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Author Topic: Opinions?  (Read 2853 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Opinions?
« on: September 24, 2012, 02:32:23 AM »

I'll be franck... I like this image a lot, but it seems to violate many composition rules in its attempt to tell the story of these hard skinned tree surviving meters of snow every winter, and therefore growing almost horizontally.



What do you guys think?

For those interested in technique, this was shot yesterday morning as a 5 frames stitch captured with D800 + Zeiss 50mm f2.0 Makro on RRS pano head + tripod. No filters could be used because of the falling rain.

Location is on the slopes on Mt Kita dake, the second highest mountain in Japan, at an altitude of around 2,400m.

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 02:35:13 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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louoates

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 04:01:10 AM »

I don't see much wrong with this composition. It tells the story well with few real distractions. The contrasting diagonals of the trees vs. the hill background is effective. A good example of using what you have in a pleasing manner.
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Rob C

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 05:18:39 AM »

Bernard, at that size, why bother with stitching?

I have never stitched (other than with a needle) in my life and feel no desire to do it. I suppose that if I wanted to do huge prints, then I'd learn, but short of that, it strikes me as technique for technique's sake. To me, it removes the spontaneity that I'd have imagined makes photography thrilling.

The shot's fine, as is all your published work, but is it special because of the stitches? Strikes me as exactly the sort of thing folks here like to do with their brand new Merrills! Or I with my cellphone.

;-)

Rob C

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 06:11:47 AM »

Bernard, at that size, why bother with stitching?

I have never stitched (other than with a needle) in my life and feel no desire to do it. I suppose that if I wanted to do huge prints, then I'd learn, but short of that, it strikes me as technique for technique's sake. To me, it removes the spontaneity that I'd have imagined makes photography thrilling.

The shot's fine, as is all your published work, but is it special because of the stitches? Strikes me as exactly the sort of thing folks here like to do with their brand new Merrills! Or I with my cellphone.

Hi Rob,

In this case, the main value of stitching is that selecting a panoramic aspect ratio doesn't result in a drop in image quality.

I am not anymore as fit as I used to be when I hiked mountains with 11kg of cameras including a 300 f2.8... I now tend to only carry 2 lenses (50 and 100/180) and a pano head. I hardly ever use wide angle lenses these days, the image quality I get from the 50mm + stitch is perfect down to the very corners.

A stitch like this one took less than 30 extra seconds shooting time compared to a single image. This is negligible compared to the time needed to stop, unpack, find the perfect location, height, wait for the wind to stop, set the tripod,...

The software processing part is less than 10 clicks and 1 min of operator time. So the overhead is close to zero when you shoot a small number of images per day.

Really, the question is more, why not stitching when you could stitch this cheap? ;D

Cheers,
Bernard
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louoates

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 09:52:02 AM »

I'm a big fan of stitching as an important tool wherever I am. I can be sure of getting the entire scene I want without the bothersome (to me) wide-lens distortions. PS5's stitching is superb for accuracy and speed. I love the luxury of working fast and perfecting the cropping later if need be.
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nemo295

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 12:20:06 PM »

In my opinion, this shot benefits from a judicious b&w conversion.

I took the liberty of performing it on your shot. I also cropped a little bit off the right side.
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RSL

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 12:26:29 PM »

I like Doug's B&W conversion. Now all the picture needs to make it interesting is the two kids walking to Paradise Garden.

fike

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 01:36:33 PM »

I have to agree that the B&W conversion took a good image and made it great.
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Steve Weldon

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 01:50:51 PM »

Bernard -

I'll be the odd one out and remind you I'm not much into this 'fine art' stuff as many of you seem to be.. but I am observing just in case the light comes on some day :)

When I look at this I immediately see a lack of an anchoring horizontal which would allow me to know in which direction the bubbles move.. this makes the image interesting to a degree, but more (imo) it makes the image confusing while making the composition feel wrong.  

Next the background gives the impression of being over exposed and the lack of apparent contrast seconds this feeling.. but a closer look shows you were shooting into a mist/fog or decreased the exposure to make it appear so.. same initial feeling, it's like you're shooting into the light.

