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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 10th February 2008
Hiding_Pup
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Pants?

I've been trying to capture really honest pictures of my cat at home this weekend. And this one made me tingle as I shot it; even more as I processed t in Lightroom this evening. Personally, I think it ranks amongst some of my best pictures - but I wonder whether I'm just too close to my cat to be truly objective. What do you folks reckon?

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  #2  
Old 10th February 2008
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Pants?

Errm - it's a cat. On a windowsill!

Jim Ford
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  #3  
Old 10th February 2008
ndl0071
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Re: Pants?

Well said Jim, couldn't have put it better myself, looks like a very nice cat though Just Not sure about the dirty washing
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  #4  
Old 10th February 2008
Hiding_Pup
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Re: Pants?

Sure it's a cat - I have ambitions of becoming the world's greatest cat photographer. What don't you like about the washing, ndl?
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  #5  
Old 10th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Pants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
Sure it's a cat - I have ambitions of becoming the world's greatest cat photographer. What don't you like about the washing, ndl?
Hi Hiding Pup

I am not sure you intended posting on this thread. I am a bit nervous about commenting but here goes

The sky is well blown and so too is the fur on the cats back. The problem with the washing and curtain is that they become distractions. This sort of shot against a very bright background would suit a silhouette. A bit of PP might help and cropping too.

I hope I have not offended you but my comments above are designed to be helpful.

Kind regards

PeterD
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  #6  
Old 10th February 2008
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: Pants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
Sure it's a cat - I have ambitions of becoming the world's greatest cat photographer. What don't you like about the washing, ndl?
Yeah OK, the 'world's greatest cat photographer' has to start somewhere! I guess you'll learn about things like washing in your cat photos as you progress to perfection.

Jim Ford
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  #7  
Old 11th February 2008
Hiding_Pup
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Re: Pants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
Hi Hiding Pup

I am not sure you intended posting on this thread. I am a bit nervous about commenting but here goes

PeterD
Cheers for your comments, Peter - no offense taken - after all, this is the 'no holds barred' photo critique section of the forum!

I'm really not kidding about wanting to be a great cat photographer. I'm appalling at so many different types of photography - can't shoot a landscape to save my life; pretty so-so with formal portraiture. But I feel I'm good with cats.

I've got this book:

Amazon Amazon



And I reckon, when it comes to cats, I could give the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson a run for his money. Why? Because he didn't spend a lot of time photographing cats... Earlier this year, I even got a letter from the Chancellor's PA in 10 Downing Street telling me I'd be invited to the press conference next time his cat, Sybil, gets a photo-shoot.

So, where am I trying to go with this shot? Maybe a shade of Edward Hopper:

http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/art...en-AM-1926.jpg

With a twist of Tracey Emin:

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/art...min_my_bed.htm

An image that aims to explore the boundaries between inside and outside and that, perhaps, has a touch of the confessional and intimate about it. It's too easy to take a picture of a cat looking cute.

Personally, I'm less interested in the "photographer's aesthetic" that demands a full range of tonal values, no blown highlights, zero noise, zero CA though I take your point about the buildings and might have another go developing those...
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Old 11th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Pants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
Cheers for your comments, Peter - no offense taken - after all, this is the 'no holds barred' photo critique section of the forum!

I'm really not kidding about wanting to be a great cat photographer. I'm appalling at so many different types of photography - can't shoot a landscape to save my life; pretty so-so with formal portraiture. But I feel I'm good with cats.

I've got this book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Classic-Grea...2695898&sr=8-1

And I reckon, when it comes to cats, I could give the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson a run for his money. Why? Because he didn't spend a lot of time photographing cats... Earlier this year, I even got a letter from the Chancellor's PA in 10 Downing Street telling me I'd be invited to the press conference next time his cat, Sybil, gets a photo-shoot.

So, where am I trying to go with this shot? Maybe a shade of Edward Hopper:

http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/art...en-AM-1926.jpg

With a twist of Tracey Emin:

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/art...min_my_bed.htm

An image that aims to explore the boundaries between inside and outside and that, perhaps, has a touch of the confessional and intimate about it. It's too easy to take a picture of a cat looking cute.

Personally, I'm less interested in the "photographer's aesthetic" that demands a full range of tonal values, no blown highlights, zero noise, zero CA though I take your point about the buildings and might have another go developing those...
Hi Hiding Pup

Thank you for not being offended by my comments.

Because I am interested in what you wish to achieve I followed the links in your last posting. I managed to access the first two links but my browser timed out on the third.

I think that I understand what it is that you wish to produce. The image on the book you quote is very powerful. Why - because it concentrates on a nicely balanced group of cats with a very simple background. This forces the viewer to concentrate on the cat composition without distracting the eye.

