Artist of the month.

GD
Posted By
Grant_Dixon
Sep 30, 2003
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I would like to thank all those who contributed to last months display.

We now have a new artist up for the month of October. Now sit back and brace yourself for a treat. Please put your hands together to welcome Robertus Schraven as the Artist in Residence for October


Grant

Artist of the month :
http://home.cogeco.ca/~challenge/ArtistinResidence.html
JF
Jodi_Frye
Oct 1, 2003
Robert, those are absolutely amazing. You make me want to run out and take pictures ! …if only it would stop raining. Incredible work ! Thanks for letting me look inside your world.
PD
Pete_D
Oct 1, 2003
Robert,

Excellent. I am sure everyone will enjoy the trip through your gallery. I sure did.

Pete
CR
Chris_Rankin
Oct 1, 2003
Robert,
Very nice images. I like your use of light and shadow.

CR
DB
Do_Brinkmann
Oct 1, 2003
Taking my time going thru your gallery was a real treat. Some fascinating subjects so beautifully photographed. The touches of photojournalism were neat, too. Very well composed at just the right moment! Thanks for sharing. Dorothy
MR
Mark_Reibman
Oct 1, 2003
Really enjoyed your images. I especially love the women swimming with the cones. The one of the two boys in your challenge entry this week is my favorite.

BTW, file size makes it very reasonable for dial ups like myself
B
bethC
Oct 1, 2003
IΒ’ve recently joined the forum and the challenge group. You donΒ’t seem like an amateur to me. Your photographs are great. I have been learning a lot and the challenge pictures everyone does are amazing.

beth
ML
Marilyn_Lee
Oct 1, 2003
Your pictures are simply awesome; you have a wonderful talent for composition and color. Moving from one picture to the next was like a walk through a Museum of Art.

Marilyn Lee
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 1, 2003
Thank you all for your kind words.
I don’t really know what to say now except that I liked making these images and that photography always appealed to me so may be I am shooting all those images I always wanted to shoot but were stored away in my head untill the right opportunity presented itself.

Much of it is down to modern technology as I couldn’t handle the "normal" SLR’s. The user friendlyness of the camera made it very easy to just go ahead and take pictures. Very much a learning by doing thing. The very first picture I took is included in this gallery (the snowy landscape with the tree in the front)and the result impressed (or stunned is probably a better word) me so much that I just continued after that one. Elements and this forum then just added their bit.

Robert
NS
Nancy_S
Oct 1, 2003
Robert,

I really enjoyed your gallery. As Marilyn says, your talent for composition is evident. Very well done.

Nancy
BG
Byron_Gale
Oct 1, 2003
Robertus,

Congratulations on your photographic achievements.

I enjoyed every image, but the two which I went back to look at again are #s 14 and 21.

You have my admiration and envy.

Byron
DH
Dave Hamer
Oct 1, 2003
Robertus,

I really enjoyed your photographs, excellent composition.

Dave
BG
Byron_Gale
Oct 1, 2003
Sorry for harping, but I can’t get off #14… it’s so honest.

I’m grateful for having been able to see this photograph.
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 1, 2003
Byron,

I will tell Mary she has a secret admirer. πŸ™‚

Robert
R
Ray
Oct 1, 2003
I’ll say as Marilyn because my English is not very good. Your pictures are totally amazing!

Ray
JD
Juergen_D
Oct 1, 2003
Robert,

Those are wonderful images. My favorites are number 22 and 24. I also like number 2 and 3 very much. What church is that? The collage is very nicely done! How did you get the shot of the Brandenburg Gate?

Juergen
JC
Jane_Carter
Oct 1, 2003
Hi Robert, Beautiful! The way the light comes thru the trees on #22 is really lovely. Thanks for sharing, Jane
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 1, 2003
Thank you for your positive remarks and nice comments.
I am glad you like the pictures as I wasn’t sure whether you would because before you all no one has really seen any of these pictures.

The pictures 22 and 24 were made one morning when the first bits of fog entered Holland. I knew that the sun would come through eventually so I waited and nearly missed it. I don’t know if you had that experience but when the sun comes through the air gets warmer and fog evaporates. Well in this case the fog went with in 20 minutes. The two pictures were amongst the last ones on the chip. it seems that you shoot the best ones always under that bit of pressure.

The pictures 2 and 3 were made in two different churches in Utrecht. #2 was shot in the same church where #1 was shot. The church is under restauration and the painted ceilings are still extremely bright. #3 is shot in the "Dom" in Utrecht. Hollands tallest church. The bright door caught my attention and with the sun coming in at an angle it was an image I had to have.

