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Thread: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Out and about early this morning. Opinions always welcomed.

    Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay
    40D, 70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 81mm. ISO400. 1/20@f11. 2-stop GND.

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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    I love the panorama of the scene, but I think the contrast drops off too much in the background - that, or slightly increase the foreground contrast and leave as is. Perhaps next shot, only a 1 GND. Jealous of your coutryside with its hills, rivers and valley's and how well you portray them.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Thanks Chris.

    It's an interesting point re how we deal with contrast. Your own and the comments of others, to my Harbour Steps image show that you and they have a preference for a much higher level of contrast than I like in my images. I'm finding that my liking is for lower contrast images with the black and white points closed in and not stretching the length of the spectrum.
    Last edited by Donald; 27th February 2011 at 12:50 PM.

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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    I have noticed that as well with my work and as with the dancer photo, have worked toward softening up my tonal range. I did the same with the brown fog (moment of slience) shot, even though the fog helped immensely. Much of my later work in photography was in infrared and that push to hard contrast is quite prevelent even when you know you must retain the glow to be successful.

    All that said, I am much more the leaner toward contrast, not away from and in the shot above, when the contrast bleeds off, I am sort of left feeling flat even though the scenic is so striking. I think many others in this forum feel more like you and less like me, sans Jiro as he and I seem to shoot in about the same tonal range. Rob, on the other hand, shoots everything and most times hits the target headon - I think that's the engineer side of him making sense of it all.

    Me, I'm just a slogger and pretty much a slow learner. I have to do it to figure it out. I still like the shot, regardless of our tonal differences...and, I am still jealous.

  5. #5

    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    This is interesting since If we had constant contrast I think we would be left with a much flatter image. This image conveys the atmosphere of this type of landscape beautifully. Its all too easy to get entangled in the technical aspects of conversion but at the end of the day it is irrelevant if the image conveys the atmosphere of the scene, the time of day, its location and its local weather conditions. This image does all that and more. I say more because it allows us a unique glimpse of the scene through the eyes of one of its inhabitants.

    Black and white is not a method for faithfully capturing a scene. The photographer/artist makes a decision at some point in the production of the image (hopefully before hitting the shutter) that their own thoughts about the scene can be better conveyed through the use of monochrome. Since this is the case, trying to apply conditions and formulations is pointless since we are now working in an artistic medium which can convey a uniqueness that is inherent in the artist/photographer. I honestly believe that one of the greatest flaws in PP software as an artistic medium is that it the user often forgets that its highly technical composition only exists to give the user a highly flexible set of tools. In my opinion trying to interpret these software algorithms and conditions and backfit it into the image is missing the objective of the software. The reason the software is so complex is to provide us with a tool that allows a fair degree of artistic freedom.

    For me there can be no right or wrong to a black and white image since, by the very fact it does not represent reality, it is always interpretive.

    I rambled of then didn't I? The bold use of a square format in this image is a break with convention that works superbly. Your choice to use only a portion of the tonal range to convey atmosphere in your images is both difficult and commendable. The only caveat is that it requires the viewer to set his conventional-specs aside and view the image through a far more sensitive prescription.

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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    I'll let you guys argue the technicalities, but for my money I like this the way it is. The background hills are particularly striking exactly because of the low contrast which adds to the atmosphere giving it a foggy look which is lovely and in my experience typical of early morning light. It may be low contrast, but to my eye and on my screen I love the range of muted tones, and the way the building clusters stand out.
    I love the shot, there is so much to see, but we get to see it in the typical Donaldesque style which include the mood and atmosphere.
    Nice one Donald, someone had a good morning.

    Wendy

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Thank you folks for all your comments.

    I didn't go out to get this shot. I actually went to stake out another location on the same river which is to the left of what you see and down at river level. Having checked that out for a later date, I took a little detour along a very small country road that climbs steeply above the river and then into the city of Perth, which is out to our right as we look at the picture. As I got to this location I was aware that the sun would be coming up in about 20 minutes and would hit the facing edge of the bridge and that the land below it and around it would still be in shade. So I got myself set up and waited.

    The houses way at the back-left and the field just above them actually caught the sun first and gave an unexpected, and I felt fortuitous, lift to that part of the image

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    but we get to see it in the typical Donaldesque style which include the mood and atmosphere.
    I've been adjectiveised. I feel honoured and humble.

    Thanks, Wendy

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    I've just noticed the mistake. Did you?

    If you look right in the corner at the bottom-left: There's a flag pole. That wasn't meant to be there.

    That's the flag on top of Kinfauns Castle, which is now the home of Ann Gloag, the co-founder (along with her brother Brain Soutar) of Stagecoach, the bus, coach and rail empire in the UK and US (and probably elsewhere by now).
    Last edited by Donald; 27th February 2011 at 04:52 PM.

  10. #10
    rob marshall

    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Excallent shot, Donald. It is low contrast, but in this case I think that adds to the mood of the shot, which is calm and tranquil. It looks as if it's early morning. I like the square format. Why don't we use square format more often?

    The composition is very good and well balanced. It leads nicely from the BL corner across the whole scene, and out to the hills at the rear. Nice country!

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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    I changed the angle and height of my monitor and it is looking better contrast wise...sighh, it will always be the bane of my existance..

  12. #12
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Thank you Rob.

    The 1:1 ratio has really been inspired by viewing Michael Kenna's work. So, it's your fault, as you were the one who pointed me towards him in the first place!!

    And, of course, if I'm going to continue to be excited by 1:1 ratios I should really be thinking about a camera that's built for that purpose - but I think that could lead to divorce (if I was married instead of living in sin)
    Last edited by Donald; 28th February 2011 at 08:25 AM.

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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Hi Donald,

    I do envy you getting out and about shooting images. I have been so busy setting my loft and running classes I have had little time to shoot – but the day is coming.

    I do like this. Two triangles in the foreground of different tones create a good base to this image. The river draws me in and across the frame (but not out of it) until I meet the bridge when it draws me back into the frame and on to the distant vista.

    To me this image has great structure and depth.

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Friarton Bridge crossing the Tay

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    I do envy you getting out and about shooting images. I have been so busy setting my loft and running classes I have had little time to shoot – but the day is coming.
    Whilst I, on the other hand, so admire what you have done and are doing in terms of lifestyle choices and bringing your business interests into line with your passion for photography. I wish I had the guts to do that.

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