same difference..

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same difference..

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Radha
same difference..
we are a lot like them..
more than we realize or care to attribute..
Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:58 am
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Radha Rangarajan
My Blog ~ Flickr


Radha  Joined CNP On 12 Sep 2011    Total Image posts 77    -   Total Image Comments 264    -   Image Post to Comment Ratio 1:3    -   Image Comment Density 47     -     Total Forum Posts 16

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Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:16 pm

We see us in those hands and faces, isn't it, Radha ? If you show the leg of a deer or a leg of a spider it does not get that deep into our hearts. Why is that ? Is our ability to respond to non-human life like forms is limited ? This is a big challenge that we need to live with in nature photography.

--
Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Image
Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography | www.ArtOfLife.Gallery
Facebook Pages Ganesh H. Shankar | Fine Art Nature Photography | Art Of Life



» Last edited by Ganesh H Shankar on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

Commentby neelu on Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:19 am

Radha, as pointed out earlier by Aditya and others on the primate images..here..
one instantly connects , as we see "us " in the image.. before thought and reason and rationale take over..
the nails and hand grab attention.. good point raised by Ganesh here.about" our ability to respond to non human life forms.."
..food for thought.

Commentby AratiRao on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:14 am

Nice image, radz ... and this is interesting, this line of thought of Ganesh's
Is our ability to respond to non-human life forms is limited ?


Radha: you and i have watched elephants together and seen those "looks" which we have instantly connected with, drawn parallels to - either motherly or playful, or angry, or resigned (remember the look on that baby aaney's sister whose head the baby tried to sit on?)

i would offer this, as my take. It is not that our ability to respond is limited, but more that with non primate forms, the skill and "art of seeing" to evoke such responses needs to be honed. I am sure you have all seen TIM FLACH's work - yes, it is in studio -- but the "expressions" or the gestures and the evocativeness of the images is of a kind at least i had not seen before. especially the BAT. i really connected with the bat, processing its expression in my own way - in the absence of anthropomorphic labels. Can we see the BAT's expression in the image not "us in the bat?" ... why do we look for us? why cant we see the animal's emotion in the image? this is something i am pondering.

Note: i am not saying Flach's is creative photography or not - just focusing on the "emotions" and "connecting with" other life forms.

Personally, the naturalist in me is still unsure about *loosely* labeling expressions in animals which may have nothing to do with their current behavior, but rather just the way they are - or indeed other particular-to-them behavior. Sometimes we use words in order to evoke ... this is easier but has caused much harm in the past. For example, labeling expressions of predators as "evil" has contributed to a thinking that has led to local extinctions of wolves, etc. Given that, mis-ascribed labels when it comes to behavior, personally, i find unappealing :). I stay away from it.

But maybe that is my limitation. [and maybe it also begs the question - is the evocativeness in the label or in the image? does a truly evocative image need a label? or does a label guide and induce what you want the viewer to see? i dont know. i know i write a bunch on my images and label all my images - ... so :) :) hahaha dilemmas]

To *capture* or portray a truly evocative expression, or gesture - sans word labels? or leave it open to interpretation as the image itself is what it is, i find much tougher. maybe it is my own limitation.

but it is a wonderful exploration.
thanks for sparking this discussion Radz!

--
~ Arati Rao ~
http://www.aratirao.com



» Last edited by AratiRao on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:30 am; edited 3 times in total

Commentby Radha on Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:55 am

Ganesh -- The point you raised gives room and opportunity for a lot of introspection.. "Is our ability to respond to non-human life forms is limited?" Many of us here are going to dwell on that point and explore ideas..

Neelu -- Food for thought, definitely.. I think images of primates and elephants strike an effortless, deep emotional chord in us, one for the strong physical resemblance and one for a stronger emotional resemblance..

Arati -- The first time I saw Flach's work, I gaped in wonder at the image quality and range of expressions he captured, but the naturalist in me sounded off an alarm that these were studio shots of wild animals :) But, when I disassociate that trail of thought and look at the same image, I see how we can relate to many of these expressions.. Those Bat images you liked, their coy looks.. and that fantastic one of the Great Grey, giving you an 'I know what’s on your mind’ look :) and that bewildered look of the dancing/leaping Salamander ..

That look on the baby aaney's sister is unforgettable, also that watchful look of the matriarch just before they did the circle sweep motion :) In a way, we also tend to relate to expressions of Owls, thanks to their large eyes. But, its hard to relate to a Salticid, thanks to multiple eyes around its head! Getting rid of anthropomorphic labels from our minds while we shoot is definitely worth a try, it could make a huge difference..

And you bring up that important point on "why do we look for us? why cant we see the animal's emotion in the image?" .. Can we not enjoy and like an image just for what it is, without looking for an 'us' connect? I am not sure.. Do we do that with landscape images too? I think so.. A photograph of a sunrise over Hampi probably makes a deeper connect with me than an image of an iceberg in a blue ocean, simply because I have never seen the latter. So, this 'us' connect is definitely a limitation that is worth overcoming :)

thank you all, for your insights :)

--
Radha Rangarajan
My Blog ~ Flickr



» Last edited by Radha on Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:52 pm; edited 2 times in total

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:41 pm

Arati, in my comment above I meant "non-human life like forms". Missed the word "like" there. If I look at Tim's work whatever appeals most seem to resemble human forms. How much do you connect with pupa images there ? About your other observation -

*loosely* labeling expressions in animals which may have nothing to do with their current behavior, but rather just the way they are - or indeed other particular-to-them behavior


Yes, they may not be anything to do with actual emotions which those subjects are experiencing. Often we simply don't have capabilities to understand them too. Further, I think, in the world of art using subject in nature emphasis on accurate portrayal of natural history/biology isn't important. The subject in front may be just incidental, we may build unrelated concepts from what is in front of us. This dilemma of natural history and art will haunt us the nature photographers who want to pursue nature as art for ever !