JΓΌrgen, the picture of the Brandenburger tor was "borrowed" from the front page of a book about building projects in Berlin. I couldn’t enlarge it any further because otherwise you would have seen the ink dots of the original shining through.

Robert
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 1, 2003
Robert, next to a good sense of composition, you have an extremely good eye for the right light. Especially the images #3, #4, #10, #10 and #25 were done exceptionally well. You show you have the ability to wait for the right moment and to capture it.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Leen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 2, 2003
Thank you Leen,

I wasn’t aware of the effect of shadow on the boats and the water untill I say the first image come through on the display. I must have took at least 40 pictures of the boats and the shadow but this is the one I like best. Don’t ask me for the selction criteria I wouldn’t be able to explain. The image inspired me to make more pictures with sun and shadow. Some of which are on display in this gallery.

We thank a beautiful summer for the bright colours. The Nikon likes lots of light and with a little contrast enhancement the images come to life, especially the graffiti one. That is a bit of a strange one. There are moments I like it and then totally dislike it. The bycicle in the frame is a bit of a worry. It is too messy. However would it not be there the image would not be as fascinating. By the way I cannot go back to that same spot as the day after I took these images they were demolishing the place. No derilict buildings in Holland!

Robert
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 2, 2003
Robert, you wrote: "The Nikon likes lots of light" It is not the quantity of light that’s important, it ‘s the quality of it! Buy a tripod, the heaviest you think you consider acceptable. You have a really good eye for what light is doing to your subject and very few people have this talent. Most people even don’t notice , nevertheless it is the most important part of photography.
Being able to perceive this quality is a gift, although it can be learned to a certain degree. I had to go the hard way and learn how to see.
It is just like in sports, by training you can achieve quite a lot, but the ones that are gifted and able to sacrifice will win the medals. πŸ˜‰
Keep on practising; you owe it to your talent!

Leen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 2, 2003
Leen,

Thank you for your encouraging words. I guess I have to get that tripod now. πŸ˜‰

I understand what you are saying about the quality of light being important rather than the quantity of it. I don’t doubt for a minute that you are correct in your statement how ever in order to defend my position I have to refer you to the dpreview.com site where the users of the nikon 990 state that this camera has difficulty focussing when there is a lack of light. So I guessed there were other issues concerning light with this camera.
I am inclined to believe them too, then on very rare occasions, mostly just after I put new batteries in the camera you get this enormously crisp image and you wonder how come that one is like that and (all!!) others aren’t. May be that happens when light and camera complement each other?

Is quality quantifyable, can you measure it objectively?

Robert
R
RobertHJones
Oct 2, 2003
Leen,

I was going to give you a little friendly teasing about your statement regarding quality being more important than quantity. ( I feel they’re both important and there is an interplay between them that needs to be considered). But, I decided not to take this discussion off topic. This thread is about Robert and he deserves the undivided recognition and praise!

But, I do agree with you fully, the average person does not especially notice what the light is doing to the subject. Many can be sensititized to it while others don’t seem capable at all.

Robert definitely has an intuitive feel for it and I think that’s wonderful.
[Good job, Robert!!]

Bob
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 2, 2003
RobertS, my statement about the quality of the available light didnot refer to focussing problems in low light situations, but to what the light does with your subject.
In low light situations you will have to rely on manual focussing, because for some obscure reason some camera manufacturers chose to apply adequate focussing systems to traditional cameras but failed to do so with digital cameras.

RobertH, I teach photography to professional photographers on their way to international qualification and often I like to provoke them. So I dont mind any friendly teasing πŸ˜‰

When we consider Roberts portfolio, the image with the tree with those wonderful rays of light is magnificent, but anyone with a camera would have been able to see and record it.
The light in the images in ## 3,4,9,10 and 25 however has been exceptionally well noticed. 99% would have just walked by and never have noticed the beauty created by light and shadows shaping the subjects.
This ability, IMHO, is what makes Robert an exceptional photographer compared to the other 99% of the population.

Leen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 2, 2003
Leen,

I understand that you need to defend your case but I am getting beside myself because of all the compliments you are sending my way. πŸ™‚

#10 was the first one with the shadow. However #9 was special. I took it because you would very rarely see so much shadow in Holland even in a sunny summer like the one we just had and the regularity of its appearance struck me too.
I literally discovered the shadow whilst cycling underneath this steel girder railway bridge and was amazed. I took a few photos and knew I caught it. Back home I fiddled the levels and enhanced the contrast after that unsharp to get to what the image now is.

