Norway

by Duczynski Maciek

norway seeking critique duczynski maciek

Gallery: NEW

Tags: norway seeking critique

Category: Landscape

Published: Tuesday 15th of September 2009 07:02:58 PM


Comments

Anita Dickhuth
Norway Fjord comment

This photo is quite perfect the way it is presented here. The highlight on the rocks of the cliff in the lower right foreground balance the highlights on the fjord on the left, and leads the eye to the water's surface beyond and and the light of the sky. The figure atop the fjord is a pleasant surprise to me the viewer in the overpowering landscape and drives home the point of how insignificant and powerless we humans are against the forces of nature. The dark fjords at the center and dark clouds in the sky might suggest the extreme forces of nature that can wreak havoc on our lives.

Anita Dickhuth

 

Przemyslaw Kruk
rewelacja

Radoslaw Zeler
Mocne jest, gratuluje top-a ;), pozdrawiam!

Bruegel Kuiseb
... powerful & oniric... Hi

Ektor Coughanour
High quality shot...awesome!

Zsolt Andras Szabo
stunning scenery, very inspired composition. excellent photo.

Michaela M
Breath-taking. Best regards, MM

Hakajala Abbagish
This is at prekestolen, right? Great shot.

David Wisse
Inspiring landscape and photo Maciek. Very well done.

Huseyin Gurses
Just beautiful Znakomita technika i kompozycja. lubię *minimalism*. Punkt maksimum.

Dan Bliss
It is an amazing, beautiful image. Nicely done. Dan

Gary Loveless
Excellent image and composition. The person standing on the cliff adds so much to this already very fine photo.

not applicable not applicable
This is breath taking. Really awesome!

Jörg Vetter
Masterpiece of images with tension in. How sensitive is our ... ?Congs 7/7.BR Joerg

Mario Jose Morel
One of the best pictures I have seen. The greatness of nature vs. the smallness of man.

Roger Honeski
Having the person in this really gives a good idea of the size of all this great work.

Yves Petronin
Magnificent picture. Very well composed, very subtle and attractive....

Gareth Maybury
Wow! What can I say? Perfect!

David L. Forney
I agree with all the compliments. Beautiful image. Wonderful capture. David

benjamin ortiz
Not only do I love what you did with the black and white ,the back drop is awesome this photo is clear were it need be this is a photo I would hang in my home Ben

Milena Galchina
Very good work...full of emotion... Milena

Clemson Guy
Stunning! Wish I had taken this.

Eren Abice
great b&w work.. very good composititon.. i really like the contrast.. regards

Jack Beckett
Great composition, very striking

Angelo Plessas
Great job !

Eduardo Agustin Carrasco
wonderful shoot, congratulations

Anuar Patjane

One word: Superb!

S Lung Chen
Damn Straight...

Dramatic...Breath Taking.....Hmmm......

Emmanuel Enyinwa
7.

Excellent!! Should be POW.

Dan Morales
Dan In Ajo

Actually, I can see three different photos depending on how you crop the image.  I agree that the way it is cropped, the person causes a distraction.

Krish .E
=)

Stunning! Just stunning =)

James Riga
Norway

I have to disagree completely with Richard Edwards' critique of the photo.

I find the figure standing atop is not a distraction at all, but serves to show the magnitude, power and majesty of Nature. Withour the figure atop the "cliff", it would simply be another "Nature shot", with no impact on us as miniscule human beings in such a mighty world! I believe the figure also adds some "power" to the photo.

I guess one man's perspective in photography can be as different as day and night, but isn't that what photography is all about! Who knows what the photographer (Maciek) was trying to "say" with that shot.

I love the image & the impression it leaves me with. Well done!

Melanie McNamara

Beautiful shot...reminds me of Ansel Adams especially with the one lonely figure on top.

Apostolos Spanoudis

Really breathtaking photo.The DOF is excellent and the polarizer did a great jop giving a dramatic, intense contrast.The angle helps to an impressive  perspective.Fine work Maciek.Regards 

Patrick Hudepohl
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Please note the following:

Ken Thalheimer
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Love it. The lone figure adds such a grand sense of scale, the shot would be much more mundane without him. Great sky, whether natural or inserted. A nice sutter speed for the flowing river. The immense sheer wall beneath the figure adds to the grandeur of the scene

Marco Mazzotta
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Excellent b&W, well exposed and well processed. But not only, I like the contrast between the huge cliff and the small, very small, person on the top. This contrast makes me giddy. Very powerful image. Congratulation!

Michael Linder
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Maciek -
The Elves certainly made a good call in selecting this image as the P.O.W. It is about as breathtaking as any landscape photograph I've viewed. There's no need to reperat the strong elements that colleagues already haved identified. To me, the icing on the cake is the person standing at the top of the cliff. I was able immediately to put myself into that person's place, experiencing the grandeur that only standing alone in a natural setting can provide.
My best,
michael

John A
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I think this image really emphasizes how a relatively small element can completely transform an image. Overlook type shots are dramatic and can certainly grab our attention--but they can also become a bit cliche and easy to overlook. But the addition of this one figure--whether organically added or not--completely changes the reading and impact of this photo.

