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Author Topic: Badwater  (Read 4995 times)
Nat Coalson
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« on: May 14, 2008, 10:16:04 AM »
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Some buddies and I visited Death Valley for the first time in March 2008. This photograph was made at sunset at Badwater. Canon 30D, Tamron 18-200 XR Di II. C&C always appreciated.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 10:41:34 AM »
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The clouds are interesting, but I'd also consider cropping it right at the horizon line.  Makes it look like the salt pan goes on forever...

Mike.
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raptorsys
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 10:24:14 AM »
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I like the salt and I like the sky, what I don't like is the ballance of the shot.  As the previous poster indicated, cropping to the horizon may have been better but for me I think more sky would have given better ballance.  I don't know that the 'rule of thirds' is exactly the ratio I'd look for here but it woudl likely have been more ballance if composed with about 1/3 sky.  If the sky was uninteresting then cropping to the horizon would make sense but since the sky has some nice drama to it I'd opt for more of it...


Brian
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francois
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 10:32:44 AM »
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Nat,
I feel like the ratio between the sky and the rest is not right. When I'm looking at your photo, I almost never see the sky, my eyes stay "glued" to the salty surface. The sky is interesting with clouds and nice colors, but it doesn't exist for me.

I spent maybe 10-15 minutes watching your image and I agree with wolfnowl and raptorsys, I would either eliminate the sky or make it more present (hard to do without reshooting the scene).

But don't get me wrong, I like your photo a lot.
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Francois
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 11:09:25 AM »
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I'm going to be a contrarian regarding the sky/salt issue. I've shot this location several times and the salt formations themselves are really the subject here. While with the right clouds you might be able to locate the division between the salt plain and the sky in various places, a composition something like this often works pretty well.

One of the hardest things about shooting this subject is that the supposedly white salt is generally illuminated mostly by the very blue sky - and the salt ends up being very, very blue. You have handled this in an interesting way. You really haven't suppressed the blue all that much but you have increased - or so it seems - the contrast between the dark areas and the raised ridges of salt. I think that works OK.

Regarding the "goes on forever"  concept... I can understand that interest, but the other perspective, and one that makes sense to me having been there, is more of a "goes on for vast distances to the far mountains" is perhaps better shown by including the distant features. Removing them would turn this into something pretty unremarkable, unless you are a geologist... :-)

Take care,

Dan

(I've posted one of mine here.)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 10:17:29 AM by gdanmitchell » Logged

G Dan Mitchell
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 11:45:45 AM »
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I would whack the top of the image to just under the bright cloud in the upper left.  You could also crop to just below the bank of clouds.  Seems to allow the salt patterns to pull you to the hills.  I wouldn't crop any more because it is kind of nice to have a destination.  Otherwise you're looking at the point of view of a dead man.
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Bradley Proctor
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 10:36:29 PM »
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I'd crop all the talk about cropping and call it a great shot.  I think it's fantastic just the way it is.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 10:22:25 AM »
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Thanks for all the comments and suggestions; that's why I posted this one... .I have others with more sky, horizontal orientation etc. but wanted opinions on this one. Everyone's comments were well-thought-out and I very much appreciate it!
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Plekto
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 02:19:12 PM »
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Perfect as it is.

I like non-conformist shots myself, and yes, the salt does go on for nearly forever.  It's a crazy alien place.  If you're standing out in the middle of it all, it's large enough to make you feel like you are the only person there.  

Lovely blue hue as well.
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Roman Racela
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2010, 02:08:47 PM »
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Very nice capture. I went there in February of this year and the Badwater area was flooded so I went closer to the Devil's Golf Course to shoot Telescope Peak with the salt flats in the foreground. The salt patterns near Devil's Golf Course are gnarly looking and not geometrically nice like the one you took, but they did make the capture look interesting. I have to go back there to get the nicer salt patterns. I was there alone at 5am waiting for the sunrise. Here's what I got.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 02:41:18 PM by Roman Racela » Logged
thomasfolkeandersen
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 05:28:02 AM »
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I don't mind the pushed-up-high horizon line at all, in fact I like it. Like someone already pointed out the salt plains are the subject here.

However I do think the particular cloud formation is not really working with the image (although the light in the clouds is beautiful), it just doesn't seem 'calm' somehow and doesn't quite rhyme with the rest of the image. I agree with the suggestion to perhaps crop right under the main bank of clouds. I like the look of that better.

Another small nit pick about composition is that I would like for the salt 'line' on the right to not have been cut off on the right about 1/3 and a bit up from the bottom.

All in all an absolutely wonderful image from an amazing loction. Well done!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 05:29:36 AM by thomasfolkeandersen » Logged

Thomas from Photography24seven.com

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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2010, 08:30:10 AM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
I would whack the top of the image to just under the bright cloud in the upper left.  You could also crop to just below the bank of clouds.  Seems to allow the salt patterns to pull you to the hills.  I wouldn't crop any more because it is kind of nice to have a destination.  Otherwise you're looking at the point of view of a dead man.


I agree with Dark Penguin. And also, as someone who hails from the California Deserts originally, the endless and God-forsaken terrain is the story there---and so they should properly dominate to show the effect.

I think "the point of view of a dead man" analogy is perfect, and I also love the way the small aspect of revealing a beautiful and radient sky far ahead acts as a beacon of hope in an otherwise desolate terrain.

Well done!

Jack


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