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Thread: Benches?

  1. #1

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    Benches?

    Hey guys! I've never tried taking a photo like this, so I would like some C&C on it. The photo is from a site nearby where there is a viking-play anually. I thought the benches there would look cool in high contrast black and white. Does it work?

    Benches?

    ISO 100, 55mm, f/10, 1/20 sec.

    That was the best of the bunch I took and I was a bit shaky it seems. It also annoys me slightly that it gets blurry at the top, but there's nothing to do about that now except cropping it even further, but I think this crop is pretty good.

    There's a bunch of trees over the benches, and a couple of distracting bushes at the bottom I cropped away. So I opted out of including the sky above.

    Give me your best and/or worst.

  2. #2

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    Re: Benches?

    Honestly, from the angle this is shot, it is hard to discern what I am supposed to be seeing, even with the tagline of "benches." Perhaps from a different angle, still shooting upward but at an oblique angle to give a sense of depth.

  3. #3

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    Re: Benches?

    Actually this one kind of works for me. I'm not seeing benches but the composition and sense of abstract pattern are certainly appealing. As you say it loses focus towards the top and something like this I think needs to be pin sharp through the frame I think. A smaller aperture with tripod or step back and use a longer lens perhaps or even focus stacking. The tree top left doesn't really distract but I think you were right to take out the sky. A good attempt, certainly a high contrast subject you were right on there but I think you need that sharpness throughout.

  4. #4

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    Re: Benches?

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    Honestly, from the angle this is shot, it is hard to discern what I am supposed to be seeing, even with the tagline of "benches." Perhaps from a different angle, still shooting upward but at an oblique angle to give a sense of depth.
    I'm not quite sure what I am meant to be seeing myself to be honest. I just thought it would look cool. I did see it from an angle when I got that idea though. Just half a meter or so to the left/right would've been better I think. It's not far from home, so I'll go there sometime and try again.

    Quote Originally Posted by bambleweeney View Post
    Actually this one kind of works for me. I'm not seeing benches but the composition and sense of abstract pattern are certainly appealing. As you say it loses focus towards the top and something like this I think needs to be pin sharp through the frame I think. A smaller aperture with tripod or step back and use a longer lens perhaps or even focus stacking. The tree top left doesn't really distract but I think you were right to take out the sky. A good attempt, certainly a high contrast subject you were right on there but I think you need that sharpness throughout.
    I agree with you that it needs to be sharp throughout. I should've spent more time than I did on this shot. Working at different angles and different exposure settings.

    Unfortunately I don't own a tripod yet, but I was mere inches from buying one yesterday. It wasn't any good though, so I'm glad I didn't. But I do need one. I'll have a look about later.

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Benches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slugbug View Post
    I'm not quite sure what I am meant to be seeing myself to be honest.
    I think that's an important insight - one that many of us can learn from.

    I think the fact that you felt like this is then displayed in the image. You were unclear as to what exactlly your aim was in pressing the shutter and that is carried though to the viewer studying the final image.

    You have already provided all the answers in your statements about not taking enough time an needing to take longer to study the scene to 'see' the right shot. Like Paul, I think you have an opportunity, with that structure, to make an image that is a very fine study of line, shape and texture.

    Your conversion to B & W is good. There's a good richness in the tones.

  6. #6

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    Re: Benches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I think that's an important insight - one that many of us can learn from.

    I think the fact that you felt like this is then displayed in the image. You were unclear as to what exactlly your aim was in pressing the shutter and that is carried though to the viewer studying the final image.

    You have already provided all the answers in your statements about not taking enough time an needing to take longer to study the scene to 'see' the right shot. Like Paul, I think you have an opportunity, with that structure, to make an image that is a very fine study of line, shape and texture.

    Your conversion to B & W is good. There's a good richness in the tones.
    I'm definately going to go back and have another go at this. I've got several parts of my brain working on different ideas already. I think it's going to turn out way better.

    I don't dabble much with B & W so it's good to hear that I've done the conversion well. I applied some dodging and burning to add more contrast to the logs. Other than that it was pretty straight forward.

    I doubt I'll be able to take new photos today, but I'll make sure to update this post later in the week with a photo or two.

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Benches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slugbug View Post
    I'm definately going to go back and have another go at this. I've got several parts of my brain working on different ideas already. I think it's going to turn out way better.
    I would put money on it.

    What you do before you ever press the shutter is, as far as I'm concerned, the major part of making the picture. I know that not everyone can enjoy being able to scout locations and visit them several times to think about and plan the shot they want. But, I think, if we are able to, it gives us a greatly increased opportunity to visualise the image we want to create. I think it is probably the same in setting up, say, a still life in a studio or at home. It's being able to 'see' the final image long before you press the button.

    For example, people have made kind comments about this, which I posted a couple of days ago. I think it's fair to say that in my 55 years 361 days so far (yep, the next one is on Saturday), I have passed this location thousands of times.

    When I went up to visit my dad on Sunday, I took the gear knowing that there were three locations on the route (there are many, many more if I had time), that I wanted to check out. This was the third of those. Because it is so familiar, I knew just what was required to make the image that was in my head. I deliberately left very early so that I would be there at the right time, shortly after sunrise. All the other factors were there. I just had to set up and press the button.

    So, this image wasn't an accident. It was, arguably, 55 years 361 days in the making.

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