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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 08:26
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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.

 
elrey2375
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Jun 30, 2014 02:05 |  #3421

Do what you like. You can always fail doing something you hate. But why? I shoot what I like. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not so good. That's all part of the game.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Jun 30, 2014 21:56 |  #3422

airfrogusmc wrote in post #17000932 (external link)
It's about our own life experiences. We know that direct sun is warm. The fur of cats is usually very soft and concrete is rough. And it's not a photograph about a cat but those experienced relationships and the contrasts. If it were a cat portrait, which the world wide web is full of, then it's not a good cat portrait.

It is an interesting image about subtle color, opposing textures and shape. The obvious cat is only relevant in the fact it is soft and being petted. What it actually looks like is only relevant in its monochromatic color. The person is only relevant to show the act of touching the soft, warmed by the sun fur, which most know what that feels like. The person is also relevant because the cool blue on the jacket also bringing contrast to the warm skin tone.

So rough/smooth. Cool/warm color. Wonderful movement from upper left into the image. A simple life moment that we have all experienced and most important through all of this is it looks like one of Oh Looks photographs.

And with this she is exploring some similar ground as Gibson only she is using color
Heres something because Oh Looks image did remind me a bit of this by Gibson
http://pleasurephotoro​om.files.wordpress.com …ibson-day-at-sea-1972.jpg (external link)

And a few words on the snapshot aesthetic
http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/Snapshot_aesthe​tic (external link)

I guess I see the similarities, though I think that one of the things that works with the Gibson is that the b&w treatment sort of unifies the whole image. I'd be interested in seeing OhLook's image in black and white. I previously said that I thought it was a little too "busy", that there's just too much stuff going on in the image, and I wonder if I'd feel differently about it if the color were removed.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Jun 30, 2014 22:23 |  #3423

OhLook wrote in post #17001289 (external link)
"Employed"? I didn't have that much control. The lighting was available. Midday is the most practical time for me to go out, and it was a bright day.

Could it be that when you see a cat, you think "There's a cat" and you stop looking?

1) Don't sell yourself short like that. Either you think the lighting works, or you don't. If you think it works, then it was the right light to use because it works, not because "it is what was available." Alternatively, if it doesn't work, then "it's what was available" isn't an excuse. Regardless of what I may feel about any of your individual images, you know what you're doing and you're thinking about what you're doing, which means that you DO have that much control. If you can't control the light, then you certainly can have enough control to shoot things that work in that light.

Anyway, that's just a pet peeve of mine. There have been plenty of times when I saw a really intriguing photograph (I'm still not sold on this one, but the discussion surrounding it is fascinating). Then someone asks what the intent was or why it was shot that way and the photographer replies with something like "I dunno, I just had some stuff lying around so I mashed it together." And I'm just like, "oh. That's about the most disappointing answer I could have heard."

2) Anyway, I like to think I can see beyond a cat (I've given positive comments about cat pictures and kid pictures, and I generally hate those things). I just think that being able to see below the surface doesn't necessarily make the surface irrelevant. Someone could photograph a pretty picture of flies walking around on a pile of intestines, and talk all day about the lighting and the composition, but it's not exactly as if we can just ignore that it's flies sitting on a pile of intestines. I think I can state this pretty well, since a good portion of my work is weird. And I mean weird like in "grotesque" and "involving the butchering and mutilation of animals". Yeah, some people absolutely have a problem with that. But I feel like it's a copout for me to say, "pfft, you just can't see beyond the surface-level content." The surface level content still matters, otherwise I wouldn't have put it in there.




  
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OhLook
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Jun 30, 2014 22:51 |  #3424

Clean Gene wrote in post #17004276 (external link)
I'd be interested in seeing OhLook's image in black and white.

Here you go.


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First I removed the saturation. The result was too contrasty, so I fiddled with the tones. Then I added a little sepia because it looked better. If you want to see a pure B&W version, you can download the color image and DIY. I have Editing OK turned on.

Clean Gene wrote in post #17004330 (external link)
1) Don't sell yourself short like that. Either you think the lighting works, or you don't. If you think it works, then it was the right light to use because it works, not because "it is what was available." . . . If you can't control the light, then you certainly can have enough control to shoot things that work in that light.

No, really. When there are moving subjects and they're not going to pose, my choices are (1) use the light that's there, (2) skip the opportunity entirely. I wasn't about to ask the woman and the cat whether they'd mind coming back just before sunset. You know how cats are. (Yes, we can all think of the next line.)


