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Thread: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

  1. #41

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 9 (My 5th week)

    Thanks for your reply Geoff. It's interesting that I had an objective for shooting this and other images from the same spot. But, by opening up for discussion it leads looking at other possibilities that I hadn't thought of. The PP seems to get mentioned regularly and it is something that I will have to make an effort to understand more. Unfortunately, my budget doesn't allow for new software. I think it could also open a can of worms as that might mean hardware and operating system upgrades. I think the manipulation you mentioned might be possible in Gimp.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

  2. #42

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 10 (My 6th week)

    This week the project was to study one subject. I had a pine cone hanging around the home for a long time that I had picked up when out walking. Probably, the first time I had actually observed it! It is quite interesting that although it is has an interesting shape and texture I found it difficult to 'connect' with it. Anyway, I eventually thought that similar to a flower, the way it was opened showed the signs of new growth i.e. its opening had released new seeds. So, I tried to capture that opening. I also did some PP work by cropping, sharpening etc. It was taken indoors using natural light camera was hand held with maximum wide open aperture available F/2.

    A combination of single subject, indoor shooting and PP work has been an interesting challenge. Although the pine cone is in its own right is a wonderful structure. I couldn't initially find any connection with it. It was only by observing, leaving alone, then observing it on another day that I found that.

    I guess the lesson in there is to look and observe beyond what initially made you see it as an image to photo? Not always easy to do, as the initial excitement of seeing something you want to photograph takes over. But, I guess you need to be able to see beyond that and challenge yourself as to what it is about the subject that expresses why you want to take that image?

    I still am not convinced by it but its here now and any thoughts or comments are welcomed.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

    Last edited by oldgreygary; 7th March 2012 at 05:26 AM.

  3. #43

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 11 (My 7th week)

    When I took this image I had in mind just thinking about shapes rather than the actual subject. By moving the camera around I managed to position it so that I had a rectangle and 2 triangles. It was an overcast day so the light was flat and in turn that meant that not much texture is showing in this image. There are three colours in there and the lighter foreground colour does give it some sense of perspective.

    It seems to me that it is something and nothing. I think that possibly something in the middle ground maybe a tree or another object would give a greater sense of perspective. But, apart from that the image comes across to me as pretty bland. I think that is partly because I was concentrating on the shapes. I don't think that the image conveys much. I guess that is part of the problem for me. Although, when I stand in that position and take the shot I have a sense of the landscape in this particular image it doesn't come across. But, without being too self critical it is exploring the possibilities within trying to compose an image.

    I am also applying a bit more structure to my PP work so that I can follow a repeatable routine. In turn hopefully that will mean better image presentation.

    Cheers for now

    Gary


  4. #44
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 11 (My 7th week)

    Hi Gary, Love what you are trying to do,It is great that you can see the different angles and colours, the shapes contrast very well, my thoughts, I would like to see the same amount of foreground that you have in the green and trees, I think this would balance the shot a bit, then crop so the trees go to one corner and the green to the other with the foreground straight across, the fence posts add the boundary to each colour, I could be completly wrong with this

  5. #45

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 11 (My 7th week)

    For me, Gary, there is simply too much bland foreground.

    If it was possible, I would have preferred to reduce the foreground by around half and show more trees. That would still retain the angles of this scene and I think it would have more impact.

    You have focused on the foreground which certainly gives plenty of perspective.

  6. #46
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 10 (My 6th week)

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgreygary View Post
    This week the project was to study one subject. I had a pine cone hanging around the home for a long time that I had picked up when out walking. Probably, the first time I had actually observed it! It is quite interesting that although it is has an interesting shape and texture I found it difficult to 'connect' with it. Anyway, I eventually thought that similar to a flower, the way it was opened showed the signs of new growth i.e. its opening had released new seeds. So, I tried to capture that opening. I also did some PP work by cropping, sharpening etc. It was taken indoors using natural light camera was hand held with maximum wide open aperture available F/2.

    A combination of single subject, indoor shooting and PP work has been an interesting challenge. Although the pine cone is in its own right is a wonderful structure. I couldn't initially find any connection with it. It was only by observing, leaving alone, then observing it on another day that I found that.

    I guess the lesson in there is to look and observe beyond what initially made you see it as an image to photo? Not always easy to do, as the initial excitement of seeing something you want to photograph takes over. But, I guess you need to be able to see beyond that and challenge yourself as to what it is about the subject that expresses why you want to take that image?

