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Old 01-16-2014, 04:03 PM View Post #1 (Link) Fine Art Photography
carnivalknees (Offline)
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Hello! I'm kind of new here, but I thought it would be fun to share some of my photography. I couldn't think of anything else to call this thread - I wasn't trying to sound fancy or stuck up by calling this "fine art" photography.
Along with writing, photography is one of my all-time favorite hobbies and is something I hope I can continue to do for the rest of my life. Any critiques are more than welcome! And if you like the photos I have a whole bunch more on my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lanebrianne/

I'd love to hear what you think!!


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Old 01-16-2014, 04:30 PM View Post #2 (Link)
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I am no expert when it comes to photography, but I love the contrast of cool and warm colors in your pictures. I think you have a good eye for interesting scenes!
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:43 PM View Post #3 (Link)
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I'm not an expert on photography either but these absolutely blew me away.
The photo of the girl on the dock is maybe my favourite. The contrast with the sky and the dark, still warm brown of the wood is flawless. The photo behind the gauze, it's a really intuitive idea - there seems to be so many more layers of symbolism beneath this which I can't grasp, but it's fabulous.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:51 AM View Post #4 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
carnivalknees (Offline)
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Thank you both so much!!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:07 PM View Post #5 (Link)
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Are you really the one who took those picture? Wow! Is my first comment and the second is that those pictures are beautiful because all the characters in those pictures have a kinda relationship with nature. The only one that looks more of a film production than a picture is that with the two girls on that farm. Their stance or poise is not really flattering. But to be sincere with you, I love your pictures. Can you send me some through email?. Now the third comment is that I'm so jealous of you. I also wanna be a photographer but I've got no opportunity. I'm not saying this to make you happy, but that's the truth. Use your opportunity well and be a well renown photographer
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:01 PM View Post #6 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
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Oh my goodness, thank you so much! It really means a lot to hear things like that about my work!
Sometimes it's actually really frustrating to try and create an image because I usually only have myself for a model - which can be very annoying. In the past I've occasionally had friends who have agreed to be models for my photos, but now I'm basically a hermit so I don't see much of anyone.
Thanks again for such kind words!!
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:05 PM View Post #7 (Link)
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So, my art training is in painting/drawing and my photographs are not the greatest, but I'm going to do my best here.

1.
I think I see the point of including the balloons in the image, because it signals to the viewer that this is a constructed and not a natural image (you're not just finding this girl/yourself spontaneously in the woods, the whole thing is a story or a set). It also introduces color and the sense of childhood or cartoonyness. Plus I bet the balloons are a reference to the time when pooh tried to go get honey from the bees. I like that it's all thematically cohesive in that way. At the same time, I wonder what the image would look like without the balloons - have you tried both iterations? The echo in color between the trees, the ground, and your dress is fantastic. I don't know if it's the light, a lucky costume choice, a shrewd costume choice, or what. But I love the way the trees are this sort of muted purple even though the image looks like it was taken in the spring or summer, since I see some richer green in the background between the trees. Even the needles have a sort of purplish cast to them, though it's warmer and more muted. I like that it's picked up explicitly in the color of the dress and that the tall, long lines of the trees are picked up in the folds of the dress. That echo between subject and surrounding is the most compelling part of the image for me, both because the "theme and variations" situation is visually appealing but also because it tells me how much the girl is a part of her surroundings (even though I know it's a little fantastical and staged). I feel like the balloons distract a little bit from that main color impression I get from the photo.

Also, this is a hell of a setting. Is it in your neighborhood/behind your house? What awesome woods! And they've been photographed beautifully - I get a real sense of rhythm from both the standing trees, the slivers of light in between, and the mossy trunks on the ground by the girls feet.

2.
Is this supposed to be a wedding sort of picture, or is it more of a sprite/fairy/dancer thing? I'm having a hard time interpreting the relationship between the two people in the picture. I like the way the bodies of the girls echo the curves of the hay bale. But they seem so distant and separated from each other; I think the image would be more cohesive and seem more full of motion if there was some interaction between the two (even if it's more of a visual interaction, like a mirroring, or something like a glance to suggest connection).

This one looks a lot more modified from the original camera image. It feels like there's this white haze between me and the image. I imagine that's a filter to soften the light around the edges and focus the viewer in more on the round hay bale and on the girls. (If that's just how it came through the camera, ignore the next bit - I could be wrong). But I think it ends up creating a little too much distance between me and the scene. I really like the quality of the light in the center of the frame. I feel like that captures "summer afternoon" really well: the bright slivers of light on the hair of the left girl and on the chest of the right girl, plus the dark hay bale that's so dark its sort of hard to see. That contrast is important. I don't like the sense that a lot of the image is washed out. I think this picture would work "as is" better than you might expect without too much post processing. Did you end up altering this image? How did you change it, and what effect were you trying to achieve?

3.
This is really beautiful. I love the color - especially the way the light is reflected on the dock/pier so that we can see the texture of the boards. I think it works to have the figure mostly silhouetted, but I like the hints of light that we get on the left side of her hair (a little bit of color and texture is visible there) and on the backs of her legs. I don't think this photo has the potential to tell a story that some of the woods ones do, but on a purely visual level it completely works: the way the railing focuses us into the figure, the way her gaze seems to be to one side and drawing us into the background, the slightly tilted horizon (which makes things seem a little unstable and brings some motion into what would otherwise be a really still, sedate picture).

