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Cem_Usakligil
December 12th, 2007, 01:51 PM
Hi,

It's that time of the year when some of us start thinking about rebulding the bridges we may have broken down earlier in our lives.
If so, may the new ones be as strong and resilient as this old, long, iron bridge.


The Long Iron Bridge:

http://cem.usakligil.com/img/f/o/longironbridge.jpg

Regards,

Asher Kelman
December 12th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Cem,

It's a handsome bridge. I like the photograph and I can see it is special.

Is this over a canal?

Asher

I'll write more about my reactions later as soon as I finish some pressing work with ha recent shoot.

Cem_Usakligil
December 12th, 2007, 02:07 PM
...Is this over a canal?

We're talking about Holland here, of course it is ;-)

Cem_Usakligil
December 13th, 2007, 05:24 AM
Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

-- Richard Bach


To all my friends out there; so long and thanks for all the fish :).

Cem

Asher Kelman
December 13th, 2007, 02:50 PM
To all my friends out there; so long and thanks for all the fish :).

Cem

That is a fine poem for the bridge as one leaves the small street of the butchers and galleries to cross your wonderful bridge. Bridges are indeed metaphors for going on a journey. The nice thing is that the bridge brings traffic back. They allow communication, trade and families to flourish.

My comments follow shortly!

Asher

Nicolas Claris
December 13th, 2007, 03:14 PM
The Long Iron Bridge:
http://56.smugmug.com/photos/231652136-O.jpg

Bonsoir Cem
un pont, un pont long, un pont qui sent bon, un pont qui s'offre aux amoureux et qui leur donne le ton.
Non, pas un ponton !
Un pont bon…

Un pont si noir et si blanc
Avec de jolis flancs
Pour les petits enfants
Et les grands !

Un pont qui se défend
Non, pas à nos dépends
Pour ne pas faire semblant
Parce que je t'entends

J'aurais aimé la couleur
Elle a du te faire peur
Et pourtant, pourtant
Sur ce pont je t'entends


Cem, this is the first time for decade that I write some words for somebody else picture…
Wether you like them or not, they came from far, you did set a bridge.

Thanks

Ron Morse
December 13th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Are you into poetry Nicolas?

Nicolas Claris
December 13th, 2007, 03:30 PM
Hi Ron
well in the mood sometimes yes, but I usually hide this side of my mind… I hope though it may appear time to time into my photography work ;-)

Asher Kelman
December 13th, 2007, 04:02 PM
Cem,

My tardiness in giving your picture the attention it merits is merely due to compelling duty to deliver pictures for 2 major event shoots that have been delayed by testing the 1D flagships.

As you may have noticed, I’m particularly drawn to images with show paths or stages in journeys. You have generously shared numerous such images before. This, however, is rather special. Like Dawid’s bridges in South Africa, for example I had to think a lot. So I decided to put off comments until I could grab a block of time and do justice to your contribution.

First where is this bridge? There’s and area in the older part of the Dutch port city of Dordtecht called The Vleeshouwersstraat or the Butcher’s street! It’s just a modest street with small galleries and workshops and it leads to this 1856 iron bridge, the Lange Ijzeren Brug.

Cem’s B&W picture is something new. In short, Cem shows the bridge after an aggregate of small choices that are different from the common tourist pictures we may have seen before. So how does one focus the brain on the “bridgeness” of the bridge, rather than the tourist scene? Part of the best photography is the ability to choose what to focus on and present that and not all other distracting stuff, however pretty. This sounds so self-evident, but it’s not so easy to accomplish such ”disassembling” of what everyone can see. If you do it well you have found much of the essence of photographic artistry. So I am venturing to examine and identify how this might be achieved.

Point of view: Choice of where to shoot from:
Cem shows the structure foreshortened in its point of view. The bridge is not only shown from one end, and not spanning the water, but also blocked off half way along the bridge. Cem shows a point of time when the bridge span seems short. In fact this bridge has two stationary portions at each end and the center sections lift up to allow water traffic to pass. So we can see the proximal center bridge section being lifted up. If one didn’t realize this, one might not notice this at first.

Choice of B&W: Pictures I have seen before, as I now recognize it, show bright “tourist” colors, white and color of the buildings on the far end of the bridge on the other bank. Also boats are generally all colors and bright white too. In daylight and in color, peripheral objects can easily distract from the splendor of this dark impressive iron structure. While the bridge, brightly lit, is in itself, always interesting and memorable, often, it merely is in the picture, not the picture.

Black and white allows us to not be drawn to unique colors all over the place. Black and white allows the bridge to be the only subject.

Decreased DOF: Further limitation of out attention is achieved by having the distal part of the bridge relatively out of focus.

I would try to cheat and dim or blur the other structures, but that’s not necessary. Here, however, with this (night shot?) we have all our attention on the bridge itself.

