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Archive 2012 · Tell me what’s wrong with this
  
 
ben egbert
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p.1 #1 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


I have this image as wallpaper on a 26 inch monitor and I just love it. But I know from past experience that I am probably going to be the only one who does. This question is more about my taste than the image itself.

For starters, the image quality is a big factor for me. But in addition, I love these massive slabs of rock and the light on the rock is pretty nice.

Not trying to talk anyone into liking it, just trying to understand what other people see. I would like to have had some dramatic sky’s, but if I did, I would still compose it as you see it.

But this is not presentation quality and I know it. So let me have it.





Kolab Canyon Zion

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens    55mm    f/8.0    1/320s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #2 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


It's an ok travel record shot.


Dec 06, 2012 at 05:49 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #3 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Thanks Karen, I probably attach too much to weight to image quality. I have a strong pixel peeper gene.

It will take me a long time to acquire any artistic taste (if I ever do) so I would like to ask these questions when I have them.

For example, is this static? I know it lacks drama even I can see that.



Dec 06, 2012 at 06:06 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #4 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Scenes are record shots unless something special raises them above the ordinary. Ask yourself, what lifts this image above the ordinary beyond the fact you like the subject? Is the light special? No. Is the sky dramatic? No. Does it have special graphic appeal? No. If you can't find a significant and satisfying answer to the question, it's a record shot. (Example questions, not an exhaustive list.) You can like it for what it reminds you of your experience. You can like the subject. You can like it for whatever arbitrary personal reasons. That's ok. But if you want others to like it, there must be something special about it that move people other than yourself. What about this image would you expect to move others?


Dec 06, 2012 at 06:51 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #5 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


AuntiPode wrote:
Scenes are record shots unless something special raises them above the ordinary. Ask yourself, what lifts this image above the ordinary beyond the fact you like the subject? Is the light special? No. Is the sky dramatic? No. Does it have special graphic appeal? No. If you can't find a significant and satisfying answer to the question, it's a record shot. (Example questions, not an exhaustive list.) You can like it for what it reminds you of your experience. You can like the subject. You can like it for whatever arbitrary personal reasons. That's ok. But if you want others
...Show more


+1
Scott



Dec 06, 2012 at 07:04 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #6 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Ok, then, the composition is ok, but it lacks drama. I am good with that and that is helpful.

This is sort of like the last image I posted of split rock. I have a lot of images I like but know are not great. At least I knew it would be like this before I posted. What I like for personal use is one thing. Figuring out what others like is what I am working toward.

I also see a lot of images I posted here that I like even less but that are probably liked better by the general participant. This is also fine. Sort of a self calibration process.




Dec 06, 2012 at 07:32 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #7 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


The best photos move people, emotionally and/or esthetically. If you can't say why an image is moving, likely it isn't. So, the best rule of thumb is to ask yourself, why would anyone else find this image special and appealing? How would it move them?


Dec 06, 2012 at 08:16 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #8 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Ha ha, gear heads might be moved in strange ways. I can get pretty emotional over a 1950's English motorcycle.


Dec 06, 2012 at 08:18 PM
sadja
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p.1 #9 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Hi Ben,

I have no special interest in MCs, but I too might find a 50s MC appealing for its quaintness and primitive tech and engineering.

I think Aunti raised salient points that you need to study and think about, since you don't seem able to get past technically superior but boring images on your own. Thats why I keep suggesting that you review/remind yourself of the points G. Barr lays out in his essays on getting to the next level.

I also think you need to try grasping the totality of an image. Do not let yourself graze on the individual leaves of grass. In hale the whole thing at once.



Dec 06, 2012 at 09:12 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #10 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Hi Sadja:

I have a few images that are well received but the majority are like this. I sort of almost know in advance which it will be, but of course if it is not going to be good, I only have the choice to not take it. Not much point in that because it costs nothing to take.

I can't really take a great image on purpose unless nature provides one. And even them I am never sure. I am not sure I can identify an image in advance that will be well received. Perhaps I can learn what will not be.





Dec 06, 2012 at 09:55 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #11 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Perhaps a conversion to black and white might add some missing drama?

Jo



Dec 07, 2012 at 02:12 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #12 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Jo Dilbeck wrote:
Perhaps a conversion to black and white might add some missing drama?

Jo


Feel free to make one. I have no idea how to make a B&W that looks decent or for that matter, I have no idea what a good b&W should look like. By this I mean getting good tonal values and contrast and black and white points.

If you need an unprocessed version I could furnish one.

edit, here is a SOOC








Dec 07, 2012 at 02:29 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Took a stab ...








