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Thread: Have to start somewhere.......

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Andrew

    Have to start somewhere.......

    I submit this shot for C&C. I am, as I like to say, trying to learn to "take pictures on purpose." Any comments that might help me move beyond taking snapshots of things I think look interesting and help me better to understand how to optimize the impact of the image would be appreciated.
    I like the floating off the edge feeling this image gives me.
    Note, no PP on anything I might display. At this point I'm challenged enough just getting an image under control in the camera much less modifying it out of the camera
    Now to see if I can get it to post.......
    Have to start somewhere.......

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Have to start somewhere.......

    First achievement - you got an image successfully posted into your message. Well done!

    It's brilliant that you're now moving onto thinking about your photography and not just, as you say, taking snapshots. It is a learning curve, but hopefully with people on here to support you, you will stay on it.

    I'd suggest that whenever you ask for comments, you try and give a bit of information about the image:
    • Why did you take this particular photograph?
    • What was it in the scene that made you want to photograph it?
    • Did the final image turn out the same as what you 'saw' in your head when you pressed the shutter? If not, what's different?
    • etc.


    There is a really helpful post here (How to Get Effective Feedback for your Posted Images) about how to get the best from C & C. Have a read.

    And, as for this particular, image. My comments about not so much about thetechnical stuff like exposure, but about the aesthetics - the composition; the way you think about a picture.

    The first thing that strikes me is that background. Is it meant to be part of your picture, or is it something that just happened to be behind the two figures that were the subject of the photo?

    One thing to remember about showing a photo to anyone else, is that they weren't there. So, all they have to go on is what is inside that rectangle. We can't see what was at the sides or at the top or the bottom. We don't know the context. We couldn't hear the sounds or smell the smells. All the things that your sense were experiencing at the time you clicked the shutter. So, you've got to learn to 'see' the image in the same way that it's going to be seen by those who view it; i.e. switch off everything that can't be seen inside that viewfinder.

    But then, concentrate fully on what is inside that viewfinder and, crucially, what is not. Do all the 'bits' that you're seeing the viewfinder work well together?

    For example, did you mean to have that beam coming out of the head of the figure on the left. If not, then it's a mistake. Is there something you wanted to say by having two two figures like this is a large, industrial shed/warehouse? If not, then the background is a clutter and seems to have nothing to do with the two figures.

    If the two figures were what you wanted to photograph, then they needed a background that worked better. Also, if you look at the size of them relative to the whole image, they actually take up quite a small part of it. All of the rest is just space that doesn't seem to be contributing to being part of the image. If the figures were to be the subject, then I think they needed to fill a lot more of the frame.

    Anyway, these are just some thoughts to get you on your way with thinking about what you see through the viewfinder and how you compose what you're seeing to make the image that is in your head. Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Andrew

    Re: Have to start somewhere.......

    Donald,
    Thank you so much for your guidance and comments. The heavy industrial beams are actually the underside of a bridge. The two figures were on a steep grass covered hill below the bridge. One could only view them from the angle where I shot the picture. Being at the location I was struck with the contrast between the floating dancing sensation of the figures and the rigid industrial structured backdrop. Clearly what I felt did not come through in the image; and that is a great point for me to understand. When one is observing an interesting image the camera is not going to record the non-visual aspects that may be contributing to how you feel at the time. Making interesting pictures "on purpose" is going to require that I learn to focus on the elements of the image and what they convey. Your comment "switch off everything that can't be seen inside that viewfinder" sums up perfectly the lesson I'm taking away from this.
    Thanks again for your thoughtful guidance.
    Andrew

  4. #4

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    Re: Have to start somewhere.......

    This is one of those images which look totally different when viewed at full screen size, Andrew.

    That alone tends to give more prominence to the figures.

    I suppose you could try cropping fractionally tighter from the top and sides to concentrate more on the figures, but only a very slight crop.

    What were the shooting settings?

    The main problem is that the figures are slightly out of focus compared with the bridge. I would have preferred it to be the other way around.

    Depending on the distance, using a narrower aperture and focusing on the figures may have helped. But this might have also caused other problems of a low shutter speed (if hand held) or too high an Iso with excessive noise.

    If more focus depth isn't a sufficient answer, I would have (if possible) taken two shots with different focus points (on a tripod) then merged them together, assuming suitable software is available.

    The composition works well.

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