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Author Topic: Critiqued in Amateur Photographer  (Read 3558 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2013, 07:15:16 PM »
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What a fantastic sky!

I really like some of the things you have done here Slobodan, or should I say attempted to do but didn't quite carry off. You must have thought while out on you bike with your camera and daughter, even though photography was not the main reason you were there, ah what an amazing sky, but that isn't enough, I need something in the foreground to give me good foreground interest, so what can I quickly find to create that infamous ‘juxtaposition’ that we all apparently seek in photography (I have grown to really dislike that word juxtaposition, photographers, very esteemed photographers not a million miles from here for that matter, have completely beaten the living daylights out of that word IMO) and that is where you have lost your focus/point of interest within the image. Do not get me wrong, it is a fine image as well as a happy memory of the event and one I am sure you will enjoy for many years to come. I would say though that it is a near miss, but a good solid stab at reaching for something excellent.

So what do I think is wrong with the image? I think that the tiny little bush or whatever it is at the bottom left corner is for its size within the image, very distracting, and also that the left vertical third of the image is quite a bit darker than the right third. I also agree that you have slightly over brightened and saturated the greens of the foliage in the centre of the image. I also suspect that you have added an extra and feathered circle of luminosity to the centre of the image, in an attempt to give the image a more foreground oriented yet centralised focus point. Or you may well have used fill flash to create this effect, but either way it doesn't fully work, because the sky is just so dominant in the background, no matter what you did with the foreground, the image is being controlled by that amazing sunset taking place in the background. This tussle between foreground and background has caused an uneasy conflict within the image, as to what it is exactly that you wish the viewer to rest their gaze upon, instead of creating the hoped for and aforementioned juxtapo... oh heck you know the word.

What do I think is right about the image? There is a lot to like about this image, the wonderful rich colours, the best use of what you had to hand, the amazing sky and the fact that you have tried to do something different and I assume on the fly and also at the same time looking after your daughter. This image is certainly not a failure by any stretch of the imagination, but for me the conflict of the dominant foreground against an even more dominant background, is what I believe stops this image rising from the really good to the really great.

I dream of getting a sky like that, but I also have nightmares of getting a sky like that when I am not expecting it and then running around panicking as I try to put something in front of it. It happens to us all. But when you are there with a great view and ready and waiting with the camera ready to go - you get nothing! Yet when your out fetching the groceries from the local superstore and walking back through the car park, to where you parked your car next to the recycling bins, BANG! It happens, the best sunset you have ever seen starts to take place behind the grey concrete walls of supermarket and all you can do is stare at it and swear under your breath, as you continue to pack your 'buy one get one free' cans of beans and dog chews into the boot of the damn car - ho hum!!!!

Dave
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 07:26:38 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2013, 11:05:22 PM »
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Judging by the length of your critique, your account must have been hacked by... never mind Grin

In all seriousness, thanks for the thoughts, Dave. When I juxtapose  Tongue your critique with the magazine editor's one, there isn't much difference; yours is just more eloquent. Indeed, the flash was used, plus PS, to bring out the colors in the reeds. This also explains why the left side is darker than the right (further away from the flash).

Anyway, there is usually more to learn from mistakes than from successes. It is equally important to try something different from time to time, knowing perfectly well that only a small percentage of attempts will result in something worthwhile. Or, in other words, when you juxtapose the number of attempts with the number of successful outcomes... Tongue
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l_d_allan
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2013, 07:16:09 AM »
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It was indeed an incredible sky, especially for November.

I really am impressed by your "November Sky" image, and especially the sky itself. Did you happen to take a capture of just the sky itself ... so that the entire frame is filled with the sky?

If and when I get decent at masking and compositing, I hope to have captured an assortment of dramatic skies to serve as backgrounds for multi-layer composites.
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2013, 07:20:42 AM »
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What a fantastic sky!
...
I dream of getting a sky like that, but I also have nightmares of getting a sky like that when I am not expecting it and then running around panicking as I try to put something in front of it. It happens to us all.

Agree.

I am trying to be more intentional about having a decent camera with me as I go about life.
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2013, 09:01:53 AM »
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Judging by the length of your critique, your account must have been hacked by... never mind Grin

...the number of attempts with the number of successful outcomes... Tongue
I was pleased to read Dave's post... It is a good feeling to know that such thoughts are moving around in their various guises in many skulls on this planet, and found Slobodan's sense of the post much like mine... the good of the entire experiment including submitting/putting it out there, for me is the importance of that willingness to go elsewhere than the rules and/or framework of "Photography". I don't see "attempt", I see "experiment". I won't bore you with a rehash of a bit posted at But is it Art/ "Under the surface of the earth" topic, as I was already too longwinded there, but I did include links to two excellent essays I came across this morning that illustrate this simmering sense I have of a teeter totter with comfort zones of individuals known experiences on one side with the immense possibility of an explosion of vision of what "photography is/can/will be" on the other. The comfort zone is getting to be a small cold place when one thinks about the possibilities on the other. I wish I were two.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 09:06:19 AM by Patricia Sheley » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2013, 09:29:01 AM »
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Well put, Patricia.

I see the issue as having to do with where your personal comfort zone is on a spectrum from "experiment" to "cliche." The magazine's reviewer strikes me as somewhere to the right of center on that line, while I'm more to the left. I like a pretty sunset as well as most other folks, but I find SB's experiment much more interesting because it does push my mind in directions that aren't well-trodden paths.
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« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2013, 09:37:44 AM »
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The leaves facing the camera seem quite lit up.  Did you light paint this at all to get that effect?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2013, 10:39:25 AM »
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The leaves facing the camera seem quite lit up.  Did you light paint this at all to get that effect?

