View Full Version : Photos by Pineneedle

December 22nd, 2009, 10:42 AM
Hosting a few photos for Pineneedle...ill let him do the explaining on the details of the photos, but their very good! Send the rest on over and ill host them too!



Mind you, these were shot on film and darkroom processed! Amazing! :thumbsup:

December 22nd, 2009, 11:02 AM
Very nice! I need to scan some of the film my daughter shot in her B&W class in High School...

December 22nd, 2009, 12:18 PM
very nice

December 22nd, 2009, 12:24 PM
I hope were going to get to see more than 2. :thumbsup:

December 22nd, 2009, 02:08 PM
My Dear Jeffro,

Thanks for putting those up. For anyone who is interested, the first is called, "Missouri River and Full Moon, Morton County, North Dakota." I made this in 1989 while photographing the watercourses of the Missouri River Basin. Just as a point of information, the basin includes all or part of 11 states and 2 Canadian provinces. From an aesthetic point of view, the 1500 miles of the river that crosses the prairie is very bland. You have hundreds of miles of unrelieved flat grassland, with very few landforms to break up the skyline. So, to provide visual interest, I tried to use clouds, times of day, and so on. This image was made after sunset; the technical problem was to freeze the Moon, while getting enough light to expose the landscape. You would be surprised how fast the moon moves!

The second is, "Walnut Leaves against the Open Sky." One of my longstanding interests has been small natural forms. I did several portfolios of individual tree species such as the sycamore and the cottonwood.

I am pleased that the images came over O.K. There were a lot of reproduction steps involved, and each one has a degrading effect. That is the beauty of being able to dump pixels right out of a camera into a computer. Sigh.


December 22nd, 2009, 02:13 PM
Bravo pineneedle. Share more please.

December 22nd, 2009, 02:36 PM
If you have more, please feel free to email them to me and ill put them up too!

December 22nd, 2009, 03:02 PM
Heres a few more...




Again, very nice! :thumbsup: I really like the window one...especially how you can see the exact same window in the background!

December 22nd, 2009, 03:25 PM
Being a landscape guy, I love the Yellowstone one. Really need to get back up that way...

December 22nd, 2009, 06:43 PM
My Dear Friends,

Thanks for your kind comments. Allow me to make a couple of observations on the prints. The window picture is from "The German Churches of Missouri." It is a nice illustration of the incredible capability of view cameras. This window is about 5 ft. off the ground, which means that one would have to point the camera up in order to include the whole window. With an ordinary camera, this would cause "keystoning" with the sides of the window converging on a distant point. By the use of movements, I was able to get the entire window in the print, while maintaining architectural perspective. Again, by the use of movements, I was able to set the camera up to the side of the window in order to get the echoing image of the other window to the side of the image.
With an ordinary camera, this would cause the siding and window to converge as well. So, by using movements, I have a completely square image with the repeated image at the side where it is more
visually striking. The beautiful part is that when you are setting up the image on the ground glass, you can watch the geometrical changes in the image as you utilize the camera movements.

The portrait dates from 1978 when I was experimenting with portraits made by window light. There is no light that is as soft and revealing as natural light. The boy is my son, John, who is now 43 and a biologist living in Durango. Long ago and far away.

Finally, the photo of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is a good example of how difficult landscape can sometime be. I went to this place (Artist's Point) four different times spread over four years, trying to get a good image of the falls. Each time I went, I was overawed by the majesty of that scene. But to a camera it was a dreary, flatly lit mass of green with a dark river, which in b/w translates into drab gray. Finally, I devised a strategy. I waited until the sun was no longer going into the canyon, though its light was still striking the spume cloud hovering over the plunge pool. In addition the river was now reflecting skylight, making a perfect subject for b/w. I was very happy with the outcome. I have seen a ton of photos of this falls, but never one like mine. (There probably are some out there; I just have never seen one.)

Again, thanks for the comments. Now it is somebody else's turn. Put up some pictures and tell us about them.


December 23rd, 2009, 10:59 PM
My Dear Friends,

Well, the conversation kind of trailed off. On the other hand, it is Christmas Eve (or nearly so). Nonetheless, it would be nice to hear some more thoughtful talk on making pictures. In a previous post I remarked about a book, "Looking at Photographs." I can't emphasize how great a book it is. The author, John Tzarsowski, was the second director of the Dept. of Photography of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC (the first was Beaumont Newhall). These two men were responsible for making the case to our national "Art Illuminati" that photography is a fine art. We owe them a great debt for that. But I digress.

The layout of the book consists of a series of full-page reproductions of great photos, coupled with detailed analyses of these photos on the facing pages. These analyses are brilliant, penetrating, illuminating, you name it. I first began to really understand photography when I read this book.