Robert
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 2, 2003
Robert, even a Major League pitcher produces walks; I can easily point out some minor images as well, just in case you might walk next to your shoes. (typical Dutch expression) πŸ˜‰
I learned it the hard way: you are as good as your last achievement; just only ask the former famous Utrecht forward Dirk Kuijt. πŸ™‚
Enough sports for today. πŸ˜‰

Leen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 2, 2003
Leen,

I hear you, you are coming through loud and clear.
please be assured that my size 10.5’s keep me firmly posted to the ground (also a Dutch saying):-)

Robert
ML
Marty_Landolt
Oct 4, 2003
JIM,
Here are a few out of so many favorites:
8 – I’d like to sit there in ‘peace’… 11 – the companionship impresses me….15 – Normally I don’t choose this type picture but yours grabed me and made me feel like "experimenting" with colors.
….21 – Snow scenes are fun, most are almost too perfect. I like the way yours says it as it is. Then there’s #s 13 and 14. 13’s my choice (sorry Mary).
Marty
JF
Jodi_Frye
Oct 4, 2003
My favs;
17~for my graphics side
22~for my peaceful side
24~for my like people when i feel like it side.
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 4, 2003
Why doesnot anybody vote for #4?
The light is so magnificently revealing depth and creating textures on the fl;oor; a wonderful second point of interest, the orange colour in the rear adds to this sense of depth and makes it almost three dimensional; this surely could be an award winning image in a well judged print competition.
To me this image has a very high "WOW!!!" level.

Leen
JF
Jodi_Frye
Oct 4, 2003
Leen I had to go back and look at #4 since you put it to light. Yes, I agree it’s a great image. Perhaps this is a good example of the meaning of art being ‘subjective’. Not to put the image down in any way…what I feel from the image is being ‘alone’ despite it’s exceptional ‘technical’ rendering.
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 4, 2003
Leen and Jodi,

Regarding pictures 1, 3, 4 and 6, we will know soon what a judge thinks of these as they will enter that amateur competition regarding monuments I referred to in my biography.
Let’s hope the jury thinks as much of these as you do.
Results will be made public at the end of october but certainly before 18 th november because then the photo exhibition is scheduled.

Marty,

I am glad you like #14. You picked up on the intimacy I was hoping the picture would convey. These two cyclist were sitting there so peacefully for at least an hour. They never knew I was there and were still talking when I left.
I would not worry about Mary. I know for a fact that she likes image 13 too. Just imagine yourself a 6 foot three guy setting the timer on the camera, then run around a table pose "cool", meanwhile hoping you are in the frame. And that all in 8 seconds.

Robert
ML
Marilyn_Lee
Oct 5, 2003
Robert – Since so many have indicated their favorites, I will toss mine into the ring, too; they are #s 3, 7, 9, and 15. I like #15’s simplicity and because it laughs (well, for me it does, anyway πŸ™‚

I believe there are so many differences in "favorites" because we Challengers are very different in our personalities and our styles (thank heavens for individuality; otherwise, the Challenge pictures would be pretty redundant). Technically, I’m sure some of your pictures are more masterpieces than others. But unlike professional judges who judge technicalities, I think most of us are simply voting from our hearts. Because so many people chose totally different favorites should mean that your work has a wide scope of appeal, and I think that that is good.

FMHO, I think you have the talent to succeed professionally in a photography career if that is your desire. I wish you the best if that is the road you choose to travel.

Marilyn Lee
LM
Lou_M
Oct 5, 2003
Chiming in with my favorites: 4, 5, 8, and–for a little fun–17.

I agree with Leen and others who think you have a gift–especially if one of these pictures (21?) was the first you’ve ever taken–WOW!
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 5, 2003
Marilyn,

Picture 7 is something we have to thank Leen for. A while back he posted a thread in which he stated to have made an image of a wedding couple which originally had a dull sky. Leen then selected the sky above, applied feathering and extreme contrast. He showed the image on his web site for us all to look at. I liked what I saw and tried to copy it. The result of that is image #7.
I am not sure if I would like to become a professional photographer but I definitely would like to improve my skills.

Lou,
Image 17 was the result of a spur of activity with Elements. A while back Grant asked to be sent images as he was running low on them and I sent a few, amongst which this statue of a doll in bathing suit ready to plonge into a pool. That is how "dolls in space" came about. I also merged two copies of these images together to learn how that works. It turned out to be easier to do than I thought.

