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Archive 2011 · Criticism Welcomed!
  
 
brockwhittaker
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Criticism Welcomed!


Hi! I just joined FredMiranda a few weeks ago, and I am on almost every day looking at the amazing works of others. I would like to take a turn and ask for some Criticism! Please give your opinion on my photos and what I can do better.

Here are some of my photos that I consider to be my best.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brockwhittaker/6284068790/in/photostream Photo 1: Fireworks over Bangalore
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brockwhittaker/6225322289/in/photostream Photo 2: Crying Elephant
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brockwhittaker/6241263608/in/photostream Photo 3: Rice Fields in Kerala
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brockwhittaker/6226185034/in/photostream Photo 4: Corral Cave in Kerala
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brockwhittaker/6194282287/in/photostream Photo 5: Michigan Lighthouse

Just to let you know, I don't have the Upload & Sell Yet, which I will soon, but for now, I'd like you to click on the shiny Hyperlinks

Edited on Nov 08, 2011 at 12:50 PM · View previous versions



Nov 08, 2011 at 12:22 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Criticism Welcomed!


Welcome to the forum.

Sorry, but the links do not work.

Bob



Nov 08, 2011 at 12:47 PM
brockwhittaker
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Criticism Welcomed!


They do now! Thanks for letting me know.


Nov 08, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Criticism Welcomed!


Nice images, but I think you will get more feedback by posting 1 or 2 here - many readers are inclined not to follow links.

I believe (it's been awhile) there is a way you can embed the link and have the Flickr image directly display, perhaps others can enlighten?

I especially like the last.

Again, welcome!

Bob



Nov 08, 2011 at 01:08 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Criticism Welcomed!


Fireworks over Bangalore: Nicely composed and exposed.

Crying Elephant: Nice capture but composing the eye "dead" center tends to pull a view to the eye with no clue where to look next. The the eye if it was composed off center to the left would cause the viewer to scan over the context of the skin en route to getting fixated on the eye. That's the idea underlying the "rule of thirds" to set up the "punchline" of a composition with the context needed to understand it. If the eye is seen first and fixated on it takes longer to mentally connect the dots that it's an elephant eye, than if the skin is seen first before the eye providing more of a clue it's the eye of an elephant.

Rice Fields in Kerala: Nice capture. A bit over-saturated for my tastes which match what I perceive in person. I think it would work better compositionally cropped up from the bottom to make it more panoramic.

Corral Cave in Kerala: The "seen through a keyhole" centered composition works here, but that type of shot works better if there is something recognizable and more interesting than the foreground seen inside the frame the hole creates.

Michigan Lighthouse: It has a nice color and composition but the focal point would be more interesting and the overall photo more effective for me if the lighthouse was larger.



Nov 09, 2011 at 08:43 PM
brockwhittaker
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Criticism Welcomed!


Thank you for the feedback cgardner! I looked at the rice fields one again.. It does look a lot better cropped. It never was one that really struck me as fantastic, and I played with the colours for hours and never got a satisfying result, so it is sort of stuck in Limbo in that sense too.


Nov 10, 2011 at 05:14 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



cgardner
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Criticism Welcomed!


Looking at the rice fields shot again and trying different crops I find myself contradicting my previous advice on cropping, liking it cropped to make it more panoramic, but from the top rather than the bottom as shown below:

http://super.nova.org/EDITS/RiceField.jpg

I changed my mind for a couple of reasons. The first time I looked at it I didn't notice the leaves near the bottom that make cropping from the bottom difficult and the more I looked at it the more I realized the least interesting element in it was the plain cloudless sky.

I toned down the saturation and tweeked the overall tonal range a bit with Levels, as the highlights were a tad underexposed and the shadows too light (no clipping 0 and 255 file values in any channels). A full tonal range image should have some 0 black values in the shadow voids and 255 specular highliights in few places to "anchor" the tonal range perceptually.