I particularly like how the massive vertical rise of the cliff face contrasts with the vertical of the human form. Oddly, they are both the exact same ratio of height to width--something that I felt but confirmed with measurement. The sense is immediately one of contrasts of form but also of the ying/yang of vulnerability and possibility.

I like how the vertical cliff establishes that sense while the horizontal spread of the more distant mountains establish a sense of expanse.

Personally, I probably could appreciate the image without the figure--for the landscape form--but may not really have stopped to look. The figure made me stop. (I think this figure is far more integrated and functional to this image as opposed to last week's, which seemed more gratuitous.)

JDM von Weinberg
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I'd say less of Ansel Adams and more of William Henry Jackson
e.g., http://www.jeremiahariaz.com/ariaz/R_Landscape_statement_files/WHJackson20188020photographing20Yosemite.jpg
Sometimes emulation and homage are a good idea.

Fred G
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I don't see the presence of the little man transforming this photo. It becomes a solid landscape photo with the inclusion of a person on top of the cliff. There's a blatancy and obviousness here to the matter of scale. The drama is there but, for me, rather one-dimensional. I perceive it and don't care to stay. What else is here for me?

I would love to go to the place and see it for myself sometime. The photo doesn't make me want to do that. The photo memorializes it in a sort of sterile fashion, much the way Adams memorialized Yosemite. I've been to Yosemite many times and Adams's photos don't capture what I feel when I'm there and don't show me something, other than technique, moving about the place.

In time, I suspect if I had this hanging on my wall, the person, which is a novelty at first, would become annoying.

Martyn Fox
Norway by Maciek Duczynski I saw this image in a magazine (UK publication) a few years back. Pulpit rock I think it was entitled. Brilliant shot.

Arthur Plumpton
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Fred has said it for me, in regard to the effect of the solitary figure and the fact that it (him) eventually becomes disconcerting upon repeated viewing. I don't really know why, other than his precarious position (but that is too simple a reason I think), it just does that. The lighting of the scene and the near to far perspective is quite impressive and the timing well chosen, but I think the B&W could have been more convincing, especially the muddy looking water expanse in the forgreound below. I sense the small presence of light reflecting waves or ripples in the water, but am seeing only minimum detail, mainly a midtone grey expanse. Maybe this is how it was, but it sort of looks like an airbrushed effect. The photographer no doubt worked hard to get to this location and his view is very well taken and timed (for the differential lighting), which I respect, but ultimately the image does not hold me.

Louis Meluso
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I like the image. The powerful sense of scale is enhanced by both the figure and the palatable sense of depth in the scene. The obvious mastery of the B&W tonal scale adds additional appeal as the weather and textural components gain a wonderful clarity.
The figure does add to the drama of scale, however, I think if the persons legs or arms could be seen better it would improve the effect and be even more eye-catching. Nice work, Maciek!

Starvy Goodfellows
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski Very difficult lighting situation and one can see the photographer struggling to maintain contrast. For me the darker mountains to the left seem to be just a tad underexposed for my taste. However, what makes this a success is the tiny figure of the man on top of the cliff.

Emmanuel Enyinwa
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

About time. Absolutely one of a handful of truly stunning images I have ever seen. I can's really see anything to complain about here at all.

Alberta P.
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

The figure made me stop too. So I Googled this wonderful photographer and found that it's his signature. It doesn't matter to me if this figure is real or not. Maciek has found a way to get you to stop and really look. The photo has many merits on its own. But the figure is the show-stopper. Hats off to Maciek for creating his niche. Well done.

He does amazing work, very nice with one person in many picture which gives you a real feeling for the size of things. Do you think he has this one person who always climbs and walks for him into position? posted on an August 2008 photography blog - pixalo.com

martin h
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I don't buy the notion that it doesn't matter whether or not it's real (and I refer to pictures in general, here, not Maciek's). You can still like it, if it's not real, but for different reasons and in a different way.

Why is there such a dustup when a famous historical photograph is alleged to have been altered after the fact or staged during the fact? Because if that's been done, it no longer represents the way things really happened (i.e., history), and that's important.

I have no idea whether the figure in this photograph was added after the fact or not. But I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that it does matter (sometimes).

Alberta P.
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Alas, martin h, you're off topic. In this forum we're asked to critique THE photo of the week pointing out what we feel are it's strengths and/or weaknesses. We're not to critique the photographer in general, we're not to offer opinion on whether or not digital manipulation adds or detracts from the art of photography, etc. etc.

Sadly, there is no place on Photo.net to have digital vs unaltered, full disclosure about digital alternation and other such conversations.

