<<< o >>>a scrap of blue 104 comments + add yours

Given that yesterday's bee probably wasn't one of my better efforts, I thought I'd post today's shot a bit early. As you'll probably be able to guess, I'm a lot happier with this one ;-)

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
10.54am on 26/3/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
40mm (64mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
2x1 + piers [South pier] + fylde coast [scenic] + people
comment by Peter at 05:30 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Fantastic desolate atmosphere -- end of the world, sole survivor feel. And beautiful to boot.

comment by Benjamin Riley at 05:33 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

nice!... I love the hazy feel and the lack of color adds to the solem mood.

comment by nuno f at 05:34 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

I love the way you can shoot the same spot in several ways. This composition is fantastic and the glabal green tone makes it a mixture of a calm day on the beach and a stormy day aproaching. The presence of the man makes this photo more mysterious.

comment by Danielle at 05:49 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Is this an HDR? It's beautiful. Very ethereal quality.

comment by djn1 at 05:55 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Danielle: no, it's not an HDR – Curves, Selective Color and Hue/Saturation.

comment by David [mondaymorningphoto.com] at 06:00 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Stormy looking subject, calming colours. I like it...

comment by Max at 06:03 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

I like the way the huge rollercoaster seems dwarfed by the size of the clouds and the rest of the world. It makes me remember that we're but a speck of sand in this universe of ours.

comment by M4gic at 06:04 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

great picture! cool atmosphere

comment by Ella at 06:23 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Now that's a standard chromasia shot :-)! A very moody and beautiful picture. I love the unusual tone of the sky and the tiny walking figure.

comment by Beth at 06:30 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006


comment by Jem at 06:30 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Very atmospheric - love the tones and moodyness :)

comment by Lorbas at 06:46 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Yeah... great atmosphere.

comment by Jonathan at 06:49 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

I love walking along the beach in this kind of weather - there's just something about walking on an empty beach, next to the sea, with a chilly wind and sea spray in your face that makes you feel really close to the elements. Makes me miss the beach (and open spaces in general, living in North London!)

comment by Jonathan at 06:51 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

btw, I remember one post where you mentioned that you weren't keen on cropping - I think this is one example of how cropping can work really well to give a panorama effect

comment by Otto K at 06:58 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Terrific image. The overall color tone is wonderful.

comment by Robert at 06:59 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Everything works so well together to dwarf the person and isolate him from the shelter of the distant park. Love the ominous greenish color cast-- here that usually means a heck of a storm. Wonderful image that is a great way to finish my lunch break!

comment by samcam at 07:05 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Very nice.. A perfect photo is one that conveys feeling/emotion.. This one does just that!

comment by LJ at 07:20 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

David, this is one of my favorites. I have been watching your site, along with several others, for quite some time. Although I have not posted a comment before, I have definitely been inspired along the way! I put up my site this past week and hope to better my craft through critique.

Thanks for sharing your work, as always, it is a pleasure.

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 07:23 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Very grey and depressing...but I do like the subtle waves.

comment by bruno at 07:25 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

wow. nice, love that clouds. and color...love it :)

comment by Jennifer at 07:50 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Beeautiful !

comment by redge at 07:58 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

I remember that you also used this tone in your lost and found entries- the boots. How did you do it?

Anyway, I like the way that it looks faded and actually quite blurred. And you made the space look soooo wide! But I think it would look better if you took it a little more closer so you can crop a little more of the clouds and maybe get more detail on the person or other building in the horizon. That's my opinon of course..

comment by sistereden at 08:00 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Without the human silhouette this landscape would be fantastic but empty.

comment by RensNL at 08:30 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

wow... amazing picture.. just looking at it makes me feel like going out to the sea, breeze in your face..

very beautifull... will definitely be one of my favourites

comment by gonzo at 08:56 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

here is my personal opinion: i don't like it.
it is way over-processed, as many of your photos. i know there has been a debate many times in regards of what is photography and what is digital art, but these kinds of photos, for me, are purely digital art.
by looking at your archived "photos", i can see that you depend a lot on photoshop. i get the feeling that original photos don't even matter for you, because you will turn any photo into "gold" with your photoshop skills.
i'm not saying that's bad, but for me, photography is completely something different.

i know many people will not like my opinion, but it is only my personal opinion, and i do beleive that you have a potential of becoming a great photographer if you would focus more on photography and less on digital post processing.

comment by Alastair Bryce at 09:05 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Whoa! An excellent sense of scale here! I love the person in the photo to give things a sense of scale. Love the cloud cover too - very nice!

