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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.

 
airfrogusmc
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Mar 05, 2021 12:16 |  #3886

Real art isn't and shouldn't be a competition. One persons vision and view of the world should be different from someone else's. So then how do you then decide on which is more valid?

You have to ask yourself how someone like Hendrix, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits and many other greats would do on those goofy America's Got Talent like competitions? I say be true to yourself and create for you first.




  
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Owain ­ Shaw
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Owain Shaw. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 06, 2021 04:01 |  #3887

OhLook wrote in post #19204324 (external link)
It isn't just in photography. It's the whole culture. People are obsessed with finding the single best everything and with being the best at something or occupying the top slot.

Best post. ;-)a

Totally right though, there is this obsession with finding 'the best' sportsperson (see discussion surrounding Tom Brady after this year's Superbowl) or whatever it may be that is being discussed.

I've certainly been 'guilty' (though I think we have enough things to feel guilty about already without 'saying something facile and vacuuous but unoffensive' being added to the list) of giving my opinion or preference within a set of photographs posted on a forum though. It's essentially a simple form of soft 'critique' which is unlikely to offend the person who has shared their work (with the assumption being that some form of feedback was desired) who is probably a relative stranger to us, in which something positive is stated about work we like or think more successful, while nothing negative is stated about the work we do not.

It also goes without saying that such comments should always be taken with a pinch of salt and speak only to the preferences of a potentially anonymous viewer about whom the photographer also knows little to nothing. Unsolicited critique from people we don't know is ultimately meaningless. Saying that, one can develop something of an understanding of another photographer by repeated engagement with their work. A comment from Allen, Tom or yourself, OhLook, holds weight with me after years of seeing your work, and you all seeing mine, but that understanding has to start somewhere - and that somewhere might well have been, years ago now, a comment stating which particular photographs from a given set one or other of us had a preference for.

Ultimately, these preferences are why discussions surrounding 'the best' photograph or even photographer (which I have also seen online, obviously) are pointless. We all have our personal preferences which are informed by our likes, dislikes, thoughts and experiences. 'The best' implies an objective standard of judgement to something totally subjective.

Anything dealing in absolutes is fairly suspect ... I mean, most things dealing in absolutes ... many things dealing in absolutes. You know what I mean.


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OhLook
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Mar 06, 2021 13:44 as a reply to  @ Owain Shaw's post |  #3888

Thanks, Owain, for your comments. I'll refrain from quoting them and giving the appearance of narcissism. Of course, everyone is free to go back and reread. :-) In the Urban threads where I post the most, there are a few regulars who seem to value the same things in an image. Some of them (us) aren't talkers.

I put this in Urban Candids yesterday. It's got more Likes than I expected; it was a quick shot that I didn't frame carefully (cropped later instead), and I couldn't control the background. I don't think it's very good. Maybe people were thinking "I know she's uncomfortable with shooting strangers, so I'll encourage her for doing it at all."


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One thing it does have going for it, the red and blue on the girl pull in attention by being the most vivid colors anywhere, and the signs above her (probably CLEANERS and DYERS), with the column of blue wall, echo those.

But I have a specific question. I could have taken off more of the bottom. The bit of wooden bench isn't relevant to the content. I left it in because I think it establishes a foreground, so that the image has three sections: front, middle where the subject is, and back. Was this a good decision, or doesn't the bench help?

PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so | Comments welcome

  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tom Reichner.
     
Mar 06, 2021 14:11 |  #3889

OhLook wrote in post #19204922 (external link)
.
I put this in Urban Canids yesterday.
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by OhLook in
./showthread.php?p=192​04922&i=i243190034
forum: General Photography Talk

.


.
I fixed the text for you :lol:

Of course I am just kidding.

When I first read your post, I read quickly, skimming over your words, and thought it said, "urban canids" ..... probably because I read so much about wildlife biology and am always seeing the word "canid" in the things I read. . Then when I saw the dog, of course that just went right along with what I thought you had said.

Then I thought,

"there's a whole thread on urban canids? . That's pretty cool. . I'm surprised that someone used the term 'canid' when starting that thread, instead of just using 'dog' ".

So I went to look at the thread, because I was interested in seeing all of the pics of dogs in urban environs, and then discovered that you said, "candids" instead of "canids". . But so interesting that the shot you included happened to feature a dog, front and center - what are the odds?!

And no, in case you're wondering, I had NOT seen the dog yet when I mistook "canid" for "canid". . The way my screen is set up, it takes some scrolling to get from the top of the post to the part where the dog is located, mid-way down in the attached photo.

.


"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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OhLook
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Mar 06, 2021 15:50 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #3890

Tom, I really appreciate your thoughtful answer to my–

[Skidding to a stop]

No, I mean: Tom, that was a great funny story!


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airfrogusmc
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Post edited over 1 year ago by airfrogusmc.
     
Mar 06, 2021 18:18 |  #3891

I like the fact it is almost monochromatic except for the color on the women, reflection and the matching color on the sign. The wonderful implied line from the bottom left leading to the woman and the dog. The rest of the frame give the image context. I say leave it as is. Your instincts were right.




  
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OhLook
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Mar 06, 2021 21:58 |  #3892

airfrogusmc wrote in post #19205061 (external link)
I like the fact it is almost monochromatic except for the color on the women, reflection and the matching color on the sign. The wonderful implied line from the bottom left leading to the woman and the dog. The rest of the frame give the image context. I say leave it as is. Your instincts were right.

Thanks! I was aware of the leading line on the storefront. Oddly, I didn't notice the effect of the colors until some time after posting. Lucky for me that black, white, and silver are popular for cars here.

