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Nick Temple-Fry
27th September 2008, 12:33 AM
This image is not for photographers!!!

OK - I know it's got flaws, blown highlights on the feathers and a bit clipped. But I think it works, is actually quite a strong image, but maybe it has too many faults?

I've got this family of swans cruising down a canal with trees/bushes either side, so the strong light is angled through gaps in the vegetation. One of the cygnets is creating this arch with its wings, almost a tunnel. So I shoot to get the effect of light through the arch as it passes a gap.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/totallylostit.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/8476)

pp is Master, The GIMP.

I'm really quite nervous about this one.

Nick

DekHog
27th September 2008, 09:55 AM
It definitely doesn't work for me - like you say, blown and clipped, but to the extreme, really. There's a real lack of midtones which might have given it some texture and depth, but looking at it from a distance it begins to look like a negative (negative as in film).

Hard to say without seeing the original, but perhaps the B&W isn't doing it any favours?

Zuiko
27th September 2008, 11:02 AM
Technically, it's pants. It breaks every rule in the book and is terminally flawed in the extreme. Should have been deleted before it left the camera!

But wait a minute, despite all that I can't help but like it - and I wonder why? :confused: Maybe it's because it achieves the impression that you were tying to capture. Maybe it's because the artistic merit outweighs the technical failures.

Sometimes a photograph succeeds because it has broken all the rules.

If we were simply concerned with veracity in art, all the Monet's, Cezanne's, Van Gough's and Dali's would have been burnt as winter fuel long ago!

The only improvement I'd make to this photograph would be to crop the slightly distracting and unnecessary reflection from the bottom.

Makonde
27th September 2008, 11:28 AM
Well, I'm not a photographer, but I like this image which has very strong points. Images that are technically perfect can also be perfectly dull. This one is neither. Moreover, an image may lose detail on technical grounds but be all the stronger for that, if what's left are the essentials.

However, for me the missing essential is that the cygnet's head and neck were not picked out by the light (or not as light becuase it still has its brown plumage?) to the same extent as the port side wing. That reduces the impact. The contrast between the bold bird and its supple, milky reflection is appealing - so I'd disagree with John!

So for me: flawed, maybe; but a very good idea and worth having a few more cracks at it if opportunities present, preferably with a shining adult swan (how many times will one pass through the dappled light with its wings arched - could be a good excuse for spending hours by the water...)

Nick Temple-Fry
27th September 2008, 11:35 AM
Oh Dear - one for, one agin.

I don't think it quite breaks all the rules - it is sharp and in focus, there is also a diagonal lead to the light (the classic opening door shape). I did warn that it wasn't, necessarily, a photographers image as we tend to evaluate along technical criteria first (quite ruined my enjoyment of much internet pornography).

I think both Dekhog and John are right, though I prefer Johns conclusion and he is probably right about the reflections - though if I'd appreciated how strong they were I could have made a much different image.

Anyway this is the original.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/cygnetextremeorig.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/8480)

Any more judgements

Thanks

Nick

Makonde
27th September 2008, 12:07 PM
B & W was better IMO - the colour version is a bit brown (both cygnet and water) and a grown, white swan would probably be a better subject.

Nick Temple-Fry
27th September 2008, 12:24 PM
B & W was better IMO - the colour version is a bit brown (both cygnet and water) and a grown, white swan would probably be a better subject.

I agree about the B&W, shooting I was aware that the light/angle was not going to give me colour depth, the 'strength' (if any) was the light/contrast and the shape.

Not sure about the adult swan idea, that's an awful lot of white feathers to try and balance. Still there are now 4 adults on the canal, maybe one will co-operate and show me the image you can see.

Thanks

Nick

Ellie
30th September 2008, 04:09 PM
I like it too, prefer the mono version.

I like the dramatic over exposure and the stark black/white tones.

I wonder if the picture could have done with either more space to the left or less, I can't quite make up my mind which. It looks a teeny bit squeezed in as it is.

Nick Temple-Fry
30th September 2008, 05:02 PM
I wonder if the picture could have done with either more space to the left or less, I can't quite make up my mind which. It looks a teeny bit squeezed in as it is.

So do I, at least whether it could have done with more - unfortunately as the original shows I have run out of picture!

It is one of my pet peeves that we apply the same exposure 'rules' to black and white as we do to colour. Black and white is a different medium and can reward a different approach.

Thank you Ellie.

Nick