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Author Topic: sometimes I forget  (Read 1978 times)
Abbye
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« on: August 25, 2012, 12:07:31 AM »
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Sometimes I forget that the whole point of c&c is to improve.  I often find myself posting my favourite images from a shoot.
I almost didn't post these because I wasn't really happy with them, but then it occurred to me, duh!  You guys can help!
This forum always tends to give the harshest (and most helpful) criticism, so I've braced myself!

I feel like I sort of wasted this wonderful sunset, perhaps you guys could give me some ideas to improve? 
I tend to be very minimalist in my landscape shots, so maybe I just don't like them because they are to busy, or maybe the overall composition isn't so good, or the subject matter just boring?


oliver02 by abbye dahl, on Flickr


oliver03 by abbye dahl, on Flickr
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luxborealis
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 06:45:57 AM »
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In both cases, you've made good use of "classic" landscape composition: the foreground is anchored with a leading line guiding viewers to the background. It's a bit dramatic and seems a bit forced (perhaps too wide of a lens was used), but it works.

oliver02 - Remember, the brightest object tends to draw the eye, so in this case, the eye keeps getting drawn back to the bright foreground rock. Perhaps that's what you intended, but it is distracting. I also find the noise in the bottom left distracting.

oliver03 - The pebbled foreground is not as distracting as the white rock, except it seems oddly blurred - lens softness combined with the moving water of a long exposure. There are also a number of white pixels/noise as in oliver02.

Lastly, the use of a graduated filter seems forced in that it is very obvious. While on a good day, the colour might be natural sky colour (but not that day given the hues in the rest of the photo), when the same colour bleeds over the trees, the filter becomes too obvious and is, therefore, distracting.

You seem to like colour imbalance! It can work, perhaps when they are both unrealistic (as I found with "new lightroom/photoshop" in "oh the frustration"), but more frequently it does not. When the foreground is realistic like in the "oliver" shots (looks like the dull, muted tones of an overcast sky) and the background sky and trees are unrealistic (especially with the trees showing the obvious effects of the coloured grad filter), it doesn't work for me.

Due to the imbalance of colours, you may want to try B&W with these: the compositions and shapes are strong and the tones & contrast can be improved.

Good luck - keep shooting & sharing - and, for a while, try ditching the colour grad filter.
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 11:34:20 AM »
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Good luck - keep shooting & sharing - and, for a while, try ditching the colour grad filter.

Good advice. Further, one of the things I like about this time of day is the colour of the sky reflected in the water.
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michaelwm
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 10:16:09 PM »
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You seem to like colour imbalance! It can work, perhaps when they are both unrealistic (as I found with "new lightroom/photoshop" in "oh the frustration"), but more frequently it does not.

Good luck - keep shooting & sharing - and, for a while, try ditching the colour grad filter.

I agree. I LOVED the 'oh the frustration' image, but am less fond of these. Like you mention, there is a lot more going on, leaving a lot less empty space, and where there is some empty space (the water), it doesn't aid the image. To me, this leaves the foreground and background a little too separated. It looks like you saw the great sunset, and then went looking for something to place in the foreground (?) but I think the sunset (colour aside) almost detracts from the composition by adding a lot of structure to the lop of the image.
I think oliver03 would have looked great without the background, pebbles in the foreground, leading out to a beautiful sunset in the distance.

All only my opinion of course, and thanks for sharing!

Michael
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Abbye
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 11:38:29 AM »
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thanks guys for really taking the time to look and comment! everything you said was very helpful.

oddly enough for these images, that was the real colour of the sky... but i did use a neutral density grad which i guess was maybe a bit much.

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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 06:22:21 PM »
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thanks guys for really taking the time to look and comment! everything you said was very helpful.

oddly enough for these images, that was the real colour of the sky... but i did use a neutral density grad which i guess was maybe a bit much.


Hi Abbye,

I wonder, did you also use a polariser?

I think when shooting water, any water, sea, rivers, waterfalls etc, it is always better not to polarise out all the water reflections completely, but to leave something in there to show the viewer there is water present - more of a slightly see through effect than fully transparent if you know what I mean.

In this case I think the shot would have worked, if there had been more reflections in the foreground water and especially if it replicated that lovely colour you captured in the sky.

Dave
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Abbye
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 11:24:41 PM »
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Hi Abbye,

I wonder, did you also use a polariser?

I think when shooting water, any water, sea, rivers, waterfalls etc, it is always better not to polarise out all the water reflections completely, but to leave something in there to show the viewer there is water present - more of a slightly see through effect than fully transparent if you know what I mean.

In this case I think the shot would have worked, if there had been more reflections in the foreground water and especially if it replicated that lovely colour you captured in the sky.

Dave

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the thoughts.
No i didn't use a polarizer for this shot... i'm not quite sure why i seem to lack the proper reflections in the water.  i'll have to go out and shoot some more to see if i can figure out the angles of water refraction or something hahaha
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