As far as "the gift" is concerned I am pleased that my pictures are well received by most, but for now I think it better to put it down to beginnersluck and a will to learn how to make nice pictures.

Robert
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 5, 2003
Robert, there is no such thing as beginners luck when you are able to produce more than just only a few quality images.
I’m glad I was able to contribute, be it only in just pointing in a right direction.

Lou, thank you for supporting me in my fight for image #4. πŸ˜‰

Leen
R
RobertHJones
Oct 5, 2003
Lou, thank you for supporting me in my fight for image #4. πŸ˜‰ Leen

Leen,

I’ll support you on #4, but you don’t have to fight. It’s a wonderfully strong image.

Now if the number on the floor were 42 instead of 45 it would have made us Douglas Adams fans very happy.

Bob
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 5, 2003
Bob, what’s the meaning of 42 and 45? Did I miss something?

Who’s Douglas Adams? Brother of Ansel Adams? πŸ˜‰
Or just one of the Adams Family? πŸ˜‰

Leen
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 5, 2003
Sorry, it took me some time,but now I see, F45!
It ‘s Sunday, my day off, so I’m probably a little slow.

Leen
GD
Grant_Dixon
Oct 5, 2003
Leen

No, No, not f45. It is the ultimate answer to the meaning of the universe in a series of books called the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Universe. It is a five part trilogy by Douglas Adams. I suspect it has never been translated because … well it appears to be a Science Fiction book but in fact it is a wonderful handling with of the English language. Lot of joke and puns that I am not sure would translate at all. It is not high art but it is fun. Originally it was a radio play, later a TV series and finally a book. try any but the TV series as it is not worth the tap it is stored on.

Grant
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 13, 2003
Grant,

The reality is a bit less Scifi. In Holland in the old days it was custom that nobilty was buried as close to the altar as possible i.e. close to the almighty.
No. 45 refers to a position in the church indicating that some one is buried there. Since this person is only referred to by number I assume that this person was either very modest or just could scrape enough money together to get a last resting place there.
Other tomb stones further down the church are much more elaborate and mostly show a family crest and refer to battle field bravery.

Robert
ML
Marty_Landolt
Oct 13, 2003
ROBERT SCH…,
Gallery: 18, though rather corny, could be titled "Side by Side". The teenagers were certainly caught in unison and of course the ..chairs. Gallery 21: I still like this one. My daughter and I would see similar sites on our way to the Stables and could view beautiful sunsets.
Marty
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 13, 2003
Marty,

#18 is one I don’t feel too happy with. First of all it was taken when the sky was overcast. Therefore no depth in the image and then the girl in the orange shirt. Every time I look I think she is pushing a perambulator. That is confusing. So you could say I pushed the button at the wrong time.

#21 was taken in the Alblasserdam. This is a polder east of Rotterdam, one of the oldest in Holland and lies several feet below sealevel. Would the dutch dikes break this large area of land would be under water for sure.

Robert
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 13, 2003
Robert, I like #18. The only thing you got to do is change the colour of her shirt or tone it down; that’s all.
Another way of improving this image might be to create a layer, make it B&W and apply the eraser to bring back the colours of the chairs. This way you can get rid of this distracting colour too.

But it really is a wonderful image and I think you pressed the shutter at the right time; these girls are rather essential for the impact of the image.

Leen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 14, 2003
Thank you Leen,

I’ll try toning down. Orange as a colour goes well with the cheerfulness of the image, despite the lack of sun shine so I wouldn’t want to change colours.
The children need to be there I agree, especially since the shop in the back is an ice cream shop. The position of the arm is what bothers me virtually every time I look at the image. But that I cannot change any more.

Robert
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 14, 2003
Of course you can change the position of the arm!
That’s what Elements is made for! πŸ˜‰
But you don’t have to. It’s OK this way.

Leen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 14, 2003
That would be taking it to extremes.

Robert
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 30, 2003
Dear all,

My time as Artist of the Month is nearly over. In fact only one more day to go. I wish to thank all of you who gave me advice on how to proceed from here onwards or how to improve my skills or just stated that you liked my pictures.

For those who read my biography, you may remember that I referred to a photo competition as one of the reasons I had to learn Elements properly. Well today I received a letter from the competition board. It appears that one of my images has been nominated for either a prize of a honorary distinction for excellence.
It must be one of the following images included in my gallery as I entered the numbers 1, 3, 4 and 6 for that competition.
Any one care to guess which one the jury liked best?
I will know myself on the 18th november because that is when the prizes are handed out.

