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Archive 2013 · Early Morning
  
 
Bsmooth
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p.1 #1 · Early Morning


I'm on to something, just not quite sure at this point, but I want to throw it out there. Let me know what you think.








Feb 12, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #2 · Early Morning


I think you are on to something, though it's not quite there yet.

I love the light painting on the grass. However, other than a thin slice in the background, you didn't really capture that creamy morning light from the vantage point you chose. The light in the middle and foreground seems a bit cold, and doesn't resonate as a warm glow.

Maybe try a new vantage point, with the sun behind you. Continue to capture that painterly light on the grass, and you will also happily discover that it will be painting the trees as well.

Maybe keep the sun in the background, as shown, but find a location less obscured by trees blocking the light. Or, just setup earlier as the Sun is lower in the sky.

Retain that warm, golden glow throughout the scene.



Feb 12, 2013 at 02:28 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · Early Morning


Sun pulls my eye up. Cropped just above the center tree my eye stay in the foreground at trees longer and I notice the mist / light under the trees more.

Other than that it works for me. Makes me ponder what's over that hill hidden in the morning mist

Edited on Feb 12, 2013 at 08:29 PM · View previous versions



Feb 12, 2013 at 03:05 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #4 · Early Morning


Sweet and luminous. All it needs is a subject.


Feb 12, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #5 · Early Morning


AuntiPode wrote:
Sweet and luminous. All it needs is a subject.

1+



Feb 12, 2013 at 04:14 AM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #6 · Early Morning


Thanks for the help. On a landscape isn't the whole scene the subject, or does it need something central to the whole image ?


Feb 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #7 · Early Morning


Bsmooth wrote:
On a landscape isn't the whole scene the subject, or does it need something central to the whole image ?

You have a lovely scene here, but there's nothing to which your eye is drawn. To use a music metaphor, it's a pretty melody that lacks dynamics and a resolution.

Personally, I like your photograph but I can see Karen's point. That opening between the trees would be a good place from something to draw the eye - someone walking along the shore, waterfowl flying low, etc.

There's lots of goodness in the image. The lighting is lovely. Even some selective dodging and burning of the existing image might make it stronger.



Feb 12, 2013 at 01:27 PM
JHut
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p.1 #8 · Early Morning


I agree that this image would be stronger if it had a subject. Perhaps a girl on a blanket reading a book or a small boat on the stream? You could also enhance the sun beams if you are not against keeping the image true as shot. Here is my enhancements:








Feb 12, 2013 at 02:39 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #9 · Early Morning


It has a empty place it the visual core - perfect for complimenting a subject, but it doesn't work as a landscape in any traditional sense.


Feb 12, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #10 · Early Morning


I've been watching the landscape images at this site for some time, and many of the ones don't seem to have any central subject. I don't want to put samples here, but I saw a few new ones just yesterday.
So I'm still a bit of a loss as what constitutes a land or seascape.
I hardily agree that a subject definately makes a better image, but land and seascapes seem to be a tad different.
I'm not trying to play devils advocate, just trying to understand a little better, since this happens to a lot of my land and seascapes as far as subject goes.



Feb 13, 2013 at 02:57 PM
 

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dmacmillan
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p.1 #11 · Early Morning


Bsmooth wrote:
I've been watching the landscape images at this site for some time, and many of the ones don't seem to have any central subject. I don't want to put samples here, but I saw a few new ones just yesterday.

I don't normally advocate cross posting, but I suggest you post the photo in the Landscape forum to get a different viewpoint. If I want to get inspired by landscape photos by others, I would more likely visit the Landscape forum at FM than the Photo Critique forum.

If I really want to get inspired, I look at works by Brett Weston, Wynn Bullock, David Sexton, David Muench and other landsape photographers I like.



Feb 13, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Eyeball
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p.1 #12 · Early Morning


I'm no landscape master but here's my 2 cents.

- First, what you have here is not a "bad" image. It could look very nice printed big and hung on a wall at home. It could even be hanging on a wall in a nice hotel and nobody is going to think "man, who put that ugly thing in here!?" So if that is your bar/point of comparison/goal, then I think you probably made it.

- If, however, you want to look at your image as compared to the very best landscape photography out there (a tough goal; there is a lot), then that is where many little things start to accumulate in your image and prevent it from reaching that level. Here are a few of the things that I see, none of which is necessarily the kiss of death but when summed up begin to reduce the impact of the image:

* As has already been mentioned, you sort of set up a stage there on the middle left but there is nothing on it other than a rather distant view of the mist/fog.

