December 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm #8518
Thats a very good photo Ian–really good- I am sure Hannah Marr at CTC would really welcome that–far more professional shot than mine.December 24, 2014 at 11:11 pm #8519
Thanks very much, Ken – but I don’t think it’s as good as your excellent portraits!
(If you think Hannah would be interested to have a copy, please email me her email address.)December 25, 2014 at 9:48 pm #8521
FROM SANTADecember 27, 2014 at 7:07 pm #8538
You’ve certainly caught the conductor in full flow Ian. That’s a good action shot and I can almost hear them singing.
Nice shot of Sasha Ken and a blated Merry Christmas to everyone.
December 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm #8557
- This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Pete Robinson.
At this time of year we can have some interesting weather which can make dramatic photographs. I took these on Christmas eve and need some advice on which composition members think suits the same subject best. Do the like more or less sky or water, horizontal or veritcal, wide angle or telephoto? Do you think a very slow shutter speed would have created a more atmosphereic photograph?
December 29, 2014 at 5:17 pm #8559
- This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Pete Robinson.
STUNNING PETER–BEAUTIFUL PHOTOGRAPHY–WOW-THAT WATER–THE FINAL ONE -WOW-THE LIGHTING. MAGIC.December 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm #8560
Personal opinion, but I prefer the wide-angle shots in landscape format. I’m not a great lover of very slow shutter speeds in landscape photography (unless you’re working at night!) – I don’t like milk where there should be water; and slow shutter would have wrecked your dramatic skies.
I think, compositionally, having the water limited to the lower third of the picture or less works best here. If you give the water more space, you get a large area with little foreground interest.
So I like your first one best. (In mono it’d be great! 😉 )December 29, 2014 at 9:40 pm #8561
I like othe crepuscular rays in the first shot and the balance is exactly right between water and sky. They are all better in mono, because they are nearly mono anyway and blue creeping in I don’t think helps.
I am beginning to feel concerned about a lot of emphasis on sky detail. I don’t think we perceive the landscape like that, it can therefore feel a bit overbearing. I have recently spent a bit of time on mono shot which you will see in the next PDI comp. It was easy to get a lot of detail in the sky which simply wasn’t noticeable when I took the shot, which I didn’t want.December 29, 2014 at 10:01 pm #8564
So interesting to have others views.I would never offer a critique on Peter”s work –far to knowlegeable . Would be certain Peter would rule out the vertical–but worth posting for us to see. We would all respect Ian”s and John”s views and comments—-but–two points–how we used to use the yellow and orange filters to exagerate the skies. Of all this set–I would wager most judges would mark the lower fourth image way high up in the marks–perhaps a little crop off the bottom. The gradation of light in those hills –look forward to seeing that judged. OIMO.—-Chairman John”s rarely used name “crepuscular”—Latin meaning –“Twilight”–because the effect of converging sunlight rays seen at best through stratocumulus clouds appear best at twilight –dawn/dusk. The rays are really almost parallel but appear to converge–like looking down the railway lines.December 30, 2014 at 8:58 am #8567
We used filters to get the sky to render properly, most mono film being very sensitive to blue light lightened skies too much so that (together with the natural over-exposure of the sky we got in most shots) we could hardly see the clouds. Red allows red through, absorbs blue (especially) so the blue is “darkened”. I say red, red would actually darken the blue a bit too much, yellow or orange would be more practical.
Now, graduated filters can be used to “hold back” the sky and then digital processing can get the blue nicely darkened to make the clouds look right.
There is a bit of a principle hovering about here. Recently I’ve been following the tutorials presented by Doug Chinnery and I’m reminded that, for a realistic look, going easy with the treatments we apply is always a wise thing to do. For example, the “Clarity” slider in Lightroom, people are inclined to whack it up to a really high setting, he says he rarely goes over “20”. We often get criticisms of “over-sharpening” too and it isn’t always being heavy handed with the sharpening tools which causes the effects which are being criticised, overdoing contrast and changing colour densities can also produce the dreaded “haloes”.
