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Archive 2012 · Runner
  
 
shoenberg3
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Runner


I have also posted this picture in B&W section, and while I like it, I feel that it's still missing that last 2 percent to push it to greatness.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.






Runner by shoenberg3, on Flickr



Feb 14, 2012 at 01:43 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Runner


Perhaps a little crop and burn?







Feb 14, 2012 at 04:11 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Runner


The runner is overwhelmed by the context. A couple alternate crops...












I like the second which isolates the runner with minimal distractions. You don't need to show every tree in a forest to give the viewer the impression a person is in the woods.



Feb 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM
shoenberg3
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Runner


Great feedback.

I agree the runner seems to be bit lost by the "trees" (but perhaps that was the point).

I like your second version for the visual simplicity but at the same time, the dramatic aspect is also slightly lost in my view.

Interesting perspectives. Thank you



Feb 14, 2012 at 11:20 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Runner


shoenberg3 wrote:
I agree the runner seems to be bit lost by the "trees" (but perhaps that was the point).

No shit. Your rendition is better than any presented. It's your photograph and your vision.



Feb 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Runner


I like to compose photos in a way that leads the viewer over the context of the story in the background or foreground to the "punchline" focal point, which is so compelling they stay on it. The more distraction in a photo the sooner the viewer will get tugged by the brain's curiosity to go check out the other stuff.

The top half of your original crop, while interesting in its detail, works to pull attention up off the the focal point to investigate the contrasting boxes in the street. The further the eye wanders up into the top the less likely it is the viewer will go back down to look at the runner again.

My first crop leaving a few of the boxes in at the top let's them wander up, but not too far that they won't be tempted down for another look at the runner.

The second crop provides the context of big city / narrow deserted street but give the viewer nothing else to tempt them away, thus more "hang time" on the focal point.

The trick in any composition is finding the right balance between context and focal point. Here the focal point is so tiny I thing the fewer potential distraction the better. Here's another version in which I've tried to give it a more sinister nighttime, running from danger to safety vibe








Feb 15, 2012 at 12:16 AM
shoenberg3
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Runner


dmacmillan wrote:
No shit. Your rendition is better than any presented. It's your photograph and your vision.

Oh so everyone knows what the hell they are doing right from the beginning and there is no need for soliciting for critique.

You baffle me.



Feb 15, 2012 at 12:25 AM
shoenberg3
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Runner


Thanks for the commentary cgardener.

I did try to burn the trashcans on the top to lessen the distraction but I agree they still pull some attention from the runner. I do like the darker rendition for the cropped image but I think it would be too much for the full image.

I will revisit this maybe in a few days to approach it more objectively.



Feb 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Runner


Doug has been trolling and editorializing after my suggestions for ten years in two different forums. I guess they didn't teach civility at the Art Center...


Feb 15, 2012 at 12:50 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Runner


shoenberg3 wrote:
Oh so everyone knows what the hell they are doing right from the beginning and there is no need for soliciting for critique.

You baffle me.

Nope. But sometimes, for some photographs, the original is best. My opinion that this is one of those cases. I still consider your rendition the strongest. What do you think?

One thing I did learn at Art Center, where at least half the time in class was spent by the instructor critiquing student's work, is that you have to find your own voice. Yes, it's good to get critique, but you have to filter the input and put it in perspective of what you are trying to say.

I can't recall seeing any of your other work. This photograph indicates to me you have a good eye for composition. Feedback can be useful, but not nearly as useful as getting out and shooting and learning how to critique your own work.


Edited on Feb 15, 2012 at 02:26 PM · View previous versions



Feb 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM
 

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Bob Jarman
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Runner


Well said Doug,

Bob



Feb 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Runner


dmacmillan wrote:
Nope. But sometimes, for some photographs, the original is best. My opinion that this is one of those cases. I still consider your rendition the strongest. What do you think?


But Doug, how can one come to that conclusion until they consider and try other options and compare?

Raising viewfinder to eye is an act of editing the story, often to the constraint of the camera format which often isn't the best one for editing the story.

What I do when editing is look and react to the photo, weigh my reaction and the implied story it tells, then try to reverse engineer what caused that emotional reaction. The mechanism I use for that when editing is to identify the focal point, or focal points, isolate them as in the final close-up of a cinematic progression of wide establishing shot, medium shot showing relation of actor to context preceding the close-up. That allows me to compare the same story seen from three different points of view.

The original as posted worked OK for the context of a wide establishing shot, but I felt the story of "alone in the big city" was better conveyed with tighter crop where the focal point was a big larger and more prominent compositionally.