S G Parkinson
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I really like this image. I feel that it's not the type of image that should be shot in b&w though. I'm left wondering what the actual colours were like at the time. Do you have a colour image too?

martin h
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

OK, so if the figure is real, it's a strength; if it's not real, it's a weakness. Now I'm on topic.

John A
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

My sense is that the figure is added, in fact, looking closely at it, it reminds me of a deco style illustration--I like the posture but it doesn't really seem natural to me--I could be wrong, but I do think it has been created.

But regardless of whether the image lasts or not, that it ends up living for us, I don't think I have heard that it doesn't have impact due primarily to the figure being in it. It gives an emotional grab, one that could be a bit contrived or considered cliche even, but it gets our attention. Holding it matters in some cases and not in others. A good photo often needs to be evaluated based on its purpose, some are so in the absolute, but it doesn't have to be that way.

If I am right about the figure, I don't know that this image would have the same impact larger, I think much of an enlargement over this size would reveal the artificial nature of the figure. That is only important if the image has a purpose beyond this posting--but it does not feel 100% right either, but is effective on initial look.

Fred G
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Martin, you were very much on topic. Neither Alberta nor anyone else, except the moderators, run the show here. I'll followup on what you said by way of agreement. Of course it matters (to me) whether the figure was there or was cloned in later on. I'm certainly not against photo manipulation, collage, double exposures, and all kinds of stuff. But I am against the kind of deception that would for me ensue were I to find out this was a composite without full disclosure by the photographer. ManRay is a favorite photographer of mine and, Lord knows, he put together many a photo and his stuff is not always representative of what is "real." But, with ManRay I get creative authenticity and genuineness, not the attempt to fool people into thinking something happened that didn't.

Some composites work really well at creating a sort of unreal but plastic kind of moment, intentionally. I can really appreciate those. But some composites fail miserably for a variety of reasons (for instance, last week's POW, which was trying to seem like an organic scene but was anything but). To the credit of last week's photographer, he was very upfront about this.

I don't care that much whether this photo is a composite or not because I'm not invested in it emotionally. But, if I were, it would make a heck of a lot of difference. Again, not because I think compositing is bad or evil, but just because it makes a difference.

John Rowsell
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Alberta, I'm curious as to how the imaginary rules about what can and can't be the subject of discussion regarding the POW have arisen.
If someone feels that the matter of compositing (adding the person at the top of the cliff) is relevant, they should air their view. I'd like to see a flock of puffins up there.
This is a magnificent image of a beautiful fjord. The clouds add a bit too much complexity for my liking. They are a distraction.

Alex S.
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

It think the man's presence is transformative. It made what would have been a well-crafted ordinary shot into an extraordinary photograph. I do not mean that this is in anyway an original idea. It has been done before. But that does not matter. There is nothing really new in landscape photography. You need to go to Mars for originality. The beauty of this photograph is that it was shot in Norway. Yes, it is quite beautiful as it stands. But that it is of Norway adds a lot more icing to the cake.

A photograph of this sort has one of two purposes: either to show the insignificance of something or the hugeness of something. There is nothing insignificant about the man standing tall at the edge of the cliff. So it must be the other. The vastness of Norway.

Norway?

Here is the irony. This is how Europeans saw America: the big empty land where you will not see the smoke rising from the chimney of your nearest neighbor. A contrast to crowded old Europe. Well, here is Europe. Up in Norway you can find the wilderness and the vastness of nature you might first associate with the so-called New World.

Eric Wéry
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Lord-of-the-Ringesque picture. No offense intented. The cliffs and the river, or lake, seem surreal and surnatural, I expect a dragon to pop up next. The silhouette adds so much power. Truly a great piece of art. Got a 7 from humble me.

Richard John Edwards
Norway by Maciek Duczynski This is a well taken landscape, the person in the image however has little impact in the overall scheme of the image. If the image is cropped square, the lone figure dominates. As it is the figure competes somewhat with the landscape and provides only a distraction. I am a big fan of the use of proportion and scale as a design element however the proportion and scale need to just that. They need to create dominance in the image from the small center of attention, in this instance I think the lone figure is suppose to be that center of attention. Cropped this way I don't think it hit the mark, cropped square from the top down, I think it would.

Jatinder S. Keith
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

This picture symbolises the immenseness of nature, and how humans dwarf before it. It also symbolises how human race often appears to dominate it; on top of the world.

Josh Root
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Alas, martin h, you're off topic. In this forum we're asked to critique THE photo of the week pointing out what we feel are it's strengths and/or weaknesses. We're not to critique the photographer in general, we're not to offer opinion on whether or not digital manipulation adds or detracts from the art of photography, etc. etc.

Given that the topic of the man being added or not has a direct relation to the critique of the image at hand, ti's not really off topic. Though the "natural vs processed" debate that it alludes to surely has the possibility of going off topic as far as a POTW discussion is concerned.

