Arrangement of a scene

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cliveh

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If you are using a large format to photograph a scene, it may take 10 minutes or so to set up the shot and compose. Many photographers may wish to clean up a shot by removing superfluous material like the twig on the steps in the foreground of this shot. However Atget chose to photograph the scene exactly as it is. Would other do the same?
 

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bvy

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I photograph things exactly as I found them, whether it's large format or 35mm. And I leave things just the same. If there's something in the scene that doesn't work, then the scene doesn't work. I'm not going to play maid to a landscape.
 

removed account4

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like atget i often times make photographs for public and private archives using a large format camera. i photograph things
exactly as they are and photograph the structure, person or scene ... giving it respect. atget was masterful.
 

Ron789

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I always bring a chainsaw and dynamite with me. Trees and buildings can really get in the way.
 

OptiKen

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Sorry
If a twig bothers me in a shot, I will remove it.
Same goes for a leaf.
I'm not looking to redo what I see in front of me but, come on, a twig?
 

nmp

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My philosophy is if the nature is a part of the subject that I am photographing, I do not fix what nature put there - like a twig. But I have occasionally removed rubbish, like an empty soda can or a stray plastic bag - something I would try to do anyway even if I was not photographing and dispose of. I get a clean picture and the landscape is left with a little less garbage.

I think arrangements are best done for still lifes.
 
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removed account4

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the thing is ... how far will one go to gussy up a shot ?
some people not only will remove a twig and leaf but they will
sweep the steps and do general maintenance to make a place better than it was.
it ends up being a hollywood production !
i will be honest, i photographed a house that was being taken for a highway project and
under the fall leaves i found the 19th century property marker and pryed granite stones that i included
in the exposition, but i didn't make the yard look better than it was .. it was a last rites ( as atget did )
and it is more about the big picture than some beauty shot ... if a place is "unloved" than it should be shown
pockmarks, beauty marks and all. not just the beauty marks. often times it is the pockmarks that accurately desccribe a place.
 

Jim Jones

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For effect we arrange any scene by our choice of camera, lens, and position. Arranging the subject and light should also be acceptable. Of course it is different when the photo is a record shot, like a crime scene or photojournalism.
 

BrianShaw

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I'll remove a stick or trash or whatever if I can get to it without messing up the scene. I see no reason to deal with a flaw just to be "honest". But not too much alteration... like I won't break a branch or re-route a stream for better composition.

But how do we know that Atget left the stick to be "compositionally honest" as opposed to being lazy or just not seeing it. All of those have happened to me at times.

But no matter, I totally agree with John that he was masterful.
 
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dpurdy

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There is no possible profound truth to this question. I do whatever I want. I am not a nature journalist.
 

ntenny

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I don't have a hard rule, but I always feel like I'm cheating when I do move something. Maybe it's an outgrowth of the "leave no trace" principle; if I'm out in the field, I feel like I shouldn't be messing with things, camera or no camera.

-NT
 

Vaughn

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When I have 4 foot tall ferns in front of me (often and sometimes hitting the lens) I find that a large fallen branch laid of top keeps the ferms out of the way. Once done, the photograph is made, the branch(es) are removed and peace is restored.

I do not consider myself as documenting the landscape -- I am much too biased for that! I am discovering and using the light reflecting off the landscape. I just happen to love being in the wilds, also.

I remember laying down a big branch for this image -- I might have even tied back a branch, or I worked around it somehow.

Y Maple, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, 8x10/300mm lens, Carbon Print
 

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Sirius Glass

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I photograph things exactly as I found them, whether it's large format or 35mm. And I leave things just the same. If there's something in the scene that doesn't work, then the scene doesn't work. I'm not going to play maid to a landscape.

like atget i often times make photographs for public and private archives using a large format camera. i photograph things
exactly as they are and photograph the structure, person or scene ... giving it respect. atget was masterful.

I don't have a hard rule, but I always feel like I'm cheating when I do move something. Maybe it's an outgrowth of the "leave no trace" principle; if I'm out in the field, I feel like I shouldn't be messing with things, camera or no camera.

-NT

I too shoot is as I see it. If there is trash, I shoot from a direction so that it does not show it or compose differently.
 

