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Thread: Lone Rocker

  1. #1

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    Lone Rocker

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Lone Rocker

  2. #2

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    Re: Lone Rocker

    I like the concept but I think you can execute it better if you attend to the subject. The hand rail seems to be the subject, not the chair. That's partly because everything is in focus and because the hand rail dominates the composition. To emphasize the chair, you could throw everything in the foreground out of focus and you could also try different compositions that feature the chair.

  3. #3
    CNelson's Avatar
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    Re: Lone Rocker

    An interesting image. I think there's a story there. What if you left something more in the chair, like a piple, pair of old glasses, some knitting...anything to build on a story. In any event someone's off their rocker.

    Chuck

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Lone Rocker

    Hi Karm,

    When trying to assess a composition's qualities; a trick I found useful, until I trained my 'eye', is to get the image on screen, close your eyes, wait a few seconds, think about something else (even listen to music), then open your eyes and instantly say the name of whatever the first thing you see, is.

    I just tried it on this and Mike is correct, it is the handrail - it is too doiminant by virtue of its position, size (caused by shooting distance/perspective/angle of view) and brightness.

    It is an interesting concept for a shot though.

    If I had free rein, I'd reshoot and;
    a) physically remove the two fern leaves in front of the rocker and the tree on the right obscuring the top end of the handrail and column
    b) move slightly left of where you were so the leg of the chair is not behind the handrail
    c) arrange some shade for the handrail (it apppears to be weakly sunlit here) by shooting at a different time of day, or in overcast conditions
    d) if possible, choose a time of day when the chair might be lit by sunlight
    e) shoot from further back, with a longer focal length, wider aperture and focus on the chair (basically what Mike said)
    f) I would shoot some with Chuck's idea too, to add some human interest

    I appreciate some, or even all, of these ideas might not be possible, so take what I say with a pinch'o'salt

    I can't remember/don't know what camera you have (and there's no EXIF data), which doesn't help us provide with appropriate advice - e.g. you won't have enough control of Depth of Field if shooting with a sensor smaller than M4/3 (crop factor 2), as many bridge and P&S shoot cameras have.

    Hope that helps,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 8th August 2012 at 12:06 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Lone Rocker

    Hi. I agree that the foreground should be out of focus. With the hand rail being white, and the lightest color in your image, one's eye is automatically drawn to it, making it, rather than the chair, the focal point.

  6. #6

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    Re: Lone Rocker

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    get the image on screen, close your eyes, wait a few seconds, think about something else (even listen to music), then open your eyes and instantly say the name of whatever the first thing you see, is.
    What a great idea, Dave! However, my wife is NOT going to be happy with me when I tell her about it, so I'll be sure to blame all of our marital discord on you. When she first started getting serious about photography a couple of years ago, I was constantly asking her what the subject is. Her response was always, "it's the scene." Her compositions are much, much better these days but an occasional reminder of your great tip will help her immensely.

  7. #7

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    Re: Lone Rocker

    I agree that the handrail is too dominant here, although I'm not sure putting it out of focus is necessarily the answer: I think with different lighting and a sligthly different angle this could be a stronger image; the composition has a lot of potential. I agree that the fern in front of the chair is a distraction, but I don't think it's a distraction from the "subject," but rather a distraction from an otherwise strong composition. It throws things a little off balance for me.

    There's an entire genre of photography where "the scene is the subject" and no one object is intended to be the focus of attention; instead the point is the interplay of patterns, shapes, colors, and the overall composition. It's hard to pull off this kind of photography well. Have a look, for example, at Joel Meyerowitz's recent portfolio of photographs from Central Park in New York City (see link below). A few of them do have subjects in the conventional sense, but many of them aren't really "about" any one thing, any more than a painting by DeKooning might be, for example. But they are strong, evocative images from a highly respected master.

    http://www.aperture.org/portfolio-meyerowitz.html

  8. #8

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    Re: Lone Rocker

    You're right, Brad, that certain types of images have no single subject. However, my wife's images that are lacking a clearly identifiable subject are never in the category that you mention.

  9. #9

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    Re: Lone Rocker

    I now definitely see that the handrail pops out a bit too much in this picture. I cropped the original picture (see below) because I couldn't straighten out both posts simultaneously. In the picture below the right post is slightly crooked. In the process of cropping the original the handrail became a lot more prominent -- something I did not intend.

    This is not a posed picture. I was hiking in a national park and came across this abandoned old farmhouse with the rocker in the corner. I think my original picture does a better job picking up the setting's eerie feeling.

    I have to say that I like the sense of the overgrown plants.

    All comments have been very helpful. This is the type of feedback I need to become a better photographer.

    Thanks to all.

    Lone Rocker

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