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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.

 
Sibil
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Nov 23, 2018 10:55 |  #3871

Pigpen101 wrote in post #18756975 (external link)
I like #1. Background is more even, so less distracting, and shows the ram more prominent.

Same here. Besides, in the second one, the tree line goes through the ram's neck.




  
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OhLook
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Nov 23, 2018 11:07 |  #3872

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18756970 (external link)
.
This is from a shoot on Wednesday morning.

I tried to frame the ram very similarly in each shot, but change the vertical angle, so as to place the distant treeline above the ram in one image and below the ram in the other.

Wondering if anyone has thoughts or insights about the differences between the two images.
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You must have moved sideways, too: the treeline changed its slope, and some seed heads of grasses hit at different places on the ram's chest and legs.

I think the ram looks more majestic when seen from below.

Image #1 has a better shape for the treeline, ascending to the right, which helps to balance the composition, but #2 has a darker tree area. Dark is better because there isn't enough background to keep the ram and his hill from appearing to have been launched into space.

To emphasize the height of Mr. Ram's perch, the placement of the treeline is better in #2.


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Owain ­ Shaw
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Nov 23, 2018 13:57 |  #3873

twoshadows wrote in post #18756868 (external link)
Owain,

A photographer takes pictures. Always. You are either a photographer or you are not. Right now you are not allowing yourself to be a photographer. I imagine it is for good reason. Few people have the luxury I do, to concentrate solely on photography without financial or survival constraints. But that luxury did not fall into my lap. I kept my eyes open and worked toward the position I am in. I've made sacrifices. Still I am fortunate and I realize it. The bottom line is, my photography took off the moment I shed all limiting constraints. So I'm going to say to you, with all the kindness in my heart, find a way. Life goes to the courageous. I don't know how young you are, but sometimes you just have to take a leap. I'm not talking about opening a photography studio, etc etc. I'm talking about finding a way to concentrate solely on your photography. It sounds like that is what you are yearning for. I hope you find it. :love:

Kindness,

Julia

PS- I forgot to mention, you are very good at creating beautiful images. I would love to see you concentrate more on that somehow.

Julia,

Sincerely, thank you for your reply, and for your kind words. I definitely think you're right about limiting constraints ... I don't really know how to free myself of them, however. One thing that is clear, I think, is that the solution probably does not lie with the establishment of a Photography studio. :lol:

I think the most immediate solution is also to take some pictures. I'm unlikely to think myself out of the hole, only deeper into it.

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18756925 (external link)
.
You nailed it, OhLook!

When one views photography solely as an art form, then the reason to take and create photos should be to express one's vision. . As soon as other reasons enter into one's motivation, then the artistic vision is compromised. .

This might be my more negative inner voice talking ... and he talks a lot ... but, I'm not really sure I have anything as grand as a vision. I see stuff and take/make (delete as appropriate) pictures of it, whatever it may be, but I'm not entirely sure this can be aggrandised into a vision.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Nov 23, 2018 14:03 |  #3874

Pigpen101 wrote in post #18756975 (external link)
I like #1. Background is more even, so less distracting, and shows the ram more prominent.

Sibil wrote in post #18756983 (external link)
Same here. Besides, in the second one, the tree line goes through the ram's neck.

I appreciate the analysis. I wasn't thinking in terms of, "which is the better photo?", or "which do I like best?". . . For me, there were two different things that I wanted to show, and I used one photo to show one of those things and the other photo to show the other thing.

OhLook wrote in post #18756990 (external link)
I think the ram looks more majestic when seen from below.
To emphasize the height of Mr. Ram's perch, the placement of the treeline is better in #2.

Yes - exactly!

In the first image, I was looking to showcase the ram himself, as well as the habitat in which he bedded.

In the second image, it was the height of his perch that I was trying to emphasize. . I thought this was best done by showing the distant treeline / ridge top as being below him, rather than above him. . Because I used this distant ridge top as a supporting element, I wanted more depth of field, so that it would show up more prominently in the image.

_______________ _______________ _______________

I think it is important to know exactly what one is trying to say when creating a photo - if one has a specific message that they want to communicate, then they will know exactly how to compose the image, where to position the camera, what depth of field to use, etc. . This is why, when people on this forum ask what lens or what camera is better for this or for that, I usually reply by asking them what their photographic objectives are. . Unless one knows what one is trying to say with one's imagery, then questions about gear and whatnot will never be able to be properly answered.

_______________ _______________ _______________

.

