Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Photo Critique | Join Upload & Sell

  

Compose with your feet + reworks
  
 
OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Compose with your feet + reworks


A tip I picked up on the Nature and Wildlife board is that shooting your subjects at eye level gives images more impact because it creates a feeling of a connection between the viewer and subject. For a while now I've been keeping that concept in mind while shooting landscapes. Of course, it's more difficult to figure out what 'eye level' is for a landscape. I've come to realize that for me it's a view that communicates the three dimensional space of the landscape to the viewer in such a way as to make them feel that they are 'in' the image. In order to experiment with different perspectives when searching for this view it's often necessary to zoom with your feet, and not only on the x axis but on the y as well. Luckily many picturesque locations abound with steep hillsides or cliffs that provide a variety of perspectives.

These are from last weekend and feature the Crooked River and the Monument area of Smith Rock State Park. They are all handheld panoramas stitched in LR with full boundary warp applied.

I'm curious what view is most appealing to you, and why. What are some of the differences you see between the different perspectives?. Any other observations on processing, composition, etc. are welcome as well.

Heron





On the rim, a flat .2 miles from the eastern parking lot

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  







Leaning over the river bank, down a steep .2 miles and .4 miles downstream

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/160s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  







A couple hundred feet off trail scramble up the hillside above the previous image

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/160s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  







Another .1 miles downstream to the bridge and .3 back upstream on the other side

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/200s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on Nov 04, 2017 at 05:50 AM · View previous versions



Oct 26, 2017 at 03:38 AM
DaleBerlin
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Hey Heron, these are really nice. Personally, 2 & 3 are my favorites because the of the foreground. The stream leads the viewer into the image, and the rocks in the water help emphasize depth. As you said, "view that communicates the three dimensional space", 2 & 3 do this best IMHO. As far as processing goes, its kind of personal taste. Perhaps make the reflections pop a little more? Beautiful work.

BTW, my brother and his wife were campground hosts there last year working in the visitor's center. They loved the place.



Oct 26, 2017 at 12:48 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Compose with your feet + reworks


2 and 4 are my favorites, In order of importance to me:

1. Level.
2. Interesting foreground, subject and sky.
3. Non centered horizon. Only if 1 and 2 are met.


The first one has that odd corner of land separated by the small curve of river. The cliffs and sky are good.

The second has a nice sweep of river, interesting foreground rocks and good cliff and sky. I am not find of vertical landscapes, but this is a good one.

The third has an interesting sweep of river, good clouds and cliff, but I dislike square crops.

The fourth looks most like a landscape. I love the water coming out of the right corner, the grass, the cliff and the sky and the crop which is more what we see in person.



Oct 26, 2017 at 05:03 PM
OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Compose with your feet + reworks


DaleBerlin wrote:
Hey Heron, these are really nice. Personally, 2 & 3 are my favorites because the of the foreground. The stream leads the viewer into the image, and the rocks in the water help emphasize depth. As you said, "view that communicates the three dimensional space", 2 & 3 do this best IMHO. As far as processing goes, its kind of personal taste. Perhaps make the reflections pop a little more? Beautiful work.

BTW, my brother and his wife were campground hosts there last year working in the visitor's center. They loved the place.


Thanks for the feedback Dale. That must have been a great experience for your brother and his wife, Smith Rock is a special place. Even though it gets a ton of visitors there are plenty of nooks and crannies where you hardly run in to anyone.
---------------------------------------------

ben egbert wrote:
2 and 4 are my favorites, In order of importance to me:

1. Level.
2. Interesting foreground, subject and sky.
3. Non centered horizon. Only if 1 and 2 are met.

The first one has that odd corner of land separated by the small curve of river. The cliffs and sky are good.

The second has a nice sweep of river, interesting foreground rocks and good cliff and sky. I am not find of vertical landscapes, but this is a good one.

The third has an interesting sweep of river, good clouds and cliff, but I dislike square crops.

