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Author Topic: Chaos on the Riverbank  (Read 2803 times)

bretedge

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« on: December 21, 2008, 11:54:15 PM »

This certainly isn't the kind of image that appeals to everyone, but they are my favorite type of images to make.  Patterns in nature are often haphazard and random, and distilling those elements into a coherent composition is highly rewarding.  Successful images of this "organized chaos" are always impressive to view.

I noticed the warm early morning light on the background wall, which is on the other side of the Colorado River, a few days ago while driving down Kane Creek Road in Moab, Utah.  I also found these thick groves of trees and enjoyed the way the tangled limbs and branches looked against the golden wall.  I went back this morning and searched for just the right area to make an image.  I found this spot, got out my camera and went to work.  I'm quite happy with the results and would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for having a look and leaving a comment.

LoisWakeman

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2008, 01:30:08 PM »

Hi Bret - I comment much the same as your first para on many disorganized chaotic shots of woods and forests, so appreciate what you are saying.

This does appeal to me. Apart from the similarity in shape of the trees in the foreground, the separation by warm/cool colours of the rock and trees respectively helps to impose just enough order for a visually satisfying image.
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bretedge

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 01:31:43 PM »

I really appreciate your thoughtful comment, Lois!

Silver Birch Studio

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008, 09:13:52 PM »

This shouldn't work, but somehow it does! Lovely colors, thanks for sharing.
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alainbriot

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 09:53:05 PM »

To me it the tonal relationships work better when adjusted this way:



compared to the original which is:



What do you think?

Alain
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Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
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dmerger

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 10:24:18 PM »

Alain, you are an artist.  Iím continually impressed with your ability to produce lovely, realistic landscapes.  Not over saturated, not over sharpened, nor too much or too little contrast, just beautiful, natural landscapes.  I wish that I had some of your talent.  Iíve spent thousands of hours working on my scanned slides.  In my opinion, my slides look outstanding on my light box, but I just canít my digital versions to look nearly as good as your photos.  Iím sure that you could work wonders on my scans.  Unfortunately, for me, I wasnít born with your artistic talent and Iíve come to realize that no amount of work will overcome my inherent shortcoming.  In other words, all my feeble efforts have made me much more appreciative of innate artistic talent. Kudos!
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008, 11:49:23 PM »

I'm with Alain on this one. His version draws me into the composition and holds my attention beautifully.
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bretedge

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2008, 01:19:57 AM »

Thanks for taking the time to rework the image, Alain.  I think I prefer something in between my version and yours.  I like the darker mood of mine, but I prefer the saturation level of yours.  I think a slight increase in mid-tone brightness and added saturation would make this image really pop.  I'll play around with it tomorrow and see if I can't come up with something.

I appreciate all the feedback thus far, too!

dalethorn

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2008, 10:57:09 AM »

I do a lot of these - light coming in from background through trees in foreground is a good subject, which can create a "glow" of sorts that's really charming at times.  My techniques include some of the following:

Your first impression when you bring up the image on screen is the most important.  Judgement fatigue for a specific image can set in pretty quickly when you attempt to make changes and comparisons.  So I make a change or changes based on my first impression, then save the new image as xyz-1, then go do something else.  Some time afterward, reload the changed image first (and very important, use the same ambient light), and see what your first impression is of the changed image in this new viewing session.  Then do some A-B comparisons of the previous and changed versions, to see where you might want to go next.

Most of the time, after working with one of these through one or two edits, I can identify the thing or things that are most "in the way" of what I want to see, and so I can focus on those items to try to get them out of the way.  This explanation conveys my impressions of what I do, although it's not very scientific I'm sorry to say.
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dalethorn

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2008, 11:26:44 AM »

Speaking of viewing sessions, I didn't fully appreciate the difference with Alain's edit until I saved the before and after and brought them up in Irfanview on my local computer for an A-B comparison.  Really amazing, bringing up the foreground so well and maintaining a solid background at the same time!
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dalethorn

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Chaos on the Riverbank
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2008, 05:32:55 PM »

Most of these topics I can leave alone after one comment, but the re-edit by Alain knocked me out, so I'm adding two more edits here just for comparison.  You'll probably have to download and view in a series to see what I'm seeing.  What I did with the first is my own enhancement of bretedge's original, then the second is a gamma adjustment of Alain's edit.  I wanted to do two "in betweens" because I was sympathetic to bretedge's preference for something in-between, but the enhancement by Alain was just too good to ignore.

I don't use Photoshop, so I may (or may not) have the ability to do what Alain did, bringing up the dark areas without over-brightening the light areas, and increasing the saturation of the background at the same time.  I've been able to duplicate other people's enhancements in most cases, but I haven't gotten this one figured out yet.
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