Meaning: Wait, it might not be so straightforward. The focus actually appears to be the barrier to motor traffic before the bridge bearing the name “Lange Ijzeren Brug.” So now we have to relook at the picture from this point of view. With this consideration, Cem's photograph now seems to me about the paths that are protected for us in out heavily industrial society. Life, after all is a journey. Here, time stops when the center of the bridge is lifted, brings us to a halt. The wood pathway, the antique wrought iron railings return us to a less rushed time and we cannot keep on our way. During this breather we can pause to deal with the present and each other. We might think that after waiting a while that we are going to cross the bridge; but maybe not! Perhaps we’ll turn around and have coffee with friends. There’s a lot to talk about.

Asher

Asher Kelman
December 14th, 2007, 12:46 PM
Does anyone follow this thread and the comments? Do you like the picture? What do you think about it? How unique is it to you? Can you see this as a print that would be impressive?

It's so important for photographers who post to get a variety of feedback. Nicolas wrote and in French! Did anyone understand or have any response? My evaluation and comments: are they useful, valid, obscure, relevent, too opinionated?

Thanks guys,

Asher

Nicolas Claris
December 14th, 2007, 01:26 PM
Nicolas wrote and in French! Did anyone understand or have any response?

Cem went with its bridge photography together with his post here into a real stong poetry.
Hence my 'tentative' to answer. In French… so you all English speaking people can seee what others have to face everyday in OPF… a strange language…

Sometimes, I feel like wether I like or not a photography, I prefer to talk about it in feeling terms instead of technical.
Sometimes, as photographers, we're lucky enough and we do forget about tehcniques, because we're beyond…
Like Cem's bridge…

For the lazy ones I tried to translate into English, but it has lost the rythm and the rhymes… Oh, well! :

Good evening Cem
a bridge, a long bridge, a bridge that smells good, a bridge which offered itself to the lovers and give them the tone.
No, not a pontoon!
A good bridge…

A bridge so black and so white
With nice sides
For the little kids
And the bigger ones!

A bridge which protects itself
No, not into our depend
Not to pretend looking like
Because I hear you

I would have liked the color
It had to frighten you
And nevertheless, nevertheless
On this bridge I hear you

Maybe (surely!) someone like Tim Armes could do a better translation… please do so if you feel…

Asher Kelman
December 14th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Yes, it's beautiful in English too Nicolas. I was lucky enough to be able to read it in your original French verse. The meaning and feelings come through still in your rather proficient translation.

BTW, its predicted that in 20 years China will have the largest English speaking population!

Asher

Nicolas Claris
December 14th, 2007, 02:10 PM
BTW, its predicted that in 20 years China will have the largest English speaking population!

Asher

I know, but it's not a good news…

We can't and must not be all formatted the same and levelled (then obviously by the lower) to the World culture.

I wish all the different cultures to survive because from complexity and diversity, cleverness rises and raises…

On the contrary we'll be Coke, Marlboro, Exxon, Sony, Bouigues, Kodak, Mac Donald and many other slaves…

Supremacy can drives us to décadence. We do need many Cem's bridges!

Asher Kelman
December 14th, 2007, 02:18 PM
We do need many Cem's bridges!
..et au moins, un seul, Cem, lui-même!

Asher

Nicolas Claris
December 14th, 2007, 02:23 PM
..et au moins, un seul, Cem, lui-même!

Asher

I guess he crossed the bridge for the week-end!

Cem, are you there?

Martin Kuivenhoven
December 15th, 2007, 05:01 PM
Cem's remarks in post #4 of this thread "Farewell, so long .. " gave me the impression of signing off, leaving. If one can build bridges one can also break them. But why? Maybe "bridges" are sometimes complex, need maintenance or what have you. But on the other hand if the fundation is good they can last.

Anyway it got me to go out and try to capture complexity and strong fundation showing history ..

http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/9178/c153509yk6.jpg

And it includes a central "anchor point" to make contact ..

(Hope it is Ok to post here in this thread, otherwise feel free to move)

Asher Kelman
December 15th, 2007, 06:10 PM
Cem's remarks in post #4 of this thread "Farewell, so long .. " gave me the impression of signing off, leaving. If one can build bridges one can also break them. But why? Maybe "bridges" are sometimes complex, need maintenance or what have you. But on the other hand if the fundation is good they can last.

Anyway it got me to go out and try to capture complexity and strong fundation showing history ..

http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/9178/c153509yk6.jpg

And it includes a central "anchor point" to make contact ..

(Hope it is Ok to post here in this thread, otherwise feel free to move)


I'm glad you posted, Martin! I do love Cem's contributions. However, sometimes when a special picture is posted and there is little response one can feel discouraged! Almost all of Cem's previous pictures have been in stunning color and easy for most people to "get" immediately. You BTW, did not comment on Cem's picture!!!

I guess your picture is placed to buttress the importance of the B&W photography contained in Cems work. Whereas color immediately elicits basic reactions, with B&W more thinking is often required.

A picture of bright boats, blue water, puffy clouds in a blue sky is easy to relate too. There is no question that it represents positive stuff easy to enjoy if only one was there.