Sadly, there is no place on Photo.net to have digital vs unaltered, full disclosure about digital alternation and other such conversations.

At the very least, that sort of thing would likely be on topic in both the philosophy of photography forum and the casual conversations forum. Depending on the topic, it might even be on topic in the digital darkroom forum.

Alberta P.
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Sorry all. You're absolutely right. No one died and left me boss of Photo.net.

Anders Hingel
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I'm not among those that care at all whether the figure on top of the cliff is real or not. The landscape is genuine, I believe to have have been there. The guy was not there when I passed, but who cares.
What of relevance here is the image.
I like very much the greys in the sky (most of it) in the distant mountains and in the impressive wall of cliff in the foreground. I'm less impressed by the water of the lake which has become a fairly flat blank surface with a completely dark part to the left. A pity (due to long exposure, I guess) because it breaks the dramatic view of the rest. When it comes to the figure on the top of the cliff, it ruins it all for me and translate the whole scenario into a cheap tourist attraction. A pity, in my eyes.

Mike Morrell
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I think Maciek did well to take this photo under these lighting conditions, avoiding the crowds that sometimes flock to this location. Given that similar photos exist, I have no reason to doubt that the person on the cliff was there when the photo was taken.
I like the person being on the cliff. He/she gives me a sense of scale and makes me wonder what he/she was experiencing alone on that cliff 2000 feet above the fjord. Given that height, it's not suprising that the water looks smooth.
To me (on my laptop screen), the B&W treatment looks fine. I like the distribution of tones.
Good work!
Mike

David Cavan
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I don't often comment on the POW, but this one really grabbed me when I looked at it. This one has a story, and I'd like to know more about that narrative. Who, why, what was going on at the time that would have that person, at that moment, in the photo. That narrative, or the mystery of it, makes this a great photo for me, personally. Technically it's very good - as Anders says the exposure on the water takes away from the whole somewhat, but not enough to take away the intrigue about that person's story.

Arthur Plumpton
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

After commenting on the muddiness of the water and its sort of airbrushed quality in my initial comment, I had another look at the area where the impressive cliff side meets the water. There is a halo between the cliff and the water that seems to indicate post exposure modifications that reinforce my first perception. One can see the wave tops or ripples in the water below, so it may not be due to the length of exposure but more to the B&W conversion or post exposure manipulation. Given the distance from the photographer to the closest objects and the apparently fairly strong daylight, it is unlikely that a slow exposure would have been used. I think this is a color to B&W conversion with additional alteration (or collaging) and somewhere along the way the water has been altered and the result is what we see as a mass of slightly variable but uninteresting grey tones. The human figure, probably added (but that in itself is not a problem for me), doesn't do anything particular for me in terms of a narrative but rather appears a bit déjà vu. I might be more impressed by the appearance of one or a team of alpinists climbing the rock face, or a goat on the mountain, although an image of this sort has enough going for it without an obligatorty human presence. I also think the sky is overly dramatic for the type of scene and two of the cloud masses very dark (perhaps naturally so, but that is why we do post exposure) and thereby distracting from the more key elements (In some cases, other than here, a dramatic sky can be the main subject itself, as in strongly backlit images or where the sun's rays pierce the clouds). Perhaps the photographer will see the comments to date, and will provide us some discussion of his approach and why he might consider the critiques not fully on the mark, or perhaps even useful to him in his work, which is really why they are or were intended.

Alberta P.
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Good bye Photo.net world. I can no longer tolerate the Nazi-like abuse. I posted my apology BEFORE Josh Root posted his "rub my nose in dog doo-doo" response. I'm out.

martin h
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

C'mon, Alberta. It's not that big of a deal.
Martin

Martyn Fox
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I have found the magazine that this image was published in. It was Digital Photo magazine issue 125 February 2010.
The image was actually entitled "At the edge". The paragraph accompanying the image reads -
Maciej Duczynski took this in southern Norway on the cliff called Preikestolen (pulpit rock), located above Lysefjorden, in August 2009. "The light was not spectacular so I decided to convert it to mono to give the image more impact." This is one of the highest European cliffs at 604m, "It's a couple of hours hiking but it's really worth it - the view is amazing with the huge verticle rocks and beautiful blue water below." Maciej used the figure of a person to give a sense of scale and show how huge the cliff is.
Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mkii with Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 34mm 1/80sec @f/9

Thought it may be of interest.
Alberta, it is only discussion dont take it to heart.

Alberta P.
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Martin - it (my comment and Josh's response) isn't that big of a deal. But the fact is, I posted my comment before Josh's and somehow the timeline is now not right. That, to me, is a very big deal.

