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Archive 2012 · Plenty of Birds
  
 
gneto
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Plenty of Birds


Hello everyone,

I simply love this image, as it represents very well how I feel about the place I've been shooting at - it's almost as if it were a bird highway. I've counted 6 different bird species in this "traffic jam" photo.

Anyway, I'd like to know what others feel about it - I obviously have a strong emotional attachment to this picture, and can't judge it neutrally. Also, feedback on problems with the image are welcome.

So, does it work?




D3100 + AF-S 300mm F/4 + TC 14EII, 420mm f/5.6, ISO 360, 1/1000 sec



Nov 27, 2012 at 10:39 AM
oldrattler
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Plenty of Birds


I am not a bird photographer, but, like most, have an opinion. It is a good "Snapshot", but fails to hold my attention. The congestion, business of he image, overpowers me as I search for the focal point. Had you held on one bird and panned with it burring the others, or went total abstract would have been more appealing to me. Now this is the most important thing I have to say: If you like it, who cares what others think. It is your image, your vision, and nobody knows what you were after, except you. Jim

Edited on Nov 28, 2012 at 12:55 AM · View previous versions



Nov 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM
gneto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Plenty of Birds


Thanks for the feedback, Jim. As I said, it's an emotional thing, I love it, but most people (non-photographers) to whom I've shown it in the past didn't pay much attention to it. So I posted it here to try to understand how photographers would see it. Your feedback in this regard was awesome because you didn't simply say it doesn't work, you also elaborated on some of the reasons why it didn't.

One of the things I've been trying to 'evolve' as a photographer is my 'taste' for pictures. I've been browsing pictures online and saving the ones I really like in my computer, then from time to time I review this images and delete the ones I don't think are that great anymore. This has helped me immensely in judging my own images. But for some reason this picture bypasses all of that judgement I've been trying to evolve, and I can't really seem to figure out why... perhaps the feedback will help me understand it.

Once again, thanks.



Nov 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Plenty of Birds


+1 @ Jim

Sometimes we have an emotional response to our experience associated with the image. It can be a moment in time of a child playing or the scene at the end of a long mountain trek. In those kind of images, the emotive response we have internally is being registered in part from our memory of the event/moment in conjunction with our response to the image itself. For our viewers ... only the image before them has any input to their emotive response (and any triggers it might have to their memory of similar experience).

So, for your viewers response, the image has to stand on its own merits. To that end, the questions of "What's the point?" and "What is the message that you want to convey to your viewer?" begs to be asked and answered. Sometimes, the answer is very specific, other times it is rather vague. IMO, the more vague YOUR ANSWER is to the question, the less likely you are to produce an image that conveys a clear message to your viewer.

Our images are always a communication to our viewers, and like a well written book, article, speech, etc. ... the ability to convey the message in a way that captivates your audience, reader or viewer (in our case) begins with knowing what the message is that you want to convey.

Sure, we all take shots that we thought were "really cool" ... only to have them fall short of generating the excitement in others that we experienced. This particular image reminds me of my pictures of the Red Ibis in Trinidad flocking back to their nest at evening. Or seeing a seagull/pelican feeding frenzy. They were cool experiences ... but both bombed as an image to convey a message. Admittedly, I was so caught up in the experience, I was just a tourist with a camera ... not a photographer with a vision, point or message to convey ... and it clearly showed.

Back to your pic ... once we answer the question of "point" / "message" ... then we can begin to decide how to proceed with what you can do to better generate / convey that message for your viewers. Depending on what that is, adjustments to crop/comp, color, contrast, etc. can help you push/pull the image toward your goal for it.

Sometimes I see an image, and I can "get it" as to what the vision was and proceed toward it. Other times, I'm left going "huh". In those "huh" times ... I may just "make up something" for an intended point / message and then work toward that.

IMO, better images provide good direction to help the viewer arrive at the "point" or get the "message" ... but first the creator of the image has to know what that point/message is in order to drive the viewer toward it.

Of course, then there's just some plain ol' fun "eye candy" ... but even then, the point is to provide some "eye candy" for tantalizing exploration. Then there are those images, that the point is to showcase the lighting, or showcase the color, or ... well, you get the point.

