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Author Topic: First attempt at an abstract  (Read 215 times)

PDeXplore

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First attempt at an abstract
« on: August 18, 2019, 01:50:02 pm »

Hi all, just joined the forums in hopes that I can learn a bit more about photography and hopefully get some needed criticism and feedback on my progress. I didn't see any user introduction forums, so I'll give a quick intro here I guess. I just moved to the PNW last year and picked up photography about the same time as well. I've probably spent more hours reading tutorials and learning online than I've spent with a camera in my hand. I don't know any other photographers, so finding valuable feedback has been difficult. I suppose my real passion is hiking and traveling, and I enjoy being able to capture the places I've been and share that with others.

Below is my first attempt at something a bit more abstract... would love any and all feedback especially on subject matter and post processing (something that's really been a hurdle in the beginning here).
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Ivo_B

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 02:13:09 pm »

Hi P, Welkom at Lula.

I have a few tips, maybe they are helpful.

Forget the technical stuff (for this moment) and switch your camera to Auto. (No joke) and forget post processing for the moment.
Take your camera on a hike and shoot what you find interesting or beautiful . Thatís a nice start to get a grip on composition, framing, etc.
Later on, you will walk into the limits of shooting automatic and you will roll into a more technical approach.

A very interesting exercise: cut out a sensor sized hole in a piece of cardboard and use this to learn how to frame, it will give you insights in perspective, focal length, etc.
Holding the cardboard close to your eye is wide angle, holding it farther away is tele. Use your feet to see how the perspective changes with your position.
Itís a stupid exercise but worth doing.

Succes.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2019, 05:04:23 pm »

Let me add my welcome, too, PD.

Ivo's suggestions are good ones and worth paying attention too.

As for your abstract, I rather like it, and I think the processing is quite appropriate.
If you browse the thread here called "Show me some Abstracts," you'll see many different takes on what is "abstract." Check out other threads in User Critiques and in Nature Photography (I may not have the titles correct) and even websites of some of the photographers here on LuLa, not to try to define what is "good," but rather to learn what appeals to your own gut.

If you're having fun, that's the most important thing.

-Eric


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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

PDeXplore

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 06:23:59 pm »

Thank you both! I should clarify that technically speaking, I've got a fair grasp of things (thanks to all the reading). My biggest struggles currently are really in location finding, getting enough time to go out, and post processing.

I typically do most of my shooting while I'm out hiking with friends or family, so that isn't always conducive to great lighting or enough time to shoot. So I've been working on creative compositions and other more intimate subjects. I did a 1 on 1 workshop recently that focused pretty heavily on that topic, which has been incredibly helpful.

I really do like how this one turned out, although I feel like there could be more done to make this a bit more visually striking. I always struggle though once I try to over process things.

I suppose I should've put the technical details in the OP:
Nikon D3300
Sigma 17-50 f/2.8, ISO800, 1/100s, f/13

Edited in Lightroom and Photoshop
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armand

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2019, 07:12:06 pm »

...
I typically do most of my shooting while I'm out hiking with friends or family, so that isn't always conducive to great lighting or enough time to shoot.
...

Welcome to the club! This usually doesn't get any better so you really want to work on getting your shots as fast as you can, as close to where to want them. Training your eye to see compositions fast is the most effective way to get more shots.

As for this shot. Technically it's ok, I feel you could have dropped the shutter speed and probably you didn't need F13 on an APS-C for a relatively flat scene shot from the above. These would give you an easier material to work with. As for postprocessing, try more contrast/clarity until if feels too much then take a notch or two back and see if you like it more. At the end of day the most important is to be able to get as close to what you wanted when you pressed the shutter; experimenting along the way won't hurt though.

PDeXplore

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2019, 09:17:49 pm »

Welcome to the club! This usually doesn't get any better so you really want to work on getting your shots as fast as you can, as close to where to want them. Training your eye to see compositions fast is the most effective way to get more shots.

As for this shot. Technically it's ok, I feel you could have dropped the shutter speed and probably you didn't need F13 on an APS-C for a relatively flat scene shot from the above. These would give you an easier material to work with. As for postprocessing, try more contrast/clarity until if feels too much then take a notch or two back and see if you like it more. At the end of day the most important is to be able to get as close to what you wanted when you pressed the shutter; experimenting along the way won't hurt though.

Thank you for the feedback. I probably would have had no problem going close to wide open with this, I think I was just rushing and not thinking. Do you see any motion blur? Or more-so just could've been able to drop the ISO? I did add a little gaussian blur to the final edit. I'll probably mess with the curves on this one and see if I can't bring out something a little nicer.

Any thoughts on the colors with this one? I really liked the warm colored sand with the blue veins from the water, and really dialed that up. But I'm conflicted if it's kind of in no man's land where it no longer looks like natural sand, but still clearly is.
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Peter McLennan

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 09:28:39 pm »

I typically do most of my shooting while I'm out hiking with friends or family,

Creative photography, whatever the genre, is best pursued alone, especially when you're learning. 

I find "friends and family" not conducive to releasing me to apply my full attention to photography. 

Non-photographers frequently find photographers (while photographing) boring and anti-social.  Which we are!  :)  My wife HATES me when I'm shooting.  Rightly so.

Your one-on-one workshop would be a conspicuous exception, but then you were both focused on the same goal.

I suggest long solo walks.

Your posted image shows that you can see well.  What you need to do is develop and enhance your photographic vision free of distractions.
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PDeXplore

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2019, 10:09:04 pm »

Creative photography, whatever the genre, is best pursued alone, especially when you're learning. 

I find "friends and family" not conducive to releasing me to apply my full attention to photography. 

Non-photographers frequently find photographers (while photographing) boring and anti-social.  Which we are!  :)  My wife HATES me when I'm shooting.  Rightly so.

Your one-on-one workshop would be a conspicuous exception, but then you were both focused on the same goal.

I suggest long solo walks.

Your posted image shows that you can see well.  What you need to do is develop and enhance your photographic vision free of distractions.

I guess it's a bit of a delicate balance between enjoying hiking with my friends and enjoying photography on its own.  :)  Going on dedicated photo trips is something I will certainly start doing.
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John R

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2019, 12:10:19 pm »

It's all good advice. Re your image, if you were to wait until the light was really low, all those elements - the shells and stones and sand rivulets - would all come to life because they would have modelling. The shells would create a more pronounced circular shape and rivulets stonger lines. Right now the light is very flat, good for some subjects but not this one. Always consider, even abstract images are subject to the same compositional considerations as other kinds of photography. Good luck

JR
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PDeXplore

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Re: First attempt at an abstract
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2019, 03:22:24 pm »

Fantastic feedback and advice, thank you. I would not have thought to pay much attention to the lighting and shadows on a shot like this. This was a completely overcast day, so indeed very flat.
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