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UER Forum > UE Photo Critiques > Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted (Viewed 2426 times)
MrKiltYou 


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Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< on 5/5/2015 3:37 AM >
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Here is some photos that I took on a recent trip to a local navel base. I am looking to get input on them.

1.
Nikon D90 / Nikon 10mm-24mm Lens
Shutter: 1/125
Aperture: 4.0
ISO: 400


2.
Nikon D90 / Nikon 10mm-24mm Lens
Shutter: 1/40
Aperture: 4.5
ISO: 400


3.
Nikon D90 / Nikon 10mm-24mm Lens
Shutter: 1/200
Aperture: 4.2
ISO: 400




skatchkins 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 1 on 5/5/2015 4:00 AM >
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Posted by MrKiltYou
Here is some photos that I took on a recent trip to a local navel base. I am looking to get input on them.


The line for me on actual art and then photos of someone else's art is blurry for me. There's a difference between it having it add to the background/scene and then just photo'ing for your own. Like taking a photo of a painting. The painting was good.

As far as the selective color desaturation/saturation, we all go through that phase, and then we move on and pretend we never did it.

Thrown into a set of location photos, these are a good contribution. I like 2 a good deal. I'd be anal and straighten the lines.

All just my opinion. Doesn't have to be yours.
Thanks for sharing.



[last edit 5/5/2015 4:00 AM by skatchkins - edited 1 times]

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RedBush 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 2 on 5/5/2015 4:26 AM >
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Posted by skatchkins


As far as the selective color desaturation/saturation, we all go through that phase, and then we move on and pretend we never did it.


It's always been full color or not at all with me, actually. Selectively coloring photos just reminds me of those godawful wedding photos where just the eyes have color, and it makes me cringe. It's just...so...so...unnatural looking.

As for taking pictures of other folks' graffiti, if you're taking the picture to showcase a fantastic piece that may or may not get covered up/painted over/disappeared some other way I personally encourage it, but taking a picture of someone else's artwork and calling it your own because you took the picture does you no favors in my book, though.

One way to maybe work around that is to go for some slightly more creative framing, as well, just to show the environment that the graffiti is in. Might just be me, but I think it makes for a more interesting picture overall, as well (Not that my work is necessarily the bee's knees, either):

1)
2)




DJ Craig 

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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 3 on 5/5/2015 6:47 AM >
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The "selective saturation" thing (much like HDR) was cool once, but has become a really overdone cliche, imo. That doesn't make it "wrong" or "bad" if it's the look you like, but many photographers won't take you seriously if your work contains a lot of cliches like that.

I would have to agree with the others about the line between your art and someone else's is being blurred here, but really, who's to say. That's not so much a critique of your photography as a academic quandary with no right or wrong answer.

Those two points aside, these are great! They are technically well done, properly exposed and focused, editing is clean, etc. Composition is not bad, but not particularly exciting or unique either.

Thanks for sharing!




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
Steed 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 4 on 5/5/2015 9:41 AM >
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I think it's fair to judge photography of a thing separately from the thing itself. Then again I'm more familiar with live music photography, where you can photograph a band and not be taking credit for the band they're making.

Depending on your purpose for taking the picture, there are a number of things to say. I think a graffiti artist looking for portfolio pictures of his drawings would want something very basic that shows the work in a minimalist composition. Unless the point of the work is its placement, such as if it's in a heaven spot. As for what works with the casual observer, like most of us, compositions like Redbush's are a lot more stimulating, simply because they orient the work in a more real setting.

I like your first picture better than your second, but I'd need to see both straightened and with full colour. Your third picture looks like it took a lot more work, but the composition is less interesting. At least the other two have more interesting textures, and aren't quite as ruined by all the shitty tags.




rob.i.am 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 5 on 5/5/2015 10:58 AM >
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Straighten your lines. Yeah, lose the selective desaturation. And frankly, I never argue that my photos of graffiti are "art" - they're just my photos. Then again, when I take photos of buildings I don't feel like I've stolen from the architect or the builder.....




http://www.flickr.com/photos/rob666/
skatchkins 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 6 on 5/5/2015 4:23 PM >
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I think Red's examples show good examples of pieces adding to the scene. They help with the depth, scale and perspective.

Rob brings up something that does haunt me sometimes too about shooting an existing building. I've felt that slippery slope sometimes with anything created, even say a waterfall. I didn't make that, I'm only documenting.

I think it comes back to perspective: sharing a unique vision of your own view
And accessibility: do others get to see it/is it worth being seen

You don't just go take a picture of a building downtown. It already exists and it's seen daily. But a photo of it from a new view, capturing an angle not observed by everyone else, putting your own creativity into it, that would give it new life and interest to even those who walked by it every day without your vision.

Inaccessibility rarefies beauty in the same way. Bringing back a photo of a waterfall that took a 4wd adventure, a day's hike in, and a camp with an early wake-up call to capture the light just right would hold much more allure than a tourist shot of a waterfall everyone can see daily out their car window. I love that about UE photography as well as it feels like you are bringing back something, inaccessible (new) to most, that can still hold attentive beauty.

Of course if someone doesn't consider their photos art, those words may mean nothing to them and that's fine. Documenting and art do not have to go hand in hand as exploration and photography don't have to be best benefit friends either. Keep doing what you have fun with and keep sharing with those that can't/won't.




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NotBatman 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 7 on 5/5/2015 5:39 PM >
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Posted by skatchkins

Inaccessibility rarefies beauty in the same way. Bringing back a photo of a waterfall that took a 4wd adventure, a day's hike in, and a camp with an early wake-up call to capture the light just right would hold much more allure than a tourist shot of a waterfall everyone can see daily out their car window. I love that about UE photography as well as it feels like you are bringing back something, inaccessible (new) to most, that can still hold attentive beauty.