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | Comments welcome

  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Jul 02, 2014 00:26 |  #3425

OhLook wrote in post #17004390 (external link)
Here you go.

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IMAGE LINK: http://s641.photobucke​t.com …atBW_zpse247bd4​1.jpg.html  (external link)

First I removed the saturation. The result was too contrasty, so I fiddled with the tones. Then I added a little sepia because it looked better. If you want to see a pure B&W version, you can download the color image and DIY. I have Editing OK turned on.

No, really. When there are moving subjects and they're not going to pose, my choices are (1) use the light that's there, (2) skip the opportunity entirely. I wasn't about to ask the woman and the cat whether they'd mind coming back just before sunset. You know how cats are. (Yes, we can all think of the next line.)


1) I may be in the minority here, but I like that a LOT more. I personally didn't think the color was doing much, and was distracting from the cohesiveness of the image. Now with the color gone, I feel like I'm paying a lot more attention to form, light, and shadow.

2) My point is, saying "I did it because it was available" is sort of a non-answer. Of course EVERYONE utilizes or uses things because they are available, simply because if they were not available then that person wouldn't be able to use it. You'd might as well say, "I shot this because I have a camera" or "I went to this place because I'm not dead yet." That essentially boils down to "I did it because it was possible", which is a huge letdown of a reply because that same reply applies to everyone who has ever done anything. It's such an ubiquitous truth that it's practically not worth saying. But here's the thing even within the parameters of what you can do, there are a lot of things that you can do that you DON'T do. Like, some guy might say that he shoots weddings because they're available, but trees are available too and he doesn't shoot trees. Telling me that he shoots weddings because they're available is just a foregone conclusion given the fact that he shoots weddings. It still doesn't tell me why he shoots weddings instead of trees.




  
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OhLook
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Jul 02, 2014 01:56 |  #3426

Clean Gene wrote in post #17006549 (external link)
1) I may be in the minority here, but I like that a LOT more. I personally didn't think the color was doing much, and was distracting from the cohesiveness of the image. Now with the color gone, I feel like I'm paying a lot more attention to form, light, and shadow.

Okay. airfrog likes the color, you don't, the next person might or might not--no problem.

When I look at the LCD screen, trying to choose the best moments to push the button, all the color is there and I have to see "through" it to judge form (lines, shapes) as if the color had dropped out. In this case, most areas were gray or white in reality. Sometimes it's harder.

2) My point is, saying "I did it because it was available" is sort of a non-answer. Of course EVERYONE utilizes or uses things because they are available, simply because if they were not available then that person wouldn't be able to use it.

But recall that this part of the dialogue began when you talked about "the lighting which was employed." I didn't employ the lighting. In a studio, one employs lighting. I chose the subject, but the sunshine was just there, take it or leave it.


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airfrogusmc
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Jul 02, 2014 16:09 |  #3427

I like the subtle color.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Jul 12, 2014 04:40 |  #3428

mtimber wrote in post #14207751 (external link)
Post your thoughts, questions and observations and pictures here.

When you post a picture, please explain your compositional thoughts so others understand your image better.

It's been so long since I've read the original post, that I had forgotten that we were asked to share our thoughts at the same time we post an image.

Below are two images. Both feature a whitetail buck standing in a teasel patch. Both were taken in the same patch of teasel. Both were taken the same evening, just 13 minutes apart. What a huge difference a slight change in POV makes!

For the first image, I shot it from a standing position, which was necessary due to the density of the teasel stalks immediately in front of me (I had to shoot over them). I wanted to get a few steps closer, so that I could get in front of the obstructions, which would enable me to get down low. However, the buck was a spooky one, and as soon as I moved a step or two toward him, he turned his hind side to me and started to move away.

In the other image, I was able to get down low, and shot while laying on the ground. This enabled me to put the sky behind my subject's head. I say "my subject's head", but I really wonder whether the buck is the subject of this photo, or if the teasel is the subject. Both are equally important to me, and in this case, I might even consider the teasel to be the main subject, and the buck to be the "supporting element".


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"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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airfrogusmc
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Jul 12, 2014 20:43 |  #3429

Tom I like the second better because of subject separation and you still get a feel for the vegetation. Like'm both....




