Critique #16

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Andy
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Critique #16

Postby Andy » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:36 pm

O.k. Time for another one. I have been "discovering" old images while playing around with Viveza: Here's one I shot in 2009 in Acadia NP:

Image
Andy

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


deaner1971
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Re: Critique #16

Postby deaner1971 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:50 am

I am torn. I feel perhaps it is a bit short on a central theme and a bit narrow on the color scale but I also find it extremely technically well-done.

I think that lone bright leaf was screaming for a close-up shot (sorry if I just evoked Sunset Boulevard for anyone). I also find myself thinking some saturation might help (but you really are making the most of a limited range of colors in this shot so not sure that it would help).

I can see this being more of a shot in a photo book next to an explanation of why you use longer shutter speeds for water.

What do you think it might look like as a high contrast B&W image?

autzig
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Re: Critique #16

Postby autzig » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:31 am

I'm not going to be as generous as Dean. My eye is drawn to the brightest area of the photo but when I look there, I feel cheated. I want to see more of where this water is coming from. If I can force my eyes away from the white water, I can see some interesting rocks with leaves on them, but my eyes keep moving to the upper right corner. I can't help it.

That leaf that Dean likes: I bet you put it there, didn't you? My experience is that leaves tend to land face side down and they usually don't look very good...like the other leaves on the rock. Now there is nothing wrong with using props, but for me, it looks like a prop, and not something nature put there.

Sorry Andy, but I just don't like this one very much.

Al

abby
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Re: Critique #16

Postby abby » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:29 pm

My thoughts were on the same line as Al's. My initial thought was I need to see more. I'd like to see this taken from a different perspective, standing further down the river in the water, if that were possible.
You have some "intimate" water shots in your gallery that are superior to this one. Thank you for posting this image as it has allowed me to think about composition.
Carol

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Re: Critique #16

Postby Andy » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:42 pm

Al: No, I didn't place the leaf. Mother Nature did that.

Dean: I think you are probably right. The image here was ptobably that leaf in a more "intimate" perspective.

I looked at the "source" of the white water and ther just wasn't a viable shot at that spot. There was no place to shoot from a different perspective as there was so much brush and tree branches everywhere and I didn't have appropriate footwear to get right into the brook.

I don't think B&W would improve it :-(.
Andy

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

deaner1971
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Re: Critique #16

Postby deaner1971 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:55 am

I had one of those lone "rightside up" leaves in one of my shots from VT.


I put it there... :oops:


Thanks for sharing one you knew was flawed. Frees me up to post some of mine that I know have issues.

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Re: Critique #16

Postby abby » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:53 am

Thanks Andy. I had a feeling that this was probably the only vantage point that was physically possible to shoot this one from.
Carol

Andy
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Re: Critique #16

Postby Andy » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:00 am

Well, I am pretty offended that Al would suggest that I might manipulate a photo :shock: Seriously, though, I agree with his comment. Props can work, but you have to be really careful about them. It is tough, in my view, for them not to look "contrived." In the context of my image, it obviously looked "contrived" to Al, even though it occurred naturally. So its got to be much more difficult to get it right when you place it.

Having said that, I don't have any problem with it. I remember my first mentor, Professor Knox, at Vermont Technical College telling me a story about putting some flowers in the foreground of an image in order to give it some interest and having the image published. I think the real question is: is the prop "believable?"

Given some of the things I have seen in nature, a lot more is believable that you might think at first. But placing a leaf, in my view, is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Andy

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

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Re: Critique #16

Postby Andy » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:27 am

After licking my wounds and reconsidering :mrgreen: , I tried a crop of the image. While it probably addresses some of the concerns about wanting to see more of the whitewater and its source, I am not sure it really salvages the image as a more intimate shot.

The leaf is definitely as nature placed it, but if it does really have a contrived look, other viewers besides Al will probably think so, too.

I am remembering, as I post this -- as I did when I posted the original, my 2 basic thoughts about this critique area:

1. I post images I am ambiguous about in hopes of getting some good, constructive comment and

2. I hope this will continue to be a learning experience for all who participate (unfortunately a very small group :( ):

Image
Andy

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

deaner1971
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Re: Critique #16

Postby deaner1971 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:14 am

Yeah, I agree that it still doesn't quite get there. However, it also disproves, in my opinion, the idea that a more intimate perspective was the right answer.

Even when attempting to gain greater focus on the leaf, I feel that the eye is still pulled to the rocks above and to the right because of the lighter portions of their surface.

I think it was a cool place to see in person but there just might not have been a picture in it on that particular day.

Enjoyable exercise however in looking at it in two perspectives.

Andy
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Re: Critique #16

Postby Andy » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:28 am

Thanks, Dean. I do think there was an image in there, somewhere. I just didn't do a very good job of finding it :( .

James Moore, a pro/teacher I admire and respect, says that you need to "compose" the image on the scene, in the viewfinder and see all those little details, like subject, frame edges, how things geometrically relate, what detracts and what adds, and on and on. I am reminded by that, and by this image, how important it is to (1) have a strong subject and compose it before tripping the shutter, and (2) SLOW DOWN and think about what you are doing in a more contemplative way (I always here guys saying their composition skills improved when they started shooting view cameras, because everything is slower and because one sheet of film is sooooooo expensive.
Andy

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

mmvt
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Re: Critique #16

Postby mmvt » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:15 pm

I like the second image more than the first and wonder how it would look cropped even tighter - i.e. so the "leaf" is central and surrounded (naturally) by just the one rock.
Last Fall when I was sharing Kent Pond photo op with the Leica Camera group touring VT, they were doing all kinds of things with throwing leaves into a nearby stream and capturing the whirlpool effect. Some of the images were very cool!
Andy, thanks for sharing all of these images with us and everyone else for the comments - it's a great way to learn!

Utah Baker
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Re: Critique #16

Postby Utah Baker » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:57 pm

I like Mmvt's idea of tightening the shot to just the leaf and the rock, with the focal point being the leaf. Thanks to all I'm learning much.



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