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  1. #26
    Love + Music + Photography = Life CLKunst's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    Being Canadian, we are a little closer tied in to what is happening with the royal family in our media etc. She has never, been at peace with her fate in life, and she has tried to sublimate her more "open" personality to her regal responsibilities, due to the influence of others.

    Ronnoco

    Interesting perspective there Ron.

    I think you are correct in your observation of HRM's life in general although I don't agree that Annie missed that with this image. As I see it (Now don't freak out ~ but I'm using my imagination again ) I infer much of what you are saying about her in this picture and I see this as a poignant and introspective portrait.

    I see an older woman enshrouded in formality, from her dress to her antique surroundings, perpetually suffocated by it. She is looking out the window, wistfully ~ not laughing or even formally smiling, perhaps with a pang of longing for the life she might have had. Perhaps she is wishing she could just go outside for a walk to the shops without having every wave and nuance reported and scrutinized, without having every family shame and tragedy explored in infinite detail for all the world to see and debate. I see, a person caught in the trap of regality. I think Annie nailed it.

    Now if you'll excuse me I have a vat of ass's milk waiting for me in the bath. . . . :lol:
    Last edited by CLKunst; 05-03-2007 at 07:57 PM.
    C.L. Kunst - CLicKs Photography
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  2. #27
    Senior Member dbutler's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    The only opinion that matters is the Queen's and she must have given the go ahead to print. I think it's beautiful and refined. Cindy, I think your interpretation was perfect!

    And there is a difference between critiquing and criticizing. Critics tend toward the latter. To hell with 'em!
    Dee
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  3. #28
    Love + Music + Photography = Life CLKunst's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Hey D - Love the new avatar! I agree with you, if the Queen hadn't liked what she saw in it, then it wouldn't have been approved.

    I also wanted to add that I think the catch eye for the article is strangely definitive:

    Story Highlights
    • Photographer Annie Leibovitz's portrait of Britain's Queen divides critics
    • Monarch is pictured wearing full evening dress
    • Leibovitz famous for naked snaps of celebrities

    This is really a story about two women who are routinely pared down into societal snapshots of themselves [by the media]. One defined and pilloried [by the media] for being over traditional, stodgy and a bastion of the old guard. The other defined and pilloried [by the media] for being too sensational, undefinable and non-conformist. [The media], of course being the faceless, unaccountable, socio-snicker machine of thousands of people globally who over analyze everything and broadcast their opinions to the. . . oh jeez :blush2:. . . I think I might be one of them!:yikes:
    I'm going back to scrub some more ~ guess I missed a spot . . .would someone please go milk Sal again?
    C.L. Kunst - CLicKs Photography
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  4. #29
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    CL,

    Well put and exactly what I saw in the picture. I don't believe that anyone should endure what the Queen has had to in her lifetime.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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  5. #30
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by CLKunst
    Interesting perspective there Ron.

    I think you are correct in your observation of HRM's life in general although I don't agree that Annie missed that with this image. As I see it (Now don't freak out ~ but I'm using my imagination again ) I infer much of what you are saying about her in this picture and I see this as a poignant and introspective portrait.

    I see an older woman enshrouded in formality, from her dress to her antique surroundings, perpetually suffocated by it. She is looking out the window, wistfully ~ not laughing or even formally smiling, perhaps with a pang of longing for the life she might have had. Perhaps she is wishing she could just go outside for a walk to the shops without having every wave and nuance reported and scrutinized, without having every family shame and tragedy explored in infinite detail for all the world to see and debate. I see, a person caught in the trap of regality. I think Annie nailed it.

    Now if you'll excuse me I have a vat of ass's milk waiting for me in the bath. . . . :lol:
    I think you are overdoing the personal imagination and interpretation and it should not be necessary. A good portrait should communicate something to most of the viewers without it. As an example, Karsh's portrait of Churchill communicated his power and presence to every viewer of the photo. Personal interpretations were not necessary.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  6. #31
    Love + Music + Photography = Life CLKunst's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    I think you are overdoing the personal imagination and interpretation and it should not be necessary.

    Oh Fiddle-Dee-Dee Ron,

    Must it always rain in Mudville?
    Must we never see the sun?
    Must we all be dull eyed children,
    Who forget how to have fun?

    What about the phrase "It leaves nothing to the imagination."? I guess that once again you and I must agree to disagree ~ since I've got an imagination and I intend to use it whether I need to or not. :thumbsup: It's what keeps me young.


    Best,
    C.L. Kunst - CLicKs Photography
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  7. #32
    Nikon AND Canon!
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    Rather a dumb reworked cliché, which only applies a small percentage of the time.

    Ronnoco
    Do you make it your goal to troll these forums? Seriously, I've been here for a few weeks and you haven't provided one bit of POSITIVE input regarding anything that I've seen...

