Fortnightly Challenge Feb. 16 - March 1 :: Nature in Unexpected Places

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Designer Dale, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #1
    Welcome to the Fortnightly Challenge Photo Thread

    The purpose of the Challenge is to provide a venue where photographers of all skill levels can work to improve their craft by shooting along a common topic for two weeks - one fortnight. Helpful comments and critiques are key to reaching the intended goal - better photography.

    About Your Photos

    Shoot for the topics listed on the schedule. You may shoot for upcoming topics, but post photos only to their matching Challenges.

    You may post as many photos as you wish for any one Challenge.

    About Your Comments

    Comments are critical to the success of the Challenge. If you post a photo, add a comment to another one. If you are only viewing, please add your comments, too.

    Comments should be meaningful, something that the photographer can use to improve his/her work. Explain why you like or dislike a photo. Spend a moment looking at a photo before commenting on it. Try to answer the question "I like this photo because…" It really helps the photographer.

    The Topic Schedule is:

    Nature in Unexpected Places -- February 16 - March 1

    Upcoming Topics:
    Contrasts (March 2 - 15)
    Beauty in Unexpected Places (March 16 - 29)


    Have fun!
     
  2. Waybo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    Caught in the act!

    This is a "squirrel-proof bird" feeder, which gives a shock when the contacts are met. We didn't expect to find a squirrel on it, much less IN it! Looks like it is time to replace the battery!

    Nikon D3100, Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3.
    ISO 400, 130mm, 0 ev, f/6, 1/500.
    Tripod was set up on deck, with a remote release.
    Tweaked with Nikon ViewNX 2.

    C&C most appreciated for this newbie! Thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #3
    A little tighter framing would help a lot- there's nothing above or below the feeder of interest and IMO the space is wasted there, plus it's bright enough to draw the eyes off a bit and make the overall exposure brighter than the subject. I'd also probably have a tiny bit less space on the right side of the picture than the left to put a bit of space behind the tail and make it just off-center, but only by a small bit. I'd probably bump up the saturation a bit too, but that's more personal taste than anything.

    Paul
     
  4. Waybo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    Caught in the Act - Quadtych

    Nikon D3100, Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3.
    ISO 400, 130mm, 0 ev, f/6, 1/500.
    Tripod was set up on deck, with a remote release.
    Tweaked with Nikon ViewNX 2.
    Resized and made into a quadtych in PS Elements 8.
    I think I'm right: This is a quadtych?
    And is this the right expression: "Made into a Quadtych?"

    Thank you, Paul, for your C&C on the single shot.
    I was working on this when you wrote your comments.
    I'll try redoing that one now.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Folding space
    #5
    I'm not sure that's a word. Four-panel works for me.

    I'm not sure you need the last one on the right. It seem a bit redundant. The first two show the squirrel's approach and entry, and the expression on the third is sort of "Now what?" or 'Hi, there!"

    I agree with Paul on the cropping. There is too much on the bottom in your original post, so take some off and a bit less off the top.

    Another thing that I noticed is that it seems a bit flat. The background is light enough to start to blend in with the subject. I messed with it and made it a bit darker and the squirrel seemed to stand out better. If you can raise the saturation in PSE, that will add a bit more color to it.

    Edit: If you want to keep them as a set of three or four, be sure to crop the same off the top and bottom of each photo. Display the Rulers if PSE has them and write down the amount you crop off the top and bottom of your main shot (the first post) and use that as a guide for the others.

    Thanks for getting this going.

    Dale
     
  6. Waybo macrumors regular

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    Jan 31, 2011
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    New Hampshire
    #6
    Caught in the Act V. 2 or V. 3?

    Thank you, Paul.
    I liked the saturation boost. (In Aperture 3, I went to 1.5, plus Vibrancy .5).
    Since I was cropping it, I felt I could straighten it by 3.4 degrees. I'm tried cropping it in even more, even thought that left more on the right …
    So, how are these?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Folding space
    #7
    The first one is just a bit too tight for me. The cropping on the top and bottom is fine, but I would like to see more breathing room around the upper dome of the feeder. Excuse my PSE references. I failed to notice you use A3.

    Dale
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    I like the first one- that's the crop I'd go with composition-wise for sure! The second doesn't work as well- - it's a bit too tight. The only other thing I might do is bring down the levels a bit on the background at the top. Just to stop it from drawing the eyes away from the squirrel's face a bit. It looks like you might have lost a bit of sharpness too- does the crop not hold up well sharpness-wise?

    Paul
     
  9. Grey Beard, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011

    Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

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    #9
    Quadtych is a term for a four panel art work, as is polyptych which is a work of four or more panels.

