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Thread: Trees

  1. #1

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    Trees

    I entered this in one of the recent Mini Competitions on here and only got 1 vote........which was mine. Its not the first time this has happened. For some reason I'm only getting 2 or 3 votes on photos. They have all mostly been taken on an Olympus 7.1 megapixel point & shooot type camera. Does it show somehow that it has been taken on one of those and possibly be the reason that it wasn't liked? Obviously I'm biased, but I can't see that it's much different to some other photos I've seen entered in the competitions.

    I'll be pleased to read any suggestions of what is wrong & I could put the other low scoring ones on here as well for review?

    Trees

  2. #2
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Trees

    Paul, I think the main issue with this shot is that your leading lines lead you out of the image rather than onto the image. My eye went straight up the fence and road and out the left side. I then had to re-focus to check out the rest. Hope this helps some.

  3. #3

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    Re: Trees

    In addition to Paul's great observation, perhaps strongly related to it, I can't tell what the subject is. What did you intend to be the subject?

    In this situation when I critique my wife's images, we have a standing joke. I ask her what the subject is. She says "the scene" is the subject. I tell her that that's not good enough by asking which part of the scene is the subject. She then insists again that "the scene" is the subject. Her compositions have improved so much that we now rarely have to go through this conversation.

  4. #4
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    Re: Trees

    Hi Paul, it sounds like you need a bit of help and hopefully you will find it here at CIC.

    My question to you is why did you take this picture, was it because the location and view have some special meaning to you ?

    To me as a viewer my thoughts with respect to its composition is that it is simply a picture of the countryside that includes nothing of interest to me. Technically it is acceptable and could be improved somewhat in post processing but that is unlikely to detract the viewer from its composition. What I mean by this is that you could PP the sky to bring out the colour and cloud detail more, but, it will still be the same picture.

    With regard to your concern of it being taken with your Olympus P&S if I was to take exactly the same view at the same time with my expensive Nikon D300 kit the result would basically be the same. I carried an old Olympus 6MP P&S for many years mainly for technical shots and know the good quality that these can produce.

    Someone once said to me that if it's not a picture you would be proud to put on your wall chances are that others are not going to be that impressed by it. A picture needs a WOW factor to draw the viewers attention, this may be due to its overall composition, the main subject or it technical merits. You do not need to capture all these in the shot but if you can you have a winner.

    I hope the above does not appear too negative, it is certainly not meant that way but is my view regarding your concerns with the aim that this may help. Grahame.

  5. #5

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    Re: Trees

    Grahame's post reminds me that I forgot to mention that whatever this image lacks, it has nothing to do with your point-and-shoot camera or the number of pixels it produces. Just the opposite, the detail contained in the image would make a fine advertisement for the camera.

    A couple of years ago I saw a presentation made by the photographer selected by National Geographic to make its 100th anniversary cover photo. He was really excited because he had recently purchased a $400 Lumix point-and-shoot camera. He explained that he could take 90% of his National Geographic images with that camera.

  6. #6
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Trees

    Hi Paul, please don't think that the camera is at fault as technically there aren't any serious issues here. As others have pointed out and provided you with suggestion for, it takes time to develop the skill to get a really great composition.

    You may be interested in getting the Free E-Book on developing your photography composition 'Vision' - http://craftandvision.com/books/craft-and-vision/

    Hope this helps!

  7. #7

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    Re: Trees

    Thanks very much for all that. I think the picture was taken more for my benefit I suppose. It just looked so nice & was so quiet when I was there, but obviously what it feels like at the time can't be captured on a photograph.

    Regarding Jeepermans comment. I thought I was looking at the palm tree first, but again it gets looked at in different ways by different people.

    My only criticism with the camera is I notice that if I take photos on full zoom they always look very grainy which notices a lot compared to a lot of the photos in the mini competitions.

    I also have a photo I entered of some coral at the Great Barrier Reef which also got 1 vote while somebody entered a photo of just a close up of a red pepper & got 13 votes! Thats very confusing to me as well!

  8. #8
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    Re: Trees

    I understand how frustrating it may be to enter an image which you obviously like and not have the general membership share your views.

