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Author Topic: The Valley of Desolation  (Read 2956 times)
Heinz
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« on: February 17, 2013, 03:32:03 AM »
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Does this image need more punch/contrast?
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stamper
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2013, 03:55:44 AM »
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What direction is the light source coming from? If it is in the far distance then possibly the dark areas need darkening to make it more "believable". I would clone the light area in the bottom left because my eye is attracted to it. Possibly a little more sharpening. This is of course my opinion and there will be others.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 08:30:02 AM »
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Does this image need more punch/contrast?

For my taste it needs a few solid blacks.

The rock on the lower left is really too high and should be taken down in order for people to move into the center of the photograph.

This is a very interesting subject, although I can't quite decode why something feels off here in that plant on the right?
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Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 03:31:23 AM »
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Hello Heinz- I missed this one, on my side the contrast seems fine. I like this. One of those that one can look at for some time, would really like to see it bigger though.
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William Walker
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 05:03:17 AM »
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This is the best composition/viewpoint I have seen from this location.

I really like the idea of the tree on the right, I don't know how many shots I have taken here and have not thought about including that! I have always been tempted towards the bottom where all the rocks are strewn. I have also only been there in the late afternoon and the sun is a swine!

Damn! I have to go back there and look at it again with new eyes!

William
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William Walker
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 02:29:11 PM »
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This is my best effort.
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nemo295
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 02:33:46 PM »
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The original version has the kind of mushy midtone values that remind me of an old textbook photo reproduction, circa 1950.

It's the kind of effect one would get if you cranked up Photoshop's Midtone Contrast slider in Shadows/Highlights a little too much.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 01:16:52 AM »
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This is my best effort.
I did not see this photo until you pointed it out. I had seen the one above.

There's an immediate emotional power to it. More than that, it has a lot of content too, making it interesting to go up and down the ridges and gullies, and look way out into a very believable distance. There's a beautiful sense of space in about 4 layers from front to back, which all retains the proper weight and doesn't simply diffuse into nothingness or dense atmospheric photo fog.

The vantage point is suggestive of a dangerous location. One senses they are on the precipice here.  (One can also think they are suspended somehow, which is a slight downside to this approach. ) The rock peaks penetrate up through the horizon and right into the sky giving more feeling of height and majesty.

There's a lot of grit and honesty in here. I can reach out and feel the stone directly. The detail is rich, and the stack of rocks on the right feels shaky and uncertain. This vantage point feels like we might be walking a ledge there or traversing the right hand wall.

The sky feels a bit over-baked to me. It's on the verge of taking over the whole picture. I wold have to see this on print to know if this is a real effect or jjust the screen. But here, it is too bright and dominant.

What is missing for me is more dramatic light on the rock and in the canyon. Something big and dramatic. There's a flatness in the whole scene that drains it of drama (mystery). Where are the deep shadows that make all those impossible shapes that create a second subliminal layer over the first? This lighting is too frank for this scene, a little too clinical, like an architectural blueprint. I would prefer that some portions remained impenetrable to immediate inspection. Something to put my imagination to work a little harder. Some large dark element creating uncertainty and tension. Not there.

I like the expansive feel of the picture and the expressiveness of it. It says a lot about what the place is. 
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William Walker
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 02:42:04 AM »
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Firstly, Heinz, sorry for hijacking the thread. I posted the picture to illustrate my original comment and then asked Redwoodguy to have a look at it as an afterthought!

Red, I think you have it pretty "spot-on"! Thank you for the time and effort. A few questions: the sky. I take your point, in fact, I have already tried to "unbake" it. (Graduated filter, down on Exposure and all the way down on "Clarity")

The lack dramatic light on the canyon. Are you saying "bad luck that the light was not great that day" or "try and jack it up in Photoshop"?

Sorry again Heinz!

William

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amolitor
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 05:55:53 AM »
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I don't think the material on the right edge of the frame (in your picture, W. Walker) is particularly fortuitous. The large rock in the foreground, especially, feels neither in nor out, it feels like a chopped-off accident, to me.

The sky might be better if the highlights weren't so blown out, and I assume they look better in anything closer to an original?

It's nice, but not as nice as the original poster's Wink
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- Andrew

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 08:59:48 AM »
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Firstly, Heinz, sorry for hijacking the thread. I posted the picture to illustrate my original comment and then asked Redwoodguy to have a look at it as an afterthought!

Red, I think you have it pretty "spot-on"! Thank you for the time and effort. A few questions: the sky. I take your point, in fact, I have already tried to "unbake" it. (Graduated filter, down on Exposure and all the way down on "Clarity")

The lack dramatic light on the canyon. Are you saying "bad luck that the light was not great that day" or "try and jack it up in Photoshop"?

Sorry again Heinz!

William


Yes, bad luck. You get what you can. There are always compromises from the ideal. I don't know that spot, so I don't know what kind of light happens there.
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rogerxnz
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 11:13:07 AM »
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This is my best effort.

It's great shot, in my opinion, and "rocks" is a subject that I often try to capture. The way that I read your picture, I start at the light gray lower right corner, glance at the rocks at the left and settle on the very bright sky at the horizon. To make viewers settle on the rocks, I would darken the rocks at right side and the sky and plains at the horizon, and lighten the line of rocks going through the middle of the picture. I might even blur the ridge immediately behind the rocks to isolate and bring out the rocks further down the line.

Otherwise, it is well composed.
Roger
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Roger Hayman
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 11:45:52 AM »
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Heinz,
My apology if I hijacked your thread.
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rogerxnz
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 11:47:21 AM »
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These are my comments on Heinz's photograph (the one posted at the start of the thread):

I assume the picture is Heinz's response to the rocks running horizontally through the image, starting at the left.

