Photoessay: Paradise Lost, part III

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Today’s images are I think a little darker and sadder than the previous two (part I, part II) – but not quite over the edge into full-blown depression. I see it as being analogous to one of those portraits where we want to enhance the lines on the subject’s face. I can see the final presentation of this series going in waves, with grouping and pacing a mirror image to the way we have different moods depending on the day – though I feel the impact of this particular set is lost in color, and mixing the two is somewhat odd unless the presentation medium is conducive (e.g. separate gallery areas, or sections in a book – but not as a continuous scroll or all at once. The ‘break’ is required to prevent a jarring visual discontinuity. What do you think? MT

This series was shot mostly with a Hasselblad 501CM, CFV-50C digital back, 4/50 C T* and 4/150 CF T* lenses. Postprocessing follows the Monochrome Masterclass workflow.

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Ultraprints from this series are available on request here


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  1. John Brady says:

    #3 has wonderful tonality, but I really love the ambiguity of #6 where the wing is out of shot. It’s almost as if the fuselage is trying to will itself into the sky. Beautiful.

  2. I like Part III the best out of the series as it focuses more on the solemness of the planes and surroundings rather than the planes themselves. I find it is more symbolic and thus more powerful. I also find the black and white enables the viewer to ‘feel’ the space in a more surreal way.

  3. I like all details!

  4. Disclaimer: This is just my reaction to the work and not a logical or technical analysis. The color palette in Part 1 is lovely. It is muted and very film like except in one image. It becomes less consistent and tends to be brighter in Part 2. In Part 3 #7 the lower contrast fits with the feeling of Part 1. Part 3 #1-5 are all about curved surfaces. On their own and as a group they are wonderful but the high contrast seems to be at odds with feel of Part 1 which seems more nostalgic. To me the nostalgia is not for “the good old days” per se but for a time when we believed things would be better in the future. I think the B&W and color images can be unified by sharing the same level of tonal contrast and selecting subjects from the same historic period.

    • You’re right, because there’s no way to match the tonal palette from different light – it just isn’t possible to create the same impression, nor was that the intention. I think some variety of ‘personality’ is required. I would also go either only B&W or only color for the final cut – as mentioned, still a work in progress and requiring some more conceptual tightening…

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