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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 15 Oct 2016 (Saturday) 07:11
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Fäviken Landscape

 
s1a1om
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Post edited over 2 years ago by s1a1om.
     
Oct 15, 2016 07:11 |  #1

Some landscapes from Fäviken last week. The first two are a beautiful sunset, which seemed to last forever. The next two are from the foggy morning the day afterwards. As always, I'm looking for feedback.

1)

IMAGE: https://drscdn.500px.org/photo/177524225/m%3D900/5e462fd6b77e69aeba53a978a92359a1

2)

IMAGE: https://drscdn.500px.org/photo/177524011/m%3D900/979c178dd63baf72cd75d09e190b8857

3)

IMAGE: https://drscdn.500px.org/photo/177755909/m%3D900/9876931eb3f1b0e7e5d008346866adb9

4)

IMAGE: https://drscdn.500px.org/photo/177755519/m%3D900/9885a19d5df95abaaf27fe369947ef96

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bob_r
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Oct 15, 2016 08:24 |  #2

s1a1om wrote in post #18157374 (external link)
Some landscapes from Fäviken last week. The first two are a beautiful sunset, which seemed to last forever. The next two are from the foggy morning the day afterwards. As always, I'm looking for feedback.

You say the first two are "a beautiful sunset that seemed to last forever", yet I don't see that in your images. The sky looks very ordinary in both images and makes including so much of it rather pointless. Perhaps looking through the "Show us your best sunsets" thread in Nature & Landscapes could provide you some inspiration.

I rather like the 3rd image, but would probably crop it differently.

The last image lacks a point of interest (subject), so there is nothing to hold your viewer's attention.

Sorry for such a harsh critique and these are just my opinions. Others may view them differently.


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s1a1om
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Oct 15, 2016 15:55 |  #3

bob_r wrote in post #18157410 (external link)
You say the first two are "a beautiful sunset that seemed to last forever", yet I don't see that in your images. The sky looks very ordinary in both images and makes including so much of it rather pointless. Perhaps looking through the "Show us your best sunsets" thread in Nature & Landscapes could provide you some inspiration.

Had I not mentioned that it was "of a sunset" would you feel differently? Just wondering if I misdirected you with that statement. Perhaps I shouldn't have said anything? Regardless, I see your point.

bob_r wrote in post #18157410 (external link)
I rather like the 3rd image, but would probably crop it differently.

How would you have cropped it? When I took the photo I thought it would be cool, but when I was editing it, I couldn't find a crop that I really liked.

bob_r wrote in post #18157410 (external link)
The last image lacks a point of interest (subject), so there is nothing to hold your viewer's attention.

Interesting, that was my favorite of the group. I definitely don't quite "get" how to shoot landscapes. Any suggestions for training the eye for that type of photography?

bob_r wrote:
=bob_r;18157410Sorry for such a harsh critique and these are just my opinions. Others may view them differently.

No need to apologize. I post here because I want to learn. Harsh criticism only serves to help make my next attempt better. I appreciate your input.


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bob_r
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Oct 15, 2016 17:21 |  #4

s1a1om wrote in post #18157745 (external link)
Had I not mentioned that it was "of a sunset" would you feel differently? Just wondering if I misdirected you with that statement. Perhaps I shouldn't have said anything? Regardless, I see your point.

How would you have cropped it? When I took the photo I thought it would be cool, but when I was editing it, I couldn't find a crop that I really liked.

Interesting, that was my favorite of the group. I definitely don't quite "get" how to shoot landscapes. Any suggestions for training the eye for that type of photography?

No need to apologize. I post here because I want to learn. Harsh criticism only serves to help make my next attempt better. I appreciate your input.

Landscape photography is not so different from any other form of photography, except photojournalism. We don't normally share an everyday view of our surroundings and expect it to be a good landscape photograph. There is normally something you saw at the time you took the photograph that you found interesting and wanted to share with others. That "something" can consist of a large variety of things that are often found in nature, but there must be "something" so your image has a subject. Sometimes the subject can just be light or color rather than an object, but the photographer must make it clear what the subject is. Usually, they do that by drawing more attention to it than anything else in the image.

What would you say your subjects were in these images or to put it another way, what was the most important thing in each image that you wanted to share with your viewers? The sky dominates each of your images so I would assume that's what you want your viewers to see, yet I don't see anything in the sky that is particularly interesting. You say the last image was your favorite, but what did you want to share in that image? If it were the trees, why did you not give them a more prominent location in the image rather than having both of them extending partially out of the frame? If it's not the trees, what is it? Could it be the fog? Fog often provides drama to an image, but in and of itself, it's rather boring.

You asked how I would crop the 3rd image. I would give more importance to the single tree standing in the fog and less to the fog itself. Here again, you have included a lot of sky (fog, in this case), but the sky/fog is not interesting and is not the subject. You need a certain amount of it to add atmosphere to the image, but not this much (IMHO). I'd probably crop off a little of the land in the foreground too. You need a certain amount of it to anchor the tree, but not so much that it competes with the tree for your viewer's attention.

Of course, these are just my opinions and since photography is both a science and an art, the art can be seen differently by many people. I hope you find some of this helpful. I'm sure there are many explanations that you can find on the internet that are much better than what I've listed above and I hope you look for them. You can probably find many tutorials on landscape photography on YouTube that would be very helpful too. Keep practicing and I'm sure some of this will start to make sense.


