Woodworker wrote in post #16738175
I take my hat off to those able to use their imagination, so well done but I'd crop the huge dark area at the top a little to conform with the rule of thirds.
*for the TLDR version, scroll down to the bottom*
I'd crop the dark area too, but I have to nitpick about something here. I wouldn't crop it to adhere to the rule of thirds. I'd crop it because there's not a whole lot going on up there, and I don't think that a large blank void benefits this image.
And I feel a little bit bad harping on this, because I actually agree: crop the top. But language influences thought, saying that something is a rule makes people think they have to do it, and then that's further reinforced when people say to do X to an image in order to adhere to the rule.
IMO, that's a little bit backwards, because there are no rules (and even that's sort of a rule). The rule of thirds isn't a mandate to do that, it's a suggestion that doing that can often result in more aesthetically pleasing images. I think people really need to try to get past that, to better understand and explain WHY images are or are not working, without simply citing the "rule". I agree: crop the top. But surely we can find a better way of expressing why the top should be cropped. Telling someone to do something because "it's the rule" doesn't lead to any kind of better understanding.
But yeah, the image. I like it. Beautiful contours and such, I love the contrast, the organic and delicate nature of the landscape constrasts well with the footsteps, thus illustrating a pretty interesting duality: the smallness of mankind's scale within the grandeur of nature, while simultaneously illustrating the effect that persists from man's involvment. Maybe that's a bit too specific, it sort of sounds like I'm some environmentalist nut or something. To explain it more abstractly, this is a picture of what's here, and its relationship to what was here before. It's presence contrasted with absence. I think that's a really freaking cool concept, and it works well here. Personally I think that the highlights are a bit too gray, I think that maybe a bit more postprocessing work could be done. But I love the image, I just think it looks a bit off technically.
Or, at least that's my initial take. Maybe I'm completely wrong here. After all, I don't really have a handle on this stuff myself. But can we please actually start to make more concrete and objective statements that actually CAN be demonstrated to be wrong? Saying that an image adheres to a "rule" is pretty concrete, it's hard to appeal to a rule and then be wrong. But it's easy to appeal to a rule for the sake of following a rule, and then not giving any input on why the image really is or isn't any better.
But yeah..crop the top.