Community tree critique, anyone?

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Heya!

I've got an idea. I was thinking that we could make a community critique of one of Walters trees to put the small bits of useful info in the "tangent"-thread to use (and also to add some other parts that I thought about posting in that thread but haven't gotten around to). I've chosen a tree (a particular tree for a particular reason) that I thought we could use, not very democratic I know. Anyhow, I just chose I tree that I personally have some issues with.

Here's how I thought it could work. I used photo software to replace the different elements of the tree such as foliage, trunk, deadwood and negative space with a color. By using the "layer" function in the software we can view different elements of the tree and how they relate to eachother (like how the foliage relates to the trunk or how the deadwood relates to the foliage or how all three of them relates to the negative space. Anyway, you'll get the idea when I show pics).

The tree in question is this one: http://walter-pall.de/Super shots/images/dsc_5356v.jpg

So, this is how I thought it should work:
First, we decide what element is the most important in defining the character of the tree, the element that makes it special and separates it from all the other trees you've seen (my suggestion is the trunk inthis case, but I'd like some input about that). What element we choose is not that important, so there no need to discuss what the most important element in general is. Just say trunk, foliage, deadwood or whatever you find most appropriate.

Then we add another element to the image and we all analyze the relation between them. My suggestion is that I'll make simple questions (like wich one dominates the other, or wich direction does it lead the eye etc.) and then together we try to improve the image. There's no "skill" or "talent" required to participate, just go with the gut!!!

After that we can add a third element or replace one element with another and do the same thing again. Hopefully we'll notice that we will have to make changes to the elements we've been through to make them fit when we finally put the whole image together.

This really needs a steady group of members constantly contributing for the thread to move forward, and to keep it interesting. Hopefully someone can learn something.

Whaddya say, anyone up for it?

edit: And if Walter reads this I hope he will ok the fact that we'll use one of his pictures?
 
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This would seem to be more of an exercises in design possibilities than a critique?

Although the parts that make up the image are important, they pale separately in comparison to the image presented, as in the case of many of Walter's trees, the whole is far greater than the mere sum of its parts.

I attempted to focus on specific parts of one of Water's trees here, the conclusion was that together they worked toward the end visual image, while separately they had what many would call obvious flaws.

Will
Is that a critique or an exercise in semantics? No, you don't have to answer that.

Frankly, I don't even understand what you're saying or what you are adressing.
 
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rlist

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edit: And if Walter reads this I hope he will ok the fact that we'll use one of his pictures?
How about emailing and asking him? He is usually quite appeasing when being asked to be dragged through the mud for the sake of artistic critique...

Good tree by the way. I like it. I see lodgepoles similar to it in one of my collecting grounds.
 
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Was that an honest question or a attempt at an insult? There is no reason to go off on a tangent....

I think I was quite clear, in a nice, polite, non-insulting way. I simply stated that this exercise sounded like more of a design exercise than a critique (there is quite a difference) and that focusing on the parts that make up the whole does not lead one to a conclusion as to why the whole works.


Will
That was an honest question, but since I didn't want to end up where we are now (semantics) I added the "no, you don't..." blahblah. To critically analyze and observe how different elements in a composition work together and their effect on one another, to suggest changes (for what it's worth) and to verbalize the individual choices one has to make in the process and how they divert from the original is a critique (and then some) in my book. If you want to call it a "a design exercise" that's fine by me. However, I don't think that's important. Let's call it a "Cristmas get-together with ginger cookies and esthetics". Problem solved.

PM sent.
 
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Obviously, alternative viewpoints or defining questions are not welcomed in this thread, I apologize.

My posts seeking to better understand the subject matter have been deleted, I leave this "Cristmas get-together with ginger cookies and esthetics" to you.


Will
 

Tachigi

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I've chosen a tree (a particular tree for a particular reason) that I thought we could use, not very democratic I know. Anyhow, I just chose I tree that I personally have some issues with.
Emil, your premise for a critique is a good one something I would enjoy. I would make two suggestions. First your stacking the cards so to speak by choosing a tree you have issues with before the horse is out of the gate.;) I would think that a tree pulled from the hat would be a better approach. That way you have to think a little with all the rest of us. :)

The second is that I would think that approaching Walter, who is a member of this forum, would be a good thing, if nothing less than polite. Instead of throwing up one of his trees for a critique he has no knowledge about.

Will, I would be interested to hear your definitions between critique and a design exercise. As for myself I think they pretty much walk hand in hand with just some subtle differences.
 
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Emil, your premise for a critique is a good one something I would enjoy. I would make two suggestions. First your stacking the cards so to speak by choosing a tree you have issues with before the horse is out of the gate.;) I would think that a tree pulled from the hat would be a better approach. That way you have to think a little with all the rest of us. :)
That is a good idea, I've had way to much time analyzing the tree in the link I posted :) . If I may suggest, a tree that's not well known and not not "perfect" (but not bad either) might be a good choice? As far as I'm concerned, anyone can choose a tree (not me, of course).

