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Author Topic: Round and round and round the north star  (Read 913 times)
Abbye
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« on: May 29, 2012, 02:13:29 PM »
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I've heard already from a couple people on this forum that they're not a fan of long exposures and "excessive" star trails.  So it's possible that this forum isn't the best place for this image.
However I get the most useful critiques here, so if you're not a fan of star trails, maybe comment on composition?

The purple sky was caused by my colour balancing for the strange coloured security light on the property, but I think it adds to the "other worldly" feeling.

Comments and critiques welcome.


washington_startrails by abbye dahl, on Flickr
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amolitor
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 02:40:10 PM »
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I think this would be a big nothing without the north star in there. It's a clear center to the image, and balances to a degree with the tree, so the composition is not bad. I think a different crop might strengthen that balance a little.

I find the effect of extremely long exposures on scenery to be extremely weird, the colors get bizarre and the light is weirdly directionless, even in the presence of strong shadows as you have here. I would probably de-saturate the hell out of the stuff on the ground, push it down much darker, and maybe do some burning and dodging on the major masses to suggest the lights that are present (you can see, for instance, two shadows on the tree, one strong and one weak. You could try to synthesize some modelling of the tree mass with burning and dodging).

I have NO idea if trying to put the directionality of light back in with dodging would work, and if it did you'd probably have to be subtle about it, it's just an idea.

Did you get a meteor in there are well? I might try to bring that out a little..

It's still probably a not much photo, these things tend to be novelties that, like all novelties, we tend to fall in love with.
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shutterpup
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 06:12:36 PM »
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A nice experimental piece. I have no problems with star trails.
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John R
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 06:30:46 PM »
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Contrary to the first opinion, I think this image is pretty good, not at all ordinary. All images would be "nothing" but for the way we compose them and how the light strikes them. It is somewhat surreal precisely because of the artificial light on the grass and shed, and this, along with the star trails is what makes the image stand out. Really, except for technical advice, I think you would do better to place your images where they can be seen and not criticized. Long exposure photography has always created shifts in colour. BW photography is itself quite surreal. Embrace what light comes your way and see if evokes more than what you see.

JMR
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 09:17:04 PM »
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Criticising an image negatively just because it is a star trial is just as silly as those folks who dismiss an image (and sometimes the photographer as well) just because it is an HDR image.

Think of a star trail as an interesting sky with clouds and colour - by itself not enough but with an interesting foreground and scene a potential winner.

Try shooting where there is only natural light with an interesting foreground - water tends to reflect the sky with great effect.

I look forward to seeing more.

Regards

Tony Jay
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Abbye
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 04:43:38 PM »
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Thanks for the comments guys, I'll take them into account next time I'm shooting
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