  
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OhLook
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Jul 12, 2014 22:56 |  #3430

Tom Reichner wrote in post #17026481 (external link)
It's been so long since I've read the original post, that I had forgotten that we were asked to share our thoughts at the same time we post an image.

We were? I'd rather post an image without commenting, to avoid giving viewers any preconceptions.

Below are two images. Both feature a whitetail buck standing in a teasel patch.

I can't decide which I prefer, not that you asked for a choice. Both are dramatic. Both would benefit from sharper focus. I think you once posted about lacking lenses for optimal focus on distant animals.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Jul 13, 2014 01:42 |  #3431

I much prefer the second. In addition to the things already mentioned, the deer in the second image is looking dead straight right at me. That gives the image a lot of added impact, since that direct engagement with me really gets my attention.

Anyway, I don't think that the deer or the teasel (I'm assuming that's the plant) is the subject of the photo. I think the subject is more along the lines of the deer's relationship to its environment. More specifically, part of the environment and an extension of its environment. I'm not getting any of that in the first image. In the first image, I'm just seeing a deer in an environment. That's gone in the second image. The deer and its environment are no longer coming off as separate elements. The deer dissolves into its surroundings at the base, while the head sticking up is similar to the seed pods (or flowers) extending from the ground. There's a really nice sense of wholeness and uniformity there, and the icing on the cake is the way that the deer is gazing directly at me. The first image? It's nice and technically good and compositionally sound, but it just plain doesn't have near the same impact as the second image. The first image is good, but I still can't help but to see it as just a deer in a field. The second image goes beyond that.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Jul 13, 2014 03:08 |  #3432

Eh, what the hell. I normally post in Critique Corner, but I'll try out this thread.

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So, like...are we supposed to comment about the image, or aren't we? I'm not quite sure how much I want to (or can) say about this. It's another of my dead animal dioramas. For this one I wanted to express a sense of vulnerability, but I'm not entirely sure how well that comes off seeing as how the final image is significantly different than my original plan.



  
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airfrogusmc
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Jul 13, 2014 07:47 |  #3433

I think in the context of other work in a series it can work. As far as not turning out likes planned thats one thing I love about my personal work. It is never planned. I Make a left turn on a street there is a ton of visual possibilities. If I would have turned right, not a thing.....

What about this? For me this is about the hands.

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Jul 13, 2014 10:32 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #3434

What about this? For me this is about the hands.

I love how your art shows life imitating art...and repeating patterns too.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Jul 13, 2014 11:01 |  #3435

Oh Look and Allen, thanks for your comments & insights, they are appreciated.

Clean Gene wrote in post #17028178 (external link)
I much prefer the second. In addition to the things already mentioned, the deer in the second image is looking dead straight right at me. That gives the image a lot of added impact, since that direct engagement with me really gets my attention.

Anyway, I don't think that the deer or the teasel (I'm assuming that's the plant) is the subject of the photo. I think the subject is more along the lines of the deer's relationship to its environment. More specifically, part of the environment and an extension of its environment. I'm not getting any of that in the first image. In the first image, I'm just seeing a deer in an environment. That's gone in the second image. The deer and its environment are no longer coming off as separate elements. The deer dissolves into its surroundings at the base, while the head sticking up is similar to the seed pods (or flowers) extending from the ground. There's a really nice sense of wholeness and uniformity there, and the icing on the cake is the way that the deer is gazing directly at me. The first image? It's nice and technically good and compositionally sound, but it just plain doesn't have near the same impact as the second image. The first image is good, but I still can't help but to see it as just a deer in a field. The second image goes beyond that.

Gene,
I very much agree with your comments . . . all of them.

I used these two images to illustrate how one can be in the same place and photograph the same thing, but have very different results due to changing the composition. In this case, the composition was changed by me getting in closer and down lower. The first image is, to me, little more than "a deer in a field", as you said. In the second image, I think the field comes alive a little bit, and some drama is introduced by the teasel stalks themselves.

Teasel is a really interesting plant; in the fall the seedheads die and turn brown. But those dead seedheads persist for two seasons. So, the ones that were this years' seedheads are a golden brown, while the persistent seedheads from the previous season are a deep, dark brown. Together, they form a two-tone effect. Both the dark and the light brown mirror different parts of a deer's coat, and so from a color/tonal standpoint, the tones in the deer are repeated in that of the vegetation in which it lives. Allen works a lot with repetition of shape and form. With my deer photography, I try to work with a repetition of color and tone.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.
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