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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 12th March 2017
RobEW RobEW is offline
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Composition question

Okay. I'll stick my head above the parapet, as a newcomer to hobby photography. Still getting to grips with my equipment, and have loads to learn on technique, but enjoying the way that the attempt to record 2 dimensional images of 3-dimensional reality is making me more observant (and observant in new ways) and also more creative in my attempts at composition.

Any constructive advice welcome of course, but in these two examples (which are absolutely not my best images) I'm particularly interested in any reflections on the composition.

The interest I was trying to capture was in the chimney and also the pattern in the roof tiling on the right.

The first image includes what may be though of as distracting clutter in the bottom left hand corner - eaves, the top of a window and a rather unsuitable outdoor light fitting.

The second image zoomed in a little further to eliminate these. It produces a cleaner and more geometric photo, which attracts the eye more directly to the features I thought of interest.

And yet, for reasons I can't quite understand or articulate, I prefer the first.

Any thoughts?

(EM5 Mk II & Oly 75-50 II, F/6.3, 1/500th and 1/640th respectively, ISO 200, exposure compensation +0.7, hand held. In hindsight, perhaps narrower aperture and slower shutter speed might have been sharper. Overexposed to bring out detail in the roof; it does mean the sky is a bit bland. I expect IQ would have been better if I'd used my Oly 50-200 lens, but 75-500 was on the camera at the time)

Edited to add - hope I've attached these correctly ...
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File Type: jpg P3060132.jpg (57.1 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg P3060133.jpg (53.6 KB, 31 views)

Last edited by RobEW; 12th March 2017 at 09:14 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 12th March 2017
Imageryone Imageryone is offline
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Re: Composition question

The first, and most important, part of photography is that it is a record of your memories, so other peoples opinion may be of merit but the final choice is always your own.

With your two images, the second is definitely more aesthetically pleasing with the floodlight removed, and in competition would be judged as such.
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

Thanks for comment. Yes, for me at the moment, it is mainly personal enjoyment. Certainly not looking to enter competitions or make money. Even sharing photos isn't central for me. I'm enjoying observing and composing and then revisiting my own images, and trying to learn how to make them better, and as a result seeing the world differently.

(I photographed a load of chimneys that day, and often wished I had a cherry picker or similar to get the best viewpoint, not looking up too steeply, and with less obstruction from trees and other ground level obstacles. Longer lens at a distance helps reduce the distortion of looking up steeply, but sometimes hard to find viewpoints without obstructions from further away.)
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

Ditto comments from me definitely number 2.
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

I'd agree, the 2nd is a more pleasing composition with the 'clutter' removed.
Some say photography is a reflection of our inner self, ie our feelings for a scene are presented in the images we create, eg a somber or happy mood. If an image has more 'soul' (the photographer's soul) I think it has more value to the viewer than a mere record of what we saw in front of the lens. Of course light is at the very heart of photography and contrast between light and shadows provides visual stimulation. Long lenses tend to flatten perspective (which can be interesting in its own right) but depth in a photograph is equally appealing, making 2D images come to life.
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

Second one for me too.
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

I can't say I'm an expert Rob, by any stretch of the imagination, but my own approach is some mix of:

- Simplicity - remove all but the essential from the image. Painting is the art of inclusion. Photography the art of exclusion.

- Texture - for me, this improves reality, even if it's overdone.

- Composition - look for leading lines, threes, triangles, vanishing points, rule of thirds etc. There are many sources of classic completion rules/guidelines to be found in books or on line.

- Light - good light always improves things. Dramatic light can make the mundane interesting. This needn't mean classic bright lighting - grey and foggy days for instance can create great mood.

- Experiment - digital is cheap, so take lots of shots and experiment. If 90%: of your images get binned it's no issue.

Anyhow - hope that helps. As I said, I'm no expert.
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

Yep. All input helps as I'm on a steep learning curve. So grateful for all input.
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

[QUOTE

(I photographed a load of chimneys that day, and often wished I had a cherry picker or similar to get the best viewpoint, not looking up too steeply, and with less obstruction from trees and other ground level obstacles. Longer lens at a distance helps reduce the distortion of looking up steeply, but sometimes hard to find viewpoints without obstructions from further away.)[/QUOTE]

The top floors of multi storey car parks are usually a good vantage point.
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Old 12th March 2017
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Re: Composition question

There is a website called digital photography school which has a lot of useful articles.
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