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Purity by ash Purity by ash
I guess every b&w photographer in London eventually ends up at Highgate Cemetery -- I know Misteriddles for one has a bunch of shots from there. So yesterday, on a whim, I decided it was my turn to make the pilgrimage.

Highgate Cemetery, London, December 2002
Canon EOS 300, Fuji Neopan 400 rated 500 dev 800, scanned neg
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:iconfili:
fili Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2003
beautiful b&w contrast, and lovely composition :) (Smile)
its really moving..
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:iconseafairy:
SeaFairy Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2002
Do we even have to explain when faving your photography???

*completelyinlovewithyourwork*

-Lilly
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:iconpwca:
pwca Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2002
yah what Mr. Riddlez said!! THe angle, the perfect composure turns it from stoic to sympathetic.
and your B&W is always such a passionate venture!! Love it!
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:iconmisteriddles:
misteriddles Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2002   Photographer
Oh Highgate, my pretty, pretty!

So where's the artfulness in this: I say:

1/ the diagonal composition provides a sense of drama that belies the static nature of the subject and almost 'animates' it. This is echoed by the similarly diagonal, denuded Winter trees.

2/ Your choice of film and development. Highgate in Winter has a particularly desolate ambience, and your choice of fast film and push processing captures this and presents it to best effect.

Fast film and a tripod are essential in the west side of the cemetery because it is only open to tour groups and time is of the essence when you must keep up with a guide. It is a far spookier place, far more overgrown and dangerous than the east side, and the light is very low.

Oh I'd love to go back.



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:iconacrophile:
acrophile Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2002   Photographer
Indeed, the angle says it all... very well captured, I wish I could jaunt over there myself, hehe... :) (Smile)
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:iconamphex:
amphex Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2002
Great perspective, great DOF, great lighting =) (Smile)
Again, a very nice shot.
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:iconciciolina:
ciciolina Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2002
Now that is a discussion which will keep people busy for the rest of there lives :) (Smile)
I think the photographer can make or break the picture. Although the 'scenery' is already there, he is the one who captures the moment in time. And if you're not a amateur like i am you do have influence on several things like the use of filter, type of film, angle, focus, the light (more or less, morning light is normally very good) and so on.
Details are important and you're so good at that!
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:iconash:
ash Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2002
Haha. You're right that a lot of the 'design' and 'art' of the picture was someone elses: designing the statue, crafting it, placing it, and probably even the placing of the ivy, bushes and trees that the graveyard is full of. And as you say the light is largely out of the photographer's control in outdoor scenes.

Probably my major contribution is being there to photograph the scene in the first place. Billions of people weren't :) (Smile) Then there are technical subtleties which are just part of the craft, the equivalent of the skills that make a good bricklayer or carpenter, like choice of film, depth of field, watching the lighting to see how the light will pick out the features, composition (related to choice of angle), watching the shutter speed to make sure that camerashake isn't a problem, etc. And of course similar things in photoshop, which amount to getting the best final image out of the data on the negative.

I read something just yesterday; that photography can be considered just a particularly elaborate form of pointing. So in a way I'm just pointing at the existing scene and saying "jees, check this shit out". To me that's a feature of photography rather than a flaw -- in particular street photography, which I love, amounts to "finding" things on the street and pointing them out to other people who might not otherwise have seen them, due to either not being there or not paying close enough attention.

The technical skills are real skills and worthy of praise and criticism, but yes ultimately photography is probably not a "pure" fine art like painting, maybe it's closer to making a collage of found items, where the skills are more in finding good stuff and putting it together artfully. And pointing :) (Smile) It's certainly good to bear in mind where the found items came from and that they already, in cases like these, had significant amounts of design put into them by other people.
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:iconjmcc:
jmcc Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2002
I wonder if there's a photography appreciation class I could take somewhere; I never quite know what to look at in photographs unless the "gimmick" is blindingly obvious. Your work is often more subtle than that however, so I end up either focusing on whatever leaps out at me or just spouting a lame "Good work" comment.

This image just made me think of that because of the odd issue of the angel statue. You didn't make it, yet you incorporated it into your new piece of art. The expression of the angel seems to be what "makes" this picture, but you didn't create it, so I can't really compliment you on that, can I? I suppose I could compliment you on your use of the sculpture, but how does one do that? The angle seems to be the main thing you had control over, since outdoor setting precludes much clever use of lighting.

I dunno. I'm confused. "Good work." =) (Smile)
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:iconzirtuan:
ZirTuan Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2002  Hobbyist Photographer
I like this angel more, the angel is interesting and the cropping to this gives more focus to the facial expression then the outfit of the angel's.
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:iconmovie-wizard:
movie-wizard Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2002   Photographer
Good angle. ;) (Wink)
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:icondoornumber13:
doornumber13 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2002  Hobbyist General Artist
oh and the angle too!

heh +fav
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:icondoornumber13:
doornumber13 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2002  Hobbyist General Artist
this is gorgeous ash Love the detail of the statue and the background is fabulous.. you're awesome.
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:iconearthly-delight:
earthly-delight Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2002
every photographer may end up there....but not all of them take as great and lovely a shot....I'm sick of seeing pictures of angels and cemetaries where the photogrpaher thinks that the content is enough and no depth, detail of talent is needed...thankfully you've incorporated all of those into that fabulous picture...and have gone beyond just a picture of a monument....very nice shot.
Shannon
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:iconantlercat-anon:
antlercat-anon Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2002  Professional Traditional Artist
I like this. I like angel imagery a lot, so this is definately nice to see.
Lovely work.
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