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Re: [feyerabend-project] Photography Workshop at OOPSLA 2008

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  • Peter van Emde Boas
    ... Dear Richard. Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering
    Message 1 of 7 , May 27, 2008
      On Tue, May 27, 2008 21:26, Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
      > Yes, I have seen you in action at all the venues
      > we've been at together. I know there are lots of
      > people who do take pictures. This is an attempt
      > to try to get a bunch of folks really good at it
      > and to spread the practice. We hope to establish
      > a working online archive somewhere, like ACM.
      >
      > -rpg-
      >

      Dear Richard.

      Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you
      the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering the
      needs of people in the situation you describe concerning the HOPL
      conference. I have had many requests for such purposes in the past,
      and the status is that I can assist people provided the request concerns
      events from before 1995 and moreover I need the precise date sice that is
      the unique entry based on which I can search my collection.

      If you are interested in what the results are like: from my home page
      staff.science.uva.nl/~peter there are several links to collections of
      pictures; moreover most of the pictures which you can find in the various
      lectures and course material sections linked to my website belong to my
      collection.

      Are you familiar with the picture archive of the Mathematical Institute in
      Oberwolfach ?

      Peter van Emde Boas

      > At 20:00 +0200 5/27/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
      >>On Tue, May 27, 2008 18:33, Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
      >>> Photographing a technical conference well is not a matter of point
      >>> and shoot, nor is it about taking pictures to share with friends and
      >>> family. The time is ripe for more serious photojournalism to capture
      >>> our community's leaders, its activities, and its human face, and for
      >>> the use of artistry to tell stories and get people thinking.
      >>>
      >>> In this workshop you will learn basic technical and aesthetic
      >>> techniques for good photography and good conference photography in
      >>> particular, and you will practice these techniques during OOPSLA.
      >>> Work will be critiqued using an artists' workshop process to enable
      >>> you to continue learning and improving after the workshop.
      >>> Participants will attend a full-day of lectures and interactive
      >>> learning activities as well as photograph Monday, Tuesday, and
      >>> Wednesday with short, early morning artists' workshops on Tuesday,
      >>> Wednesday, and Thursday.
      >>>
      >>> *****
      >>
      >>Dear Richard
      >>
      >>An interesting initiative. You migh have observed me in action during
      >>previous OOPSLA's but I presume that you don't know that taking pictures
      >>at scientific meetings is something I have been doing on a systematic
      >>basis for over 30 years. But as observed for another occasion: the mean
      >>weaknesses of my archive are the lack of an index and a backlog of over
      >> 10
      >>years to have it organized.
      >>
      >>I append a short text which I prepared for a small exhibition from my
      >>archives to be held at the 5th European mathematical Conference in
      >>Amsterdam this July.
      >>
      >>Peter van Emde Boas
      >>
      >>>
      >>> Kevin Sullivan and I are teaching this workshop, and I invite you to
      >>> consider joining. It will be a way for all of us to get better at
      >>> photography. You can find out more information here:
      >>>
      >>>
      >>><http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html>http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html
      >>>
      >>> -rpg-
      >>>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>Attachment converted:
      >>SnowPart:Photocollintro20080505.doc (WDBN/«IC»)
      >>(005D34D0)
      >
      >
    • Richard P. Gabriel
      ... No, it s photojournalism, which is historical photos done well + getting photos of people in their natural settings being themselves. Not to put too fine a
      Message 2 of 7 , May 27, 2008
        At 23:35 +0200 5/27/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
        >
        >Dear Richard.
        >
        >Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you
        >the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering the
        >needs of people in the situation you describe concerning the HOPL
        >conference. I have had many requests for such purposes in the past,
        >and the status is that I can assist people provided the request concerns
        >events from before 1995 and moreover I need the precise date sice that is
        >the unique entry based on which I can search my collection.

        No, it's photojournalism, which is historical photos done well +
        getting photos of people in their natural settings being themselves.
        Not to put too fine a point on it, but compare your picture here:

        http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/MDAworkshop/imagepages/DSCF2785.html

        with either of the top 2 on the web page for the workshop:

        http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html

        (yes, mine have been reduced for the web page - the originals are
        either 5 or 14 mb - I can't remember if they are originally JPEGs or
        raw).

        You have captured the gentleman (I'm not remembering his name right
        away), but he is alone, small, and the white balance needs to be
        corrected. He is hard to see. He looks like he might be insane.

        The two on my page: the first is Parnas and Brooks on a panel. They
        are lost in thought. You can see the audience. The color is mostly
        correct. They fill the shot. It tells a story about them as thinkers
        in their community.

        The second one below Parnas and Brooks is Pascal Costanza, who one
        day might be famous. It shows him apparently in motion, looking the
        way he always looks. The cropping indicates his motion. He is not
        posing for the shot. The conference chairs are a blur behind him.
        Seeing this shot 50 years from now, you might wonder what he's
        thinking.

        Now compare another of yours:

        http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/oopsla99/edu07.jpg

        with the bottom one on my page.

        These are of the same person. Yours is a little out of focus, is
        taken from an odd and unflattering angle, and makes him look insane
        (which he perhaps is (he's a friend and we frequently go on
        photography expeditions together)). Mine is also of Joe Bergin. It
        shows him fairly clearly, but the long exposure (.5 sec) has him a
        little blurred and his Italian salute tells you about him and his
        relation to the photographer (me). Torsten Layda looks on puzzled.
        This is a cropping of a larger photo. It shows Bergin animated, but
        not insane.

