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Thread: From Rioja to California

  1. #1
    eNo's Avatar
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    From Rioja to California

    A couple of landscapes from different parts of the world: Rioja, Spain vs. California, US. Can you tell which is which?


  2. #2

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    Re: From Rioja to California

    Both images are very nice. Image 1 has a beautiful symmetric form and the sky is
    quite dynamic.

    Image 2 has a nice contrast between foreground and far away mountain background. But I think it would be better if to cut off some foreground to just have the buildings as the focal point, which probably would make the image simpler.

    A question for image 1: did you use a polarizing filter for this shot?

  3. #3

    Re: From Rioja to California

    Thatís the dilemma with cropping: you may improve something but you might diminish something else.

    I agree that cropping the second photo as suggested by Yan might esthetically improve it. But then you would loose the rural quality that I think is shown deliberately on the photo. I think that eNo wants to leave the vineyards in the photo in order to contrast/compare Rioja to California; both regions are good wine producing regions (I am partial to a good Rioja myself); and that is part of the riddle in his post.

    Cropping it tighter would produce a picture that could have been taken either in the Alps in Europe or Colorado in the US.

    But which is which eNo?

  4. #4
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    Re: From Rioja to California

    Both are nice pictures eNo...I don't recognize either location but I'll guess #1 is California and #2 is Spain.

    Chuck

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    Re: From Rioja to California

    Well I was guessing that the town with a construction crane must be Spain.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: From Rioja to California

    #1 just doesn't 'look' Spanish.

    But both are superb images. Note the point that both Yan and Karlos re cropping on #2, but I think the composition works. It shows the that this is a small, apparently isolated community in a very rural and majestic landscape. It feels very European.

  7. #7

    Re: From Rioja to California

    Donald, that was exactly my point. The composition works very well exactly as it is because it shows the rural qualities of the village. And by cropping it, then it could be anywhere--that's what I meant by saying that then it could be in the Alps or Colorado, with nothing connecting it to Rioja or California.

    And I'm going out on a limb now, and will guess the opposite of the obvious--the second one is in California. No particular reason, just it seems like a "trick" question. The second one has the vinyards there forcing you to think Rioja, therefore I think it is a trick; and also, everyone has guessed that it is in Spain, so it is time for an opposite guess. This way we will not have all 100% of our guesses right, nor 100% of them wrong.

    But I am only fifty-fifty sure. Which means I'm not sure at all.
    Last edited by Karlos Markus; 29th November 2009 at 05:52 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: From Rioja to California

    First one is from California, second one is from Spain.

    I would love to say that living in California I can tell - but the info on the flickr page gave it away

  9. #9
    eNo's Avatar
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    Re: From Rioja to California

    Yan (and others): thanks for the feedback. Yes, I also thought about cropping the background to simplify the image, but I thought better of it for two reasons. First and most importantly, I was trying to tell a story of a town in the wine country. Take away the foreground, and that is weakened a bit, though, yes, the image is more narrowly focused and simple. The second consideration is more practical: the crop would make for an odd, hard to print size, and I was trying to achieve an 8x10/11x14 print-compatible aspect ratio.

    And yes, the image of the vineyards, town and mountains is Rioja. One of the few snaps I managed to get while there. I wasn't in the right frame of mind, stressing about making it back to Madrid before nightfall, and didn't really explore the locale as much as I wanted. Hope to make it back there some day. BTW, wine country in California is not that arid, though I must say that driving through Rioja I did think more than once "no wonder Spaniards felt so at home in Mexico and California."

    Final comment: someone asked if the lake photo used a polarizer. Yes, it did, and amazingly it worked well since it is a 3-frame panorama.

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