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Archive 2012 · Hey, look at me!
  
 
Gregstx
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p.1 #1 · Hey, look at me!


I was driving by when I saw this. My first thought was "Hey, look at me!". I drove around the block to get the photo. When I looked at the image later, I didn't think it had the same impact as it did when I first saw it. What would you do to make this photo have more appeal? Thanks.







Jan 26, 2012 at 02:56 AM
CheechzeppLn
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p.1 #2 · Hey, look at me!


I would get much closer to these roses. If it was me I would shoot with a wide angle close up to get the whole bush and some of the fence. I like the angle you have chosen, definitely use the same approach. Time of day, find a time when the light is not so harsh. I believe your goal was to show the rose poking through the fence. I doubt you had any interest in showing the poll, house, sidewalk, etc... all of these elements are distracting and take away from the original intended composition. If and when you recompose, don't be afraid to fill the frame with the roses and I recommend using manual focus. We know better what should be in focus and out of focus. I hope this helps.

Charlie



Jan 26, 2012 at 03:31 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · Hey, look at me!


+1 @ Charlie


Jan 26, 2012 at 05:25 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #4 · Hey, look at me!


The interesting elements here are the flower and the green arrows on the sidewalk that seem to point to the spot where it is to the right of the sidewalk.

I cropped in tight on the main focal point, the flower then expanded the frame looking for interesting patterns in the scene. After trying a lot of crops I settled on this one in which the bottom line of the fence divides the square crop diagonally and cause the sidewalk, strip of grass all appear to play off and radiate from the upper left corner.







I vignetted the edges darker and flower and area to the left I made lighter with multiply and screen adjustment layers. I selectively over sharpened the flower to add back some of the specularity lost in capture and toned down saturation in yellow in the grass to shift the hue and darken it a bit. I also desaturated the red object in the background I found distracting.

It still shows all the context of the original story but simplifies the leading lines and isolates the flower by eliminating competing distractions. You might also have isolated the flower / arrow focal points more with DOF similar to this lens blur edit in PS when shooting...








Jan 27, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Gregstx
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p.1 #5 · Hey, look at me!


Thanks for the input. I am trying to learn.

Charlie, the one element that really caught my eye while driving by was this one set of blooms jutting through hundreds of feet of fencing. I was trying to capture that isolation for the lack of a better description. I did take some tighter shots. I wasn't thrilled with them either. I posted the wider shot to give everyone here as much real estate as possible to work with.

cgardner, I honestly didn't pay much attention to the arrows when I took the shot. After seeing your rework, I can visualize that the yellow arrow is telling the flowers which way to grow and the green arrows on the sidewalk are instructions on where to grow. I'm not sure if that is exactly what you intended but it makes me want to pay closer attention to the various element within my photos. It does make the shot more interesting in my mind.



Jan 27, 2012 at 03:10 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #6 · Hey, look at me!


I'd suggest visually editing the image to simplify it and place the emphasis on the roses and their isolation on the plane of the fence. Other items in the scene distract and weaken the visual theme. You could use aperture selection to limit DOF and vignette to further direct the eye to the roses. Example with simulated reduced DOF:







Jan 27, 2012 at 09:50 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #7 · Hey, look at me!


One I did a few years ago on a similar theme, with less fence:







Jan 27, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Gregstx
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p.1 #8 · Hey, look at me!


I should have painted the fence. Auntipode, you got the classic red subject with the blue background. Cool. Well with some input from this thread, I went back and tried shooting it again. Opinions.







Jan 28, 2012 at 03:32 AM
 

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AuntiPode
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p.1 #9 · Hey, look at me!


Better, more subject oriented. The pole on the upper left doesn't help. The knots are slightly interesting as separate items, but don't contribute much to the theme. I'd also suggest removing the barrel distortion and making a skew adjustment to make the fence straighter. Some rubbish retouching, adding a slight vignette and selective burning to control the scene brightness, relative to the subject, are possibilities to consider:







Jan 28, 2012 at 04:58 AM
oldrattler
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p.1 #10 · Hey, look at me!


Mask flower & added watercolor effect...







Jan 28, 2012 at 11:54 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #11 · Hey, look at me!


I like this version, oldrattler!
I like the OP's latest comp, cropped more the way Karen did. But I think you may have missed the focus. To me it appears sharper on the closer fence rather than the flower. Maybe some selective sharpening will balance it further.

Scott



Jan 28, 2012 at 03:34 PM
oldrattler
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p.1 #12 · Hey, look at me!


sbeme wrote:
I like this version, oldrattler!
I like the OP's latest comp, cropped more the way Karen did. But I think you may have missed the focus. To me it appears sharper on the closer fence rather than the flower. Maybe some selective sharpening will balance it further.

Scott


I think you are correct on every point..


Edited on Jan 28, 2012 at 07:23 PM · View previous versions



Jan 28, 2012 at 03:47 PM
CheechzeppLn
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p.1 #13 · Hey, look at me!


Wow this progressed rather nicely. Greg this is a much better vantage point and shows ur intentions much better. All the points made here have been spot on. Thanks for the follow up image.

Charlie



Jan 28, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Gregstx
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p.1 #14 · Hey, look at me!


Thanks for all of the input. I really like Auntipode's rework. Scott, I think you are right about the focus. I went back and looked at the original. At 200%, the front flowers still look pretty good but I think the perfect focus is just in front of the flowers. It does seem like the foreground fencing is slightly sharper.


Jan 29, 2012 at 03:06 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #15 · Hey, look at me!


AuntiPode wrote:
One I did a few years ago on a similar theme, with less fence:


Back when I was working for Zucker I needed a photo to enter into a PPofA print competition at the state convention. He had a Clematis growing on the fence in his front yard which I photographed and entered. To my surprise it won first place in the "creative" category. Another photo I entered won an ugly trophy for being most creative across all categories. I then retired from the wedding business and moved on to the next career challenge

What the the judges didn't know was it 10% photographic skill and 90% creative use of a stapler. The flower and vine was just growing boringly straight so I took a staple gun and tacked the vine to the fence to create an interesting sensuous curved line leading up across the fence to the flower. You pose models, no? Like I've said the creative part of photography is arranging what winds up in front of the lens.

Thinking about that clarified what bothers me about the tighter crops. They become similar to a head without a body showing in tight cropped head shot - floating head without content or interesting leading lines towards it.

The tighter crops here isolate the flower better, but here I think the wider context is what creates the more interesting story. Isolating the flower creates a static composition vs. one where the viewer imagines themselves walking past it and noticing it as the OP did driving by

That's why I cropped with all the strong lines of the sidewalk, grass, and bottom of fence leading past it with the flower placed near the right side. I'm walking down the sidewalk, notice the ---> <---- arrows, stop, turn right and see the flower. Given the strong color contrast the opposite eye movement in the photo is almost certain to happen initially see flower, notice arrows on sidewalk but when all the elements of the story are connected it becomes a far more interesting story.

The problem I saw with the original was distractions like the roof seen over the fence and the vertical of the pole competing with the line of the sidewalk. The eye was just getting pulled too many different directions and without the viewer feeling they are walking down the sidewalk towards the upper left to set-up seeing the arrows the flower as "punchline" of the story doesn't work, assuming of course that's the story you wanted to tell.




Jan 29, 2012 at 06:21 AM





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