    I still am not convinced by it but its here now and any thoughts or comments are welcomed.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

    Searching for that elusive "wow" photo, huh? Macro shots (I think this fits) opens up a whole new world of photography for a lot of people. It teaches them to look really closely at things and pay attention to the world around them.

    I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with your photo. I would suggest that why it might lack punch is because it feels flat. The combination of the angle you too (top down), the lighting (very slightly directional but not enough to notice), and the depth of field (f2 is razor thin at the best of times let along close range) all serve to make only a small portion of your photo a focal point - being the top of the pine cone. Have a play with different angles and lighting - and if you have a tripod, try different DoFs to see what you can come up with

  7. #47
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 11 (My 7th week)

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgreygary View Post
    When I took this image I had in mind just thinking about shapes rather than the actual subject. By moving the camera around I managed to position it so that I had a rectangle and 2 triangles. It was an overcast day so the light was flat and in turn that meant that not much texture is showing in this image. There are three colours in there and the lighter foreground colour does give it some sense of perspective.

    It seems to me that it is something and nothing. I think that possibly something in the middle ground maybe a tree or another object would give a greater sense of perspective. But, apart from that the image comes across to me as pretty bland. I think that is partly because I was concentrating on the shapes. I don't think that the image conveys much. I guess that is part of the problem for me. Although, when I stand in that position and take the shot I have a sense of the landscape in this particular image it doesn't come across. But, without being too self critical it is exploring the possibilities within trying to compose an image.

    I am also applying a bit more structure to my PP work so that I can follow a repeatable routine. In turn hopefully that will mean better image presentation.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

    Too much foreground for me in this one too but it's a good perspective. A different crop ratio might turn it into something altogether.

  8. #48
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 10 (My 6th week)

    Hi Gary, photographing an object, like a pine cone is a journey that may take many steps. As you can likely reshoot this subject as many times as you would like, I would try to address the following, one step at a time, and not necessarily in the is order. These are my personal observations and others may not agree with all (or any) of my ideas.

    To me, the image to me lacks contrast. This can be addressed either with the post processing Contrast and Brightness controls or, in a reshoot, by experimenting with some side lighting (or both).

    The background doesn't complement the subject as well as it could. You may want to reshoot with an out-of-focus forest floor as a background. You may need to find a way to suspend the pine cone off the ground if you take this approach. Alternatively, you could select just the pine cone in post processing and replace the background with one that is more complementary.

    It would perhaps be more interesting if you could increase the Depth of Field. One way would be to use a higher ISO and/or a longer shutter opening, coupled with a smaller aperture opening. If you feel up to giving it a try and are using software that does Auto-Blend you can take multiple images with each focused a little further down the pine cone than the previous. The Auto-Blend would then do a Focus Stacking merge of all of the images you take and combine the sharpest parts of each image into a composite result.

    One last thing to consider is to not shoot the pine cone head-on, but rather tip it to one side a bit for a more interesting composition.

    There are other techniques that could be applied but each of these should help you to acquire an image that has more 'pop'.

  9. #49

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 10 (My 6th week)

    Firstly, thanks Wendy, Geoff, Mal and Frank for your responses.

    With the landscape as commented it is the balance which is not right. Adjusting the crop makes a difference but it feels cramped to me. I think it needs me to go and re-shoot the image taking onboard all your comments. It will be quite interesting to see how that evolves. The whole scene will change dramatically over the coming weeks as the trees come into leaf and the foreground which is a chalk grassland will begin to turn green and the wildflowers will start to burst into life. That will bring a new challenge to the image but will also record the changes over the coming months.

    I certainly found the pine cone a difficult challenge. All the things you take for granted outside like the light, background etc. All have to be planned much more thoroughly indoors. I will definitely be exploring it more with the suggestions that have been made. I think I will have to bring a mini outdoors inside to create a better background.

    I think that for both shots a tripod would definitely help. As it would free up my hands and allow different angles to be tried more easily. Maybe, inside I might have to improvise a bit. Duck tape and some wood can work wonders at times!!

    I have put the re-cropped landscape below and as I said earlier I think it is a bit cramped but it does show a much better balance. If you want to add further comment then always happy to receive it.





    Cheers for now

    Gary

  10. #50

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 10 (My 6th week)

    I think the main disadvantage of that crop, Gary, is that you have now lost the sharply focused foreground. But I do prefer this version.

    Definitely a site to revisit I would say.

