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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 07 Aug 2012 (Tuesday) 15:50
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Lake Superior Outlooking Girl

 
mattmorgan44
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Aug 12, 2012 06:23 |  #31

ImageMogul wrote in post #14847164 (external link)
Respectfully (and for the record!), I didn't offer any comment suggesting that the girl was looking out into the distance... and I have been following what has been suggested. It just seems that the abundance of water takes the initial focus away from the girl, somewhat. That initial focus, IMHO, might be achieved by altering the crop to a tighter vertical one.

Just for fun, let's make up a poignant story that works with a vertical crop!

With a tighter vertical crop, attention goes first to the girl who, by the way, is feeling overwhelmed - not by a wall of water - but by grief, causing her to gaze down at the edge of a cold, beckoning surf... Sadly, she entertains thoughts of ending a life that has become unbearable and hopelessly devoid of meaning. The viewer's eye is then drawn slowly up and far out to sea, illustrating (obviously!) that she is considering achieving this end by wading into the surf and swimming out to sea - far past the point in which her waning energy would allow her to return safely back to shore... ... ...

See how that works! ;)

I did realize you didn't say she is looking into the distance. The comment "drawing the viewers eye to the girl, then out into the distance" just reminded me of many similar shots where the girl is looking out at the horizon, where that would be the case. What I meant was, the girl doesn't seem to be looking out into the distance and it probably doesn't need the attention to be drawn to the girl first. It has a unique feel about it that I think is lost when you lose the wall of water. I actually agree with you, with the vertical crop the focus will be drawn to the girl first before going out to the horizon. We just differ in opinion on what works best for this image. Btw, neither of us are right or wrong there :-)

Also, I understand your point with your story about the girl in the vertical crop but there is a big difference. The thoughts and emotions I was talking about with the girl and the wall of water were impacted on me, not by any choice, when I first saw the photo. If the thoughts in your crop weren't just a story but real feelings and thoughts then that would be different.

ImageMogul wrote in post #14847164 (external link)
Of course, this is all in fun. Different crops certainly can (and do) present different perspectives (and potentially, somewhat different interpretations). The most significant point is that David captured something that encouraged an emotional response in a number of viewers - which is much the goal of good photography. I still agree with Flo that focus issues will likely force a re-shoot, but a nice moody shot was still achieved and it takes a good eye to recognize that potential. I say good job!

I whole-heatedly agree with all of this and the part in bold is a real testament to this photo. I agree it may be good to get her in focus but it's not always possible to re-shoot. Also, some of the best photos ever taken are not technically perfect. This photo did ster up some thoughts and feelings in many of the few posters here, so it may be perfect the way it is.


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Aug 12, 2012 13:36 |  #32

Qbx's edited version seems to be the best one so far, though the original one is a close second. Nice job.


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ImageMogul
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Aug 12, 2012 13:59 as a reply to  @ mattmorgan44's post |  #33

Well said and well received, Matt. I wholeheartedly agree that there is no clear right or wrong with respect to the treatment of this image, though it would be immediately apparent to most that my crop is vastly superior... (totally kidding).

My previous snarky comment; "let's make up a poignant story that works with a vertical crop" would perhaps have been better stated by saying "let's see what response might possibly be invoked by a vertical crop".

There are times when a specific, targeted response is encouraged by the composition (such as shooting for an ad campaign). There are other times when you just plain see something that grabs you. You capture it and figure it out later because the scene contains something that "speaks".

It takes creativity to craft an emotional feeling and/or story with an image - and, by the same token, it takes creativity to recognize and capture a scene that invokes emotion - even if you can't quite put your finger on it. Both are legitimate in their own right. Both methods can achieve an image that is meaningful to the viewer.

Sigh...there are also moments when psuedo-photographers such as myself babble on and on in wordy fashion - saying much - yet offering little meaningful information. Perhaps, this is one of those times...

Best,
Mark

ps: David, are you enjoying all of this? lol


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Andrea.Allure
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Aug 12, 2012 17:24 |  #34

Nice shot with beautiful color tones. I would prefer the girl not to be directly in the center, you could possibly try more of a panoramic crop with her moved slightly towards the either side of the frame....


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mattmorgan44
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Aug 12, 2012 21:35 as a reply to  @ ImageMogul's post |  #35

Good stuff Mark. Agreed!

