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  1. #1

    Is this too tacky?

    I am a little unsure about this image. I think I may have overdone it a bit, Any suggestions

    Is this too tacky?

    The sharp eyed amongst you will notice the cropped version in my Kitchen Monochromes thread

  2. #2
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Hi Wirefox,

    You say 'overdone it a bit'. In what way?

    My initial reaction without knowing what you were trying to achieve is that the flare rather detracts from the image for me.

    Equally the stem shadows to the left... might they have been avoided? I think I would also have tried to 'throw out' the background a little, based on the fact that the uneven background is highlighted. I would also have reduced the exposure a tad, just to avoid the burn out on some of the bulbs. Is there a reason why one light appears unlit?

    That said, tell us more of what the aim initially was and what you were trying to capture? Some of what I have said might have been deliberate?

    Ian

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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Hi Wirefox,

    In my opinion it's very artistic - only negative comment it that the blues are a little too bright for my liking.

  4. #4
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    I actually like the ultra vivid blues. I do like vibrant colours though (ironically since I only ever wear black hehehe, got to change that someday). Only thing I'd suggest is the flare a bit more subtle. I think a little less obvious than if it was real flare (by real I mean caused by the actual optics), one that doesn't hit you straight away but not so transparent you need to scrutinise closely to make it out.

    Would be interesting to see a toned down blue one all the same, maybe to the point of steelgrey/gunmetal tone b&w. Or monochrome everyhting but colour lens flare, again more on the subtle side, like the heavy side of barely visible so doesn't look too nasty and garish. Just idea but probably not preference of most others (yeah I know I have no taste, hence my bedroom decor looks like a porn set as my friend recently pointed out).

  5. #5

    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Hi Wirefox,
    I feel it a bit bright and saturated (mostly like my pics )
    ~Ajith

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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    No it's not to my opinion although I prefer the BW version.
    Still it's a briliant picture.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Hi Wirefox,

    It's taken me a while to come to terms with this image, perhaps because of my background where (in an earlier life) I saw lens flare every working day, so my initial reaction was 'it's fake flare'. But now I have got past that and can appreciate it for what it is, an artistic image, here are my thoughts;
    - It is not too tacky, my views above are very specific to me
    - I like that the flares are mostly of a complementary pale yellow colour (unless that's an optical illusion)
    - Above I say 'mostly', I wonder if it would improve if the blue spot and largest white spot flare were removed
    - I also wonder if a tad of burning on the top, right and bottom, to balance the dark edges on the left hand side might help 'contain' it more
    - I think I agree with Ian (shreds) about the stem shadows, it would be better without them
    - I like the blue by the way

    As I say, that's my personal reaction and feelings, but I'm not sure if it helps you much.

    I think it has just dawned on me (I'm slow) that photography has one set of rules, while fine art images like this have a mostly different set of rules. As with any rules, they can be broken if you know what you're doing.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th March 2009 at 07:39 AM. Reason: add last paragraph

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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I think it has just dawned on me (I'm slow) that photography has one set of rules, while fine art images like this have a mostly different set of rules. As with any rules, they can be broken if you know what you're doing.
    I agree. I've always taken the attitude that "it's OK to break the rules - but - the result has to justify it" (otherwise we'll get slapped around and told "we should have followed the rules").

    Revisiting the image, I'm finding myself a little uncomfortable about the levels on the left hand side - it would be interesting to see how it would look if the levels on the left were brought up a little, and those on the right toned down somewhat - and if the flare on the left could be made to standout even more, then so much the better

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Revisiting the image, I'm finding myself a little uncomfortable about the levels on the left hand side - it would be interesting to see how it would look if the levels on the left were brought up a little, and those on the right toned down somewhat - and if the flare on the left could be made to standout even more, then so much the better
    Completely agree here, Colin has stated my vague thoughts on the left -V- right level balance better than I managed. I would have probably reached his conclusion after a couple more iterations of editing if it were mine.

    Ian's comments about the stem shadows and background texture are an example of some of those rule differences between what's ok-ish photography and not ok in fine art images.

    Given that I'm way out of my depth here, I'll shut up now!
    (but listen and learn)

    Cheers,

  10. #10

    Re: Is this too tacky?

    what ever thot is behind this pic....... this image does work for me its beautiful,attractive,colorful the extra breathing space above is quite irritating n ruining the balance all the flares,glares and the lights all are pretty attractive quite a good image to attract attention finally i hate to dig deeper into this image and concoct stories its simplicity is its virtue

  11. #11

    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Many thanks for all the constructive comments.

    My initial reaction without knowing what you were trying to achieve
    To be honest I try hard not to set out to achieve any particular effect. I find that am invariably disappointed if I do so. I tend to snap away and tinker until I get a result I am reasonably happy with. This image did not sit quite right with me to start with and after reading the comments I think it is simply the fact that the composition is a little quirky.

