Critique Thread #2

Discussions on Equipment, Locations and Tips for getting the photograps you want of Vermont scenes.Note: You must be registered in order to post. If you have trouble registering, use the contact us form on Scenes of Vermont's home page.

Moderators: bm, Andy, admin

autzig
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Bloomington, MN
Contact:

Critique Thread #2

Postby autzig » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:54 pm

Here's my critique submission. This is a photo I made in New Foundland a few years ago. Mostly, we were there to shoot gannets but I got this "birdscape". The grey background was due to heavy fog.

All comments welcome.

Al


Image


deaner1971
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:01 am

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby deaner1971 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:58 am

OK, here goes...

The picture feels a bit "flat" to me. Not creatively but dimensionally. It doesn't create a three dimensional space like your shots usually do. I mostly get that feel from the area of rock extending out.

And what can you say about a picture where you are obviously (and have already stated) dealing with a background like that. It takes on the feel of a layer because that background is so consistant.

Is the lack of a background what creates this feel? Does the human brain need a background to create depth in a photo?

Andy
Site Admin
Posts: 1493
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Contact:

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby Andy » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:38 am

Well, Al: OBVIOUSLY, it needs a heavy dose of saturation! :mrgreen:

Seriously, thanks for posting this. I will take some time over the holiday weekend to look at it more carefully, and comment.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

autzig
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Bloomington, MN
Contact:

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby autzig » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:19 pm

Dean, you are right about the three dimensional quality. After your review, I looked at the photo and saw that the image I posted was cut off on the right side. For some reason, it is just cut off rather than the size adjusted. At any rate, I reposted a little smaller image so the entire shot appears. Now you will see the outcropping that, I think, gives a more three dimensional impression.

Thanks for your comments.

Al

Andy
Site Admin
Posts: 1493
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Contact:

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby Andy » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:32 am

Al: Did you check, and did the new image show the entire image? When I looked the other day, my first impression whas that I didn't like what was going on on the right side of the image. It definitely looked cut off on the right.

I have noticed this issue on several of my uploads during the past year. Thinking it must be the forum software.

I still think the image (the one I see here today) is “crowded” on the right side, especially in the upper right corner. I would like to see a little “space” on that edge of the frame. As presented, it tends to draw my eye out of the frame. The other option, I suppose, would be to crop that part off, but then you risk losing the roosting bird in the lower part.

With that comment in mind, I think the composition is nicely balanced. I assume the bird in flight is the “subject” of the image and its placement certainly draws the eye immediately. I like how the gull is looking into the image, also. I think the small bird roosting in the bottom right corner add nice balance and its smaller size complements the main subject.

I would seriously look at selecting the rock and vegetation and making some curve adjustments that I think would “pull” that part of the image out of the “fog” just a bit. That would create some more separation from foreground to background. At the same time, I might sharpen just a bit more (understanding that our different monitors may “see” this differently), and because its me, I would probably boost contrast/saturation in just that part of the image. Clearly those are all a matter of personal “taste” in the image.

I wonder if there was any way (assume not) to get the eyes that are showing sharp? I really like the, rust colors on their heads in the nice, soft light.

I also see a kind of interesting “repeating pattern” here. There are two birds who are clearly watching the incoming flight and their heads are both turned, with beaks pointed in the general direction of the bird in flight. It looks like there may be a third way up in the right corner.

As always, Al gets exposure and color right.

All in all, it works very nicely as a kind of "high key" type image.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

brandtb

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby brandtb » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:41 pm

I have some thoughts about the composition...but I I wanted to pass along some initial impressions. First, I'm drawn to the natural conditions here...the very soft light from fog etc....that's a huge plus in my book...and quite beautiful. Second I really like the combination of the slightly cool gray of the bg, and the orange heads of the Gannets. This is a near complimentary color scheme which can have its own energy and power...and this important. Thirdly, there is an energy/movement from the directions that the different Gannett beaks are pointing. Their beaks create vectors if you will...or lines of energy...this would be something I would have immediately begun to explore...and shot a ton of tighter shots in burst mode. I've attached a quick crop with arrows to illustrate this. Also, to use a reference from the world of painting...Pontormo has a painting in Florence you can see at this link... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jacop ... hristi.jpg In this scene you notice the gazes of the faces are all nearly going in different directions which energizes this scene...gives it a liveliness.
Finally, if I saw the raw materials of the Gannett scene I would think I was standing on a gold mine...I just have to figure how the heck am I going to get it out.