    The photography is outstanding. The atmosphere is so thick you can FEEL it with your eyes... The lighting alone elicits sentimental emotion.

  8. #33
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    Rather a dumb reworked cliché, which only applies a small percentage of the time.

    Ronnoco
    You're welcome :thumbsup:

  9. #34
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Without reading everyones comments, I personally find the picture slightly depressing. I feel the Queen is looking out the window into a troubled world she no longer understands. A world that has long went past the meaning of the Royal Family and everything they stood for. Lost and lonely stuck in the past. At least that's what I see.
    Greg
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  10. #35
    Love + Music + Photography = Life CLKunst's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    As an example, Karsh's portrait of Churchill communicated his power and presence to every viewer of the photo. Personal interpretations were not necessary.

    That's perfectly true and he did it without the scenery, wardrobe or makeup artists (not that the White Room needs extra props). But Karsh DID have to walk up and snatch the cigar out of Churchill's mouth to get that look out of him. That took Huevos and imagination! A less determined photographer would have let him keep the cigar.

    Oh! I know! Maybe the critics would be more pleased if AL had photographed the Queen WITH Churchill's cigar. . .but I'm just playing devil's advocate now.
    C.L. Kunst - CLicKs Photography
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  11. #36
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Hickeroar
    Do you make it your goal to troll these forums? Seriously, I've been here for a few weeks and you haven't provided one bit of POSITIVE input regarding anything that I've seen...

    The photography is outstanding. The atmosphere is so thick you can FEEL it with your eyes... The lighting alone elicits sentimental emotion.
    Well, you have not contributed anything with this post. What about the photography is outstanding? "The atmosphere is thick" That tells everyone absolutely nothing. What atmosphere? "The lighting alone elicits sentimental emotion"? Oh, how? and what emotion?

    Your emotion does not make up for photographic knowledge and experience.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by CLKunst
    Oh Fiddle-Dee-Dee Ron,

    Must it always rain in Mudville?
    Must we never see the sun?
    Must we all be dull eyed children,
    Who forget how to have fun?

    What about the phrase "It leaves nothing to the imagination."? I guess that once again you and I must agree to disagree ~ since I've got an imagination and I intend to use it whether I need to or not. :thumbsup: It's what keeps me young.


    Best,
    The stretched imagination of an individual viewer does not and never will make a great photo.

    Ron
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  13. #38
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by CLKunst
    Oh! I know! Maybe the critics would be more pleased if AL had photographed the Queen WITH Churchill's cigar. . .but I'm just playing devil's advocate now.
    Well, it would not have made a great photo, but it certainly would have made an unforgettable one.

    Ron
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  14. #39
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    Without reading everyones comments, I personally find the picture slightly depressing. I feel the Queen is looking out the window into a troubled world she no longer understands. A world that has long went past the meaning of the Royal Family and everything they stood for. Lost and lonely stuck in the past. At least that's what I see.
    Greg
    I doubt that a "slightly depressing" photo was ever the intention of either the photographer or the queen, nor should it have been.

    The role of any top portrait photographer is to catch the "spirit" of the subject in the photo and do it in a manner that is flattering to the person as well. I have already pointed out the weaknesses in the photo in this basic area and the critics seem to agree with me.

    Ron
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  15. #40
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    I doubt that a "slightly depressing" photo was ever the intention of either the photographer or the queen, nor should it have been.

    The role of any top portrait photographer is to catch the "spirit" of the subject in the photo and do it in a manner that is flattering to the person as well. I have already pointed out the weaknesses in the photo in this basic area and the critics seem to agree with me.

    Ron
    Personal I like the photo. I can't tell you why.

    We have seen so much, so we say up the skirt photography and so much photo journalism gone awry, that a outstanding photo isn't good anymore.
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  16. #41
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    I think the debate is interesting. There's no accounting for taste and obviously everybody has their own.
    Personally, I'm very glad of that fact as without the variety, we could easily create robots to create art and even take photographs.
    Keep Shooting!

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  17. #42
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    I don't think that the formal and the unformal both need to jive in order for this photo to work.

    When you commission a portrait from someone, you are paying for their styles and their views. Obviously, if AL was chosen to do this portrait, it was for a reason, and she was trusted to be able to produce a quality end result.

    If the royal family and AL weren't happy with it, I doubt we would have seen it.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  18. #43
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by adina
    I don't think that the formal and the unformal both need to jive in order for this photo to work.

    When you commission a portrait from someone, you are paying for their styles and their views. Obviously, if AL was chosen to do this portrait, it was for a reason, and she was trusted to be able to produce a quality end result.

    If the royal family and AL weren't happy with it, I doubt we would have seen it.
    Well, the photo was to comemorate the American tour as I understand it and I don't think that americans have a reputation for being gung-ho on Victorian tradition, royality, and stodgy, posed, artificial class-oriented behaviour and attitudes. Even the British, after Diana's death, indicated that they wanted a more "human", less aloof, royality. As a matter of fact, what you are hearing from the critics now reflects these feelings.

    As a photographer, one needs to be aware of the conflict between the current public perception that English royality should be more like Diana and the traditions of pomp, circumstance, and aloofness from the Victorian era. A memorable photo would be one that melded these contradictions, combined with outstanding photographic technique.
    It would also fit perfectly with the role of comemorating the american tour.

    This photo does not accomplish the above goal.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  19. #44
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr
    We have seen so much, so we say up the skirt photography and so much photo journalism gone awry, that a outstanding photo isn't good anymore.
    Sure, an outstanding photo is good, but after seeing many excellent photos, my expectations and those of the critics are higher, when it comes to what is supposed to be top quality portraiture. This photo does not meet those expectations.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  20. #45
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco

    This photo does not accomplish the above goal.

    Ronnoco

    Okay, but that's your goal. Not necessarily AL's.

    And we Americans may not be gung-ho on stodgy Victorian tradition, it's certainly how many would imagine royalty. Which makes this a perfect photo to commemorate a tour here.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  21. #46
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    Well, the photo was to comemorate the American tour as I understand it and I don't think that americans have a reputation for being gung-ho on Victorian tradition, royality, and stodgy, posed, artificial class-oriented behaviour and attitudes. Even the British, after Diana's death, indicated that they wanted a more "human", less aloof, royality. As a matter of fact, what you are hearing from the critics now reflects these feelings.

    As a photographer, one needs to be aware of the conflict between the current public perception that English royality should be more like Diana and the traditions of pomp, circumstance, and aloofness from the Victorian era. A memorable photo would be one that melded these contradictions, combined with outstanding photographic technique.
    It would also fit perfectly with the role of comemorating the american tour.

    This photo does not accomplish the above goal.

    Ronnoco
    As a Brit, this is what I see in this photo, the queen dressed in the Victorian era as you put it looking out through the window at the future and trying to move into it and becoming more open and dreading what she sees; Charles as King.

    I also believe that there is now a kick back against the openness thanks to Prince Charles and his wacky ideas. A lot of people now wish they wood keep shtum and go back to the aloofness.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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  22. #47
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    I doubt that a "slightly depressing" photo was ever the intention of either the photographer or the queen, nor should it have been.

    The role of any top portrait photographer is to catch the "spirit" of the subject in the photo and do it in a manner that is flattering to the person as well. I have already pointed out the weaknesses in the photo in this basic area and the critics seem to agree with me.

    Ron
    I hate to speak for my wife, but I ask her for her opinion on the picture before I had shared my thoughts with her and even though she didn't use the word depressing she almost repeated some of my thoughts on the picture. Aloof is a good word for what most Americans feel torwards the Royal Family. The reason Princes Di was so popular here in the US is that she brought a since of normalcy the the otherwise "aloof" family. I feel that not all but some Americans will get the meaning I posted from the picture. I think the photograpers goal here was to take a controversal picture that would open up debates just as this one so they would sell more pictures. Just as the John Lennon picture did.
    But I do like the picture. I think it was brilliantly done.
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  23. #48
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    I think the photograpers goal here was to take a controversal picture that would open up debates just as this one so they would sell more pictures. Just as the John Lennon picture did.
    But I do like the picture. I think it was brilliantly done.
    As very posed, artificial, Victorian, aloof, formal, typical, etc., I don't see anything controversial about this picture, whatsoever and I don't see any aspect of it that was brilliantly done either....so tell us, please....What in the photo makes it brilliantly done?

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  24. #49
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by adina
    Okay, but that's your goal. Not necessarily AL's.

    And we Americans may not be gung-ho on stodgy Victorian tradition, it's certainly how many would imagine royalty. Which makes this a perfect photo to commemorate a tour here.
    Well, my point is that AL should have had a logical photographic goal, if she wanted to take a great portrait, and since no particular goal comes through in the photo, then perhaps that in itself IS the major weakness of the picture. It is too typical, with no freshness and minimal photographic style.

    I am surprised that you think that a cliché style photo is perfect for Americans but then as a Canadian, I freely admit to not understanding American thinking.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  25. #50
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Critics not amused by queen photo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    As very posed, artificial, Victorian, aloof, formal, typical, etc., I don't see anything controversial about this picture, whatsoever and I don't see any aspect of it that was brilliantly done either....so tell us, please....What in the photo makes it brilliantly done?

    Ronnoco
    After reading the press on this you are probably more right with the intent of the picture. I think the overall composition is very good. The open door with the light shining through and the clouds in the sky. The muted colors and her positioning looking out the door. overall I just think it is a great photo. I wonder what restrictions she had if any?
    But if her intent was to make the Queen look important, powerful, noble ect. If that's the case then it's a failure That maybe where the controversy is coming from. How would you have done it, given the chance?
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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