Although I can be a purist (at times) and bias towards gonzo's opinion, I do love this photo and I think photography is about creativity and vision - whether it's from capturing what you see or adding an extra twist to it.

Also remember that camera RAW files are pretty neutral - so some degree of post processing is required to get similar results to film...

comment by Jessyel Ty Gonzalez at 09:22 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Beautiful, David. Just great.

comment by djn1 at 09:25 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Thanks all.

redge: this was mostly done with curves, specifically using a reverse curve on the blue channel; i.e. dropping the level for the highlights (this adds a yellowish cast to the highlights) while mildly bumping the curve for the shadows.

Gonzo: this is one discussion that will go round and round, ... and round. I guess you know my opinion on this one, and that I tend to disagree with much of what you say. For me, to say that something is "way over-processed" is to miss the point of what I'm trying to do. It's a bit like telling a painter that his or her image is "way over-painted"; it just doesn't make sense.

Sure, something can be badly post-processed (or poorly painted), but over-processing, as a critique/i>, is something that I just don't go along with. For me, even the straightest of straight photographs isn't a literal representation of some out-there truth, an objective record of some pre-existing image, rather it's an interpretive effort. So, for me, post-processing is all part of the deal; all a part of creating images that interpret the world around us as we see fit. I can see what you're saying, but this isn't what it's about for me.

As for your point that I can "turn any photo into "gold" with your photoshop skills". I wish ;-) I've taken about 19,000 photographs in the last eighteen months, of which around 540 have made it onto chromasia. That's a hit rate of around 35 to 1. The other 18,460 – despite your faith in my alchemical post-processing skills – are, for the most part, crap ;-)

comment by Jorge Lesmes at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Great one, awesome landscape.

comment by garyx at 09:45 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

I like this – it has that out of season feel to it. Nice one.

comment by Tuffer at 10:13 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Amazing photo. its like the opening scene from a movie. The color tones just make it.

comment by phoric at 10:17 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Dreary and beautiful scene!

comment by PhilB at 10:24 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

I've lost track of the number of times that I've added a comment on Chromasia with the words 'Fantastic shot!', but here's another one! ;-)

Love the lighting and atmosphere.

comment by mark at 10:49 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Gonzo - you're a muppet. If you don't like the style of Dave's art then why visit? Just so you can get on your soapbox about what is and isn't photography? Yes, you are entitled to your opinion...but if it's always going to be a case of "I don't like it, it's over-processed" then you're wasting your time on here don't you think? Perhaps you have a site where you can show us what you think consists of REAL photography..?

Now then....how come I haven't seen you in anything since the muppet show anyway..?

comment by blake at 11:13 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

I actually like this best with the white theme.

comment by matt at 11:34 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

oooh handbags :)

for my 2 penneth, i think this is fantastic, and its the kind of PHOTOGRAPH that got me to buy a decent camera! This is the type of image i would love to be able to create myself and for my money is a trademark chromosia image, that isnt just about post processing, but the wicked composition in general .... plus or course the rollercoaster thrown in for good measure :)

comment by m at 11:45 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Spent 5 hours poundung the streets of london taking photos with a mate tonight, and it was mentioned it had been a while since we'd seen a chromasia landscape, you were listening :-)
A shot of one of the kids is next then!

