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Author Topic: Window Framed  (Read 1667 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« on: May 10, 2011, 07:34:54 AM »
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Hi all,

Another one from my rather large 'failed miserably in club competitions' collection.

I liked it because of how the the eye is moved through the image with the lead-in lines, but the judge didn't see that and in fact said that the view through the window was too blown out and over exposed and marked it down as low as he possibly could, to the point where if he had stamped a big red REJECT sign on it, he could not have indicated he thought less off it.

Photobloke
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stamper
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 07:58:30 AM »
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I think the judge has a point. The light area is too uniform across the area and it looks almost blown. Assuming it represents the focal point in the image it is too small and is dominated by the rest of the image. The processing in the rest of the image is  - imo - good and it could make a good image in it's own right if something else was put into the light area. Sad
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 09:32:10 AM »
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This is the kind of thing that keeps me from entering juried shows. The judges always are insane. I've been the sole judge for a couple juried shows and I'm sure the exhibitors in those shows would agree with my opinion regarding judges.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 10:40:57 AM »
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I like the picture.  On close examination it looks like a conservatively done HDR; if not I am amazed that the interior is lit well enough to show shadow detail yet the scene out the window is certainly not blown out.  I would be tempted to burn in that portion, though.

As far as photo club judging is concerned, I have real problems.  I am the competitions director of a large and very creative club, and our judges are sometimes so rule-bound that they don't really see the picture itself.  When I judge at other clubs I try to evaluate what each image is, and what either impedes or aids its aesthetic value.  I am most concerned for our newer members who could end up rejecting all sorts of creatively-seen subjects because the composition would "violate" the "rules."

There is a sterility to photo-club pictures.  Sometimes I think about going  blindfolded into a gallery hung with 100 photo club pictures, feeling the sides of the frame and then pointing to the right lower intersection of thirds and saying "Nice placement of the subject."

I am not against considering all of the aspects of form, shape, color, size and placement, etc, as you frame your scene, but there are countless images of excellent and well known masters of photography that would do poorly in most club competitions.  What's wrong with that picture (pun intended)?

Incidentally, sometimes a totally blown out part of a scene can add to the drama of the image.  I had one of the interior of a little chapel, relatively dark, looking toward the open door.  A figure was silhouetted in the extremely bright doorway, with parts of the arms and body lost to the brightness, giving, I think, an appropriately ghostlike effect.  Of course, I would never submit that to a competition for the reasons you state, above.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 10:45:43 AM by walter.sk » Logged
Heinz
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 03:09:56 PM »
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I like all the texture in the wood, loads of detail there. I also do not think that the view through the window is too badly blown out, as I can see plenty of detail in the house and grass. However, I think one see's it as being blown because it is so much lighter than the rest of the picture and the scene draws your eye there. Heinz
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 03:41:45 PM »
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Hi Walker,

Yes you are right, it is a conservatively done HDR. It was midday, very bright and the only way I could get anything approaching an acceptable dynamic range, was to use a +/- 2 stop 3 bracket exposure. I suppose I could have used a bit more of the -2 darker exposure, but I thought it would look obviously manipulated and also now I think about it, I wanted it to look brighter outside and darker inside, because that is exactly how it was.

Just after I had joined the camera club, an old club member told me with a wry smile on his face, that if you stay in this camera club long enough and enter the club competitions, you will eventually learn to take images just like everyone else in the club. At the time I thought this was a good thing and he meant this would be a way I could learn and get up to their standard, but I now realise what he was actually saying (hence the wry smile) is that if you stay here too long, you will never develop your own style.

Photobloke
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 04:04:52 PM »
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"At the time I thought this was a good thing and he meant this would be a way I could learn and get up to their standard, but I now realise what he was actually saying (hence the wry smile) is that if you stay here too long, you will never develop your own style."


Yep, and that's what lies at the base of my feeling about clubs and teachers of the gentle art. Use them to learn how to use the tools and then get the hell out as quickly as you can before they mess with your head.