Robert
B
bethC
Oct 30, 2003
That is wonderful news about the competition Robert. It is really hard to guess, but I’ll go with number 4. This one is my favourite.
Let us know how which one the jury picks.

beth
R
RobertHJones
Oct 30, 2003
Robert,

Congratulations!

If I were a betting man, I would put my money on #4. Please let us know when you find out.

Bob
NS
Nancy_S
Oct 30, 2003
Robert,

I think your work was deserving of a prize in the contest, you have a great eye for compostition and light.

Nancy
BG
Byron_Gale
Oct 30, 2003
Robert,

Wonderful news about your nomination… how exciting!

Byron
JD
Juergen_D
Oct 30, 2003
Robert,

Gelukwensen! My vote would be for #3. Be sure to let us know.

Juergen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 30, 2003
Dear all,

Thank you for casting your vote. Out of the four contenders, it would be fair to conclude that #4 has won your sympathies. However I have a feeling that it is going to be #6; the black and white with the men working away on the canal wall.
The reason for this could be that possibly no one has entered a picture of a monument being repaired or maintained. It may well be that a picture is needed for a chapter in the book about maintenance of monuments. That one image would then be very appropriate for that chapter. What I do not know is, if it is common to mix coloured and black and whites in the same book.
Oh well, we will know in about 18 or 19 days.

Thank you all for your positive support.
This probably would not have happened with out this forum.

Robert
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 30, 2003
Robert, congratulations on your nomination; I think it is well deserved. Have a drink on me! Although my personal favourite is #4, I suppose #1 will be the winning image because of the nice lighting and the very pronounced suggestion of depth. Moreover, it is about restauration of monuments too.

Often the choice of a jury will depend on the quality of the people in the jury. Unfortunately you aren’t living in the UK or the USA, as the BIPP and the PPoA, both organisations of professional photographers, are the only ones that seem to have developed a really fair judging sytem. Judging images is extremely difficult, but most judges obviously aren’t aware of this.

Leen
SS
Susan_S.
Oct 30, 2003
As I was away, I didn’t get around to catching up with these photos until now. And I am so glad I didn’t miss them. They are fabulous. I wish I had your eye for light and composition. They deserve all the prizes that can get thrown at them. And I liked number 4 too…it’s so hard to take images of well-known places that aren’t just picture postcard cliches and allow the objects to be looked at in a new light (believe me I’ve just spent a lot of time travelling and produced a whole lot of stuff, while nicely exposed and all that, really haven’t got anything to say). Congratulations.
Susan S.
LK
Leen_Koper
Oct 30, 2003
Susan, let me try to comfort you.

Usually most travelling pics just only show where you have been and that’s all. To produce award winning images you need either time for a little reflection on the subject or a lot of luck.
On holidays most people try to see too much in too little time. Moreover, we shoot everything that looks unusual or different from home. The images will reflect this difference between snaps and images.

You are not the only one. ;-(

Leen
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 31, 2003
Susan,

Leen is right, a lot has to do with taking your time and deciding what you want to photograph. For instance I found that if I am with some one I cannot do this and my pictures don’t work, they turn into snaps.
By taking your time it also let’s you think again on what really attracted you in a certain subject. I msot times take a number of pictures of the same subject. They all vary slightly, not only by exposure time but also by angle. Most are obviously wrong; i.e. out of focus or the incorrect exposure, but it always surprises me to find that there is only one best out of a series. It virtually pops out of its frame and every one recognises that same one.

Well enough for now, my time is up, Grant has posted the new artist of the month.

Bye for now

Robert
GD
Grant_Dixon
Oct 31, 2003
Robert you are up for a bit longer your month is not totally up.

g.
SR
Schraven_Robert
Oct 31, 2003
Grant,

I cannot sleep (5AM here), what is your excuse?

By the way thank you for choosing me as one of the artists of the month. It was a nice experience and the comments have helped me quite a bit.

Robert
GD
Grant_Dixon
Oct 31, 2003
Robert

The house is dark Joni Mitchell’s Blue is on the CD player. I am finishing of a wee single malt and it is just a bit to nice a night to head of to bed.

I to am glad but glad you accepted to be the artist. I did like the simplicity of you lines in your Challenge images and so I didn’t think I was going totally blind in picking you. Your work is exceptional and I am glad of my choice. Again thank you.


Grant

Home Pages http://home.cogeco.ca/~grant.dixon/index.htm

Challenge Pages http://home.cogeco.ca/~challenge/

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Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us will put out more and better ideas if our efforts are appreciated.

Alexander Osborn (1888 – 1966)

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