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Author Topic: Stream.  (Read 473 times)
Sanggay
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« on: February 15, 2013, 01:46:27 AM »
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Hi, my name is Sanggay. I am new here. I took up photography a bit seriously about a year ago.
Here is a photo of a stream taken not far away from my house in Malaysia. C&C will be very much appreciated.



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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 08:13:53 AM »
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Hi, my name is Sanggay. I am new here. I took up photography a bit seriously about a year ago.
Here is a photo of a stream taken not far away from my house in Malaysia. C&C will be very much appreciated.




Hi Sangay,

Nice of you to join and post your photograph. I have a couple comments to make about it. Don't take any of my comments in a personal way, please. It is simply feedback about the photograph.

The picture is well framed with some bold points of interest in the foreground, and they appear to be sharp and in focus. As the photograph progresses back, the trees are cut off pretty much just above the stump, making it a photograph of only the water and rocks. I don't think the cut off point though was optimum - meaning, maybe more or less tree might work better. There's enough tree for my eye to be curious but not enough to be satisfied. I think this means the photo loses a bit of important context for me. Is it a scene? Or is it just feathery water?

The more important discussion is the feathery (long exposure) water. Was this necessary, or intentional? Was the scene lit so poorly that a long exposure was the only way to achieve it, or was it slowed down to make the water feathery as an effect? The danger to me if this is an effect, is that the effect is a bit of a fad, and is being used by so many photographers to make weak photographs seem more interesting. If that was the case, it becomes like adding make-up to cover something. I don't know the answer - only you do - I am bringing it to your attention to consider. I do know that many people consider this to be a form of cliche because it has been used so much.

I think there was a good idea here behind the photograph. I think it could have been optimized a little better here and there to make it more interesting. Please post most of your photographs!
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Sanggay
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 08:23:49 PM »
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Redwood, I appreciate your feedback. Thanks. I am here to learn hoping for more people will pinpoint the weaknesses in my photographs.
The photo was taken very early in the morning hence for the poorly lit scene because I wanted to avoid blown up high lights.
The feathery water was intentional as many photographers shot this way. Could you please suggest what shutter speed would be more ideal in order to avoid being called a fad?

This was taken further backwards and it shows more of the trees.

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 08:48:07 PM »
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Sanggay, welcome to the forum.

You seem to have a good eye for composition. Both images are rather decent in that respect. "Feathery" water is a thing that people either love or hate, but there is no right or wrong way about it, just a matter of personal preference. I do not mind it, for instance.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 08:51:04 PM »
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Redwood, I appreciate your feedback. Thanks. I am here to learn hoping for more people will pinpoint the weaknesses in my photographs.
The photo was taken very early in the morning hence for the poorly lit scene because I wanted to avoid blown up high lights.
The feathery water was intentional as many photographers shot this way. Could you please suggest what shutter speed would be more ideal in order to avoid being called a fad?

This was taken further backwards and it shows more of the trees.



I think this new photo you posted is superior in every way to the first one. There is enough of the trees exposed now to become a significant and interesting part of the photo. There's more balance, more interest, and more impact to the newer photograph. It's enjoyable to browse around the photo and imagine where it is, what's going on around it, and what the photographer is doing there.

Ok, now about the water.  You mentioned you did it because many other photographers do it. That's certainly true these days. And from that the immediate question that follows is, what is your intent as a photographer? Or at least, what is your intent for this photograph? If you are aiming to sell stock photographs, or sell post cards and calendars, it makes perfect sense to see what everyone else is shooting, and follow their lead, their style, and use those tricks. That will get you the sales, if you get good enough at these standard cliched photos. There's a market expectation for this kind of fad photography.  That's one possible path.

Another possible path is that you want to do photography to show people your individual view, feeling, expression, and creativity. That is to say, thinking like an artist. Both paths take a lot of work, but different kinds of work. On the artist's path, you want to place more premium on thinking of your own way, the way that makes you say, "yes, that's me" when you look at the photograph. That requires more experimentation, more risk taking to find out what works and what expresses your desires about what you are photographing. So, in this photo, you could try all kinds of shutter speed and f-stop and ISO combinations and see what they all look like, instead of just following the crowd.  Sometimes water can be very abstract  in a photo, sometimes it needs to be frozen still to convey the feel you want and sometimes it can be flowing like this, if that's what it takes. In these photos, it really just looks like an effect. As an example, if you could capture the clarity of the water in pools, it might produce an entirely different feel to the scene.

Thanks for posting this second one. I really enjoyed it and hope to see more. If you think about my question, and have any idea which way you are trying to go, it would help anyone doing a critique.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 09:10:45 PM by RedwoodGuy » Logged
Sanggay
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 01:18:37 AM »
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Sanggay, welcome to the forum.

You seem to have a good eye for composition. Both images are rather decent in that respect. "Feathery" water is a thing that people either love or hate, but there is no right or wrong way about it, just a matter of personal preference. I do not mind it, for instance.

 

I think this new photo you posted is superior in every way to the first one. There is enough of the trees exposed now to become a significant and interesting part of the photo. There's more balance, more interest, and more impact to the newer photograph. It's enjoyable to browse around the photo and imagine where it is, what's going on around it, and what the photographer is doing there.

Ok, now about the water.  You mentioned you did it because many other photographers do it. That's certainly true these days. And from that the immediate question that follows is, what is your intent as a photographer? Or at least, what is your intent for this photograph? If you are aiming to sell stock photographs, or sell post cards and calendars, it makes perfect sense to see what everyone else is shooting, and follow their lead, their style, and use those tricks. That will get you the sales, if you get good enough at these standard cliched photos. There's a market expectation for this kind of fad photography.  That's one possible path.

Another possible path is that you want to do photography to show people your individual view, feeling, expression, and creativity. That is to say, thinking like an artist. Both paths take a lot of work, but different kinds of work. On the artist's path, you want to place more premium on thinking of your own way, the way that makes you say, "yes, that's me" when you look at the photograph. That requires more experimentation, more risk taking to find out what works and what expresses your desires about what you are photographing. So, in this photo, you could try all kinds of shutter speed and f-stop and ISO combinations and see what they all look like, instead of just following the crowd.  Sometimes water can be very abstract  in a photo, sometimes it needs to be frozen still to convey the feel you want and sometimes it can be flowing like this, if that's what it takes. In these photos, it really just looks like an effect. As an example, if you could capture the clarity of the water in pools, it might produce an entirely different feel to the scene.

Thanks for posting this second one. I really enjoyed it and hope to see more. If you think about my question, and have any idea which way you are trying to go, it would help anyone doing a critique.



Thanks for all the inputs. All my life I was just a snap shooter. I took up photography more seriously sometime last year and I have been joining forums to learn more. I couldn't find one which has members who could give constructive C&C to my works. Sometimes there are more than 100 views but not a single critique. Someone recommended this site is one of the best and here I am.
Thanks again to both of you, Slobodan Blagojevic and Redwood for your feedback.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 01:40:34 AM »
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You're welcome. I hope to see some more new photographs soon. Those were very nice.
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