Finally the white balance bothers me.  The exhibited palette of greens are what you get when using auto W/B in these types of woods and then hand correct.. which works great for most things, but for this specific palette I've found a high quality grey card or my X-rite Color Checker results in a much more pleasing balance.

As far at the stitching goes.. I wouldn't start caring until I was looking at prints to purchase at specific sizes.. certainly for web viewing it falls into the "meh.." category.



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Chris Calohan

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 02:18:25 PM »

I liked both the original (for composition) and the B&W conversions but I thought both were overprocessed - especially the color image. I started this edit with a different approach to a B&W conversion, then got to playing with some blend modes using the original and the B&W conversion until I had what I think is a good blend of the two. The contrast has been boosted and the color reasonably desaturated so the balance of the tree trunks is still the primary focal point.

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Rob C

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 03:32:21 PM »

I like Doug's B&W conversion. Now all the picture needs to make it interesting is the two kids walking to Paradise Garden.


Since you mention kids, makes me think of W. Eugene Smith's shot of his two walking down the path into the apocalyptic glare of sunlight at the end of his garden... I think it's in The Family of Man exhibition.

Is Paradise Garden connected to W.E.S. or is there another connotation?

Rob C

amolitor

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 03:50:58 PM »

I'm pretty sure that's the exact picture Russ was referring to, Rob.
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petermfiore

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 04:00:51 PM »

Bernard,

If we all play by the same rules, we all make the same type of picture.
As a painter I face this every time I pick up a brush.

Peter



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WalterEG

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 05:40:43 PM »

Now all the picture needs to make it interesting is the two kids walking to Paradise Garden.

Or perhaps a mammoth, all curvy tusked, to play on the antiquity of the space. LOL
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RSL

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 05:41:39 PM »

I'm pretty sure that's the exact picture Russ was referring to, Rob.


Exactly, Andrew. The title of the picture actually is "The Walk to Paradise Garden." The vignetting in Gene Smith's picture is similar to the vignetting in the B&W version of Bernard's shot(s), which is what reminded me of it.

amolitor

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 05:45:46 PM »

As I recall, W. Eugene Smith spent a LONG time making that image. Inter-negatives and all manner of stuff, days of labor in the darkroom. Nowadays we'd wang a mask on there, fool with the curves a bit, and.. DONE. Well, we might. Mucking about with internegs and whatnot sounds like a fine way to spend a couple days, really.

I might have the story connected to the wrong photo or even the wrong photographer, though..
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RSL

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 06:16:40 PM »

I think you're right, Andrew, but that's one I'd need to look up.

lfeagan

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 06:42:54 PM »

Before reading the description, I thought it was taken looking down the side of a very steep slope. I got a sick to stomach feeling of vertigo. The image is almost too effective in that way. For some reason the B+W version doesn't affect me the same way. The B+W conversion allows more focus on the tree shape (lines) and bark texture (rippling rings around the trunk), which are what I found most interesting.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 08:43:11 PM »

Thanks for your many comments gentlemen, much appreciated:
- I like the B&W version also,
- actually the color image got only minor adjustements in LR (landscape camera profile, a bit of clarity and vibrance, no saturation tweak) and zero in PS (only resizing), the colors of the scene were just amazing with a dakk rainy atmosphere adding to the original colors of the tree trunks,
- The background is indeed much brighter than the foreground, but this is unavoidable in such scenes. The key in my book is to use a lens free of CA to keep clean colors are the edges of the trees/leaves in the over-exposed area. The scene did indeed feel pretty dark, but I wanted to retain the right tones in the main tree and I believe that this is mostly achieved althrough I like Steve's version also,
- the WB is indeed a tweak of the auto WB value made warmer, I am also not 100% happy about the current result, but it seems fairly close to what I remember of the scene,
- the stitching is for sure overkill for web posting, but those images are intended to be printed large on the Epson 9900,

Cheers,
Bernard
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Patricia Sheley

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Re: Opinions?
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 03:15:55 AM »

one dissenter...I find the original alive and vital...that venerable tree has been robbed of his proud sap coursing life and expressive celebration in the second color working. I understand the whys, but sometimes it really needs to be about the lushness of the experienced moment which I believe the original image to be...it spoke and conversed...the second seems silent for some reason and it's surroundings subdued...I do like the b&w
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