    Would be interesting to see a toned down blue one all the same, maybe to the point of steelgrey/gunmetal tone b&w. Or monochrome everyhting but colour lens flare, again more on the subtle side, like the heavy side of barely visible so doesn't look too nasty and garish
    I am going to have a play with this idea...but I will have to wait until the weekend. I seem to have wall to wall technical meetings this week and my head is reeling from techno-babble I will post results.

    I feel it a bit bright and saturated
    Probably because I am dull and drained...opposite tends to be reflected in my snaps. I will try a toned down version.

    I think it has just dawned on me (I'm slow) that photography has one set of rules, while fine art images like this have a mostly different set of rules. As with any rules, they can be broken if you know what you're doing.
    Ha...thats me out then. I think it was the images non-conformity that put me off at first. You are correct, the lens flare is the result of applying a GIMP filter. It just sort of seemed right for the image balancing out the right side weighting.

    Revisiting the image, I'm finding myself a little uncomfortable about the levels on the left hand side - it would be interesting to see how it would look if the levels on the left were brought up a little, and those on the right toned down somewhat - and if the flare on the left could be made to standout even more, then so much the better
    I totally agree I will fire up the GIMP again at the weekend

    what ever thot is behind this pic....... this image does work for me its beautiful,attractive,colorful the extra breathing space above is quite irritating n ruining the balance all the flares,glares and the lights all are pretty attractive quite a good image to attract attention finally i hate to dig deeper into this image and concoct stories its simplicity is its virtue
    Thankyou...my blushes are interfering with my colour balance

  12. #12

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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    These static minimalistic scenes are great to obtain the cleanest possible images with overexposure blending, I recommend you try it.

    You got a nice compo here, flares appeared to emerge right inthe right place. BTW did you have one of the lightbulbs burnt? or just a visual effect?

    BR

  13. #13
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    On the Artistic composition:

    The negative space acquired in the left, is spoilt by the flare – either let the negative space do its job leading the viewer’s eye, or use the flare as the dominate draw. Juxtaposition in composition is good but this is confusing, and the confusion is not commensurate to this subject matter.

    I believe the impact would be greater and the viewer’s eye drawn more easily if the richness of the black to blue were allowed to do it job without interference – especially the last LH large flare ring

    ***

    On the Technical Execution:

    The burn of the Centre Globe, and subsequent loss of definition may or may not be purposeful and intended.

    However I must take the view that “Av” allowed the camera to take control of what should be controlled by the Photographer. Whether or not one wanted that loss of definition, and whether or not other’s Artistic Critique debates that worth or not, I believe more control at the exposure would have benefitted.

    ***

    On the Image:

    I like the image. I think the balance and density of colour is good, and the hue is very refreshing and a very good choice for the subject – especially the density change, in the negative space is excellent.

    ***

    On Technique:

    My guess is the Photographer spends much time in Post Production adjusting the image: but has not had the experience (and agony) of planning the same shoot with, for example, Ektachrome.

    My guess is also that rigid principles of exposure and applied thought to those principles were not necessarily employed for this capture.

    If one has read this far . . . this is the point where the web discussion can go belly up . . .

    So let me be clear, this is a critique – which is a collection of comments to aid and assist - it is not personal. My “guessing” is sincere, but with the experience of seeing results from (younger than I) Photography Students using digital cameras every day – and who are all wizards in post production – and because of that, think that the nailing of the fundamental etiquette of exposure and understanding all the elements thereof, is less necessary, now we are in a digital age.

    ***

    Additional Comments:

    Investigation and a detailed study and application of HDR (High Dynamic Range) would benefit this type of work, if that technique is not already being attempted.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 12th March 2009 at 07:43 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    experience of seeing results from (younger than I) Photography Students using digital cameras every day – and who are all wizards in post production – and because of that, think that the nailing of the fundamental etiquette of exposure and understanding all the elements thereof, is less necessary, now we are in a digital age.
    It's interesting how many people believe that, I must same I'm surprised a little at the youngsters these days . PP is always beneficial and is an essential step in the process, as is the first step (of the capture). A development or breakthrough in one stage of a multistep process is never an excuse to slack or drop standards in another stage. You put rubbish in you affect the result no matter how well you hide it you'll never get as good as with higher quality raw material/input. If a surgeon gets better at stitching someone up do they start getting slack in previous steps thinking "oh I'll just do a bit of a hack n slash job here because my stitching is so good they wont see it", I'd hope not The more you improve one part of your game the more you pull the other complimentary components and skills up with it to avoid bottlenecking your progress.

