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Archive 2012 · Wrong on so many counts
  
 
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #1 · Wrong on so many counts


but the let's forget rules for the moment - throwing a concept at you. Aside from the softness, any thoughts?

Bob




  NIKON D2X    50mm    f/4.5    1/30s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #2 · Wrong on so many counts


Interesting. Consider whether it might be more interesting with lighting a bit less even:









Jan 24, 2012 at 03:46 AM
fixedgearmike
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p.1 #3 · Wrong on so many counts


I like it, but the leaves all look a bit too flat because they're perpendicular to the camera. Did you try any from nearer their level, looking across the leaves? that way you'd get more depth in the photo and could narrow the DOF a bit to get some fore and back blur. You could crop it in pretty tight to lose any distracting background, I like the concept of a field of leaves.

Works well in B&W too.



Jan 24, 2012 at 06:16 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #4 · Wrong on so many counts


Good wallpaper shot for monitor or phone



Jan 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #5 · Wrong on so many counts


I'm confused by your title. Actually, I think it's my favorite photograph that I've seen that you have taken.

By softness, do you mean focus or contrast? I can't tell from the posted image, but it looks sharp to me. If you mean contrast, keep in mind the tastes here are for contrasty work. A lot of the times, I think photos are too contrasty and too saturated.

Tell me what rules you think you've ignored or broken.



Jan 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · Wrong on so many counts


Threw a little foreground sharpening and bg blur at it.







Jan 24, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #7 · Wrong on so many counts


Both Kent and Karen have provided very nice alternatives. I like the concept of your photo for the intimate details it is showing, but agree that some additional contrast throughout would be desirable. My personal preference would be somewhat of a cross between the two re-works, leaning more toward Kent's brighter version.

Jo



Jan 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #8 · Wrong on so many counts


AuntiPode wrote:
Interesting. Consider whether it might be more interesting with lighting a bit less even:

AuntiPode,

Thank for your comment. A step on the wild-side for me

I used Filter->Render->Lighting (2 crossing spots), so all sorts of lighting alternatives are possible.

Bob



Jan 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #9 · Wrong on so many counts


fixedgearmike wrote:
I like it, but the leaves all look a bit too flat because they're perpendicular to the camera. Did you try any from nearer their level, looking across the leaves? that way you'd get more depth in the photo and could narrow the DOF a bit to get some fore and back blur. You could crop it in pretty tight to lose any distracting background, I like the concept of a field of leaves.

Works well in B&W too.


@fixedgearmike,

Thanks for your comments and suggestion. This was 1 of several from approximately the same position; hurrying to beat a rain shower.

I re-shot this morning from a variety of camera positions, yet to work on those.

Thanks again,

Bob



Jan 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #10 · Wrong on so many counts


cgardner wrote:
Good wallpaper shot for monitor or phone



Thanks Chuck,

Afraid anything larger will expose all its warts

Bob


Edited on Jan 24, 2012 at 10:34 PM · View previous versions



Jan 24, 2012 at 10:13 PM
 

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Bob Jarman
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p.1 #11 · Wrong on so many counts


dmacmillan wrote:
I'm confused by your title. Actually, I think it's my favorite photograph that I've seen that you have taken.


Thanks Doug,

Actually, I am referring to the well-worn checklist often used for critiques ( I include myself in this): leading lines, absence of subject, lacks sharpness, no place for eye to land, etc. On a holistic level I find the concept interesting, and as I alluded to above, a break from my (probably) routine, boring images.

Glad you like the image/concept.


By softness, do you mean focus or contrast?


Focus - enlarge much and the image falls apart.

Tell me what rules you think you've ignored or broken.

Noted above, but in a book ( see note below ) on composition I've read, after 6 or so chapters on composition, the author suggests, and I paraphrase, "now we have the rules, but there is nothing requiring they be followed". I find myself drawn to this cluster of green clover every time I see it (in the back yard) just "knowing" that there is an image there - if only I can find it.

Short story - trying to drag myself out of a rather deep rut.

Probably TMI,

Bob


[EDIT] Freeman, Michael The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photography


Edited on Jan 25, 2012 at 12:39 AM · View previous versions



Jan 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #12 · Wrong on so many counts


RustyBug wrote:
Threw a little foreground sharpening and bg blur at it.


The sharpening certainly helps - how/what did you use?

Bob



Jan 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #13 · Wrong on so many counts


Jo Dilbeck wrote:
Both Kent and Karen have provided very nice alternatives. I like the concept of your photo for the intimate details it is showing, but agree that some additional contrast throughout would be desirable. My personal preference would be somewhat of a cross between the two re-works, leaning more toward Kent's brighter version.

Jo



Thanks Jo,

Glad you like the concept. And I agree with some TLC a better solution lies somewhere between Karen's and Kent's reworks.

Regards,

Bob



Jan 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #14 · Wrong on so many counts


What makes that type of photo work for me it's the ability to find some interesting "connect the dots" pattern or basic geometric shape within the sea of similar geometric shapes.

