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Thread: Request Critique

  1. #1

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    Request Critique

    My problem is the red barn, if in fact it is a problem. I'm wondering about the almost universal response here about isolating a subject. Is the barn not context? Color? Would blurring it at 5.6 suffice?Request Critique

    Another angle, less barn:

    Request Critique
    Last edited by lightdrunk; 8th May 2012 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Request Critique

    Hi Doug. The color RED, big objects and Text are some of the first things the eye is attracted to so if that isn't the subject (or where you want folks to put their attention) then it is a problem.

    Here, the trucks are big and have a rust red color but the barn is a brighter red. My eye starts at the left truck (big) but quickly travels right to the barn so in this case the barn competes with the trucks for attention even though it is not as big as the trucks. Even a small bright red spot anywhere in the image can do this.

    Making the barn both darker and out of focus can help, particularly if the trucks have more 'pop'. As it is, the grass is more vibrant than the trucks so it competes for attention as well. Hope this helps.

  3. #3

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    Re: Request Critique

    Thanks, Frank. Is the same true for the second shot?

  4. #4
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Request Critique

    Quote Originally Posted by lightdrunk View Post
    Thanks, Frank. Is the same true for the second shot?
    I don't think so, Doug. At least not as much except for over the raised hood of the second vehicle. The red in the larger building on the extreme right is very dark so it doesn't make the impact that the brighter red above the hood makes and particularly the first image makes. Fortunately the red above the hood is very small. Having said that, the bright roofs and pole do compete somewhat because it is in contrast to the subject, rather than complementing it.

    Try to isolate yourself emotionally from the images and evaluate them as if they were taken by someone else and you need to provide them with helpful advice. What would you suggest to improve the images?

  5. #5

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    Re: Request Critique

    Thanks, Frank.

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    Re: Request Critique

    Quote Originally Posted by lightdrunk View Post
    Is the barn not context?
    Hi Doug. This is - I feel - a crucial element, not only in photography but in general life. Have you ever listened to a story, maybe for example someone describing a family trip to the Grand Canyon. You hear some very interesting and entertaining information about the trip and the Canyon; but along the way you discover that the teller's mother was born in Portugal, their oldest child has a clef palate, their youngest child can't wear contact lens, and that his wife is old fashioned because she likes black handbags. When you hear a story like that, isn't it true that when these little side elements creep in you're wishing that the teller would get back to what went on with the trip? The random elements might be great stories in their own right but...you see what I mean.

    When you look at a picture, even if it's subconsciously, you're looking for the story. Here for example, if you had backed away you would have had the trucks, the entire barn or barns, maybe even some farm animals or possibly some smoke coming from a farmhouse chimney. If everything was positioned in a pleasing way, then the whole scene would've told a completely different but still charming story.

    I have a general thought that if you can't decide if something is a random element or not, then it probably is one.

  7. #7

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    Re: Request Critique

    It seems to me, Doug, that from those angles you are, more or less, stuck with having the background as it is. A case of like it as it is or ditch the shot.

    Yes it is possible to clone or blur those elements, if you have sufficient skill and suitable software. But it won't be easy as you will have to work closely against the vehicle lines.

    And unless it is done perfectly it will be very noticeable and look worse than doing nothing.

  8. #8

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    Re: Request Critique

    Hello Doug, I like the two old trucks. They looked like a coupl'old guys sitting on a bench taking about the weather and the good old times. You can rework it in photoshop, simply apply a darkening on the edges, or crop thighter. Or return to the site take the picture again from a different angle and composition. Or all of the above.

  9. #9

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    Re: Request Critique

    Doug love these old rust buckets, what the others are saying is true, here is what I am going to add. You are still shooting from a standing position wanting to capture the whole of the image you see. Forget that, what you need to do it get down in the weeds and dirt, up close and personnel as it were. I know that this will sound crazy, but think of these two, as a pair of sexy models, shoot from all angles, get images of the head lights or light, the grill, the hood, the door panel, the badges have the camera make love to the trucks. Shoot a couple of hundred images (its' digital), over a couple of hours, look at how the light falls and creates shadows over that time, how sort through your images and study the ones your like and don't like as they all will teach you something. The ones you do not like, they teach you how not to do it, learn it is all learning, I think you have a gold mine there and I just wish I could be there and spend a day with those trucks. Best of luck.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  10. #10

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    Re: Request Critique

    Allan, I'll do that next time. Next sunny day I'll go out there. I also thought it would be fun to put a model or two out there.

  11. #11

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    2 penny for the guess..

    Re: Request Critique

    Hi Doug,

    Why do you need a sunny day ? Maybe a heavy overcast day, with those big ugly clouds will push more the feeling of depreciation. (Ideal is a rainy day, but is quite uncomfortable..... and a polarising filter, to push up the contrast and colours)

    Keep pushing the subject, until you get what you want,

    Leo
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 9th May 2012 at 10:57 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Request Critique

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoLeo View Post
    Why do you need a sunny day ? Maybe a heavy overcast day, with those big ugly clouds will push more the feeling of depreciation. (Ideal is a rainy day, but is quite uncomfortable..... and a polarising filter, to push up the contrast and colours)
    This is an interesting thread.

    I can identify with the 'sunny day shooting' thoughts - my excuse for it is that you get better modeling of the subject if there is a key light - overcast often produces bland, low contrast images where it can be difficult to comprehend shape without shadows and texture without the 'micro-shadows' that more directional light gives. On an 'ugly cloud' day, there may be some to be had though.

    It would be difficult for the average member to artificially light a subject as large as these trucks, or shade it, to obtain directional lighting, hence the resignation to not shooting on overcast days. That said, harsh sun light can be too much.

    If getting in close is possible - I am assuming you're not shooting these over a fence Doug?, then some close up work may be feasible on a cloudy day since controling the lighting of a smaller area may be possible with flash and reflector and/or diffuser.

    I must find something like this and see what I can do.

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