ARC

A little bit of everything


Month: February, 2006

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now
Thanks for the nice comments yesterday, much appreciated. Coming to today, it’s a pretty dramatic title but to me that is what this scene evokes, that something big and sinister is about to happen, and the deliberate diagonal composition just adds to that effect imo. The original was not as dramatic as this but a little PP can make a world of difference. In the end, this is how I interpreted the original scene.

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Solitary Walker

Solitary Walker
I like the various lines coming together in this and set off against the solitary figure.

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Waiting For Spring

Waiting For Spring
So we return again to the photos from my walk along the Rhine last week. I don’t know what tree this is but they seem to waiting for spring to bloom again.

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Luis

Luis
This is the final photo in a series of three connected with the carnival preparations of a friend. That strange white color on his face is not a PP artifact, it is his make-up!

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Expert Help

Expert Help
Here is the second photo in a series of three connected with the carnival preparations of a friend. This is the same guy as yesterday. In this, he was being given some expert help by another friend. While she touched up his make-up the rest of us were wondering aloud about all the strange stuff women use to beautify themselves, lip liner, eye liner, lip gloss, blush, foundation, glitter…and the list is endless! It is a whole different world, cosmetics for women!

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Time For The Show

Time For The Show
Since today is the beginning of carnival I thought it would be appropriate to post something connected to it. This is a friend of mine putting the finishing touches to his make-up that would go with his costume before he ventured out.

This was one of the rare instances of me shooting in jpeg format. Later, while reviewing I realized how much more ‘safe’ shooting in RAW is. Since I’m still not very good at getting proper exposures the original of this shot came out very dark. In RAW, the latitude for error correction is much greater, not so in jpeg. Still, I managed to get something back and I think the photo now conveys something of what I wanted it to in the first place. If you are looking at the focal length in the exif data and wondering where the rest of the image has gone, yes, this photo is cropped!

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Over The Rhine II

Over The Rhine II
This can be a companion piece to the one I posted a couple of days [back here](http://www.visual.arthedains.com/index.php?showimage=160). It is from the same place but looking in the opposite direction. Don’t even ask me why I used such a shallow aperture for a photo like this. I think I shot this without thinking! And that tone is just the result of using a different white balance, cloudy in this case, as simple as that!

Oh, carnival starts here tomorrow so I hope I’ll be afforded some good photo opportunities! As they say here Kolle Alaaf!

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Capote

Where does compassion for a subject in one’s novel begin and desire to finish the story end? Is it right to use actual people to write something and hope that they will die soon so that you can finish writing? Do we as a society have the moral right to take the life of another human being even if that person has killed someone? Are we capable of realizing how momentous and irreversible death is?

Writers, I think, are highly selfish people. They live for their craft and characters and usually interact with society insomuch as it often gives them ideas for new stories. To them nothing matters more than getting a story down on paper and most importantly finishing it. They have to maintain a unique relationship with their characters. They have to be honest and caring but detached enough to not get personal and impose their own view on the people in their books. It is this conflict that Capote struggles with as he writes ‘In Cold Blood’, arguably his most famous work.

On one hand he is a narcissistic man in love with himself and on the other hand he has a compassionate heart. He is unable to detach himself from the people who form characters in his book. He wants to finish the book but for that to happen the protagonists have to die. So he vacillates between not helping them find a lawyer so that their appeal against the death sentence cannot go forward and hating himself for being so self-absorbed.

He cannot help himself from developing an affectionate bond with a person who has murdered a family in cold blood. He begins to care for him. He wants to help him delay the inevitable. But deep within all this affection is his selfish desire to be done with the book, a book which he has proclaimed, even before he has written a word of it, as his best. So he struggles to find a moral center, a justification for what he is doing, and he fails.

Philip Seymour Hoffman justly deserves all the praise he has been getting. His is a sublime performance and is one of the best I’ve seen in recent times. He achieves the rare distinction of slipping so much into the character’s skin that you no longer see the actor; you only see the character he portrays. He carries the film solely on his shoulders and never falters. The moment near the end of the film when he truly realizes what is about to happen, the way Hoffman breaks down made my eyes water with genuine empathy for what the man was feeling. It was a supreme achievement. Praise should go to the director Bennett Miller as well. It is hard to believe that this is his first feature film. To show the internal conflict Truman Capote underwent when writing one of the most important book’s of the 60s in such a brilliant manner; Miller can be proud of the perfect jewel he has crafted.

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The Last Leaf

The Last Leaf
Thanks for the nice comments yesterday, much appreciated. This is one of the few macro shots from the shoot along the Rhine. Again, I played around a bit with PP on this. Used selective color and contrast to make the leaf stand out better against what is a slightly cluttered background.

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Over the Rhine

Over the Rhine
Yesterday, after days of dreary rain, the weather here cleared suddenly. To not miss the window of opportunity I immediately took off with my cameras and went towards the Rhine river. I got a few pics which I’m happy with. You can expect to see them over the next few days.

This one is from the top of one of the bridges over the Rhine. This photo has gone through substantial PP as I wasn’t happy with the way it had come out. Mainly, I increased the dynamic range to make the clouds stand out better, which was the original intention behind taking this shot. In the end, I’ve to say I like the way this photo has come out. When I started PP I had no idea I would end up with this!

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