4.
To what degree is this sunset contrast (which makes it so hard to get the light right, especially when things are backlit), and to what degree is this modified or filtered? Again, like in the 2nd picture, I felt like there was some kind of haze or lack of contrast that was keeping me out of the picture. I do like the way the tree frames the girl and the headstones. Mostly I like the subtle color effects going on in the background, where some peeks of warm color seem to come through around the horizon line and also a little bit in her dress.

Something that I'm having a hard time figuring out in this image is the relationship between the figure and the setting. The color and low contrast links the two visually, making her look like a part of the landscape. But I also get this light, whimsical sense from her. She seems to be posing in this very dancer-like way, which contrasts big time with the setting of the old tree and the graveyard. What is the story or the aim here? Is there something in particular this image is meant to communicate?

5.
I think that this approach to sunset/purple/low contrast works better than in 4. I love this: I love that most of the effect seems to come from a physical prop (the see through fabric). I love the light coming through the window/door in the background, and how there's just enough. It feels like you're playing with the conventions of both painting and photography, putting yourself in a picture frame but not centering yourself on the frame of the window/door/pillars or whatever that is in the background. The way the color is and the way the shadow and fabric sort of blur out detail in the face also suggests painting to me. I think this is a great example of how art about art can work.

Have you ever looked at Cindy Sherman's work? It's not obviously related to the approach in this picture, but thinking about this reminded me of her. She uses herself as her own model (sort of the way you do, I think - that's you in most of these pictures, right?) and puts herself in all sorts of disguises. She explores TV, film, art history, etc. through the ways that she disguises and photographs herself. You can check out some of her stuff at the MoMA, and learn more about her and her process of working from this art21 video.

6.

I think this is my favorite of the ones you've posted. I love the focused use of shape and color, the way the trees are out of focus and that brings me down to the girl, who's looking up, and that brings me back up the picture plane. The use of color is great - again, i think it's smart prop choices, because the way her dress echoes the shadows on the snow and the trees and the way Pooh echoes the light from the sunset or late afternoon hitting the trees is excellent. This one feels a little bit more raw and un-self-conscious than the other pictures. I know it's posed, but I can believe that it's a real moment in somebody's life or in a story, one where the subject is not aware of the camera or at least is not concerned with the camera in any way.



One of the things that I noticed when looking though these images and looking quickly at your flickr is the repetition of different settings and ideas. I like the way you're exploring (or seem to be exploring) what are probably familiar settings, transforming them or going back when they are transformed. It seems like you did a similar shoot using similar costumes and ideas in the same stand of pine trees in both picture 1 and picture 6, though the tones of those images are totally different because of the choice of props, focus, time of day, the snow on the ground, etc. And in the ones that you have up on flickr I noticed a repetition of the woods, with and without snow; the use of those sort of ballet and nightgown style dresses; the see through drape of fabric (tulle? a curtain? I'm crap with fabric I don't know); the winnie the pooh. I think it makes your photographs seem like part of a project or a narrative, or at least like you're consistently playing with ideas and obsessions. I like that a lot. That's how I made my best work when I was in college: the need to produce a cohesive body of work for a show at the end of my senior year prompted me to experiment with iterations of the same idea, and I found different ways to weave together all the things I was interested in. It helped me come up with ideas because I always had a starting point, and helped me go from simpler to more complex work (as I got more comfortable with my techniques and subjects).

So I'm curious: what kind of focus or ideas are you most interested in working through? Are you still doing portraits/self portraits that are part of this series or this approach, or you on different projects now?
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:59 PM View Post #8 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
carnivalknees (Offline)
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Almost all of my work is self-portraits, simply because I have no one else to model for me. Though learning to be comfortable in front of my camera has helped me be more self-confident in general – so while it’s sometimes a pain to only take pictures of myself it can be a good thing as well. I would love to have the chance to work with other people though. Sometimes it’s very difficult to get what I want out of a photo with just myself. I don’t have a remote for my camera, so I have to use the 10 second self-timer and run from where my camera is set up to where I need to be in the setting – which is oftentimes a lot further than it looks in the photos.
Nearly all of the settings in my photos are very near where I live. My house is in the middle of several acres of woods, which are perfect for exploring and taking photos in. Beyond the property where I live there are tons of fields, lakes, rivers and more woods that make for great scenes too. I really do love going to the same places over and over again in different seasons or at different times of day to use the way the light and the colors shift. And I have also revisited ideas over the few years since I started to get serious about my photography. I’m always excited to see in what ways I can push myself to do better, to twist something I’ve already done. It keeps things interesting – and it keeps me motivated. But I also want to start doing some work that is out of my comfort zone to see if I can push myself even more that way.
There is very little editing on all of my photos. I like to use whatever colors/light I get from nature instead of editing anything too much because that tends to make things look fake. I do a lot of painting in addition to photography, so I’ve used both to help me improve my techniques and the way I use light/shadows/color in the other.
Sometimes I end up with little sun flares or a kind of “fuzziness” when taking photos – which was part of the issue in the second one. (Though now that I’m getting better and learning more about photography I’m finding ways to either fix things like that or simply better ways to use them to my advantage in a photo.)

Thank you so, so much for that critique! It’s really great to hear what someone else sees and thinks about my photos. I love having a new perspective!
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:58 AM View Post #9 (Link) I love
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I loved your third picture with the blue mountain and sea? may be river, I think so. but if u can take picture with a girl only that will be more nicer. And make it she open her arms and receive the wind.
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:28 AM View Post #10 (Link)
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the images show us the feeling to be alone
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