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Author Topic: Live Oak  (Read 9959 times)

Jonathan Wienke

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Live Oak
« on: November 19, 2006, 04:21:45 PM »

I shot this image with my 1Ds and 17-40/4L @ 17mm. Do you think this is an effective use of wide-angle perspective exaggeration, or a gimmicky waste of time? Comments and constructive criticisms welcome as always.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 04:23:13 PM by Jonathan Wienke »
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Wolfman

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Live Oak
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2006, 05:58:31 PM »

Jonathan......... I like the shot a lot. It's beautiful and graphic. It doesn't strike me as a gimmick.
I am interested in unusual tree photography. I think trees are a never ending source of a beautiful subject. I have a fine art series called"Nocturnal Botanica". It's trees and plants shot at night under available light: http://www.bernardwolf.com/nocturnalbotanica.html
I like your shot a lot. My personal opinion.
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Lisa Nikodym

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Live Oak
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2006, 06:47:23 PM »

I love your image!  I love the look of live oaks, and have sometimes tried to photograph them to get the wild, knarled look across, though with much less success than you have.  I don't see anything gimmicky here at all.

Lisa

wolfnowl

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Live Oak
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2006, 07:24:12 PM »

I agree.  I love the abstract movement of the branches interweaving with each other.  The building on the right side I could do without but it does provide a sense of perspective and scale.  No gimmicks to my eye.

Mike.
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Tim Gray

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Live Oak
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2006, 07:28:45 PM »

The perspective and wide angle treatment are great.  

As wolfnowl said, though, you could lose the house...  I think the fence provides sufficient scale.
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davaglo

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Live Oak
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2006, 09:39:24 PM »

Beautiful!! Thats an old tree!

Jerry
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2006, 08:16:49 AM »

Thanks for the compliments, everyone. The tree trunk is about 8-10 feet in diameter. I found it while driving from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, Texas. There was this abandoned RV park I stopped to shoot, and the property owner stopped by and gave me permission to shoot not only in the RV park (I had been shooting from the road), but a family cemetery behind the park with graves dating back to 1799, and also his front yard and this tree. That spur-of-the-moment stop ended up being the best shooting of the whole trip.

erusan

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Live Oak
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2006, 08:32:56 AM »

The way the tree crawls all over the frame and towards the viewer makes this a compelling pic in my eyes. The building is not the best of backdrops perhaps (but this was already mentioned above), but the tree keeps enough weight to play the main role here.

I wonder if you did some blending or flash to get the branches all in similar detail? Perhaps some darker accents in the branch could help the main "flow" of the tree even more? Not knowing the scene, this can very well be a dumb comment. Forgive me if it is.
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alainbriot

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Live Oak
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2006, 10:58:35 AM »

Jonathan,

I like the image.  I agree that the building is not necessary, but there may not be a way to not feature it so it may have to stay.

My suggestion is to work on the tonality of the branches so that the details in the bark becomes more prominent, thereby shifting attention towards the tree and less towards the building.  There is a wealth of tones in the tree that are barely visible currently and which would make the image much richer if brought out.  Tonality control is one of the most important aspects of a fine image after composition.  You got the composition to be impressive.  Tone control is the next step.

ALain
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Alain Briot
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Jonathan Wienke

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Live Oak
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2006, 02:52:10 PM »

I shot the tree from several angles, and the house is definitely a necessary evil. I've worked up another frame in the series and cropped it a bit wider, which unfortunately reveals a bit more of the house, but also brings out some interesting branch structures that don't really show up in the first version. In accordance with Alain's advice, I lightened up the branches a bit to bring out their texture. I'm working on my laptop right now, so tonality is a bit difficult to judge properly.

mitchdob

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Live Oak
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2006, 03:00:46 PM »

Jonathan:

I like the darker one. The gradient in the branches (in the original) make it more dimensional... and the tree more imposing. Just my 2 cents.
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WarrenRoos

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Live Oak
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2006, 04:46:59 PM »

