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Author Topic: About "reading" a foto  (Read 2451 times)

RMW

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About "reading" a foto
« on: December 20, 2018, 08:23:20 pm »

I'm of 2 minds about this foto. One way I like it: the other way I don't.
Curious to know what others think. How common is it to feel more then one way about an image?
Thanks.
Richard
PS- Converted to B&W, then retrieved a little detail in the marsh grass. But I did not mess around with the clouds and reflections. Scouts honor!
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rabanito

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2018, 07:49:47 am »

I'm of 2 minds about this foto. One way I like it: the other way I don't.
Curious to know what others think.
....

But I did not mess around with the clouds and reflections. Scouts honor!

 
Hi Richard. I hate commenting on other's work, essentially because I think a picture must correspond to the taste of the artist, not of the rest of the mortals.

But since you ask, I tell you first how I look at pictures.
Keep in mind that I am a nobody and know it.

Quoting Kenneth Clarke:
 "First I see the picture as a whole, and long before I can recognize the subject I am conscious of a general impression, which depends on the relationship of tone and area, shape (and colour)" - [Brackets are mine]

He was talking of paintings but anyway I think it is also valid for photography...

IMHO the picture is strongly unbalanced and this disturbs me.
Possibly the (incomplete) dark grey reflections from the sky in the middle of the bottom border. And also the dark marshes that look a little like blots in my screen

And then:
I for one thing have no problems with "messing around" with anything, if that contributes to making a more satisfying image.
You could call "messing around" even using the Zone System instead of just measuring incident light and developing as recommended by the manufacturer   :)
What counts is the result
With a picture of mine I would mess around until I like it "always" or throw it away for good.
Although pictures of my dog or my cat, they stay, I must confess ;)
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RMW

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2018, 01:21:07 pm »

Thank you Rabanito and Peter for your thoughtful and encouraging comments.

Rabanito: I see what you mean about the incomplete dark reflections in the middle bottom. They are much too attention getting. About the marsh grass I think that somehow Google has interfered with the file. On my iMac the grass leaves look pretty distinct.

Peter: I find what you say to be just right. But what throws the balance off for me is the right side (that almost duplicates the middle) and how it stops the flow of the composition from left to right, at least in my eyes.

Thanks again, both.

Richard
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2018, 01:54:33 pm »

... Keep in mind that I am a nobody and know it.

Quoting Kenneth Clarke...


Anyone who quotes Kenneth Clark is somebody for me ;)

Then again, I assume you had in mind K. Clark, the art historian, not K. Clarke, the politician ;)

P.S. I bought my first Kenneth Clark book, the seminal Civilization, back in the 70s-80s, in a Serbian translation, and then recently the original, English one. Powerful stuff.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 01:57:48 pm by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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rabanito

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2018, 02:09:03 pm »


Then again, I assume you had in mind K. Clark, the art historian, not K. Clarke, the politician ;)


Of course. I have his "Looking at Pictures" in front of me, from where I copied the quoted sentence.
I have (and also read  8)  )  some books by him, Civilization among others.

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Alan Klein

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2018, 02:40:51 pm »

Maybe it's because the clipped sun seems to be the subject of the photo.  There's a lot of blank area on the right that maybe you can crop out.  What's curious is how you got the foreground grass really sharp, and the sky, yet the background grass is blurry?  How did that happen?

What does it look like in color?

brandtb

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2018, 05:21:24 pm »

Richard a couple of things. There are large swaths of jittery bright areas in both sky and foreground reflection. There is a "nervous" quality to those areas that causes the eye to jump around and find difficulty in "landing"....especially becuase of the brightness. There is also the large clump of blacks weighted entirely to left edge of frame without relation to other parts of image...like it is orphaned. These are structural and compostional problems which "might" have some resolve through cropping say take 1/10th off bottom and maybe 1/8th off right. Not sure if that is a real solution though...although that cropping makes the dark element and the brightest sky element a sort of yin/yang.  /Brandt
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 05:36:13 pm by brandtb »
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RMW

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2018, 05:25:23 pm »

Alan,

Here's the color version.

About the near grass being sharp and the distant grass being blurry- used a normal lens, a high shutter speed of 1250/sec. and an f stop of 3.2 which I think accounts for the discrepancies. Was drifting slowly in my little kayak and wanted the near grass to be in focus. Could've set the shutter a little slower I'm sure.

