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Author Topic: Moonrise  (Read 3203 times)
jeremypayne
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« on: October 24, 2010, 05:30:53 PM »
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Saturday evening ... nice light as the sun set and the moon rose full.

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2010, 07:13:51 PM »
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Nicely done!  I like the 3rd best for the composition and the soft warm tone...

Mike.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 02:35:02 AM »
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I like the first, but believe it would be stronger with a little bit cropped off from the bottom:
The upper part of the trees has most contrast against the sky, while the reflections of them
have more contrast against the sky at their bottom. Cropping off the upper part of the reflected trees
(the bottom of the image) would save the best from both, the trees and their reflections.

I personally feel it that the reflection does not necessarily need to be "complete" to be strong.

On the other hand - the second image, which shows only the reflections is beautifully detailed,
though a bit cluttered with the stuff on the water surface.

Maybe one would need to see a big print of the first image to judge better.
I'd also change the toning a bit, especially midtone contrast.

But I suspect, that the web presentation of this image doesn't really work, most likely as opposed to a bigger print, because of all the detail.
So - this critique probably is not at all valid against a print.

The third image is a beautiful minimalistic shot. I like it.
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RSL
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 10:32:35 AM »
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Ah, yes... The croppers strike again.

Jeremy, As Mike said not long ago, everybody gets to have his own opinion. In my NSHO both B&W's are good and #1 is stunning. Great job on the mid-tones. I'm not that thrilled about #3, mainly because of the color, but then, when I do B&W I always make everything as neutral as possible. Don't you dare crop the near edge of that pond in #1. It's essential to the composition. Not long ago there were complaints because I chopped off the feet of a hobo. Chopping off those grasses would be far worse than chopping off feet.

My only beef with #2 is the OOF grasses in the foreground. I tried to download the image and get Bridge to tell me what aperture you used, but that didn't work. I know a lot of people have been scared away from using small apertures by an overemphasis on loss of sharpness through diffraction. Fact is, that kind of loss is easily recoverable with Photoshop, or, even more easily with Nik's Sharpener Pro. The other problem with a small hole is a slow shutter speed, but it seems to me we once had a side-discussion about tripods. I'd be willing to bet you were shooting off a tripod, so shutter speed shouldn't have been an issue unless the wind was blowing. But from the look of the water I'd be willing to bet the wind was calm.

I'm not a landscape fan, but these, and a lot of the ones Timo Löfgren posts are exceptions.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 11:34:30 AM »
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Oh yeah the croppers ... our cheap weapon is surprise ....

The punishment and excercise for RSL will be to take his favorite most beautiful 10 images and crop them with the honest intent to improve them.  Wink

Concerning #1 I don't see the bottom grass line as the graphical boundary of the image. Sure - symmetry has its value, but for me in this special case the lower part of the reflection doesn't add to the image. Its a repetition of what can be seen above cluttered with some junk on the water. To me the graphical boundary is below the light band of the reflected sky. I'd crop somewhere below it and include a part of the darker grey zone below about as tall as the lighter band on the right side of the image. Of course this is subjective and not a proven academic concept of croppage. And the disclaimer concerning a reduced web version still remains.

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RSL
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 12:28:27 PM »
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Chris,

(1) There's absolutely no way anyone could improve any of my best images with cropping or with any other manipulation. Now, there are two ways you can take that. Take your pick. Grin

(2) Repetition is a powerful compositional element. Finding good repetition is a rare thing. Unless my eyes deceive me that "junk" on the water is leaves.

(3) You're right on about the degradation in a web image. It's really impossible to judge the quality of an image like these three from Jeremy with anything less than an 11 x 14 well-printed print. But I think you can make at least an off-the-cuff determination about tonal distribution, which looks good to me.

(4) I was never aware that there's an "academic concept of croppage." Where can I read about this?
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 03:28:34 PM »
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Glad I could contribute to ongoing discussion on the philosophy of cropping!  There is some back story I can share that may shed some additional light ...

Normally, I shoot my verticals with a 4x5 aspect ratio in mind.  (In general, I find 3x2 to work well horizontally, but I find it too "tall" for my vertical compositions.)

All three of these images were shot with the intention of making a 4x5 crop .... BUT ... as I was working on the 3rd image -  - I realized that the full frame was a better composition than the crop I had intended.  The other two were heading for the bin until I un-did the 4x5 crop on them as well ... and I had a new found appreciation for them.

Couple other comments ...

Image #3 is actually a color image ... not a toned B&W.  That's the orange glow of the full harvest moon reflecting on the pond.  I used a Daylight WB and a Kodachrome inspired camera profile that I made myself.
 
The OOF grass in the foreground is a bit of a signature element ... some people hate it ... but I can't help it.  I was shooting at F14.

Later when I get home, I will repost the full-reflection shot (#2) in color ... I'm on the fence about whether to pursue it as a monochrome or color.

Thanks, all!
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 04:36:39 PM »
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Glad I could contribute to ongoing discussion on the philosophy of cropping!  There is some back story I can share that may shed some additional light ...

Normally, I shoot my verticals with a 4x5 aspect ratio in mind.  (In general, I find 3x2 to work well horizontally, but I find it too "tall" for my vertical compositions.)

All three of these images were shot with the intention of making a 4x5 crop .... BUT ... as I was working on the 3rd image -  - I realized that the full frame was a better composition than the crop I had intended.  The other two were heading for the bin until I un-did the 4x5 crop on them as well ... and I had a new found appreciation for them.

Couple other comments ...

Image #3 is actually a color image ... not a toned B&W.  That's the orange glow of the full harvest moon reflecting on the pond.  I used a Daylight WB and a Kodachrome inspired camera profile that I made myself.
 