Josh Root
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Alberta,

I sense that you are implying that I (or someone) messed with the time/date stamp of your post. While I do not have a lot of confidence that you will believe me, I promise you that I did no such thing. For one thing, the only way for that to happen on photo.net would be to go into the database and adjust it manually, as photo.net does not have the ability to adjust timestamps in the admin interface (mostly because there are few legitimate reasons to be doing that sort of thing). That means that Jin, the head programmer, would have to take the time to do it (as he doesn't let me mess with the database directly). And to be perfectly honest, even if I requested such a thing, I doubt he would be inclined to do it without a VERY good reason. Even for someone as talented as Jin, messing around with the database directly is not something to be taken lightly. One mistake and giant sections of the site can be affected in a nightmarish way.

In addition, there is no real reason for me to have messed with your post. I would have made my post no matter where your apology was located in the timeline as there was confusion over what is and is not on topic that I felt needed to be clarified. And as I said to you via email:

I'm not sure why you felt that an apology was required in any way. It was simply a case of confusion as far as I am concerned. There are many times when people try to pull the POTW discussions off topic and yes, that isn't something that the POTW should be used for. But when the conversation is related to the image at hand, then that discussion shouldn't be smothered. It is a distinction that can be confusing, hence my clarification post.


In all honesty, what probably happened is that you forgot to click "confirm" when you were posting (or perhaps clicked update instead) and then moved on to another page thinking that your post had been made. It happens to everyone from time to time, even those of us who have been here for over a decade. And if not that, then the next most likely culprit is a server glitch. The PN servers are hardly immune to that sort of thing.

And as I said before, I'm sorry to see you leave photo.net but I wish you all the best in whatever direction photography takes you in 2012.

Jeremy Jackson
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Alex, I think you are right that this image is not new. I have seen tents, dogs, bicycles....you name it, placed in such positions. Tents with a light inside at dusk seem to be pretty popular. I would suggest, however, that there are new things being done in landscape photography. Perhaps now more than ever given the new creative possibilities we have in the digital environment.

About the image, I'm not a fan of the processing or light here. The light seems to be coming from everywhere and nowhere all at the same time and the processing is a bit heavy handed for my liking. The composition though is powerful and makes good use of some of the basic rules.

Alberta, don't leave. If all of us who have felt slighted here at one point or another left, I think Josh would be talking to himself. Best, JJ

Arthur Plumpton
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Alberta, we all get uptight at some time about a point that is dear to us, and in the frey we often act quite quickly, spontaneously. When the dust settles, we often have a different outlook on the matter, have the time to look at the question from all angles, and generally find that what bothered us was not all that important in the overall scheme of things, or that we may have just misinterpreted something in the frey of things. I use we above, but it has happened to me before elsewhere and I don't think there are many of us that are free of that occasional spontaneous, often emotional reaction to something that upon reflection turns out to be rather innocuous. I think Josh would not have taken the time to assure you of the timeline thing unless he was certain of what he is saying and unless he also would like to keep you from leaving Photo.Net on the basis of a simple misunderstanding. We haven't had the chance to exchange ideas in the past, but I have read some of your interesting viewpoints and I hope that we can continue to benefit from them in future. Cheers, Arthur.

Rochelle Brooks
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Very abstract and depth

Steve Aronoff
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Nature trumps man. Man is insignificant conpared to nature. This is how I see your most excellent photo, and I love it.

Alberta P.
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

OK - I'm back. And I want to thank all of you who encouraged me - on this post and via emails - to stay. I can and will stay focused on the bigger picture :)

One last note about this POW - having viewed the Pulpit Rock photo mentioned earlier, I have even more respect for this photo for it's composition. I don't know the area and how much one can move about to get just the right POV but Maciek's is spot on.

As for Josh . . . . . . . . (silence with a hint of heavy sigh)

Ilkka Nissila
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I don't think the figure was added, individuals standing on the edge of Prekestolen is very common in pictures and I doubt they're all added in post. I think the processing of this image is very nice and it's perhaps the nicest I've seen of this location.

Mac Hayes
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

For me, the human figure has the effect of lending scale to the cliff on the the right, nothing more than that. I was surprised to find this scene was in Norway, it is so much like the western North American continent (USA, Canada). I get a completely different feeling from the larger "print" - it is much more effective in large size than in the thumbnail view. Someone suggested cropping it to a square; I don't see how that would improve the image unless there is more to the left that could have been included. I tried cropping this existing image and see only harm done to it by cropping either the bottom or top - or both.

Comparison to the image of a photographer in Yosemite (Hansen?) is wrong; in that photo the human is the subject, the waterfall secondary. In this photo the landscape is the subject, the human only a part of it. At least that is the way I see it.

Christian HEYER
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Very impressive photo. The cloudy sky gives a dramatic effect to the scene and the standing person makes a scale to measure.
Congratulation

Richard John Edwards
Norway by Maciek Duczynski Marc, I am the someone who suggested cropping the image, but if you read what I posted the suggested crop is not about improving the image it is about how the figure relates to the image. That is very important when using the design element of scale or proportion, it needs to mean something in context. The context here is we lack clear vision on the image. As it is currently presented the image is generally a landscape, the figure is a distraction in the landscape, my suggestion is that with the image cropped, the figure developed dominance of the scene, and demonstrates scale and proportion.