The OP obviously thought the original was the best way to convey the story, and so do you, but that doesn't make other points of view any less valid. Movies would be very boring to watch if they only consisted of a succession of wide establishing shots.




Feb 15, 2012 at 02:09 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Runner


cgardner wrote:
The OP obviously thought the original was the best way to convey the story, and so do you, but that doesn't make other points of view any less valid. Movies would be very boring to watch if they only consisted of a succession of wide establishing shots.


Photographs aren't movies.

I guess it gets to an understanding of the purpose of critique. I regard the purpose of critique is to help the photographer realize their vision, not make their photograph conform to my vision.

Personally I prefer to pursue my vision through my photographs, not through manipulating the work of others. What time I spend editing a processing photos is directed towards my work. I've got my hands full doing that.



Feb 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Runner


While I personally like Chuck's rendition ... because it does pull me toward the subject (assuming the title is the subject). In Chuck's rendering, I particularly like the "shaft of light" that makes it look like the photographer captured the subject as they were "running" through the illumination of a nearby street lamp.

That being said, however ... I notice the OP's original is not a standard format, which suggests that the OP did that intentionally. While I like the exclusion of the extraneous information (dumpsters draw the eye away from the runner) to draw me to the subject / title, I'm curious as to why the OP cropped it so tall in the original. For me, the original crop suggests an expanse that is 'gobbling' up the runner, so the subject isn't the runner, but rather the environment the runner is in. In that regard, I'm seeing a need to change the title, rather than the image ... depending of course on the OP's POV ... something like "Surrounded" (and trying to get away), "No Escape", "Escape Artist" comes to mind.



Feb 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM
shoenberg3
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Runner


dmacmillan wrote:
Nope. But sometimes, for some photographs, the original is best. My opinion that this is one of those cases. I still consider your rendition the strongest. What do you think?

One thing I did learn at Art Center, where at least half the time in class was spent by the instructor critiquing student's work, is that you have to find your own voice. Yes, it's good to get critique, but you have to filter the input and put it in perspective of what you are trying to say.

I can't recall seeing any of your other work. This photograph indicates to
...Show more
I do not disagree with this. And as you say, "it's good to get critique" and I AM "filter(ing) the output" rather carefully. I still consider myself very much a student of photography trying to find his voice and I feel that this learning/refining process should not be entirely solipsistic.

Even the best violinists in the world had teachers and mentors when they were younger.



Feb 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM
shoenberg3
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Runner


RustyBug wrote:
While I personally like Chuck's rendition ... because it does pull me toward the subject (assuming the title is the subject). In Chuck's rendering, I particularly like the "shaft of light" that makes it look like the photographer captured the subject as they were "running" through the illumination of a nearby street lamp.

That being said, however ... I notice the OP's original is not a standard format, which suggests that the OP did that intentionally. While I like the exclusion of the extraneous information (dumpsters draw the eye away from the runner) to draw me to the subject / title,
...Show more

Thanks for the comment.
Funny you mention the title: I also didn't like the title "runner" and came up with one that I think is much better: "Cross"




Feb 15, 2012 at 05:42 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Runner


shoenberg3 wrote:
Even the best violinists in the world had teachers and mentors when they were younger.

Ah, a music analogy! That's true. However, that's not quite the same as getting advice from strangers over the internet.

PS - My violin teacher was a nice lady named Alice Kirkpatrick. While I was her student, she spent one summer in Japan studying under Shinici Suzuki.



Feb 15, 2012 at 07:49 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Runner


dmacmillan wrote:
Photographs aren't movies.

No but the goals are the same, to evoke some emotional reaction in the mind of the viewer.


I guess it gets to an understanding of the purpose of critique. I regard the purpose of critique is to help the photographer realize their vision, not make their photograph conform to my vision.

But Doug, you don't get to set boundaries, rules or moderate here. What part if "It's not you job to moderate others" don't you understand? You are certainly entitled to your opinions, based on your worldview and background, but everyone else is equally entitled to theirs also and shouldn't need to suffer your endless editorials about the advice or approaches of others. A simple "I like it." will suffice, but you often can't seem to offer your opinion or advice without framing it as an opposing position to mine. Why is that?

Personally I prefer to pursue my vision through my photographs, not through manipulating the work of others. What time I spend editing a processing photos is directed towards my work. I've got my hands full doing that.


I would venture to say that I've grown more in my own work as a result of taking the time to think about and comment on the work of others, particularly the type of photographs I'd never think to take myself in part because I'm not driven to share my "artistic" vision with others. When I take a photograph I have no ambitions beyond trying to get past all the technical limitations of the recording and output media to produce a final result that will resemble what I saw by eye and hopefully evoke a similar emotional reaction in the mind of anyone who happens to see it.