comment by Mal at 11:53 PM (GMT) on 27 March, 2006

Wow to to the image - Wow to the response that it has evoked within some elements of the photographic comunity!! I fully understand the sentiments of Gonzo but can not agree with them in any way. I personally use medium format + 35 mm and process in the old fassioned way (Although I have just recently purchased a D5). If I could process a neg to produce this result in the normal way, I would be over the moon - but put quite simply, it is impossible. Is it not the final image that is of importance or the road to it!!! After all, I use polarisers, ND grads, orange, blue and red filters + I burn and cover my negs when processing so am I a cheat?? Great Image Mal

comment by KK at 12:42 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

reminds me of an apocalyptic scene somewhere, great processing.

comment by Tommy at 12:44 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I agree that this is more in the vein of typical Chromasia. A great picture with stunning perspective and colors. A nice contrast from yesterday.

comment by Ashish Sidapara at 12:47 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Beautiful shot, well done!

comment by micki at 01:07 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I like the low horizon line and the wet sand that makes up the foreground. The lone figure is the real catch in this shot for me, though.

comment by Roy at 01:10 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

That is beautiful. Such an unsual colour balance - I love the minute detail in the skyline and the figure looks really sharply defined against the haze of the water. Yet again you've captured the oft overlooked beauty of wintry Blackpool!

comment by Cye at 01:59 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

He's Back!

Finally, your forte.

Your fan base is once again giggling in joy. :-)

comment by ROB at 02:13 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

The shutter speed surprised me in this one; I kind of expected it to be much slower given the look in the clouds that have been captured.

comment by Robert at 03:43 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Great shot. The sense of scale is terrific. The near ocean is swallowing the whole scene, yet we know the scale of the roller-coaster in the distance (from your tours of the coast here on Chromasia) and the human element as well. The tone also great. Really like this one.

comment by Mohammed Adenwala at 03:46 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Love the colors!

comment by picturegrl at 05:41 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

One of my favorite shots of yours in a long, long time, David. Well done.

comment by Bob at 06:31 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Here's to the crazy ones...

comment by ming at 06:44 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Nice picture for backgrounds.. love the lazy feeling... works for me!

comment by Ram at 07:05 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Its just seems like the Man is Stormed along his Way with some dizzling effects over his Darked Nature

comment by Gio at 07:18 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Fantastic landscape!

comment by Louise at 07:20 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Wonderful... Beautiful atmosphere...

comment by Navin Harish at 07:20 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Yes I can see that you are much happier with one. This is a damn good shot, among your best of the beach shots.

comment by Sharla at 07:33 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

A stunning shot. Absolutely perfect compostion and vantage point. That you were blessed with the sea spray as a background for your silhouette is maddening because you just can't get so lucky so often!

As wonderful as the whole shot is, I'm not particularly fond of the yellow cast. I would have liked it more to the blue. (Of couse, it may be time to calibrate my monitor again but I don't think it's off by much, if any.)

comment by Albedo at 07:42 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Amazing ! Stunning !
I love the composition, this feeling of profound desolation and this lonesome faraway silhuette. The tones add of course to this feeling. Somehow, I feel this could be a painting, couln't really tell why, though.

comment by Tom from (Lucerne Times) at 07:47 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Excellent. It's amazing how much space I can feel in this photo. Perfect composition.

comment by derLitograph at 07:58 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Nice shot. Typical.

The part in the right middle of the picture is a little bit to dark?! Was this your intention?

comment by EssPea Photography at 09:07 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Wow. One of your best in recent memory.

comment by eterisk at 09:23 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Beautiful.. I am a big fan of your colour scale as always.

comment by njr at 09:37 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I like it.

Regarding Gonzo and the great post-processing debate, it seems to me that there are two quite different things that we can strive to do with post-processing. The first, is to try to make the photo as representative of what we saw --- or perceived --- as possible. This can include all sorts of thiings---compensating for technical errors or inadequacies of exposure, lens, whatever, cropping to bring out a detail the photographer was focusing on, increasing dynamic range, or a host of other things. It seems to me that very few should or do object to this.

There's then a concepually different kind of processing that deliberately tries to produce an image that wasn't what the photographer (literally) saw. Most obviously, this is deliberately recolouring or distorting an image, but also increasing contrast beyond what the eye can really see would fall into this category. (One could argue about whether converting an image to black-and-white is also in this class!) Of course, there are many ways of achieving the same effects without post-processing, most obviously using filters, fisheye lenses, IR-film etc.

