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Thread: White Swan

  1. #1
    arlena87's Avatar
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    White Swan

    What do you think about this picture?
    All comments and suggestions are welcomed.
    Thanks for viewing my photo
    :-)
    White Swan

  2. #2

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    Re: White Swan

    It's a nice shot silvija, but the coolness of the shaddows and the warmth of the head and neck are contradicting. So much so, that i find it distracting. I think this would make a fantastic B &W though.

  3. #3

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    Re: White Swan

    Yes, and the shadow area seems a touch on the blue side. These all white birds are so difficult, but you have managed to avoid any over exposure problems.

  4. #4
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    Re: White Swan

    Thank you very much for your comments.
    I didn't even realize that I have some blue color in my picture:-) I have tried to fix it a little bit and make it B&W,as Steve suggested. I'm not very skillful in Photoshop,so...:-) It will be better in time.
    White Swan

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    Re: White Swan

    I like the naturalness on the original post with all the different hues on the shadows and the highlights. My only nit is that it looks too stationary for me because of the dead center placement. What I would probably recommend is to increase the size of the frame so you can re-position the swan on any of the 1/3 focal locations using the rule of thirds. Also, if you have a chance to re-shoot I would love to see a shot with an eye level perspective with the swan and not overlooking downward. This has a potential to be a winner,Silvija. A little work on the post-processing and it's a winner for me. Nice job!

    This is one of a possible edit:

    White Swan
    Last edited by jiro; 2nd April 2011 at 09:29 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: White Swan

    Very nice shot. I like jiro's workup on it...off center and a bit more detail/contrast on the swan. I like the overall whi/blk contrast for this image.

    Chuck

  7. #7
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    Re: White Swan

    to Jiro,
    Through your commend, I leaned a lot about composition. Thanks

  8. #8
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: White Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    to Jiro,
    Through your commend, I leaned a lot about composition. Thanks
    Just sharing what I have learned from the tutorials here at CiC, Ross. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Re: White Swan

    I agree with Jiro, always use thirds when it comes to composition, it works every time but when you get more competent, way up the component structure in your minds eye and use the thing between your ears.
    Last edited by Wolf; 3rd April 2011 at 01:35 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: White Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    I agree with Jiro, always use thirds when it comes to composition, it works every time
    the Rule of Thirds is a good (actually, it's the best) starting place for people just learning compositional skills. There are a lot of ways other than this rule to compensate for balance in a photograph, like tonal changes, object placement, and color balance. The trick is to know how to use them to advantage and not by happenstance.

    My students are required to turn in one example per week of a balanced photo that doesn't solely rely on the 1/3's principle. You (everyone) MUST study the works of others to get better.

  11. #11
    John C's Avatar
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    Re: White Swan

    I agree with Chris. The Rule of Thirds is something like Artistic Composition 101. The Rule of Thirds is often an improvement from arbitrarily centering the subject in every photo (a common problem with novices); however, the Rule of Thirds does not absolve the photographer from using principles of good composition. Just positioning the subject at a 1/3 interstitial point often looks just as if the subject has been arbitrarily place there. Regarding the Rule of Thirds always working, I ask how often you see it work with portraits. Look at some examples - sometimes it works, more often, not. Chris mentions terms such as balance, tonal changes, object placement, color - these are extremely important. To help matters a bit, I want to recommend a couple of references on the subject of composition.

    A classic on the subject of composition is Pictorial Composition and the Critical Judgment of Pictures by H. R. Poore. It was published in 1903 but still extremely relevant for both painting and photography. Poore covers all of the important topics regarding composition. One of his approaches is to consider the visual weight of elements in the photo. He suggests looking at these elements in terms of a balance beam where (for instance) a small bright object far to the right of center would balance a larger object just left of center. This would be evaluated but horizontally and vertically. The important thing is not to use some formula to compose the photo but to consider all of the principles of composition and learn to view the image critically. The book can be downloaded free from Google. The example photos and paintings are in B&W but most can be found in color on the internet. Examining examples from successful artists is an good way to learn composition.

    A second book is The Photographer's Eye, Composition and Design for Better Digital Photographs by Michael Freeman (2007). A well-seasoned photographer with many years working for Time-Life and other magazines, Freeman, provides a lot of practical advices and many examples. Interestingly, he discusses the rule of thirds on only one page.