Rob C

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popnfresh
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 05:24:53 PM »
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Just after I had joined the camera club, an old club member told me with a wry smile on his face, that if you stay in this camera club long enough and enter the club competitions, you will eventually learn to take images just like everyone else in the club. At the time I thought this was a good thing and he meant this would be a way I could learn and get up to their standard, but I now realise what he was actually saying (hence the wry smile) is that if you stay here too long, you will never develop your own style.

You learned a valuable lesson. Most photo clubs tend to reward mediocrity. If you aspire to be a fine art photographer a photo club is the last place you want be. On the other hand, if you want to take pictures for greeting cards a photo club might provide good moral support.
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EduPerez
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 01:00:17 AM »
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I just hate when someone makes a judgment of a photography based on a set of rules; are we talking about art or laws? So, yes, the window is probably overexposed, at least according to some rule; so what? The impression that the viewer gets when he looks at the photograph is all that counts to me, and this one looks very good, in my humble opinion.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2011, 01:03:30 AM »
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Just after I had joined the camera club, an old club member told me with a wry smile on his face, that if you stay in this camera club long enough and enter the club competitions, you will eventually learn to take images just like everyone else in the club. At the time I thought this was a good thing and he meant this would be a way I could learn and get up to their standard, but I now realise what he was actually saying (hence the wry smile) is that if you stay here too long, you will never develop your own style.


Yes, all very true. And I would say that you have to be just as careful here - it would be all too easy to learn what people respond to and like in this section, and then end up taking pictures for the Forum audience instead of for yourself.

John
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William Walker
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 03:45:10 AM »
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Yes, all very true. And I would say that you have to be just as careful here - it would be all too easy to learn what people respond to and like in this section, and then end up taking pictures for the Forum audience instead of for yourself.

John
+1
Bye the way - I like the picture.
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stamper
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2011, 03:48:08 AM »
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I can see that the camera clubs and judges has taken a panning here? I think a little unjust? I was a member of one for six years. They have good points and bad. I like to think they teach you what to avoid in terms of photography but they don't teach you how to be a good photographer. In short they give you a good grounding and then you move on. But that grounding is worthwhile and I wouldn't tell an aspiring photographer not to join one. The interaction between other members can be invaluable and you can make good contacts. You can't become a good photographer PURELY  by your own efforts. As in other areas of life, interaction is a necessity.  Wink
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stamper
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2011, 04:00:31 AM »
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I just hate when someone makes a judgment of a photography based on a set of rules; are we talking about art or laws? So, yes, the window is probably overexposed, at least according to some rule; so what? The impression that the viewer gets when he looks at the photograph is all that counts to me, and this one looks very good, in my humble opinion.

Personally I thought that the window was a little overexposed but I didn't think that based on a rule but by my aesthetic values. At the end of the day our views are shaped by something, either conscious or subconscious? What shapes our tastes differs from person to person. They maybe shaped by a camera club, photographic books, a photographic course, looking at at images or even reading this forum, but at the end of the day they have been shaped, like it or not. Some such as Rob will have been shaped by commercial interests which may have  taken him on a different path from his own likings. Ed disparages the rules but doesn't state his own likings. Easy to do but hard to explain. However I agree that liking something is a gut feeling that can be hard to explain. Now where is the ladder to get me off my soap box? Grin
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2011, 07:21:45 AM »
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I can see that the camera clubs and judges has taken a panning here?

Hi Stamper,

No, nothing can be further from the truth, I learnt a lot from being in a club (4 years) and enjoyed almost every minute of it, but after a couple of years I began to realise I had outgrown the club (not in ability or style, or me having got too big for my boots or anything) just that it was more like it was a rung on a ladder to me and I needed to move on.

I would always encourage people to join a club it is the best way to learn the basics, but having said that, I would also encourage them to strive to achieve as much as they can as quickly as they can and not get bogged down by taking the same images week after week (it got to the point in competitions where I could recognise who had taken what before looking at the names on the back of the prints) or worse still, end up like some members who I think only went to sit in a warm room away from the wife for a few hours a week.

So yes, join a club, put your heart and soul into it, learn what you can and teach others what you have learnt, but always realise, that at some point you will need to move on if you want your skills to move on.

