Ctein’s “Niagara Falls”
I became aware of Ctein through the website The Online Photographer, where he contributes essays. His biography is fascinating, but the key point, and one worth repeating, is that he is considered one of the top photographic printers in the world. Actually, experts at Kodak thought he was the best. Alright, but how are his photos?
Excellent; a particularly striking one is Niagara Falls. It is a fresh take on the subject, but the image is as frothy as cotton candy and the mist he captured. A sliver of the curve of the gigantic falls (taken from the Canadian side, probably) juts in from the right, only to be smothered by clouds and mist. But it is the delicate blue tones, light, lighter, and ethereal, that arrested my attention.
In the image, I am forced to look up to the rim of the waterfall, and this angle inspires hope, happiness, and joy in living. As I said, the color is just delicate; it’s all high-key color tones, but with enough geometries to compel attention (straight lines down due to the water, and horizontally oriented clouds.)
If you read his commentary, the man is all about the prints. Although he has moved on to extant technologies, his standard is always with reference to a finished, tangible print. He will happily use digital imaging systems with printers or spend time in the dark room.
Dylan Toh’s and Marianne Lim’s “A Henge Beneath“
Seriously; do I need to say anything? I did not notice this before, but the image is a 14 shot panorama. Just a superb composition and exposure work – and post processing to stitch them all, seamlessly. The colors are so rich, and apparently they did catch this at sunset. I’ve seen a number of images with that look (i.e. setting/rising sun with a starscape.) But… apparently a fair number of them actually result from light pollution! Ha! Great effect on those images, but this here is the real thing.
The rocks are superbly lit. The colors are also rather nicely complementary, although with the deep shadows, even the earth tones look a bit spacey. Each element is properly placed; the off centered rocks lend tension to the centered arc of the Milky Way.
Dylan Toh and Marianne Lim’s works can be found here: http://www.everlookphotography.com/. They prefer you to buy prints there, since they prefer the quality they themselves can deliver.
The link is for Justin Ng’s “I see the light“, a photo from the Yi Peng lantern festival in Thailand. This is a photo that I felt was in a class by itself, completely surpassing the extremely good photographs I see on 500px. Because images last in the collective psyche of 500px for as long as 24 hours, I’ve decided to pay my respect to the skill and talent of the photographer by making an extra effort to keep these images from being consigned into the information oblivion of the Internet.
Clearly, I do not mean for this to be anything aside from a roll of images that took my breath away. I do expect that not every will agree with me, and I even expect that no one will agree with me.
I will have gone ahead and notified the photographer, as well as on my “Stories” at 500px. I will start to feature other pieces from around the web on my blog as well. I hope this spurs discussion because art is worth talking about. It enriches our lives, our souls, and our intellects.