    Regarding the White Swan, I like the warm highlights and cool shadows in the original photo. In fact, you might want to consider emphasizing this effect. This is a natural phenomenon that bird look alive and real. The position of the bird at the center of the photo tends to emphasize the neck and head. By offsetting the bird, the emphasis will change to the bird as a whole - this is a matter of taste. The black and white version doesn't do anything for me - primarily because of the loss of the warm highlights and cool shadows. My main quibble with the photo is that the water is almost but not quite black. You might wish to play with brightening the water to bring out some of the reflections or to add some contrast - but not too much.

    Sorry, I've rattled on too long. There is some great light outside and feel the need to take some photos.

  12. #12
    arlena87's Avatar
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    Re: White Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    I like the naturalness on the original post with all the different hues on the shadows and the highlights. My only nit is that it looks too stationary for me because of the dead center placement. What I would probably recommend is to increase the size of the frame so you can re-position the swan on any of the 1/3 focal locations using the rule of thirds. Also, if you have a chance to re-shoot I would love to see a shot with an eye level perspective with the swan and not overlooking downward. This has a potential to be a winner,Silvija. A little work on the post-processing and it's a winner for me. Nice job!

    This is one of a possible edit:

    White Swan
    Thank you Jiro for processing my photo and your comments.
    In my original photo I didn't do too much of processing...Only a little bit of croping, which I now see that it wasn't necessary:-) And just a little bit of darkening the water...that's about it:-)
    All in all, I like it also...But, unfortunately I do not have a shot with an eye level perspective with the swan. I will try to that that another time.
    Last edited by arlena87; 3rd April 2011 at 04:44 PM.

  13. #13
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: White Swan

    I am simply showing one of the possibilities when working around your image. It doesn't mean it's right, it's just a suggestion. I really like the subtle hues on the swan's feathers. I hope you keep it. Cheers.

  14. #14
    arlena87's Avatar
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    Re: White Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    I agree with Chris. The Rule of Thirds is something like Artistic Composition 101. The Rule of Thirds is often an improvement from arbitrarily centering the subject in every photo (a common problem with novices); however, the Rule of Thirds does not absolve the photographer from using principles of good composition. Just positioning the subject at a 1/3 interstitial point often looks just as if the subject has been arbitrarily place there. Regarding the Rule of Thirds always working, I ask how often you see it work with portraits. Look at some examples - sometimes it works, more often, not. Chris mentions terms such as balance, tonal changes, object placement, color - these are extremely important. To help matters a bit, I want to recommend a couple of references on the subject of composition.

    A classic on the subject of composition is Pictorial Composition and the Critical Judgment of Pictures by H. R. Poore. It was published in 1903 but still extremely relevant for both painting and photography. Poore covers all of the important topics regarding composition. One of his approaches is to consider the visual weight of elements in the photo. He suggests looking at these elements in terms of a balance beam where (for instance) a small bright object far to the right of center would balance a larger object just left of center. This would be evaluated but horizontally and vertically. The important thing is not to use some formula to compose the photo but to consider all of the principles of composition and learn to view the image critically. The book can be downloaded free from Google. The example photos and paintings are in B&W but most can be found in color on the internet. Examining examples from successful artists is an good way to learn composition.

    A second book is The Photographer's Eye, Composition and Design for Better Digital Photographs by Michael Freeman (2007). A well-seasoned photographer with many years working for Time-Life and other magazines, Freeman, provides a lot of practical advices and many examples. Interestingly, he discusses the rule of thirds on only one page.

    Regarding the White Swan, I like the warm highlights and cool shadows in the original photo. In fact, you might want to consider emphasizing this effect. This is a natural phenomenon that bird look alive and real. The position of the bird at the center of the photo tends to emphasize the neck and head. By offsetting the bird, the emphasis will change to the bird as a whole - this is a matter of taste. The black and white version doesn't do anything for me - primarily because of the loss of the warm highlights and cool shadows. My main quibble with the photo is that the water is almost but not quite black. You might wish to play with brightening the water to bring out some of the reflections or to add some contrast - but not too much.

    Sorry, I've rattled on too long. There is some great light outside and feel the need to take some photos.
    Thank you very much for recommending me these books...I will definetly look them up.
    About the water, I have darken it a little bit in PS, so in the original version - it is brighter. I will add some contrast and see what I did.-)
    Thank you for you suggestions.
    And everyone else
    It means a lot

  15. #15
    arlena87's Avatar
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    Re: White Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    I am simply showing one of the possibilities when working around your image. It doesn't mean it's right, it's just a suggestion. I really like the subtle hues on the swan's feathers. I hope you keep it. Cheers.
    I will,I will...first I thought that that is not a good thing, some blues on the swan's feathers, but it looks I was wrong:-) Thanks once again for you comments.It really helps me to learn more.
    :-)

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