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Thread: Two Trees

  1. #1
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Two Trees

    I love trees, but have found it devilishly hard to do them justice, always resorting to some compromise that I'd rather not make. We recently visited Savannah, Georgia, a very old city by North American standards, that is blessed with a multitude of 250-300 yr old oaks.

    I admire their bark and limb distribution and wanted a shot to feature those. So when I noticed the juxtapostion of this man-made "tree" and one of Nature's origin, I thought it might make an interesting contrast of shape, form and texture in a B&W image. This is the result. Does it work? Is the intent of the juxtaposition apparent? Do the leaves appear too "crunchy"? All thoughts and suggestions much appreciated.

    Sony A77 40mm (60 equiv.) ISO 320 1/45sec @6.7 Handheld
    Two Trees

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    Re: Two Trees

    It's a really nice idea but it doesn't work for me in this particular image. Perhaps that's because the tonality of the street lamp is not sufficiently different from the tree. I wonder if the juxtaposition of the straight lines of the street lamp and the curvature of the tree branches would work better if the street lamp was in the lower left or right corner and if the area behind the lamp was devoid of the big branches.

    By the way, I also find it difficult to bring out the majesty of trees, so it's not as if I have any great success at doing it.

  3. #3
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Two Trees

    Thanks, Mike for viewing and commenting. I love this forum but getting comments on B&W can be challenging. I completely agree that the tonal similarity is problematic and decreases the separation. I dont think I can change the tonal range on the tree, but I could manipulate the iron pole- pure black probably wouldnt change things much, and lighter would likely just looked processed and not realistic. And I might just chuck this into the "almost" pile- it's a big one

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    Re: Two Trees

    I acknowledge the point that Mike makes, but ...............

    What I do like is the contrast between the glory of nature, in which there are no straight lines, and the designs of humankind that are all straight lines and angles. I think they play well together and the tonal similarity in this image means that one is not dominant over the other. Instead, the viewer is offered these two contrasting alternatives and presented with them on an equal basis. In other words, we're told that both are part of our world and have to co-exist together.

    I like it.

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    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Two Trees

    Thank you, Donald

    Very interesting point you made about the lack of dominance in the tonal similarity. That fits perfectly into the theme I was reaching for, even if it was unintentional. I'll look at this with fresh eyes in a few days. This is an image that felt right to me, and then I was fearfull I had talked myself into it. Thanks for such thoughtful conisderation

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    Re: Two Trees

    Kevin, this shot really affected me. I think the perspective of the tree is what did it. We see the trunk and the smaller branches off in the distance. It really gives the impression that the tree is large, old and gnarled. (which I wish I could do with the banyon trees --grr). I see what you mean about the light pole. It looks rendered to me and it's difficult to discern at first. Perhaps if it were off to the side a wee bit? I don't know if how you cropped the pic, but if you have a little more to the left, it might offset the pole enough without having to crop out any of the tree.

    Still the tree is magnificant!
    Just my .02

    ggt

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    Re: Two Trees

    Gretchen,

    Thanks for the feedback. I think the offset suggestion was quite valid, but I had no choice (no more pixels) but to take a slight crop off the left. See what you think.

    Two Trees

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    Re: Two Trees

    This image suddenly works for me, thanks to Gretchen's suggestion.

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    Re: Two Trees

    I second Mikes post, it now works quite well for me. Nicely done.

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    Re: Two Trees

    Me three. I love the limbs twisting up into the sky, and the juxtaposition of hard metal and lacy foliage.

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    Re: Two Trees

    Hi Kevin. It does work for me, specially the cropped version. I believe it is due to the pole not centered (as it was in the first image), giving it a more attractive perspective.

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful image!

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    Re: Two Trees

    Thanks to you all. Your collective encouragement and insight have been hugely helpful.

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    Re: Two Trees

    Yes, I think that did it!

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    Re: Two Trees

    Thanks, Gretchen

    It was a very small adjustment, but made a considerable difference. Thanks for your excellent observation

    Kevin

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    Re: Two Trees

    Hi Kevin. Guess I might as well be the lone person who does not care for the "crunchy" look of the leaves. I know it is personal preference. To me, there are so many details in the leaves that it detracts from the rest of the image.

    In general, I think it is wonderful image, and I like the lantern against the tree. I like the smooth texture of the glass and metal against the roughness of the bark. I wish the trunk were a little lighter compared to the lamp post so the metalwork stands out a bit more. Anyway, nice job. Good eye for interesting images.

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    Re: Two Trees

    Though I didn't mention it previously, the leaves and detail in the bark appear slightly crunchy (overly sharpened) also to me. I didn't mention it because Kevin's initial post was about other issues that, in my opinion, are considerably more important. I should mention that the downsized image that is automatically displayed appears way overly sharpened, as opposed to the larger image displayed in the lightbox, which appears only slightly overly sharpened.

  17. #17
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    Re: Two Trees

    Hi Kevin

    I've come in a bit late on this thread but I really do like this image (either version). I agree with Mike's latest comment about sharpening.

    Nice work
    Dave

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    Re: Two Trees

    I'm thrilled to be able to contribute! You-all are a rather daunting crowd! LOL

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    Re: Two Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by ggt View Post
    I'm thrilled to be able to contribute! You-all are a rather daunting crowd! LOL
    Oh, I hope not.

    I hope others will see in your message Gretchen, that CiC is for everybody and that no-one has a monoploy on knowledge, sound creative vision, or the ability to provide really useful support, suggestions and advice.
    Last edited by Donald; 10th August 2012 at 08:25 AM.

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    Re: Two Trees

    Ken, Mike and Dave

    Totally valid observation re: the "crunchies". I have driven myself half mental trying to reach a compromise between detail and crunch. I am happy to report that it looks considerably less prominent in my own full resolution version, and printed very nicely. I just cant seem to get it right for the CiC display. I used no output sharpening, and decreased both the clarity and sharpening specifically for this thread. If anyone has some suggestions, I'd be grateful, as this is not the first time I've been disappointed with the difference between my own version and what I've posted with you all. Thanks!

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