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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kallisti, Mar 18, 2012.
Just got back from a vacation and wanted to share some pics. C&C welcome.
None of them really catch my eye, honestly.
nice.. but they seem like tourist pics... then again, any picture that invokes nice memories is worth keeping. Number 3 would be the best of the lot if you could clone out the line in the top left corner..
+1 on number three, although I think a 16:9 crop might do it good.
Hmmm. So it's more an issue of uninspired subject matter and less technique? Or was there something I could have done at the time of capture to make them more interesting images?
I'm honestly asking here.
Uninspired subjects are part of it; it's just not clear why anyone should care about cruise ship chairs or railings. I don't see a whole lot of evidence of any "technique" issues good or bad. I don't really see anything more complicated than autofocus in any of the images either, so maybe I'm not the best judge.
No one should care about cruise ship chairs or railings. But by the same token, no one should care about a basket of fruit either--yet there are too numerous to count paintings in countless museums with subjects that are "blah" to say the least. It isn't always the subject, it's what you do with it. I'm not about to argue though that I did anything in these shots to make the subjects "shine." My failing.
The autofocus question is kind of interesting. I shot all of these with a rangefinder camera with manual focus. One of the things I've loved about using a rangefinder is that it has forced me to learn (and pay attention to) more of the "nitty-gritty" elements than I ever had to do with a DSLR. Sometimes I focus with the viewfinder. Sometimes I focus with the depth-of-field scale on the lens. I'm much more cognizant of the aperture I am using and I have to think more about which elements of the image I want to be in focus more than I ever bothered with previously. The same principles apply to a DSLR obviously, but it wasn't until I started shooting with a rangefinder that they really *clicked* for me. I may miss the mark at times (and clearly you feel I did in at least one image), but having to really think about focus, depth-of-field, and their relationship to aperture on every single shot has been an invaluable learning experience. I can only hope that I get better as I shoot more and gain more experience. And that I will be able to apply the lessons when I shoot with a DSLR.
If I recall correctly the OP usually shoots with a Leica M9 and as such there is no auto focus, just wind the lens thingie.
Can I just ask, Cruises must be really boring no?
Here is some CC OP (Sorry if this is not welcome, I usually don't offer CC unless its specifically asked for but since one of your posts seemed to ask for it I figured I'd offer )
Pic 1 - I love the sun and the colors on the water, although the water is slightly underexposed you'd be hard pressed to get this shot without that happening due to the brightness of the sun. The only thing that ruins it for me is the rail in the way.
If it was possible to get above the rail and only include a small part of it it would work or just stick the camera through the rail and just get an ocean/sky shot. (This leaves out a foreground element but in this case I think it would be better than including the rail).
Pic 2 - I like the look of this one, but something about it just isn't visually interesting to me. Maybe if there was a tighter crop by taking some off the top and some off the bottom it would improve the look. This one really needs some sort of defined subject (I can't tell if the subject is the cloud, the reflection on the water, or the ship windows).
Pic 3 - This one looks more like a shot of the window. Again, I can't really tell what the subject is. If it is the architectural piece itself the base should be included. In the picture and you should try and get a wider shot of it if possible, whatever the structure is sitting on is cut off. If the reelections are the focus I'd say zoom in on them and fill the screen with them.
Pic 4: This shot has a boring feel to it (thats not an insult, I'll explain). What I mean is the water and the sky are at equal parts, each taking up half of the screen. This usually doesn't fair well for landscape shots, they often look better with the focus (either the ground or sky) being 2/3rds of the scene. This scene would probably be improved by cropping so that 2/3rds of the shot was water and 1/3 the sky. Its also a bit underexposed but thats going to be hard to compensate for without something like a ND filter.
Pic 5: This pic lacks a clear subject. I also can't really tell what I'm looking at :/
Pic 6: Again, this one lacks a clear subject. If you were going for abstract, I'd suggest steer clear of it. Its very rare to see a good abstract shot, most are boring, uninspired crap (the kind you were hinting about in your post that you see in museums )
Pic 7: You did a good job with leading lines unto the scene, but the subject they lead to (the man) is blurred out and looks like maybe he wasn't supposed to be there. You had the right idea though in this pic it seems with lines that lead the viewers eye.
I hope the above made sense. I'm a bit sleep deprived and delirious at the moment
Thank you for the comments. They are very welcome. I feel a little bad about this thread as it is very selfish--I should have posted the pics individually in the Photo of The Day thread, but I really wanted feedback and probably wouldn't have gotten it there.
Pic 1. When I shot it, I wasn't sure if the railing was going to be a good thing or a bad thing. So I hedged my bets.
I ended up choosing the shot with the railing included, but this may have been an error in judgement.
Pic 2. I hear you on this. It doesn't have a defined subject. But for some reason it works for me. It's actually my favorite out of the bunch. Possible that speaks negatively about my taste.
Pic 3. I'm a bit divided on this one and it shows. On one hand I like the curves of the architecture. On the other it was really about the reflections on the window. My own indecision about what was interesting in the scene shines through in the image. Should have picked one or the other and gone with it.
Pic 4. I broke the cardinal rule of thirds on this one. You are quite right that splitting the image in half creates "stress" when viewing it. My thought was that the sun drew the eye upwards and somewhat negated having the horizon in the middle of the image. I may have erred with this assumption. I used a linear polarizing filter as a ghetto ND filter. For comparison, here is a similar image I shot 2 years earlier with a Nikon D700 and split ND filter:
Pic 5. Probably the weakest of all the images. Was playing with using the sun in images. I like parts of the image but agree that it doesn't really work as presented. Perhaps this works slightly better?
