Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Across Balcanquhal

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,916
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Across Balcanquhal

    Between washing the windows and cutting the grass, I was allowed out for a couple of hours this morning to try and get serious about using my new Sigma lens ... and ended up shooting at 159mm, which I could have done with the 70-200 f4L IS. Oh well! There are another couple I want to process.

    Anyway, it was nice to have it mounted up and to be seriously trying to make an image.

    Your comments welcomed.

    Across Balcanquhal
    40D, Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS @159mm. ISO 100. 1/60@f11. 2-Stop GND.
    2sec delay c/w Mirror Lock-up. Cable release.
    Last edited by Donald; 14th August 2011 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    This is wonderful, Donald! Talk about a patchwork of fields! Each section between the fences look like fabric and the fances are the stitching. Even the trees are so solid and in lovely varying "fabrics" that they look like part of the quilt! I've never, personally, observed anything, in my world, like this. Also, of course, very soothing, pastoral and pleasant.

  3. #3

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Anyway, it was nice to have it mounted up and to be seriously trying to make an image.
    I cant think of anyone who will shoot a landscape with 200mm focal length and what is more it really works. I love this use of natural layers and shapes to give depth to the image. This kind of care when selecting the view point and the use of an almost zig zag lead in with the fences gives the viewer the ability to step in and walk around the scene. Great work Donald I look forward to seeing some with a longer focal length

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,916
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Thank you both for your comments.

    As I get more into understanding what long-lens landscapes are about, I begin to appreciate that it really is about patterns and shapes. And this is what I think both of you are writing about above.

    The primary subject matter remains relevant . Of course it does. But, in some ways like your own thinking Steve in terms of shapes and patterns, as, particularly, in the second shot of 'Landscapes', this long-lens landscape stuff is, I think, so much about shapes (ok, yours is about colour too).

    So, I think when shooting at the longer lengths, it feels as if there has to be strong lines and patterns.

    But, I'm just on the first steps of the learning ladder, so we'll see how it evolves. But, so far so good!

  5. #5
    KeithH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    308
    Real Name
    Keith

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    A lovely image Donald and I'm also one that likes to shoot long-lens landscapes You are quite right, most of it is line and form and I like to sit with my 100-400mm lens on the 5DMkII and just explore the landscape, its quite amazing what pops up and surprises you. Strangely, I have found that many people are not over keen on such shots and I'm at a loss as to know why. The only thing I can think of is perhaps the foreshortening causes confusion. Anyway, I luv 'em so keep them coming please

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,916
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithH View Post
    Strangely, I have found that many people are not over keen on such shots and I'm at a loss as to know why.
    Thanks, Keith.

    I was in the very fortunate position of, upon rediscovering photography about 3 years ago, being blissfully unaware of a 'rule' that said landscapes had to be shot with a wide angle lens. And I'm very glad I was.

    Those who adhere to this 'rule' are, I think, denying themselves some wonderful opportunities.

  7. #7
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    I agree with Katy, it sure looks like stitched fabrics to me. Very nice work, Donald.

  8. #8
    jjbacoomba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    San Antonio,Texas
    Posts
    483
    Real Name
    Joe

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Beautiful shot! Helps when you have a landscape that beautiful,and that open to shoot. I can imagine myself under a tree ,in the shade, cup of coffee, enjoying the view.

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,916
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Willie, Joe

    Thank you for passing by this way and commenting.

    As I wrote above, this long lens landscape thing is starting to intrigue me. There seems to be very little written on the subject (maybe that's my destiny - to write the definitive long-lens landscape book!).

    The compression ability of the longer lens certainly does lend itself to a particular use in landscape that, I'm growing increasingly convinced, is about this sort of these strong, bold lines and shapes. In other words, It's not just about getting a landscape shot that would have been too far away to get with a shorter lens.

    I'm really just at the starting gate of what might be (at least for me) a journey of discovery in terms of long-lends landscape photography. Should be fun!
    Last edited by Donald; 15th August 2011 at 12:37 PM.