John A
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Just to give another view, realizing we all have our own way of seeing, I don't know that I can agree at all with Richard's analysis. I think that the small figure in the large landscape is very effective and cutting too much would hurt the image. But, I don't think a square crop, some off the top but leaving some of the water below, would hurt the image and what I see as its current effect--but I also don't think it improves it. As a matter of preference, had this been my image, I would have cut off some of the water and cliff at the bottom of this image (certainly keeping some of the open water at the bottom to intimate that it is a large body of water and not a stream). I am not keen on these really long images (in fact, I rarely find the 35mm vertical format that attractive, just too long for most subjects) and I don't really see that the extra water or cliff down at the bottom informs the image in any meaningful way, the point is made with less (probably not the square, however, but maybe near the lower notch and line in the cliff face) and would be more attractive IMO.

As to the water itself, I think it is nicely rendered and I think it is very indicative of a light wind. Not smooth and glassy--more like a luster surface--but not real rough. You can see the riffles in the water and I don't see it as being muddy in any sense of the word.

I also think that, given the nature of the light, the tonality overall has probably been handled as well as it could have been. I don't think it sings like it might in other light, but I certainly have had more than a few negatives of my own that were taken in similar light that ended up being very difficult to balance and get those wonderful tonal relationships we all covet. My guess is that some atmospheric conditions have been eliminated and thus the lack of b/w tones we might be used to in other types of images. That isn't an excuse, it is a weakness here as it is in any image that falls short in some way or other from a technical standpoint, but all images have their weaknesses and it is a matter of evaluating the overall result against the shortcomings--which can be totally irrelevant and even be enhancements to the overall image in some cases.

Anthony Darling
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski Sorry but I don't agree with the cropping suggestions. The portrait format helps me to feel the terrifying drop the figure is risking. I love this picture, it has amazing depth and as I said before the height and the format set my vertigo off almost as well as if I was there..

Charlie Crusan Jr.
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Without delving through the discussions, I just want to state my critique. I've seen several photos of Pulpit Rock, and this one is my favorite. I've never been there, but it seems like you have to get there early if you want to catch it without crowds of people. The composition is well split up into thirds, the sky, the far mountains and the water, and the cliff on the right. The black and white tones are amazing, and seem to give it an old-timey look. The person on the top is a nice addition. Although distant, and a complete silhouette you can still make out their pose. They seems to be calm and reflecting on the view. Considering how close they are to the edge, I think it's great. It is something I can relate to because, I have the same reaction near the edges of such places.
Best regards,
Charlie

Warren L West
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I too believe that the tonal range is too compressed and that cropping, both top and bottom, adds strength to the image. I think that overall the image leaves me with the impression that it is too dark but that it could be improved by lightening up the center left portion where the headland comes out.

Museeb Jasim
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Good that they could stand on their legs to achieve this composition in such topography.

Anders Hingel
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

the water itself, I think it is nicely rendered and I think it is very indicative of a light wind. Not smooth and glassy--more like a luster surface--but not real rough. You can see the riffles

John, I agree. Indeed the water is not smooth and glassy as I indicated earlier.
I still however see the person on top of the rock as introducing a dimension in the story line, that I at least find somewhat out-dated and déjà-vu. It reminds me of a re-play of German 19th century romantic paintings of "man in nature". I see this photo, and the scene itself, as having visual material that could go beyond what already has been done numerous times before.

Jatinder S. Keith
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

The discussion and debate is whether the human figure is real or manipulated. Some have felt that the human figure transforms the image, adds impact and highlights the grandeur of nature etc. Some have referred to the nondisclosure of possible manipulation as deception.
I have earlier shared the thought that this image aroused in my mind. I would believe that the photographer’s intention was to essay this thought, highlight nature’s grandeur or show how it trumps man. Critiquing the photographer gives three possibilities. a) The man was there. Credit the photographer for being lucky. b) He arranged for the man to be there or waited for such a situation. Credit him for his colossal effort to coordinate or his patience. c) The photographer manipulated the image. Credit him for his imaginativeness.
I googled for ‘Prekestolen’ and found this image. It does not seem unusual to find people at this site. I think the photographer has used his skill to compose and crop the image to create this impact. Whatever the case, his work is as magnificent as the site.