Pic 6. Was thinking about leading lines when I shot this, though they don't really lead anywhere. I agree that abstracts are really in the eye of the beholder and more often than not don't work.
Pic 7. This was all about leading lines for me. I loved the curve of the row of deck chairs when I saw them. This is the image I have the most regrets about in hindsight. I wasn't sure if the image was best served with having everything in focus or just some elements in the foreground. I wasn't sure if it would be more interesting with some people in it or devoid of people. I wish I had come back to this spot and shot it with different depths-of-field and with/without people. Meh.
To me most just lack interest or a strong subject. #s 1, 2, 4, and 5 all are like this.
#3 has potential (interesting colors/shapes in the reflection) but there is too much extraneous noise (i.e. the ladder). Further abstraction of the scene may have helped. Maybe some judicious cropping would improve this one?
#6 has some potential for the complimentary colors and somewhat abstract shapes, but the badly crooked horizon and poor exposure on the background detract.
#7 I actually like the most of this bunch. The leading lines theme is there, I think the main issue is that is suffers from "standing man's syndrome" where the photo is made "ordinary" because it was taken with the camera at eye level. This makes for a very "common" perspective on the scene. Compositions can often be made stronger or more interesting by putting the camera in perspectives not normally seen by the eyes. This is especially common with tripod photography, where most people just unfold their tripod all the way, choosing a tripod height based on shooting convenience and not deciding based on optimum camera positioning.
Number two appeals to me. I find it interesting and well framed, plus the sunbeams through the clouds and the stepped reflections help set it off for me. But I'm no expert..
The people in the last shot 7 totally ruin anything artistic I may have seen within it. (And the surveillance camera!) Clone out maybe? And yes my eyes are begging to see the far focal point in focus! My eye was drawn there only to be disappointed.
I think you'd have gotten better reception were cruise ships not so 'passe' with the "in crowd"... thanks for putting them up tho, takes courage to ask for sincere critique. Kudos
#3, the reflections in the window would be good if you crop of the bottom.
Some of the others too. Remove anything that does not contribute to the main idea. Some times you can fix an image by cropping it so it follows "rule of thirds" The other trick is to vignet it to but not so much as to make it obvious, keep it not easy to spotvisable, The eye will be drawn to the bright area
The trick with post processing is to forget about the trip and the people in the shots and think only abot lines, mass, color and shape. Some people say to turn the photos upside down when to process them so you think more about form then content. It might work
As with the others, unfortunately they are on the whole, unimpressive in that they don't "wow" me. Your modified shot of shot #1 would be a decent landscape photo if you had a neutral density filter to increase the exposure of the water, as getting exposure to be dramatic and "correct" in that setting is nearly impossible given the stark contrasts of the water and sky brightnesses. The only way to get better is to keep taking photos so I think we would all encourage you to keep on showing us what you've got.
For your next cruise, maybe some macros of interesting piping/machinery or just plain old items (deck of cards, flowers, water glasses, watches, etc etc) with some light manipulation as you'll probably have more free time to experiment with those things than you usually do when you're not on vacation.
Remember this cardinal rule - Light = photography. Your photos are not dramatic because the light is way to diffuse for the most part.
I like this shot a lot better than the one framed with the railing, but I would like to see a little more detail in the shadows. Not a lot, just a bit without blowing the highlights out more.
Posting these in a single comment thread isn't selfish and it will generate more comments. Since you've been around for a while you understand that some won't be flattering...
I took a cruise to Mexico in 1988 or so and it was a truly forgettable experience, especially from a photographic point of view. Cabo San Lucas was the exception, but the sea was so rough we couldn't get off the boat. At least you didn't get one of those horrible illnesses or wind up at the bottom of the Mediterranean...
I'll just chime in with the most basic advice I like to give: that most really compelling photographs have a clear sense of hierarchy--a primary point of visual interest, often one that 'reads' as a subject within a setting, or at least a point that seems to give the photo a sense of closure. There are exceptions, of course, but they are rare.
Firstly I want to say how much I appreciate all of the comments. As Dale said, I've been around here long enough that I wasn't expecting or hoping for high-praise. Honestly, that won't make me a better photographer. I'd rather hear the negative stuff, with the hope that the next time I'm in a similar shooting situation I'll create something better/more interesting.
I tweaked number 1 to bring out the shadows more. Better?
Also, for #6 I was thinking about extraneous elements when I shot it and made an adjustment to the composition after the initial shot.
The final image may still not be interesting, but I was actually thinking when I shot it
Once again, I really really appreciate all the comments. I'm not offended by anything anyone has said. Hearing that the images don't work for people (with explanations as to why) is really quite valuable. Thanks to you all
these remind me of shots I have from a Cruise.
I took lots and LOTS of photos all over. "ohh artistic" "neat shapes" "cool lines"
but I would honestly say 5-10 are probably any good (of mine) thinking back after looking at yours.
I see yours as something you thought was neat when you took the shot...obviously...be it shadows/lines/textures/etc....but that upon looking them over now more just "ehh" nothing outstanding, nothing WOW, but nice snapshots.
These aren't horrible but they don't have that eye-opening feel as some Great shots will. The few who have reviewed these on a shot-by-shot basis offer good words. and in the age of digital, shoot away and learn from it. For these i see them as more a memory thing...bringing back great memories but not necessarily the Golden Ticket.
make any sense?