* You give us a very slim view of the river/stream and since there is no other really dominant feature, I really want a better view of it. The straw bales or logs also have an implication of looking out onto the water but you don't let me do that.

* The sun through the trees is nice but a little high in the frame to be a nice focal point. IMO you don't always need to slavishly follow the rule-of-thirds but it's usually a good idea to ask yourself why you didn't.

* The dead branches in the foreground lead my eye out of the frame and again almost tease me that there is something off-frame that you are not letting me see. For the first several times I looked at your image, I thought those branches were the roots from a tree off to the right.

* That little splash of light/color in the bottom right has some nice elements but it just doesn't seem strong/big/well positioned enough in the composition to carry the image. Those dead tree branches kind of disturb it as well.

* I'm pretty certain that you had the camera straight but the non-level hill-line gives me the impression that the image is not straight, even when I consciously tell myself that it is. That impression ruins some of the "intent"/"purposefulness" that I expect to feel from a shot like this.

* The tree trunk on the far-left is cropped very thinly into the frame. I would like to see a more decisive crop to either include the trunk or leave it out.

Beyond those observations I can't help but think about a recommendation that Scott Kelby mentioned in a composition seminar he did. His recommendation was "don't be afraid to work the scene". It is the rare pro that just shows up, sees the magical, perfect shot/composition at first glance, snaps the shutter, and goes home. Most spend quite a bit of time exploring the scene with both their eyes and the camera, shooting high and low, experimenting with different in-camera framing, trying different exposures, etc.. Sometimes the best shot is the one they had in mind when they first arrived and sometimes they are pleasantly surprised to find something great that was completely unexpected.

I mention this for two reasons:

- I am guilty of this myself, either because of being rushed and not having enough time or being lazy and not taking the time.

- I see many elements in your shot that look like they would have been worth exploring separately with your camera:

* That spot of light/color in the grass/leaves in the foregound - both with and without the dead branches.

* That framed "stage" on the middle left but with a better view of the stream and perhaps with that log/bale in the ROT spot.

* The light coming through the trees.

* That almost symmetrical view of the three logs/bales on the right and "their view" of the stream. Seems like that might have almost produced an interesting triptych-like view of the stream and mist.

* A more intense study of the color contrast between green, gold, blue, and cyan.

* A more intense study of the splotches of light, color, and shadow on the ground and in the trees.

Anyway, just wanted to give you some ideas and maybe help you look for things when you compare your image to other landscapes. Have fun and keep shooting.

P.S. I totally agree with the recommendation to post in the landscape forum and get input from those folks. The only thing I would add is to make very clear that you really want honest feedback and that your skin is think enough to take it. The landscape folks (as opposed to the sports guys ) tend to be extra-polite unless you make it clear that you are learning and want good, honest feedback.



Feb 13, 2013 at 04:27 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · Early Morning


Others have given you plenty to think about ... good stuff. I'll try not to repeat them.

"What's the point?" "What's the message that you want to convey to your viewer?"
This isn't meant to sound sarcastic, but instead it is meant to be reflective.

In that ... suppose you were standing there without a camera, just taking in the scenery. Then you're best friend calls you on your cell (pretend a little here ). The conversation goes something like this ...

"Dude, I so wish you were here to see this ... it is so awesome." Then you begin to describe it (yes words) to him. You are trying to convey to him the message you want him to "conjure up" in his mind. Those are the "points" of your message. The first thing you might say is the light shining through the trees is spectacular, or the leaves are so colorful, or the fog is really cool on the river.

Once you've decided what is the most important thing to tell your friend that he is "missing" by not being there ... "voila", that's what you need to go after with your camera, and with your PP.

I realize that we often times want to "show it all" ... but that many times (not always) becomes a recipe for minced meat rather than Filet Mignon. Determine your point(s)/message(s) and lead with your strength, while minimizing distractions ... being careful not to water down the awesomeness with uber-inclusion.

That being said, I'd like to see the ooc/raw. That, and what would be YOUR ANSWER to the first/strongest point/message that you want to show those of us who weren't there. You are trying to "take us there" (camera & pp) ... but you first have to know where "there" is ... otherwise, the viewer is wandering around the scene a bit sometimes.

