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Archive 2013 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets
  
 
Oregon Gal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


Two more sunsets shot in landscape mode. Comments appreciated. I think I will post in the Landscape forum tomorrow. Thanks, Barbara












Jan 19, 2013 at 06:53 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


The first one is my fav of the set (for overall aspects) in color.

But I really do like the power of the vertical format for your others. If only you could rearrange / merge some of comp elements from one vert to the other vert. The portraits were an "oh so close, if only ... " that tug at me for a reshoot or maybe you've got some others in that orientation we haven't seen.






Edited on Jan 19, 2013 at 04:34 PM · View previous versions



Jan 19, 2013 at 03:05 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


Like these better than the vertical crop.

The first creates a "bookend" composition. That can be effective to frame a focal point in the middle because it creates > < clues that the brighter stuff is in the middle is more important like a vignette does. The problem is there's nothing interesting in the middle when you are drawn there. It goes to what I said in the equipment thread about "inside-out" cropping.

To create an interesting story you first need a compelling focal point. If there isn't one there's not much reward for looking at it and it will not impress. That's not to say all photos need a strong focal point, only that those which do create a stronger overall impression. The type of photos that work without a well defined focal point are those with an interesting pattern of content (windows on a building) or a similar interesting pattern created by the lighting.

That's the problem here. The perceptually contrasting focal point on the overall dark frame is the bright sky. Take the photos and blur then to the point of abstract and you'll find your eye pulled by the contrast in the tone map to the brightest area of the overall dark frame, the sky. That's the case in almost any landscape with sky in it. That works great if there is a stunning cloud filled sunset as a storyline focal point.

When the sky isn't the focal point the way you prevent the viewer from getting pulled into "dead" space content-wise is to lower the relative contrast of the sky by making the foreground lighter. If you take a landscape with normal seen by eye foreground detail and blue sky and blur it the same way in a B&W conversion the contrast of the sky isn't as strong so the eye isn't pulled as fast up to the sky over the foreground. In a color in daylight the color contrast of blue vs green or warm toned foreground will attract the eye to it. That's why many scenics work better in B&W than color. Ansel Adams, aware of that perceptual dynamic would use a red filter to make skies in scenics darker than normally seen and darker that the foreground to keep the viewer's attention there.

The second shot without the "bookend" composition pulling the eye to the brighter spot in the middle makes the single rock contrasting with the sky the perceptual focal point. But like the first it doesn't pass the "is the focal point interesting?" test.

When I started using the "inside-out" starting with identifying an interesting focal point I found myself not bothering to take a photo like this because I knew that while it was emotionally uplifting in person due to the ambience it wouldn't translate as well into a photo without an interesting focal point. Is it a nice scenic? Yes and I'd take the shot as part of a slide show or album to remember the experience and share with friends. But is it "wall worthy?" Not for my wall because it lacks a compelling focal point or interesting geometric pattern in the content or due to the lighting.



Edited on Jan 19, 2013 at 04:18 PM · View previous versions



Jan 19, 2013 at 03:06 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


I like the first and prefer it to the portrait versions.


Jan 19, 2013 at 03:13 PM
 

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sbeme
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


I like both, prefer the first, prefer this to the other images in the series.
I think one of the key issues is a sense of balance and dealing with the dominance of the big rock (I have no idea what to call it or how it is named). The foreground elements add necessary visual weight to prevent the image from being too top heavy. And the big rock doesnt have that much interest by itself since it is largely a shape. In the first image my eye can now travel from the rock, to the near foreground, then the containing and counterbalancing rock on the right, circling back to the the beautiful sky. I like the less "messy" bottom of the second image, but it has less balance without the rock on the right.
I think the first image is a keeper, quite beautiful.

Scott



Jan 19, 2013 at 04:52 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


+1 @ Scott


Jan 19, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Oregon Gal
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


Ben, thanks for commenting. I have a fondness for the portrait one but also like the landscape orientation for this type of image.

Scott, thank you for your explanation of what works and doesn't work with re: to placement of elements. The large rock is known as Whaleshead rock, located on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Chuck, understand what you're saying about a compelling focal point and the inside / out crop may prove to be quite useful. The focal point is the beautiful sunset but I felt that it needed additional foreground for an anchor. I took many different compositions that image before the color was completely lost so I may not have captured the scene as well as I may have liked. I am happy with a few of the images and of course will re-visit to hopefully capture the elusive almost perfect image



Jan 20, 2013 at 06:01 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 2 More Coastal Sunsets


Kinda reminds me of Sunset Cliffs in San Diego ... many revisits in quest of the elusive "almost perfect image". But the real reward were the hours of tranquility watching & waiting. It's a "can't lose" endeavor.


Jan 20, 2013 at 03:44 PM





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