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Bob Elsdale:photographer
November 21, 2005 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Some pictures you are sure to like.
posted by hortense (88 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I hope you like this site design and images,
posted by hortense at 12:43 PM on November 21, 2005


You are so about to get ripped a new one.
posted by notmydesk at 12:43 PM on November 21, 2005


I liked them. why is hortense going to get ripped a new one, notmydesk?
posted by jonson at 12:45 PM on November 21, 2005


Actually, other than the non-descriptive single-link FPP to a Flash-only navigation site, I can't think of a single reason. My bad.
posted by notmydesk at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2005


so... you're kind of a jerk, huh?
posted by jonson at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2005


Whoa. Annoying and unexpected Flash, but the pictures are gorgeous. I like the world this photographer lives in.
posted by booksandlibretti at 12:49 PM on November 21, 2005


He said I was going to like them and I did. Gorgeous stuff!
posted by LeeJay at 12:51 PM on November 21, 2005


Yeah, they are almost too good, like I wondered if they were in fact cgi... cool find, hortense.
posted by jonson at 12:52 PM on November 21, 2005


The technical aspects are great, but I prefer my wildlife photography to feel a little more spontaneous and a little less posed, I guess.
posted by JeremyT at 12:54 PM on November 21, 2005


Pretty cool. There's obviously a lot of photoshopping going into these-- I'd be interested to see how he went about composing some of them.
posted by justkevin at 12:54 PM on November 21, 2005


Why do portfolio sites such as this force the browser window to go fullscreen? Are they so vain they presume no other windows should be visible?
posted by nofi at 12:56 PM on November 21, 2005


flash sucks
posted by H. Roark at 12:56 PM on November 21, 2005


Those are pretty great. Thanks hortense!
posted by arcticwoman at 12:57 PM on November 21, 2005


flash sucks

1999 called. They want their mantra back.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:58 PM on November 21, 2005


Awesome pics btw.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:58 PM on November 21, 2005


Very nice pictures, but I would agree they are almost too nice. They feel a little fake.

Why would the site designer decide to resize my browser window to maximum, and then show me tiny pictures that would have easily fit in something 1/4 the size? Bad web designer, no cookie.

Thanks for the nice photos link, though.
posted by teece at 1:00 PM on November 21, 2005


Love the photos, but sooo sloooww. And I'll reiterate my objection to all these artist sites using flash.

Here's a plug for notmydesk: Love the half-life comic. I've been enjoying that for quite a while.
posted by jeblis at 1:01 PM on November 21, 2005


I very much don't like any site that moves my browser window around, no matter how nice the pics might be.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:03 PM on November 21, 2005


The pics are great. I think the backgrounds are photoshopped in - they pretty much would have to be. Most these images have got to be composites of several different events, as I find it impossible to believe you could be holding a lens below a dog jumping up to devour a bird in midflight, as the dog breaks your lens when he comes down on top of you a second later.


Perhaps the site is flash so the images can't be ripped off? Hortense, some explanation that this is a flash folio of a photog who works for ad agencies would help make the FPP better, but I don't think it sucks.
posted by Happydaz at 1:03 PM on November 21, 2005


Huh. Apparently his 2nd portfolio is almost entirely trick shots, composites, cgi, whatever. Makes me wonder if the first one is as rigged. If so, why call yourself a Photographer at all, since you're really more of an image manipulator/artist, the camera barely comes into it.
posted by jonson at 1:03 PM on November 21, 2005


Great pix. Really good. Damn annoying & slow interface.

I'm done.
posted by i_cola at 1:03 PM on November 21, 2005


nofi, they don't want you to be distracted by those annoying flashing ad gifs and are being considerate in removing them from your view so you can give your full attention to the artwork.

But I hate it when sites do that too and generally close the window when they try to hijack my browser.

Why does Flash suck so badly on FireFox though?
posted by fenriq at 1:04 PM on November 21, 2005


(Thanks, jeblis!)
posted by notmydesk at 1:06 PM on November 21, 2005


Wow.

The HL2 comic is quite good.

For that, I say "Thank you, Hortense, for putting up an FPP that wasn't nearly as bad as notmydesk's kneejerk reaction, and for the resultant shout-out by jeblis about the amusing work of the forementioned notmydesk. Way to go, Hortense!"
posted by grabbingsand at 1:07 PM on November 21, 2005


I probably would have liked to see all the photos...10-15 seconds to load each photo. No thanks.
posted by jeblis at 1:08 PM on November 21, 2005


flash hijack - no warning - window closed. EOM!
posted by tzelig at 1:09 PM on November 21, 2005


I quite like the blog in the dot.

