Discuss this Photo
Old 5 Days Ago   #1
skopar steve
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Discuss this Photo

Due to the interest in discussion of photography rather than gear, lets launch a discussion thread.

the rules are:
No critiques.
No gear talk.
Keep it civil.

Lets see how it evolves. Feel free to add how you see these thead's should be.

Open the discussion.

2017-11-24-0002 by Steve Belden, on Flickr
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Old 5 Days Ago   #2
Uncle Brian
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Took me a little while to work out what was going on, but once I did It was the tag in the background that gave it away 773.
Nice shot, like the grain.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #3
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I want to hug the cow, I also want to be the cow.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #4
farlymac
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Growing up in a very rural agrarian part of Indiana, this brings back memories of the County Fair, where the 4-H members would keep their animals company before they were shown for judging, and then especially before the auction that came at the end of the fair.

I never understood how they could spend all that time raising a beautiful animal, and becoming emotionally attached to it, only to sell it off for steaks and hamburgers.

I'm sure the rest of the herd never got the VIP treatment the show model did, although they all had the same fate.

That's what this photo means to me. It's just a sad situation all around.

PF
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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
JP Owens
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The photo really captures many conflicted kids at county fairs as their animals are led off for slaughter. As a Vegan who has photographed more county fairs than I care to remember, I've seen a lot of tears at the end of the auction. Never have understood how these kids do it year after year during their youth. Great capture.
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It's not for everyone
Old 5 Days Ago   #6
Tim Murphy
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It's not for everyone

Dear Steve,

It a way of life neither shared nor understood by many.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 5 Days Ago   #7
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Very authentic and touching moment observed here. I'd be interested in seeing a bit more shadow detail to give more of a visual role to the cows themselves. That would complete the 'relationship'.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #8
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Old 5 Days Ago   #9
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I really think b/w increase drama of this kind of photos. I'm sure a color one would have less impact.

Regards


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Old 5 Days Ago   #10
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When I see this image It makes me wish to see the context surrounding it.
It looks like the conclusion of a larger story.
If there are "supporting" images showing a more pulled bak view, those would make this close image even stronger.

Aesthetically, I love the look. Soft grainy tones Capture the moment very nicely.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #11
mpaniagua
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I suppose the 773 tag and the rope around the background cow give some context.

I think this as a parting moment kind of photo.

Marcelo
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Old 5 Days Ago   #12
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It is a sweet scene, a part of a story that is left unfinished.
I like steak, but it doesn't look like any animals have been harmed in the making of this photo.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #13
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This is a great moment full of emotion. The use of B&W and the grain adds a sense of drama to the scene.

As viewer I'm drawn to the eye of the little girl and this works well.

Love this photo.

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Old 5 Days Ago   #14
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Love and lovely.

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Old 5 Days Ago   #15
David Hughes
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Strangely enough I thought of that well known Wellerism that he never said. Other than that I guess it's personal to the photographer; so perhaps we need the story behind it before we get too upset.

Regards, David
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Here is my take
Old 5 Days Ago   #16
Tim Murphy
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Here is my take

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Strangely enough I thought of that well known Wellerism that he never said. Other than that I guess it's personal to the photographer; so perhaps we need the story behind it before we get too upset.

Regards, David
Dear David,

I took this as a young girl saying goodbye to her cow in an auction barn. Maybe I'm seeing too much but I've seen a similar scene played out before.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 5 Days Ago   #17
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4-H came immediately to mind. I've seen a similar scene with the young 4-H people and their charges. Almost a common sight at The County Fair. I make no judgement about the fate of the animals, but I can see the care bestowed by the young 4-H folks.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #18
johnwolf
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It's interesting that most think they know what's going on here and pretty much have the same perception. My reaction was the same, but reflecting more I can think of a handful of other explanations for her gesture and gaze, some not as sweet as we imagine. Same with the number, which I believe all cows routinely are given at birth.

Whatever the story, it's a delicate moment beautifully expressed. Maybe that's enough to ask of a photograph.

Thanks for inaugurating the discussion, Steve.

John
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Old 5 Days Ago   #19
lynnb
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It's all about the content. There's a story here. Love the emotion in this photo Steve. Very moving. BW, tones, grain are all secondary support act.

Would be nice to see this as a series telling the whole story.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #20
Bob Michaels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skopar steve View Post
the rules are:
No critiques.
............
Steve, I love the concept you are suggesting. But I don't know how to comment about what in the image works for me and what doesn't without such being basically a critique.

Your thoughts?
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Old 5 Days Ago   #21
BillBingham2
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While it's interesting to talk about the picture, the feelings, a bit of back story, I can't understand the lack of critique along with that. But that's me not Skopar Steve or others.

I've seen some critiques that were less than helpful, but many have illuminated different perspectives and approaches. We have a wonderful mix of different styles here, it's wonderful.

