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Author Topic: Reflection shots. Opinions?  (Read 7975 times)
rgs
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« on: September 08, 2007, 02:15:19 PM »
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Here's a couple of shots. Tell me what you think.

1. Quanah Parker Lake, Wichita Mountains NWR, SW Oklahoma
[attachment=3202:attachment]


2. Mountain Fork River, Beavers Bend SP, SE Oklahoma
[attachment=3203:attachment]


RGS
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theophilus
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2007, 08:05:29 PM »
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For #1 I try to back up or use a bit wider focal length to get a 1:1 reflection.

For #2 I like the composition but your white balance is off.  The rock is too green.  A better white balance will make the rock pop a bit.

I've camped in the Wichita Mountains before, I like the bouldering.
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rgs
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2007, 10:15:27 PM »
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The Wichitas are a very special place. The rocks there are full of interesting shapes and colors. I've spent a lot of time there and always enjoy it. There's only one camping area now. The refuge staff has been trying to discourage camping to make it better for the wildlife.

Both of these are film shots (Velvia) so white balance would be a software adjustment. Those greens at Beaver's Bend are really vibrant. I might isolate that rock and adjust it a bit. Thanks.

RGS
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« Last Edit: September 08, 2007, 10:17:34 PM by rgs » Logged

framah
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2007, 12:04:13 PM »
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Not impressed.
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framah
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2007, 12:12:26 PM »
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Here's my idea of a reflection shot.


« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 12:13:21 PM by framah » Logged

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rgs
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 03:21:47 PM »
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Not impressed.
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Nor am I with yours. But since you seem to have nothing constructive to say, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree  

RGS
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framah
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2007, 01:07:50 PM »
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You asked to tell you what I think. I did. I went to your website and looked at your stuff. What I saw there is what I see in these shots also.

I feel you need to really look at your subjects and ask yourself what is it that I'm trying to express with my photos. If you are just trying to  take a picture, you have it. If you are trying to do more than that, you are falling short. Alot of the images on your site are either too contrasty or too flat and/or too busy to really focus on the real meaning of why you took the shot.  I'm sure alot has to do with the ability to see the forest for the trees so to speak.  You seem to get excited about something in your viewfinder but then fail to REALLY look at all that is in the vf and see the extra junk in there.

You are seeing something but it is lost in the jumble of the image you took.

That is my constructive criticism for you.
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rgs
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2007, 08:46:56 AM »
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I should not have responded to your first post. The negative and condescending tone of this second one confirms for me that no constructive conversation is possible.  I'm finished. In my experience, there is nothing to be gained by further discussion.

RGS
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markhout
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 09:10:00 AM »
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RGS - The comment theophilus provided was pretty much on the mark. You may want to give it a shot by posting at fredmiranda.com or perhaps flickr.com. This forum doesn't seem to be as inviting to requests for help and comments.

Mark
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 10:36:33 AM »
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If you don't want people's honest opinion and constructive criticisms, don't post images here. Post at Fredmiranda or photoSIG, and you'll have plenty of admiring comments no matter how crappy your photos are (not that I'm saying your images are crappy, I can't even see them). This forum is a bit different in that people who actually make their living as photographic artists (as well as many others who have a decent amount of artistic vision) will give constructive feedbact that in general will improve your images. It's not as ego-gratifying as the "AwEsOmE ShOTT!" drivel you'll get from some of the other sites, but you're far more likely to improve yourself here if you can set your pride and ego aside when you walk in the door.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 11:45:53 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

rgs
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2007, 11:22:36 AM »
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And that's exactly what has attracted me to this forum. The others are exactly what you describe and I very much value the frankness here. As already mentioned by markout, Theophilus' assessment was very good and I have no objection.

My complaint was with Framah's first response was that it was nothing more than a negative comment with no substance. I should not have responded.

I am not offended by the seriousness of this forum; I just think strong comments should be backed by substance.  

I'm sorry to have caused such a stir. I really do want to move on.

FWIW, I have always enjoyed the light and the rocks in the first image but not much else. I think it needs balance that is missing. I always thought it just didn't quite hit the mark. The second is better but I would not consider it among my best. It's an average shot of a really nice place.

Framah's comment with regard to my web galleries, in spite of my objection to the tone, is quite on point. My Alaska galleries need editing. I just returned from Alaska in July. I lived in Fairbanks years ago but have not returned for 35 years so this trip was a treat for me.

It was my first trip with a digital SLR (after many years of film) and I have about 1500 images (all RAW) to edit and learn to process. As I'm sure many of you know, digital and film are quite different so I am re-learning much. I will soon replace those galleries with ones that are better organized and edited.

I appreciate this forum a great deal.

