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Thread: Blairhead

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Blairhead

    As I wandered around our village and surrounding area, just looking at how the landscape was changing as we progress through spring and towards summer, this scene from alongside a little road that runs from our village to the next one, caught my eye.

    The pattern of the first shoots of the new crop, along with the remaining tracks created by the tractor that was used to prepare the ground, both curving round and then running up towards the farm buildings, struck me as very attractive.

    It's not a terribly remote location, but when I looked at it as this final image, it became a very isolated and very rural scene.

    It is another part of my portfolio about my community.

    I'm always happy to read your thoughts and comments.

    Blairhead
    Canon 40D, EF 24-70 f2.8 L @ 52mm. ISO100. 1/180 @f11

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    Re: Blairhead

    A very peacefull looking scene. One could imagine being in the pass if not for the telephone posts. And yet, I predict that soon enough, those posts will represent a time that is no more.

    Good rendition, as always.

  3. #3
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    Re: Blairhead

    The only thing that's upsetting me about this are the shadows at the bottom right of the frame. My eye keeps getting drawn to them. Apart from that I think it's quite a pleasing image.

    When I first looked at this I have to admit that I didn't think that it wasn't one of your best. I didn't feel there was a strong enough subject and that what subject there was is too concealed. I thought there must be a better angle to capture it from. The more I look at it though, the more I am loving the texture in the foreground field and the way it invites you towards the small-holding and begs you want to go over the brow of the hill to find out what goes on there. It definitely grows on you. That is a good thing. It has kept me captivated for a good few minutes now.

    Your sharpening techniues are superb, Donald. Simply superb.

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    Re: Blairhead

    Hi Donald, I really like your B&W pictures as they capture my attention and draw me into the scene. I admit that I look at the picture first before I read your post. I love the texture of the field in the foreground and as Tommy mentioned that shadow is a slight eye catcher. Personally (IMO) I would have moved the image to the right to take out the pole (left) and add more of the hill (right), but maybe not possible due to on site conditions.

    Well done.

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Blairhead

    Thank you, folks, for your feedback.

    Yes, that dark area bottom-right niggled me. But I decided to leave it there. The reasons were:

    a) That the overall composition worked best, in my opinion, with it as you see it. That meant I couldn't crop that bit out.

    b) I don't have all those whizz-bang 'content aware' thingies that Adobe stuff has in it and I didn't feel I could clone it well enough.

    c) Based on a) and b), I felt the overall image could carry that little blemish.

    I think it's actually a burn mark on the ground caused by a bit of the chemical fertiliser used on the crop having been spilled and being too concentrated on that patch of ground. It wasn't a shadow.

    It's interesting what you write, Clive, about that pole. For me, it was a vital part of the final image that I saw when capturing the photograph. I felt it lost quite a bit if I moved over to exclude it. In my head it added to the rurality of the scene. Maybe that says more about me and how I see telephone poles!
    Last edited by Donald; 31st May 2012 at 08:08 AM.

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    Re: Blairhead

    Neither the telephone pole nor the dark area in the bottom-right portion bother me at all. I don't usually like such vast, cloudless areas of the sky, but in the context of this image, it's appealing to me.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Blairhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I don't usually like such vast, cloudless areas of the sky, but in the context of this image, it's appealing to me.
    I take your point, Mike. I, too, like lots of clouds. But for this one, the cloudless sky gave it the sort-of 'big country' feel that I hadn't really seen in all the many, many times I've driven past that location. It seemed to create space where normally it feels more enclosed.

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    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Blairhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    The pattern of the first shoots of the new crop, along with the remaining tracks created by the tractor that was used to prepare the ground, both curving round and then running up towards the farm buildings, struck me as very attractive.

    I'm always happy to read your thoughts and comments.
    Donald, I too am not distracted by the darker area or the telegraph pole - in fact, as you have written, the latter is often an integral part of a country scene.