And if David isn't enjoying the discussion at least he can take it as a massive comment to his photo :) That reminds me, my last comment I made the wrong part of your comment bold. Fixed now.


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KirkS518
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Aug 12, 2012 21:38 |  #36

ImageMogul wrote in post #14847164 (external link)
With a tighter vertical crop, attention goes first to the girl who, by the way, is feeling overwhelmed - not by a wall of water - but by grief, causing her to gaze down at the edge of a cold, beckoning surf... Sadly, she entertains thoughts of ending a life that has become unbearable and hopelessly devoid of meaning. The viewer's eye is then drawn slowly up and far out to sea, illustrating (obviously!) that she is considering achieving this end by wading into the surf and swimming out to sea - far past the point in which her waning energy would allow her to return safely back to shore... ... ...

See how that works! ;)

Of course, this is all in fun.

Best Regards,
Mark

If this is your idea of fun, I'd hate to see what you think is sad! (LOL)

Andrea.Allure wrote in post #14849570 (external link)
Nice shot with beautiful color tones. I would prefer the girl not to be directly in the center, you could possibly try more of a panoramic crop with her moved slightly towards the either side of the frame....

I have to say that taking her out of the center certainly would lose it's impact. This is an image in many ways allows for many 'photography 101 rules' to be broken.

I really prefer the horizontal, although the vertical can work (almost equally) as well. I think either crop could be displayed and both would conjure up emotions in the viewer. This is probably one of my most favorite photos I've seen.


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mattmorgan44
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Aug 12, 2012 21:47 |  #37

Off centre would lose the impact for sure.

I like a few of the edits, but I keep coming back to the original. Even Qbx's edit, which I like and is nice to lighten up the hair and make it more vibrant, loses some of the impact for me. I could see the original printed huge in a gallery


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ImageMogul
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Aug 13, 2012 00:29 |  #38

KirkS518 wrote in post #14850405 (external link)
If this is your idea of fun, I'd hate to see what you think is sad! (LOL)

Ha! Touche!


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McMongo
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Aug 14, 2012 15:30 as a reply to  @ post 14842545 |  #39

Im very humbled by everyone here response. I think Ill leave it at first edit. Evertime I play with it it never really improves. Ill try the vertical c rop tho and i think theres very good possibilatys that way also. The girl ran down very excited, i think it was the first time ever at seeing anything like this. She went straight to the waters edge and stoped. It was one of thethem spur of the moment shots. had a feeling a shot might happen but didnt know what ot razor sharp and at first i wished i was lower and got the horzion, after I got home and croped it this way i was pritty shure I caught something. Im going to get a large print for the house and will get it up on my site.

Thx agian.
David


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Sep 06, 2012 14:51 |  #40

Ok going to reopen this back up, I started from scratch and wanted to get everyone's opinion on which one you like. Planning on a 20x30 Print framed with white matte. Any suggentions are welcome.

This is the new edit:

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Older edits:
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Sep 06, 2012 15:54 as a reply to  @ McMongo's post |  #41

The new edit for sure. The water has a great feel to it, and she's a perfect size.

#2 the water has a slightly different feel to it, not as powerful or something.
#3 the tighter crop looses the immensity of the image

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it! :)


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T.E.R.
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Sep 06, 2012 16:09 |  #42

I'd say nr 2

In nr 1 the blue is a bit too saturated IMHO
nr 3 I agree with Kirk




  
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Martin ­ Dixon
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Sep 06, 2012 17:54 |  #43

Was thinking #2 but the more I look the more I think #1 your new edit is the better one.


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Sep 06, 2012 21:24 |  #44

I like the new edit. The brighter water and the higher contrast on the girl. Great photo!


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Sep 06, 2012 21:35 |  #45

AvailableLight wrote in post #14840088 (external link)
I keep going back to the original image. There is emotion in it and I like the contrast of the lake's dominance over the girl. It also makes me wonder what's going through her mind, etc.

I also prefer the original to any of the edits. I think the consistent blue of the water really helps to make this a nice image; it's hard to believe that someone removed the beautiful blue color, and considered that an improvement :(

I do like your steep downward perspective, which has her looking into the water instead of looking out over the water. That helps to keep it from just being another cliche shot.

The one thing I'd like to see is greater resolution in her hair. In the original RAW file, is there a lot of sharp detail in her hair, or is it kind of soft?


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