Photobloke
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stamper
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2011, 07:51:54 AM »
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The quote wasn't aimed at your good self, but at the tone of the thread overall. I agree heartily with what you said about camera clubs. I done six years and moved on for the very reasons you have stated. To some it was a social night out and they didn't seem to learn. The judge who marked your image down - imo - done you a favour. Why? If he had praised it you would possibly have accepted it and moved on? Because of his criticisms you posted here and learned something. In reality there isn't any bad criticism's if you learn from it?  If you get a pat on the back every time you you show something then you won't learn. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2011, 08:00:39 AM »
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I disagree with the judge - although that does not mean he is "wrong." I like how the washed out exterior view gives a real sense of what it's like to be in a somewhat dark interior and look out onto a sunlit scene. I would have cropped a bit closer.

For what it's worth, all that theory about "lines leading the eye" turns out to be a bunch of hogwash. Scientists have done studies in which they track eye movements while people are looking at art, and the actual pattern of what people look at has nothing to do with these lines.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2011, 09:38:37 AM »
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This photo reminds me of one by Edward Weston (sorry, I can't find a link to it right now), from inside a shack somewhere, with a window in the center. It was shown at a Weston exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts a few years ago, and included several prints by Edward that had also been reprinted later by his son (probably Cole).

Anyway, on this image, the scene outside the window in Edward's print looked a good bit brighter than the indoors, as expected. Apparently Cole (?) thought it looked washed out and his print showed much less difference between the indoors and the outdoors. To my eye, Edward's print was right and Cole's was wrong (although Cole did make very fine prints of many of Edward's negatives -- I have a couple).

The image posted here is closer to what I remember of Edward's than to Cole's. I like it, but I could see bring down the outside scene slightly, but be careful not to go too far.

Eric
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2011, 10:21:13 AM »
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I think that this shot is a great example of the best and worst of hdr. The best because of the way exposure control can be achieved throughout the image from the deepest shadows to the otherwise-blown-out outside view in the window. The worst part is shown in this shot because of how that control was used here. To me it screams hdr because all the surface planes are roughly the same exposure values. Look at all the wood all around the shot and it all looks the same brightness including the view through the window. How much better it would be if the view outside had half the detail and the corner shadows were much more naturally deep or black. To me, that drama was removed.

The views here of camera clubs are all correct. They can indeed offer different looks at other what-ifs. Much like I commented above. But you've got to avoid being dragged down toward some common denominator where the weak-minded dwell. I came to the conclusion that 95% of all camera clubs were for social get-together types uncomfortable with anything other than traditionally-taught "rules".  Personally, I'd rather have a root canal than submit work to please camera club judges.
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stamper
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2011, 10:37:18 AM »
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I was a year into photography and I decided I needed a bench mark as to how well I was progressing. I joined the club and hit the floor running. My progress had been good. Because clubs center around competitions I feel you have to enter them otherwise you aren't part of the club? There was a visiting judge who said that the evening before he had judged 40 images of portraits and had the problem of describing the merits of each one differently. A difficult job. One poster above wanted to know why they didn't pick out something that was unusual or different? Unfortunately if they don't play safe and pick the unusual then they are generally thought to be out of touch and they aren't invited back. Most judges stated it was there opinion that they were giving and if someone said they didn't like it then the advice was to enter it into another competition and see how it fared. I wouldn't want to be one. I think we all want to have our images praised by someone knowledgeable as we all have an ego? Roll Eyes
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2011, 10:41:02 AM »
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I think that this shot is a great example of the best and worst of hdr. The best because of the way exposure control can be achieved throughout the image from the deepest shadows to the otherwise-blown-out outside view in the window. The worst part is shown in this shot because of how that control was used here. To me it screams hdr because all the surface planes are roughly the same exposure values.

I would hardly say it "screams HDR", have you looked around the Internet lately?

I thought I had used a delicate touch on the image, and then only because I had to - some posters here think I should have perhaps gone a little bit further. But yes I too hate HDR, I used to do a lot of it, but now I think it has all the aesthetic charm of a garish cartoon advert for bubble gum. But this was an image from the past and a failed image at that.

Oh and if you think this image screams HDR, stick around a while longer, because inevitably I am sure someone will post one here that will make your ears bleed.


Photobloke  Grin
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