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Author Topic: Four Canoes  (Read 3071 times)

feppe

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Four Canoes
« on: March 06, 2011, 11:21:58 AM »

I spent three weeks in Central America in November last year, and am finally starting to get the photos out.

I saw these four canoes in Flores on Lago Petén Itzá in northern Guatemala, and spent quite a bit of time finding a good shot on several occasions. Still can't decide which one of these although of course have my preference. I would appreciate some help.

Olympus E-PL1, the remarkable Panasonic 7-14mm lens @ 8mm f/8, 8 seconds.

John R Smith

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 11:37:06 AM »

Harri

That's a tricky one, because they both have their merits. Just looking at them quickly, I think I prefer #2. There is more punch and light in it, obviously, which always appeals to me - but I could well understand it if others preferred #1. Perhaps that's why I hate taking alternative frames, I can never make up my mind which is best for ever afterwards  ;)

They are both very nice pictures.

PS Dammit, I think I'm wrong (surely not, John?). Looking at them again #1 is the stronger composition, with the horizon line more or less on the third. There you go, two totally opposite opinions in the space of two minutes.

John
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 11:40:55 AM by John R Smith »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 12:51:28 PM »

#2: The lighting is more dramatic, canoes stand out more tonally, overall composition is more balanced, precisely because of the centered horizon. The only downside would be the urban element on the left, intruding into the "unspoiled" nature (however unspoiled it remains, with canoes already there)... but nothing that a bit of digital trickery would not solve (content aware fill, anyone?)  ;)

John R Smith

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 12:59:46 PM »

Hmmm

Actually, I think now that Slobodan is correct. Which means that I was right to start with. Or something . . .

Honestly, there is no point in asking me at all - this is why I never take alternative shots.

John
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Lisa Nikodym

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 02:22:04 PM »

#2.  More drama, more energy.  It holds my attention longer.  It's excellent.

Lisa

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 03:00:55 PM »

Harri, I agree with Slobodan, and though I hate to mention anything that academic, in #2 there are a couple nice triangles on the right side because of the diagonal cloud roll and the direction of the canoes, that aren't there in #1. But as Slobodan said, there's that aggressive urban element intruding into a nature scarcely spoiled by four canoes. I considered a crop, but only for a nanosecond.

feppe

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2011, 03:18:31 PM »

Harri, I agree with Slobodan, and though I hate to mention anything that academic, in #2 there are a couple nice triangles on the right side because of the diagonal cloud roll and the direction of the canoes, that aren't there in #1. But as Slobodan said, there's that aggressive urban element intruding into a nature scarcely spoiled by four canoes.

As others, the main reason why I'm leaning towards #1 is the urbanization marring #2. I try to avoid shooting anachronisms, so #2 is more honest (if that word can be used with photography).

I also agree that compositionally it's stronger, and while the bright village is a bit heavy, it is balanced by the large sky highlight in the upper right. The canoes do point towards the village which in itself is another implied line leading the eye, and I think the frame is still a bit too upper-left -heavy.

Quote
I considered a crop, but only for a nanosecond.

I have to come clean: it's already cropped about 2 pixels on sides :P The photos are a composite of 2-3 frames, one for the sky, (one for the water) and one for the canoes/ground and they didn't register perfectly.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 03:21:02 PM by feppe »
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popnfresh

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 04:10:06 PM »

+1 for #2. Definitely the more dramatic of the two. The swath of clouds and the angle of the boats lead the eye to same point on the horizon. Well done. Bummer about the registration though.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 04:15:26 PM by popnfresh »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2011, 05:22:49 PM »

Harri,

I agree with most of the previous comments, but to me #1 is the one that feels more 'honest.' To me the second is hurt by the distracting urban lights that others have mentioned and also by the overly dramatic lighting, which just feels a bit too over-the-top to me. However, the composition is better in the second.

I would love to suggest cropping, just to annoy Russ, but I agree that it just doesn't work here.

If they were mine, I'd find other ways to cheat, probably by using the clone tool to create a dark, woodsie bit of landmass to cover the urban lights, and soften the contrast a bit in #2, or else stealing the sky from #2 and putting it in #1.

There, that ought to offend several people.

If I had to choose one of the two as is, it would be #1.

Eric
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 05:24:58 PM by Eric Myrvaagnes »
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wolfnowl

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2011, 06:40:39 PM »

Definitely #2 for me.  In the first image the focus is all on the canoes; it's about the vehicle, the tool.  The second is about destination and it makes me wonder where the trail leads...

Mike.
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Hervé

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2011, 04:35:53 AM »

Sorry for my English… Whatever, i prefer the #1, for the framing, the point of view and the distance from thoose 2 canoes. I also prefer the #1 for the water. I think, the long exposure of the second one is not enough quite pronounced, so i prefer the classic view.
At last, what about little bit more contrast/density on the water (on the left)?
 ...But it is a very personal appreciation.
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John R Smith

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2011, 04:46:58 AM »

Harri

I was being a bit silly last night, not treating things seriously enough at all. Looking at your pictures again this morning, I find it interesting that #2 has more impact as the thumbnail, but #1 is rather more satisfying to my eye when I enlarge it and take time to study it more thoroughly. #1 is actually much simpler, which is always a good thing. There is less going on in it, and therefore the subject is able to present itself without distraction, where the setting is complementary but not competitive. I also stick by my original comment that having the horizon line in #2 at roughly half way down the frame is a Bad Thing. It divides the frame into two pictures, and our eye flits between them, instead of seeing the composition as a harmonious whole. So #1 for me, and this time I won't change my mind, honest . . .

John
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John R Smith

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2011, 01:56:10 PM »

Very good, Slobodan  :)

But we artists are allowed to change our mind, you see. It goes with the temperament . . .

John
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Riaan van Wyk

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2011, 03:14:35 PM »

I can't seem to make up my mind here for now..I would probably lean towards number two in the morning though.
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michael

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2011, 10:20:28 PM »

Several posts with a political slant have been removed.

Inappropriate in this thread.

Michael
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feppe

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2011, 02:10:49 PM »

It looks like others are just as torn as me, and others have well-argued preference over one or the other :) I'm leaning towards #1 in the end, as simplicity wins over in this image.

Thank you for all the help!

Several posts with a political slant have been removed.

Inappropriate in this thread.

Michael


Thanks, Michael!

walter.sk

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Re: Four Canoes
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2011, 09:49:59 PM »

I also think #2 is a better composition.  The boats point more directly in line with the dark high point at the land.  I would darken the lights on the left, or possibly clone them out.  The horizon being closer to the middle of the image doesn't bother me in this case.  The boats are also more prominent in #2 because they are a bit further from the left corner.  In #1, they don't have the same impact.
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