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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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Old 22nd May 2009
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OK it's an insect - is it also art?

I tried this idea a year ago and was told off (by Ian (admin) for the composition and Peter (artframes) because I'd chosen a fly with a missing leg).

Since then I've made a few pretentious remarks about insects and landscapes and composition which have been rightly ignored by the group.

So OK over the balustrade again, maybe my attempts have improved



It's got angles and diagonals, interesting textures of green, a nice sharp fly without any distracting handicap, OK it might be a bit shy of 'thirds'.

I like it - but is it art, a traveller in a landscape?.

Honest comments please.

Nick
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Old 22nd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

Well Nick not sure that I would class it art, but a fine photo non the less.
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Old 22nd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

We have no proof that this one has all its' legs
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Old 22nd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post


It's got angles and diagonals, interesting textures of green, a nice sharp fly without any distracting handicap, OK it might be a bit shy of 'thirds'.

I like it - but is it art, a traveller in a landscape?.

Honest comments please.

Nick
There are three things that are needed for a good "Natural History" image

Taxonomy, Environment, Action. This image has 2 of those in that we are able to identify the subject, it being perfectly clear and sharp. We have the subject set in an environment, which we must assume is natural to it. However it is just sitting there, which some argue is "Action" in some creatures, as that is what they do most...

But you have asked us to look at this as an "Art" image, which is something completely different and because of the subject very hard to do.

Shifting my perspective (cognitive) to that of an observer viewing this subject as a "traveller in this lanscape", my first thoughts are of scale. Knowing that the subject is small, I need to consider if the landscape is complimentary to the scale of the subject. Apart from the leaf in the lower right corner the elements are of comparible scale. I colouration the "landscape" is complimentary to, and provides a good contrast to, the subject.

I have taken the liberty of applying a further crop that I feel keeps all the elements that I like and provides a space for the fly to move off into, as it may be expected to do at any moment.



Your original appears darker than this crop so maybe an adjustment to this would be needed to bring it back to maintain the same "atmosphere"

Bottom line for me is I like the image and enjoyed looking at it in a different way.

Thanks for posting this, most interesting.
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Old 22nd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

Nick

I don't remember you posting a mutilated fly. I do remember the cricket which was a little short in the legs department... I must be getting old.

But back to the question.

There is much to be admired in your photography, you do seem to have a good eye for subjects and ability to generate narrative and interest.

But, for me very little photography is art and so I really struggle to categorise this in that way. Mind you I have the same issue with video and other modern media (installation, performance etc).

So, for what it is worth, nice picture but that is as far as I see it.

Peter
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Old 22nd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

Graham - thank you for a most detailed response - I think you are right and the leaf on the bottom rhs is a bit too strong a shape and detracts from the image. The crop works well - I'm just reluctant to give away so many pixels.

Peter - it was mischevious to ask if it was art. Perhaps I still hold a grudge against the Guardian and its job adverts which defines some jobs as 'creative' (mostly apparently clerical assistants in PR departments) and other jobs as uncreative (IT, engineering, gardening).

Pete - shame on you - I didn't pull any of its legs off until after the shoot.

Thank you Westy.

Nick
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Old 23rd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

It is always difficult to take natural wildlife sequences and present them as artwork mainly because you have little control on the setting and subject. The leaf to the right is distracting and Graham's crop to remove it was the right thing to do. I know you have always held a great reluctance to throwing away pixels but you have little choice (most of the time) to do this if you wish to compose an image that has artistic merit.
Your description of the photo with the textures etc are superb and accurate.
Peter
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Old 23rd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

OK - after comments I've

1) thrown away some of those expensive pixels to reduce the size of the leaf - while still letting it anchor the corner.

2) Marginally lightened the colour curves

3) Flipped the image.

I'm always intrigued by the effect of flipping - suddenly all the slopes lead the way the eye reads (at least in our culture). The remnant of the large leaf becomes more the jumping off point for the eye, and the contrast diagonal between the solidality of the leaf and the diffuse upper corner is easier to see. The fly itself alters - the rear leg is working with the flow of the eye.

But is it better?



Nick
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Old 23rd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

Well done Nick - much much better. You have lost a lot of surrounding clutter and brought much better balance to the image. You have also suceeded in highlighting the variations of green which lead well into the oof background. Artistic - IMHO YES
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Old 23rd May 2009
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Re: OK it's an insect - is it also art?

Thank you Peter

Nick
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