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Author Topic: Zoo + composition  (Read 3088 times)
roderikk
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« on: January 25, 2012, 07:59:23 AM »
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Hello all, long time lurker and admirer. I am struggling to improve my photos, especially on the compositional and story-telling aspects. I went to the zoo last weekend and after looking through my pictures I was quite pleased with the following.

1)

In the first picture I really quite like the detail. But with such a picture I always wonder if it tells enough of a story to stand on its own? Also I think the background is distracting, but not overly.

2)

In the second picture I like the story of the prairie dog looking out over its moat. But should I have tried to make the prairie dog not overlap with the grass in the background? Is the rock in the bottom left too big? Does it tell enough of a story to stand on its own?

3)

I was quite disappointed by this picture when I took it, the bird wouldn't stop moving for me to take a nice (hyper-)realistic picture of it, however when I opened it up in my raw editor, picked the right white balance and cropped it a little I think it is quite a nice abstract piece now.

I am looking forward to hearing what you think.

PS: How do I make the images visible in the post?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 08:03:53 AM by roderikk » Logged
degrub
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 11:12:59 AM »
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#1 & 2 , the highlights appear blown to me. Maybe in the original version they are not ?
The composition of #1 is attractive. i would have preferred a little more DOF for the lizard.
The prairie dog is a tough composition against the dark with the bright grass. Maybe if you isolated the prairie dog more ? i find the few blades of grass to the left distracting. The lighting is very hard. Lovely on the grass though.

Frank
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Rob C
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 02:44:03 PM »
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No idea what it is - doesn't even matter - but I love the last one!

Rob C
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roderikk
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 05:26:31 PM »
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#1 & 2 , the highlights appear blown to me. Maybe in the original version they are not ?
The composition of #1 is attractive. i would have preferred a little more DOF for the lizard.
The prairie dog is a tough composition against the dark with the bright grass. Maybe if you isolated the prairie dog more ? i find the few blades of grass to the left distracting. The lighting is very hard. Lovely on the grass though.

Frank
I don't think the highlights are blown in the original, do you think it is because of the jpg conversion?

The lizard was a though one because he was in a darkish area, I also didn't want to run the risk of the background being too distracting, so I kept the lens wide open. Next time I'll try to raise the ISO instead and take F7 or something instead of F4...

Yes, there was complete backlighting, with the sun just out of the picture. I thought it created a nice silhouette. By isolating the prairie dog you mean zooming in on it? I agree with you on the blade of grass.

No idea what it is - doesn't even matter - but I love the last one!

Rob C

Hehe, thanks a lot! You are actually the first person whom I have found that said they liked it. Everybody else thinks it is too much motion blur. It is actually a Tucan that is cleaning its feathers (you see the feathers of the wing on the right). But I think the colours are just beautifully abstract... :-)
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 03:25:31 AM »
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Hehe, thanks a lot! You are actually the first person whom I have found that said they liked it. Everybody else thinks it is too much motion blur. It is actually a Tucan that is cleaning its feathers (you see the feathers of the wing on the right). But I think the colours are just beautifully abstract... :-)


Yes, that's the essence of the attraction; for me, these kinds of images are capable of being looked at time after time because they offer so many different perspectives (without using different lenses - let's not go there!) and interpretations. I've tried doing them a few times, but it isn't as easy as it looks - there still has to be something that 'works' - something that allows the whole to stick together and not break into seperate parts. I've had best fortune just by the lucky accident, to tell you the truth.

But then, I'm of the generation that knew about Ernst Haas's oeuvre first time around!

Rob C
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Bruce Cox
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 10:18:00 AM »
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I saw more in your version of R1085957 as I tried to work on it; it got better for me as much from paying more attention to it as from changing it.  I layered a B&W conversion over it , etc.

Bruce
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roderikk
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 04:50:02 AM »
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Yes, that's the essence of the attraction; for me, these kinds of images are capable of being looked at time after time because they offer so many different perspectives (without using different lenses - let's not go there!) and interpretations. I've tried doing them a few times, but it isn't as easy as it looks - there still has to be something that 'works' - something that allows the whole to stick together and not break into seperate parts. I've had best fortune just by the lucky accident, to tell you the truth.

Accident is what counts for this picture as well. But maybe I'll strive more actively to achieve this look, since I do like it. It is kind of like adding an extra dimension/unknown into the equation since the motion will have unexpected consequences.

But then, I'm of the generation that knew about Ernst Haas's oeuvre first time around!

I looked at his 'motion' pictures again and what I noticed is that you can much better distinguish the subject of the picture.

I also saw the pictures on your website and notice your 'attempts' :-). Can you tell me which one you like best?

I saw more in your version of R1085957 as I tried to work on it; it got better for me as much from paying more attention to it as from changing it.  I layered a B&W conversion over it , etc.

Bruce

Hi Bruce, can you tell me what you were trying to achieve? It seems to me you desaturated it a little to bring the detail of the colours out more? I do like the intense colours but would also like to bring out all those tonal differences.
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Bruce Cox
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 09:33:13 AM »
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"Hi Bruce, can you tell me what you were trying to achieve? It seems to me you desaturated it a little to bring the detail of the colours out more? I do like the intense colours but would also like to bring out all those tonal differences."

My intentions were not clearly formed, but I have been working on similar color problems in my own work, where I have had to give up on recreating the color intensity of my subjects.  Bright birds in the sun will out shine photographic display.  I worked the sliders in B&W conversion: more blue, less red, and much less violet, etc.  I was looking for more structure and then trying to organize it.  I also attach a simply desaturated version for comparison.

Bruce
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 09:36:00 AM by Bruce Cox » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 11:15:36 AM »
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A.  I looked at his 'motion' pictures again and what I noticed is that you can much better distinguish the subject of the picture.

B.  I also saw the pictures on your website and notice your 'attempts' :-). Can you tell me which one you like best?




Hi!

A.  In the case of my own, the shot 64 of 78, on the Sea gallery, is probably the one of its type that I like best; it also gets closer to the Haas idea in that the subject is fairly obvious.

B.  Shot 42 of 48, in Gallery, and also shot 118 of 123, in Bicuit Tin are two I quite like; I'm sorry I can't upload the images to make it more simple, but the other computer is AWOL. If I remember when it returns, I'll post these three to illustrate for you, to save time going back to my site.

Rob C
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