It's clear that the boundary between these two categories is extremely blurred, but I think for most the distinction is real, and many would think that photo-journalism can legitimately use the former set of techniques, but not the latter.

Personally, I'm fine with both, but I guess Gonzo and many others are really comfortable only with the former. But I think one of the great things about this site is that David enables comments, and responds constructively to (wholly legitimate) inputs like Gonzo's.

comment by Crespo at 09:45 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Great ....
Beautiful landscape...
composition is perfect and i love the athmosphere...

Good Job !!!

comment by SteveO at 10:33 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Not sure that i like the toning, but apart from that its a really great image, the person on the beach is what makes it for me.

comment by Steve at 10:53 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Stunning shot! Great work.

comment by Jesse at 11:40 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I love it. This is my favorite style of yours, and it does have your signature all over it. Please post more like it.

comment by AngelC at 11:43 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Nice picture, great colours, De luxe Scene.

comment by mark at 11:47 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

How is it a 'debate' though? Well...maybe it is but if so it's not actually raising any original points whatsoever imo. There are those that don't like the overt use of photoshop or similar software in the processing of digital photographs and there are those that do. Nobody can say 'It isn't a photograph, it's digital art' ...well, certainly not in this case.

Oh and as for my little 'dig' at Gonzo, I feel that closing with a line "you have a potential of becoming a great photographer if you would focus more on photography and less on digital post processing." is just a tad patronising and arrogant. I'd say having (arguably) the most popular photoblog in the world and managing to publish so many images that please so many people EVERY day suggests otherwise.

Yes, everyone has their opinions on this...but the same conversation over and over again isn't debate. It's repetition and quite frankly it's boring.

In my opinion.

comment by SteveO at 12:43 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I have to say i fully agree with Mark about the comments Gonzo made earlier.

Saying that you can turn any photograph into gold with photoshop is utter crap and shows a complete lack of knowledge of the digital medium. Its about time that people like him realise that digital photography is a completely different medium to film (even if we can use the same lenses etc) with a completely different workflow and set of tools that are there to be used. Why should we not explore the full range of tools available in the digital workflow, just because someone who obviously does not understand the medium thinks it is wrong is not a good enough reason for me.

comment by Jennifer at 12:45 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Yup I'd agree with that Mark - let those of us who enjoy do so and those that don't can 'blog off'! ;)

comment by mar00ned at 12:48 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

absolutely stunning

comment by Lex at 01:33 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I like this one, the scale, the atmosphere, the fact that the same scene can be represented in so many different ways.
The debate however is hackneyed; it will keep popping up though and I can understand the mild irritation of those that have seen it coming and going on this blog over the last couple of years. djn has made his point well and therefore it should be respected; however maybe not everyone has been party to previous cycles of the debate and therefore there's no need for childish put downs. Personally I appreciate both viewpoints and I acknowledge the romantic view that photography, alone of the arts, is perfected to serve the desire humans have for a special moment to be captured and preserved; there's an inherent honesty in photography that for some people is compromised too far in the digital darkroom. Having said that I love this site, djn has a wonderful eye and that is the most important thing.

comment by miklos at 01:42 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I will speak up one more time. (this is NOT a 'satirist' comment, do not regard it as such)

I haven't really spent the time to go through everyone's comments (i've only read a few) so if I'm repeating anything anyone else has already said, sorry!

I don't agree with Gonzo about the post processing, because without processing a raw file, you have no image. The end. The ways that the photographer perceives the outcome of a digital file is completely different than how anyone else would look at it.. However regarding the overall feel of most of the chromasia images (as of late anyway), I do agree with the digital art thing. If you look at the majority of chromasia as a digital art site, then I think it would make everyone happy.