--
Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Image
Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography | www.ArtOfLife.Gallery
Facebook Pages Ganesh H. Shankar | Fine Art Nature Photography | Art Of Life



» Last edited by Ganesh H Shankar on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

Commentby AratiRao on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:54 pm

Completely agree, Ganesh. Hence my preface with "the naturalist in me" ... as a documentary environmental photographer and journalist on one hand and CNP on the other, the tussle is RIFE within me :) :)

As for pupa ... it is beautiful, but not beyond that. But what about the bat? it is hardly human-like ... or... what is human-like? do we have responsibility (either in labeling emotions that may not be there, or in what we leave out) when we make art? where does the creator's responsibility end? i have spent all day in this turmoil, you know :) and likely it will keep me up again in the night. as it does already!

--
~ Arati Rao ~
http://www.aratirao.com



» Last edited by AratiRao on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:06 pm

Arati, those standing postures of the bats comes to close to human forms for my taste buds, so are the contours of its body in flight except the wings. Isn't the funny image of the dancing chicken has some resemblance to dancing posture of humans ? I think it all served his intension of portraying human like forms (hence his title "More than Human" I guess).

do we have responsibility (either in labeling emotions that may not be there, or in what we leave out) when we make art? where does the creator's responsibility end


Do we have responsibility ? I don't think the question arises if the focus is art. An artist is not bound by 'facts'. So it is very important to state where we stand if there is a room
for confusion. I think it is better to have both legs in one boat. Just my 2c...

--
Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Image
Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography | www.ArtOfLife.Gallery
Facebook Pages Ganesh H. Shankar | Fine Art Nature Photography | Art Of Life

Commentby AratiRao on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:56 pm

Arati, those standing postures of the bats comes to close to human forms for my taste buds, so are the contours of its body in flight except the wings. Isn't the funny image of the dancing chicken has some resemblance to dancing posture of humans ? I think it all served his intension of portraying human like forms (hence his title "More than Human" I guess).


that is also what i was saying in my first comment ... that without labeling it, without attributing via other means, Flach has managed to have us make the leap and connect with these creatures in our minds through evocative images alone. I dont know if i am getting my point across. i mean that animals do have their own emotions and bringing *those* out in our works without other crutches is an art.

well, i feel that way and i feel one has to work very hard to find those "decisive moments" in the field. :)

Do we have responsibility ? I don't think the question arises if the focus is art. An artist is not bound by 'facts'.

while i agree 100% with the latter part of the sentence (not bound by facts) i have to distill my own emotions around "i dont think the question arises if it is art." no point my saying half-boiled things here. when i distill, would love to discuss with you.

thanks for much food for thought!

--
~ Arati Rao ~
http://www.aratirao.com

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:03 am

Arati, not sure whether I conveyed my points clearly :)

I meant, *without any label* we can easily connect to images like this which have "human forms" in them. We see ourselves in those postures and forms. We can connect with hands of a monkey but can we connect with leg of a spider ? How do I make images of arbitrary subjects in nature (beyond primates and some mammals) which connects strongly ? If I assume a work of art need to build a deeper emotional connection with viewers how do we address this issue as nature photographers ? Should I be building on just forms, shapes, light, colors ? I don't have an answer, would love to know your thoughts..

--
Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Image
Personal Websites Fine Art Nature Photography | www.ArtOfLife.Gallery
Facebook Pages Ganesh H. Shankar | Fine Art Nature Photography | Art Of Life

Commentby AratiRao on Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:12 am

I think we are saying the same-ish things, Ganesh, using different angles and words :)

We can connect with hands of a monkey but can we connect with leg of a spider ?


exactly my point in bringing up flach. he shot the bat/the horse/the xxx in a way that made you connect. He found those "ways" without labels. it takes time, but more interestingly, i think it takes an *understanding of the behavior* of the creature itself. Maybe the best creatives in nature come from understanding nature deeply (i dont know if flach is a good example, i will look out for others). that is what i was trying to get at.

How do I make images of arbitrary subjects in nature (beyond primates and some mammals) which connects strongly ? If I assume a work of art need to build a deeper emotional connection with viewers how do we address this issue as nature photographers ?


i (very personal opinion here) believe that that comes from understanding and immense mindfulness of being in the moment, seeing things deeply in nature - like maybe noticing the way a mantis holds its prey, or the way a frog slurps its mouth, or an owl turns its head slightly, or the trees's gnarled branches claw at the sky ... ? Maybe (again personal opinion) as nature photographers we need to emotionally connect deeply first with our situation in the field, see scenes and subject deeply and only then that connection will show? rather than a more "quick" fix? i also dont know. i am on this journey :) And maybe each of us finds out own answers, no?

you have really touched an area that has been niggling me for a long time on CNP ... i need to find my own answers.
thank you, Ganesh.
A

--
~ Arati Rao ~
http://www.aratirao.com

Commentby trvikas on Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:29 pm

digesting the discussion here, will come back later to with my thoughts.
this images gives some feel of attachment to me, very well made image.

--
"The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity."
-Vikas
PhotoGallery of Vikas

Commentby Radha on Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:53 pm

Vikas, thank you!

--
Radha Rangarajan
My Blog ~ Flickr