The image in the second link requires the room setting to provide a more natural setting to the seated nude lady looking out of the window of her flat. It removes any suggestion of an erotic image.

I suppose, what I am saying is that you should choose, with care, what you include in a image. Try to ensure that only the things essential to getting your message across are included to provide the setting. Other items add no value but can ruin an otherwise good subject.

I wish you every luck in pursuing your ambition and please think about what I have said as it is genuinely intended to be constructive.

Kind regards and best wishes

PeterD
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  #9  
Old 11th February 2008
Hiding_Pup
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Re: Pants?

Of course, Peter, and that's exactly how I took your comments! The third link is to Tracey Emin's famous (infamous?) "My Bed", an art installation that I found brutal and challenging when it first appeared. If the link doesn't work, a quick Google will turn it up.
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  #10  
Old 11th February 2008
PeterD
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Re: Pants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
Of course, Peter, and that's exactly how I took your comments! The third link is to Tracey Emin's famous (infamous?) "My Bed", an art installation that I found brutal and challenging when it first appeared. If the link doesn't work, a quick Google will turn it up.
Thanks Hiding Pup

I have now seen the third image. Again its very powerful and the image has been constructed to use many elements to portray a atmosphere. This is why the image appears cluttered with many objects but in this case it is absolutely necessary to portray disorder. Note also that walls etc have been excluded, why?, because the order of these things would confuse the viewer as they would be in contrast with the image being projected.

Going back to the comments made to your image. Can you now see why people made them? You need to decide what it is that you wish to present and carefully compose the image. If you do not do this then the message you wish to convey will be lost. Remember, any image one produces will be seen in different ways by many people. Not everyone will like or dislike them. Your objective should be to get most people to appreciate your images and by removing distractions, you will be more likely to achieve this.

Good luck and good shooting

PeterD
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  #11  
Old 11th February 2008
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art frames art frames is offline
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Re: Pants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiding_Pup View Post
An image that aims to explore the boundaries between inside and outside and that, perhaps, has a touch of the confessional and intimate about it. It's too easy to take a picture of a cat looking cute.
I have watched with interest as PeterD has teased out of you the motivation and the focus for your work.

Many photographers and artists have painted in the raw, intimate and sometimes insightful fashion about the world around them and the lives that they lead or see.

I can see the point that animals too have a more natural state that avoids them being just fluffy pets (fighting, killing, giving birth, dying etc). And/or that they could also have some dignity and compassion to add in to a scene of raw humanity (people in despair with a pet that shows them reciprocated love).

If that is your motivation then I'd say you have to look at a better (more dramatic and gritty perhaps) location, tighter grip on your composition and techniques to show the relationship and meaning. Those underlying stories in the images that Hopper and also Vetriano paint leap from the page. Tracy Emin, love her or hate her, shares her life openly and brutally.

Perhaps your house wasn't the best location for such a challenge.

Peter
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  #12  
Old 11th February 2008
E-P1 fan
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Re: Pants?

I always try to bring out a little bit of the cat's character HP - they are great subjects - infuriating - but they like being photographed!

Here's a recentish grab shot of mine. We'd recently moved and he was having enormous fun exploring the area and being 'the man!'



With this shot I'm more interested in the image rather than the technicalities.

there's another one in my gallery which I think shows something of the re-birth of the city cat suddenly let loose in the country and loving it.

Se what you think.
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  #13  
Old 11th February 2008
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Re: Pants?

My submarine is full of eels.
__________________
All the best

Being left handed my brain sometimes works sdrawkcab

Andy

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  #14  
Old 11th February 2008
Hiding_Pup
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Re: Pants?

Nice shot, E-1 fan!

Peter, You mentioned "message" in a couple of your posts, and I was wondering whether you could say a little more about this. I'm broadly in agreement with (early) Susan Sontag who in "Against Interpretation" (1964) - and I think I'm reading her right - suggested that "message" was something viewers imposed on art they approached, in order to make sense of it and, perhaps inadvertently, tame it. For Sontag, "message" becomes a reduction of a work of art, a paraphrase of it, rather than a celebration of the art itself.

What's your position?
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  #15  
Old 11th February 2008
Ellie Ellie is offline
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Re: Pants?

If I'm honest I have to say it's better than any picture I've managed to get of our cat.

It's nice to see what you're trying to achieve, and I think you've set yourself a hard task. Let us see how you get on.

From a composition point of view it would have been nice if your cat had been sitting a bit closer, and looking towards, the empty plate - perhaps optimistically hoping for it to be filled?
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