I hope this will be the first of a series -- I spent a few weeks in December photographing the sculptures along the Malecón in La Paz. In that work, I realized the enormous debts that I owe to all of you -- and that realization helped me choose this first shot to share.
In November, close to my departure date, I saw an image from Deniz (Rigoletto) shot with a very fast prime lens. I realized that I had an antique gem -- a 50mm Nikkor f/1.4 -- from my very first 35mm camera, and that it would fit onto my D5000. As the D5000 is not a full-frame set-up, the lens functions as a 75mm prime, and opening the aperture will create wondrous bokeh. As there are no electronics, the exposure has to be made on the fly, but with digital, a few clicks will have you in the right ballpark. Thanks for this idea, Deniz!
These two faces with bird masks are part of about 8 little bird-men that sit in a small park about a block away from the Malecón. A generous philanthropist has taken several formerly-empty lots, that were serving only to collect litter, and made very nice public spaces in them. This one is called "Parque Pajaros y Piedras." I am still looking for information on the sculptor!
Critiques | Translate
Periko (2441) 2014-01-15 16:03
Great photo, Russ, with amazing sharpness. The sculpture is highlighted by the blurred background. They resemble the work of the sculptor Jorge Marin.
Noel_Byrne (21434) 2014-01-16 0:51
Beautiful result on this capture, the depth of field is really superb, putting great emphasis on the statue in the foreground, but still allowing us to be aware of the one behind. You have captured excellent clarity on the foreground statue, and it does seem very lifelife, which is strange considering its really odd, and slightly disturbing appearance. This statue reminds me of something, and I cannot for the life of me think what it is, but I do know it’s something that slightly spooked me out.
I’m really looking forward to seeing more of these.
And on that note Russ, I wanted to say thanks again for the link to the whole collection. When I looked first, I could not see your contact email, and did not want to leave one of my big long rambling comments on the main page, so now I have the email address, I’ll be delighted to send you some thoughts over the weekend. It’s a stunning collection, really a masterful work that you have done there,.
All the best
tenretin (2345) 2014-01-16 10:42
A beautiful photograph, without artifice and with natural colors.
Well framed and well done!.
jcpix (11648) 2014-01-16 18:59
Alrighty, here we go...been waiting to see these here. :) Strong start. I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously, the hard work and time you put in advance of this trip has proven its worth. My instincts tell me that most people, I being one of them, would have chosen a shot from the other direction to capture more of the face itself. Looking at this however, I like that you chose to go against that ideal, as the lean and angle of the sculpture naturally flows slightly away and packs a better punch when composed in this manner...leaving a bit more to the imagination.
On the technical side, the depth of field is superb, allowing us to make out the secondary figure without distracting from the main subject, thus complimenting one with the other. Sharp detail, clarity, and textures...this turned out great. Welcome back amigo.
Take it easy. Cheers from next door,
rigoletto (34225) 2014-01-17 5:05
...and the other one i fell in love was this, did you sense it or what?
i am so happy to have inspired you about taking your old 50mm f/1.4 with you, the focus and DOF are more than sweet with this aperture. besides the technical quality, i love the design and poses of the two. they invoke feelings and thoughts about those ancient cultures, rites and animal inspired deities, which i find to be some of the coolest creations of ancient human mind. those hawk or eagleheads are apparently inspired by some pagan figures worshipping the sun, or watching a solar eclipse, taking into account the appalled gestures of wide open mouths. such an exciting artwork and its beautiful presentation. the artist should be proud of you.
willperrett (6220) 2014-01-19 5:38
Seriously weird sculptures, but I like them! And I like the soft monochromatic tones you've achieved, and as you point out yourself, the beautiful shallow depth of focus. Thanks for your feedback on saturation & etc.: glad you approve, as is evidenced by the subtle colours here!
ourania (27138) 2014-01-23 11:43
welcome back! You engaged yourself in an interesting dialogue with these sculptures and created a fascinating, artistic picture of them. I like very much the dynamism offered by a well chosen point of view and apt framing. There's excellent perspective and sharpness and the bokeh makes a superb effect as it enhances depth, sets off the sculptures' details, retains an elegant chromatic harmony and creates a marvelous impression of movement. In my opinion, there's great drama and rhythm in this composition. It brought to my mind Aristophanes' play Birds and I have two pictures in my gallery (plus workshops:) that I'd like you to see (for the information and similarities):
Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely day,
mcmtanyel (10891) 2014-01-23 18:30
This is just superb! Composition is lovely, selective focus id to my heart's delight. As we say in Turkish, you shot the crane from its eye.
nikkitta (13530) 2014-01-24 9:25
Hola mi alumno Russ
Estas fotos tan originales me fascinan por la composicion y el uso de la luz con ese fondo difuminado para destacar el primer plano
FELICITACIONES por el absoluto dominio del español de Argentina, Que Onda..increible lo bien que lo usas
fabbs99 (16079) 2014-01-25 7:58
Excellent shot of the sculptures.The bird man really looks nice..Truly very sharp and crisp.Very well captured with good lighting.Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
delpeoples (52731) 2014-02-01 21:37
Gidday dear Russ
My thought on viewing this photo -obviously before reading your note was "Jeez I wouldn't mind a nose like that stuffed full of rubies", but then I realised your models are wearing masks. I like how you judged the depth of field, including the second masked man in, which gives an excellent sense of graphism and depth. The neutral colours are also inviting and I you have captured the textures really cleverly.
Well done, have a lovely Sunday
adores (34736) 2014-02-07 17:19
Very curious scultures indeed! I like the way you framed them in diagonal and the focus on the first one, leaving the other in the blurred background.
- Copyright: Russ Ham (EstudioChispa) (1890)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-12-01
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Nikon D5000, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
- Exposure: f/2, 1/3000 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-01-15 15:15