A "connect the dot" effect can naturally when foliage breaks up the natural light and winds up spot lighting different parts in an interesting pattern. You might consider faking it with with masked screen adj. layers...










Jan 24, 2012 at 10:54 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #15 · Wrong on so many counts


Bob Jarman wrote:
Focus - enlarge much and the image falls apart.


Bob, is there no place in the image that's sharp or is a DOF thing? If the entire image has problems, can you trace it to camera movement or lens problems?

Also, I'm interested in the tonality of the leaves. What is a closer rendition, your original or some of the reworks? There's nothing necessarily wrong with the reworks changing the tonality, but then again, if the original is the way you see it, there's nothing wrong with your original, darker image.

As you've mentioned and quoted, "rules" can provide a syntax to images, but not all effective images follow the rules. Rules take a back seat to the impact or effectiveness of the image. There's tons of photos out there that stick to the "rules", but are still very boring.

Sometimes when looking at critiques I think of "Alice's Restaurant" and smile. I remember Arlo describing the "8x10 photos with circles and arrows". At times the scribblings have provided some help, but all too often it's an attempt by the scribbler to seem like they know what they are talking about.

Make sure all critiques pass the smell test. Take to heart what makes sense. Most of all find your own way. If you like it, in the end that's what matters.



Jan 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #16 · Wrong on so many counts


dmacmillan wrote:
Bob, is there no place in the image that's sharp or is a DOF thing? If the entire image has problems, can you trace it to camera movement or lens problems?


Camera shake - my fault entirely



Also, I'm interested in the tonality of the leaves. What is a closer rendition, your original or some of the reworks? There's nothing necessarily wrong with the reworks changing the tonality, but then again, if the original is the way you see it, there's nothing wrong with your original, darker image.


Reworks, I took broad liberties in adjusting tonality.



As you've mentioned and quoted, "rules" can provide a syntax to images, but not all effective images follow the rules. Rules take a back seat to the impact or effectiveness of the image. There's tons of photos out there that stick to the "rules", but are still very boring.

Sometimes when looking at critiques I think of "Alice's Restaurant" and smile. I remember Arlo describing the "8x10 photos with circles and arrows". At times the scribblings have provided some help, but all too often it's an attempt by the scribbler to seem like they know what they are talking about.

Make sure
...Show more

This echoes the comments of Michael Freeman and George DeWolfe. Thanks for the sound advice.

Bob



Jan 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #17 · Wrong on so many counts


cgardner wrote:
You might consider faking it with with masked screen adj. layers...

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



I've studied another book, which contains a chapter named Image Harvesting, or something close to that, where the author produces magnificent images through taking extreme liberties with manipulating and rearranging the original image. Beautiful results, but in my mind that is not photography, rather graphic arts, and not a true representation of photographic skill.

The question: where does one draw the line? I don't have the answer for that. I'd rather get it right without relying on misrepresenting anything.

Bob



Jan 25, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #18 · Wrong on so many counts


SOOC for anyone interested in play







Jan 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #19 · Wrong on so many counts


Unlike other mediums of expression a photograph has the unique ability to either just record what is there, a technically inferior rendering of what is there (if the photographer lacks technical competence), or an interpretation of what is there through manipulation of the image beyond what was captured in a technically competent manner.

My take on photography as art, vs. photography as an objective historical record and time capsule is that photography as "art" involves either having a role in what is put in front of the camera that wouldn't normally be seen there (models, makeup, sets) or nowadays doing something similar in post processing. Some of the now classic WPA photos during the depression (the one in the 1930s, not the current one) have been challenged as accurate historical records because the photographer in some cases moved furniture to remove distractions or people to compose them better to the background context.

What falls somewhere in the middle is when a photograph is taken the results, due to the limitations of the medium (sensor range, sensitivity, fact the camera doesn't have a brain changing color perception and pupil diameter as the eyes scan a scene, etc.) isn't what was seen by eye. We perceive differently than a camera records. So some degree of manipulation is needed to make a SOOC image match what was perceived by eye in many cases.

Today it seems seeking to record a full tonal range in an image is considered a radical idea that should be challenged (see the Stobist thread over in lighting). But that was my goal back when I made my own prints with an enlarger I didn't think twice about dodging and burning to make the midtones look more like my impression in memory. But there were others of the same era that thought anything beyond what was recorded in the negative wasn't a "true representation of photographic skills."

At college the library hired me to make prints of a collection of old glass plate negatives from the 1800s, mostly old train shots (the town, Galesburg, IL was a railroad hub). Some were as large as 11 x 14 because the technology of the day didn't make enlargers practical. Prints were made by contact printing in frames exposed to the sun. You could argue everything since has involved a less pure form of manipulation.

The best answer to where you draw the line is: it's your line, you pick the spot to draw it. Just don't draw it too straight or you will be considered a technically competent draftsman instead of an artist



Jan 25, 2012 at 01:12 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #20 · Wrong on so many counts


When someone starts to babble about how evil it is to use Photoshop, I want to reach for a stout knobby cudgel.


Jan 25, 2012 at 02:32 AM
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