The point is, that without the point being clear to the viewer, they miss the point ... even if we are strongly attached to the image as augmented by our emotional response to the experience of the image. Our viewer is largely limited to the image as presented.

A bit of psycho-babble ... but I hope it gives some perspective on why we can be so attached with our pics, yet they "fall flat" for others.

BTW ... +1 @ you recognizing that your voice & vision is an evolutionary process. It all starts in the "gray matter" ... and never stops.

As to this pic ... I get "lot of birds", but the detail / similarity doesn't project "different species" for the average viewer. Most viewers need more help to see things than you might otherwise think. This one doesn't really "speak to me", but here is an alternate crop/rendering ... just 'cause ... trying to retain the "lot of birds" but without "stretching out" the viewer as much.

HTH







Nov 27, 2012 at 02:30 PM
 

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ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Plenty of Birds


Nice redo here Kent. I have done a lot of these types, Its hard to contain. You always end up with cut off birds at the edges and lots of overlaps and OOF that is not smoothly oof.

But as an ex birder, I can see the beauty of such a place with so many neat species in such a compact area. If I had a place like this close to home I would still be birding.



Nov 27, 2012 at 03:42 PM
gneto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Plenty of Birds


Rustybug, thank you for such an elaborate answer. It's a remarkable "essay" on my image (and its intrinsic problems), and for me a real eye-opener to some aspects of photography I hadn't had completely elaborated/rationalized before.

After reading your text, I realize that's exactly the problem with the image, the lack of a clear message others might extract from it. Even tough it has some special meaning to me, that meaning applies to me only - other people didn't live the same experience and can't relate to the image the same way. Perhaps some specific groups of people can relate a little bit better to it, for example Ben as an ex-birder can clearly extract more meaning from the image than most people do. However, as photographers we are usually striving for some form of "universal" message, just like the paintings from the master artists are universally appreciated and understood everywhere.


RustyBug wrote:
Sure, we all take shots that we thought were "really cool" ... only to have them fall short of generating the excitement in others that we experienced. This particular image reminds me of my pictures of the Red Ibis in Trinidad flocking back to their nest at evening. Or seeing a seagull/pelican feeding frenzy. They were cool experiences ... but both bombed as an image to convey a message. Admittedly, I was so caught up in the experience, I was just a tourist with a camera ... not a photographer with a vision, point or message to convey ... and
...Show more


I think you described perfectly what happened to this image, and with me while taking it. The best part is when you described it as a "tourist" moment; that's exactly the word to use!





The point is, that without the point being clear to the viewer, they miss the point ... even if we are strongly attached to the image as augmented by our emotional response to the experience of the image. Our viewer is largely limited to the image as presented.

A bit of psycho-babble ... but I hope it gives some perspective on why we can be so attached with our pics, yet they "fall flat" for others.



Here you summed it all up perfectly! Can't call it psycho-babble IMO, as a photographer that's a phenomenon I have to understand and be able to recognize when it's happening to me.




As to this pic ... I get "lot of birds", but the detail / similarity doesn't project "different species" for the average viewer. Most viewers need more help to see things than you might otherwise think. This one doesn't really "speak to me", but here is an alternate crop/rendering ... just 'cause ... trying to retain the "lot of birds" but without "stretching out" the viewer as much.

HTH


I like your new version of the image, but I'm not gonna do any more work on it. I'm gonna keep it 'as is', as a great reminder of my experience, but won't really try to enhance it in any way; it's clear now that this image won't really mean much to anyone else.

Once again, thanks a lot for such great answer!







Nov 27, 2012 at 09:11 PM
gneto
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Plenty of Birds


ben egbert wrote:
But as an ex birder, I can see the beauty of such a place with so many neat species in such a compact area. If I had a place like this close to home I would still be birding.


I consider myself really fortunate to have this place close to my home. It's called Lagoa do Peixe, It's a 3 hour drive to get there, and there's a hotel really close where I can spend the night, only 10 mins away from the lake. And there are way more species than those that I've been posting here... a birder's paradise lets say



Nov 27, 2012 at 09:15 PM





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