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Author Topic: Tide's out, mud's in  (Read 1627 times)
walter.sk
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« on: July 27, 2010, 03:03:03 PM »
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Every now and then I go to Iona Island near Bear Mountain on the Hudson.  This wetlands looks different every time.  Taken with an aging Canon 1Dii.



[attachment=23351:IonaIsleMud.jpg]
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OnyimBob
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 07:36:19 PM »
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Hi Walter,
This image is causing me grief because although I really like it something about it is unsettling me and I can't work out what it is! I love lots of things about it. The depth of the view is great - I love the way the scene "layers" into the distance. There's something of interest in the foreground, the middle distance and the far distant - the textures and shades of the vegetation, the contrast with the mud bank. The backlighting all the way back.
There's also an element of mystery created by the immediate foreground, as if you're  peering out from a hiding place. There's all of this  - for me, others no doubt will see something different - but at the same time there's something almost indefinable - a sense maybe of unbalance? The area of mud isn't quite counterbalanced by the grassy area because it is half hidden by the foreground leaves?
Anyway in spite of that it really is an image that draws me in and I like it.
Bob.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2010, 11:19:07 AM »
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Quote from: OnyimBob
Hi Walter,
This image is causing me grief because although I really like it something about it is unsettling me and I can't work out what it is! I love lots of things about it. The depth of the view is great - I love the way the scene "layers" into the distance. There's something of interest in the foreground, the middle distance and the far distant - the textures and shades of the vegetation, the contrast with the mud bank. The backlighting all the way back.
There's also an element of mystery created by the immediate foreground, as if you're  peering out from a hiding place. There's all of this  - for me, others no doubt will see something different - but at the same time there's something almost indefinable - a sense maybe of unbalance? The area of mud isn't quite counterbalanced by the grassy area because it is half hidden by the foreground leaves?
Anyway in spite of that it really is an image that draws me in and I like it.
Bob.
Well,  you got all of the reasons I made the shot.  I'm interested in your difficulty identifying what you find unsettling, and I'm hoping others will respond as well.  The most unsettling thing for me was the cloud of mosquitos that found me while I was setting up for the shot  
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walter.sk
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2010, 11:23:23 AM »
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Actually, I looked again at the picture and found something that could be disurbing.  The eye follows the line back toward the left along the water/mud, but at the same time is drawn to the brighter grass.  I think a different angle that combined the leading lines with the brighter area might actually work better.

I'll just have to go back to Iona Island and get some more shots  

Edited:  I just tried flipping the image horizontally, and it seems to work better in terms of leading the eye.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 11:26:31 AM by walter.sk » Logged
jule
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 05:13:16 PM »
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I wonder Bob if what you find unsettling is in fact not the elements in the image itself, but your imagination placing you physically in the scene and having to climb over the foreground plants (without damaging them)...then trampse through the mud...then navigate through the next reedy/grassy area....into the space where the eye is being led into the background.  

Julie
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OnyimBob
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 03:01:01 AM »
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Quote from: jule
I wonder Bob if what you find unsettling is in fact not the elements in the image itself, but your imagination placing you physically in the scene and having to climb over the foreground plants (without damaging them)...then trampse through the mud...then navigate through the next reedy/grassy area....into the space where the eye is being led into the background.  

