Theme: Your Favo(u)rite Photos!

Discussion in 'Competitions, Themes & Blogs' started by Rob MacKillop, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Let's see your favourite shots.

    Two categories:

    1. Your own - Yes, you can put "U" in "Favorite" :)

    2. Someone Else's

    Your own image could have appeared here before, or not. The other image could be by a fellow Member, or a famous photographer, or your auntie Betty at the seaside in the 1960s.

    BUT....please don't just place one or two photos. Tell us why you like them, and any back story there might be connected to them. And notice that this is for your favourite, not Best shots...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  2. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    OK, here goes. My own image might seem an odd choice, mainly because it has everything in it which books tell me is a BAD photo :) It is out of focus (by a long way). The subject's head is cut off. The verticals are off. And in some ways it is a failed exercise in shooting from the hip. BUT. I had been observing this girl for a few moments. She was working as a security officer at the National Gallery of Scotland, and clearly I caught her when her mind had wandered far away from her post. She was clearly in another place. She looked alienated from the room, everyone and everything in it. I knew that a normal portrait photo would not give me that, so deliberately added a little movement to the camera as I hit the shutter button - a technique I have used often. And I knew it would eventually be rendered black and white. But it wasn't a carefully set-up composition. In other words, I "took a shot". So here she is - alienated; not completely centred; her face is blurred - no longer personal, rather here is a "condition" - alienation; the focal point, if it can described that way, is her fingers between her crossed legs, like three scratches - what do they signify, if anything?

    Fanciful, maybe, but it definitely portrays something that I felt through her at that moment. It brought home to me that the camera has the ability to capture not just what we see, but what we feel. That said, this is still a BAD photo :D but it is my (current) favourite of my own shots.

    [​IMG]
    Girl Seated
    by RobMacKillop, on Flickr

    The image from someone else is by Bill Brandt, who stole into my town on one day and completely blew away all my shots of Edinburgh. B*stardo! What can I say about it, other than "it's perfect". That view is still there, but the university has built a gaudy, bright coloured Student Halls of Residence at the bottom of the street, and the lane is permanently occupied by cars and vans. But I often think of this picture when framing compositions in Edinburgh. "What would Bill Bastard Brandt have done?!" :)

    BillBrandtEdinburgh.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  3. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    A fine pair of shots and great reasons for liking them too. I need to think about this a bit more as there are several contenders.
     
    Dan Cattermole and Rob MacKillop like this.
  4. Dan Cattermole

    Dan Cattermole Dan Down - The Steampunk Womble

    Yeah, me too. :)
    Good thread start there Rob.
     
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  5. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    And don't let me be the only contributor - the would be SO embarrassing! :oops:
     
  6. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    I'll be with you soon Rob, don't worry.
    I know the two, just have to find them.:(
     
  7. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    We're here!
    My favourite shot, that I took myself, is The Viewfinder. When I opened this for the first time on my computer I had to look twice and think 'did I take that, I don't remember seeing this in the camera". It looked like a hole in the floor of some restaurant and with two round tables in the top corners. And then the comical viewfinder looking out from the hole. I honestly had to re-compose it all in my head and then remembered. I was simply looking up at a very acute angle to the viewing window (in the British Museum) and seeing the beautiful design of the architecture.
    Viewfinder.jpg


    I have no idea who took my favourite Someone Else photograph shown below.. But it is the most beautiful family portrait I have ever seen without any doubt. And the fact that it is of my family makes it so important to me. The baby in my grannies arms is my mother and all the rest are my uncles and aunts. Sadly I never saw my mothers Mum and Dad and even more sad that my mother never really got the chance to know my three daughters. I get very emotional looking at and thinking about this image and everyone in the picture is dead now.
    I found the old print in a drawer in my uncles house. It all seemed like paper stuck to a card. I got it home and framed it but before doing so I photographed it and distributed the file to other remaining members of my extended family. It was damaged in places so I had to do a bit of work on it. I am so proud to have this print in my possession.
    Family.jpg
     
  8. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Wow! Both fantastic shots, and great stories. This thread is going to prove very interesting.

    Tom, I felt emotional just reading your words! Sadly I don't have anything like this, but dearly wish I did. No one has said it better:

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on; and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.


    But your family did leave a "rack behind" in this image, which will outlive us.
     
  9. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    Great words indeed Rob and so apt.
    I was not too sure which of the bards plays it came from so looked it up. I went to see The Tempest in the Globe and had not a clue what was going on. It needs to be read I guess.
    I suspect we might have some similar philosophies on the old photography. It brings me back to Jerrys thread on DOF. I don't think there is such a thing as a bad photograph. Who's to say. I spent some years in camera clubs and having my images entered in competitions, with a good degree of "success" and it turned me against the entire process of how images should be treated and critiqued. I withdrew from all competitions for ever and only now attend the odd evening for social reasons.
    When you post images like your favourite it keeps me on my toes and gives me more confidence to love my own work and not be wondering whether anyone else does. But it is extra special of course if someone, even just one person, likes a photograph of mine. Your image takes some looking at and it is the kind of image that interrogates the viewer; it lifts me out of my comfort zones and makes me think.
    I'm off to pack some more boxes now!
     
  10. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    "Your image takes some looking at and it is the kind of image that interrogates the viewer; it lifts me out of my comfort zones and makes me think." LOL! Sounds like a definition of a bad photo! And you were saying it so nicely ;)
     
  11. Tom Dunne

    Tom Dunne Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't know Rob what a bad photograph is, but I would not need to dislike it:p
     
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  12. Beth Anthony

    Beth Anthony Well-Known Member

    my favorite photo that i've taken is of an abandoned school house. i'd seen photos of the building online and couldn't figure out where it was. by chance, i happened upon it on google earth while looking up vacation routes. the sky, weather and traffic all cooperated so i could get this shot, that never happens. it rained and snowed the rest of the trip and this was the last blue skies photo i captured that trip.

    [​IMG]

    my favorite photo ever is of my grandfather stationed in japan during the korean war. he was an airplane mechanic so he usually worked in japan, but occasionally flew into korea to work on planes that wouldn't make it to japan. he worked on the last p51 mustangs. no idea who took the photo, but it was taken on my grandfather's camera and sent home to his mother.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Beth Anthony

    Beth Anthony Well-Known Member

  14. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Beth, these are great photos. You nailed that old schoolhouse! Great perspective. I can see why you have chosen it. And that photo of your grandfather is incredibly clear. It could have been taken recently. I'm a great fan of the freckle, having a fair share of them myself :)
     
  15. Beth Anthony

    Beth Anthony Well-Known Member

    freckles and red hair run in the family (yea, we're irish). i've got some of each, but didn't get enough of either.. when my grandfather passed away in 2007 my grandmother wanted some photos blown up for the funeral, so i scanned this and a few others. this was the first time i'd ever seen any of those photos, i was blown away by the quality and sharpness of some of them. esp. considering the state in which they were kept.
     
  16. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Who's next?
     
  17. Dan Cattermole

    Dan Cattermole Dan Down - The Steampunk Womble

    I will get round to it, Rob. :)
     
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  18. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    You'd better :mad:
     
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