Theo Sulphate

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Vaughn

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I don't have a hard rule, but I always feel like I'm cheating when I do move something. Maybe it's an outgrowth of the "leave no trace" principle; if I'm out in the field, I feel like I shouldn't be messing with things, camera or no camera.-NT
"Leave only footprints, take only photos" was once the slogan. As an ex-wilderness ranger, once off-trail I do not like leaving even footprints and I will go to certain lengths not to do so. Which is not easy for a 260 pound person carrying 60 pounds of 8x10 gear several miles into fragile lands such as Death Valley. A lot easier in the temperate rainforests, where fast growth and change is the rule (only half of that maple above is still standing).

We manipulate the landscape by composing, and interact with it by observing it. We take the color out of it, or change the color that is there. We increase or decrease the contrast of the landscape and darken its skies. No photograph has ever been what was in front of the camera. It does not matter...we each work under our own guidelines and purposes.

PS. The single-transfer carbon printing process I use reverses the final image -- everything is backwards anyway! So much for reality! LOL!
 

Arklatexian

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View attachment 182657

If you are using a large format to photograph a scene, it may take 10 minutes or so to set up the shot and compose. Many photographers may wish to clean up a shot by removing superfluous material like the twig on the steps in the foreground of this shot. However Atget chose to photograph the scene exactly as it is. Would other do the same?

Maybe Atget was lazy or just had to satisfy himself. I once worked part-time for a commercial photographer and one of my duties was to help sweep the floor that was in a shot that we were making. In addition to pleasing the photographer, we also had to please the customer (architects) who were paying for the shoot.......Regards!
 

Arklatexian

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He once stuck a stogie into a dead Mafioso's mouth for effect. Nice touch.

Weege did not invent that form of photojournalism. Matthew Brady and some of the people who worked for him would rearrange dead bodies to make a better composition during the civil war. It is my understanding this was done quite a bit after the battle of Gettysburg.........Regards!
I think this was the picture,
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0WtRhIfrY_I/V1oT5jEXv2I/AAAAAAAABtE/ro7tSNW4qIcVjHTBGtsB-ZgxPi_5jVJewCKgB/s1600/81+Galante+Corpse.jpg
81%2BGalante%2BCorpse.jpg
 

MattKing

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Unless it is the subject of my photo, I never hesitate to remove litter.
If there is something movable in a scene that tends to distract, and isn't important to a scene, I won't hesitate to move it.
Just a couple of days ago I straightened something that had fallen to the ground in the midst of a scene. Its presence added interest to the scene, and having it straight made the scene better, because the juxtaposition of it and the rest of the scene was the reason to photograph it. When that roll is developed, I'll try to remember to post it here.
Photography is multi-faceted. What would be inappropriate in one context, is advisable in another.
Would this discussion be inappropriate in an artistic sketching forum? Would this discussion be inappropriate in a courtroom sketch artist's forum? Don't they use the same pencils?
 

OptiKen

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I have even been known to remove twigs from steps when I WASN'T taking a picture.

The question was asked if you would remove the twig from a man made structure.
It doesn't belong there. It belongs on the forest floor, not on the stone steps.
 

eddie

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View attachment 182657

If you are using a large format to photograph a scene, it may take 10 minutes or so to set up the shot and compose. Many photographers may wish to clean up a shot by removing superfluous material like the twig on the steps in the foreground of this shot. However Atget chose to photograph the scene exactly as it is. Would other do the same?
Are we certain that Atget didn't place the twigs there?
 
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View attachment 182657

If you are using a large format to photograph a scene, it may take 10 minutes or so to set up the shot and compose. Many photographers may wish to clean up a shot by removing superfluous material like the twig on the steps in the foreground of this shot. However Atget chose to photograph the scene exactly as it is. Would other do the same?
I'd clean it up or move on.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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I removed a spent condom from a shot of abandoned pachinko parlour in Japan. I used a stick. It reflected too much light and had to go. Sometimes a tall weed will get pulled. I've moved garbage cans, as well as garbage if it's too distracting. It irritates me to see garbage on the ground, so I pick it up. I've filled a few bags on some shoots! A friend of mine was a railroad photographer, and did a lot of work for the CPR. He shot (and chased) steam. He wouldn't hesitate to remove branches from trees if in the way. He always had hedge clippers with him, to trim the grass so that it was below the rails in order to see the wheels clearly.
 
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