Composition. In the image originally posted, there a lot of "subjects" in my view and I don't know that they make a cohesive "whole". There is the flying bird seen straight on, the middle birds, the green swath of flora, a separate pair, one partial of nesting birds, plus the big rock in the middle, and a huge piece on the far right. In general a lot of non-important weight to the right side. A digression about the flying bird here. There was an ad some time back in photo magazines for a co. called Autumn Color...and it featured an image of a Bald Eagle from neck up seen exactly straight on?!? Living near Bald Eagles I know that if you don't see that head slightly obliquely you will never get one of the most important aspects of the bird the size and shape of its phenominal BEAK. The flying Gannett is seen straight on, and one doesn't really get the wing shape and the "suggestion of flight" so much. Sometimes you can see photos of birds that really give you the sense and energy or flight...that also might be helpful here to balance out the static qualities of the sitting birds and rocks etc. etc.. I think the flying bird is limiting the final out come here - maybe cropping might help some...don't think so. If there were some tighter shots of the birds that's what I would be interested in.
Attachments
Gannets2.jpg
Gannets2.jpg (109.96 KiB) Viewed 5662 times

autzig
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Bloomington, MN
Contact:

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby autzig » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:22 pm

Brandt, thank you for your interesting comments.

This location was a gold mine. I literally made hundreds of photos. I used wide angle lenses, long lenses, portrait and landscape orientations. I was with a workshop and was the only guy not shooting with a 600 mm lens. Everybody there was trying to get a head shot or some other thing with a long lens. Me...I maxed out at a 400 mm lens. I'm more of a landscape photographer than a nature photographer, so I focused on "birdscapes".

I quickly scanned the photos I made and found some with birds whose wings bent and birds that were coming in for a landing and others. I'll take some time with them and post them when I get a chance.

Al

autzig
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Bloomington, MN
Contact:

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby autzig » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:56 pm

Here are a couple of similar images I made at the same time as the previous image. I made many more, most with shorter lenses. These were shot at about 200 mm. I think the other gannets in flight may suggest motion.

Al

Image
Image

brandtb

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby brandtb » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:08 am

That's what I imagined was going on...just amazing...wow...just magic. I loved seeing the middle ground birds all most unrecognizable in the mist in your second image. The flying birds in your first image almost have the feeling of one bird shot "time-lapsed". I riffed on that idea a bit in the attached image. Spent 20 min. in PS5 moved middle flying bird inward, moved left sitting birds further left, and decreased the size of the upper right nesting bird...and cropped....as an idea of a approach. I still don't see any shot using one of the full frame shots...unless one copy/pasted birds from other images into one of the skies...to balance out the rock subjects.
Attachments
GannetFlight2.jpg
GannetFlight2.jpg (89.16 KiB) Viewed 5625 times

deaner1971
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:01 am

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby deaner1971 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:45 am

Al,

Those are great. Love the strong diagonal running across the frame. The birds partially obscured in the mist are those background "didn't see it the first time" details that I personally love to have in an image.

I love when I print a shot in a large format and people step closer and closer as they dig into layers of detail in the picture. I feel like I have successfully drawn them into the scene. This picture has that.

Also, I feel like the background works so well (in addition to the previously mentioned) as it works almost like a portrait background and the few colors become more pronounced yet still subtle.

I also love the mists and the flying birds because it gives it an interpretive openess that allows the viewer to wonder if this is a shot at nearly sea level in San Francisco Bay or a thousand foot cliff on some Chilean coast. Love to see the whole series.

Andy
Site Admin
Posts: 1493
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Contact:

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby Andy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:50 pm

Al, I like the 2nd shot you posted the second time. I agree with Dean that those birds back in the mist are really cool. I would still be inclined to probably "clean up" the upper right, maybe cloning the birds out there, as they appear to crowd the right side of the frame.

As others note, the pastel colors here are really nice
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

autzig
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Bloomington, MN
Contact:

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby autzig » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:23 pm

I thought forum members might be interested in the big picture. This is where I was photographing the gannets in New Foundland.

Image

ctyanky
Moderator
Posts: 2551
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:22 am

Re: Critique Thread #2

Postby ctyanky » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:13 am

Yowzah! Al that is quite a scene! You have been to so many amazing places. You are like National Geographic for the photography forum! I love this picture the best! Thanks for putting it up. :wink:

If anyone hasn't visited Al's website yet, it's certainly worth a look - then you will know what I mean by National Geographic. He is one talented guy :!: :!: :!:



Return to “Vermont Photography Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest