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Thread: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Once you get your way around the gaelic language names of the water and the hills, this shows that it's not always dull and gloomy in the north-west of Scotland. In fact, that part of the UK had a really good summer whilst the rest of were getting cold and wet.

    I should know the name of that high cloud, because my partner is into understanding clouds ....... but I don't.

    I wanted the cloud to be a part of the story. Do you think that was a good idea and does it work in this one?

    Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh
    Canon 40D, Tokina 11-16 f2.8 @ 16 mm. ISO100. 1/30 @f16 (and a very wet posterior from sitting in boggy ground - I didn't have a groundsheet with me!)

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Exquisite!!

    Donald for me your best until now, hopefully not for long!

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    It works, the elements are all there and it was well worth a soggy bottom.

    Grand stuff.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Donald, I really like the texture that the clouds add to this scene. I can't remember the name for this cloud formation(I am lucky to remember my name every morning) but I like how it kinda mimics the ripples in the water. Well done sir.

    Cheers

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh


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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    The clouds work well for me. On the other hand, the image would also work well for me if it was cropped just above the mountain tops. Two different images telling two different stories.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    I just had to look because I couldn't read the title. I bet Spell Checker goes into self destruct mode with too much of that. As for the photo, I do like the composition. At first I too thought a crop off the top would be better but after looking at it I think the clouds work because they are flat, plain, and don't distract from a somewhat subdued subject. That lack of impact helps keep my eyes on the bottom half of the photo. A bolder more textured sky would pull and distract that view. I normally go for more tonal contrast but this one works well.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Thank your comments and ideas. I'm glad that you feel that it does work.

    Quote Originally Posted by plumcrak View Post
    ........but I like how it (the cloud) kinda mimics the ripples in the water.
    Now, I'd like to say that this exactly what I intended, but I never saw that until Jon mentioned it in his post. But I will now, of course, tell everyone that that is exactly what I saw when I was lining it up and this was the main purpose of the image.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    I have to say this is one of the best photos I have seen you produce, Donald. Not that there haven't been other great ones, but this one is excellent. The texture in the sky is lovely. Your landscape work is something to look up to.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Just another thought Donald.

    Constasts of any kind usually help make a picture stronger.

    What I see is a sandwitch. The water (with plants) and clouds layers are the dynamic ones, the exact next second they changed. In between however the perfectly still during the ages mountains live.

    Well at least that's what comes to my mind.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Donald, For me the clouds are a very important part of the story. I recently visited an Ansel Adams show of about 100 of his images. It struck me that he used clouds very effectively. Many of his images are similar to the little New Mexico town where the space above the clouds and the moon take up at least half of the image and this space is blank - it just sets off the rest of the image. He often devotes a very large part of his photo to clouds, or almost none if the clouds lack "texture".

    If you have access to a collection of his photos take a look and see if you agree with my notion. I think your use of the clouds as an important part of the story is very similar to the way Ansel Adams included them in his photos. You photo is quite stunning. - chuck

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Quote Originally Posted by Teton Chuck View Post
    I recently visited an Ansel Adams show of about 100 of his images. ..... If you have access to a collection of his photos take a look and see if you agree with my notion.
    Chuck - I totally agree, based on my studies of his books and images online. However the once-in-a-lifetime chance to go and see the real things hanging on a wall is coming.

    It may be the same exhibition as you visited and it is going to be in London, England from November 9th 2012 to April 2013. I am going to go to it in January or February. Quite a long and expensive way to go from up here in Scotland, but I'll probably never get the chance again.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Donald, this is a very nice image. I think that the line of reeds (we call them Tules in the U.S. Southwest) anchors the image and gives it a foot to stand on.

    This area looks a bit like the territory along the Colorado River between California and Arizona. It is an area of stark beauty.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    I really like this image a lot. Donald, if I might use your photo to ask a question that has been bugging me somewhat. I just looked at a bunch of late 19th century and early 20th century landscape paintings of the western part of the US. Many of these paintings include a large sky and a complex landscape. I first looked at these pictures very holistically and then let my eyes travel around a bit. Yet I sense among many of the photographers of this group a desire to immediately focus the viewer's attention on something. Is there an artistic difference between painters and photographers? Donald, when I looked at your picture I first soaked in its overall quality and then began looking at its particulars. Artistically, is there anything wrong with constructing a photograph that first hits the viewer with a picture's overall quality before causing the viewer to wander around the picture to enjoy its particular features? I raise this question because I often read comments from this group about a picture's lack of focus. I see the world holistically and construct pictures that way. All comments welcomed.

    karm

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    Karm

    For me (not knowing the paintings that you speak about) my question would be - Are you sure that there were not, for example, leading lines, or points of light that took you to a particular point in the picture? I would guess that there was, but that the skill of the artist made it feel as your attention was not being deliberately directed to one place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karm Redland View Post
    Artistically, is there anything wrong with constructing a photograph that first hits the viewer with a picture's overall quality before causing the viewer to wander around the picture to enjoy its particular features?
    No, I don't think there is, but I'd say that the best images are those that, whilst allowing the viewer eye to wander across the image, still do have a place in that image to which attention is primarily focused and on which the eye can return before wandering off in another direction in the picture.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    The clouds in your image work very well. It's negative space with texture and I find it provides a nice balance against what would otherwise be a rectangular shaped image. I wouldn't change a thing, except to put it in a frame and sell it.

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    Re: Lochan an Ais, with Cul Beag and Stac Pollaidh

    I can relate to both Karm and Donald regarding the sky. Tomorrow I will attend the National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West exhibit with William Albert Allard presenting. It will be here in Jackson at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. I anticipate that in most of the landscape images he shows that the sky is "big". Almost certainly there will be big white clouds, dark clouds, orange and red sunsets all covering very large expanses of open space. That is what the American west is all about. But this conversation will have me focused on how those big spaces are used to tell a more powerful story. I will be looking for the "other focus."

    I find the sunrises and sunsets that are most powerful have another component that links them to the earth. Just the color doesn't cut it for me. But it is hard to do. Guess that challenge is one reason that I am so enjoying the process of turning this old science guy into a photographer - of sorts. I'm having fun. - chuck

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