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Critique #16

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:36 pm
by Andy
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:


Re: Critique #16

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:50 am
by deaner1971
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?

Re: Critique #16

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:31 am
by autzig
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 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.


Re: Critique #16

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:42 pm
by Andy
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 :-(.

Re: Critique #16

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:55 am
by deaner1971
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.

Re: Critique #16

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:00 am
by Andy
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.

Re: Critique #16

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:27 am
by Andy
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 :( ):


Re: Critique #16

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:14 am
by deaner1971
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.

Re: Critique #16

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:28 am
by Andy
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.

Re: Critique #16

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:57 pm
by Utah Baker
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.