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Thread: Partners II

  1. #1

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    Partners II

    When planning a photograph of clear glass, I am beginning to formulate an understanding of whether a particular subject might be better served using a dark background or a bright background. I'm not there yet. So, I made the image shown below using a bright background to match as closely as possible the composition that I made earlier using a dark background. (It would have been so simple to make an exact match if only I had thought of doing this before I broke down the setup of the first image. Duh!) The dark-background image is at Partners

    I'm especially interested in learning if you have a particular preference for one of the two images and, if so, why. I am intentionally not posting them in the same thread because I found it difficult to look at both of them side-by-side.

    All other C&C encouraged, as always.



    Partners II
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 31st October 2012 at 02:14 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Partners II

    This kind of stuff is way over my head so all I can really say is whether I like it or not.

    I like it....

  3. #3

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    Re: Partners II

    Thank you, Bobo. The simplicity and clarity of your response is appreciated.

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    Re: Partners II

    Mike,

    Great exercise for all of us. I flipped back and forth about 5 times and think I can conclude that I prefer the dark background. In that shot I had a greater sense of contrast between the objects and their background, and I like better the rim highlights that render the contour edge white on black. I also think that the dark background makes more prominent that fascinating diffraction within the intersections of the pieces. I'm very curious as to what others opinion's will be.

    Kevin

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    Re: Partners II

    I'm the exact opposite - I find the contrast with the dark background and the white on black overwhelming- almost like looking at neon. With the lighter background I can explore all the subtle details of the image.

  6. #6

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    Re: Partners II

    Thanks to Helen and Kevin for your detailed comments.

  7. #7
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    Re: Partners II

    Mike, as much as I enjoyed viewing the first image with the darker background, I have found myself sucked into this image even more. I have been scouring every every detail of this image. I think the lighter background has allowed me to see more of the image that was hidden in the other shot.

    I hope nobody thinks this is some kind of "Glass Porn".

    Keep up the exceptional work. I might have to try something similar. I doubt that I will get results anywhere close to yours but worth the learning curve.

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Re: Partners II

    Mike, I too have flipped back and forth.....only to come and see that Kevin has summed it up for me. The one thing I might add is that there is an elegance to the version with the dark background that is somehow lost in the lighter. I think in contrast if the lighter were done in a high key fashion that elegance may come back.

  9. #9

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    Re: Partners II

    Nah, Jon, we don't think you're a voyeur.

    Paul, it's fascinating that you think the dark-background version is the elegant one, as I think just the opposite. You mentioned a high-key version of the bright-background image. I'm happy to comply even though this is not how I envisioned this particular image:



    Partners II
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 31st October 2012 at 05:33 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Partners II

    Mike I do like this better, however it is still the dark for me. For the lack of better words to describe....suductive and sultry come to mind when viewing the darker images. I start to see that here in the brighter version but there is a softness lacking. I wish I could explain better.

  11. #11

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    Re: Partners II

    Your explanation is fine, Paul. It's been really enjoyable learning your impressions. I'm thrilled that you like the dark one.

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    Re: Partners II

    Mike, I'm in the same camp as Kevin and Paul. I'm more allured to the one with the black background for the same reasons as they mentioned. I also think it might be because with the black background the glass appears more like I'm used to seeing it in reality (at least for me). Not that this image or the high-key are bad, because they're not. They're beauties in their own right, but with a different appeal for me.

    I hope that made sense.

    Serge

  13. #13

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    Re: Partners II

    That makes perfect sense, Serge.

    Now that a reasonable number of people have been so nice to explain their preference in such great detail, I'll explain mine. I prefer the bright-background image in the first post of this thread. That's because I like the subtle changes in tonality in the glass and the background. Perhaps Helen explained that better.

    I made the dark-background image first because I like the rich, bold black that contrasts the subtle changes of tonality in the glass. It appears to me to be more of an in-your-face style that I find attractive (I also like that style of food and wine). So, I actually wonder if I prefer the subtlety as I perceive it this time around in the bright-background version simply because that style might be a refreshing alternative to my usual preference.

    Both images work so well for me for that I could see changing my mind about this a few months from now.

