Tone

Does tone convey mood or feel or location? Who cares really but I thought I would ask. I think it does. These were all shot within about an hour of one another, yet another example of my photo-brilliance. They are all magical.


But, the all contain the same feel to me, and tone and mood. I can sense a location, not just by the content but the tone as well. The palette. Poof I take a picture. Now what? The random thoughts of someone with little to do and little on his mind.

There are times when a splash of color is all you need. All you need to feel or think about a certain idea or place. It reminds us, or point us in a direction. I tend to focus on minute aspects of the color. Shades. And then like a good book, I can visualize the rest on my own.

16 Responses to “Tone”

  1. Paul Gero says:

    but were you wearing a beret while doing these??

  2. Nick Korolis says:

    Tone definitely conveys mood and location. I think it’s a very powerful tool… something small and subtle that forces the viewer to bring more to the image than what is really there.
    It’s also become the new content. One that many people use as a wheelchair more than a crutch because it has come to carry the total load of an image. I’ve been guilty of that far too many times.

    • Smogranch says:

      Well, I think I’ve shot plenty of photos I’ve wanted to be good, but realize they just aren’t. Sometimes it is the color that I use to try and carry something, or the tone, etc. Hey, I’ll take any crutch I can!

    • Nick Korolis says:

      Sure, if the interesting/peculiar thing you’re trying to convey IS the tone I can understand letting it carry the load. I guess I was more thinking of tone as a technique whether it’s overexposing Fuji PRO 400H 2 stops like Jose Villa to get pastels and glow or using Nik Software or Hipstamatic on digital.
      I was just reading more about Damon Winter over at the Times and the big issue with his using an iPhone and hipstamatic while following American soldiers.
      http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/through-my-eye-not-hipstamatics/

    • Smogranch says:

      Yes, I think all of those things are just part of the vision of the people using them, their feel of how they want their work to be represented. The only thing I’m growing tired of is the iPhone stuff. I’ve not see Damon’s stuff, and he is a damn good photographer, but all my life I’ve heard so much about how great images are not related to the camera, that I find most of what I see with the iPhone just isn’t good but we all WANT it to be good. In essence what we are saying is “Okay, not it is kinda about the camera.”
      What is the difference between saying, “Okay, this project is about a Nikon FM2.” That doesn’t make sense to me either. I look at a photographer like him, someone who is very accomplished and in some ways I’m pained to think he is spending one second of his valuable time shooting with an iPhone when he probably has better cameras at his disposal. I just think it would be a crime to witness something that important and take the chance that the only way you have it represented is virtually unprintable, tiny, electronic files.

    • Nick Korolis says:

      I agree with you… with the always present caveat of there being circumstances where good rules should be broken. In this story, he’s photographing as the soldiers themselves are photographing… with their iPhones. But this time with a professional’s eye and mind. Is it a gimmick? yep. Would the images he took stand up on their own without the hipstamatic makeup caked on? I doubt it, but that’s how I see it.

  3. Pedro Lemos says:

    Very good shoots on a very good blog.
    I’ve bookmarked it.
    By the way, what film do you use?

    • Smogranch says:

      Yes, I think that hipstamatic thing is…well..just a thing. The hardest thing in the world to do, photographically is just make a simple image that resonates. Light, timing and composition. It’s really frickin difficult. Consequently, it doesn’t happen that often. So, we all find ways of filling the gap. Filters, printing through gauze, etc, Whatever it takes to compensate. Great images don’t need any of it.

    • Smogranch says:

      Thank you Pedro,

      Black and white: TRI-X, Tmax-2 400, Tmax 3200
      Color: Portra 400.

  4. Moritz says:

    Interesting question! I am very much concerned about color and light in my pictures, but for me that also bears a risk: I often find myself pulling all kinds of levers in Lightroom to make tones and light appear the way I remember them from the moment – not always for the better of the pictures. So once in a while I am wondering if I should trust my camera more than my memory which might be tainted by a certain “vision” or the wish for a certain “look”. Where’s the border between what you see and what you want to see?

    • Smogranch says:

      Well, that is difficult for me to answer. I shoot film. So when I see an image in the computer, I only make very basic adjustments to size and color balance, which most of the time is right on the money without any need to change it. I see what I saw in the field. I expose for what I want to highlight.
      For me, I am so bad at sitting at the computer with my images. I wish I was better and had more patience, but alas, I don’t.

  5. Moritz says:

    On another note I am thankful for the wise words about the iphone hype. They are healing me (a bit) from the wish to own an iphone simply to be able to use hipstamatic/best camera/… and directly upload the “artisanised” results for everybody’s enjoyment. I might be able to survive a little longer with my phone, hold the i.

    • Smogranch says:

      You know, this is just my opinion, but I think we are going to look back on the social media revolution, and this technology revolution and think, “Geez, we kinda let things get out of hand.” We have all bought into this stuff so hard I cant’ believe it. I’ve had an iphone for years, and it is a LAST straw for me. I use it only for simple documentation of things i need to quickly send to someone. I’ve seen literally hundreds of different “essays” of iPhone stuff, which to me, all looks the same. Tiny, unprintable files layered with things that try to make it more valid.

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