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Author Topic: Another Crop/no crop question please  (Read 7581 times)
Ben Rubinstein
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« on: April 15, 2006, 05:06:42 PM »
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I've come back to this image from Jokulsaron, Iceland having passed it by initially as when I got home I realised to my utter disbelief that I had not got anything that I was pleased with from this most picturesque of locations.

I've worked the image (still doesn't really 'do' anything for me) but am unsure of whether a crop would do it more justice, I think the right hand side it too empty but I'd be glad to hear of your opinions.

[attachment=438:attachment][attachment=439:attachment]
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 05:14:01 PM by pom » Logged

boku
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2006, 05:10:32 PM »
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I favor the wider (left) image. The added context lends some grandeur to the scene.
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Bob Kulon

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oldcsar
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2006, 05:24:25 PM »
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By comparing the two, I *think* I understand why you cropped out the right side.... it seems to me there's fewer objects there contributing to the scene. My attention drifts to the left 2/3's of the photograph, where the most dramatic part of the sunset takes place within the scenery.

I do agree with boku in that the uncropped version is a notch better. The longer image lends itself better to the landscape I see.

When you encountered this scene, did you try any vertical shots? Using the floating island of ice in the foreground as a focal point, with the most dramatic parts of the sunset above and below it? I'm not presenting this as a "cropped" solution for the photo, I'm curious as to whether you tried approaching the scene from any other directions.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 05:26:49 PM by oldcsar » Logged

Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2006, 05:46:08 PM »
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The picture itself was a crop, I had cropped off some of the left hand side, here it is without the crop done rather hurridly as you can see, any better?

[attachment=440:attachment]
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jdemott
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2006, 06:53:31 PM »
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Well, I'll be the contrarian here.  Of the two, I prefer the cropped version, because I think it more closely focuses the attention on the most interesting part of the scene--the reflections in the water.  The crop I would most prefer, however, would put the top of the frame on the ice field just below the distant mountains and would crop in even more tightly from the sides so that the entire frame was the ice and the water with the reflections.  This may be too extreme for cropping after the fact and might be something better accomplished with a longer lens at the time.

Beautiful shot though, with nice light.
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John DeMott
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006, 08:17:07 PM »
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Still not sure about that pic, that was dawn, this is the sunset that preceded it, I was slightly worried that the colours were so similar, I had to check my settings, but considering the sunset and sunrise were about 2 hours apart in Iceland in June, and the sun set/rose at seemingly the same place, it isn't that strange. Not sure that this one doesn't have more promise overall.

[attachment=442:attachment]
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2006, 09:37:42 PM »
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Have you considered taking dawn 3 and cropping above the lowest cloud reflection?  (Just below the reflection of the small block of ice.)  It is a nice piece of color but I'm not sure it helps the composition.  I think cropping above it would give you a nice flow from the foreground ice through the snow and around to the mountains and back.

I'd also clean up the water.  (A well prepared photographer always brings a pool skimmer.  And a chainsaw.  Just can't trust mother nature to be tidy.)
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larkvi
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2006, 10:01:55 PM »
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Not sure that this one doesn't have more promise overall.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62670\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I do strongly prefer this one.

The first one looks oversharpened to me--is that something in the file, just the jpeg presentation, or just me?
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2006, 11:38:06 PM »
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Not sure that this one doesn't have more promise overall.

I also think that this last one of years is the best of the bunch.  More dramatic ice shapes, just overall better composition (though I'm not sure I could tell you why), and the bright patch of ice in the foreground adds another interesting layer to the composition.

Lisa
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 11:39:19 PM by nniko » Logged

Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2006, 11:01:39 AM »
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Larkvi, if you are referring to the 3rd picture posted, it's not oversharpened, not sharpened at all actually, just a very very quick fjob of combining two exposures to show what it could look like, hence the nasty haloing. The first two don't look oversharpened at all.

Dark penguin, any chance you could show me what you mean? As for clearing up the water, I tried but those big ice cubes were slightly too large for just me on my own!  
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2006, 12:13:52 PM »
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Well I've more or less decided on the last one, the sunset and here it is in its full glory.