HTH





Edited on Feb 13, 2013 at 05:45 PM · View previous versions



Feb 13, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #14 · Early Morning


Lots of terrific info, and believe me I can honestly say I know its not a great image. I wish I could say I have images in my house that I actually took, but I don't. I am very critical , almost to the point of being anal. Ok Ok I probably am I admit it !
I will ask more in the landscape area. I really do try and do all that you mention, but I admit sometimes I get caught in the moment, and all the rules and strategies go right out the window.
It just seems to me sometimes that the whole image is the subject, and really not one thing in particular,
Sort of like music in many ways, some things just make you feel good, but its rather difficult to say what it is.
BTW when I said I had been watching the landscape images at this site I meant the Landscape images from the Landscape section not here in the Critique section.
I look at as many images a day as I can from forums all over. Even at lunchtime and during breaks at work. Some are so amazing, I wonder how I could ever get as good or even close.But that doesn't stop me from trying, it just inspries me to do better.Plus the tiny bits of encouragement help a lot, especially in the confidence department.
Thanks for everyones input ! I'll do better next time.



Feb 13, 2013 at 05:42 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · Early Morning


No worries @ rules/strategies ... if your "point/message" is the "feel good" (i.e. it is so serene here) rather than subject, then conveying a mood has its own methodologies and approaches. But whether it is a "thing" or a "mood" or .... asking yourself what your message is (whatever the answer may be) that you want to convey to your viewer can be helpful in assessing your approach (camera & pp).

For instance, (generally speaking) vibrant color and strong contrast may not help one associate with "serene & peaceful". Likewise, soft focus doesn't typically convey "powerful & dynamic". These certainly aren't hard & fast rules, per se ... but rendering your camera & pp decisions to align with your objectives (point/message) can go a long way to not having conflicting aspects in your image/message.

I took a stab at opening up the shadows a bit and some selective softening to try and make the mood a bit different.







Feb 13, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #16 · Early Morning


Just wondered how you went about the changes you made? I've been trying to figureout how to make the sunlight beams more visible.


Feb 13, 2013 at 07:49 PM
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p.1 #17 · Early Morning


#1: I would find a subject. Try to find a group of trees that compliment the settings.

#2: If you have the opportunity to shoot this again I would stop it down and try for a long exposure. This would really show of the fog and make the observant more curious about the photo.



Feb 13, 2013 at 10:51 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #18 · Early Morning


I didn't target the rays per se.

You had mentioned the "seeing it all" aspect, so I tried to imagine what it would be like to "be there". The first thing that came to mind for me was that if I were there, I would be able to "see it all" because of the eye/brain accommodation , which for me meant that the overall image needed lightened and particularly in the shadows.

Next, the aspect that there is a mix of soft and harder lighting, the bulk of which is softer/shade, with some specular shining through. For this, I applied some blur to soften the image, but masked the foreground area to leave it a bit sharper.

Other than that, mostly selective tweaks to try an emulate a bright spot in the foreground that would correspond to the opposite corner sun location. Hopefully to have the bright/color of the foreground as an entry point to the image, followed by an overall exploration of being able to "see it all". I wanted to bring your attention a bit away from the "stage" to try and balance things a touch ... if that makes any sense.







Feb 14, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #19 · Early Morning


So you sort of did a global lightening, but more selective local softening ? Sorry just looking at what you did in Photoshop didn't quite tell me enough.


Feb 14, 2013 at 05:27 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #20 · Early Morning


Sorry I don't keep better track of things, as I am a rather iterative in my workflow ... i.e. very back & forth between / adding layers. But that's sort of it.

Image>Adjustments>Shadows/Highlights to lift shadows global @ BG Copy (which is selective to lower values)
Lens Blur through mask (i.e. selective)
Hue (selective)
Levels (selective)
Saturation (selective
Brightness/Contrast (selective)
Saturation (global)

The masks provide my selectivity. Sometimes I paint them in, other times I use channel masks and in the case of the Lens Blur, I painted over a channel mask.

A given layer might have been a combination of mask, mask adjustment, mode variance, opacity adjustment and more than one fade. As a result, I can't really say move your black point to "X" or your Hue to "Y", etc. ... it gets into that "feel" thing as I try to push/pull the various aspects/elements to create contrast or harmony where I want them to be. Usually has back & forth workflow for me, not very often do I get it where I want it in a "direct" manner.

HTH, sorry I don't have more/better.



Feb 14, 2013 at 07:32 PM
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