Our goals and motivations differ with respect to photography. I respect yours are different than mine, why can't you extend me the same courtesy?




Feb 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Runner


dmacmillan wrote:
. However, that's not quite the same as getting advice from strangers over the internet.


Actually, it is ...

In each case, the student must decide whether to accept or reject the input from the external source ... strive to understand what/why the advice is being presented ... and then embrace, incorporate or abandon the tenets of what is being offered. It's not like a student has never changed teachers.

I realize there is an issue of 'credibility' of a well known and time tested teacher vs. the hodge-podge of junk that can freely flow @ the internet, but that doesn't negate the students need to utilize their own discernment regarding the critique. Picasso may have told a student that their work was too literal, while Rembrandt may have said the same piece was too interpretive. The student would still have to discern whether the advice of Picasso vs. Rembrandt was most relative to his efforts, direction, goals and vision.

We get that Doug and Chuck are at polar opposite regarding approach ... we really don't need to have that incessantly pointed out. Karen likes 'punchy' and "swirly" things more than others at times, Kaden likes "Kaden things", Bob, Scott & I have our own vibe as do so many others. We are all simply offering our opinions and advice, as well as sharing and baring some of ourselves.

Sometimes I listen to what Chuck has to say, other times I dismiss it as "he isn't getting me on this one" ... same goes for everyone's input. BUT, in all regards, it is contingent upon me to discern what/which of the advice / opinion I'm going to adopt or reject and try to understand why that is. It is very nice to have a place where we can be subjected to the variation of input and advice.

One of the cool parts of this forum is that it is easy to "revisit" something that today I didn't get or want to embrace ... and then later, when the "light comes on" ... I can go back to it and benefit from it. If it was never written, then I would never have that option to consider it, either today ... or tomorrow. Sometimes I realize that it wasn't that "they didn't get me", but instead that "I didn't get them".

Trying to restrict ... ANY OF US ... is counter-productive. None of us are trying to suggest that we are the AUTHORITY on a matter, just sharing our experience, knowledge and opinion. It is still contingent upon the READER to make those discernments ... not a censorship effort that they aren't worthy to be written and shared.

I'm a bit less "organic" than someone like Kaden or Karen and have "my thing" @ "drawing the eye" and "What's the point?" ... but they don't go around telling me to "give it a rest", nor do I tell them that their "organic" stuff is wrong because it doesn't utilize my sense of how to go about things.

When we post up here ... good grief ... we EXPECT to get differing opinions and perspectives. Some are technical, some are organic, some are fun, some are weird, some are classic, some are avante garde ... that's awesome stuff. The goal here is to provide critical analysis (and opinion) of the images ... not to criticize others for expressing their opinions. Explaining why you offer a counter opinion, sure ... but telling someone their opinion has no place here because of XYZ, not so much. The OP/reader gets to decide and filter what he wants to embrace / reject.

Lord knows I've had plenty of my stuff refuted, countered and rejected, but nobody is telling me to stop offering my opinions and perspectives. Heck, I even counter myself along the way ... and am by no means an authority such as a Picasso or Rembrandt. I'm still gonna offer my opinion ... if the OP finds that he prefers the input from Picasso over mine ... so be it. That doesn't mean that one of the readers may not have found value in my input moreover than Picasso's. Who's to say whether or not what I (or others) have written will "connect" or "not connect" with another member? It's not like we don't have any lurkers or new members coming around.

This isn't about being right, it's about striving to help our fellow members with growth and understanding ... through critical analysis and encouragement, both subjective and objective, organic and structured, technical and intuitive ... i.e. it's all fair game (even when it misses the mark) ... and no single one of us can provide it all as well as we do collectively. So, I would politely request that we stop trying to diminish / invalidate the input of others just becasue we don't agree with it ... instead staying focused on striving to help foster the craft and vision that we are all passionate toward.

FM ROCKS !!!






Feb 15, 2012 at 08:50 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Runner


Good points, Kent. It's a critique forum and the original post asked: "Any suggestions will be appreciated."

Seems reasonable to me that the proper reply is to offer suggestions for the original poster to accept or reject at will. Or have I missed something?

FWIW, given the B & W treatment and the small running figure in an urban landscape I was reminder of Cartier-Bresson. I asked myself, how might CB have presented the image? My suggested crop and burning was intended to give it a CB-like interpretation.



Feb 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM
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