The second is that I would think that approaching Walter, who is a member of this forum, would be a good thing, if nothing less than polite. Instead of throwing up one of his trees for a critique he has no knowledge about.
I contacted Walter as soon as rlist made the suggestion, it was a bit thoughtless of me. I guess I'm that generation, if it's "link-able" it's ok :eek:
 
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zelk

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Id rather just appreciate the tree than judge it by pointing out non existent or unimportant flaws that someone might find just for the sake of a discussion

although i do find your idea of manipulating specific elements of a tree interesting i just think

a critique is not needed...
 
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I just love your signature Zelk, I'm flattered.

Here is one of my favorite quotes by you...

.Will
Is this going to be another one of those "This is something like this that I did, but not as good" threads? Which then gets subsumed by the need to feel victimized? Because if it is, I am going elsewhere. If, however, we can get on with the topic at hand, it may have some merit.
 

Rick Moquin

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Well it is IMHO that since Mr Heath did not originate this particular topic, we will indeed go around in circles discussing semantics.
 

Martin Sweeney

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No, it's not...

Could you use one of the images BonsaiNut downloaded for the Auction Tree of the Month threads and move this thread forward? I am interested in seeing what you have to offer and talk about in terms of hot bonsai action and fear that the window of opportunity for this thread is quickly closing if it has not already been slammed shut. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on visual design and art as in your Tangents thread.

Please save this thread! Only you have the power!

Regards,
Martin
 
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Emil,
I am very intrigued by what you are thinking of. I'd like to see the same kind of thing for styling "competitions" used for teaching, with perhaps a pool of samples of foliage, etc to place artistically, some will be better than others. It might be useful.
 
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Well it is IMHO that since Mr Heath did not originate this particular topic, we will indeed go around in circles discussing semantics.
That's quite perceptive, Rick. You are probably being ignored even as we speak.
 

rlist

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That's quite perceptive, Rick. You are probably being ignored even as we speak.
Actually, as someone who read both of Will's posts before he felt inclined to delete them, his initial responses were actually very informative and benign. His post was either mis-understood or mis-interpreted and the response, in my view, was accusatory and inflammatory.

Will was not the attacker, for sure. Victimization mentality from repeated attacks, maybe.

That said, Will did go out of his way to make a statement to Zelk, who put that signature line in long ago, while Will was in ignore mood.

OK. I hope that sets the record straight for all of those who are in the process of inflating their chests and banging their fists on the keyboards ready for an all out word-fest. I for one DO NOT want to see that again, and must say I have very, very much enjoyed how pleasant & civil everyone has been for the past several months.

Thank you, and please keep it up.

Mr. Emil - I beg of you to pick a tree and move things along so that the discussion can focus on a tree...
 

Rick Moquin

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Chris,

I hit the thread late last night only to see I was not able to read between the lines. I appreciate what Emil is trying to do (stimulate intelligent bonsai discussion) only to see it slammed without it having taken off. Once again I am disappointed, but I am not going to partake in childish banter. Then there are folks that wonder why my participation is sporadic. Well I'm with a different cable provider on a different channel, sorry folks:( :mad:
 

Boondock

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I remember a post on BonsaiTALK, where the tree being discussed was a computer generated shape. I thought that was an interesting way to produce a discussion. The shape was basic and undefined. I've searched for the thread to show you, but not having much luck.

I like reading (and seeing pictures) of trees. I often get insights of style and technique from the participating members, that I would not ordinarily get.

I've stayed away from the forum for month or two, because it was getting so "crazy" around here...
 
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Well it is IMHO that since Mr Heath did not originate this particular topic, we will indeed go around in circles discussing semantics.
Especially if you insist on posting off topic remarks that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand and are obviously meant only to incite arguments. Such trolling serves no purpose and is actually quite juvenile. May I suggest saving such non-productive practices for your "different cable provider"


Actually, as someone who read both of Will's posts before he felt inclined to delete them, his initial responses were actually very informative and benign. His post was either mis-understood or mis-interpreted and the response, in my view, was accusatory and inflammatory.

Will was not the attacker, for sure. Victimization mentality from repeated attacks, maybe.
Thank you for having the courage to post this, and for taking the time to do so.



Will
 
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cray13

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Parallel to the Tangent Thread?

No, it's not...

I was very much looking forward to this thread. Correct me if I'm wrong, but after having followed your "Tangents" thread it seemed obvious to me that you were planning on taking an existing tree and maybe applying some of the principles you discussed in your "Tangent" thread. It seems that maybe other members who did not read the previous thread may have misunderstood your intent and got distracted and then fell back into some old habits of useless debate about who offended who.

I suggest you start a new thread and move forward with your idea of applying the principles discussed in your "Tangents" thread. Make it a point to suggest that reading the "Tangents" thread first be a prerequisite for participating in the subsequent discussion.

If I'm wrong about your original intent I apologize, but encourage you to consider this idea and move forward with applying some of the things discussed in the "Tangents" thread to several real trees vice virtual trees. I would find this to be a very interesting discussion.
 
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Thanks to those who expressed their support! However, the fun kinda got lost somewhere on the way so this thing will have to wait unless someone else makes something worthwhile out of it.

As to the bickering, I've already sent a pm to Will and explained why I reacted the way I did. I don't think I was out of line and I certainly won't apologize for anything I said, and that's all I have to say about that.
 
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