I agree with most of what you're saying, but I think this specifically is more personal to the photographer and how the image brings back memories of the trip. Unless there's something in frame that demonstrates that it's not readily accessible, some larger context, there's no way to know it isn't.

When I see the picture of that waterfall, I see the framing, I see the light (and the shadow), I see what you've done with the specifics of the exposure, but I don't know anything about the hike, the camp, and how hungover you might be while shooting it. (Ok, well, sometimes the latter definitely shows through for some images, but you know what I mean.) I feel all of those things in my own pictures, but for all I know, the wiper blades might be just outside of the frame. The peeling paint might be in your mom's basement, and maybe someone should check on her a little more often, you know?




I'm a "Leave only footprints, take only pornography" kind of guy, myself.
MrKiltYou 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 8 on 5/7/2015 4:32 AM >
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Thank you all for your comments. First I would like to say that I didn't mean to imply my photo's as art. To me the art is the graffiti. I should have titled the thread better. I personally don't believe that a photograph just of someone's art to be art in it of its self.

I agree I need to spend more time actually straightening my photo's. It seems every time I straighten a line it seems to skew another one in the photo. So I don't think I am doing it right. If anyone has a good tutorial they could point me to that would be great.




MrKiltYou 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 9 on 5/7/2015 4:34 AM >
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Oh I did want to get an opinion on one thought. What is the thought on editing out the shitty tags in something like this?




Steed 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 10 on 5/7/2015 5:21 AM >
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Posted by MrKiltYou
Oh I did want to get an opinion on one thought. What is the thought on editing out the shitty tags in something like this?


I think it's kind of dishonest. And chances are, many of the shitty tags are by the person doing the nicer murals and their friends. Graffiti artists don't give a shit if they ruin others' work, and it's not your responsibility to alleviate that.




Seahawk 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 11 on 5/8/2015 3:14 AM >
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I personally don't have a problem with editing out tags as long as you can do it well(of which I cannot). If it makes the final product look better I say go for it. I personally would only consider it if it was something that was obviously done by somebody who had no artistic ability.




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Ganesha 

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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 12 on 5/8/2015 4:23 AM >
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Posted by MrKiltYou
... It seems every time I straighten a line it seems to skew another one in the photo. So I don't think I am doing it right....


I level a picture in an editor reluctantly, because I know that the resampling of pixels that's going on in the background will reduce the picture's clarity. In general, editing is a balancing act between achieving a targeted improvement and sacrificing some other quality. So I think the best plan is to take as nearly perfect a photo as you can under the conditions you're working in.

Taking lots of pictures of the same scene with varied camera settings and compositions will improve your chances that some will be good. But your fellow explorers will need to be very patient folks to ever go along with you again.

Another way to look at this problem is to ask "What am I going to do with this photo?" If you're just going to post it here or elsewhere online, you're already sacrificing resolution. The hosting site probably imposes pixel and file size limits; UER does. And most people's screens have way fewer pixels than your camera can produce. So the loss of resolution caused by leveling a picture might not be noticeable. But if you want to enlarge a picture and display it in a gallery, it's best to avoid any operation that involves resampling or reducing the pixel count.





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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 13 on 5/30/2015 8:36 AM >
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Posted by Ganesha


I level a picture in an editor reluctantly, because I know that the resampling of pixels that's going on in the background will reduce the picture's clarity. In general, editing is a balancing act between achieving a targeted improvement and sacrificing some other quality. So I think the best plan is to take as nearly perfect a photo as you can under the conditions you're working in.

Taking lots of pictures of the same scene with varied camera settings and compositions will improve your chances that some will be good. But your fellow explorers will need to be very patient folks to ever go along with you again.

Another way to look at this problem is to ask "What am I going to do with this photo?" If you're just going to post it here or elsewhere online, you're already sacrificing resolution. The hosting site probably imposes pixel and file size limits; UER does. And most people's screens have way fewer pixels than your camera can produce. So the loss of resolution caused by leveling a picture might not be noticeable. But if you want to enlarge a picture and display it in a gallery, it's best to avoid any operation that involves resampling or reducing the pixel count.




Good points. My pics come out crappy enough. I don't need them to take another resolution decrease.

In regards to the graffiti, I guess it's a stylistic and philosophical choice. Whatever aesthetic you go for should use the natural color of the environment, with the graffiti art acting as an accent. If it becomes too much of a focal point, then you are "taking a pic of a painting", like it was said farther up. But, that's just my lowly opinion.





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Deuterium 


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Re: Graffiti Art Photo Critique Wanted
< Reply # 14 on 10/10/2015 8:31 AM >
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Posted by Seahawk
I personally don't have a problem with editing out tags as long as you can do it well(of which I cannot). If it makes the final product look better I say go for it. I personally would only consider it if it was something that was obviously done by somebody who had no artistic ability.

Werd. In my own selfish opinion, I think it looks more aesthetically pleasing at a first glance. You can clearly tell where the edit was, but I only spent a few minutes on editing out and we all have different standards of done bad, good enough or well.

Before:


After:


Posted by Steed


I think it's kind of dishonest. And chances are, many of the shitty tags are by the person doing the nicer murals and their friends. Graffiti artists don't give a shit if they ruin others' work, and it's not your responsibility to alleviate that.

I think it's like any other post processing or using any other photography technique to create perception differences like making spatial relationship look different. I don't see it as dishonest unless you lie about it. Artistic photos aren't intended to duplicate direct observation as closely as possible.



[last edit 10/10/2015 8:38 AM by Deuterium - edited 1 times]

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