    KGB
     
  10. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #10
    Actually, the preferable word (if you must designate exactly four panels) is tetraptych. "Quadtych" is a Frankenstein of a word that mashes Latin and Greek forms together, and I've never heard anyone use it. It sounds to me like slang. Polyptych is the most common term for anything of three or more panels (the prefix 'poly' means 'many' in Greek, so it's a nice catch-all term).
     
  11. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Folding space
    #11
    ^^Thanks, P. I was hoping you would be able to properly explain that this isn't a word. It shows up in Flickr and the blogosphere, but none of the honest dictionaries I've consulted. It goes from di (2) to tri (3) and then poly (4 or more). Polyptych is a word.

    Dale
     
  12. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #12
    [super esoteric geek trivia]
    In the game Bioshock, you help one of the characters complete a quadtych, and he refers to it as such.
    [/super esoteric geek trivia]

    Ruahrc
     
  13. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #13
    I like the polyptych idea. It makes it a tad bit more interesting. I wonder how it would look as a square instead of a rectangle. I find the rectangle a bit distracting. Also the Wild Bill logo is a bit distracting to me. I think it would be cleaner without it on each shot. Great capture though and with the 4 shots it, of course, tells a bit more of a story.
     
  14. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #14
    A bit of an effort to get going on this one. I had an idea or two but nothing was working out. Took this one at the park with my daughter. Not really an unexpected place to be honest. Maybe a little unexpected because of the season and weather.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    East of Shangrila
    #15
    Lovely photo ... may I ask a few questions & pose a few observations (sorry to display my naivete);

    * Is it better to have that much of the out of focus foreground? My instinct would have been to lop off 20 to 30% of the lower part of the photo ... but maybe that doesn't leave enough negative space there?
    * I love the bokeh in the background. What lens is that?
    * I rather like the use of selective color here - it helps bring emphasis. When you do that, is it better to tweak the levels a tad to bring out the black value a bit more, or is it better to leave the soil material more in the middle of the gray scale?

    I'm impressed that you all already have shots to contribute. All I've done so far is think about it. Hope to get some worthy images underway this weekend.
     
  16. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #16

    I debated alot about the foreground. I think it's too much honestly. When I cropped it down to where I thought it should be foreground wise I felt it brought the grass too close in. I'll probably go back and get rid of some of the foreground though.

    This was the 50mm 1.8 on my D90. it's probably the best $150 (or less) you can spend on a lens. There is no real excuse not to have one.

    I messed with the levels a bit to darken up the darks and I also added a bit of vignetting to try to de-emphasize everything but the grass.

    Thanks.
     
  17. Waybo macrumors regular

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    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #17
    Rule of thirds

    I love the way the green pops out ... fits todays warm temp ... there is hope for spring!:) Is the foreground blurred on your camera or your computer? The amount of foreground blurriness throws me off. I think it's too much of a distraction, and there seems to be an abrupt transition from blurred to crisp. But, as I understand it, without cropping, this is a textbook example of rule of thirds!
     
  18. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #18
    The blurring is all from the lens. (f4.5 on my 50mm). The bokeh is a bit abrupt in the foreground. I've noticed that sometimes the transition in the foreground seems abrupt while the background transition is always smooth. Not sure why, there is probably a technical reason for that. Some of it has to do with the ground too. There is a slight rise in the foreground that may play a part in that.
     
  19. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #19
    A larger aperture will cause more of the image to be OOF (out of focus). It is because of the depth of field. You are focused on the mid-ground, so you will get this affect. The larger the aperture the lens has (meaning smaller f/stop and heavier lenses :) ), the more ability the lens has to produce this depth of field..shallow that is. Also the bokeh will be better.
     
  20. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #20
    Thanks HBOC. I think what Waybo was referring to was the abrupt transition in the foreground from out of focus to in focus. I've noticed it before in some shots. I think in the case of my photo it seems abrupt because there was a slight rise in the ground right where the photo starts to come back into focus.
     
  21. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    Jan 16, 2009
    #21
    OK. I cropped out a little bit of the foreground, tried to smooth out the foreground transition a bit and added a tiny bit of sepia tone. Thanks for the feedback.
     

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  22. AxisOfBeagles, Feb 19, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011

    AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    East of Shangrila
    #22
    Nature in an unexpected place

    [​IMG]


    Canon 40D
    EF24-70 f/2.8L USM
    ISO 400
    f/2.8 @ 1/45
    basic post in Aperture 3
    selective coloring in Photoshop Elements 8
     
  23. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #23
    I think it'd be better under the physics book, that's where my eye is led by the horizontal books on the left.

    Paul
     
  24. rebby macrumors 6502

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #24
    I went straight to Physics as well. Had to look twice to find the "nature".
     
  25. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #25
    Very clever. I agree with compuwar, my eye went straight to the Physics book first, but I love that all the other covers are b&w, while nature is in color. Very nicely done.
     

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