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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 1st June 2012
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FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

I thought I'd have a break from models on Brighton Beach

Taken last year on my way from Inverness airport to the Isle of Skye. I stopped off to have a look at Rogie Falls, but this scene was nearby:



Comments welcome!

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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

I see what you're doing here, but for me it doesn't quite work.

In mono it lacks a focal point - perhaps this was the intention. But I'd really like to see the colour version. As it is, the trees just merge together into a conglomeration. Perhaps more contrast is needed? The right-hand tree is the only one which really catches my eye, but as it's well over to the right it pulls my eyes out of the photo altogether.

What it does succeed in doing is portraying an endless swathe of forest which just goes on and on.

Of course, to see this printed large would almost certainly make a difference. I don't think the small version we see here does it justice.
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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

Interesting - looking forward to other views

Ian
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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

I think colour would do more for this one too. I tried your gallery location & didn't find a colour version to compare it to, but would like to see it as well.
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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

It's a bit busy and lacks focus. I actually liked it more when I hadn't scrolled down and saw the ground in the bottom third. Perhaps a crop?
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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

As requested - the colour version:



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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

Interesting how the mono version make the trees look denser and more gloomy. I think I see why you converted it, but I stick to my thought that the mono version could do with a bit more contrast. Definitely two totally different moods portrayed.
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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

A focal point is often regarded as a pre-requisite in landscape photography, a definitive feature that pulls the scene together and acts as a resting place for the eye, to stop it wandering aimlessly around (and even out of) the frame. Nine times out of ten selecting a focal point is a great start, a foundation around which to build the image. It needn't be large, maybe a solitary tree on the horizon, a rustic building, boat, person or animal, or even a lonely cloud. But does there have to be one? I've lost count of the number of times I've read magazine critiques of a landscape which has been panned for not having a focal point. My view is that a landscape can succeed without such a feature if it has a wholeness and completeness in itself, with all the elements coming together to compliment each other. The question is, does the image by Ian achieve this?

It doesn't have a definite focal point and it has no soothing wholeness or completeness, but the eye is not left to roam indecisively. It is directed upwards and inwards by the strong converging verticals created by boldly tilting a wide angle lens. It's not a restful image by any means, the detail is rather busy and there is a lot going on, but this makes it rather dynamic. It's a strong composition into which the eye is drawn spacially by the receeding trunks as well as vertically.

As you look further into the picture it becomes almost an abstract pattern of lines and tones, aided by the decision to process as B&W. However, it's arguable that the tones are too similar and may benefit from the added element of colour. Whether that would work I'm not sure, as the contrast between highlights and shadows may be too severe. I could nit pick and point out that it might have been better to have left out some of the dark foliage in the top left but this may not have been possible.

Would I hang it on my wall? Probably not, but I would be pleased to have it in a book or see it in a magazine.
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

I must say I like the colour image, but I'm not sure how a mono could look better other than some more contrast or HDR look & perhaps with a pale colour (desaturated by 85%), might be something different?

Something like this maybe.
P6101081-2[1]-adj-s.jpg
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

Ah, I see we now have a colour version! The highlights and shadows have actually been handled rather better than I feared, although I think the highlights could be darkened slightly. Colour certainly creates a very different mood and I'm not sure which one I prefer. I think it might depend on what mood I'm in myself when viewing. Essentially I think it gives you two very different pictures from the same image, both very good in their own way.
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

I like the colour image, the mono looks too busy to me.
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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
I stick to my thought that the mono version could do with a bit more contrast.
My thought exactly. The mono version for me but bang up the contrast!
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Old 1st June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

Thanks everyone. I did actually lighten darker areas in the canopy to even things up. The converging verticals were also artificially accentuated in Lightroom. I fear there is not as much highlight detail to retrieve as I would like, but I will have a go and produce new versions of both the colour and mono editions. This will have to wait until tomorrow though!

Ian
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

In the mono version I can't see the wood for the trees, but I like that abstract, almost dizzying quality
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Old 2nd June 2012
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Re: FAO Zuiko - a landscape shot instead of models!

Great shot Ian. I love detailed images and bet it would look stunning blown up really big. Definitely it's the colour one for me. The extra interest it creates in the forest floor improves the image imho and the blue sky peeping through seems to give more balance and depth to the overall image somehow. John your critique was brilliant by the way just the sort of response that I guess Ian was looking for. That one word change to the thread title was a masterstroke.
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