But I guess that is the [via] and not part of the post.
posted by Catfry at 1:12 PM on November 21, 2005


Sorry, putting the via link as (.)I forgot the flash warning.
posted by hortense at 1:14 PM on November 21, 2005


"Hi everyone, my name is Bob Elsdale, and I'm a Photoshop addict."
posted by stenseng at 1:26 PM on November 21, 2005


#10 rocks. The iguanas look like muppets!
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:27 PM on November 21, 2005


Yeah, I don't really get the desktop takeover for an interface that is maybe 500 px wide... nice pictures, though.
posted by cusack at 1:28 PM on November 21, 2005


You should have also put up an HTML warning. I ftp'ed to the site and saw nothing. Then I figured it out.

I liked Book One because animals are cute. Book two - not so much due to it looking like advertising photography.
posted by srboisvert at 1:31 PM on November 21, 2005


Beautiful.

#19, by the way, is one that could be used in many a MeFi (or MeTa) discussion. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:31 PM on November 21, 2005


great stuff hortense! thanks for this!
posted by luriete at 1:35 PM on November 21, 2005


That lamb is creepy as fuck...
posted by hototogisu at 1:43 PM on November 21, 2005


Why do portfolio sites such as this force the browser window to go fullscreen? Are they so vain they presume no other windows should be visible?

I know, it's so fin' arogant.

Also, I'm almost certan some of these are total photoshops. The Hawk and the eagle looking at eachother? Photoshop. The flying pig? Photoshop. The frog on the cliff? Photoshop. The two gekkos (or whatever) Total photoshop. Probably the same damn gekko, I bet.
posted by delmoi at 1:43 PM on November 21, 2005


Thanks also, grabbingsand.
posted by notmydesk at 1:45 PM on November 21, 2005


Don't apologize Hortense, I just wanted to draw attention to the blog.
posted by Catfry at 1:48 PM on November 21, 2005


That lamb is creepy as fuck...

Here he is in another pose.

Warning: Well, just warning.

posted by IronLizard at 1:58 PM on November 21, 2005


NSFW dissapeared somehow...hmmm
posted by IronLizard at 1:58 PM on November 21, 2005


IronLizard : there is no one like ewe!
posted by hortense at 2:04 PM on November 21, 2005


Maybe I have firefox configured differently than the rest of the world, but I'm not seeing resizing, moving, hijacking or fullscreen. And the Flash works fine.
posted by sageleaf at 2:05 PM on November 21, 2005


Hortense, not to rip on you but is this a self link?
posted by wheelieman at 2:11 PM on November 21, 2005


Fucking hell, IronLizard. Ha!
posted by hototogisu at 2:12 PM on November 21, 2005


I like the shots, Photoshopped or not.

I don't like the browser resize, though. Oddly enough 99% of my browsing is done full screen, because I have another monitor for email/messaging and whatnot. So what I end up getting is a resized non-fullscreen "fit to desktop" browser window, which is obnoxious because then I have to resize my browser window for when I don't actually want a full-screen window.

I'm not sure if that makes any sense. Succint version: BROWSER HIJACKING BAAAAAAD. NO RESIZING! RESIZING BAAAAAAAAAAD!
posted by loquacious at 2:14 PM on November 21, 2005


Not a huge fan myself, and I do love me a good photo essay/portfolio.

Don't get me wrong, he's very good at what he does. But as others have mentioned, everything is a little too posed, especially the second book, which is way more image and much less photo. Left me feeling like I was looking at a bunch of advertisements minus the products -- designs created around a branding or marketing concept.

Then I read his profile. He says as much in there.

Seriously, the whole second book you can imagine the missing ad pitch for each image. For the flying pigs: "This is the day you'll find prices lower than Wal-Mart's." For the hang-gliding elephant: "For your corporate IT needs, let Oracle do the heavy lifting." (IANA copywriter.)
posted by donpedro at 2:18 PM on November 21, 2005


Omigod! Norman Rockwell's got aholda Photoshop!

Still, these are kinda neat.
posted by washburn at 2:26 PM on November 21, 2005


Some nice work. Especially since we aren't seeing it in the context of the advertisements that the work is openly acknowledged to be used in.

I was under the impression that photographs have been manipulated in dark rooms by photographers well before the advent of Photoshop. Yet I detect a lightly dismissive this guy uses Photoshop sentiment. Why is that? Maybe I'm wrong about the dismissive tone?

I was also under the impression that Photoshop was called Photoshop because it's used to manipulate photographs, something that photographers take and then do. From his profile it seems that he is indeed a photographer and has been recognized by such by photographic organization. Perhaps this isn't common knowledge and needs to be pointed out?

flash sucks

Why aren't we seeing any JavaScript sucks and HTML sucks proclamations for things that both do and/or feature that person x doesn't care for (like window resizing)? Why I ask? Why?
posted by juiceCake at 2:27 PM on November 21, 2005


I'd say he works as both a photographer and a photo-illustrator. Differentiating between the two is, IMHO, important.

