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

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  • 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 1 of 7 , May 28, 2008
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      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 2 of 7 , May 28, 2008
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        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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