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Author Topic: Morning Frost at The Castle Mount Buffalo  (Read 3950 times)
Josh-H
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« on: June 06, 2009, 05:11:39 AM »
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I shot this yesterday morning at dawn at an area called the Castle at Mount Buffalo - about an hours steep uphill hike from the Cathedral car park. Which in the dark and cold (-6 celsius) was not easy - but I think worth it, The first snows of the season have not yet arrived. Nevertheless I like the hoar frost and reflection of the Castle in the water.

Canon EOS 1DSMK3 w/ 24mm F1.4L MKII - F11 w/ 3 Stpp Soft ND Grad - PP LR2.3

[attachment=14358:_74X67552009.jpg]

Comments and thoughts welcome.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 05:14:56 AM by Josh-H » Logged

bobtowery
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 11:14:12 AM »
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My eye keeps getting drawn to the big granite boulder, which doesn't have much personality or appeal.  What do you think of the image cropped like this?



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JeffKohn
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2009, 11:40:44 AM »
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I don't mind the boulder at all, in fact I think it adds a counterweight to the cliffs, balancing the composition. I think you could tighten the crop up on the top and left; bringing the cliffs a little further towards that corners would strengthen the lines of the composition and make the image a little less static. Otherwise I really like the shot. The hoar frost and subdued colors work well to portray a crisp, cold morning.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 04:11:37 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
I don't mind the boulder at all, in fact I think it adds a counterweight to the cliffs, balancing the composition. I think you could tighten the crop up on the top and left; bringing the cliffs a little further towards that corners would strengthen the lines of the composition and make the image a little less static. Otherwise I really like the shot. The hoar frost and subdued colors work well to portray a crisp, cold morning.

Lovely photo! My approach would be to crop the top a bit to remove some of the uninteresting sky. Then, I would use curves or some other tool in Photoshop to make the frost lighter - frost is not gray!

Did you do any close ups? I can't help but think that the frost would have presented some great close-in opportunities!

Thanks,

Peter
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Peter
"Photographic technique is a means to an end, never the end itself."
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dalethorn
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 04:23:20 PM »
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For me, the original was a wow!  Very different and interesting objects in the frame, good texttures and colors, and all worked together.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 05:30:21 PM »
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Thank you all for the comments and kind words.

I have tried a tighter crop - but I personally felt that it placed to much emphasis on the boulders on the left - making them overly dominate the frame. To my eye the subject needs some space and air around it. But Its a personal aesthetic judgement.

Point noted on the frost - and have done some curves tweaks to brighten it right up. Thanks - sometimes an image just needs another set of eyes to point something like that out.

I did shoot some more close-ups and some verticals - hopefully I get a chance to process those later today.
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Bill Caulfeild-Browne
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 08:40:18 PM »
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I think it is a wonderful picture - the reflection is just a lovely accent.
Leave it alone!
Bill
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 11:08:22 PM »
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Hi Josh:

My first thought was that the foreground is lovely - great textures, subtle colours, that little pool of water to provide a focus point, and the boulder to the left for balance, but about mid-frame it's as if someone sandwiched in another image showing the bushes and the background, and all of a sudden it's completely monochrome browns.  Even the sky is flat blue, with nothing of interest.  Not sure there's much to do to correct it, other than shooting only the foreground from a higher angle.

Mike.
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Phil Corley
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2009, 05:01:14 AM »
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Personally I like it. The boulder is in the right place as it provides depth to the image and as already mentioned it balances the image and starts the lead-in towards the castle. Maybe the right side of the frame is a little empty, but without being in location it is hard to see how to improve the composition

If we could be perfect, I would have added a solitary cloud in the top-left space of the sky, providing 3 key balance points; but we can't control the weather yet (that is for the Nikon D90012X3     )

Great shot

Phil
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walter.sk
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2009, 08:44:45 AM »
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Quote from: Josh-H
I shot this yesterday morning at dawn at an area called the Castle at Mount Buffalo - about an hours steep uphill hike from the Cathedral car park. Which in the dark and cold (-6 celsius) was not easy - but I think worth it, The first snows of the season have not yet arrived. Nevertheless I like the hoar frost and reflection of the Castle in the water.

Comments and thoughts welcome.
Hi, Josh.  I looked at your image for a while.  It's of a scene that many of us look for, with a great foreground balancing something in the distance.  After a bit, I came up with some ideas about the image.  In the first I've added arrows to point out that my eye is brought to one spot by 1) the convergence of the 2 paths of the water, 2) the slopes of the two hillsides, with the top of the boulder accenting that convergence, and 3) that that is also the apparently brightest spot in the image.  All of that draws my eye there, making the right side of the image seem less important.  The reflection of the rocky ledge in the water is almost unnoticed.  [attachment=14380:Needs_Cr...67552009.jpg]

If I crop in the following way, we focus on the convergences in the image.  But I don't think that is the picture you wanted:
[attachment=14381:Focus_On...67552009.jpg]

Because the ridge on the right is the color interest, echoed by the reflection, I eliminated the attraction of the left side of your image by cropping at the boulder, shortening the foreground, and raising the ridge by cropping some sky out.  The arrows show how my eye is now led.  I would subtly increase the saturation of the ridge & its reflection, and dodge the foreground between the boulder, the reflection and the ridge.  I would also very slightly burn in the upper left to help lead the eye to the areas you consider important.
[attachment=14382:Focus_On...67552009.jpg]

I don't often make such suggestions in the forum because these are such subjective issues, and it is your photograph.  But had I composed the scene in the viewfinder, these are the things that would have (hopefully) occurred to me.

As it is, my crop is still not the way I would have composed this shot, and I am in no way saying that it is definitive, much less better, than what you captured.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 05:30:24 PM by walter.sk » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2009, 05:08:49 PM »
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Interesting analysis.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 10:01:37 PM »
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Thanks again for all the comments, analysis and kind words - its really interesting to hear the thought process of how other photographers would deal with this - particularly the cropping.

In the ideal world I would have put an interesting cloud in the sky on the left to balance the blue sky - but that just wasnt the way nature painted it. And I personally draw the line in the sand at adding in cloud elements that weren't there - even though I know how to do it in photoshop.

In relation to the crop - I now have 3 different crops that I quite like - each for its own merits. Having showed the image to quite a few people now its interesting that non photographers seem to prefer the image uncropped - as shot as above. But I think I prefer walter.sk's final crop more as it balances the focal points more to my eye.

I will make some prints later today/tonight and sit them on the easel for a few days and see which I finally prefer I think.
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Phil Corley
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2009, 03:25:40 PM »
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Quote
In the ideal world I would have put an interesting cloud in the sky on the left to balance the blue sky - but that just wasnt the way nature painted it. And I personally draw the line in the sand at adding in cloud elements that weren't there - even though I know how to do it in photoshop

Ah, I didn't mean add one in via Photoshop; I meant if I could control the weather I would have added one in    

I am with you; I don't add anything to an image afterwards.

Phil
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