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Author Topic: After the fire  (Read 1401 times)
pcgpcg
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« on: July 05, 2014, 01:46:16 PM »
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After a weather forecast of low winds and clear skies failed to materialize, I was forced to give up my plan to photograph the heavily crevassed north side of Mt. Hood at dawn and retreat below timberline to calmer weather.  I found myself socked in with morning fog in an area where a forest fire blackened the landscape almost three years ago and quickly shifted my focus in an attempt to salvage my trip.  Up high (first photo) the snow has still not melted.  A thousand feet lower (second photo) avalanche lilies smother the blackened ground.  In between (third photo) I managed to find an isolated group of first bloomers that appear to symbolize the new life that springs up in the first years after a forest fire.

I wrestled for some time with the first photo, at various times adding and subtracting both contrast and clarity.  I want to make the crooked snag interesting while still making it appear somewhat foggy.  More or less contrast or clarity in all or selected portions of the photo?

The second is my least favorite and is rather bland, but I included it because it shows how prolific the avalanche lilies are when in full bloom.  Perhaps too much contrast?

I thought I had a real keeper in the third photo until I realized the flowers are not quite in focus.  I tried to improve the situation a bit with Focus Magic, but there is no fixing my failure to get it right.  However, I think it slides by for a print up to perhaps 8” x 10”?

Constructive criticism requested.
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Paul
Richard Pearlman
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2014, 06:41:23 AM »
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It looks like an amazing location. These shots have great mood and potential, but I do feel like they fall a little short. I do not feel the compositions are very compelling, but I can see your intention in each shot. With some more experimentation in the field, I think you could get some great shots in this location.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2014, 11:56:42 AM »
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I find #1 and #3 quite satisfying, especially #1. I wouldn't change a thing.

To me, the blossoms in #2 look as if they are clipping, and I would be tempted to slightly lower the contrast or at least bring down the highlights a bit.
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 09:38:45 PM »
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I'd call this a successful day. I like the curves and movement in the trunks of #3, as well as the contrasts and fog.
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 02:09:04 AM »
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I really like #3. You probably should not put full size images on the net. They will be taken.

It is very hard to make a foggy scene work without some portion out of the fog. Even people that recognize the feel of the quiet, still, fog will, to some extent, see a flat, blurry image.
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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 03:20:44 AM »
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My favourite is #1, but I would crop it to the right of the third (darkish) tree counting from the left. I think the composition would be cleaner that way.
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kikashi
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 01:23:19 PM »
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I like ##1 and 3, particularly #1. I don't agree with Paulo about cropping, though: I think it's great as it is (Russ, you should be proud of me).

Jeremy
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pcgpcg
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 10:01:04 PM »
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Thanks to everyone for you critique.  I really appreciate your comments.

… With some more experimentation in the field, I think you could get some great shots in this location.
I plan on going back very soon.  I must admit I feel somewhat overwhelmed by the abundance of subject matter at this location and somewhat at a loss for how to best utilize it.  I would like to return with a plan so am pondering what I might look for when I return.  I would like to see what a more experienced photographer could do here.

…To me, the blossoms in #2 look as if they are clipping, and I would be tempted to slightly lower the contrast or at least bring down the highlights a bit.
I agree – too contrasty and the flowers are clipping.  I think it will still be a boring photo though – tossing it.

… You probably should not put full size images on the net. They will be taken…
 
These were created by exporting as jpegs from Lightroom, with size limited to 2 MB and resolution set to 72 ppi, but not resized.  What would you suggest as a good set of criteria for exporting to websites such as this without putting full size images out there?

Again, thank you all for taking the time to view and offer suggestions.
 
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Paul
francois
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2014, 03:02:35 AM »
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My favorite is #3, the contrast between the fire and its consequences and the flowers is very nice. The green leaves and white flowers are also welcome in this charred world. I also like #1, the foggy could also be interpreted as the lingering smoke, just after the fire. Photo #2 is not bad but not on the same level as #1 and #3…
Bravo
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Francois
davidh202
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2014, 04:49:15 PM »
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  #3 is absolutely wonderful!   Leave it as is!

David
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IcelandAurora
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 04:28:25 PM »
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These are all fine shots with a reportage value and nice aesthetics, but #3 is stunning in the way the healthy plants contrast with the blackened branches.
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NancyP
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2014, 11:19:26 AM »
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I really like #3, and if it doesn't enlarge well greater than 8 x 10, enjoy at 8 x 10! I like the other two as well, especially #1 with the bizarre little tree.
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DwayneOakes
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2014, 09:56:55 PM »
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wow stunning images !
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 01:28:23 AM »
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Although fire (especially high intensity fire) can be destructive, it's also a vital part of forest regeneration. It will be fascinating for you to be able to watch the transformation over the next months/ years.

Mike.
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davidh202
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 01:34:45 PM »
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congratulations on making the Oly user of the month favorites ...well deserved!!

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/topnav_gallery?utm_content=headline&utm_campaign=jungallery_2014_us&utm_source=email_etprm&utm_medium=email

 David
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pcgpcg
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2014, 10:19:57 AM »
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Thank you David!
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Paul
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2014, 12:15:26 PM »
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Could you catch the sunrise in there?  If I had a decent camera for this photograph it would have come out much better.  My favorite was 3, something about the left hand side seems slightly out of place, but I really feel like I'm in that forest, and can feel the wood reaching out to me.
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