    Technically, it is a good image. It is well focused and well exposed. However, I am not sure what you intended to show.

    If the trees and the general surroundings were what you aimed at showing, then perhaps if you wandered a bit up the road and then shot back towards the trees, avoiding the fence. If you used the palm looking tree as a major element and point of interest, then perhaps the image would have more general appeal.

    If the fence was your principle point of interest, perhaps a lower view along the fence might enhance that interest.

    If the road was what you wanted to show, perhaps showing more of it would be better.

    I have a load of images which "looked good at the moment" but which never came through as a viable image that I wanted to keep. IMO, that is just paying one's dues in the game of photography.

    Probably the best thing to ask myself when I upload this type of image is:


    1. What was I trying to show? (Although the answer sometimes is "I really don't remember!")
    and
    2. How could I have shown it a bit better?

    However, if you are happy with the image, ask yourself "What makes me happy about this image?" Even if you are happy about the image, ask yourself, "What could I have done that would make me happier?" Even with the absolute best images I have shot, there are always some facets in which I could have improved the image.

    When I was a young Navy photographer, I and many of my peers were impressed with 8x10 inch or 11x14 blow-ups we began to produce in Photo School. The size of these images alone made them seem better and more grand than the 3x5 inch images we were used to receiving from drugstore film processors. It took us a while for the newness of large prints to wear off and for us to examine what our prints looked like in addition to being big...

    Asking for advice in what an image lacks is one of the first ways to learn how to improve your imagery.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 3rd July 2012 at 08:33 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Trees

    If the palm was the intended subject, Paul, try this as an experiment.

    Crop at 4 x 5 ratio (portrait size) and ditch the right side. Now the palm should be the focal point. The fence leads the eyes towards the palm then the road disappears into the distance creating some depth.

    Many lenses are soft and/or grainy at full zoom. Shooting with the lens wide open can also cause problems.

    And there's nothing wrong with only using 7 mp. I can remember when Nikon staggered the digital world by producing a 3 mp camera. Providing you don't print at A3 or bigger you have sufficient pixels for normal use.

  10. #10

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    Re: Trees

    Paul,

    Just a couple quick comments in response to some specific thoughts you offered.

    Quote Originally Posted by freedy50 View Post
    obviously what it feels like at the time can't be captured on a photograph.
    I actually disagree. It's not easy to capture a feeling in a photograph that we experience at a scene, but it can be done. Perhaps the ability to make it happen is the difference between most people's approach to snapshots and serious photographers' approach to making, rather than taking, photos.

    Regarding Jeepermans comment. I thought I was looking at the palm tree first, but again it gets looked at in different ways by different people.
    I looked at the palm tree first also. However, now that I know the palm tree is the intended subject, I also agree with Jeeperman that the lines of the road and fence lead my eyes away from the subject. Leading lines are almost always most effective when they direct our eyes toward the subject, not away from it.

    I also have a photo I entered of some coral at the Great Barrier Reef which also got 1 vote while somebody entered a photo of just a close up of a red pepper & got 13 votes! Thats very confusing to me as well!
    Considering that this is the second time that you have mentioned votes, I'll suggest that the number of votes any particular image receives is a lot less important and informative than the sort of discussion taking place here in this thread. Whether your images receive lots or few votes, I urge you not to get too hung up on them. I say that having won the first two mini-competitions that I entered here at CiC.

    As for not understanding why an image of a red pepper can be highly appreciated, a lot of that sometimes is simply the result of the style of photography that the particular voters happen to like. The color red is very popular in color photography and experienced photographers appreciate how difficult it can be to capture and post-process. Perhaps that, the lighting, the composition and a myriad of other things had something to do with the voting. As for being surprised at what people admire, you might want to Google renowned photographer Edward Weston. One of his most famous (and very expensive) photographs is of a bell pepper presented in black-and-white and captured in 1930. I practically drool every time I see the gorgeous image, yet I can understand why others are not moved by it in the slightest...which gets back to why the number of votes is really not very important even when you win a competition.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 3rd July 2012 at 09:57 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Trees

    Thanks again. Some more good points for me to consider.

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