October 13, 2009

"If I were Althouse..."

If you were Althouse, you wouldn't have to muse about what Althouse would write.

23 comments:

Scott said...

"If I were Althouse..."

I'm just trying to wrap my mind around what having breasts would be like.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Me, a law professor!

Lem said...

I would challenge Andrew Sullivan to a Blogginheads duel.

traditionalguy said...

No thanks. You work too hard. I would enjoy using your brain for a brief period to see what I am missing, but that would be a hard responsibility to use it every day.

Fred4Pres said...

I'm just trying to wrap my mind around what having breasts would be like.

Scott you might be missing something too.

Fred4Pres said...

It is time for an Althouse Sullivan blogging head duel.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I'd wear nothing but shorts and flip-flops. And not just sometimes. I'd be "that person who wears shorts and flip-flops in the winter".

Edmund said...

I'd invite Andrew Sullivan to guest moderate the comments for a week. Then post the comments he deleted so we can understand what kinds of speech he'd censor.

Lem said...

If I were Althouse I would ask Meade to stay on his side of the bed ;)

Fred4Pres said...

Shorts?


Jason, you magnificent bastard!

Fred4Pres said...

Lem, if you were Althouse, my guess is it would not take much to convince Meade to do so. ;)

lucid said...

If you were Althouse, it would be a much better picture.

Chris said...

This semantics-of-counterfactuals business is the kind of thing philosophers argue about all the time--"If Caesar were fighting the Korean war, he would have used the bomb." "No, if Caesar were fighting the Korean war, he would have used catapults."

Daniel said...

So Althouse doesn't think before she writes?

Meade said...

...I'd think to myself: oh well, that was nice while it lasted.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I'd have added some purple to that dreadful photograph. Algae? who whats to see algae?

Chip Ahoy said...

^^^ Lucid, please stop reading my mind.

We're been spoilt by Althouse's photographic and artistic eye. Pretty much anybody can say, "Aw, purdy as a postcard," lift up their point and shoot, compose a shot, and snap a half decent picture, but it takes an artistic eye to see within that potentiality and extract the elements that make a photograph interesting.

A painter and a photographer both fill a frame. The art of a painter lies in their deciding what goes into the frame, and at some point they must decide when to stop filling it. The art of photography lies in deciding what to omit from the frame.

If I may. How many ponds at Giverny have you already seen? They are all studies in light. Without the light, the study of it, the sense of what light is doing to the subject, the way it crawls around and envelops objects, blows out portions, conceals other areas, flecks off and scintillates, you have a pond without a trace of Monet.

Here's where shooting in RAW could salvage an ordinary photograph, and lacking the RAW file, a little time spent in iPhoto or Photoshop, Gimp or another program of which there are too many to list.

The photo is pretty but that is all. It lacks contrast, there is no focal interest, the eye wanders around the composition aimlessly and settles on nothing in particular. Imagining the histogram, the lines are all piled up like a mountain on the left, and peter out stopping well short of the right edge. Meaning, lots of shadowing with muted highlights and precious little contrast. It's murky, and it doesn't have to be.

Recommendations: Pick an element within the scene and work with that. The bridge? No, a portion of the bridge. Put the viewer at the bridge. Let an edge fade out to bokeh. Attempt to use the full range of the camera's sensors. That is, shadow to highlights. Adjust the camera settings to achieve that full range. The mass of lilly pads? No, a group of lily pads. The rock border? No, a portion of the rock border. The trees? Stand under a tree and aim upward. Fill the frame with branches and leaves. Work with the camera until you get a satisfying contrast between leaves, branches and sky.

This concludes my pedantry for the nonce associated with this single photograph.

Brad V said...

Or would she?

(I suppose that may be an insult to Steve)

lucid said...

@Chip:
I really enjoyed reading what you wrote. And I do think Althouse's photographs are consistently wonderful and somehow always surprising.

edutcher said...

traditionalguy said...

No thanks. You work too hard.

Very true.

Do you drop your professorial mien during those bottomless blogging sessions? ;)

Alan said...

This post reminds me of a time that Bono and Bob Dylan were doing a concert together (Dylan may have been appearing with U2, I don't remember).

Bono said, "I like to make up my own lyrics to Bob Dylan songs," and Dylan said, "Me too."

kentuckyliz said...

If I were Althouse, I'd be a lot more interesting in front of a webcam. flirt flirt flirt

Modern Otter said...

I would change my password. Often.