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Author Topic: Starting To Figure This Landscape Photography Out  (Read 4118 times)
Bro.Luke
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« on: June 30, 2008, 11:05:13 PM »
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Hi,
Sorry I don't post too often anymore. I took a break but have now been "given" a gallery! Can ya believe that!. I'm down Southern Arizona so have the subject matter to fill it but alas not quite the talent...yet...But the past couple days I had some revalations.

If you've been out Sonoran Desert way you are familiar with the sunsets especially at monsoon time. The other night it was WILD! So crazy so cartoony colorful I got exactly ZERO photos as I kept racing from one point to another as the "grass is greener" syndrome hit big time!

Next night didn't have the prospects but I ventured out anyway. I found a nice dwarf forest of chollas and spent an hour just hopping around and while not quite patience enough I was able to get a couple I processed and printed.....not master pieces but nice studies of light.

Tonight I went back to the same place. Found ONE cholla and stayed on it for about 30 minutes taking about 150 bracketed shots. I was rewarded with one nice print which is in every way better than my previous efforts the previous evenings. Still not a master piece but the point is I'm learning patience and the idea I can't go out in one evening and fill a portfolio as much as I'd like to.

I'm also finally staying clear of Tucson and Saguaros which I love! I live farther south Tubac/ Nogales grasslands area. Unlimited photo ops in my backyard! No a dead cholla isn't a blooming saguaro but a dead cholla with sweet light is something nice too....right?

Any critique appreciatted!

Warren
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dalethorn
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 06:53:38 PM »
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Looks like a postcard.  If you get a chance, try one without the big cactus in the center, or maybe big cactus at either end.  Or just try something more subtle.  But when it's subtle, you'll need a lot more than 750 pixels to get a fair critique.
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Bro.Luke
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 08:58:42 PM »
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Looks like a postcard. If you get a chance, try one without the big cactus in the center, or maybe big cactus at either end. Or just try something more subtle. But when it's subtle, you'll need a lot more than 750 pixels to get a fair critique.
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yea the big "ugly" thing is what it's about. On a nice big 13 x 19 print the wierd details pop out.

BTW the "big cactus" is only 2 feet tall!

I'm trying hard to get away from the one bulls eye subject that that image was an example of...but it's hard...What about this one taken a few minutes before. More about the light but I still struggle to capture that feel...

Thanks,

Warren
« Last Edit: July 01, 2008, 10:38:34 PM by Bro.Luke » Logged
dalethorn
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 10:55:52 PM »
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This last one has some good colors - don't know if 'landscape' would be technically correct since printers would call that 'portrait' perspective.  Still a decent pic you could frame.  The modern digital cameras have enough pixels and image modes like 16x9 or at least 3x2, that you can try slight rotations and different crops without losing too much detail in the process.  If I have good lighting and enough detail, I can more often than not take a so-so landscape image and with some slight rotation and selective croppings produce a keeper.  Use your imagination with the raw material and see what you can do.
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Bro.Luke
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2008, 09:08:43 AM »
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This last one has some good colors - don't know if 'landscape' would be technically correct since printers would call that 'portrait' perspective.  Still a decent pic you could frame.  The modern digital cameras have enough pixels and image modes like 16x9 or at least 3x2, that you can try slight rotations and different crops without losing too much detail in the process.  If I have good lighting and enough detail, I can more often than not take a so-so landscape image and with some slight rotation and selective croppings produce a keeper.  Use your imagination with the raw material and see what you can do.
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Thanks,

But you think landscapes must be horizontal frames? Hmmm

Ok cactus portraits...err grass portraits!

Seriuosly I think what I'm learning is if I can't tell my local story what's the point of making the 10,000,000 Grand Canyon stormy sunset image? And I saying this because I'm more drawn to the spectacular and have found myself not taking an exposure if the sunset isn't epic.

That grass image..I was attracted by a different scene and scurried down the hill and at the last second that appeared at my feet..the image I sought was uninspiring.

When I took a class in landscape photography they were always running off to Death Valley or Yosemite or Grand Canyon and I was perhaps left with the impression ; home is boring....

Warren Allen
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dalethorn
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 10:35:25 AM »
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If you look at the LLVJ's, they often display portrait-mode landscapes.  No problem with that.  Your images are your vision, and you're doing OK.  Just have patience and keep experimenting.
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professorgb
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2008, 02:23:28 PM »
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I agree that landscape photography isn't determined by the orientation of the longest image axis.  Landscape has to do with the environment (the "land") being the focus of the image.

As to the two images you've posted, I'll be honest and say that they don't really catch my eye.  The first image, as you've noted yourself, is completely centered.  Centering isn't always a problem, and the rule of thirds doesn't apply to all images.  However, in this case it is difficult to discern the point of the photo.  It isn't artistic so much as documentary.  You've captured the details, but seem not to have an interesting "take" on the scene.  The foreground is very cluttered and distracting, as is the background.  You should return to the same spot and work on isolating the cholla more, either with composition or with depth of field.  As well, you can work on interesting ways of including the immediate environment in the image so that we see the relationship between the cholla and its surroundings.

The second image, while not centered in the same way, also has the problem of lacking depth.  There isn't an interesting foreground element to lead the eye into the frame.  In the frame itself, there isn't any center of interest, so I'm led to the conclusion that the colors are what caught your eye.  Finally, the clouds are completely clipped.  Clouds, especially very white clouds at sunset or sunrise, can be very difficult to capture.  

What I found interesting in this image, and something definitely worth returning for, were the rounded rocks in and among the grass in the foreground.  An image focusing on the grass and stones would be very compelling, IMO.

I'd like to see these new photos once you've shot and processed them.  Consider these first two shots to be scouting shots.  You know a good location and time of day, now go out and find the image.  But, be patient as you work.
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