        Some of the differences are technological - your photos are older.
        The main difference is that I've applied some aesthetic thinking
        while trying to capture the people as they really are. You seem to
        have tried to capture the person simply and roughly in the center of
        the picture. Yours are historically valuable, but I think they could
        be more valuable were some artistic thinking applied to them when you
        took them and in post production.

        (We're old friends, so don't take this quick writers' workshop of
        your work as an insult - you've done important work capturing these
        images.)

        -rpg-
      • Peter van Emde Boas
        ... Dear Richard. Thanks for the comments, and feedback. I agree that it is hard to produce good or even nice pictures from people giving presentations;
        Message 3 of 7 , May 28, 2008
          Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
          > At 23:35 +0200 5/27/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
          >>
          >> Dear Richard.
          >>
          >> Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you
          >> the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering the
          >> needs of people in the situation you describe concerning the HOPL
          >> conference. I have had many requests for such purposes in the past,
          >> and the status is that I can assist people provided the request concerns
          >> events from before 1995 and moreover I need the precise date sice
          >> that is
          >> the unique entry based on which I can search my collection.
          >
          > No, it's photojournalism, which is historical photos done well +
          > getting photos of people in their natural settings being themselves.
          > Not to put too fine a point on it, but compare your picture here:
          >
          > http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/MDAworkshop/imagepages/DSCF2785.html
          >
          > with either of the top 2 on the web page for the workshop:
          >
          > http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html
          >
          > (yes, mine have been reduced for the web page - the originals are
          > either 5 or 14 mb - I can't remember if they are originally JPEGs or
          > raw).
          >
          > You have captured the gentleman (I'm not remembering his name right
          > away), but he is alone, small, and the white balance needs to be
          > corrected. He is hard to see. He looks like he might be insane.
          >
          > The two on my page: the first is Parnas and Brooks on a panel. They
          > are lost in thought. You can see the audience. The color is mostly
          > correct. They fill the shot. It tells a story about them as thinkers
          > in their community.
          >
          > The second one below Parnas and Brooks is Pascal Costanza, who one day
          > might be famous. It shows him apparently in motion, looking the way he
          > always looks. The cropping indicates his motion. He is not posing for
          > the shot. The conference chairs are a blur behind him. Seeing this
          > shot 50 years from now, you might wonder what he's thinking.
          >
          > Now compare another of yours:
          >
          > http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/oopsla99/edu07.jpg
          >
          > with the bottom one on my page.
          >
          > These are of the same person. Yours is a little out of focus, is taken
          > from an odd and unflattering angle, and makes him look insane (which
          > he perhaps is (he's a friend and we frequently go on photography
          > expeditions together)). Mine is also of Joe Bergin. It shows him
          > fairly clearly, but the long exposure (.5 sec) has him a little
          > blurred and his Italian salute tells you about him and his relation to
          > the photographer (me). Torsten Layda looks on puzzled. This is a
          > cropping of a larger photo. It shows Bergin animated, but not insane.
          >
          > Some of the differences are technological - your photos are older. The
          > main difference is that I've applied some aesthetic thinking while
          > trying to capture the people as they really are. You seem to have
          > tried to capture the person simply and roughly in the center of the
          > picture. Yours are historically valuable, but I think they could be
          > more valuable were some artistic thinking applied to them when you
          > took them and in post production.
          >
          > (We're old friends, so don't take this quick writers' workshop of your
          > work as an insult - you've done important work capturing these images.)
          >
          > -rpg-
          Dear Richard. Thanks for the comments, and feedback. I agree that it is
          hard to produce "good" or even "nice" pictures from people giving
          presentations; the typical mathematician even won't face the audience
          but look consistently at the blackboard and/or screen, or, if he faces
          the audience he will look downwards or have his eyes closed. My main
          form of post processing is to remove the pictures where I capture such
          an impossible pose. So I presume that that also will be one of the
          topics from your workshop - capturing speakers at the right moment.

          As you may have noticed we have not participated in the last two
          OOPLSA's but your workshop evidently is a good reason to reconsider.

          Sincerely

          Peter van Emde Boas
        • Richard P. Gabriel
          ... Also, for the best photos, you need to be able to take them from vantage points that are not in the audience. The photo of Parnas and Brooks is taken from
          Message 4 of 7 , May 28, 2008
            At 14:47 +0200 5/28/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
            >
            >Dear Richard. Thanks for the comments, and feedback. I agree that it is
            >hard to produce "good" or even "nice" pictures from people giving
            >presentations; the typical mathematician even won't face the audience
            >but look consistently at the blackboard and/or screen, or, if he faces
            >the audience he will look downwards or have his eyes closed. My main
            >form of post processing is to remove the pictures where I capture such
            >an impossible pose. So I presume that that also will be one of the
            >topics from your workshop - capturing speakers at the right moment.

            Also, for the best photos, you need to be able to take them from
            vantage points that are not in the audience. The photo of Parnas and
            Brooks is taken from behind the panel table. When limited to the
            audience, you need a long enough lens to capture head and shoulders.
            Even a mathematician will occasionally (perhaps by accident) glance
            at the audience. You need to study their behavior (as if they were
            wildlife) to see what signals they might give before they glance at
            you. Sometimes if you stand up with your camera, that will attract
            their attention.

            >As you may have noticed we have not participated in the last two
            >OOPLSA's but your workshop evidently is a good reason to reconsider.

            You would be very welcome.

            -rpg-
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