'For me, to say that something is "way over-processed" is to miss the point of what I'm trying to do.'
As for you DJN... I'm not sure we got around to discussing last time in our heated debate--for which I once again apologize--what exactly it is that you're "trying" to do? There seems to be an understanding that most of these shots are intentional right from the get-go? Some, sure.. but mostly for people like me it is hard to believe with you saying things like "I've run out of things to post so here's one from the archive that I went back and re-processed" or "I've processed this over and over again but could never get it right but finally here is a version that I am happy with, but I'd like to hear what you think" or something along those lines.. (I don't have time to scan your archives right now for the exact quotes but it was something like that if my memory serves me right).. If you take a GOOD photo, "proccessing" would be very minimal. If you take a CRAP photo, processing is more extensive. It's as simple as that. There isn't really anything super intensive that you should be "trying to do" in the post processing stage. Unless you really are "trying" to do something.. In which case I apologize for not being able to see it (even still). Perhaps you can explain it and put it on an about page? To stop people from these moronic debates daily.

Anyway, my two cents: Most of the work should be done BEFORE the shutter is clicked. IE: setup, location, lighting, framing, the general idea of what the photo should look like in the end, etc. If you spend hours in front of a computer, with a raw file open and ponder to yourself "how am I going to process this to make any sense?" then in my humble opinion, that PHOTOGRAPH has already failed. It will still work as a digital image that could be salvaged with pretty colors and things like fancy photoshop swirl filters that make it look like an ART IMAGE, sure, but hardly a photograph. Anyone that tries to argue that is a damn fool.

As for mark and his comment on this being [one of] the most popular photoblog[s] in the world: Do you think that is really because of the "beauty" and "wow" factor of these 'photographs'? Or do you think that it could be more related to advertising, promotions, or the photographer's daily invites and search for a psychological discussion on all of these 'photographs' ? Don't bite my head off it is just a question.

Having said that, I hope I'm not too cocky with this comment, I really tried not to be. So if I am, Dave, and John Washington, and mark ... I apologize in advance.

As for this photo, and I'm only examining the processing: I don't mind the it at all, I mean it doesn't detract from the image but I think the cyan clouds at the top left throw off the balance of the tones a bit..

comment by JD at 02:28 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Such a heated debate! I like it!

I do think that this is something else (other than the photographs) that your site brings to us all on a daily basis.

This is a nice image, and whether or not you've over processed it, it still stands that the final result is pleasing and intreaging which I'm sure is always the aim of your work like it is for most.

Anyway, I bet without any processing, this image would still be worthy of the post.

comment by Jason Wall at 03:29 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006


Seems like your critisisms aren't really of David's photographs, but of David himself for not taking time to setup properly (in your opinion), which sounds rather hurbistic to me.

Your distinction between a photograph and an art image isn't nearly as distinct in my opinion as you make it out to be either. Most photographs are art images. The fact that Chromasia is the kind of photoblog that specializes in Fine Art Photography makes that criticism especially unimportant.

I think you focus to much on your own methodology and way of working. In art, only end product is important. Tools are just tools. Let people work however they feel comfortable and judge the product on its own merits.

comment by mark at 03:43 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Miklos - it is a fair question, of course it is, and while I accept that there are other factors involved in the popularity of this site I'd always have to stand by my belief that it is Dave's images that are the driving force, the discussion around them are just an added bonus.

As for the digital art factor...well even if we agree to call it that then surely it's still digital art born from photography and as such still stands as photography in its own right?

I do think there is an attitude of exclusivity floating around in the photography world. The advent of the digital age has made many things more accessible to a wider crowd, photography being one of them, meaning that these arts/sciences, etc have evolved. I accept some people don't share that view though and instead of evolution they merely see difference.

Anyway, I'm rambling...so I'll shut up now and go and feed my kids ;-)

comment by Roberto at 04:06 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Great shot David! Great atmosphere. The way you cropped the image gives, in my opinion, the right emphasis to the landscape. Finally, the man walking along the beach is, as we would say in Italy, the cherry on the cake.

comment by Daniel Seguin at 04:12 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Stunning photo. I love the artistic approach to your post-processing, which to me makes your images stand out in a sea of photoblogs. You are inspiring.

comment by gonzo at 04:23 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006


it's like comparing "casablanca" movie to "terminator" ;)

comment by noel at 04:32 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I'd love to see the original unadulterated photo, just to see what all the debate is all about.

comment by matt at 04:43 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

miklos i am sorry but i have to quote you here;

"Anyway, my two cents: Most of the work should be done BEFORE the shutter is clicked. IE: setup, location, lighting, framing, the general idea of what the photo should look like in the end, etc."

and then i have to link to this image of yours (correct me if i'm wrong):

Exactly how much thought went into this Photograph?