OhLook wrote in post #18756990 (external link)
You must have moved sideways, too: the treeline changed its slope, and some seed heads of grasses hit at different places on the ram's chest and legs.

I not only moved sideways, I moved a lot closer. . I mean a lot closer! . Although the ram is the same size in the frame in each image, the first image was taken at 278mm, while the second was taken at 135mm. . I moved closer because I had to; because of the slope of the ground where I was standing, the only way I could get lower was to get very close to the ram. . This change in focal length is what created the much increased depth of field in the second image - although both were taken at f8, the much wider focal length rendered a sharper, more contrasty treeline.

This is a prime* example of why I will always contend that zoom lenses provide me much greater creative control than primes.

*Pun intended :-P

.


"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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Owain ­ Shaw
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Dec 07, 2018 07:13 |  #3875

Crisis (external link) update: Somewhat better.

I took some time to study my last few years' worth of output and found that the photographs I was happiest with had generally been taken with an old Manual Focus 50mm lens - or with a film SLR I have which works occasionally and then has to go and rest on a shelf until it feels like working again - and realised that this was likely due to the time and care invested in focussing it properly really slowing me down. These were photographs I had properly engaged with when creating. Time and engagement are the big issues I need to solve.

From there I decided to switch my regular 50mm over to Manual Focus as a decent stop-gap which seemed to work for some pictures I took a couple of weeks ago now.

I think I'd like to go back to film - I seem to enjoy analogue photography more - but will need a scanner and probably some darkroom stuff to keep long-term costs down if I decide to do so. I was a confident Black and White darkroom user at University and High School so developing my own film wouldn't be a big issue. Colour perhaps moreso. I'll be sending my film SLR off to be checked over and hopefully repaired either this month or in the New Year ... once that is working consistently I can start looking at the other stuff ... and maybe a reasonably priced Medium Format (6x6 appeals and Bronicas still sell cheaply) setup. All of this appeals far more than anything new and shiny with lots of megapixels and auto-focus points. Something big and slow will do nicely.

Anyway, this is mostly me sounding out ideas.


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moose10101
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Dec 07, 2018 10:51 |  #3876

Owain Shaw wrote in post #18766023 (external link)
Crisis (external link) update: Somewhat better.

I took some time to study my last few years' worth of output and found that the photographs I was happiest with had generally been taken with an old Manual Focus 50mm lens - or with a film SLR I have which works occasionally and then has to go and rest on a shelf until it feels like working again - and realised that this was likely due to the time and care invested in focussing it properly really slowing me down. These were photographs I had properly engaged with when creating. Time and engagement are the big issues I need to solve.

From there I decided to switch my regular 50mm over to Manual Focus as a decent stop-gap which seemed to work for some pictures I took a couple of weeks ago now.

I think I'd like to go back to film - I seem to enjoy analogue photography more - but will need a scanner and probably some darkroom stuff to keep long-term costs down if I decide to do so. I was a confident Black and White darkroom user at University and High School so developing my own film wouldn't be a big issue. Colour perhaps moreso. I'll be sending my film SLR off to be checked over and hopefully repaired either this month or in the New Year ... once that is working consistently I can start looking at the other stuff ... and maybe a reasonably priced Medium Format (6x6 appeals and Bronicas still sell cheaply) setup. All of this appeals far more than anything new and shiny with lots of megapixels and auto-focus points. Something big and slow will do nicely.

Anyway, this is mostly me sounding out ideas.

You need a TLR. :)




  
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Owain ­ Shaw
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Dec 07, 2018 12:01 |  #3877

moose10101 wrote in post #18766130 (external link)
You need a TLR. :)

I've only used one once, and very briefly. I'd be up for trying again.

I've dropped my SLR off with an older gent who thinks it needs the mirror replacing, a clean, and if possible he's going to get it to meter again. If all that works then I'll probaby pick up a dev tank in the New Year ... then once my developing operation is off the ground I can start thinking about acquiring other vintage cameras ...


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Dec 07, 2018 13:04 |  #3878

Owain,

I was recently told that I was "an artist whose medium is photography, while most who practice photography are photographers"

I don't think the medium is as important as the recognition that you are an artist. :-)

Good luck with your film venture. You will create beautiful (and tragic) things; important images. (As always) I look forward to seeing your work when you do.

~Julia


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Owain ­ Shaw
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Dec 07, 2018 15:48 |  #3879

twoshadows wrote in post #18766211 (external link)
Owain,

I was recently told that I was "an artist whose medium is photography, while most who practice photography are photographers"

I don't think the medium is as important as the recognition that you are an artist. :-)

Good luck with your film venture. You will create beautiful (and tragic) things; important images. (As always) I look forward to seeing your work when you do.

