April 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm #6312
I like the rhythm of the flower heads in the last one, Peter, and the shape they make in the frame. I wonder if stopping down a little bit would intensify the colour and pull back the highlights? Or perhaps I might ‘shape’ the light a bit with cardboard flags to direct it more to the petals rather than the leaves; or soften it with some tissue paper?
BTW, if you’re doing tulips, John Blakemore – ‘The Tulip Man’ – is a photographer to look at for ideas…April 26, 2014 at 9:57 pm #6314
Thanks Ian. I’ll have another play before they wilt too much. Reflecting on Adrian Lines’ comments about black backgrounds do you think coloured or patterned background would be better?
Also thanks for the link to John Blakemore’s work. It’s miles different from my efforts.April 27, 2014 at 8:12 am #6316
I quite like black backgrounds for this sort of photograph, as the flowers, stems and leaves themselves have a lot of form that the lighting models quite strongly; and I don’t know what colour you could use that wouldn’t distract from or reduce the impact of the colour of the petals.
For other kinds of still life, a background colour in the right colour palette can enhance the picture, of course. I suppose you could try something dark green with out-of-focus texture for these red flowers. But the trick is subtlety, so the background doesn’t compete with the flowers. A look at some paintings may help with ideas (though I notice a good few painters like black / very dark backgrounds!)
Of course, Blakemore avoids the problems of colour by using monochrome, and concentrating on the forms and patterns of the arranged flowers. And he often avoids the issue of background by creating arrangements that entirely fill the frame, thus rendering the background invisible. Perhaps a similar approach to working with form, shape and pattern could be done with colour photos of tulips? Just a thought.April 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm #6318
From the Sandbach Transport Festival
Burgers and bananas
Engine and chips
Paolo – or son
.April 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm #6320
Some good street stuff there Ian. I think I like Vintage Admiration best. Paulo or son is a close second but I don’t think you caught just the right moment if you get my drift although I love the idea and title.April 28, 2014 at 6:43 am #6321
Thanks, Dee. Interesting you should prefer Vintage Admiration – it’s the one that’s getting most attention on my Flickr stream, though I didn’t myself think it was the best of this lot. Intriguing, isn’t it?
As for Paolo or son, in one way I do see what you mean about the moment, if you interpret the picture a particular way. In fact, he has just spotted three members of a Sicilian ice cream syndicate coming towards him with shotguns; or he as seen Giovanni and Son parking their ice cream van 20 yards away from his pitch; or… 😉
If you’re interested, you can see my edited versions of these pictures here.April 28, 2014 at 7:27 pm #6325
Many thanks for your thoughts on backgrounds Ian. Sound advise and thanks also for the link to the way artists use their background. Like you say it’s useful to study the classic artist to learn how they use composition and picture elements.
Like Dee, I like the second photograph best as I think it has the strongest connection between the car and the man. I think it helps to see what they’re looking at which you can’t quite in the others. I know these are straight out of the camera and was going suggest cropping the last 3 pictures to a square format. I see you’ve done that with a couple which I think makes them stronger.
In the first shot do you think cropping the top 1/4 of just above the bananas would improve the composition? I find the 2 headless bodies distracting.April 28, 2014 at 11:18 pm #6328
Well took my self out of the four walls to Sandbach-and a bit like I was feeling–a total photo disaster–you know when you get those days and every thing you take is rubbish. I looked in at those poor birds of prey and poor souls looked how I felt-I threw them a sandwich I bought but was never going to eat–and the man was not at all pleased with me–he told me what to do with my camera–and I told him to do the same with his parrots. It was my sort of day.Sorry Ian–straight from camera–but with a bit of Topaz.April 28, 2014 at 11:51 pm #6331
We all get those days Ken. Good to get out though. I actually like the composition and colours of this image. I just wish the lady on the left edge by the monument was looking inwards rather than out of the picture.April 29, 2014 at 12:28 am #6332
Ian, I love the roundabout picture on your flickr feed. Not sure how it would go down though. Re Paulo or son I do prefer your edited version but find the hand coming out of the man on the rights face a bit distracting and wish at least two of the people were making some kind of eye contact … mind you you do have to keep an eye out for the competition don’t you? 😉April 29, 2014 at 6:48 am #6335
Peter >>> Thanks for your comments. The ‘Burgers and bananas’ picture is tricky to crop as you suggest because removing the people would lower the top edge of the frame a bit too drastically. I’ll count it a near miss – a bit like ‘Paolo or son’!
Dee >>> Yes, ‘Paolo or son’ has a number of things that could be better. Probably should have waited around a bit longer to see if the scene changed to something more useful. Glad you liked the Roundabout photo – but I think you’re right: it’s a bit too Martin Parr-ish for club use!April 29, 2014 at 9:31 pm #6345
I’ve had my fair share of bad hair days as well Ken. I think we all do. Your photo was obviously taken in difficult high contrasty conditions which I think you’ve handled well. You’ve got detail in the deep shadows and bright highlights and I like the rich colours. It captures the atmosphere well. I would like to have seem when the guy was looking at though.
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