Qbx wrote in post #16774753
I like your abstract experiment. I think your lighting and exposures are right on. #1 is the better of the two but perhaps a little too busy - I think it would be better without the leaves, just having that pod floating in space would be cool. And I'd crop just a bit off the bottom to eliminate the wood.
#2 is also too busy for me - maybe without the glass in the middle it might feel more balanced.
Good luck in the exhibition. Be sure to let us know how it turns out. I think your expoundation above will float well in the art-world.
I agree about #1. I actually did an alternate version where there wasn't anything behind the seed pod. And I was really split between the two. On one hand, it simplified the image, but on the other hand it may have simplified it too much. I thought I needed a background. So I added a background, but it still doesn't look quite right to me. Like you said, it looks too 'busy". In retrospect, I was already dealing with a fairly shallow depth of field, so I probably just should have moved the leaves farther back. As it stands, I think the big problem is merger. The earthy browns of the seed pod blend in really well with the oranges and reds of the leaves. They were close enough tht they were getting lit in a similar fashion, and they were both close enough together to be recognizable enough to interfere with each other and merge together. Despite the problems, I chose to go with this version, but I still probably should have moved the leaves way back. In retrospect maybe I should have gone with the other version, but that boat has sailed. The version I submitted for grade is the version with the leaves, which means that the version with the leaves is the only version eligible for entry.
I get your point about #2, but I only sort of agree there. I think #2 is kind of busy, but I don't think that removing the glass was an option. Not without significantly changing what the image is about. I mean...the octopus on the right is a little blown out and that draws the eye to that part. So that's a flaw that needs to be fixed, I probably need to burn that in for any future presentations. But otherwise, I think that the most significant part of the image is the part with the glass. There's internal framing going on there (with the tentacles). The image leads horizontally, except for the glass which provides the only prominent vertical element. So the glass is the natural point of focus due to its vertical element and the way it is framed by the tentacles. When we look at what's happening in that general area, we see a multitude of forms clumped together with a few tentacles implying an attempt at escape. That's directly contrasted with two spread-out forms grasping at the vessel of consumption while simultaneously touching each other. I think that contrast is necessary, it's directly contrasting different kinds of contact. There's a vague hint of intimacy (even in pain) present in the octopi directly surrounding the glass, while the octopi in the glass are closer together yet less compelling. The two octopi on the side, I can see as individuals. The ones in the glass are just sort of forced into place and crammed together and offered up for consumption, and that whole element just sort of feels grotesque to me. But I do agree that #2 is probably too busy. I just don;t think that I could afford to get rid of the glass without DRASTICALLY altering what the image is about. As far as I can tell (and honestly, I don't freaking know, which was why I was mining for comments in the first place), the meat of this image is in the area in and around the glass. The rest is fat. The image may be too busy, but if something has to get cut then it CAN'T be the glass.