~Julia

Julia,

Thank you again for your kind words. I'm working on accepting myself as an artist, and I'm in a better place with that than I was a few weeks ago as well.

All the best,

Owain.


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OhLook
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Dec 25, 2018 23:17 |  #3880

This one from today . . .


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. . . started me thinking strange thoughts about negative space.

The composition is way off center: most of the "action" is to the right of the middle. Things that can point at all are even pointing out of the frame, which is normally a mistake. (Camera was level; the objects tilted.) But I like the composition anyway. How is that?

The big, vaguely textured area of pavement at the upper left is, of course, negative space, but it's begun to look not so negative to me. It seems almost like a "thing" rather than just background. Maybe it contributes to balance. Is there anything to this idea? Can a piece of background function as a presence as well as an absence? If so, is this effect more likely when the background is darker than the subject(s)?

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Dec 26, 2018 02:41 |  #3881

OhLook wrote in post #18778026 (external link)
The composition is way off center: most of the "action" is to the right of the middle. Things that can point at all are even pointing out of the frame, which is normally a mistake. (Camera was level; the objects tilted.) But I like the composition anyway. How is that?

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.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Mar 04, 2021 13:51 |  #3882

mtimber wrote in post #14207751 (external link)
.
I thought it would be good to have a thread where we can discuss composition etc. Offering and sharing tips, techniques and principles.

Also of course sharing videos and links on the subject.
.

.
I recently found this video on bird & wildlife photography by Ray Hennessy,

"Backgrounds and Foregrounds with Wildlife Photography"

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=5FSTbpK0GRQ (external link)

It is all about the artistic and creative aspects of bird photography.

There is a desperate need for this type of content, because the vast majority of the content made for bird & wildlife photographers deal only with things like how to get close to the subjects, what gear to use, where to find animals and birds, etc. . You could literally watch 100 popular videos about bird & wildlife photography and not have a single one of them focus on composition and the other aesthetic elements of the discipline ..... which is really whacked, because this stuff is more important than all of that other stuff combined.

I recently mentioned this video in another thread here on this forum, but remembered this thread about composition and arty stuff, and thought that it really should be included here, where people come to learn and discuss these things.

Ray Hennessy has made a lot of other videos about bird and wildlife photography, and in many of the videos, he discusses composition, light, and other "arty stuff" at least as much as he discusses gear, methods, and locations. . So you can find a lot more about these topics in other videos on his YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.co​m/c/RayHennessy/featur​ed (external link)


.


"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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Mar 05, 2021 09:07 as a reply to  @ post 18756970 |  #3883

Hey Tom... of the two... I think the second works better because you get a better sense of place and height from the second shot. The background is more defined, and the angle appears to show the animals perch height better. Both really compelling, but I would give the edge to the second shot. Do like the rock outcropping in the first. This dang things like to hang out in the rocks. Its just that his head is even with trees in the first, and above the trees in the second.

I do like the contrast of the first, and they you can see the animals legs better in the first. Eyes pop better too. Just the angle in the second it better.

I don't know... now I am flipping back to liking the first better. This is why I don't shoot lots of frames because I could spend hours agonizing over differences like this.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Mar 05, 2021 09:26 as a reply to  @ Croasdail's post |  #3884

.
Thanks for you thoughts, I appreciate them.

The good thing is that this is not a competition - we don't have to take two images and decide which we like best, or which to keep. . I think of my photos the same way parents think of their children - they are all loved, and all treasured, and never do we have to figure out which one is better than the others. . We can appreciate them all equally, if we are inclined to do so.

I think it's interesting that when I posted those two images, I never asked which one anyone liked better than the other. . And yet some of the responses were folks saying which they liked best, or trying to figure out which they like best. . I think it is ingrained in some people's mindsets that in photography, the images they see are in competition with one another, and they are automatically inclined to try to pick out a favorite, rather than just enjoying each image for what it is, independent of the other images that are shown along with it. . To me, that is an interesting aspect of human psychology, that many people think that way when they see a set of photos.


.


"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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Mar 05, 2021 11:34 |  #3885

Tom Reichner wrote in post #19204281 (external link)
I think it is ingrained in some people's mindsets that in photography, the images they see are in competition with one another, and they are automatically inclined to try to pick out a favorite

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.


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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.
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