It also depends on the intended “output”, printing is more demanding than producing something for web display.
Sorry Peter, this isn’t helping you choose the “best” of your pics. I have mentioned liking the first but I remember having an almost identical shot in the slide days and putting that in (it was Ullswater I think) and it didn’t do very well, so what do I know?
Truth is we never actually “see” at the time what a photograph will show us. This lead someone (Ian will remember who) to say that he took photos to see what things looked like photographed! (Winogrand?). Our view of a scene is too full of other impressions, not the hard, single, two dimensional picture that is a photograph. The trick, I suppose, is to realise this. We also owe it to ourselves to do more than just take a pretty scene but to make something with what is in front of us; make pictures with the landscape rather than of the landscape. Joe Cornish and David Ward discuss this idea extensively in their videos and books. Often the most unpromising bit of landscape can be turned into something quite magical.
Just to return to Peter’s shots: I would say, use mono for the lot, the water has a distracting something just submerged in the shot with most water, 4 is good but I would tone down the sky slightly to lend emphasise to the more brightly lit bit. This is hard to do when I can’t view the pictures!!!December 30, 2014 at 10:48 am #8570
“I photograph to see what things look like photographed” was indeed Winogrand. (The point, as John suggests, was a rather profound and subtle one: our eyes + brain perceive things very differently from the way a camera records them. Winogrand was particularly interested in the differences, and the artistic possibilities they create.)December 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm #8571
Wow! Many thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments. It’s given me a lot to think about. I agree with them. My favourate is the first photography listed. Like John said I think it works better in black and white and like Ian said using less foregeound and more of the interesting sky looks better to me as well. Like Ken said most landscapes look better in a landscape format. The black and white version was created using Photoshops ‘black and white’ adjustment command. The main thing that concerns me is, are the nearest hills too dark and dominate. Do I need more detail in them. I feel that if they were full black they would be too dominate as in the last photograph.December 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm #8573
The nearest hills in the first picture look OK on my screen, Peter. There’s plenty of detail in the shadow areas. (You could see whether lightening them ever so slightly gave a more pleasing result, but it certainly wouldn’t need much; and you might prefer the original as giving more tonal range in the whole picture.) The nearest hills in the last photo do look too dark to me.
Just to take up John’s point about skies, I entirely agree with him that many digital pictures of landscapes are now so over-cooked in post processing that the skies look utterly implausible. This is particularly so in monochrome pictures of almost every kind, where not only the skies but the tonality of the whole photograph – people, hillsides, architecture, or whatever – looks entirely unnatural. I think Silver Efex Pro is often to blame – or perhaps not the program itself, but the tendency of photographers to push the accelerator pedal to the floor just because they can. (As an antidote, I strongly recommend looking at photographs of the English countryside by James Ravilious – perhaps preferably in one of his books, as the online archive has been digitally reworked and the pictures there are a bit more contrasty than his originals. Here’s an example landscape from the online archive.)December 30, 2014 at 7:12 pm #8577
Think you are right Peter-it is quite likely most judges would make a point about the two black patches in the foreground-worth a twiddle in “levels” -to adjust a bit nearer to Ian”s lovely mono example above. You photograph in RAW–with respect to your deep knowledge—why not try with another using Ian”s technique–see what you come up with.(He knows a little bit about mono ssh.) or send Ian the file to dabble with.December 30, 2014 at 9:23 pm #8579
I tried lightening the nearest hills in the first picture, but didn’t think it improved it. It went a bit muddy and increasing the contrast didn’t help. I think it needs to stay at its current tone to retaion the receding effect. Thanks for your comments and thanks for the links. I do think many photos are over cooked with Topaz/HDR effects ect. Some of them can look dramatic, but unrealistic. I think the skill is using the tools to recover shadows and highlights, but to keep the photograph looking natural.
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