    The way I see it the better you get in PP the more reason to also get better and tighten up your capture stage. The opposite is the so called "purist" approach where all processing frowned upon (but often it's quite a flawed view since cameras often do the same processing just not with as much flexibility) and raw capture is seen as for those who want to "take bad pics now and fix after" when it's just a method for getting more out of a perfect capture. Raw is more of an excuse to get it right than get it wrong in my book.

    If it's important to improve in pp stage then the result must be important to you, if so then you have to take the wholistic approach and ensure input is correct. The raw materials are the governing factor so I don't understand skimming over this part. There is no more important stage between beginning and end when looking at the final result. One person can produce higher standard work from an adequately captured image than another with equal skill in pp but a flawed capture.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th March 2009 at 06:59 PM.

  15. #15

    Re: Is this too tacky?

    The negative space acquired in the left, is spoilt by the flare – either let the negative space do its job leading the viewer’s eye, or use the flare as the dominate draw. Juxtaposition in composition is good but this is confusing, and the confusion is not commensurate to this subject matter.

    I believe the impact would be greater and the viewer’s eye drawn more easily if the richness of the black to blue were allowed to do it job without interference – especially the last LH large flare ring
    I think that was the crux of my uncertainty. I will revisit the raw image and ponder a while.

    The burn of the Centre Globe, and subsequent loss of definition may or may not be purposeful and intended.

    However I must take the view that “Av” allowed the camera to take control of what should be controlled by the Photographer. Whether or not one wanted that loss of definition, and whether or not other’s Artistic Critique debates that worth or not, I believe more control at the exposure would have benefitted.
    I need help here. I understand what you are saying but how do I reduce the burn...closing the aperture maybe and setting the shutter speed to reduce exposure time? I must state here however that I am not a fan of purist ethic in image capture (radiography excepted). In my mind I cannot see how something that is subjective by virtue of the human mind and processed by a machine can be faithfully representative...unless you apply rules. In which case it ceases to be fun. Sorry thats just my personal view.

    I like the image. I think the balance and density of colour is good, and the hue is very refreshing and a very good choice for the subject – especially the density change, in the negative space is excellent.
    This is the subjective bit...if it is pleasing to someone other than myself I am happy.

    My guess is the Photographer spends much time in Post Production adjusting the image: but has not had the experience (and agony) of planning the same shoot with, for example, Ektachrome.
    mmm...does this imply I will never wash my shirts properly because I have never had the agony of wrestling with a dolly tub and mangle. You may be right but the vast majority will never know. I am not being antagonistic here it is simply an opposing view.

    So let me be clear, this is a critique – which is a collection of comments to aid and assist - it is not personal. My “guessing” is sincere, but with the experience of seeing results from (younger than I) Photography Students using digital cameras every day – and who are all wizards in post production – and because of that, think that the nailing of the fundamental etiquette of exposure and understanding all the elements thereof, is less necessary, now we are in a digital age.
    William I fully appreciate the critique and your time in providing the comments. I have only been using a DSLR for a couple of weeks so I am hoping the image processing at source will improve with time and practice. You do realise I will most certainly go back to the raw image and ponder...so your comments have certainly been noted

  16. #16
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I need help here. I understand what you are saying but how do I reduce the burn...closing the aperture maybe and setting the shutter speed to reduce exposure time?

    I think exposing with a view to HDR would be a good start - I think I should have made that more obvious in my original commentary, sorry.

    Also one can recover about a stop in PP with CR3 using "Recovery" after downloading the RAW file

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    (re: “Ektachrome comment”) mmm...does this imply I will never wash my shirts properly because I have never had the agony of wrestling with a dolly tub and mangle.
    Not at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    (re: “Ektachrome comment”)You may be right but the vast majority will never know. I am not being antagonistic here it is simply an opposing view.
    My comment should be read as merely a colourful metaphor . . . describing a fact that I guessed: you are younger than I and relatively new to Photography . . . I was attempting to be both funny and endearing. If you term me as an "old fart" that's cool by me: my Daughter (2nd year Photography) does all the time, but she still keeps asking for opinions – and sometimes, at the end, I tell her she should build a darkroom, and she tells me to get . . .

    ***

    The one great aspect I have noted with this CiC forum is the happy, communicative and genuine feel there seems to be amongst all - we just are here because we like taking pictures - and if we can have a joke that's great too –


    This feel is not the same in other groups, in my experience.

    Cheers,

    WW

  17. #17
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I must state here however that I am not a fan of purist ethic in image capture (radiography excepted). In my mind I cannot see how something that is subjective by virtue of the human mind and processed by a machine can be faithfully representative...unless you apply rules. In which case it ceases to be fun. Sorry thats just my personal view.

    On the artistry:

    Do not apologize. Debate your view: that is how we all learn. I do however suggest that you remain flexible and receptive.