The fourth looks most like
...Show more

I appreciate your observations Ben. Great point about the panorama crop being more like what we see in person, I hadn't explicitly made that connection before, I just knew I liked panos.

Interestingly, 2 is the square crop, (although the composition is a classic portrait one) and the third is actually 4x5.

Heron




Oct 27, 2017 at 02:14 AM
Camperjim
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Compose with your feet + reworks


I am greatly interested in composition and especially using composition to create a sense of depth in a landscape image. I will try to restrict myself to just a few very basic ideas. Before that let me also say that powerful and beautiful landscape images do not always need to have a feeling of depth.

If depth in an image is a goal, then I strongly recommend study of the classical landscape painters. They mastered the tools needed to create the feeling of depth. That included the use of color to bring elements either forward or backward in the image, the use of perspective, leading lines, shapes, and other techniques. Landscape painters used saturation, contrast and sharpness to create depth. Photographers often seem to ignore these tools and instead strive for strong contrast and sharpness in the entire image. To my mind, seeing individual leaves on a tree half a mile away is not important. A sense of depth is more important and that might mean a softer focus for distant objects. I recommend studying the works of Claude Lorrain who was an early master of classical landscape painting. His techniques included the use of "planes" which some have called the Lorrain effect. The most simplest use would include an image with foreground, middle ground and background. That is simple compared with the multiple planes used by Lorrain and others.

Finally I want to add that I separate the concepts of composition and the shooting techniques needed to create the desired image. Shooting techniques certainly involve lens and gear and also composing with your feet. Wandering around snapping images might work on occasion, but I think it works better to consider the desired message and composition and then apply skill in capturing the desired images(s).



Oct 28, 2017 at 12:18 PM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Nicely stated Jim.

A photographic image is a two dimensional image, the same as a painting. Cameras and lenses are essentially the canvas & brushes for those who can't draw a stick man with a ruler.

Furthering the concept of planes (i.e. variable distances), acute observation of the natural world can reveal those depth cues too. I am in full agreement that there are plenty of photographers who have not developed the utilization of such (I'm working on it, too), and point out that each scene is going to be a unique study unto itself for how to develop it. One size does not fit all, and there are different tools to be considered.

Sadly, many times folks (self-included) may apply some tools (hdr, saturation, contrast, etc.) in an incongruous manner and actually reduce the sense of depth in doing so.

I'm a fan of the "move your feet" club. X, Y & Z axis are all pertinent to perspective ... and done so, in conjunction with FL.



Oct 28, 2017 at 01:41 PM
claudefiddler
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Let's see where to start. The first photo has some somewhat interesting fore ground rocks but after that I'm not drawn or led or unified with a vision to the background. The separation of dark and light tonality does not lend itself to a fully satisfying picture. These photos are mostly light and dark with nothing going on in the middle tones or any sense of the photos having a full tone scale. If you are working with a limited tone scale (Cezanne's, The Brook) then there needs to be color and LIGHT happening to create something beautiful.

Dark shadows need to open up a lot to add detail to the photos. Even then there is the entire lower half of the tone scale is a merged tonality and this is separated, from the upper, highlight part of the pictures. They aren't working together to give the photos a full and rich sense of light.

On the subject of planes. If you turn your photos into planes/geometries there are two. One flat foreground plane and one vertical background plane. Look at Cezanne's Bibemus Quarry for mastery of planes and perspective. From what perspective is he looking at the scene. The geometries are complex and really thought provoking.

"On the rim" feels/is pinched into the panoramic mode. There is some fill light going on, but the river is not integrated in any way into the composition and the sky is just chopped off. There's no need for a pano if there isn't a sense of movement conveyed with a pano view.

Your colors look good, highlights mottled and detailed. All the dark areas are too dark. Lightening them up is one thing but you won't be able to gain much contrast only lightening.

This area looks to be quite lovely, but one does not know if that translates into good landscape photography. But it never hurts to look and there's nothing like a pretty walk. With or with out a camera.

Claude



Oct 29, 2017 at 06:55 PM
OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Camperjim wrote:
I am greatly interested in composition and especially using composition to create a sense of depth in a landscape image. I will try to restrict myself to just a few very basic ideas. Before that let me also say that powerful and beautiful landscape images do not always need to have a feeling of depth.

If depth in an image is a goal, then I strongly recommend study of the classical landscape painters. They mastered the tools needed to create the feeling of depth. That included the use of color to bring elements either forward or backward in the image,
...Show more

I have looked at landscape paintings and the composition techniques they use (on an earlier recommendation of yours on this board). I struggle with applying them in the field or when process for two reasons, they can be hard to recognize/visualize while shooting, and the physical worlds constrains your options enormously when compared to the freedom you have when painting. Can you point to one or two examples of the composition techniques for depth that you are referencing in any of these shots?

I have generally approached photography from the perspective of 'finding' subjects, messages, compositions, etc. rather than creating or choosing them ahead of time. For me photography is more of an experience and an exploration than it is an endeavor or a pursuit. That said, awareness of one's intentions seems obviously beneficial to one's photography.

---------------------------------------------

RustyBug wrote:
Nicely stated Jim.

A photographic image is a two dimensional image, the same as a painting. Cameras and lenses are essentially the canvas & brushes for those who can't draw a stick man with a ruler.

Furthering the concept of planes (i.e. variable distances), acute observation of the natural world can reveal those depth cues too. I am in full agreement that there are plenty of photographers who have not developed the utilization of such (I'm working on it, too), and point out that each scene is going to be a unique study unto itself for how to develop it. One
...Show more

Good point about observing the world with specific attention to depth cues, I will start doing that.

---------------------------------------------

claudefiddler wrote:
Let's see where to start. The first photo has some somewhat interesting fore ground rocks but after that I'm not drawn or led or unified with a vision to the background. The separation of dark and light tonality does not lend itself to a fully satisfying picture. These photos are mostly light and dark with nothing going on in the middle tones or any sense of the photos having a full tone scale. If you are working with a limited tone scale (Cezanne's, The Brook) then there needs to be color and LIGHT happening to create something beautiful.

Dark shadows need
...Show more

Thank you Claude for the detailed critique, very helpful. I've spent much more time climbing at Smith Rock than shooting there, I'm just starting to explore its possibilities in that regard. It is a beautiful spot but you may be on to something about a paucity of truly captivating views.

Heron



Nov 02, 2017 at 01:17 AM
beavens
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Heron, I'm far from a landscape guy but 2 is my favorite from the set. It feels the most natural and complete. The others feel a little forced to my eyes as-shot.

I think I feel like these would shine more if you had more of the scene being touched by light.

Are you close to this location? If so, lucky! I'd love to be able to cherry-pick conditions.

Jeff



Nov 02, 2017 at 03:18 AM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Compose with your feet + reworks


claudefiddler wrote:
On the subject of planes. If you turn your photos into planes/geometries there are two. One flat foreground plane and one vertical background plane.


Can't quite agree with that ... as the number of planes can essentially be incrementally infinite vertical planes between foreground & background. Likewise, incrementally infinite horizontal planes between top & bottom. Something like cascading waterfalls, or mountain ranges etc. are readily identifiable as having multiple planes, but even the human face has multiple planes, i.e. lips, nose, chin, forehead, eyes, ears. at various distances.




Nov 02, 2017 at 03:45 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Compose with your feet + reworks


beavens wrote:
Heron, I'm far from a landscape guy but 2 is my favorite from the set. It feels the most natural and complete. The others feel a little forced to my eyes as-shot.

I think I feel like these would shine more if you had more of the scene being touched by light.

Are you close to this location? If so, lucky! I'd love to be able to cherry-pick conditions.

Jeff


Thanks for weighing in Jeff, I agree about the light, the steep cliffs make it tough to find scenes during the golden hours without deep shadows. Smith Rock is about a 2.5 hrs drive from me. We are lucky here in Eugene to have a plethora of equally enticing locations within a similar or shorter distance. I'll definitely keep trying here though.

---------------------------------------------

RustyBug wrote:
Can't quite agree with that ... as the number of planes can essentially be incrementally infinite vertical planes between foreground & background. Likewise, incrementally infinite horizontal planes between top & bottom. Something like cascading waterfalls, or mountain ranges etc. are readily identifiable as having multiple planes, but even the human face has multiple planes, i.e. lips, nose, chin, forehead, eyes, ears. at various distances.



I think Claude was referring specifically to the planes in my posted photos, not photos in general



Nov 02, 2017 at 04:07 AM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Compose with your feet + reworks


OregonSun wrote:
I think Claude was referring specifically to the planes in my posted photos, not photos in general


Okay, but the rocks in the stream are all in different focal planes from each other, as well as a different focal plane from the mountain range or the hillside, or the tree line, or the bend, or etc.. When it comes to the issue of "depth" there isn't just one plane at the back. Just sayin'.



Nov 02, 2017 at 04:14 AM
Camperjim
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Compose with your feet + reworks


OregonSun wrote:
I have looked at landscape paintings and the composition techniques they use (on an earlier recommendation of yours on this board). I struggle with applying them in the field or when process for two reasons, they can be hard to recognize/visualize while shooting, and the physical worlds constrains your options enormously when compared to the freedom you have when painting. Can you point to one or two examples of the composition techniques for depth that you are referencing in any of these shots?

I have generally approached photography from the perspective of 'finding' subjects, messages, compositions, etc. rather than creating or
...Show more

I have some additional ideas about applying compositional techniques to photography. First I have come to believe that the photographer is responsible for everything in the image (and for everything not in the image). There are no excuses. Some images are easy and even accidental. Many are not and require thought, work, effort to achieve the desired results. Second, composition is just part of the language of visual communication. There are no "rules" or ideal results. The important concept is creating an image that reflects what the artist wants to communicate. When I shoot with intent I find the results are more likely to be to my liking.

I do both painting and photography. I find the creative process to be remarkably similar though the techniques are very different. With painting I start with a blank medium and add all of the elements. I am not a realistic painter and am more interested in mood and expression. Sometimes the process of painting seems to have a mind of its own and I have little control. I am reminded of the statement from sculptors about finding the sculpture already in the stone. Photography is different in that the photographer does, as you state, find the image. That is different, but not essentially easier or harder. So the bottom
line issue is how does the photographer find the desired image? You have demonstrated one way. Changing location changes the composition. For landscape shooting that can mean a lot of hiking. But that is only one technique. I can stand next to fellow landscape photographers and we will all come away with different images. Those images tend to match our styles of shooting and are typically very identifiable. I take a critique class with about 15-20 other photographers. The works are displayed anonymously but we can almost always correctly identify the individual photographer. Variation in focal length, camera settings, cropping, and minor changes in shooting height or position can have huge effects. Post processing can also alter the original capture to reflect the artist's intent. When shooting, I actually have a mental card file of techniques that I use. I mentally flip through the card file thinking about techniques and what I want to achieve. Examples of those card file techniques would include approaches such as: high key/low key, wide angle distortion, panorama stitches, getting low and close, use of reflections, Lorrain planes, thirds for light/dark and thirds for placement of elements, use of silhouettes, focus and depth of field, perspective, leading lines, simplification, etc, etc.



Nov 02, 2017 at 01:23 PM
Camperjim
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Heron, you asked for some feed back on your images. I will just make a few comments.

The first image I like for its realistic depiction of the scene. Claude did not like it because of the dull, darkish appearance. That is one reason I do like it. That appearance may lack a lot of pop and impact but it is realistic. The composition is pretty much thirds, with roughly fore, mid and background evenly divided. The river adds a bit of interest but only minimally adds to the sense of depth. To my mind, depth is not important in this image. This image may not have maximum impact but it is a solid, good "memory" shot of the scene.

The second image has some positive attributes. Reflections are always interesting and appealing. The river creates depth with converging lines. The large rocks in the foreground also add to the feeling of depth. That said, I really can barely look at the image. It is very much out of level to the point of being annoying like fingernails on a blackboard. The reflections magnify the issue and can also be used to straighten the image. Next I am not much interested in the big rocks in the foreground. Landscape photographers often use this technique to create depth and the technique often fails for the same reason. Often the foreground objects selected are just plain ugly. Your rocks are ok but to my mind detract from the scene which should be more about the river and mountains.

The third image is half foreground. That was done to capture the curve of the river. To me the bulk of the foreground, minus the river, is just dull and uninteresting. Perhaps processing might help but I again feel the mountains are being diminished and the substitution is not as appealing.

I do like the brighter processing for the last image. This is my second favorite. I still prefer the first because it focuses more attention on the mountain.



Nov 02, 2017 at 02:02 PM
OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Camperjim wrote:
Heron, you asked for some feed back on your images. I will just make a few comments....


Thanks for taking the time to provide your detailed observations Jim, they are very helpful. I also appreciate your thoughts and advice regarding the artistic process more generally. I agree completely about no hard 'rules' for successful artistic expression.

Cheers,
Heron




Nov 03, 2017 at 12:54 AM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Compose with your feet + reworks


A crop, some WB color and tonal tweaks.

Sometimes, wider isn't necessarily more helpful. To me, the wider crop renders the expanse of grasses with too much weight. The crop, conversely rebalances the ducks somewhat. To me, the time of day can be a bit more revealed with some warmer tones, and a bit more contrast between the direct sunlit areas vs. the shaded areas. Imo, the reflection in the water where the ducks are is a priceless component regarding the serenity of being there among the majestic.

As always, S&P to taste. Could use more refinement (maybe some pullback in areas), but hopefully you get the gist.







Nov 03, 2017 at 01:59 AM
OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Compose with your feet + reworks


RustyBug wrote:
A crop, some WB color and tonal tweaks.

Sometimes, wider isn't necessarily more helpful. To me, the wider crop renders the expanse of grasses with too much weight. The crop, conversely rebalances the ducks somewhat. To me, the time of day can be a bit more revealed with some warmer tones, and a bit more contrast between the direct sunlit areas vs. the shaded areas. Imo, the reflection in the water where the ducks are is a priceless component regarding the serenity of being there among the majestic.

As always, S&P to taste. Could use more refinement (maybe some pullback in areas),
...Show more

I like the crop Rusty, definitely shifts the focus to the lit cliffs and reflection w/ducks. I see where you're going with the color/contrast work, I will definitely revisit that aspect of the composition when I get back to this set.

Heron



Nov 03, 2017 at 03:16 AM
OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Compose with your feet + reworks


Once again thanks for all the feedback, here are the results of my attempts to apply it. I re-generated the panoramas with no boundary warp once I realized how much they had been distorted and reprocessed them. I used some content aware fill at the top edge on most of them. Love to hear any opinions.

I'm re-posting the OP images, following each one with my edit and/or an alternate shot from the same location.

Heron





OP #1

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  







#1 alternate, taken minutes after #1

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/200s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  







OP #2

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/160s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  







#2 cropped

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/160s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  







OP #3

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/160s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  







#3 cropped

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/160s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  







#3 alternate







OP #4

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/200s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 04, 2017 at 02:39 AM
OregonSun
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Compose with your feet + reworks








#4 cropped

  Canon EOS 7D Mark II    EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/200s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 04, 2017 at 02:40 AM







FM Forums | Photo Critique | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password