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Bcaps
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Bcaps. (3 edits in all)
     
Oct 15, 2016 22:26 |  #5

I think your first photo has the most to work with. You have some nice leading lines, some nice warm golden glow across the frame, and a nice sunstar.

My biggest issue is that the leading lines are leading away from the brightest part of the image where the sunstar is. You would typically want the leading lines of the fence and the road to draw the eye into the frame and then follow up through the photo. However, the brightest part of the image is to the left of the leading lines and as the eye is naturally drawn to the brightest part of an image it draws the eye away from those leading lines. The shot would be better balanced if the sunstar was to the right at the terminus of the road giving the eye a natural path into the frame following up the leading lines to the sunstar.

The last photo is an interesting experiment in composition but I don't think it works. Placing two obvious subjects at the very edge of the frame in such a way that they are cut off creates a sense of visual tension, like you want to peer outside of the frame to see the rest of the trees. Thinking in terms of a visual depth where your goal is to draw the eye into the frame towards your subject, this composition forces the eye back and forth between those trees on the edge of the tree, bouncing back and forth like you are watching a tennis match.


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-Douglas-
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Oct 16, 2016 10:58 |  #6

I'd have to agree with what the others have said and also share my opinion.

1. Looks pretty good but if I was editing this for myself I would raise the shadows a bit more and add some more warmth to it.
2. I think needs the left side cropped off from the road over plus some of the sky and some more warmth and color added.
3. I think a b/w version would work well and maybe a square crop, tree to the right, or maybe a portrait crop, tree slightly right.
4. Not feeling much here

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s1a1om
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Oct 16, 2016 16:57 |  #7

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think maybe what I struggle with on landscapes is defining the "subject" of the photo as bob_r noted above.

I like Douglas' re-edits, especially on #3. Wish I had thought of that.

Here are a couple new edits where I tried to take some of your suggestions on my photos. Re-cropped with less sky. Warmed them up (maybe a bit too much?). Roads heading towards the brightest part of the sky.

5)


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6)


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Oct 16, 2016 18:11 |  #8

s1a1om wrote in post #18158636 (external link)
Here are a couple new edits where I tried to take some of your suggestions on my photos. Re-cropped with less sky. Warmed them up (maybe a bit too much?). Roads heading towards the brightest part of the sky.

I'd like to avoid negativity, as your first images drew so much of it, but it may, unfortunately, be helpful to say: It still isn't clear why we'd want to take those roads. True, they point toward the brightest sky. However, traveling into the scene won't get me to the sky. With this kind of landscape, I want to be drawn in, starting at the bottom margin, vicariously walking toward something or enjoying different views along the way than at the beginning. These images show terrain that's all middle. The road connects an unknown A (not seen) to an unknown B (also not seen), and there are modest changes in elevation but no prominent features.

Perhaps because of the warming up, the grass is a rather muddy green, not a clear, healthy-looking green.

It might help if you said why you chose these places to photograph. What potential did you see in them that commenters are missing?


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Oct 17, 2016 01:40 |  #9

I think most of your images need some punch. I took a crack at #6 and here's what I got. It may be a bit over the top; but I think it presents a different mood. I worked from a screen shot of your original so it could be much improved. The sun in the frame is of course the weak point. Here you might have tried a 5 exposure HDR or something that would tame the sunlight. Barring that, if you wanted to work this image, you might just clone out the sun altogether.
EDIT: Forgot to mention that your 16mm lens made the trees on the right lean to the left giving the overall scene a leftward-tilt feeling. I corrected this using a Distort Transform in PS.


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bob_r
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Oct 17, 2016 08:20 |  #10

s1a1om wrote in post #18158636 (external link)
Thanks for all the suggestions. I think maybe what I struggle with on landscapes is defining the "subject" of the photo as bob_r noted above.

I like Douglas' re-edits, especially on #3. Wish I had thought of that.

Here are a couple new edits where I tried to take some of your suggestions on my photos. Re-cropped with less sky. Warmed them up (maybe a bit too much?). Roads heading towards the brightest part of the sky.

I think the ultra wide angle lens may be giving you problems creating more compelling landscape images. Normally when shooting with a ultra wide angle lens, you need foreground interest to draw your viewer into the image and you need to be close to it to make it prominent in the frame. An ultra wide angle lens makes objects in the distance appear even more distant, so they often have little affect on the image because they are so small. While an ultra wide lens can include an amazing amount of a scene in the frame, much of it is often not interesting or so small in the image that it adds very little if anything to the image. While an ultra wide angle lens can be a wonderful tool for some images, there are many times when it simply includes too much in the image or diminishes objects in the background so much that they add nothing to the image.

These last 2 image have the road and grass in the foreground and it looks like both images were shot at eye level. Neither image has any foreground interest to draw your viewer in and objects in the background are so small that they offer little interest. The mountain/hill in the second image may have offered some interest, but the road curves away from it and diverts your attention down the road and away from it. I don't know if a different lens would have made a lot of difference to these images, but you might try something less wide to see if you get better results.

I apologize again if this critique seems harsh, but I think you want honest opinions or you wouldn't have posted in this forum. I do hope you find some of this useful.


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