  11. #51

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 12 (My 8th week)

    I took this image after rain had fallen the previous day. Overnight the temperature had dipped and a frost occured. Then, in the morning there was a mist/fog lying about and the sun was coming up in a clear blue sky. It almost seemed like on every tree, grass, leaf there was a water drop and the sun was catching these. I saw this image as I walked along and it seemed to encapsulate the morning. Sun rising creating deep shadow, a mist in the distance and the water drops on the grass. Unfortunately, the distant mist is overexposed but the image just jumped out at me when I looked at it and thought that has to be the one to go with this week. As ever, your thoughts are welcomed.

    Cheers for now

    Gary


  12. #52

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 12 (My 8th week)

    I'm just wondering, Gary, if it would have been possible to have all of the trees visible and a little less of the foreground?

    I try to shoot from all acceptable angles and distances in the hope that something will work; digital photography is cheap, unlike the old film days. Often, and too often I sometimes think, one of those last minute desperate shots as I'm thinking about packing up the equipment is the only one which works!

    But with this actual shot, I would consider cropping the foreground a little, and the same amount from the left edge. The lower quarter, approx, is a bit on the dark side so I think reducing this a little will make those excellent tree shadows seem a little stronger against the weak sunlight.

  13. #53
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 12 (My 8th week)

    I do like this photo. Agree in part with Geoff re the crop, but at the same time I do like those long shadows cast from the trees. Also agree on taking out some of that dark shrub from the left, so the focus is on that beautiful light coming through the trees.

  14. #54

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 12 (My 8th week)

    Kerry, Geoff, Thanks for your replies.

    It was the long shadows that drew me into taking the photo. The scene was rapidly changing, when I first came upon it there was a lot more mist around but with early morning scenes the details can rapidly change. I was trying to avoid shooting too high as effectively I was making an image that was directly into the sun. The payoff was to lose some of the trees. But, overall I was happy that I had captured what I saw and felt at the time. One of the difficulties I find with the Canon G2 is that it is not the best for reviewing what you have shot. Quite often what looks ok on the LCD can either be under or over exposed when I come to look at them back home. But I only paid 30 for it so I can't really complain!

    Cheers for now

    Gary
    Last edited by oldgreygary; 22nd March 2012 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Spelling

  15. #55
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 12 (My 8th week)

    I definitely like the perspective you were attempting to achieve by using the shadows in to draw our attention to the trees in the background. I agree with the Geoff and Kerry, but I can definitely see what it was you were trying to achieve. Keep at it - your eye for seeing some great scenes is definitely coming along in leaps and bounds!

  16. #56

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 12 (My 8th week)

    Cheers Mal, I feel as if I am moving in the right direction as well.

    Gary

  17. #57

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 13 (My 9th week)

    My thoughts for this and the next few weeks is to look for texture, pattern, shapes, different points of view etc. I expect that it will not always produce a decent composition but I would like to put these images in this project for comment and review. Always, good to get further thoughts and opinions.

    I have made pictures of reflections before but on this occasion there was a light wind and the water on the lake was moving. So, I thought what would happen if I used a slower shutter speed? The image below is the result. I like the random patterns it has produced and it makes an interesting image to look at.

    Anyway, I intend to follow the same route for the next few weeks of looking out for these types of images as mentioned in the 1st paragraph. Taking these aspects into account and see where it takes me. If you would like to comment on this or the image then always interested to hear your replies.

    Cheers for now

    Gary


    Last edited by oldgreygary; 29th March 2012 at 02:25 PM.

  18. #58
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 13 (My 9th week)

    I think this is what most people would call an abstract and I can certainly see it's appeal. I haven't checked the histogram but just looking at it I think you can probably increase the blacks and exposure. This should increase the contrast and make the overall patterns stand out a bit more.

  19. #59

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 13 (My 9th week)

    Thanks for your reply Mal. I will look at suggestions re: blacks and exposure(Amended version below, a bit more zip!). I think I could make a whole series with different settings!

    Yes, I think abstract would be a good description. It certainly won't appeal to everyone's taste. But, I feel that it is worth exploring the individual elements of composition which will help the whole. At the moment I have an open mind and trying out things and I'll see where it leads. Due to current financial constraints I am restricted to my local area so I am trying to look at familiar subjects in a different way.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

    Last edited by oldgreygary; 30th March 2012 at 07:44 AM.

  20. #60
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 13 (My 9th week)

    Hi Gary. Folks that are into abstract images love patterns like this. They save hundreds of them and use them as textures to add interest to more conventional images.

    Here is a link to some textured images and a tutorial on the subject. http://www.stuckincustoms.com/textures-tutorial/
    oldgreygary found this helpful.

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