To pull the detail out of the niipa hut I duped the background layer and slide the middle Levels slider left, which opens the shadows, blending the lighter layer in selectively with a mask. Pulling the hut out of the shadows reveals an "Easter Egg" surprise what appear to be a national flag hidden in the shadows.

The next iteration of tweeks was done with adjustment layers. I have an action that creates screen, multiply and soft light layers and masks which I applied selectively to darken and boost contrast in the sky and background.

The last step was flattening the adjustment layers, duping again and applying lens blur to the copy and adding it around the edges with a mask. That simulates how the center 2 of our visual field where the color sensing cones are on the retina is all we really focus on at any moment in time with "tunnel vision" with the rest of the 140 field of view mentally tuned out by the brain. It sends a subliminal message to the viewer that the sharper content in the photo is more important when they wander out to the edges.

My goal was the create the feeling of hiding out low in the rice field and spying on the hut.



Nov 10, 2011 at 09:37 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Criticism Welcomed!



Good comments. Some additional suggestions:


1. Part of the magic of fireworks if the contrast of bright fire against dark sky. You can retain some of the reddish sky haze but still have the snap of the bright fireworks if you boost the gamma (mid-range contrast) of the first image.

2. I agree the image would be stronger is cropped some, preferably to de-center the eye - perhaps re-positioning it little higher and to the left.

3. I like the rice fields but unfortunately, I suspect the image focus didn't select the building as the portion for maximum sharpness.

4. It would be better to expose for the sky, as seen through the cave to avoid blowing the scene through the opening.

5. I'd suggest the composition may be stronger if you crop some from the top and slightly rotate it, perhaps with a little skew correction to straighten the lighthouse.



Nov 10, 2011 at 11:12 PM
brockwhittaker
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Criticism Welcomed!


@AuntiPode Thanks for the feedback. It is funny you brought up about the fireworks, because while I was shooting, all I could think is, "Why is Bangalore Pollution so dang thick!" It turned a clear night into a dirty brown colour at the horizons!

The building is actually at full sharpness, Flickr may just not do it justice through the viewer.

Thanks for the tip on #4, and #5!



Nov 11, 2011 at 05:01 PM
brockwhittaker
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Criticism Welcomed!


@cgardner: You got it right, I'd say! I like that edit a lot! I played around with the adjustment layers a little more, and cropped, and it came out so much better! Thanks! Do you also mean that you applied a sort of vignette lens blur?


Nov 11, 2011 at 05:03 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Criticism Welcomed!


brockwhittaker wrote:
@cgardner: Do you also mean that you applied a sort of vignette lens blur?


Yes. Our brains are attracted by contrast: tone, color, shape, size and sharpness. Presented with sharp and unsharp content the brain will send the eyes towards the sharper stuff. That's why we use shallow DOF to isolate what is most important.

In a photo composition the goal is to move the viewer from the edges of the frame to the focal point. A subliminal way to do that on a dark field photo is with a darker vignette on the edges. On a light background photo you'd want to vignette lighter to pull the viewer to the darker contrasting focal point. Blurring the edges and using mats work similarly, cluing the viewer the stuff on the edges isn't as interesting as the stuff in the center.

But there's a catch. If you apply the tonal or sharpness vignette too much to the point it is consciously noticed by the viewer the technique backfires because instead of pushing them to the center focal point the vignette pulls them away from it.

For example of you take a light background photo and vignette the edges darker they will pull attention out to the corners because they contrast.

White mats around dark photo have the similar counter productive effect of creating a distraction which for me is like driving at night in the glare of an oncoming car's high beams. The glare from the border makes it difficult see the dark detail in the image. But put a black border around a dark photo and the shadows will seem to have more detail because in photos our brains equate tones lighter than the darkest black with detail. It's a perceptual illusion but so is thinking a 2D image is a real 3D object.



Nov 12, 2011 at 12:50 AM





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