Dont get me wrong either, I like quite alot of your work, but i'm not sure what you were trying to achieve here.

In my humble opinion photography is as much about luck as it is skill. Davis seems to get lucky quite often, and even when he doesnt, he seems to pull something out of the bag.

I reckon this would have been a pretty nice landscape before it was processed, but i bet most people would rather see this version hanging on their wall!

comment by miklos at 04:58 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Jason Wall, If that's honestly all you got out of what I said, then I owe you no more response than this.

mark: I think i have to agree with you.

matt: osenoa is a joke. (except for the shots of my dad) .. It is a site that's purely for amusement, entertainment, and to take the edge off this seemigly uptight and sensitive community. Anyone that knows me knows that. I try to get people not to take it seriously but they do nonetheless. And I'm sorry for that. That's about it. if you want to continue talking about my "work" you can email me privately..

comment by lee at 05:03 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

good stuff

comment by djn1 at 05:24 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

more later, but in the meanwhile ...

miklos ...

"if you look at the majority of chromasia as a digital art site, then I think it would make everyone happy."

Well, it wouldn't make me especially happy as I'd rather classify myself as a photographer rather than a digital artist, but this isn't too much of an issue (more of which below).

"what exactly it is that you're "trying" to do?"

With this shot: convey a sense of space, isolation, and the grandeur of nature. Other times I'm i) simply trying to record/document a scene, ii) convey an emotion, iii) well, I could go on. I take photographs for different reasons, some of which are, hopefully, a bit more profound than othes.

"There seems to be an understanding that most of these shots are intentional right from the get-go?"

Yep, but not in the way you mean it. Sometimes I will pre-visualise a shot, but other times they're pre-conceptualised; i.e. I know what I want them to say and the post-processing is a way of finding the best way of doing that.

"If you take a GOOD photo, "proccessing" would be very minimal. If you take a CRAP photo, processing is more extensive."

No, not necessarily. The thing is, and this is the crux of the difference between us, you seem to be saying that the click of the shutter is some sort of logical end-point; i.e. that's when you have a good photograph or a poor one. For me, the click of the shutter is a) part of a process, and b) nearer to the start than the finish.

"Do you think that is really because of the "beauty" and "wow" factor of these 'photographs'? Or do you think that it could be more related to advertising, promotions, or the photographer's daily invites and search for a psychological discussion on all of these 'photographs' ?"

I'm not sure what advertising and promotions you're referring to, and I'm not exactly sure what you mean by inviting 'psychological' discussion. Sure, I invite commentary, but don't we all? Anyway, perhaps you could clarify these points.

"Having said that, I hope I'm not too cocky with this comment"

Nope, it's all fine by me. You have your opinion about photography, and I have mine, and the two are different. I'm ok about that.

comment by Gabriela at 05:29 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

After taking pictures, do you work on them? or just leave them the way you took them?

comment by Gabriela at 05:36 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I should've read the comments above...

comment by Mark Ellis at 06:02 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Interesting debate, unexpected. the truth is you either like the photograph or you don't, weather it's 100% original or not. I like it.

comment by m at 06:28 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I read the comment by djn1 at 09:25 PM on 27 March, 2006 and felt a bit better about my own picture taking. Where as I might not manage the heady heights of the quality of your images (even if I mastered photoshop) At my standards I manage a hit rate of about 1 in in 8 ;-)
Ps I never said it earlier - cracking shot :-)

comment by Kev Rosie at 06:28 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Simply beautiful. Fantastic shot!

comment by miklos at 06:30 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

The thing is, and this is the crux of the difference between us, you seem to be saying that the click of the shutter is some sort of logical end-point; i.e. that's when you have a good photograph or a poor one.