The point is: we should be doing that, i.e., putting up an image (or several, for that matter), and then offering our best analysis. One could include in this analysis such matters as creative intent, technique, or allusion (an echo of, or an homage to another photographer/photograph). In short, let the photographer tell us what he thinks about his own picture, let the picture speak for itself, and let others comment. I am not suggesting a "critique" session in the standard (boring) sense, but something deeper, more personal, more revealing, more instructive. We can all learn from each other. If we ask one another questions, in the Socratic sense, much might be drawn out of us that we might not have even seen.

Look, a trained chimp can take pictures. Ansel Adams' cameras have the same f stops as do yours. Whiz-bang, gee-wiz stuff doesn't make a great picture. Neither do trite observations. Most of the talk I hear coming from people when they remark on beautiful or moving pictures sounds like what the contestants used to say on American Bandstand: "Yeah, I really like the beat; it's got good rhythm."

This could be awesome, but it runs some risks. Just like skinny-dipping, everyone has to take his cloths off. We would have to be honest, we would have to really search our own thinking about our pictures, we would have to accept honest and fair questions for what they are--honest and fair questions.

Maybe I am proposing something that this little community of shutterbugs could not sustain. Maybe this would be boring to most of you. Maybe I am just an old man who is full of s--t. What do you think? (I don't mean: "Do you think I am full of s--t?" I mean: "What do you think of my proposal?"


December 24th, 2009, 08:09 AM
My Dear Friends,

Just like skinny-dipping, everyone has to take his cloths off.

I like skinny dipping. :D

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Oh, great idea PN. There is a place to do this in this forum..........unless the "Critique this" sticky is for some other reason? Maybe more for critique than for photographer explanations?? Great idea though.

December 24th, 2009, 02:21 PM
My Dear Friends,

I reread my last post today, and after a little thought, I think that I had too many glasses of wine last night and stayed up too late. The post by S&L is exactly right. There is a "critique" thread that is longstanding, and that means that it suits the temper and inclinations of this board.

My changed view is that my idea, as explained above, is probably over-reaching. If the folks on this board wanted this sort of thing, it would probably already exist.

I suppose I was thinking aloud, so to speak, last night. By that I mean that for me, the most important part of great photography goes on in one's head not in one's camera. But I am so old-school, so far from the current incarnation of photography, that they have to pipe daylight to me.

Anyway, I am withdrawing my proposal as probably too arcane. The reality is that there might be one or two posts, and then it would die on the vine. In any case, to anyone who reads this, Merry Christmas.


December 24th, 2009, 02:33 PM
My changed view is that my idea, as explained above, is probably over-reaching. If the folks on this board wanted this sort of thing, it would probably already exist.

Not true at all. This board is always evolving, and lots of things have been added over the years solely due to suggestions and ideas from members. There's no reason to think it won't continue to evolve.

Your photos are excellent. :thumbsup:

December 28th, 2009, 11:47 AM

The more i look at it, the more i LOVE IT(the first shot, Missouri River)! The dark sky speckled with the stars accentuated by the glow from the horizon...the detail and crispness of the shoreline, the reflection of it in the water and finished off by a simple, uncluttered front shoreline. Its a busy photo and there is a lot to look at but its busy in a good way...your eyes dont wander all over it and it just flows so nicely from top to bottom! Would love to hear a little more about how and why you captured it.

What are the chances that a guy could get a decent sized print of this?? :D

December 28th, 2009, 03:56 PM
My Dear Jeffro,

Thanks for the comment. It is a stunning print; I know that sounds self-congratulatory, but the fact is that the reproduction on this sub-forum is very poor and doesn't really do it justice. Many of the details of the print did not come through the scanning process.

I made the print as part of the Missouri River Project, about which I have already written. The area of North Dakota shown is an utterly empty lanscape. In the 19th century this was the homeland of the Mandan tribe. At the peak of their power they numbered about 25,000. By the time the U.S. Government formally confined them to a reservation, there were fewer than 200 remaining Mandan. They were decimated by successive waves of smallpox (intentionally interjected among them by steamboats operating out of St. Louis).

When I looked at this scene, late in the day a little after sundown, I was particularly struck by the anthropomorphic appearance of some of the dead cottonwood snags. One in particular looks like a man with his arms upraised in supplication. I sometimes call this image, "Mandan Souls." When I made the photo, what with all the time consumed in setting up the stand camera, working out the composition, and such, I only had time to make one exposure. I drove around the Upper Missouri Basin for three more weeks, working on the project, all the while wondering if I had actually gotten anything in my one negative. Needless to say, I was thrilled when, upon getting home, I developed that one sheet of film to find a perfect negative.

