Death Valley 2019: (Day 1)

Alan Clark

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Thanks for posting Ian, but I am afraid I turned him off after 60 seconds. At this point we were still driving along a busy road and looking through the car windscreen, which has nothing whatsoever to do with landscape photography. I might be a grumpy old man but why can't films like this just start at the location?
I also disagreed profoundly with his opening statement about the three important qualities of a landscape photograph.....

Alan
 

Ian Grant

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One of my friends shot the LLucas calendar a few years ago, the image one month was a Lucas truck in Death Valley. As the truck couldn't turna around in the valley it was some hours between each shot :D

Wasn't impressed by the video

Ian
 

mpirie

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I don't know how he can make the video's in the first place. To me, photography is a very solitary pastime/experience.

I can't even bear the thought of taking a mobile phone with me in case it rings and distracts my concentration.....let alone a video camera setup.

Having said that, it's less of a distraction that having my wife worry about me while I'm in the wilds. :)

Death Valley was one of those places where (if the light was right) you couldn't walk 5 yards without seeing another composition.

Mike
 

David M

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Mr Horne seems to be making a diary about his life as a large format photographer, rather than issuing a series of sure-fire hints and tips. Sometimes he's quite philosophical, sometimes there's more hot darkcloth action.
I'm always astonished that he can make these videos at all. He must double his walking distance, to set up the shot, then move through it, back-track to collect the camera and do the same again – and with that back pack. I did like the monstrous orange corkscrew. Too bad he didn't strike wine.
I do agree that there's a good deal of driving in this one. Presumably he feels pressure to meet his publication deadlines, even when there's not much to report.
In another edition, he reviews the Mark 2 Intrepid 10x8, which doesn't seem to have reached the Intrepid website yet.
 

Sal Santamaura

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...I can't even bear the thought of taking a mobile phone with me in case it rings and distracts my concentration...
Not a concern in Death Valley. Unless one is in the very immediate vicinity of Furnace Creek, there's no signal to be had. :)

That said, I agree, and won't even carry around one "in civilization."
 

David M

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In one of his earlier pieces, Mr Horne mentions that he carries some sort of satellite location device for emergencies. This seems sensible. Nobody wants to see his beautiful camera lost, because its owner broke a leg.

And the Intrepid Mark 2 10x8 is now on the Intrepid website. It's a complete re-design. Does the Publicity & Advertising Department Manager at Intrepid read this forum?

My iPhone has an "Off" switch, which seems to work well. It has some useful apps. I can't speak for other makes.
 

Darren Lewey

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The introduction of video whilst a treat for gear insights often doesn't result in great image making. The youtube 'stars' are mostly going to hotspots and shooting the regular stuff. Ben does have some nice imagery on his site and his use of 10x8 is no mean feat but it's all about celebrity rather than interesting project work.
 
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David M

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Darren,
Can't disagree with that. He undoubtedly has talent but I'd like to see it used away from the honeypots.
 

Alan9940

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I’m not a Ben Horne fanboy, but I tend to disagree with the proceeding statements. Yes, Ben does travel to well known locations like Zion National park, for example, but I’ve never seen him take the iconic shots like The Watchman. I suppose when in Death Valley it would be difficult to not photograph sand dunes...what else is there, really? That said, though, since all these “famous” YouTubers—Ben Horne, Alan Brock (as a couple of examples)—all visit the same locations they all tend to make the same images. This is why I like going to places no one knows about or the location looks so mundane that anyone would think ‘How can someone make a photograph here?’ ;)
 

David M

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Alan, you put it very well. Making attractive photographs of things, rather than making photographs of attractive things. (I am very willing to find a better word than attractive.)
If we return to the subject of the long car journeys, I do wonder if equally suitable subject matter is passing by on the way to the national parks. I suppose we must allow Mr Horne and Mr Brock to know their own business best.
I do suggest that they are good ambassadors for LF.
Perhaps the US has slightly different ways of looking at photographs. In the UK, there is a long tradition of photographing people. Martin Parr is the best-known contemporary example. Critical theory delights in photographs of people as it makes comment so easy.
 

mpirie

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I agree David, there is a never-ending supply of subject matter just off the Freeway/Interstate network.

To me, that was especially true of the approaches to Death Valley, whether from the Beatty side or the Lone-Pine side.

I guess "Death Valley 2019 (Day 1)" is a bit more catchy (and more likely to attract sponsors/viewers) than "Photographs taken just off of Interstate 15 and 395 which most people drive past without stopping 2019 (Day 1)" :oops:

Mike
 

Alan9940

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David, Mike,

I totally agree that many interesting things to photograph can be found on the way to iconic locations. I suppose that's why I don't typically visit these locations because I don't wish to make yet another photograph to a scene that has been photographed a zillion times. For example, how many pictures of Half Dome in Yosemite NP are required to capture the essence of that granite monolith? I would postulate that Ansel Adams did a pretty good job of it way back in 1927:

1541

I'm sure there are many other meaningful examples of this iconic subject, but how many are unique and present a truly expressive moment? I dunno...maybe gibberish is simply flowing directly from my brain to my fingers today. Anyway, I will continue to roam this earth and make images that no one else would give a second look to and, if they are only meaningful to me who cares?
 

mpirie

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"Anyway, I will continue to roam this earth and make images that no one else would give a second look to and, if they are only meaningful to me who cares?"

Ditto Alan ;)

Mike
 

joe monteiro

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i didn't watch the video and probably won't, but reading the discussions here as they did and didn't relate to it made it well worth the price of admission (LOL). But really i can't recall seeing this level of discussion on a subject in my limited time here. Thanks to each of you.
joe
 

mpirie

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I'm not sure what Alan's excuse is, but for me it's a distraction from current news events in the UK ;)

Mike
 

David M

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[Mike,
Anything that distracts from current UK news is welcome. Our comedians are in despair because they can't devise anything more ludicrous.
Enough of this. One day we shall laugh as we throw another book on the fire in our caves.]

There do seem to be people who delight in following the tripod holes of their heroes. It takes all sorts... At the very least, they will be keeping film sales buoyant.
Many current workshops seem to promise to take participants to the right viewpoints at the right time of day. It's not like the Paul Hill and Duckspool workshops that I've attended.
So, Mr Horne and the others are to be commended for avoiding the click-magnets. Am I right in supposing that we'd like to see them spread their wings a little wider?

Alan, please let us all have a second look at your images. I'm sure they will be worth it.
 
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