RGS
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 11:46:52 AM »
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I looked at your web site, and I can kinda see Framah's point. A lot of your shots look like you went out and shot some cool stuff, but didn't really have anything in particular in mind when you shot and post-processed them. For example, image 562 in your Wichita gallery. You have a pile of rocks, a live tree, and an arched dead tree, which are kind of all jumbled together. I'd have narrowed my focus to the dead tree, framed approximately 4:5 vertical, and hunted for a perspective to use the dead wood as a frame or border around one of the rocks behind it, preferably excluding the totally bland and featureless sky from the composition altogether. Overall, the image has a flat/bland look that really doesn't engage me, and the jumbled composition doesn't help.

8158OO35: You have a nice tree and a nice background, but you chopped part of the tree off on the right side of the frame, there's nothing of interest in the sky, and the look of the whole thing is kind of flat and bland color-wise. If I was shooting there, I'd shoot just a bit wider to give the tree some space all the way around it, and try to at least be there when there were some clouds or something the sky, if shooting at sunrise or sunset would be too cliched. Another thing I'd strongly consider (given the overall lack of interesting color in the image) is a B&W treatment. If color doesn't really add anything to the image, try removing it entirely and see if you can get anything interesting that way.

8159OO34: (the first image you attached in this thread?) Not bad compositionally, but this shot would benefit from more exposure to bring out more shadow detail; you're in no danger of clipping the highlights, so it wouldn't hurt anything. HDR blending would most likely be helpful here, as long as used in moderation. overall impression is dark and flat, not very enagaing or inviting.

Recommendations:
1: Work on your composition. There's a difference between an interesting subject and an interesting image. Sometimes you can make interesting images from uninteresting subjects, and vice versa.

2: Lighting. A lot of your images have a flat look like you shot around noon on an overcast day. The flat look works harmoniously with an image sometimes, but more often it does not. If you find a good spot, don't be afraid to go back at different times of day and during different weather conditions to find a really good image.

3: Color. Many of your images have very flat, muted color. This is to be expected if shooting foggy/misty scenes, but in clear weather you could bump the saturation up a lot without being particularly unrealistic. Consider it.

Anyway, that's my honest opinion and constructive criticism of your work, worth exactly what you paid for it. Feel free to ignore it if you like.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 01:24:26 PM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

framah
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 11:52:16 AM »
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Always glad to help those who want to listen to opinions they are willing to actually hear.  Sorry that I didn't give you the pat on the back you were looking for. Of course,  these are my opinions... which you asked for and so you can do what you will with them. Whether you stomp off  and sulk or take a look at your work and  try to understand what I'm saying is entirely up to you. But remember, don't ask for opinions if you aren't prepared to hear an unfavorable repsonse.
 What I said here is mild compared to what I heard from my teachers when I was starting out.
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 12:00:26 PM »
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Richard,

The first reply from Framah was offhand, I agree - but the second one seems to me to have been fairly carefully thought out. Galling perhaps - but you did ask.

Composition and an eye for a subject are (IMO) the hardest part of achieving your own style - but well worth the effort when you get there (I hope - I'm still on the journey).

A rhino's hide is a good accessory, as is a card frame to divorce the mechanics of the camera from previsualisation.

(And people wonder why most women stay away from here - sheesh!)
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rgs
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 12:40:24 PM »
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8158OO35: You have a nice tree and a nice background, but you chopped part of the tree off on the right side of the frame, there's nothing of interest in the sky, and the look of the whole thing is kind of flat and bland color-wise. If I was shooting there, I'd shoot just a bit wider to give the tree some space all the way around it, and try to at least be there when there were some clouds or something the sky, if shooting at sunrise or sunset would be too cliched. Another thing I'd strongly consider (given the overall lack of interesting color in the image) is a B&W treatment. If color doesn't really add anything to the image, try removing it entirely and see if you can get anything interesting that way.


Thanks for your comments! I was on a very narrow ledge with as wide a lens as I have. There was once a very cool old juniper growing on that ledge and I have a nice 4x5 black and white of it (plus a shot of me, the camera, and the tripod nearly over the edge taken by a friend). Unfortunately someone kicked the tree into the water shortly after I made that one. Years later I found this new tree growing in the same spot but it is not the equal of the earlier shot. Your comments are accurate and I do like the location better than the photograph. I will go back sometime and try again.

Quote
8159OO34: (the first image you attached in this thread?) Not bad compositionally, but this shot would benefit from more exposure to bring out more shadow detail; you're in no danger of clipping the highlights, so it wouldn't hurt anything. HDR blending would most likely be helpful her, as long as used in moderation. overall impression is dark and flat, not very enagaing or inviting.