  10. #10

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Ohp! I read about the advantages using a longer lens for landscape in the "first" book that I read on photography - "Within the Frame" - you know, the one by David duChemin that Jiro and I keep banging on about. The way the long lens brings buildings closer together in a cityscape - or the hills in the country - like you said, Donald, "the compression ability." I've been struggling to get photos of my garden and, now, that I have Seri's 105mm, I'm finally getting somewhere with it all. (Now, we just have to take the refugees from cleaning the boat - gas tank, water jugs, boat cushions, etc. - off the stone steps. Then, I might, actually, get a passable image.)

    However, I'm not saying that the book isn't your calling, Donald! I think it's a great idea and I'll bet you that people would quote you as much as they do Mr. Adams!

  11. #11
    Andrew76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,300
    Real Name
    Andrew

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Hey Donald, I think it is a very good shot, very good indeed. However, I am a little biased, I truly appreciate your wide angle B+W photos, in fact, very interested in learning....

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    3,542
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    An interesting dichotomy in photographic composition. When I first looked at this shot, I was quite taken with the overall symmetry and colour balance (still am), but the more I looked at it, I realized that under tight scrutiny, none of the practiced rules of composition actually work in this image, yet the image is still quite successful. Case in Point(s):

    There is no one central area of focus within the generalized Rule of Thirds major quadrants...actually, nowhere within any of the 9 quadrants.
    Across Balcanquhal

    Even if you bend the rule and use a radial based set of quadrants, the central focal point doesn't really work in a way to direct the eye.
    Across Balcanquhal

    Directional balance is good, but sort of erratic in design, and in using a thrust/counter-thrust objective, there is still a lack of an overall focal point.
    Across Balcanquhal

    Using lines of specific shapes also do little to direct the eye, though, they do have a way of confining the eye to the overall scene.
    Across Balcanquhal

    And lastly, and please forgive the hijack, Donald, but this is such an important lesson for all photographers at all levels, even when you look at each of these four components together (with a little cropping), they still don't do much of anything to work the eye toward a central focus point.
    Across Balcanquhal

    Yet, this is an exceptional photographic image. Why, then?

    In my observation, I find that this image really mimics the eye in its best abilities, not in the camera's best ability. What you are seeing is what the eye naturally sees without having to be directed to any one given point, but to see all the points as having equal importance. It works because each balance factor doesn't have to compete with a selective (by the artist) point of reference.

    I hope I am making some sense. For everyone in the beginning aspects of learning this medium, look long and hard at this image and try to understand what Donald was seeing, composing and exposing for. While somewhat simplistic in its overall appearance, I can assure you from every aspect of B&W photography, there is nothing simplistic in how all the elements and principles of art were arranged, composed, exposed and executed.

    BRAVO!
    Last edited by MiniChris; 16th August 2011 at 05:19 PM.

  13. #13
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    891
    Real Name
    Tommy

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    That's a very interesting analysis Chris!

    I really like the different textures and sweeping lines that keep my eyes wandering around the scene. Good work

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,916
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    An interesting dichotomy in photographic composition.
    What Chris has done here is provide a technical analysis that is way, way beyond anything I am capable of. And in doing so has provided all of us, including most notably me, with a significant learning opportunity.

    That's why he's a professional teacher and I'm not. I admire the ability to be able to transmit knowledge to others. It's not easy.

    And it's also a fascinating analysis from my point of view.

    I was not over-excited when I was first composing this for the very simple reason that I knew it was not meeting any of the classic 'rules'; of composition. I didn't have the vocabulary to express it as well as Chris has done, but I could see that things were not lining up as you would normally need them to do. However ...., what I was 'feeling' was that this was working. Again, this was not expressed or felt in terms of rational analysis and assessment. It was an emotional reaction/evaluation. It 'felt' good. It 'felt' right.

    Now what is all that about? I could claim some ethereal and 'higher' artistic talent that 'saw' the vision. But, I suspect that reads as stupidly as it looks when you write it and would attract the ridicule of some corners of the CiC world. And anyway, I'm a tough Scottish Highland male ... and we don't do that sort of thing!

