Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2010/10/04

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Subject: [Leica] IMGs: Beauty and its beholders
From: leicaslacker at (kyle cassidy on the LUG)
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 12:45:12 -0400
References: <>

I'm always torn by stuff like this because my first thought is always "well, 
it's someone else's sculpture" which means that whatever "bang" comes out of 
the image needs to come from the _way_ it was photographed rather than the 
sculpture itself. One should look at the photo and go "what an amazing 
photo!" not "what a clever sculpture". On the other hand, a photograph 
commissioned by the sculpture should accent the "wow" of the sculpture 
without drawing too much attention to the photographic technique, give it 
context and present it attractively  -- so there are cross purposes here 
depending on who takes the photo and why. 

I went though and looked at Plensa's own collection of photos and found some 
not terribly amazing despite having, I hope, been photographed by 
professionals who were hired to do nothing but make that sculpture look good.

You first shot is nice -- it's moody and the colors work very well together, 
but it's not wiz-bang awesome as a photo and it leaves out context of the 
sculpture and some of the most essential nature of it -- the soft curves 
made by the letters in the arms and legs. 

The second one has, I think, way too much depth of field and the sculpture 
is confused y the trees in the background -- this one is a throw-away i 

The third one does a nice job of contextuilizing the sculpture, it's size, 
it's environment but I"m not crazy about the visitors. Plensa has people in 
some of his photos and I haven't studied them, or this form of photography, 
enough to figure out if they wait for particular people dressed particular 
ways, doing particular things, send their own in, or only worry about the 
light. Somehow I think the mother & child take up too much important 
real-estate here without giving enough back.

Fourth one is a good idea but I think it's hampered by the framing -- dirty 
parking lot in the background needs to be got rid of. it also looks like it 
might be a small crop, it lacks the smoothness of your others, too much 
wasted space in the bottom left and top right. Compositionally lost at sea 
(I think).

The fifth is an interesting try but again the depth of field, i think, is 
too deep, and you confuse the tree with the sculpture, but it shows you're 
thinking. We move on.

Sixth again with the depth of field. This could be a winner -- first the 
flow of letters up into the sculpture is great, I think you really want to 
capture that, and people may be important to context -- our people look like 
they're engaged and liking the stature. nice. But again the background gets 
too much love -- i don't want to see the house and the road.

Seven -- a ha! we're getting very close -- the trees, slightly blurred out, 
give a fill to the sculpture (with nice colors), it almost looks like he has 
a face, but there's too much room in the back and not enough in the front -- 
here I think we need more context, a step backwards, maybe our people 
walking down the road so they don't dominate the sculpture but still give it 

eight & nine are back to one but with slightly better coloring -- pick one 
of those three -- (I vote for eight, it has the best clouds). My .02, worth 
about that.

Hope this helps,


On Oct 4, 2010, at 12:19 PM, George Lottermoser wrote:

> <>
> c&c always welcome and appreciated
> Regards,
> George Lottermoser 
> george at
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Replies: Reply from datamaster at (Gary Todoroff) ([Leica] IMGs: Beauty and its beholders)
Reply from imagist3 at (George Lottermoser) ([Leica] IMGs: Beauty and its beholders)
In reply to: Message from imagist3 at (George Lottermoser) ([Leica] IMGs: Beauty and its beholders)