IS yet another photograph of a man with his head in his hands. I mean, I've seen this kind of shot before, too. Seems a bit Mapplethorpish.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I think the photographer considered symmetry to a certain point, for instance, in realizing the symmetrical component as a compostional element, but I don't think he was trying to make it precisely symmetrical, for instance, lining the fingers up on a grid. The fact that the light is asymmetrical, as both David and Vuk have pointed out, proves this. Slam dunk!
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias if it's actually not meant to be symmetrical, then the photographer chose about the most uninteresting and unconvincing way of doing it, which would make the effort far more mediocre than a near miss the other way.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias My first impulse was that I was supposed to see anguish. And then it became one of those illusions-- Oh, i can't recall the name right now-- where an image can only look like one thing at a time: you're either seeing a vass or 2 faces, etc. So when I looked at it, yeah, it's clearly someone looking down, but then i saw the hands and thought about them holding something. The head was lost in that moment and became an object being held. Does this make any sense to anyone else? Like the human form broke down into is constituents and made me very aware of the body as separate components while at the same time losing the body. It was this vacillation of body/not-body/body feeling that I had that really made this interesting. Just my 2?... it's a very nice shot.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias Vuk, How do you like Irving Penn's work ? Admittedly much more contrasted than this, but here's my point: Irving Penn made a career out of symetrical portraits with side lighting.
JH de Beer (RSA)
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I'll admit, I don't know anything about studio photography - probably never will either. But this week's POW is brilliant on a certain level. After a quick glance I also got the feeling that it is a player holding a football (not the round one, the oval one)in front of his chest. Then I saw it is a man who is holding his head in his hands. And then, when I looked at it strangely with a sort of weird expression in my eyes and squinting a bit, I could swear he ripped his own head off and is holding it in front of him. Makes you wonder what happened to all those 3D posters we looked at for hours.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias This surely is Photography tutorial material on "perspective"! Very original!!
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias At first glance, this image is clearly open to many interpretations. I thought the subject was a pregnant woman.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias If this uploads right, then it illustrates more of what I hear Vuk saying. (The original was rotated so the head was verticle, then the left half was copied, flipped and pasted on the right) From here, I can see the point he's making. I'm not saying this picture would be better if it were photoshopped as I have shown, and I don't think Vuk is saying that either, but that I hear Vuk saying it should be either perfectly symmetrical (as shown), or not symmetrical at all. As Nana posted it, it's neither, which seems to be driving Vuk's sense of aesthetics into the wall.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias The point of a real symmetrical composition, as opposed to ersatz PS versions, is that you can read where the line of symmetry is and compare not just the similarities, but the differences. Fake symmetry shots, and even real ones that successfully eliminate virtually all variations, are sterile and boring, IMHO. I think Nana's composition achieves the balance quite well.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias this one is using the right, darker side, as the master.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I agree, Carl. The symmetricized versions remind me of the turtle POW a few months back.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias Although, they do have an appeal. I mean, the first one I posted, created from the left, lighter side, is easier to misinterpret a la pregnant woman, football, basketball, etc.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias "The point of a real symmetrical composition, as opposed to ersatz PS versions, is that you can read where the line of symmetry is and compare not just the similarities, but the differences. Fake symmetry shots, and even real ones that successfully eliminate virtually all variations, are sterile and boring, IMHO."
- If done correctly, it would be very easy to hide the 'line of symmetry' in Photoshop. Yes, duplicate one side; flip and paste. Afterwards, on top of the new false version, I would paste the original version and using layer opacities and the eraser tool I would bring back some of the original hair details, shadows, finger wrinkles etc to circumvent the 'cheap' flipped look.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias i think this photo manages to achive a very original study of the human form...more i look at it, it looks like the man has taken off his head and is displaying it infront of his chest. very good pow choice i think. never seen anything like this.
Louis McCullagh - Belfast
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias An original image (to me at least) and very graphic. It is always interesting when you can see that a photographer has thought of what he/she is doing, as opposed to grab shots or records of what is in front of you (like so many shots seen here on photonet). It is great that more will visit Nana's portfolio to enjoy it and get a push to try to emulate her. I would have tried a square crop as I think it might make the image a bit more abstract. A simple looking shot but it isn't.
Matt, A line of symmetry is not a physical line. It is implied by the presence of flipped objects - visually, not literally through reflection. All symmetry compositions have a line of symmetry by definition. To illustrate the point, if the hands were to extend towards the head from the middle of each of the two sides of the frame (no thumbs) and if the fingers were reasonably straight, there would be two lines of symmetry.
Nana Sousa Dias
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I totally agree with Fred Weyman and Jim Dudley! There are plenty (fortunately) of photos in my portfolio that are much better than this one... Well, I totally agree in everything, except one thing: I'm not "her". I'm "his"! ;-)
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias The composition, lighting and finished print are excellent. And, the image, like many of those by Mr. Dias, is BOLD and hasn't been done by any other "artists" around the globe who display and "critique" work on this site. Nana Dias is in a class by himself and much can be learned by the study of his work.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I like the dramatic tension found in this photograph between co-existing opposites. Right vs. left (which is not there if it is symmetrical), positive vs. negative (as in left-film/right-negative), tightly cropped vs. universal human anguish, and black vs. white (as in not a color photo).
I also see a Macro element here. The highlighted fingertips remind me of the kind of order found up close in nature; symmetrical but not perfect. Contrasted with the larger sense of the despair we've all felt, the photo easily reaches beyond it's tightly framed composition.
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I agree with Michael Nigro this photograph displays excellent lighting and finish quality. Unfortunately it doesn't emit any emotion to me. It doesn't 'grab' and 'keep' my attention which I want it to do. As a viewer I haven't been given enough information. I'm left wondering what is going on - there is no tenseness in the fingers no hint of anything. Because of this, my thoughts then move over to the Doug Burgess comment re this photograph is a little Robert Mapplethorpish..it comes across soft to me.
Louis McCullagh - Belfast
Nana Sorry for the sex change. I have visited your portfolio often enough not to have made such a stupid mistake. Re POW - no such thing as bad publicity?! Louis
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I Love It!!! Throwing-out all of the 'over-thinking'.... no thoughts of symmetry, which, in my humble opinion would degrade the concept..... looking at this from an artistic standpoint... I think it is a great photo! Upon viewing it, my immediate thought was .... what is that?? which allowed me the luxury of taking the time to exam this photo very keenly, which led me to the conclusion.... "Frustration" ... if this were mine, that is what I would name it! Very nice, very thought provoking!!! Mark
Response to Ailton #4 by Nana Sousa Dias I do not think anything in the image should be simmetrical! The best version is the original, love the tones and composition, superb creativity, very artistic.