    But maybe there is something about if you do this often enough you do get that sense of what will work in terms of the translation of, to use Chris' terminology, what the eyes are seeing into what the camera is going to see.

    Thank you, Chris for, firstly, considering this piece of work was worthy of the time you obviously devoted to it and, secondly, for sharing it as you have done.

  15. #15
    Wendy Stanford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    576

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Lovely image Donald, the lines and different textures really stand out, my eye stays within the frame and just keeps circling around
    Thanks for the analysis Chris, I haven't quite looked at a photo from this analytic angle before.
    I also think that this shot works because it it in monochrome and colour would take the simplicity of the lines away

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    3,542
    Real Name
    Chris

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Thanks for the analysis kudos, but the reality of it all is that like a student of mine so many years ago said, "I know all this; I know how composition works; I know the technical aspects of photography as well as anyone in this class, perhaps even better than you (she was speaking about me and she was speaking from an IQ level off the charts (first in her class in high school, first in her class at Duke in med school); but," she continued, "when I put my eye to the viewfinder, everything seems to float off into space; it's so hard to put it all together in a neat package called a photograph."

    When I managed to calm her down (mine was the first B she'd ever received in a class in all her school years), I asked her why she thought this happened to her, or to others for that matter. "It's because it comes from a place in you, I guess what some would call the soul, where intelligence doesn't rule; a place where a deep, welling emotion is allowed to interact with the intelligence psyche and you can do nothing to stop it from happening; that never happens with me; for me, it is all about intelligent understanding, and for me, photography will always be that elusive butterfly."

    She is a very special pediatric surgeon who fixes hearts in newborns, and oddly enough (ha-ha), once she had a baby of her own, her photography improved by mountainloads. Life is funny like that.

    Now what is all that about? I could claim some ethereal and 'higher' artistic talent that 'saw' the vision. But, I suspect that reads as stupidly as it looks when you write it and would attract the ridicule of some corners of the CiC world. And anyway, I'm a tough Scottish Highland male ... and we don't do that sort of thing!

    Of course, you do, Donald and it shows in your work, you just don't verbalize it very often. You do what I preach. I do the best I can because I am always the teacher. Perhaps some day, I will have that baby of my own and the light will shine upon me as it has you. In the meantime, I will continue to do what I do best. Thanks you for your kind compliments.

  17. #17
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,238
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Seeing your analysis Chris, I did wonder if one of those 'golden mean' spirals (if you know what I mean) would fit (in one of four possible orientations)?

    Great image Donald - dunno what else to say

  18. #18
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,916
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    There's one of those lovely, silly little folk songs that we have here that fits this situation well. It's called 'The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede'. Basically the story is that this wee centipede was a sensational dancer. His 100 legs moved in beautiful harmony and weaved the most amazing dance patterns. Until someone asked him to analyse and explain what he did and how he did it.

    The result was that he thought about it and lost all his natural rhythm and timing. His legs got all tangled up and he broke about half of them. And he never danced again.

    So, I think I better stop thinking about it now, in case I lose the ability to do whatever it is I'm doing that produces these reasonably competent images.
    Last edited by Donald; 16th August 2011 at 09:55 PM.

  19. #19

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Hey, Donald! You're like Glenn Gould. It absolutely frightened him that he wasn't quite sure that he knew how he was doing what he did. He had a strict regimen of things that he needed to do before each concert - quite a few of them were more in the vein of superstition or "crutches" (can't think of the right word, at the moment.) - routines that couldn't be altered. He always used the same chair that his dad made for him as a child - until he died - every concert. i wish a squeaky chair would make me play like him!

    Go on! Watch - to the end. you'll be edified - a better person for it!



    The only difference between Donald and him is that you, Donald, need to visualize and think about it and he needs to auditorialize it! (I just made that word up, I think. I like it!)

  20. #20
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,916
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Across Balcanquhal

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Hey, Donald! You're like Glenn Gould.:
    To my shame, I have to confess that, whilst aware of the name, I knew nothing about the man or his music.

    Just spent time doing some searches. Fascinating. And, indeed, those recordings of him playing Bach. Awesome.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •