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Erichimedes
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Twisted


Hi all, first post on FM. I've lurked the forum for a while but decided to join because I like the kind of photography a lot of folks here are doing and wanted to participate a little. I like the idea of a critique forum, so I'll give this a go.

I came across this really neat old dead tree on a bike ride. The sun was high and I'm still working out how to shoot in top-down light. I wasn't sure how to capture the essence of the tree without better light but these were the only two I took worth anything.

Interested in any feedback. Either PP or composition, approach, etc.






May 13, 2022 at 09:36 PM
mdees88
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Twisted


Welcome to the site. I just started contributing myself about a week ago and I really like getting feedback from some of the great photographers on here.

I really like the first image. I like the composition and I think the starburst adds to the image. I'm fine with it just how it is but if I had to change one thing... I think the tip of the very top branch is a little close to the top edge of the frame and I would like a little more room above it, but that's really nitpicking.

For the second I would slide the tree over to the left a little so that one branch on the right is not touching or very close to the edge. I feel Ike the big branch/trunk at the bottom of the frame is a little distracting so I would clone it out. Maybe if I could see where it branched off the main trunk I might would keep it.


Here's a quick edit on my phone. Since I couldn't move the tree to the left I cloned away the branch on the right, cropped some off the left side of the image (to move the tree to the left). I also cloned away the big branch at the bottom.

These are just my preferences and I'm curious what others think.... again, really like the first one.

Matt







May 13, 2022 at 09:56 PM
EverLearning
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Twisted


Welcome to the forum Erichimedes!

One of the interesting things about posting here is you will get some great feedback but it will not all harmonize. That is both bad and (mostly) good in that you will have to consider multiple perspectives and what brought the viewer to that perspective (bad only in that you have to think more, ). In all cases it is input for you to consider and do with as you wish , for, as one knowledgeable contributor here says, your photo, your message!

Speaking of messages, that is where I will start. I don't find either of these photos "appealing". That is, they aren't captures of beauty or wonder. The power of these photos have to lie in their message. You have a dead or dormant tree with a beautiful sky that makes one think of spring or summer. Could this be a photo of "rebirth", the coming of spring, hope, etc?

I find the first photo too chaotic and frame-filling. For me, the starburst feels out of place for the (potential) story. I like the second image's composition better. Chaos offset by serenity. Despair or hope? The clean sky with the lone tree that looks like fingers reaching skyward. Etc., etc., etc. The funny thing about storytelling is the viewer often sees a story different than what the photographer envisioned (something I read) but that is OK. I think it does make the viewer stop and think.

Something that is mentioned often here is if there is an element in the photo that doesn't contribute to the message, compose it, crop it or clone it out of the image. I would do that for the left trunk in the second image. A little more breathing room on the right would also be good. Lastly, I would be inclined to bring a bit more of the tree shadows out to add a bit of detail to them.

You will no doubt get additional different takes from other posters. Welcome to the buffet!

Don



May 14, 2022 at 11:38 AM
grandmas
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Twisted


Compositionally I like the first photo the best. The addition of the starburst is helpful, and the sky is nice. I have found that the more common the subject the harder it is to achieve an interesting and compelling photo. Fall colors are appealing, because they are only here for a very short time and they are also beautiful. Bare trees are everywhere all winter long.

Welcome to the forum.



May 15, 2022 at 03:15 PM
Erichimedes
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Twisted


Thanks so much for the replies everyone. Responses;

Mdees88:
Thanks so much, and yes I like the first one more as well. I like what you say about the top branch. I think I cropped in a bit on this one because I'm trying to work on "filling the frame" and more simple compositions. I'm ever trying to have less "busy" photos. I'm not sure what I was thinking with the bottom one, but I actually have room to put the tree in a better place and without the branch touching the right frame. I like your edit, cloning out the bottom stump did more for the photo than I expected!

Everlearning:
This is such a different take on photography than I ever think about, so thank you for all of it. I naturally trend towards details and numbers, but I don't think about things like the message of a photo. Notes taken.

grandmas:
Thanks, and yes I completely agree about everyday subjects. Not only that but these were taken in pretty awful top-down midday light, so I wasn't making it easier on myself, but I tried to make something with what I had. I'm always so impressed by people who can make pictures of something like a fence look amazing (looking at you, Phillip Reeve) and so that's a skill I'm trying to develop.

Thanks again



May 16, 2022 at 01:51 PM
 


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RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Twisted


+1 with the others for the welcome to the forum.

Both have their draw. The starburst is something that is kind of polarizing. Some folks dig 'em. Other folks, not so much.

That aside, I prefer the second one. The nit about the partial branch left of the trunk is for consideration. Although, I would retain the negative space on the left side, i.e. not crop. The tiny clone work on the right side isn't as much of an issue as the other one though.

I'd be curious to see how they play in mono, too.

Again, welcome to the forum.




May 16, 2022 at 06:22 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Twisted


Yes, welcome.

I don't have anything to add to the comments above except that I am on the side of not liking the starbursts. Even so, I prefer the overall composition of the first image.

I hope your lurking is over and we will see more from you.



May 16, 2022 at 06:42 PM
lylejk
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Twisted


This tree has seen better days. Like the results.




May 17, 2022 at 12:53 PM
Erichimedes
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Twisted


RustyBug,
I had the same thought about mono but didn't pursue it until tonight. I have done almost nothing with b&w, and I don't know how to "think" with it. But I played around with it a little and here it is. I actually really like it. Much more than color. Thanks for the suggestion!

CamperJim,
Thanks. I've not played with starbursts much, so I'm experimenting with them. I'll admit I'm a fan. And yes, I hope to participate more here for sure.

lylejk,
Yes, I think it has. It's a really prominent dead tree on a popular trail, and the firefighters have cleared an area in a big circle around it so it really stands out. I like being in the presence of trees like this, but I'm trying to figure out how to capture that feeling in a shot.

Here's the one I like in mono, crop and stump fixed also:



May 17, 2022 at 09:31 PM







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