Jatinder S. Keith
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

The discussion and debate is whether the human figure is real or manipulated. Some have felt that the human figure transforms the image, adds impact and highlights the grandeur of nature etc. Some have referred to the nondisclosure of possible manipulation as deception.
I have earlier shared the thought that this image provoked in my mind. I would believe that the photographer’s intention was to essay this thought, highlight nature’s grandeur or show how it trumps man. Critiquing the photographer gives three possibilities. a) The man was there. Credit the photographer for being lucky. b) He arranged for the man to be there or waited for such a situation. Credit him for his colossal effort to coordinate or his patience. c) The photographer manipulated the image. Credit him for his imaginativeness.
I googled for ‘Prekestolen’ and found this image. It does not seem unusual to find people at this site. I think the photographer has used his skill to compose and crop the image to create this impact. Whatever the case, his work is as magnificent as the site.

Fred G
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Critiquing the photographer gives three possibilities. a) The man was there. Credit the photographer for being lucky. b) He arranged for the man to be there or waited for such a situation. Credit him for his colossal effort to coordinate or his patience. c) The photographer manipulated the image. Credit him for his imaginativeness.

There are many more possibilities. Here's 3 alternatives:

a) The man was there. The photographer might have waited for the man to leave so as not to create what many consider a cliché of a statement about the scale of man against nature. b) He arranged for the man to be there or waited for such a situation. Credit him for his effort and patience and criticize the photo which is the result of that effort and patience and happens to be what we're looking at. c) The photographer manipulated the image. Encourage the photographer to be more creative and more authentic in his manipulations.

Critique is usually unlimited and there would be much more that could be said about the man's presence, no matter how he got into the photo, and the photo as a whole.

Anders Hingel
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

The most interesting information we receive from this image, shot far away from the dwellings of most of the viewers on Photonet, is that there is no protection on the rock preventing people from falling down. Norwegians are very special people.

Arthur Plumpton
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Living with nature and its dangers has been in man's experience since he came to being. Comfortable city life is comparatively recent. What is it that makes our indigenous people so fearless about walking on girders 80 srtories up on the whispy skeletons of new skyscrapers? What makes the mountain climber tackle shear rock faces, grasping to stone that he can only estimate the mechanical consistency of? Some individuals are fearless and the impact of this photo can relate to those who are less secure in such situations.

Last week, one of two alpinists who had tekked a day on foot (snowshoes) in unconnected territory and under winter conditions, up the Malbaie river in our high country to a place of precipitous gorges (800 metres, quite a bit higher than the Norway rock pictured) and who then spent the better part of the morning thereafter grappling upwards on an ice covered rockface, suddenly lost his hold and plunged to his death. It took his partner a day to rescue his suspended body, bring it down and then trek about ten hours south to the nearest sign of life for help.

The Iroquois nation and other indigenous people whio work high steel, and the alpinist who fell last week from a rockface in the mountains of south-central Quebec, are perhaps examples of very special people, operating with minimum or no safeguards. I would also say that those of us who drive on serpentine secondary roads, devoid of barriers against sheer drops, as in southern France, in British Columbia high logging forests, or many other similar places on earth may not be very special, but each time I have been in those situations I have certainly felt a certain dose of adrenalin. I am sure that some have a much lesser reaction than mine. My wife would have little qualms about being in the position of the person in the Norway photo, short of the presence of variable strong winds, but it is not something I personally would feel comfortable with. Apart from the Iroquois skyscraper bolters and welders, a certain lesser temerity is present in all men.

Mac Hayes
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

The second photo showing a large number of people does not compare to the original image by M. Duczynski. In the color photo the people and the rock face of the cliff are definitely the subject, while the distant valley is missing. For me, the three dimensional depth of the valley going off into the distance is more what draws me to the picture than the height of the cliff, anyway.

Fred G
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

Living with nature and its dangers . . . Comfortable city life

This is funny and completely inaccurate. Ask the residents of NY's Harlem and San Francisco's Bayview or most of Oakland just how comfortable and lacking in danger their neighborhoods are.

John Rowsell
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I like the photo that Jatinder brought to our attention better. The sky is less distracting, less heavy. I would have reduced the contrast in the sky of Maciek's image. The image seems top heavy. The focus should be the landscape.

Arthur Plumpton
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

"This is funny and completely inaccurate"

Perhaps, to some. I would think of it in a less black-and-white perspective than you. A recent study and book by a noted Harvard scholar has given good substance to the fact that there is considerably less violence in our times compared to the pre 1950 period, to recent centuries, and certainly much less so than in Medieval times and earlier (with a few exceptions). My point was less related to specific examples of violence and social injustices that you quote and more to the evolution of the safety of man, on average, as he moved from the perils of fending for himself in nature and sought more collective safety in organised city life. This all started in the first cities of the Middle East, in about 4000 BC, and has its modern evolution in our cities, suburbs or (or, in some regions, unfortunately) gated communities.

Does that affect our ability to face dangers such as physical heights? Perhaps not. It probably varies from person to person as well. I do think that because many of us may not be living in close proximity to nature, or may not have the experience of an active engagement via the armed forces, we may be more concerned about safety things such as the presence of barriers on roads, cliffs or precipices as that shown in the photo.