Cem's bridge, as many B&W pictures and your own, demand more devotion and the generosity to one self and the photograph to stop and think. It's hardly possible to appreciate B&W pictures in passing, like a beach scene in color or balloons at a country fair or a red head beauty eatng an icecream. For these, hardly any effort is needed to enjoy the fun and that's perhaps all it is!

As far as Cem is concerned he is always valued here but if he takes a break, I hope he'll merely wonder mid way on the bridge . All I can do is exress my wishes and hope we do a good job in giving attention to all contributors!

Asher

Now to your bridge, Martin, could you tell us where it is, the name and the history!

Shane Carter
December 15th, 2007, 10:00 PM
Well first time on the board here a OPF and I don't pretend to follow all of the discussion between old friends...but can say I really love the first image here!

I took a Street Photography class not so long ago and this reminds me of the timeless work of Henri Cartier-Bresson. And the symmetry you acheived is nicely done, the DOF works well with this shot. B&W suits it as it draws attention to the lines, which are more important than color. I'm a little amused too by the gate which seems totally ineffective. :) Nice shot!

Martin Kuivenhoven
December 16th, 2007, 02:27 PM
Cem's bridge is in Dordrecht and it fits in its surroundings so well it almost goes unnoticed, an every day scene but recorded in such a special way the scene becomes more than the bridge alone.

I dont particularly like the coarse grain in the background, seems a bit harsher then nice.

What got me to look again was the light reflected on the barrier poles comming from the left, where does it come from? It brings out the shape even more and increases the focus. Makes me want to try (and learn from the experience) to reproduce the picture with my own gear. And I am about an hour way from this bridge ..

But to me Cem's picture is not about the technical bits, it makes me wonder what the potog meant to say. And immediately start to fill in with my own association. That alone makes the picture special, and I do like it.

The bridge in my picture is in Leiden, bridging the canal between the University Botanic Gardens and the University library. It was due for maintenance a while ago and it was to be torn down. However protest rescued it and it is now to remain. We don't have that many wooden bridges around anymore. So it fitted the picture when I set out to find complexity and strong lasting foundation.. And the b/w does not distract from the message.

Martin.

Shane Carter
December 16th, 2007, 10:48 PM
But to me Cem's picture is not about the technical bits, it makes me wonder what the potog meant to say. And immediately start to fill in with my own association. That alone makes the picture special, and I do like it.
Martin.

Great point, hopefully Cem will chime in on this.

Asher Kelman
December 17th, 2007, 05:16 PM
Hi,

It's that time of the year when some of us start thinking about rebulding the bridges we may have broken down earlier in our lives.
If so, may the new ones be as strong and resilient as this old, long, iron bridge.



Did we miss what Cem wrote in the beginning? What does this mean?

1. Rebuilding broken bridges

2. Planning new bridges

3. Good old bridges as the standard to work for.

But again, what does this mean in the context of the B&W picture of the bridge?

Asher

Asher Kelman
January 21st, 2008, 09:39 PM
Any other pictures of olden bridges that have similar character. Not super modern bridges just smaller/ pedestrian bridges that would link communities.

Any one has images to share?

Asher

Rene F Granaada
December 6th, 2008, 02:25 PM
This is indeed an interesting very dutch bridge, here are some of my comments, being dutch, after Asher pointed out this photo's presence on OPF.... and understanding some french (I think what Nicholas wrote was quite marvelous, very poetic and deeply touching, obviously Cem's photo hit a nerve!). I do not know this bridge personally, Dordrecht has an old part of town, with canals, and is a river port city.
The meaning of "Lange IJzeren Brug" is Long Iron Bridge, which just goes to show how relative an adjective can become over time.... Long??? With the gate at the front close to the viewer it was obviously not meant for horse drawn carriages, but for pedestrians only (the steps at the end should make that obvious to anyone trying to cross, but maybe the builders just wanted to make sure, in case the conductor(if that is the right term) on the buggy had had a few glasses too many before trying to cross, where he was not meant to go....
I like that Cem focused in a symbolic manner on the sign and the gate, and not on the actual structure, how ever alluring it is...to me by focusing on the sign/gate he focused on the essence of the bridge, the "Lange IJzeren Brug", the words amplifying it's essence so to speak.
My own reactions to how Cem portrayed this bridge are my own, they are quite instinctive, as opposed to Asher's much appreciated more scientific and analytical approach especially with regards to the graphical elements of the photo and the whole color versus b/w discussion... and indeed is it a barrier or a bridge, can it be both.... very intriguing....is it a bridge to the past (when cast iron was a modernity)...whose past?...Is it to be crossed? or better respect the barrier, as it is there for a reason...

What is obvious to me is that this photograph, especially when one can understand the language elements involved, has the ability to trigger people's imagination in many different ways, and therefore in my view merits the definition "Photography as Art".

Rene-Frank

David Sommars
March 30th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Emotionally it makes me want to hurdle over that fence and run...