Jokulsaron Sunset

Not one of my better efforts and compostionally it should technically not work, but better than nothing I suppose. It was weird shooting there, when I got there I said to my wife that only an idiot couldn't find something to shoot, but I found that the place was so overwhelming, so incredible, that it was actually rather difficult to capture, especially in my style of simplicity and extracting the landscape from the landscape. In fact I found the whole of Iceland rather like that, if you shoot wide landscapes then it's great, if you shoot more with a telephoto than a WA then it is actually quite difficult.

I found Iceland rather fustrating for that reason, it was very hard not to fall into compostional cliches and I only managed 5 pictures including this one that I was happy enough to offer up for sale and a series of fund raising exhibitons planned for a years time.  The others are on my website already,  www.bphotography.co.uk/fineart/fineart.htm
« Last Edit: April 16, 2006, 12:19:22 PM by pom » Logged

jule
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2006, 05:08:38 PM »
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Thanks for this opportunity Pom. I know I have come in a bit lat on this one, but here are my thoughts.
Dawn 1 seems really unbalanced to me with the crop you have chosen. I feel a bit skewed, I think because of the angle of the line of main ice.

Dawn 2 just doesn't work for me and the image feels really cramped. It feels like the image has been cropped.

I actually prefer the composition of Dawn 3 - your original - because the curved line on the left has not been removed, which I think contributes to the expanse and depth of the image. When it is cropped out, the image seems severed somewhat. I personally feel that cropping off the right hand side rather than the left (to remove the bit of ice) works better, to create a more fluid "S" to lead the eye across and to the back of the image. I have included it here just to illustrate my thoughts.
[attachment=457:attachment]

I also agree that some cleaning up of the water may not go astray, but am not competant enough to do that.

Yes agree that I prefer your last image. It has a much crisper, cleaner feel, which is juxtaposed with the ruggedness and power suggested by the darkness in the ice. It has a similar diagonal element  which I was referring to before, a"Z" this time, which leads the eye through the three distinct distance focal areas- close foreground, middle, and distant horizon.

Pom, you mentioned becoming frustrated with photographing some of Iceland because of the overwhelming nature of the geography. What about some really zoomed in shots, rather that the landscape cliches which you mentioned you were trying to avoid? I can see some amazing images with the colour and shapes of the ice and terrain, without having to encompass the whole panorama. I would suggest having a go at going further into 'extracting a landscape from the landscape', by zooming in much more closely.
[attachment=459:attachment]
Just an example of what I mean compositionally from the image you provided, of course it is destroyed by the resultant resolution, but just enough to get the idea. I would zoom even closer than this example even, and still create the feeling of expansiveness by including areas of plain water/reflection/ice.

When is your next visit?  
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2006, 06:54:55 PM »
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I shot a very similar photo to the one you suggest using the long end of my 70-200, problem is it is too 'nothingy' it doesn't stand on its own right, just not dynamic to my eyes. I can't see myself returning to Iceland, We slept for a week in a 4X4 (my wife was just pregnant though we didn't know it yet! our baby is a month old now) eating every now and again and sleeping about 4 hours maximum per 24 while driving the rest mostly off road. Kind of thing you do when you're young and childless. It cost us a fortune as well.

Both of those images were shot at 70mm, my 70-200L sees most of the work for my landscapes and when shooting with 645 my 210mm was my favorite lens. I suppose it is just the way I see the landscape, WA is not something that my brain adapts to for landscape work, I've never shot wider than 28mm (45mm) and that rarely.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2006, 03:20:45 PM »
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Dark penguin, any chance you could show me what you mean? As for clearing up the water, I tried but those big ice cubes were slightly too large for just me on my own! 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62704\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What I was thinking of was more or less what Jule suggested.  (A little more, actually, but I like his crop better.)

I'm pretty sure the El Presidente Margarita I had the other day used more ice than that.  So one should add a blender and appropriate levels of tequilla to your camera bag.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 03:21:16 PM by DarkPenguin » Logged
Loadus
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2006, 10:38:31 AM »
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@pom:

I was tilting my head while looking at your first photo. My thought was that it wasn't as much of a cropping issue as to separating the ice from the sky. That shot was so beautiful, I just had to stick my fingers on it. Sorry about that

Just a tiny tweak on the ice
http://www.kanetti.fi/~loadus/pics/pom_iceland.jpg

It's that smaller ice on the front left that's giving the "framing headache" on this pic. Maybe move it?
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