The woman was actually a girl, age 10 or so.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Mar 06, 2021 22:10 |  #3893

OhLook wrote in post #19204922 (external link)
.
But I have a specific question. I could have taken off more of the bottom. The bit of wooden bench isn't relevant to the content. I left it in because I think it establishes a foreground, so that the image has three sections: front, middle where the subject is, and back. Was this a good decision, or doesn't the bench help?
.

.
I like your decision to include the bench. . The bench provides context that tells the viewer a little bit about that space. . A space that has a bench means that folks are invited to rest or relax for a bit before moving on. . Even if no one is using the bench at the moment that you take the photo, just the fact that the bench is there and that it is okay for passersby to sit for a bit tells one that this is a more restful area than many other urban areas are, where hustle and bustle leave no place for folks to pause.

If you had any concerns about the inclusion of the bench requiring so much extra space at the bottom of the frame, then you could have taken the photo from a lower position - kneeling instead of standing. . Shooting from that lower perspective would mean that the bench would be much closer to the other objects of interest, mainly the girl and her dog. . It would give you a way to include the bench, without having the empty sidewalk between the bench and the dog/girl occupy so much of the frame.

Of course, kneeling in the sidewalk to take a photo would call attention to the photographer, and many photographers do not want to have everybody staring at them when they stop to take an image. . I totally get that.


.


"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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OhLook
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Mar 06, 2021 22:36 |  #3894

Tom Reichner wrote in post #19205127 (external link)
I like your decision to include the bench. . The bench provides context that tells the viewer a little bit about that space. . A space that has a bench means that folks are invited to rest or relax for a bit before moving on. . Even if no one is using the bench at the moment that you take the photo, just the fact that the bench is there and that it is okay for passersby to sit for a bit tells one that this is a more restful area than many other urban areas are, where hustle and bustle leave no place for folks to pause.

Yes, this is a tiny business district, just one side of part of one block. The immediate neighborhood otherwise consists of single-family homes (some of them luxurious, on large, wooded lots, if you go uphill from there), apartment buildings, and a couple of schools.

If you had any concerns about the inclusion of the bench requiring so much extra space at the bottom of the frame, then you could have taken the photo from a lower position - kneeling instead of standing. . . . Of course, kneeling in the sidewalk to take a photo would call attention to the photographer, and many photographers do not want to have everybody staring at them when they stop to take an image.

Right. There weren't many people around, but I wanted to avoid conspicuous movements that might make the girl look up.


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OhLook
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Sep 14, 2021 10:20 |  #3895

Could the composition specialists give me some feedback on this shot? I was in a sort of grungy semi-industrial neighborhood and spotted the distant central tower as a starting point for a symmetrical composition. What I want to know is: where does your gaze go first, second, and so on, and what bits do you think contribute to the composition, if you think any do? Thank you.


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airfrogusmc
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Sep 14, 2021 11:10 |  #3896

Ok heres my 2 cents so take it for what it's worth. My eye goes right to the the bridge in the center in the distance. Then to the stop sign. The power lines conect the right and left sides of the frame nicely. Two cars are pointing into the frame. The two curbs and the perspective also lead to the bridge in the background. There is a nice balance to both sides of the frame.




  
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OhLook
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Sep 14, 2021 12:05 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #3897

Thanks! It was good to see that you mentioned the cars. The one on the right was moving and wasn't in the discarded shots. I didn't notice it when shooting. It probably entered the frame when I pressed the button. At the computer, when I had to pick one, it seemed to me that the car helped the compo even though it's just a small image of a car nose. Lucky that those two cars are about the same color.

Anyone else?


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Sep 15, 2021 06:37 |  #3898

Pippan wrote in post #18778074 (external link)
I do too, and frequently compose pictures with the subject way off centre. I think it often unbalances the picture and creates tension--sometimes even drama--that I like and that I think makes the composition more interesting.

HCB has education in art and composition.
He has many off keep it in the middle portraits for Inner silence book.


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OhLook
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Sep 15, 2021 23:18 |  #3899

I wrote in post #19283472 (external link)
Anyone else?

I guess not. Okay, here's the rest of my take on it. I think the traffic lights give another boost to symmetry and to unifying the scene, especially the ones in profile that point to each other, like a capital E and its mirror image. Some locations are naturals for bilateral symmetry, an extreme example being photos aimed along the central aisle of a church, toward the altar. This one was more difficult, as the buildings were so diverse and there were a lot of random elements. (I wish the light gray car on the left were missing.) What I'm learning is that small details can contribute to a composition even if they don't stand out by being in bright colors or, in the case of symmetry, by matching exactly in shape and placement.

Another thing besides (approximate) symmetry: I've often been impressed by images in Urban Life & Travel that were shot from a shadowed area into a lit area. They seem to present an opportunity to proceed toward something better than where you are. My street shot is less dramatic, since that street is nothing special and the increased light is small, just late-afternoon sun on a hazy day. I wanted to take advantage of the light effect anyway. Now, the three pieces of litter in the right foreground, not the ones next to the curb but the ones to the left of those, make a curve that suggests to me an invitation to walk forward. I take them as path markers, like Hansel's breadcrumbs. Does this effect exist for other viewers?


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airfrogusmc
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Sep 20, 2021 10:48 |  #3900

W.Eugene Smith did something like what you are talking about thigh not urban but a vignette effect.

https://iconicphotos.w​ordpress.com …k-to-the-paradise-garden/ (external link)

A few of mine that are kinda in the spirit

IMAGE: https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/168113637.jpg

IMAGE: https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/169675269.jpg

IMAGE: https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/169687385.jpg

IMAGE: https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/166253106.jpg

And straight to point
IMAGE: https://pbase.com/airfrogusmc/image/170592106.jpg



  
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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.
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