And you're obviously right in pointing out that darkroom manipulation is as old as, well, darkrooms. My personal & professional preference is to err on the side of less manipulation, but both certainly have their place.
posted by donpedro at 2:36 PM on November 21, 2005


Why aren't we seeing any JavaScript sucks and HTML sucks proclamations for things that both do and/or feature that person x doesn't care for (like window resizing)? Why I ask? Why?

Because javascript and html work, generally, within the confines of the browser. The user has greater control over them.

On the other hand, flash is a plugin, meaning its goal is to take over the environment - to work in the browser despite what the html/browser interface (in the programming sense) says. Its more similar to activeX than html.

When I use the internet, I expect websites to behave a certain way. You can certainly write a flash app that looks and feels like the rest of the internet, but the problem is that you are not limited to writing this. When this technology falls into the hands of someone who does not understand this contract, you get bullshit implementations. The problem, as I see it, is not the developer but the software API that does not encourage adherance to this contract. That is why flash sucks.

In the end, both parties are hurt. Im hurt because I dont get to enjoy this guys art, and the guy is hurt because noone wants to click 100 times to see his art. You want to share your pics? 1 html page, fullsize images. easy, pronto, done.
posted by H. Roark at 2:42 PM on November 21, 2005


H.Roark: Agreed, it's not the most user-friendly interface. Designers, photographers, artists, and such, however, have a specialized use for the Web though: to let people see their work but not grab it for free use. Flash makes that impossible, right?
posted by donpedro at 2:46 PM on November 21, 2005


Book 2, Number 11 may raise some hackles.
http://www.bobelsdale.com/flash_content/flash_content.html (can't link directly to it)
posted by spock at 2:48 PM on November 21, 2005


And, for the record, this has been MeTa'ed.
posted by donpedro at 2:50 PM on November 21, 2005


I very much don't like any site that moves my browser window around

i very much use a properly configured browser that only moves when i move it. stop whining, take charge.
posted by quonsar at 2:50 PM on November 21, 2005


i don't understand the criticism about it being too "posed" or "fake", etc. I mean, yeah, duh, these are pshopped...so many photographers photoshop, even if it's just color correction or lighting or clean up to bring out the picture better.

I can understand from a purist standpoint I guess but there has always been photo correction and manipulation.

Also, from looking at the shots I would say he's a commercial photographer more than just a nature photographer. In which case all the more reason for the photoshopping.
posted by freudianslipper at 2:51 PM on November 21, 2005


my ibook didnt resize anything.
posted by ackeber at 2:51 PM on November 21, 2005


Is anyone else thinking this is great as art, (but I understand to the photographers its 'too posed') but too the artist its creepy, iconic, anthropomorphic, gorgeous (its gold!).
posted by uni verse at 2:54 PM on November 21, 2005


Pretty impressive photos. The lighting is amazing, and the Photoshop work pretty impressive. I think it's rare to see an individiual so accomplished in both those skills, though I suppose as time goes on, this combined skillset will be de rigeur for pros.
posted by chill at 2:56 PM on November 21, 2005


Nice photos.
posted by Skygazer at 3:03 PM on November 21, 2005


Why do portfolio sites such as this force the browser window to go fullscreen?

The thinking behind this is to make the experience of the site inversive - to prevent your attention from going elsewhere (yes, it is a bit arrogant and can be very annoying - but that's the main thinking behind it).


Perhaps the site is flash so the images can't be ripped off?

That's one of the reasons it's done (you can still screengrab them if you're really determined).

Other reasons for using flash? Being able to preload images in the background as you view (minimizing loading delays pic to pic), lower filesize when lots of images are included together and exported than with regular JPEGs and HTML presentation, but mostly it has to do with the somewhat unquantifiable 'wow' or 'style' factor.

The haters above might think that '1 html page, fullsize images' will be more than enough to get the basics across, but if you're trying to impress a jaded AD in an agency with your work the quick-and-nasty approach just won't cut it... they want to be wow'ed.

Like all design it's about knowing your audience and playing to them. If you hate browser resizing, or flash, or both, so much you wouldn't stick around to view the images - it's doubtful this is aimed at you anyway.

Anyway - enough web-design counter-pointing... I liked the link, the site, and the images therein... good link, thanks!
posted by stumcg at 3:05 PM on November 21, 2005


Is anyone else thinking this is great as art...?

