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Archive 2012 · Seascape lacks something
  
 
Bsmooth
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p.1 #1 · Seascape lacks something


Let me know what you think, its lacking something, but I can't put a finger on it exactly.








Apr 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · Seascape lacks something


A bit like the shot I recently posted on this forum. While the scene brings fine memories, smells and other sensations, there isnt enough compelling point of interest.
The sky is, ho hum, another pretty partly cloudy day
The islands are small do not provide much additional interest in the water.
Foreground features some textures and pink hues and provides some balance, but nothing of great interest.
So, what I think you are left with is a nice capture of a place you probably enjoy.
To improve on the current composition, I'd crop a bit of the sky and half of the grass between the bottom of the image and the rocks on the left. While it may just be apparent rotation, I'd consider a slight clockwise rotation of the image to give it less a feel of tilting upward to the right.
Scott



Apr 30, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #3 · Seascape lacks something


Does the processing seem ok?


Apr 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM
newhaven
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p.1 #4 · Seascape lacks something


Did you use photomatrix or another hdr program? It has that quality.


Apr 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #5 · Seascape lacks something


Maybe a tad over-sharpened, but processing looks fine to me. Nice job, BTW, holding the highlights in those clouds.
Where did you take this?
Scott



Apr 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #6 · Seascape lacks something


Taken just past Manchester by the sea, a great spot that I had missed for years, that was the site of an old estate. Its only open on weekends, but its definately worth a trip.
It was done in Photomatix, but I was trying to avoid the overprocessed look and just get a little more detail.
Nice webpage Scott, some really great shots.



Apr 30, 2012 at 04:26 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · Seascape lacks something


A little HDR look in some areas of the water/foreground, but not badly so (i.e. judiciously, not over-processed)

I'd like to see the original ... to show you what I've got in mind that I think you might like.



Apr 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM
 

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Bsmooth
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p.1 #8 · Seascape lacks something


I'll post the original tonight.


Apr 30, 2012 at 06:42 PM
oldrattler
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p.1 #9 · Seascape lacks something


I added some selective contrast to clouds & a dab of warmth






Edited on May 01, 2012 at 09:27 PM · View previous versions



Apr 30, 2012 at 08:44 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · Seascape lacks something


Took a stab with the one posted ... which btw, your original looks better than I originally saw on a different monitor.

Your clouds are more natural than mine as I "blued" them a bit more than I wanted, but I wanted to push the cool distant sky apart from the warm foreground a bit. Gave it a haircut (a little off the top) and some D&B as well to try and give it a little more movement for the eye to play with.

As always, S&P to taste.







Apr 30, 2012 at 09:22 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #11 · Seascape lacks something


When a photo has multiple focal points for it to work in any meaningful way they need to connect and tell a story in the mind of a stranger seeing it. That's what's missing here.

When looking at a scene like that trying to take a photo myself, or trying to critique it, what I'll do is crop tight on each focal point and try to create a story around it as I expand the crop outward. The most obvious focal point is the tree...







By itself it is somewhat interesting because it is unusual to see a lone tree so close to the ocean and the bare ground, water and sky have three of the four basic elements. All that's lacking is setting the tree on fire...

Expanding the crop I find this possibility....







The rocks add a secondary focal point, which is likely to be noticed first because it close to the edge of the frame. If that happens it will delay the viewer finding the tree. If the opposite happens and they notice the tree first then get distracted by the rocks the tree being more compelling and interesting will draw them back. Either way you have eye movement and sense of dynamic movement vs. just a static tree in the first crop. I vignetted the edges dark and brightened the center to create a dark > light gradient towards the tree.

The reason I stopped the crop where I did on the rocks is because if you let the viewer wander too far from the tree either they will not come back for a second look or the will find the rapid eye darting back and forth abrupt and unsettling rather than the harmonious vibe created by moving slowing between to nearby focal point. In that regard this type of composition would work better if you had taken it from more to the right so from the POV of the camera the rocks would be even closer to the tree like this...







But the more interesting possibility I see in this shot comes from ignoring the tree entirely and finding a pattern in the absence of any single strong focal point...







When looking for some pattern or symmetry to play off of in the composition I noticed the similarity in shape between the pile of rocks on the left and the group of clouds directly above them, with the island in the water seeming to float between them as if suspended by magnetic force. As with the second shot I selectively darkened and lightened and blurred the edges as if viewing it through a salt encrusted window you just wiped clean with your sleeve. An artistic interpretation with a zen like vibe that might not be appreciated at first glance, but similar to a Japanese rock garden the longer the viewer looks at it the more they are likely to see in their imagination vs. thinking "Gee, neat tree.."




May 01, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #12 · Seascape lacks something


Very interesting indeed. I remeber when starting out I tried to fit as much as I could into a frame. The more and more I shot, the less I shot the better, and I thought I was doing well.
At the same time developing the eye to see things that no one else does, things like you have just pointed out, that I missed entirely.



May 01, 2012 at 09:57 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #13 · Seascape lacks something


Bsmooth wrote:
Taken just past Manchester by the sea, a great spot that I had missed for years, that was the site of an old estate. Its only open on weekends, but its definately worth a trip.
It was done in Photomatix, but I was trying to avoid the overprocessed look and just get a little more detail.
Nice webpage Scott, some really great shots.


I think you did avoid the overprocessed look.
Havent been to Manchester by the Sea for some time, but it reminds me how beautiful the North Shore and Cape Ann can be.

Thanks for the compliment about the webpage.

Scott



May 01, 2012 at 11:21 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #14 · Seascape lacks something


Bsmooth wrote:
Very interesting indeed. I remeber when starting out I tried to fit as much as I could into a frame. The more and more I shot, the less I shot the better, and I thought I was doing well.
At the same time developing the eye to see things that no one else does, things like you have just pointed out, that I missed entirely.


Compositions with multiple focal points are the most difficult to do effectively. One of the more valuable sources of information and inspiration I've had about composing scenes like that was in a book on flower arranging. Florists will usually use a odd number of focal point flowers because odd numbers of objects 3, 5, 7 will form circular paths around the arrangement. Things in even numbers tend to be seen in pairs resulting in more linear ping-ping eye motion like what is occurring between tree and rocks.

That linear ping-pong dynamic also occurs (intentionally) in my last rocks / clouds edit, but what make it work better is that on each trip between the rocks and clouds the eye passes over the island in the center. That's really the main focal point of the photo, in a way that is not obvious. The viewer might not even notice the island until the 3rd or 4th trip making it an "Easter Egg" focal point.

I tried to do something similar, but it a different way in this shot...







The "hidden" focal point is the dog, a metaphor for what a sleepy little laid back town it is, which blends into the similar color concrete. The strong leading line along the boats in the background is just a diversion to delay the viewer noticing it.



May 02, 2012 at 12:15 AM





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