    ***

    On the "Rules":

    I have had this discussion many times. The hook you hang your argument upon is uncommon however - i.e. the "Fun" angle.

    I think the "Rules" (in this specific case the theory and Rules of Digital Exposure), if learnt and understood then enable the artist to better choose what rules to use and what rules to bend and in some cases what rules to break, for the desired outcome.

    On the other hand a beautiful creation can come about by trial and error. I liken these to the great wonders of the world which Nature made - a fluke here and there over many many years of all the other things Nature makes which are not in the same arena of visual genius. . . . But we are only here for a few years, by comparison the time nature has to play, so for my time I would choose to learn the theory to better enable me to have my “fun” . . . just because I know the rules doesn’t mean I have to abide by them, but it does give me more control, should I need it (or want to use it).

    ***

    A practical example of “Rules” and flaunting them for fun:

    Have a look at this thread:


    24-70mm vs. 16-35mm Canon Lens


    Have a look at the image I posted. That was taken with a Canon 5D&24F1.4L:

    Tech Specs F1.4@1/8s@ISO1600 Handheld “M” Exposure, computed manually from three spot meter readings.

    I was just walking around, New Year’s Eve, with a 5D and two lenses, 24F1/4 and 85F1.8 – and for “fun” I really wanted to have a crack at that scene. Now the “Rules” told me . . . back to the apartment and get the tripod, but that would be no fun at all . . . the fun was all about, could I do it . . . I know the rules: DoF; Camera Shake; Noise at ISO1600, but I had great fun making that image.

    ***

    IMO, the arguments linking any “loss of fun” or any “loss of subjectivity” with one consciously choosing TO apply or NOT apply “Rules”; is flawed.

    The extrapolation to argue this as a premise, not to learn and understand the Rules, is equally flawed.

    WW

  18. #18

    Re: Is this too tacky?

    IMO, the arguments linking any “loss of fun” or any “loss of subjectivity” with one consciously choosing TO apply or NOT apply “Rules”; is flawed.
    Sorry a misunderstanding here. I did not mean that the application of the rules implied loss of subjectivity. I meant the the viewers opinion is subjective regardless of technique unless the viewer measures his or her appreciation against a set of rules. I guage the impact of an image by the way it makes me feel rather than how I think it should have been.

    I do not disagree that any pastime that involves application of technology requires at least a basic understanding of the machines capabilities and I hope to gain that in time.

    The statement that my views are flawed is your own opinion and thats is all it is.... an opinion. You are obviously extremely well practised in putting your own view forward but remember that you are not communicating with a student here. I read and make complex arguments for a living and I have not read anything yet that will alter my view point.

    Maybe I am just as old and wise as you...It happens
    Last edited by Wirefox; 13th March 2009 at 05:59 PM.

  19. #19
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Is this too tacky?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Sorry a misunderstanding here.
    Misunderstandings happen all the time with this type of communication. I understand your point now. Thank you.



    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    The statement that my views are flawed is your own opinion and thats is all it is.... an opinion.

    I agree, 100%.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    but remember that you are not communicating with a student here.


    Any interpretation that my tone was dismissive or demeaning was errant.

    My use of the word "flawed" was technical and literal - not personal.



    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Maybe I am just as old and wise as you...It happens

    If this is the case, then I concluded wrongly when I interpreted your previous comments such as: "mmm...does this imply I will never wash my shirts properly because I have never had the agony of wrestling with a dolly tub and mangle. You may be right but the vast majority will never know. I am not being antagonistic here it is simply an opposing view."


    My error there, now makes me smile, even more.


    ***


    Thank you for the compliment re my thinking, argument and articulation.


    ***


    In closing from me, take me at my word, I was not intending to "lecture" . . .


    I liked your image and I liked your responses to the feedback, and I wanted to contribute because I thought that would be worthwhile (and it was – I really enjoyed our exchange of views, on many levels).

    As you wrote, I am just giving you, my opinions, that's all.

    Cheers,

    WW

  20. #20

    Re: Is this too tacky?

    My error there, now makes me smile, even more.
    When there is more hair in the plug hole than on my head after bathing and have started thinking that the items in Landsend catalogue look comfy... I count my self old

    Any interpretation that my tone was dismissive or demeaning was errant.

    My use of the word "flawed" was technical and literal - not personal.
    I realise that now. I am used to forums that would make Huddersfield town centre at chucking out time look like a coach trip around the Cotswolds.

    Thank you for the compliment re my thinking, argument and articulation.
    You are more than worthy of my steel Sir

    I liked your image and I liked your responses to the feedback, and I wanted to contribute because I thought that would be worthwhile (and it was – I really enjoyed our exchange of views, on many levels).
    I look forward to your comments in future. I do listen. I just don't like people to think I need to listen

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