As to the composition, I feel that the image is divided 50:50 at the horizon and this gives less prominence to the assumed subject and too much prominence to the sky and the bush at the right. I guess Heinz couldn't tilt or shift his camera to get more of the area below the rocks because that area was closed off by the rocks in the foreground to the left and right. In that case, I would have changed position. I would in any event, try to avoid including the bright rock at the right edge by turning the camera to the left, which would have included more of the subject.

I appreciate the desire to get something interesting in the foreground

Moving the point of view might mean losing the bush at the right but, if the rocks are the subject, the bush is too dominant and distracting. If the bush is the reason for the photo, or part of the reason, I would alter my comments and suggest Heinz crops out the right half of the bush.

I appreciate that none of what I suggested about composisiton may be possible for one reason or another!

As to the tones, my eyes scan the picture starting at the bright rocks at lower left, flick between bright rocks in the middle distant just left of centre and the highlights in the rocks below the bush and then wander around the highlights in the sky. To get viewers to settle on the assumed subject, I would darken all the distracting areas and try to lighten up the subject in comparison.

To me the image is very grainy and I am not sure whether the subject is sharp. I do not understand the need for grain in static subjects and I consider it stops the rocks from looking "crisp" as you would normally expect them.,

In conclusion, the vista seems to present a great opportunity and I would go back and take more shots. Sorry, Heinz.
Roger
 

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Roger Hayman
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 01:01:11 PM »
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Firstly, Heinz, sorry for hijacking the thread. I posted the picture to illustrate my original comment and then asked Redwoodguy to have a look at it as an afterthought!

The former is ok, the latter is not.

If you bother to post it in a separate thread, I will then comment.
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Slobodan

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 01:11:18 PM »
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Yes, bad luck. You get what you can. There are always compromises from the ideal. I don't know that spot, so I don't know what kind of light happens there.
This is always an important point. Painters get to make their own luck, photographers don't. Luck really does play a very important role in photography. You can't for example simply sit on your duff and make good photographs. You have to venture off somewhere, and you rely on things out of your control to a great extent. I've stood in front of many possible interesting subjects and cursed the light. As I am sure everyone has. The universe is in motion - - we must stop it for just a moment, but the question is always, which moment?

The success rate in photography isn't like baseball. No one bats .335. More like .002. Getting a great photograph (by any standard) is affected by too much chance, you could say. We have to allow for that when viewing our everyday work. That's why I use this phrase a lot "Good photographic idea there." It means, you had the right moment, but the planets weren't totally lined up for you. That's not really a failing of the photographer, even if it is a "long foul ball" photographically. A big swing and a miss, to continue my lame baseball metaphor, is a different story. I like the Walker photograph of these rocks. It is not a strike, it is a long foul ball. I can see all the intention and control, and I can see the bad luck. This is not an exhibition here, it is a discussion of our general works which will include the less than perfect.

A lot of people are taking personal offense at my comments on their photos. They feel insulted, slighted, not praised, and so on. All I can say is that I am trying my hardest to keep it about the photograph and let it speak as it will for itself.
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Heinz
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 02:30:24 PM »
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Thank you for the input guy's,

About the HI-Jacking of the thread, No Worries. Living in South Africa, one is used to being Hi-Jacked every other day  Grin

The Valley of desolation has been Photographed a million times at least, by thousands of photographers, and all seem to get very similar images. This image was taken late in the afternoon and was shot on an ISO of 800, which on my 30D starts to grain. There was a fair breeze blowing and to get the tree sharp, I needed a high ISO to give me shutter speed.

Regarding the comp, I wanted something different to the normal 'Valley Of Desolation' Pic's that we see, that's why I placed the tree in such a strong position. I want people to look at the image and see the tree, and then only see the spire's and realise the location is the Valley of Desolation.

Did I achieve this...I don't know, but I thought it was lacking something.

Anyway thanks for looking and for the pointers.

Heinz
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stamper
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 03:31:45 AM »
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Hmm .....I have read the posts of RedwoodGuy and rogernxz and I find it rather remarkable that two posters in the same thread have thoughts and a writing style that is very similar. Both like to go into fine detail and explain their every thought at length. The coincidence is remarkable. If I am wrong to draw attention to this and there isn't a connection between the two then I am apologising to the two posters. Now where is the dictionary so I can find the definition of alter ego? Wink
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William Walker
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2013, 04:00:27 AM »
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Hmm .....I have read the posts of RedwoodGuy and rogernxz and I find it rather remarkable that two posters in the same thread have thoughts and a writing style that is very similar. Both like to go into fine detail and explain their every thought at length. The coincidence is remarkable. If I am wrong to draw attention to this and there isn't a connection between the two then I am apologising to the two posters. Now where is the dictionary so I can find the definition of alter ego? Wink

PC Stamper - Back on duty! Grin Grin Grin Grin
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2013, 05:54:36 PM »
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Hmm .....I have read the posts of RedwoodGuy and rogernxz and I find it rather remarkable that two posters in the same thread have thoughts and a writing style that is very similar. Both like to go into fine detail and explain their every thought at length. The coincidence is remarkable. If I am wrong to draw attention to this and there isn't a connection between the two then I am apologising to the two posters. Now where is the dictionary so I can find the definition of alter ego? Wink

+1

Now, Stamper, I am sure you will then appreciate the latest series of ads for Discover card. Not sure if they air it in UK, but here is a YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hHsyyFi1Ys

 Wink
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Slobodan

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