Dec 07, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #14 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Ben, I just love the southern Utah so your image has way more appeal to me than for the average viewer. Even though I like it, I can understand how this falls into the travel category. I have nothing against a good travel photo. In fact I have many thousands of them from my travels over the past 2 years. I enjoy them immensely.

This image may not have lots of impact and it is not going to "move" Aunti, but I do think it can be improved to make it a bit more interesting for the average viewer. A more interesting sky would help. For this image that fix can be done very quickly. A bit of dodge and burn can also help.







Dec 07, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #15 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


As soon as I posted I saw Kent's version. I like his level of color saturation. I did not change the saturation from your version and I did not work with the SOOC image. I probably should have.


Dec 07, 2012 at 04:24 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #16 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Nice rework Kent.

Jim, adding drama always helps, nice job here and yes, it's easy to do. If I only show images with decent sky's. 99% of last years work is toast.

Maybe that is the answer, only show the 1%. If its that high of course.



Dec 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #17 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Well the desert southwest has lots and lots of days with nothing but bright blue skies. Unfortunately almost everyone wants to see some clouds. Even a few whispy clouds help. I tried adding clouds. That does not work but replacing the sky is almost always easy. In fact I usually begin processing by selecting the sky so I can invert and sharpen only the non-sky areas. That seems to be the best way to sharpen and add contrast without any halos.

You seem to be totally caught up in a strict realism in your images. Next time you look at the landscape forum try to imagine what some of those images looked like before the post processing. Many of those you are praising probably started with very very modest images. For many of the well liked images 90% of the impact was added in post. You seem to expect that sort of image to come OOC. That can happen but only very rarely and even then at least some skillful processing is needed.

Compared with the level of processing we are getting used to seeing, replacing a sky is a pretty minor manipulation. Fortunately it does not degrade the image at all. The remainder of the image can be pixel perfect. We don't need or want lots of detail and clarity in the sky and clouds. I often apply a 2-3 pixel blur on the sky just to cut some of the graininess that can arise.



Dec 07, 2012 at 06:13 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #18 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Hi Jim. I have done some sky replacement (see split rock) but it goes against my nature. The skill I want to develop is the skill of discovering and capturing the shot not in post processing it in later.

I understand that post processing is essential and have learned lots of stuff here, but I want to use it to bring out what was already there, not add what was not.






Dec 07, 2012 at 06:58 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #19 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


ben egbert wrote:
Hi Jim. I have done some sky replacement (see split rock) but it goes against my nature. The skill I want to develop is the skill of discovering and capturing the shot not in post processing it in later.

I understand that post processing is essential and have learned lots of stuff here, but I want to use it to bring out what was already there, not add what was not.


This is kinda where "plausible realism" comes into play for some latitude. My "plausible's" are generally targeted at lighting levels/colors, since lighting conditions vary @ minute/hour/day/week/month it's a tough tell as long as thing are congruous. And if you think about it, it is no different than a deviation form "standard processing" in the darkroorm when using D&B or masking, etc. while printing from a slide or negative.

My take on things like the sky switch ... while not a pure sooc play ... if done judiciously it kinda goes like this for me. If I'm at location A and capture a noon shot on a cloudless day, then I'm on a nearby ridge (location B) tomorrow at noon (essentially same lighting conditions), still in proximity of location A and happen to see that a cloud formation is over at location A, but I can't get to it as the winds are blowing them along, I stil know that it was very real that the clouds were present in conjunction with my original image, just on a different day.

From that, it kinda depends on my goals. If my goal is to show my viewer that such a time & place exists ... it may be that I need the composite to help render a creation to send a successful message of its existence (Christmas in August comes to mind).

The fact that it may be different tomorrow, is no different than taking a cloud out, to show blue sky alone. When the viewer comes to the place (predicated upon your message that it is worthy to do so) ... he does not expect to find it identical, and recognizes it may or may not be full of "puffy whites" or "clear blue" as your image contained. In that regard, "plausible realism" settles okay with me ... even though, I too, greatly prefer an sooc ... I can "tolerate" well executed (i.e. undetectable) plausible composites (especially when I don't know they are a composite ).

However, if my goal is to present my image as a "game trophy" that I shot while "on the hunt" ... then no, that would not be integral to make the composite and pass it off as my capture ... my creation, yes, my capture, no.




Dec 07, 2012 at 07:46 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #20 · Tell me what’s wrong with this


Right Kent, its all about how you perceive the game. I have that wheat filed hung in my living room with the blended in sky. People like it, but I would never enter it in a contest or sell it. I always feel a bit guilty when I look at it.

I tried putting that same sky into a shot of the Watcheman at sunset. Might be the best image of my life but I just can't do it.



Dec 07, 2012 at 08:05 PM
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