As I noted above, indeed, the built-in flash was used, plus PS' Color Range, to bring out the colors in the reeds.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 11:20:00 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2013, 11:14:56 AM »
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The more the colors assail my senses, the more I like it...my query for the day is how the critic posted this on March 3, 2013?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2013, 11:26:01 AM »
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...my query for the day is how the critic posted this on March 3, 2013?

It seems that a lot of magazines use that kind of calendar. If monthlies, you can actually buy a March issue already at the end of February. In this case, they are a weekly, so the March 3rd issue was available on Feb 26th. It also seems they are referring to the end of the week they are covering, not the beginning.

After all, traveling into the future seems to be the only way printed magazines can catch up with the instantaneous nature of the news on the Internet Wink
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« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2013, 11:31:14 AM »
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I want to ride that magic carpet so I can play the market better. All this up and down stuff is making me a bit anxious.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2013, 02:20:59 PM »
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It seems that a lot of magazines use that kind of calendar. If monthlies, you can actually buy a March issue already at the end of February. In this case, they are a weekly, so the March 3rd issue was available on Feb 26th. It also seems they are referring to the end of the week they are covering, not the beginning.

I have an advert running in the AP for the March 3rd issue, nothing too grand you understand, but none the less it is in there, my first advert - have you seen it Slobodan I wondered? They are suppose to be sending me a free issue to show me the ad, so I will get to read your image review for real as it were.

They wanted me to have one of my images in the advert to add impact, but I thought for the size of it within the page, it would make the words less easy to see and read, so I thought I may as well stick with a simple set of words in a high impact colour contrast sort of thing - cost me £175 (around $250 US) for that little advert, and it only runs in one issue and for one week.

Slobodan, I know what you mean about the hijacking, but no it was only me and I thought your image deserved a more wordy/detailed review  Smiley

Dave
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 02:46:27 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2013, 03:37:40 PM »
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Dave, I did not see the ad until you mentioned it (then I found it on page 88).

The trouble with those ads is that they are all grouped at the end of the magazine, after all the editorial content. So, once I am done reading the content part, I am usually done with that issue, i.e., I just skip the end of the magazine where all the ads are. Just like I fast-forward ads on Netflix and Hulu, btw. But, that's just me. You wouldn't know, of course, until you try. That's the only way to ultimately see how many responses you'd get.

Now, may I critique your ad, please? Yes?... Thank you. Smiley

Had I went through ad pages, I would have probably just skimmed through and ultimately skipped your ad. On the positive side, it is yellow, thus practically jumping off the page. On the negative side, the most prominent part of the ad are the words "Photography.info." Now, remember, my glance and my attention span for that ad are rather fractions of a second, thus my reaction would be: "I do not need any info on photography," and move on. After all, I am already reading a photographic magazine to get the info.

What I think you should emphasize instead is "Isle of Skye" and perhaps "Scotland." If  anyone would be interested in attending your workshop, they would be precisely because they are familiar with those names (in terms of landscape photography locations). That is the main attraction and the reason to come to you. Among landscape photographers, Isle of Skye has a legendary status world wide. I mean, I've known it for at least the last fifteen to twenty years. Back in the late 90s, I flew from Moscow to Cornwall for a workshop (with Joe Cornish) because I already knew about Cornwall reputation as a landscape location. I would have preferred Skye, had there been a workshop there though.

Next: picture. I know it is predominantly a financial consideration, and you did the right thing by testing the water first, just to see if there is any interest that way, but for me THE ONLY WAY that would make me look at the ad longer than a split second, would be a picture. And not any picture, it would have to be a stop-me-in-my-tracks picture (which, luckily, wouldn't be too hard for you). I want a picture that would make me drool and say: "I want to go there and take such a picture myself."

I hope you do not mind my little ad critique. You don't? Fantastic! I knew you are a great guy! Grin

« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 04:29:39 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2013, 04:24:44 PM »
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Thanks Slobodan, I didn't want to hijack your thread with my advert, so thanks for your review of it.

I don't buy the magazines anymore, but when I did (and I used to by a lot), I used to regularly buy AP among many others and know that around 2/3rds of the AP mag at least, is wall to wall advertising with microscopic text, in fact substantially more advertising than any other mag I have ever seen. So I sort of knew my little ad would end up being buried deep within the bowels of advert obscurity and towards the middle back of the mag, so that's why I went with the wording instead of an image, thought I was being clever I suppose and trying to get the most imapct for the buck.

But I agree, next time I will go for a an image advert and thank you very mch for saying I would be able to use a 'stop-me-in-my-tracks' picture  Grin

Dave
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2013, 04:33:40 PM »
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I really am impressed by your "November Sky" image, and especially the sky itself. Did you happen to take a capture of just the sky itself ... so that the entire frame is filled with the sky?...

At your service, Sir! Slightly different angle though:
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« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2013, 05:04:26 PM »
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Now that's what I'd call a pretty picture.
But the original post is what I'd call a very interesting picture, worth spending time with.
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« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2013, 05:21:39 PM »
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Hard not to like that shot.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2013, 05:59:26 PM »
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At your service, Sir! Slightly different angle though:

Now that is the shot I would have gone for - excellent!!!!

Dave
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 04:17:01 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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Tony Jay
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« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2013, 05:59:28 PM »
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At your service, Sir! Slightly different angle though:

THAT is an impressive sky!

Tony Jay
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« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2013, 10:15:23 AM »
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I like this shot. I don't know what the editor is talking about. It is a "safezone" reply because images like that gather controversial opinions.
Keeping also in mind that critic opinions differ so much I'm not surprised. It sure isn't a traditional version of landscape. In a different kind of magazine
this could also be a spread. Have you written it was intentionally?

I so much prefer the first one. involves more brain activity Wink
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 10:19:57 AM by NickMarkou » Logged
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