B2 (;->
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Old 5 Days Ago   #22
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Nice! Some pictures tell a story, or at least invite the viewer to imagine a story;this is one of those.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #23
ptpdprinter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
While it's interesting to talk about the picture, the feelings, a bit of back story, I can't understand the lack of critique along with that. But that's me not Skopar Steve or others.
One of the rules Steve laid down was no critique.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #24
robert blu
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For me it's all about the emotion, the story behind it is secondary (we do not know it).

Not sure about what the meaning of "no critique" requirement when it is asked to discuss the photo, but maybe is my english missing something...

robert
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Old 5 Days Ago   #25
David Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear David,

I took this as a young girl saying goodbye to her cow in an auction barn. Maybe I'm seeing too much but I've seen a similar scene played out before.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
True, but equally she could have trodden in something and slipped only to fall onto the beasts back. That's an aside and one of the alternatives I thought of.

The Wellerism was the one that goes "Each to his/her own as the old lady said when she kissed her cow". Only I don't think Sam Weller ever said that but he might have...

"Each to their own ... " is basically my take on the other thread, btw.

Regards, David.

PS I think we lost a lot when we started giving them numbers on ear tags; once upon a time nearly everyone in the village knew who Sybil was and would say hallo to her and so on... but in those days we had cow men and pig men and they were important people in the community. 60 years later I can still remember their names and where their seat was in the local pub.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #26
Peter Wijninga
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I can derive the meaning or context of the picture from the comments...but not from the picture itself.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I can derive the meaning or context of the picture from the comments...but not from the picture itself.
I agree. Winogrand said of photographs: “They do not tell stories—they show you what something looks like. To a camera.”

We take "what something looks like" and make up our own stories; maybe we're right and maybe we're not. That's the wonderful subjectivity of artistic expression.

To me this particular photograph doesn't need a story. Whatever is actually happening, it's poignant and beautiful. In a way, learning the facts would make it less so.

John
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Old 4 Days Ago   #28
skopar steve
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Thanks to everyone for talking the time to view and comment on the photo. This was an experiment to see how discussion threads might work. The rules used were derived from the posting about starting such a topic as Discussing a Photograph.

I thought it was important for me to not comment or give a back story. Does the image convey any emotion? Did the technique support my vision? Is the image communicating? In other words does it need a title or story to be understood? I learned a lot by the responses given.

Looking back I agree eliminating critique was a mistake. Critiquing can turn into technical and hardware related discussions, but it is difficult to discuss a photo without conveying what worked and what does not to the viewer.

I hope we can have more of these types of threads. Next one I do will allow critiquing.
Or fell free to add critique to this one if it helps your discussion of this one.

Steve
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Old 4 Days Ago   #29
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Well, as you opened the flood gates.........

I like the picture, a bit more centered than I'd prefer. I would crop a bit off the right and a sliver off the top and bottom. Again, that's me. I like centered in a square or vertical, not so much in a horizontal print.

B2 (;->
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Old 4 Days Ago   #30
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It made me think of that bit in the film "Tora, Tora, Tora" when on board a Japanese carrier, someone says "Moo cow, Moo cow!"
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Old 4 Days Ago   #31
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To me this is a very successful photo. Some can read a story from their past, top others it conveys emotion and attachment.

Part of me sees myself as a 4H contestant but other parts of me sees a young girl saying goodbye and preparing to move on which is something that all of us have had to do at some point in our lives.

Regardless, it is simple, direct and technically well done. It is a wonderful environmental portrait and it conveys a story. Your story may be different than mine but it is still there. I can only wish my own photos are this well done.

Thanks
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Old 4 Days Ago   #32
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I quite like it. Clearly the girl has affection for the cow and I like how the soft glowy lighting adds to the gentle nature of the content, at least for me.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #33
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cool experiment! i'm excited that people are trying to figure out HOW to do photo talk on the forum.

i'd agree that allowing critique and writing an introduction are key to an interesting thread that people get something out of. otherwise, it becomes a guessing game as to what's going on, and people have a hard time saying anything. it's funny that almost everyone resorted to evaluating/critiquing the photo, but just in the way that people thought was allowed (complimentary). retinax's "critique this photo!" thread ended up being a much livelier and practical discussion that led to a stronger photo and some points for future photography (though this photo is great and doesn't need improvement).
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Old 3 Days Ago   #34
skopar steve
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I like how that thread evolved too. What I would have preferred to do was post a photograph by another photographer that I found compelling and start a discussion on what it means to me. I think posting others photos is forbidden without their permission.

A folder where people can upload images anonymously for discussion would be good. Then anyone can start a discussion on a photo in the folder they like.

As you said it is an experiment. We can keep tweaking the idea and see where it goes.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #35
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I found the thread much more interesting when people were describing what the image meant to them or what feelings it evoked. I don't think the critique that has been offered added much to the discussion of the photo. Maybe I have misinterpreted the purpose behind Steve's original concept.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #36
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I have no idea who Sam Weller is or was.

Anyway, I like this shot as a beautifully timed shot -- and the light shining in the girl's eye makes the photo.
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