Quote
Jonathan......... I like the shot a lot. It's beautiful and graphic. It doesn't strike me as a gimmick.
I am interested in unusual tree photography. I think trees are a never ending source of a beautiful subject. I have a fine art series called"Nocturnal Botanica". It's trees and plants shot at night under available light: http://www.bernardwolf.com/nocturnalbotanica.html
I like your shot a lot. My personal opinion.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86087\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Good for you both.. best part of the day was seeing your images.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 07:50:33 PM by WarrenRoos »
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AWeil

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Live Oak
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2006, 05:57:01 PM »

Jonathan, I like the tree a lot. Both versions, dark and light.
The house doesn't bother me, it gives the tree a sense of scale. What I would like to see is a straightening of the horizontal line (the fence) and the vertical line (the trunk of the tree) possibly together with the vertical lines of the building - if the latter is not possible then maybe straighten the trunk at the expense of the house - which could be either darker, lighter or a little blurred - which ever would move the house more into the background in order to reveal the lines a bit less.
Angela
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cmcfiimei

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Live Oak
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2006, 07:58:01 PM »

Quote
I shot this image with my 1Ds and 17-40/4L @ 17mm. Do you think this is an effective use of wide-angle perspective exaggeration, or a gimmicky waste of time? Comments and constructive criticisms welcome as always.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86078\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not gimmicky at all - a nice original w-a shot.  It would be fine art if that distracting ranch-style modular home wasn't there.  Can you PS it out?
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Lisa Nikodym

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Live Oak
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2006, 12:15:38 AM »

I'd stick with the darker version.  The mood fits the subject better.

And I don't mind the house either.  It gives scale and context, and otherwise just melts unobtrusively into the background.

LIsa

Jonathan Wienke

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Live Oak
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2006, 08:35:00 AM »

Quote
I wonder if you did some blending or flash to get the branches all in similar detail? Perhaps some darker accents in the branch could help the main "flow" of the tree even more? Not knowing the scene, this can very well be a dumb comment. Forgive me if it is.

I didn't use flash; lighting the tree evenly would have required multiple strobes and all I had with me was a 550EX. The tree branches in both versions already go all the way to the bottom of the tonal scale, so going darker isn't really an option.

I've been playing with the image some more; I decided to split the difference tonality-wise and go a bit darker, and did some more fiddling to bring out a bit more detail in the sky.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 09:20:45 AM by Jonathan Wienke »
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Jonathan Wienke

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Live Oak
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2006, 09:37:16 AM »

Quote
What I would like to see is a straightening of the horizontal line (the fence) and the vertical line (the trunk of the tree) possibly together with the vertical lines of the building - if the latter is not possible then maybe straighten the trunk at the expense of the house - which could be either darker, lighter or a little blurred - which ever would move the house more into the background in order to reveal the lines a bit less.

The horizon in this shot is actually level; the fence angles away from the camera as it goes to the right of the frame. Straightening the trunk would increase the angle of the fence, and vice versa.

alainbriot

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Live Oak
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2006, 12:58:30 PM »

Quote
I didn't use flash; lighting the tree evenly would have required multiple strobes and all I had with me was a 550EX. The tree branches in both versions already go all the way to the bottom of the tonal scale, so going darker isn't really an option.

I've been playing with the image some more; I decided to split the difference tonality-wise and go a bit darker, and did some more fiddling to bring out a bit more detail in the sky.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86355\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Jonathan,

Very nice.  I like your second version the best.  The third one shows less detail/texture in the uppermost branches than the second one.  We already have drama from the composition, so in my view tone control should be about bringing information about details and tone separation rather than adding more drama.

Alain
« Last Edit: November 21, 2006, 01:00:51 PM by alainbriot »
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Alain Briot
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Jonathan Wienke

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Live Oak
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2006, 01:22:58 PM »

Since the upper branches were quite a bit darker than the rest, I did some more tweaking and lightened then up a bit to kind of match the rest of the tree, but left the rest of the image alone. Here's version #4:

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Live Oak
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2006, 05:02:24 PM »

Jonathan,

I'll vote for version 4. Nice tree!

But I'd still like to see you clone out the house and replace it with a mirror image of the fence.    

Eric
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