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Author Topic: Compositional Study 3  (Read 4142 times)
opgr
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« on: September 27, 2005, 06:59:48 AM »
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It's one thing to critique someone else's images, it's another to submit one's own. So, here is a sample of my own struggle. This was purely a compositional study. It does not have a narrative or deeper message. It doesn't even reveal the character of the locale very well. It's a handheld bracketed shot using a Canon Digital Rebel and the EFS 10-22.
btw: A nice tip for aligning handheld shots: scale the image by 200%, then align the layers, then scale back to original size. Photoshop doesn't easily allow fractional movements of layers. This way you can move in half pixel increments!


 the sunset and tree form a single element. It is therefore not ambiguous which is the subject. It is not "a tree on a plain of sand" *and* "a sunset embedded in moving clouds" as a backdrop.

c) the sunset and tree in combination are stronger than the convergence, but the sunset or tree as a single element are not.

d) there is definitive potential with the colors in the sky and the complementary color of the strands of grass. It does however have the danger of the sky becoming too dominant because it has the more attractive, saturated colors.

What could be better:

- The convergence is nice but doesn't contribute at all to the perception of depth and is even perpendicular to the subject. The clouds alone are obviously a strong depth cue, but the land below is unnecessarily flat in comparison, almost as if the sky has been cut&pasted in later...

- The foreground is sharp, but doesn't reveal anything useful but cluttered footsteps instead of for example little wind-ripples in the sand forming an additional structure.

- I think the tree should not be linked to the forrest in the horizon, should stand freely. (I do like the horizontal line formed by the forrest though).

- Although it is just a compositional study, the image desperately needs attraction or emotion, such as a possible point of view, place to sit and have a picnic or something contemplative. For those of you who remember that discussion: this is what you would get if you send out that robot to shoot "a beautiful sunset".

- The image doesn't reveal the character of the locale which I find important for landscape images (and this website & forum used to be related to landscape the last time I checked).
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Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
theimagingfactory
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 10:58:59 AM »
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Hello opgr,

I think it is useful that you provided the commentary explaining the struggle you are having with this photograph. I can relate to that, because it has some very strong elements and a problem. I find the sky, the foreground, the sunset and the tree against the sunset are the strong elements - well handled to give alot of depth and character. I think it has a compositional issue. One would expect the center of attention to be the tree and the sunset; however the large detailed sand bar in the foreground first takes ones eyes there. Then the line of shrubs and the pattern of the clouds both take ones eyes off to the other side of the picture, from which point one then looks over to the sunset. So the lines of composition are somewhat in competition with the photograph's center of interest. Nonetheless, I still relate to this picture. It has a nice mood to it, the tonality is "right", and the detail of the sand and the shrubs is attractive.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
jdemott
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005, 04:03:46 PM »
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Your self-critique is very thorough and I have little to add. Your point that the tree and the forest should not be linked is quite valid. The one significant point I have to add is that the area in the sky roughly between your first and second red lines seems unnaturally light. I don't know whether that is a product of digital blending or just the way the clouds appeared at that moment. Either way, to me it has the feeling of a hole in the composition that keeps drawing my eye away from the subject and out of the natural flow of the composition.

I think there would be a greater feeling of depth if the foreground was lighter, but that would unfortunately tend to emphasize the cluttered aspect of the scene that you have already noted.
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John DeMott
opgr
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2005, 12:25:19 PM »
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Crepuscular Rays is the word I was looking for. That could possibly have helped to add convergence in support of the subject. But then it would probaby still need something at the lower end.

The unnaturally light part may well be a result of blending. The overexposed frame becomes white at about there. On the other hand I find those new "digital" lenses to be excessively ...uhm ...contrasty, hard, slap-in-the-face. Combined with the vignetting it may also have been somewhat exaggerated. That's of course no excuse to not compensate for it in post-processing...

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Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
theimagingfactory
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