    As an aside, there are other compositions using the dark-background style that cry out for variation in tonality in the background. That's much more difficult to achieve and involves technical requirements that are currently beyond my skills. But I'll eventually get there!

  14. #14
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    Re: Partners II

    Coming late to the party (as I always seem to do) my contribution would be to say that I don't prefer one over the other.

    The reason I make that point is that I think this image and the other one linked to it, are all about mood and atmosphere. And depending on the mood of the viewer at the time and the atmosphere in which the viewing is taking place, one is going to perhaps appeal more than the other. And that, I suggest, could change regularly within one person, depending on the circumstances prevailing at the time he/she is doing the viewing.

  15. #15

    Re: Partners II

    Mike I have been following your glass works closely and I find that both images have their own unique attractions. I especially like the two "partners" as they both have so many interesting characteristics. I think perhaps that it's the design in the one glass and the smoothness in the other combined with the curves that make it so interesting for me to explore.
    It's a hard choice as I like them both, but I would have to say the one with the dark background because it has more of a calming effect to me. The lighter one has a more charged effect I guess because I am rushing from one point to the next.
    I guess that sounds kind of crazy but it's how I see it.
    You have me wanting to set up a place of my own, but space is limited.

  16. #16

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    Re: Partners II

    Thanks for your contribution, Donald. Your comments remind me that I often respond to other people's photography that, fortunately, I don't have to choose between one image or another. I'm less capable of using that approach to my own photography and perhaps should work on that.

  17. #17

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    Re: Partners II

    Carl,

    Thanks for such a detailed explanation of your response to the images. Interestingly, I use the exact same reasoning as yours to come to exactly opposite conclusions. Isn't photography wonderful?!

    You mentioned limited space. It might help you to know that my makeshift studio is 7' x 8'. The area enclosed in black is 5' x 8'. The tripod, table, light stands and a stand that holds a boom fill the 5' x 8' area so much that the 2' x 8' area is required for walking from front to back and for making adjustments to the setup from the side. Despite that I could easily use two more stands to hold reflectors or more light sources, I'm resisting that at least for now due to lack of space.

    I suppose someone more talented than I am would be able to do this stuff using less space, but when I explain the limited size of the space to people in a local photography store, they're amazed that I'm able to work in such a small space.

  18. #18

    Re: Partners II

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Carl,

    Thanks for such a detailed explanation of your response to the images. Interestingly, I use the exact same reasoning as yours to come to exactly opposite conclusions. Isn't photography wonderful?!

    You mentioned limited space. It might help you to know that my makeshift studio is 7' x 8'. The area enclosed in black is 5' x 8'. The tripod, table, light stands and a stand that holds a boom fill the 5' x 8' area so much that the 2' x 8' area is required for walking from front to back and for making adjustments to the setup from the side. I suppose someone more talented than I am would be able to do this stuff using less space, but when I explain the limited size of the space to people in the photography store, they're amazed that I'm able to work in such a small space.
    Your welcome Mike,
    Photography is so awesome! Especially the different ways "one image" can invoke the emotions of folks. As my grandmother use to say about differences, "That's what makes the world go round." It was one of her favorites, but she had many and they all sounded good.

    After reading back on the responses I think Donald nailed it with his.

    Thanks for the details on your little area. I will have to try and see what I can come up with now.

  19. #19
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    Re: Partners II

    Mike, having taken some time to enjoy both images and consider their merits, I have come to the opinion that I don't have a preference as both bring out something different in me. The dark one I find seductive in it's lighting and tones, while the lighter one is more elegant and subtle. I wonder if presented side by side they may pose an interesting and thought provoking presentation of the subject with each picking out something slightly different (the first is almost like a negative of the second in film terms).

    Keep up the great work.

  20. #20
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    Re: Partners II

    I'm going to answer without looking at others' responses so I'm not influenced by them.

    I brought these two shots up side by side and I know it's probably not very helpful, but I'm having trouble deciding between the two. I really believe that they each are good in their own right but with different moods. I think I tend toward the black just because I really like the contrast between the subject and the background but it's a slight tendency. I think also, it's a bit less obvious what I'm seeing with the dark background which leads me to see the symbolism more rather than the two "objects" themselves.

    But I really do like them both and think you are doing a great job with these exercises.

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