Completely untrue. I just mean that the basic elements of a "photograph" have to be present in the first place. In this shot, I think some of those elements are present. In a shot of a brick wall or piece of a road, or a bumblebee painted on a wall, these elements -- along with what you're trying to convey or the emotion you try to put forth -- are much harder to see. That is all I mean.

I don't care for bad photos, and everything would be OK if your fanbase didn't expect every single one of your shots to be something "profound" or "magical" .. We are all just PEOPLE, common people at that, so why deny that? If you have a bad day, you have a bad day. But I think sometimes when the shot misfires, or you really have nothing to post (disregarding the fact that for whatever reason you think that you're obligated to post daily..) it has gotten to the point that you feel that with all these people watching your site, the expectations are higher, so you, on a 'bad photo' day, go for more of an artistic look, or a psychological explanation or some similar ties to try to make it better. (that's where the 'psychological' thing that you asked about comes in to play)

My point is that you shouldn't have to do that. And with that said, all the people reading this need to loosen up a bit. I don't mean to be a troll or a negative influence on anyone and I really have no intentions or goals with this space wasted here, I am just sharing my thoughts.

We definitely have different views and I am not saying that mine are right, nor am I saying that yours are wrong. It's just that they conflict. It hasn't much to do with anything else.

comment by miklos at 06:34 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I said "i don't care for bad photos" but I meant "I don't mind"

comment by Tom at 06:59 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Maybe it's my monitor, but the green cast looks too aritificial for my taste.

comment by John at 08:06 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Photographer or digital artist?

Looking through many of the images on this site , it becomes apparent that many many hours have been spent in the digital darkroom post-processing. They then start to loose the basic principles of what photography is all about - recording an image.
Yes - in days gone by, images recorded on film could have been altered / manipulated by a professional dark room operative but never was it done on this scale. (I know - I was one! )

So my answer - Digital artist

If you want to see real images by real photographers you need to by a copy of national geographic.

As with many blogs, too many of the same people return day in day out saying the same old thing - "nice one" "great" "stunning" offering no real debate and criticism.

Give a Leica M6 and a roll of B/W to many digital photographers today and they would c**p themselves.

comment by Kev Rosie at 08:17 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

To John,

Where's your debate and criticism of this pic?

Why a Leica and B/W - snobbery?!!

Re: Digital Artist - bollocks! Photography is about the image that presented to the viewer, not about how it gets there. If these images provoke a response, albiet a simple "Ooah", as this one did for me, then surely that's all there is to it. No-one questions why artists of old used a particular paint or pigment, we just enjoy what they produced. Why is photography any different? As for the comment about spending hours on processing, ask any REAL photographer how much time he/she, or his/her dedicated printer, spends on a print.....

comment by dave at 08:18 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Good point John, I'm never going to visit this sight again- bye...................

comment by Bob at 08:36 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

First off, this is a great image, even if made with an Etch-A-Sketch.

There's plenty of reality to go around so, when it comes to images, I welcome the visions of talented artists--like David--to entertain, inspire, and touch my heart. To lift me from the mundane of everyday reality. That's what art is all about. This image does that in spades.

The argument is just the old Pictorialist vs Group f64 debate again.

It's great when hearing new thoughts and criticisms that seem well informed. But this cat chasing its tail has been played out in art and photography over and over since cave scratchings were the rage, and the more you know about the history of photography then the more and more tiresome this sort of banter becomes.

The Cliff Notes version has the Pictorialists doing everything to make a photograph resemble a painting. Mostly it was a knee-jerk to avoid ridicule by painters and art critics. During its day, that meant making photos that were impressionistic, using exotic methods to take the picture and even more exotic techniques and materials in post processing in a quest to gain legitimacy.

Along came Group f64 who said, the heck with this impressionistic stuff, let's see if we can't bring things a bit more into focus--and let's go about this systematically to make the results more reproducible.

Which is chicken, which is egg?

