Jan 162009

Hi everybody. I’m sitting on the train right now, have some images of yesterday processed and already uploaded, an Image of the Day selected, a title found, and only some text to write. Here we go:

Snow in a city, oh my, what a mess this is. Let’s talk about this image first. Like all the others it has been shot with the Sigma 20/1.8, my favorite lens at the moment. Basically what I saw and what caused me take the image, were two signposts, none of them vertical, leaning in different directions. I’ve accented this by pointing the lens down, and with a wide-angle, this strongly distorts the angles. Of course the size difference between the two posts is exaggerated as well, but there were enough other oblique lines to make up for it.

The second image is much more interesting and at the same time slightly borderline. I don’t know how you think about it, but I believe it is a stunning image. The only problem is, it is not wholly mine. Below you see the original poster.

The 20/1.8 focuses very near, practically to within an inch of the front element. That’s what I have used here, and I have used the curvature of the advertising pillar to create the illusion of a real face. Additionally the distortion of the wide-angle has added something like a smirk that clearly is not in the original image.

Actually I like this image so much, that I would certainly have made it the Image of the Day, if there had not been these nagging questions.

I definitely had the right to make the image, no doubt about it. I suppose I could even sell it, because although it is obviously derived, there is a substantial artistic contribution by me. I really use this image as a subject, just like I do with other things on the street, architecture, people, whatever. It’s simply one element that I use in a composition of mine. Still …

I’m very interested in the legal situation in different countries. But even more so, I am interested in your view of the, well, let’s call it moral situation. If this were your image, would you call it Your image? Is this appropriation? What do you think?

The last image of yesterday was shot on the playground that we saw the last time in “822 – Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself“.

The Song of the Day, “Ragged & Dirty“, is an old blues that Bob Dylan performed on his 1993 album “World Gone Wrong”. This is from an interesting period when on stage he performed his own songs, but on two albums of that time he played other people’s blues music. And very well he did 🙂

YouTube has a different version. Admittedly it’s not Dylan, but it’s actually quite good and not far away stylistically.

Funny. Now that I think of it, I have said no word about the Image of the Day. Uhhh … well … it’s a … a cart. Yeah, really 🙂

  4 Responses to “825 – Ragged & Dirty”

    (SLAP!) “Don’t do that!”
    (SLAP!) (SLAP!) (SLAP!) (SLAP!)
    “Okay… Okay… I’ll lookit the image… Sigh…”

    It’s beyond charmimg I guess because the way that humans have soiled the walls is similar to garbage and well, you’ve packaged the dirty wall with packaged dirt. But… what I find really interesting is that the trash actually is so well ordered that it shows the trash makers care to make things better, while the graff painters purposely want to make things worse. Great juxtaposition Andreas.

    Now for the others…

    Your slushy street scene shows a very difficult accomplishment for an artist. I am reading a book on neuro science. The author says that the brain is a lazy piece of meat and in trying to save effort it purposely blanks out the every-day. In fact we must force it to see the most familiar commonplace around us. And here you’ve done that in a way that drops me onto a story arc. Especially since what is commonplace to you, isn’t to your visitors. Cool!

    Actually four is showing off. It lets us see just how technically impressive image three is. As usual you’ve pulled off a seamless fantasy by turning the poster into a fierce urban warrior. And that of course makes us explain what the hell that juxtaposition of stuff is doing all in one place. Wonder is wonderful.

    As for image five. Darn, I don’t get it. But that’s just me and what do I know?

  2. Thanks Ted. Nothing to get in #5. I should have omitted it 🙂

  3. Great series of images. The image of the day really did grab me as it scrolled onto my screen and I spent a considerable amount of time in there poking about, looking at all the details.

    I do like your take on the poster and yes, I have also thought about the implications of photographing other peoples’ art and then posting it as a photograph which I, in turn, present as my own work. This dilemma was nagging me every time I photographed an image for the graffiti series I did some time ago. In the end, I rationalized that the work was, after all, in a public space so it was free for the taking. I have no idea what the laws are here regarding this however and I admit I’d be a little nervous about selling a photo of someone else’s art.

  4. Yup! Especially when it’s a high-level production as certainly for this poster was the case. André Heller is one of the most respected and famous artists in Austria, and when he produces a circus show, he’ll certainly work with first-rate photographers. Thus I guess with this particular poster, the chance to step on someone’s toes who can afford a suit is pretty high 🙂

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