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Author Topic: Grand Teton Tree  (Read 3634 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« on: April 28, 2012, 11:28:32 PM »
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I'd like opinions about a shot I am not sure myself.

Cliche? Banal? Postcard-ish? Black and white or color? Or neither?

Obviously, all C&C are welcome, including cutthroat negative Wink


Grand Teton - BW by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr


Grand Teton by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 02:44:55 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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John R Smith
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 02:53:02 AM »
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Slobodan

Version #2 is a nice, strong, graphic image which in fact would make an excellent postcard, or book cover, or magazine cover, and is none the worse for that. Why should photography not have an end use, other than being framed and hung in a gallery?

The B/W version does not work nearly as well, simply because the tree has lost its impact as colour is what defines it, rather than specific light and luminosity. The mountain behind is pretty much monochromatic in both versions, so the contrast of colour in the lower half of the picture brings #2 to life.

As far as cliches go, you could say that after Adams there is no point in making this kind of photograph. I personally don't believe that is true - we all just have to work that much harder at it  Wink

John
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 04:23:33 AM by John R Smith » Logged

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kikashi
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 03:04:45 AM »
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I wholly agree. This is one of those images which need colour. It's not banal; it's striking. I've seen better from you but I'd be very happy if it were one of mine.

Jeremy
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Ray
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 03:33:55 AM »
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Okay! A few slightly negative comments. First, it looks oversharpened, and the sky looks unnaturally dark in relation to the rest of the image.

The composition is reasonably okay, except the foreground is a bit boring, and one wonders what happened to the right side of the scene. It appears to be missing. Was that also boring?

You have reason to be a bit doubtful about the merits of this image, Slobodan.  Grin
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 03:38:01 AM »
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The colour makes the image.

Have you any images of similar composition - it may be worth posting them if you have them.

Regards

Tony Jay
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MTGFender
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012, 08:47:22 AM »
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I like the color version. Great work.
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 11:32:30 AM »
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I like the colour version better. The texture of the mountain is engaging and its lifeless snow and rock is a nice contrast with the living foreground. I would aim for a more natural-looking sky. The sunlit yellow tree looks a little subdued relative to the vibrance (loosely used) of the rest of the picture. Lastly, I'm not that big on vertical landscapes, I also wonder what's to the right.
Scott
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012, 12:47:32 PM »
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Thanks for the comments so far.

I've got into a habit of shooting verticals ever since I got one published as a cover. As John rightly pointed out, there is more use for a photo than just fine art gallery. Not that I am saying this one is cover-worthy, mind you, just that I explore vertical compositions as well.

For those who are wandering what's on the right, I at attaching a horizontal composition. This one is also less aggressively processed, i.e., closer to the out-of-camera version.

Scott, you are right, the vibrance was purposefully lowered a bit (in the vertical version), to counter other aggressive post-processing moves. Some of the vibrance is also lost in web conversion.

EDIT: Some loss of vibrance and crispness is also a consequence of seeing it both here and on Flickr against a white-ish background. For best viewing experience, once on Flickr, press L or just click on the picture, to see it bigger and on a plain, black background.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 12:15:31 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 12:55:18 PM »
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... Have you any images of similar composition - it may be worth posting them if you have them...

Tony, I have one taken from a different angle and on a different day (with apologies to older forum members, who might have seen this in my earlier posts):


Grand Teton by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr

The photo was published in Outdoor Photographer (August 2011):


Outdoor Photographer Magazine by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 01:24:01 PM »
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And for those who lean further to the left, not only to the right, and for those on the ultra-left and ultra-right, here is what's there as well as in front and behind (ok, not much behind the sky anyway)  Smiley


Grand Teton National Park, Oxbow Bend by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 05:19:06 PM »
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Tony, I have one taken from a different angle and on a different day (with apologies to older forum members, who might have seen this in my earlier posts):


Grand Teton by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr

The photo was published in Outdoor Photographer (August 2011):


Outdoor Photographer Magazine by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr

I can see why!

Great shot.