Even though the f64 goal was a clearer depiction of what they saw, they experimented wildly. Especially during "post-production". Their technical lessons today aren't rocket science: know your equipment thoroughly and employ the (zone) formula for a good exposure. Good solid advice for any photographer.
But their aesthetic lessons, however great their images, are still subjective. Group f64, just another branch of the great tree of image-making.

Gatekeepers and their minions will always provide a convenient or disdainful label for anything that doesn't follow the dictates of their self-created mandate...like The Salon did with "Impressionism", or modern-day critiques do with "Digital Art".

And who is right? Well, probably everyone. Happy now?

Here's the thing. David is in pursuit of photographic and artistic excellence and has the good fortune, in our times, of having a medium in which to share his quest with a wide (and overwhelmingly appreciative) audience. There are detractors, because the world is a big place, and there will always be good natured fundamentalists in the world, who possess all the answers and know in their hearts the only "true" way.

What David achieves with a camera and how he arrives at it are simply unimportant. It's all photography. If you disagree, you're ignoring over a century of precedent. But, sure, your results might vary; objects in your mirror might be larger than they appear; yadda, yadda, yadda.

Here, for anyone interested in taking the time, is a particularly succinct reference to Pictorialism that might be informative...


comment by djn1 at 08:39 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Thanks everyone, and I know there are a couple of things I should mention raised in this discussion, but I've just about run out of time this evening. All being well I'll pick them up over the next couple of days.

comment by Magomed at 02:43 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Hi, wonderful shot. A question : How did you get such even tonality with clouds and ground? How would one meter in this situation if one had no filters or polarizers? Ive tried couple of landscapes today myself, but usually the sky would be blown out.

Could be the actual clouds, though, maybe its much greyer where you live? :)

comment by sarah race at 04:06 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I just wanted to comment on the 'digital art' versus 'photography' comment(s) above. The only person who believes that a difference exists in the value of "straight" photography, art and digital art is one that believes that photography is a non-changing objective truth. I believe that such a believe is nonsense since photography at it's heart is constructed. It is constructed by what the photographer chooses to leave in or leave out of the frame , it is constructed by the type of lens he or she uses, it is constructed in the darkroom through cropping, burning and dodging and it is constructed through digital means. It is all a form of art, which in it's nature is a form of construction.

comment by flying cow at 07:58 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

this is a gorgeous shot. the colours are fantastic. however, i personally feel that if this picture had been less widely cropped, it would have a much more powerful effect.

comment by djn1 at 12:29 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Magomed: generally speaking I tend to underexpose my shots by around 1/3 or 2/3's of a stop to avoid burning out the sky. I then tend to lift the foreground durirng post-processing. Also, if you're shooting digitally, check your histogram after each exposure and adjust the setting accordingly.

sarah: yep, quite agree.

flying cow: nope, quite disagree ;-) I did originally process this one at 3x2; i.e. full-frame, but it didn't have anywhere near the same impact, at least not in my opinion.

comment by Tom (elrostro) at 03:20 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Hi David!! I had been reading the comments of your last pictures...
I believe that we are loosing the important view of all this. The way that you show or do your work (all the process) is just a medio to achieve what you need to say, express or feel and let the rest of us feel (or not) something about. You can do this by "classic" photography, digital, painting, etc. And, after all, you are achieving the most important goal, to be happy with what YOU do!!!
For all the people who spend a lot of time writing please go out and take some pictures! Have fun and enjoy the beauty of it!!
Thanks for sharing your pictures!
Tom (i just love take pictures)
P.D. Pardon for my english.

comment by jeremy at 03:52 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Without good light and composition no amount of Photoshop trickery will make a crap image "gold".

Just like a good meal if just one of the ingredients used is off then the food will taste off.

Chromasia and many others start off with a good base and use their photoshop skills to enhance a good image, not create one out of rubbish.


comment by SK at 04:12 PM (GMT) on 1 April, 2006

It's like a painting. Desolate, lonely. I love the place.

comment by Eric Hancock at 11:52 PM (GMT) on 1 April, 2006

Nice. Great crop.