Unfortunately this is a film shot from a few years ago and I don't think HDR is possible. I may have a lighter bracket of it to blend in PS which is something I'm working on with some other images. My wife sometimes says the same things about those moody sunset/silhouette kind of shots. I think here I see large forms and light and others want detail. I'll rethink some of that. It may also be that the nature of the technology today makes that kind of shot no longer seem necessary. In this case, the shadows are probably more interesting than what's actually there.

Quote
2: Lighting. A lot of your images have a flat look like you shot around noon on an overcast day. The flat look works harmoniously with an image sometimes, but more often it does not. If you find a good spot, don't be afraid to go back at different times of day and during different weather conditions to find a really good image.
 

Is this directed at primarily the Alaskan images? We had a lot of rainy weather and it was not always possible to return at a better time. More importantly, I am just learning digital exposure which seems very different than film. I am now getting many of those to open up nicely and I am learning the "expose to the right" routine which seems like the Zone System, with which I am very familiar, for the digital age. Maybe I should go back  

Thanks for your critique and your time. I appreciate it very much.  

RGS
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2007, 01:33:35 PM »
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Is this directed at primarily the Alaskan images? We had a lot of rainy weather and it was not always possible to return at a better time. More importantly, I am just learning digital exposure which seems very different than film. I am now getting many of those to open up nicely and I am learning the "expose to the right" routine which seems like the Zone System, with which I am very familiar, for the digital age. Maybe I should go back

It's also true of many non-sunset images in the Wichita gallery. I'm not a huge fan of hyper-saturation, but most of your images are toward the desaturated end of the spectrum.

http://www.visual-vacations.com/Photograph..._strategies.htm
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 01:48:43 PM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

rgs
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2007, 04:28:49 PM »
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That's interesting. Someone else (on this forum, I think) thought most of the Oklahoma stuff was too saturated. After looking at the Wichita forum (on my laptop which is not the most accurate display), I'm inclined to agree with you. Those are all film, mostly 6x7 Velvia and the chromes really sparkle. I think the loss of saturation is either in scanning (I have cheaper flatbed that does a poor job on film) or in PS (still much to learn). I am replacing those scans as I can but 6x7 scans are expensive and a 6x7 film scanner is worse.

All of my new film is being scanned as it is processed and I'm getting better results with it. I need a better scanner but...

Thanks, again, and thanks for the link. I have just looked it over but will study it in depth this evening.

RGS
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 04:30:02 PM by rgs » Logged

ed j
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2007, 07:08:20 AM »
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And that's exactly what has attracted me to this forum. The others are exactly what you describe and I very much value the frankness here. As already mentioned by markout, Theophilus' assessment was very good and I have no objection.

My complaint was with Framah's first response was that it was nothing more than a negative comment with no substance. I should not have responded.

I am not offended by the seriousness of this forum; I just think strong comments should be backed by substance. 

I'm sorry to have caused such a stir. I really do want to move on.

FWIW, I have always enjoyed the light and the rocks in the first image but not much else. I think it needs balance that is missing. I always thought it just didn't quite hit the mark. The second is better but I would not consider it among my best. It's an average shot of a really nice place.

Framah's comment with regard to my web galleries, in spite of my objection to the tone, is quite on point. My Alaska galleries need editing. I just returned from Alaska in July. I lived in Fairbanks years ago but have not returned for 35 years so this trip was a treat for me.

It was my first trip with a digital SLR (after many years of film) and I have about 1500 images (all RAW) to edit and learn to process. As I'm sure many of you know, digital and film are quite different so I am re-learning much. I will soon replace those galleries with ones that are better organized and edited.

I appreciate this forum a great deal.

RGS
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=138649\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My policy on saying  "not imppressed" is u better back it up with why u'r not impressed. to easy and low just to say " not impressed" plese always give your reasons. and ways u think it might improve the photo.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2007, 07:43:34 AM »
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There is an Users Critique forum, and you are well aware of it. Why not post there instead?

Quote
Here's a couple of shots. Tell me what you think.

1. Quanah Parker Lake, Wichita Mountains NWR, SW Oklahoma
[attachment=3202:attachment]
2. Mountain Fork River, Beavers Bend SP, SE Oklahoma
[attachment=3203:attachment]
RGS
www.myrsphoto.com
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Chris_T
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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2007, 07:49:39 AM »
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A rhino's hide is a good accessory, as is a card frame to divorce the mechanics of the camera from previsualisation.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=138665\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not sure if you are suggesting to carry a "rhino's hide" in a camera bag, or where to get it. (Oh no, now in addition to sharks being hunted for their fins, rhinos are hunted by the photogs for their hides!)

But for those who want to receive honest feedbacks, a thick skin like a "rhino's hide" is exactly what they need.
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