The OOF grass in the foreground is a bit of a signature element ... some people hate it ... but I can't help it.  I was shooting at F14.

Later when I get home, I will repost the full-reflection shot (#2) in color ... I'm on the fence about whether to pursue it as a monochrome or color.

Thanks, all!




What your post acually proves, Jeremey, is that you subconsciously DO frame according to the format of the camera in use; you might well intend to do something else, later, but the original shot is, nonetheless, framed to make best use of the full frame... which is where we all came in.

;-)

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 05:03:15 PM »
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Rob, Exactly. Anyone who's used a camera much does exactly that. I keep hearing about how the aspect ratio of the camera sometimes makes good composition impossible, but that's crap. You compose on the canvas in front of you.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 01:58:53 AM »
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Not me.
I often see the image completely different and frame with the intention of later cropping.
I prefer not to crop if possible, but when in doubt I take all I will need later and crop away what disturbs the image later.
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 03:28:10 AM »
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Not me.
I often see the image completely different and frame with the intention of later cropping.
I prefer not to crop if possible, but when in doubt I take all I will need later and crop away what disturbs the image later.


Chris, you've just agreed with not cropping being the better option! There's little more to add.

Took a look at your site: some nice images there - you obviously do see what you want before you click.

I had an old neighbour here in Spain who lives in Koesterbergstrasse in Hamburg; she loves golf. And, oddly enough, football, not that I imagine she ever played the latter. But you never know.

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 05:59:18 AM »
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Maybe I'm ready to formulate a prototype of a philosophy of cropping now:

1. Cropping is no crime, though both words begin with "cr.."
2. Cropping only from parallel sides of the image, which simply changes the aspect ratio
is generally allowed and should not be frowned upon, since it only overcomes the limitations of a given format.
3. Cropping from orthogonal sides of the image is a sign of poor framing and should be avoided with very few exceptions,
like lack of a telephoto lens without possibility to go nearer to the motive.
4. Cropping is not chopping .....

Cheers
~Chris
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 07:22:50 AM »
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Here's #2 in color.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 07:26:05 AM »
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By virtue of the fact everyone "prefers" not to crop, everyone essentially concedes the fact that cropping is inferior to not cropping.

Having to crop is essentially an admission of a poor original composition; in fact, it's a correction of an original, flawed composition. There is no escaping this.

Yet still, as with other forms of correction, an image that is cropped to a point where it ultimately reveals the subject in the best possible way remains a better final product than the original, flawed capture.

Jack
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 07:27:48 AM by John Koerner » Logged
John R Smith
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 07:30:18 AM »
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Jeremy

I like your pictures very much. Including #3, although colour is not normally my thing, so I won't attempt to critique that one, because I know damn all about colour photography. My other thoughts are -

* Both the B/W frames have a lovely feel, but personally I would have pushed the contrast a little further on both of them. I know that by doing so one would lose some of the tonal subtlety and fine gradations in the highlights, but if I were printing them I would go for just a little more "pop".

* The OOF grass in the foreground of #2 is for me very distracting, because it is so prominent. I think you can get away with the odd leaf or two, but not as much as that. Surely you could just have walked forward and trampled it down a bit before you took the shot?

John
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 07:33:02 AM by John R Smith » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2010, 09:48:45 AM »
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Normally, I shoot my verticals with a 4x5 aspect ratio in mind.  (In general, I find 3x2 to work well horizontally, but I find it too "tall" for my vertical compositions.)

Jeremy, Though I'm not sure, it seems to me in one of our discussions you mentioned that you were shooting with a D3. If so, you can set the camera up for a 4 x 5 AR, though you're throwing away some pixels if you do that.
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RSL
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2010, 09:59:31 AM »
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Yet still, as with other forms of correction, an image that is cropped to a point where it ultimately reveals the subject in the best possible way remains a better final product than the original, flawed capture.

In other words, if you've screwed up see if you can fix it. Couldn't agree more, Jack. But it strikes me that any photographer serious about his craft would try to learn not to screw up.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2010, 10:09:58 AM »
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In other words, if you've screwed up see if you can fix it. Couldn't agree more, Jack. But it strikes me that any photographer serious about his craft would try to learn not to screw up.

I agree, especially in landscape, architecture, or any other genre where you theoretically have some time to compose your shot.

However, say I see a brief glimpse of a wild animal and capture it in perfect focus, color, etc. ... but because of the fleeting moment I didn't quite place him as well as I might have ... or if I didn't get quite close enough to fill the frame ... I will crop the photo and keep the amended work.

Of course I will look for a better opportunity down the road, where I can compose exactly to my liking, but if I never get that opportunity again I will still enjoy what I was able to grab ...

With landscape or architecture (etc.), however, I would just trash the shot and try again.

Jack
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 11:40:49 AM by John Koerner » Logged
Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2010, 11:02:14 AM »
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For many situation the given aspect ratio, be it 1x1, 2x3, 3x4 or 4x5 simply is not optimal.
Therefore cropping is valid.
I do not compose through a frame.
I compose before I take the camera in my hand.
When I finally take the image I try to capture what I have composed beforehand in my mind.
What is superfluous because of the given camera aspect ratio I crop away then afterwards.
If I feel a 2x3 frame is as valid as a 3x4 frame for a given subject and I have a 2x3 camera, of course I compose 2x3.
But If I feel it is not and the 3x4 is better, I take the image such, that I can crop it to 3x4 later.
Its just that simple.


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kikashi
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2010, 11:11:36 AM »
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Here's #2 in color.
Definitely not an improvement: it's much better in b&w.

Jeremy
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