Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

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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 23rd May 2011
shirley shirley is offline
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From the ground up

I was disappointed not to be able to join the Hatfield Forest meet and by yesterday afternoon I was very keen to get out with my camera to take a few pics. I took half an hour and walked around the corner to the local park, which is one end of the Dunstable Downs. Following a few very funny looks from dogs and their owners, due to the fact that I was lying on the floor, I produced this image, which has been processed using Fractalius software. IR camera with Fish Eye lens.

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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

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Originally Posted by shirley View Post
I was disappointed not to be able to join the Hatfield Forest meet and by yesterday afternoon I was very keen to get out with my camera to take a few pics. I took half an hour and walked around the corner to the local park, which is one end of the Dunstable Downs. Following a few very funny looks from dogs and their owners, due to the fact that I was lying on the floor, I produced this image, which has been processed using Fractalius software. IR camera with Fish Eye lens.

I think it's great that you are working very hard to experiment, Shirley. Your result here is very abstract and so its appeal will not be universal, but it works well for me.

Ian
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

I really like it.
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

I like it, but would it be better with more contrast?

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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

A really excellent image. Very well concieved.

Hec
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

An interesting viewpoint at ground level, and it looks like a good composition with the single flower, presumably a daisy, rampant in the classical Rule of Thirds position, against a less focussed background (not so easy with a 4/3 camera and this lens), but why the filter? It's so easy to press a button or move a slider to get an otherwordly effect but it obscures your ability as a photographer. I would even have preferred a more straightforward IR effect I think. I use a fisheye myself and it's fun enough and quirky on its own without added effects. Why not give us your image before Fractalius and then we can judge it as a serious image. Otherwise, perhaps it should have been more appropriately uploaded as a fun image in Foto Fair. If you think this is an unfair crit, I don't wish to offend, and look forward to more of your work, but I assume this section of the forum is for serious images and serious comment. Regards Peter
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

Mmmm, I think this could open up an interesting debate. I will reply at length later this evening as I am unable to give this the considered response I think it deserves just now.

How exciting post 1000
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

Thanks to all who have commented on the pic.

I recognise that this type of image can split opinion, as my ARPS panel did, my husband and daughter didn't like it but it was acclaimed by a number of photographers who saw the panel.

Filters always have to be used with care, including the use of filters in PS/LR which most people use, such as unsharp mask. I enjoy experimenting with my images and, whilst not all are edited in this way, all are edited in some way eg a bit of cropping, sharpening, dodging or burning etc.

I was not at all offended by your comments but I do wonder where you would draw the line, would you consider Ian's Venice pics, which made use of the HDR technique, to be 'serious' images? I assure you this is definitely a serious image, which I expect to submit for exhibition and in national, international and club competitions during the coming year.

I was going to upload the image before adding Fractalius, as requested, but I created the image quite deliberately, if I had wanted critique on a different image I would have uploaded it.

I usually upload my images to this section and have no intention of altering that in the future. I enjoy learning all I can, those who have known me over the years know I will try anything in my attempt to improve my skills, I find critique from like minded people on this forum invaluable in helping me to progress.

I respect your opinions and value the critque you offered, however I was not sure why you thought it was not a serious image or that I did not want serious comment.

All the best
Shirley

PS not sure why you think a less focussed background is not easy with 4/3rds and fish eye, I use it all the time, I just change the aperture to get the effect I like
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

It's a nice graphical image and appeals to me. I do think a boost of contrast would help. I also feel a cleaner background behind the flower might help draw attention to the main subject as I feel the way it stands there is too much confliction in the top half.

That said, I've been enjoying your IR work of late Shirley.

David
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

Thanks Shirley for your thoughtful response. I guess it requires me to come back on this. I knew I was being provokative. I am new to this forum and perhaps I was too quick to dive in stirring things up, but the responses I have seen so far to images in this section seem largely to have been matey and bland, lacking, shall I say, substance; and we (I) are(am) not going to learn or improve with that.
I am not ARPS but I belong to a very good camera club and I am used to my images being objectively commented on, being sharply criticised as well as, on occasion, praised. I know your image was carefully prepared and presented and I liked the composition and viewpoint, but I could not tell how well it was caught in the camera because of the filter. I couldn't appreciate the depth of field or the resolution achieved, hence my wariness of filters. They should not be used to cover up poor photography.
It does raise the question of the line between a photograph and a work of art and we could discuss that happily and endlessly.
I am not familiar with your work and I'll look forward to seeing more of it, but don't expect me to be handing out effusive plaudits unless it hits the spot with me. It's all subjective anyway, you'll know that from working up to your ARPS panel.
I use HDR because of the DR issues with Oly cameras (mine anyway), but I tend to use fusion for a softer more natual effect. Good luck with your image in competitions. I hope you encounter sympathetic judges. Regards Peter
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

I can assure you Peter I have no desire for sympathetic judges, we certainly don't get them in our club, does any good club? We get very thorough, sometimes harsh, critique, it sounds as though my experience is similar to yours. I certainly didn't expect plaudits, I never do, in fact I expect critique and have been told by several people that I am my own harshest judge. Neither did I think you were being provocative, what I did think was that you just do not enjoy this type of image, no problem there at all, maybe as a result you find it difficult to critique the image for what it is.

As for bland, matey comments, sometimes yes and often because people do not feel they are in a position to critique others, but still wish to join in, there is room for people at all levels and with a variety of experiences, however I can assure there is plenty of valuable, to the point crtitique, what you will not find on this site is people being harsh or abusive for the sake of it, as I understand happens on some sites.

I totally agree that filters, or any other technique, should not be used to cover up poor photography. I have known people who convert to mono to cover up flaws in technique, but I don't think the assumption should be made that just because an image has been edited or had a filter applied the original was flawed. Just as you add HDR to create a 'softer, more natural effect' I used fractalius in this case to create a more abstract effect in the style of a drawing. The viewer will either like or dislike the final image. I strongly believe that a poor original will result in a poor final image, whatever you do to it.

A few people have made some very valid and helpful suggestions about contrast and the busy background. I do not think I can do anything about the background without some serious cloning, which I suspect would be beyond me, but I can go back and re shoot before entering into competitions. Personally I don't like the higher contrast, as you say it is subjective, but I like the suggestion and did give it a try. Any other suggestions/critique gratefully recieved, that's why it is here.

Thanks again, I enjoy a good debate.
Shirley
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

OK, this is the IR version with no fractalius.

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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

Hmmm! Nice.
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Re: From the ground up

You prefer it? Don't you think its a bit...boring?

I am lucky to have a friend who has helped me since I started taking photographs seriously, he always says, "Try and add some Shirley." He is very blunt about my pics and I suspect he would say that is a 'so what' pic!
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Old 23rd May 2011
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Ross the fiddler Ross the fiddler is offline
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Re: From the ground up

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Originally Posted by shirley View Post
You prefer it? Don't you think its a bit...boring?

I am lucky to have a friend who has helped me since I started taking photographs seriously, he always says, "Try and add some Shirley." He is very blunt about my pics and I suspect he would say that is a 'so what' pic!
Composition is nice, but like you, I prefer the first one but, for myself, maybe with a bit more contrast.
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