Richard
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RMW

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2018, 05:47:15 pm »

Brandt.

Here's a a cropped version. Curious to know how it looks to you.

About the 'nervous' quality: that's an interesting observation. And I see what you mean. That afternoon when the sky and the reflection so quickly became this 'almost glittering snow scene', in an ecosystem usually quiet and soft looking, it took me wholly by surprise. Perhaps this spectacle just over powered me ?

About the 'orphaned' grass. Curious choice for an adjective because the whole of the Louisiana wetlands is in a sad state as it loses one acre every hour. Question. Does the crop effect the orphaned feeling ?

Thanks for your suggestions.

Richard
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2018, 06:31:42 pm »

In addition to other comments, I see large areas of blown highlights, "recovered" to light gray. I also see the lack of fine tonal gradation across the image, which almost looks like a p&s or iphone rendering from a decade ago. Sometimes, it makes sense to admit defeat and move on. God knows I've done that multiple times.

RMW

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2018, 07:15:54 pm »

Slobodon.
Thanks.
Good advice. As much as I had hopes for a better foto.
So be it.
Richard

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RMW

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2018, 07:17:02 pm »

My thanks to everyone for helping me see this !
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Ivophoto

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2018, 03:16:22 am »

One little trick:

Turn the image on his head. It helps to look un associated to the image, itís a great way to check the image without the projection you are struggling with.
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rabanito

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2018, 04:07:10 am »

One little trick:

Turn the image on his head. It helps to look un associated to the image, itís a great way to check the image without the projection you are struggling with.

I absolutely agree.
A trick I learned from Betty Edwards "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and is the natural way with a view camera.
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RMW

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2018, 10:30:16 am »

Thank you Ivophoto and Rabinito.
Interesting suggestion.
Looking at the picture upside down does something similar I think to looking at it in a mirror.
Sadly for the one here, it doesn't make the composition any more understandable- or better.
Oh well.
Richard
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rabanito

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2018, 12:51:23 pm »

Looking at the picture upside down does something similar I think to looking at it in a mirror.

Nope, that is not the idea.

If you look something upside down you PERCEIVE  things differently
Instead of seeing: ďmountain, lake, tree, clouds..." you see lines and forms.

In a mirror you see the same objects looking just the other way. The left side of the brain (logical, verbal) is still dominant. You may want to perceive with the more intuitive, artistic right side

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Alan Klein

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2018, 01:01:25 pm »

I don't shoot with a large format camera, so I'm not used to looking at images upside down. However, I don't agree necessarily that you'll get a better picture by turning it upside down. After all, we all look at pictures in the end right side up. If something is compelling to us when we take the picture right side up, it's going to be compelling to everyone else who's looking right side up,

Alan Klein

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2018, 01:02:33 pm »

If we're looking upside down when shooting a picture, we may miss a compelling aspect or lack of compelling aspect of the photograph.

Ivophoto

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2018, 03:28:44 pm »

If we're looking upside down when shooting a picture, we may miss a compelling aspect or lack of compelling aspect of the photograph.

Itís not about looking upside down at the taking, itís about looking at a print without mental projection. Exactly to get rid of that compelling, and misleading, aspect when you have to assess your own work.
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rabanito

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Re: About "reading" a foto
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2018, 03:29:16 pm »

I don't shoot with a large format camera, so I'm not used to looking at images upside down. However, I don't agree necessarily that you'll get a better picture by turning it upside down. After all, we all look at pictures in the end right side up. If something is compelling to us when we take the picture right side up, it's going to be compelling to everyone else who's looking right side up,

Quoting Kenneth Clark:
 "First I see the picture as a whole, and long before I can recognize the subject I am conscious of a general impression, which depends on the relationship of tone and area, shape (and colour)" - [Brackets are mine]


I am not in the position of discussing the left/right brain theory.

The book of Betty Edwards Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain discusses the subject and is very understandable.

Like Relativity, also a theory, it works.
That's what counts


If you look something upside down you PERCEIVE  things differently
Instead of seeing: ďmountain, lake, tree, clouds..." you see lines and forms.


This could help to discover imbalances and to see positive and negative spaces more easily.

If in doubt, as was here the case, you just invert the image in Photoshop (Image/Image Rotation/180į) or whatever and take a look. If it helps, great. If it doesn't, nothing is lost  ;D

Just trying to help.
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