    However, your images and comments are always instructive, so I have two related questions. It was the pattern of lines and curves in the crop that caught your interest, and there must be more of this in the foreground - so why did you not include more in your image? I realise that rules are made to be broken, but I wonder why, for example, you did not compose so that the horizon came at about the lower third? Many of us learn a lot from CiC, so this is curiosity to aid learning.

    Philip

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Blairhead

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    It was the pattern of lines and curves in the crop that caught your interest, and there must be more of this in the foreground - so why did you not include more in your image? I realise that rules are made to be broken, but I wonder why, for example, you did not compose so that the horizon came at about the lower third? Many of us learn a lot from CiC, so this is curiosity to aid learning.
    Philip

    There was some, but not much more, in the foreground. I'm standing right on the edge of the road. But also:
    • In my head, the composition called for that lighter line, which is an older tractor track, to come out of the image at the bottom corner. If I had composed it otherwise, in order to get that line running out of the corner, I would have had to re-arrange the position of the other elements (the pole, the buildings, etc). I think I would have had to move quite a bit (a few yards) to my left and that would have meant a very different image.
    • Why not take the horizon up to the bottom 'third' line? Simply because of wanting to get the 'big sky'. Once I had it framed up (I was using Liveview) this was the particular composition that felt right. It felt balanced. There was no particular scientific formula and I was conscious that the horizon was not on the lower third. But the best I can do is to say that it 'felt right'.


    I've written on here before about the fact I know that my images emanate from feeling and emotion, rather than any set of clear logical thoughts. I am not a technician and am the first to admit that my technical knowledge is sadly lacking. I am conscious of the 'rules' when composing, but compose based on my emotions as opposed to those rules. So, when I write about it 'feeling right', I don't intend to be glib or seeming to avoid questions. It's just that that's how I operate.

    Even when I'm assessing the images back at home on the computer, the first cut is done fairly quickly because if I look at it and it doesn't feel right, then it is deleted immediately. At that stage, the first reaction counts. Probably means that I've deleted things that could have been made into reasonable images, but that's the way it works for me.

  10. #10
    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Blairhead

    Fascinating, as always, Donald. Thank you for the image, and for your comments.

    Philip

  11. #11

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    Re: Blairhead

    Speaking of rules, especially those pertaining to placement of the horizon, one of the so-called rules is to avoid placing it in the middle. I wish I could remember the name of the famous National Geographic photographer who strives to make landscapes with the horizon placed exactly there.

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    Re: Blairhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    But the best I can do is to say that it 'felt right'...I am conscious of the 'rules' when composing, but compose based on my emotions as opposed to those rules.
    It's like driving a car. At first we have to consciously think about the rules, but after a while they become internalized, and are instinctive. A good driver's instincts will tell him when he's in a situation where it's appropriate to break a rule, without having to explicitly think about it first.

    I'd say you're a good driver.

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    Re: Blairhead

    This has a timeless quality to it. It could have been taken anytime in the past 120 years but the telephone pole puts it into the 20th century and there is the hint of a TV aerial on the right hand chimney stack of the farmhouse to put it after the '50's. This is one to put on the wall and relax as you let the peace flow out of it.

    If you hadn't already guessed, I like this one.

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Blairhead

    Quote Originally Posted by KCBrecks View Post
    This has a timeless quality to it.
    Keith - I think you've neatly summed up what I was thinking, but couldn't find the right words to express what I was feeling. Your idea that this could have been at any time over the past X number of years captures it very, very well.

    Arlen - I think you are right. What's that thing about travelling from Unconscious Incompetence, via Conscious Incompetence and Conscious Competence, to Unconscious Competence? I hope that I, sometimes, have reached the point where I display the latter. At least that is the hope!
    Last edited by Donald; 1st June 2012 at 10:00 PM.

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    Re: Blairhead

    Too much sky.

    but.... a really nice Donald'esque type of shot.

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