Julie
Julie, if you'd seen what I have just been doing (scrambling around in dense scrub looking for illegal rabbit warrens) you'd realise how wrong you are!  
No, I think Walter may have sussed it already.
By the way, are you back from your trip to the Flinders Ranges yet and .....did you get any "nice pictures" - it is a most wonderful place - we were there 18 months ago where I got a couple of the shots on my site.
Check out The Sentimental Bloke blog by Peter MacDonald has some interesting images from the Lake Eyre / Flinders Ranges area. Even for keeping tabs on all the water reaching the inland lake beds, his blog is  good value - not to say his images aren't great, which they are.
Cheers,
Bob.
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jule
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 05:29:16 PM »
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Quote from: OnyimBob
Julie, if you'd seen what I have just been doing (scrambling around in dense scrub looking for illegal rabbit warrens) you'd realise how wrong you are!  
No, I think Walter may have sussed it already.
By the way, are you back from your trip to the Flinders Ranges yet and .....did you get any "nice pictures" - it is a most wonderful place - we were there 18 months ago where I got a couple of the shots on my site.
Check out The Sentimental Bloke blog by Peter MacDonald has some interesting images from the Lake Eyre / Flinders Ranges area. Even for keeping tabs on all the water reaching the inland lake beds, his blog is  good value - not to say his images aren't great, which they are.
Cheers,
Bob.
Hey Bob,   I do know you do a lot of scrambling around the countryside and I was just having a bit of fun. Hope you managed to find those rogue rabbits!

Walter- if I may reply to Bob's question; Yes we are back from the North Flinders ranges. Not sure about any 'nice pictures' because it was more of a 'together escape quick trip' as our son had a serious accident last November which changed all our lives. We could leave him for a couple of weeks so we nabbed the opportunity. The landscape is amazing. We headed south into a big cold storm front which was amazing, and then -4 with ice on the inside of the camper every night. It was wonderful seeing the expanse of the floodwaters from the Queensland rain months ago spreading across the southern part of the country. I am presently working on a little folder of images from our trip so i will let you know when they are done. Thanks for the link to Peter MacDonald's site.

Walter, I had a play and flipped the image, and I didn't find it worked for me. I think the unsettling bit is the horizontal grassy area in the middle which stops the flow of visual elements leading the eye to the back of the image.

Julie
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John R Smith
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 02:27:06 AM »
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Walter

If I may stick my nose in here, but it is purely a personal view and you may well choose to totally disregard it, and if so good for you.

I have been following the comments so far with interest, but no-one has yet mentioned what I see as the real problem with your picture - it is green.

Normally with colour photography we use colour to provide the contrast and to define the form of the image, so many successful colour works are fairly low in contrast and often quite flatly lit, but the colour palette is carefully chosen to provide the eye with information about form and visual dynamics.

What you have done here is to choose a subject which, by its very nature, is defined by luminance, not colour. In fact there is effectively only one colour, green, which is not terribly interesting. The compelling part of the picture is the way light is defining form, detail, and depth. So what you have really done is to take an excellent B/W picture, but render it in colour which does it no favours.

I have tried a simple B/W conversion here at home and it looked pretty good. Just my thoughts.

John
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 02:54:03 AM by John R Smith » Logged

Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
walter.sk
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 11:15:39 AM »
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Quote from: John R Smith
Walter

If I may stick my nose in here, but it is purely a personal view and you may well choose to totally disregard it, and if so good for you.

I have been following the comments so far with interest, but no-one has yet mentioned what I see as the real problem with your picture - it is green.

Normally with colour photography we use colour to provide the contrast and to define the form of the image, so many successful colour works are fairly low in contrast and often quite flatly lit, but the colour palette is carefully chosen to provide the eye with information about form and visual dynamics.

What you have done here is to choose a subject which, by its very nature, is defined by luminance, not colour. In fact there is effectively only one colour, green, which is not terribly interesting. The compelling part of the picture is the way light is defining form, detail, and depth. So what you have really done is to take an excellent B/W picture, but render it in colour which does it no favours.

I have tried a simple B/W conversion here at home and it looked pretty good. Just my thoughts.

John
I had thought of this as B&W, and did a conversion with SilverEfex Pro.  I also used Content Aware Fill to remove the extraneous branch and leaves at the top.  While I don't agree with the various tones in the green as lacking interest (for me it was the variation in tone, in the green per se, which I found appealing) I find that, at least on first attempts, the small detail throughout the image makes the B&W too busy-looking.

[attachment=23411:IonaIsle...rightB_W.jpg]

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walter.sk
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 11:15:58 AM »
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Don't know how this got submitted twice, so I deleted the content.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 11:18:13 AM by walter.sk » Logged
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