P.M. me and I will fill you in on your print request.


December 28th, 2009, 08:16 PM

I am also awestruck by that photo. After growing up in North Dakota (and just returning from a week there this afternoon), I can really appreciate the skill that it takes to photograph the land. I spent the last week near the town of Tenney, MN (Population 6...actually 4 now, since a family moved out) and there is nothing but corn stalks and mile long rows of trees with the occasional grain elevator scattered along the rail roads. Getting a photograph worth printing is nothing short of impossible!

I would love to see more photos of your North Dakota ventures if you have them scanned!

These are 2 that I took outside of Grand Forks, ND while I was taking a photography class. It was coincidental and beneficial that that weeks assignment was to "take pictures at night" These were taken on 35mm Kodachrome with my Canon Rebel G.



December 28th, 2009, 11:59 PM
My Dear Ammotj,

Great pictures! Prairie landscape is a great training ground for landscape photographers. Since the natural landscape is a generally unrelieved, vast flatness under an endless dome of sky, you have to THINK. It is a waste of time to just pop away, and like an old blind hog, hope that you find an acorn once in a while. What I often did in my prairie years was to make "design" the subject. By that I mean that I looked for juxtaposed areas of shadow and light that were visually pleasing as areas of tone, rather than depicting some actual object. I made a picture that I really like of a caving bank on the Little Missouri River. The picture is about itself, that is, the viewer is drawn to look at the little piece of paper with the silver granules on it, rather than looking through the image to an imagined subject. It is a really cerebral way of working, but it leads to some wonderful pictures. Invariably, the best prairie pictures feature light and shadow in harmony and in conflict. Generally, this leads to what I call a "band" picture. The moon picture is a good example. Notice that it consists of a series of stratified bands of tone, dark, light, dark, light, and so on. The best time of day to work is late afternoon/early evening, when you get the wonderful opalescent, revealing light, the long shadows, and the melancholy tone that we humans naturally associate with that time of day. Add winter and a few bare trees, and it is magical, indeed.

The inverse of that is the case with mountain landscape. It is difficult to make a good mountain picture because there is typically too much going on visually. Most of the mountain pictures I see beg for simplification. As I said in a previous post: What is the subject? Mountains? That is not good enough.

Anyway, I enjoyed your comments and your pictures.


December 29th, 2009, 07:42 AM
In that vein, I'd be curious as to your thoughts on these mountain pics.

http://photos.chesterbullock.com/Art/Landscapes/PA013081/721961016_DfCAV-L.jpg (http://photos.chesterbullock.com/Art/Landscapes/10253036_tYCBH/1/#721961016_DfCAV-A-LB)

http://photos.chesterbullock.com/Art/Landscapes/peakone/722016892_UtKmv-L.jpg (http://photos.chesterbullock.com/Art/Landscapes/10253036_tYCBH/1/#722016892_UtKmv-A-LB)

December 29th, 2009, 12:27 PM
My Dear Chester,

Your pictures are a very handsome pair, both being landscapes based upon mountain subject matter. In my view, the reflection picture is by far the better of the two. All reflection pictures run the risk of being cliche. You know, the reflection in the sunglasses, the reflction in the tree ornament, rear-view mirror, etc. Your photo does not fall into this trap. What makes the aforementioned cliche is that there is a contrived novelty in them. One does not ordinarily walk up to a person with sunglasses on and stare into them at a reflection. The same can be said for the other instances I cite. However, what makes your picture credible is that it is easy to imagine walking up this road and being startled by the beautiful reflection in the puddle. Your photo shows the work of MIND, which for me is the sine qua non of a great picture. "Accidental" images, no matter how interesting, always lack this mark, namely, the obvious evidence of thought beforehand. In sum, I really like this picture, and you have reason to take pride in it. If I may make just one little suggestion: crop the top to exclude the thin strip of distant landscape so that one cannot see the road disappearing. In my opinion, that would make it nearly perfect. One other comment: this photo bears out my earlier remark about what we used to call the "Law of Principality," i.e., that every good photo has a clear subject. When one looks at this picture, there is no doubt about the subject. The eye is drawn immediately to the reflected peak.

On the other hand, the second picture, the snowscape, is weakened by the same thing. What, exactly, is the viewer supposed to look at? The eye wanders around, wondering if something has been missed which it is supposed to see. Further, the evergreen tops in the bottom of the photo look intrusive more than anything. Ansel Adams has famously said (and demonstrated in his own photographs) that the "near-far" relationship is a great way to organize a landscape. However, in this case the branches give us little information, and one suspects that they are there because they could not, for one reason or another, be excluded.