Not me.
posted by xod at 3:10 PM on November 21, 2005


For those who want direct links to the images, they're in the following format:

http://www.bobelsdale.com/flash_content/photos/book%201/set1_nn.jpg
http://www.bobelsdale.com/flash_content/photos/book%202/set2_nn.jpg

replace nn with 01-20
posted by quiet at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2005


Is anyone else thinking this is great as art...?

yes.
posted by freudianslipper at 3:32 PM on November 21, 2005



posted by quonsar at 3:33 PM on November 21, 2005


I'm a critterholic, so I love this. Book 1, #14 (hedgehogs! Awwwww!) and Book 2, #9 (a dormouse sleeping in a teapot! Awwwww!) are my favorites. Thanks, hortense.
posted by Gator at 3:41 PM on November 21, 2005


This guy is an expert taxidermist.
posted by crayfish at 3:43 PM on November 21, 2005


#6 might be used in an ad for short hens women to see the status building value of high heeled platform shoes.
posted by Cranberry at 3:58 PM on November 21, 2005


Or to respect the cock.




What?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:16 PM on November 21, 2005


I sure did like them pictures, thanks hortense.
posted by tellurian at 4:39 PM on November 21, 2005


Thanks for the pics, hortense. Glad to see this as a FPP.
The interface sucks but whatcha gonna do?
Some of the words you have as tags might have served well on the front page.
posted by Aknaton at 4:44 PM on November 21, 2005


His stock photos on Getty Images are also lovely (and there's a lot more of them).
posted by Gator at 4:49 PM on November 21, 2005


Why does Flash hate America?
posted by zardoz at 5:02 PM on November 21, 2005


Very cool hotense. Thanks.
posted by Stauf at 5:03 PM on November 21, 2005


Other reasons for using flash? Being able to preload images in the background

Yeah, that would have been nice.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:14 PM on November 21, 2005


Technically they're brilliant. Unfortunately I find most of them lifeless.
posted by ryanhealy at 6:30 PM on November 21, 2005


Touché, quonsar. i imagined that more enterprising minds than I might manage the trick. In any case, Flash no doubt makes it harder for the not so savvy donpedros of the world. Cheers.
posted by donpedro at 6:55 PM on November 21, 2005


Awesome pics. I want to know how real they are!
posted by sid at 8:39 PM on November 21, 2005


I agree, ryanhealy... some are cool, mainly for the detail in the creature... but they are composed very stiffly, every picture reeks of contrivance. Thanks for the link, though, hortense. That lamb is kind of creepy, though.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:42 PM on November 21, 2005


I was atracted by the hyper-realistic quality that permeates. I didnt explore the whole site only looked at a few pages when I posted, it behaved very quickly and nice. maybe browser plugin updates are in order. again ,sorry no warning.
posted by hortense at 8:45 PM on November 21, 2005


WHAT... no GIANT MUSHROOM?!?
posted by jmccorm at 9:14 PM on November 21, 2005


BTW, the interface looks like it was designed by the subject of Portfolio #1, Book #1, picture 4.
posted by jmccorm at 9:17 PM on November 21, 2005


Heh. I like the dog and the spoon of medicine. Reminds me of when I had to give my pooch some stomach medicine she hated.

I think photogs go for the Flash mainly because of the artsy feel of it. Wish Flash and Firefox got along better tho.
posted by Zinger at 10:35 PM on November 21, 2005


This would have been so much better without the Flash. Artists and bands love to make their sites flash-only because they're egotistical and don't want to think that people only go to their site for the free information and not for a "full multimedia experience" or whatever.
posted by afroblanca at 11:56 PM on November 21, 2005


No problems here. Neat pics and very minimal load times between images.

Maybe people who complain about slow load times need to upgrade from their 56k dial up and increase their 32M RAM to something more workable?
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:50 AM on November 22, 2005


No problems here. Neat pics and very minimal load times between images.

Maybe people who complain about slow load times need to upgrade from their 56k dial up and increase their 32M RAM to something more workable?


Site is quicker today w/ less traffic, but preloading would have been nice. Yup flash still sucks today.
posted by jeblis at 8:41 AM on November 22, 2005


If we're not to refer to these as photographs what do we refer to them as? Composite Photographs? Do we really need the qualifier?

On the other hand, flash is a plugin, meaning its goal is to take over the environment

No, that would be the goal of the developer, not Flash itself. As a web developer myself, I too preach against using Flash in this manner. Usually I succeed, and if not, I succeed in convincing clients to always have an HTML site and make the full Flash version optional. I find Flash to be spectacular for animations, video, animated illustrations, etc.

You can use Javascript to take over a lot of the browser as well. Why, you can even use it to launch a new window without a back button or even disable context-clicking. It's the choice of the developer, not the technology. Which is why I don't understand why Flash is hated.
posted by juiceCake at 11:16 AM on November 22, 2005


If we're not to refer to these as photographs what do we refer to them as? Composite Photographs? Do we really need the qualifier?
how about, Hyper-realistic images? Chuck Close with a camera.
posted by hortense at 12:16 PM on November 22, 2005


The site sucks, as does any site that thinks it needs the entire realestate space of my 30" Cinedisplay. The pictures may be nice, but faulty web design pisses me off from the start. I didn't look any deeper than the main screen.
posted by Qubit at 2:09 PM on November 22, 2005


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