If the photo creates a feeling of perspective and scale, which it effectively does, and creates for some viewers, a challenge to their perception of heights or personal safety, perhaps it has well succeeded. This is distinct from its effectiveness and detractions as a black and white photograph, which is another matter.

In that sense, I agree with John, not about the color image he likes (which for me is a little bland), but about his perception that the heavy sky detracts from the supposed main subject. It is a fine image visualisation by Maciek, but I hope that he might have another look at it and how the sky could be made less imposing (and the rest of the image made more main subject) and how the water could be made more natural in appearance, in other post treatments of the original image.

Fred G
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I would think of it in a less black-and-white perspective than you.

Funny, I was thinking that your perspective was black and white. It is you who suggested that the city is safer and more comfortable than areas such as are shown in the photo. That seemed a simple black and white dichotomy to me. Just goes to show how differently we can think.

Anders Hingel
Response to Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I'm in grey territory ! Thanks Arthur for your reflections on contemporary people going for the dangers of nature. Beautifully written.
If I mentioned the railings that are not there, it was only an observation that in most cases, throughout the world, a tourist spot like the one pictured would in most cases "protect" tourists from falling down (insurance, nanny state and the like - no, Josh, I'm not trying to start a political discussion !). But no railings here !

Images like this weeks POW are always there for bringing us indices of local culture and human conditions. As mentioned, Norwegians are special.

Arthur Plumpton
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

"Images like this weeks POW are always there for bringing us indices of local culture and human conditions. As mentioned, Norwegians are special."

Anders, I agree on both your points, notwithstanding my observations of other like situations in other places. My memories of a short visit to Finland in the 80s haven't in any way dulled with time, and I hope to have the chance to visit the equally interesting (and more mountainous) Norway and Sweden, also for the spirit of the Scandinavian peoples, the initial European inhabitants of my own continent.

John Rowsell
Norway by Maciek Duczynski Arthur, I'm having a hard time seeing your issue with the water. Can you give us some help? It looks natural to me. It looks like a gust is occurring. In a channel such as this, that's normal.

Arthur Plumpton
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

John, I see the water as being a bit too middle grey and lifeless in its appearance, but I admit that this could be related in part to the reflection of a dark cloud cover. The slight waves or ripples are barely visible, but do indicate that the fairly uniform light reflection is not due to a slow shutter speed. Another thing that affected my appreciation is the halo one can see, upon close inspection, that is over the water area and follows the edge of the cliff. What causes that I'm not sure, but it might have something to do with PS manipulations. Whatever, I didn't think the water as being very natural looking. Because it covers a large area of the image I found the water effect important. I will say, though, that my admiration of some of other qualities of the image grow with viewing.

Jatinder S. Keith
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

a) The man was there. The photographer might have waited for the man to leave so as not to create what many consider a cliché of a statement about the scale of man against nature.

There could be as many viewpoints as the viewers. The community will agree that for a photograph to be a piece of art, it must provoke some thought or emotion. Otherwise it would be a journalistic document, a record or a piece of evidence. A piece of art is to be relished, discussed and critiqued on its own irrespective of the opportunities and limitations existing for its creator. Indeed the methodology and technicalities of the photograph are a topic that interests the photography professionals, enthusiasts and students. These should be discussed in context of what the photographer intended to express. Some photographers use caption and the remarks line to give a meaning to their work and express their thoughts behind it. Some leave it to the imagination of the viewer.
If the intention of the photographer was to create another landscape photograph presenting awe inspiring magnificence and magnitude of nature, then the human figure is a distraction. The photographer should have had the patience to wait till it moved away. If his intention was to bring out a comparison between human beings and nature and comment upon it, as some of us have interpreted, then we need to discuss how successful the photographer has been in achieving his objective, and how he could have done it better. If the intention of the photographer was to create or avoid 'a cliché of a statement about the scale of man against nature', then humble me would not hold the photographer in good esteem.

Fred G
Norway by Maciek Duczynski Jatinder, it's tricky when you take a quote out of context. It makes it seem like someone (me) was suggesting the photographer do this when, in fact, I was responding to another member's statement that there were three possibilities about the man in the picture. What I was doing was suggesting that there were many more than those three possibilities and I made it clear that the three I suggested were simply other possibilities among MANY. So it's hard for me to accept your post, which reads as if I was making a direct and specific suggestion to the photographer which, of course, I was not. I find this often the case in forums, and it's distressing. Words are taken out of context merely to prove a point someone wants to make, but often at the expense of the spirit of the original words being isolated and quoted.

John McGill
Norway by Maciek Duczynski

I find that the brightness of the water in the bottom of the photo competes too much with the clouds in the sky. Also, I agree with many that the figure is distracting as presently composed. Obviously, it is designed to give a sense of scale but I don't really think that is needed in this case. So as many have said, either delete the figure or crop it closer to give the figure greater prominence.

Maciek Duczynski
Norway Norway

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