Nonetheless, this is still a good picture. It is the sort of photo that stock agencies love because it could be used for a thousand different purposes. It is clean, uncluttered, and "pretty." But, in my opinion, it is a calendar picture. I emphasize that it is "in my opinion," because others may chime in and say that they love it. However, one has to distinguish between the Judgment of Taste and the Judgment of Value. It is one thing to say that you like something; in this matter, everyone is his own pope. But objectve excellence is not up to taste. There are criteria, and one has continually to measure his work against these criteria.

I don't want to end on a negative note. One picture is good; the other is excellent. I have seen a number of your photos here on this board and you do fine work.


December 29th, 2009, 01:03 PM
I honestly haven't put that much thought into any of the pictures I take, which is why I have a hodgepodge of quality images and quality "calendar or stock" images. And I am ok with that. I take images that are pleasing to my eye, and I suppose some that occasionally provoke thought in my head, but not to this level (at least not consciously). I don't take any of your comments to be negative. Actually they are quite helpful, as I have always wondered what it is about my images that people like.

Here is the cropped version of the image.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2733/4111655031_46ab8aa43d_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/chesterbullock/4111655031/)

And this is how I originally presented it. People didn't know what to make of it, and it didn't seem to click that it was a reflection that was then inverted.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3198/2919631798_654a42c737_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/chesterbullock/2919631798/)

And this is the original, unreflected view that day.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3240/2918786469_82f7ffdc86_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/chesterbullock/2918786469/)

December 29th, 2009, 10:00 PM
My Dear Chester,

In my attempt to emphasize the importance of thought to good photography, I think that I have perhaps not been too clear. I do not mean that a photograph ought to follow upon some solemn, lengthy contemplation. Instead, I simply mean to suggest that a photograph ought to come about as a conscious decision to include some particular subject in some particular presentation. This will include such things as format (vertical or horiz.), image management (what to include and what to exclude), point of view, lens selection, etc. In b/w there are even more decisions, e.g., over or under exposure coupled with adjusted development, etc. Using a camera with movements introduces still more. I guess what I am trying to get at is that a good photographer tries to assert as much control over his work as he can, given the circumstances. This is what I mean by the work of mind.

What I think ought to be avoided is the mindless banging away that is so common. I knew a young man some years ago who was going for a B.F.A. in photography at a local university. His professor encouraged him to duct-tape his SLR to the handle-bars of his motorcycle and, while riding around, punch the shutter-button whenever the spirit moved him. This stupid exercise produced a worthless mish-mash of nonesense, although some of the images were interesting in the same way that a cow with two heads is interesting.

In your pictures (those which I have seen) there is strong evidence of conscious decisions. This is why a praised the reflection photo: it show evidence of such.

As for the variety of crops that you have made of the reflection picture, my opinion remains unchanged. The original is by far the best. The straight-forward picture of the mountain, again, is a nice photograph, but it is a very generic mountain picture. Adding the elements of the road and the reflecting puddle makes all the difference.


December 29th, 2009, 10:13 PM
My Dear Chester,

Sorry for going on. It occurs to me that I should also make this point. Photography is many things; it doesn't all have to be "serious," and point-and-shoot cameras are wonderful additions to vacations, family gatherings, etc.

The reality is that even the greats just blazed away from time to time, and these pictures are wonderful in their own way. They make up the albums and scrapbooks that we all love and cherish where photo aesthetics has no value at all.

But, nevertheless, if you are trying to build up a trove of images that you are proud of, that you want to show around, that you want to sell as fine art photographs, thought and deliberate method pay enormous dividends. Amen for the moment.


December 29th, 2009, 10:19 PM
In that vein, I'd be curious as to your thoughts on these mountain pics.

http://photos.chesterbullock.com/Art/Landscapes/PA013081/721961016_DfCAV-L.jpg (http://photos.chesterbullock.com/Art/Landscapes/10253036_tYCBH/1/#721961016_DfCAV-A-LB)

Like Pineneedle said, i still think this is the best one of the group. Yes, the others are easy on the eyes but like he said, its just a mountain...thats probably had a billion and one shots taken of it that all, more or less look the same. This particular one though, you put some real thought into it and it gives what is just a pretty looking mountain an interesting perspective and a little more to the whole grand scheme of the area you were at. It takes the ordinary and makes it unique and thats something seriously lacking in landscape photography nowdays, in my opinion. I particularly like the leaves in this one...the tire tracks going into the puddle show that the road is well traveled but the calmness of the water and the delicate placing of the leaves suggest otherwise which is a nice contrast.