Regards

Tony Jay
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Enda Cavanagh
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 10:25:04 AM »
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Hi Slobodan
This is indeed a lovely photo. I love black and white images of the American Landscape. The sunlit tree jumps of the page. Personally I'm not generally a big fan of color images of trees taken in Autumn though. I know you guys across the pond are  Smiley I guess thats tying into the other post about local culture affecting photographic appreciation. Smiley It's just a personal thing.

One thing that annoys me a bit about the 2 images at the top of the post is how the line where the grasses meet the trees is not parallel to the bottom of the image. I find it quite distracting.

.
Tony, I have one taken from a different angle and on a different day (with apologies to older forum members, who might have seen this in my earlier posts):


Grand Teton by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr

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dreed
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 10:33:24 AM »
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Thanks for the comments so far.

I've got into a habit of shooting verticals ever since I got one published as a cover. As John rightly pointed out, there is more use for a photo than just fine art gallery. Not that I am saying this one is cover-worthy, mind you, just that I explore vertical compositions as well.

For those who are wandering what's on the right, I at attaching a horizontal composition. This one is also less aggressively processed, i.e., closer to the out-of-camera version.

Scott, you are right, the vibrance was purposefully lowered a bit (in the vertical version), to counter other aggressive post-processing moves. Some of the vibrance is also lost in web conversion.

And if you just crop the image prior to the aggressive processing, what results?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 10:56:09 AM »
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And if you just crop the image prior to the aggressive processing, what results?

You mean into a vertical crop? It would be indeed interesting to see what people prefer: more realistic or more graphic processing?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 11:48:26 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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Isaac
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 12:54:04 PM »
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It would be indeed interesting to see what people prefer: more realistic or more graphic processing?

And does that change when the image is color rather than B&W?

The dark sky is fine in B&W but immediately implausible in color - do we read color images more literally than B&W images?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 01:09:47 PM »
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... The dark sky is fine in B&W but immediately implausible in color - do we read color images more literally than B&W images?

Absolutely! B&W by definition implies a higher degree of abstraction.

Glad you mentioned plausibility... I personally prefer the term believability. I think that achieving it (believability) is a great thing... if that was the goal. If not, then it matters less. For instance, if a photograph is considered for a cover, stronger graphical impression on the newsstand is often more important.
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Slobodan

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 01:22:42 PM »
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... One thing that annoys me a bit about the 2 images at the top of the post is how the line where the grasses meet the trees is not parallel to the bottom of the image. I find it quite distracting...

Ha! Never noticed until you mentioned it. I usually use a bubble level when on tripod, so it is possible that the terrain is uneven. Appreciate the comment anyway.

As for fair-weather, sunlit autumn/fall trees... yes, not a great fan either, that is why I was concerned the two images originally posted, especially the color one, might be seen as banal, cliché, even kitsch.

That is where we differ from a regular tourist. Fair weather, blue sky, sunny... that is when the tourist would exclaim "What a wonderful world!". We, photographers, would say "Baaah... I'll rather get a late breakfast and catch up on sleep I lost getting up at an ungodly hour this morning, hoping for a great sunrise". However, if a storm is approaching... tourists run for cover, lunch, siesta, shopping... we run out.
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Isaac
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 02:53:08 PM »
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B&W by definition implies a higher degree of abstraction.
In some sense, but not enough to make us label the B&W image as abstract rather than realism; and anyway that's not what I was wondering about.

I don't seem able not to come to an immediate judgement that in the color image the sky is too dark compared to the rest of the image. Presumably the image doesn't match any of my experience of snow covered mountains and blue skies (including those in the American West) - so there's an immediate judgement. I seem to have the same reaction to photos I take using a polarizer - they show how things would look if I was wearing sunglasses :-)

I suppose that immediate judgement doesn't happen with the B&W image because I don't experience the world in B&W (however many Ansel Adams photos I look at).


For instance, if a photograph is considered for a cover, stronger graphical impression on the newsstaI'm nd is often more important.
Hello star trails! :-)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 11:43:22 AM by Isaac » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2012, 05:48:49 PM »
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beautiful color image.. Oxbow was one of my favorite places to shoot when I was out there last year.  I was a little early for the snow though Smiley
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dreed
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2012, 03:06:39 AM »
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The tree with the mountain in the background seems much more natural and acceptable to me in this variant.
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