Seed heads

Forums Critique Requests Seed heads

This topic contains 20 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of John Royle ajroyle 5 years ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #2276
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    I’d be interested to have your thoughts about this image, and about the BW processing in particular…
    Seed heads

     

    It looks a lot better on a black background, as here

     

    #2277
    Profile photo of John Royle
    ajroyle
    Keymaster

    This image centres on two curves which I have superimposed on it (apologies for the shaky drawing). It is quite a complex image so you need to draw attention to those lines. Both are strenthened by highlights and detail (detail especially in the seed part of the fruits).

    I would try darkening the features outside this lines more especially in the area where I have put to two red spots.

     

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    #2279
    Profile photo of D. Williams
    D. Williams
    Participant

    My Goodness Ian … that is very striking!  It reminds me of a plate from an antique botanical book.  The only thing that would drive me crazy is the dead black leaf / flower head, bottom right quarter, which looks like a character from the Little Shop of Horrors as it appears to have a mouth. It is quite dominant and not very attractive.  I would have moved that to one side before taking the picture…. then possibly a slightly tighter crop to compensate.  Otherwise I think it is stunning and I like the processing. What a judge (or several)  would think is of course another matter …. but very interesting to find out.

    #2280
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your suggestions, John. I’d understood the form of the image the same way as you, and developed it along the same lines – but clearly not enough!

    I’ll have a look at increasing the differentiation as you suggest.

    #2282
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    Thanks very much, D! Yes, the dark leaf is unfortunate. (This is me working on an old image from three years ago, so not much chance of framing it differently at this stage!)

    I suspect that burning the corners as John indicates may lose some of the shape of the dark leaf. And I may try ‘fuzzing’ any edges that survive that process.

    (Like you, I’m not sure this is club competition material!)

    #2284
    Profile photo of D. Williams
    D. Williams
    Participant

    I would love to see it in a competition but the leaf is the problem. Burning it will still make a large dark eye pulling area.  I don’t suppose you would consider  cloning it out?  I know it’s not your thing.  The only other option is a very different crop.   There must be lots of possibilities as it is so striking.

    #2287
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    A new version, as per suggestions…

    Seed heads - edited

    It looks a lot better on a black background, as here

    #2288
    Profile photo of meg cumming
    meg cumming
    Participant

    Thats so much better Ian as it looks less cluttered that the first image. But I have to admit it is a striking image. I feel sad that an image like this is not considered a competition entrant, because it is so unusal and fresh and as Dolores says it has the feel of a botanical plate about it.

    Keep them coming ian as its something for me to aim for myself.

    #2289
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    Thanks very much for your kind comment, Meg.  I know what you mean about the ‘botanical plate’ – I was hoping it would come across with that quality.  I worked on the contrasty BW conversion + sepia tone in the hope of getting that slightly sinister, disembodied ‘other-worldly’ look that Victorian botanical prints – and Victorian still-life photos generally – often seem to have.

    I agree with you that this version looks much better.  I’m very grateful for all the advice folks have given here – a real help!

    #2293
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Having seen the image of these seeds  in print form by Simons  better half and forget her name—nothing else comes near and worth asking the Chairman if he can post it if still in his possesion. A real class photo.

    #2294
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    Hi, Ken

    A friend of mine studied printing with a darkroom expert. My friend would spend hours split grading and dodging and burning, and eventually produce a print he thought good enough to show the trainer, who would glance at it and growl, “Bin it!”

    I take it that’s your advice to me? 😉

     

     

     

    #2295
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    No-   meant what I said- its   one Chairman gave a special award to–worth posting.

    #2296
    Profile photo of D. Williams
    D. Williams
    Participant

    I am not sure about the changes in the top left and opposite corners Ian.  The detail has been lost too much for me.  The offending leaf looks better but otherwise I prefer the original.  I think you have maybe gone a little too far on the burning for me.

    #2312
    Profile photo of Ian McNab
    Ian McNab
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your thoughts, D. I fear this may now be a case of not being able to please all of the people all of the time! (You’ll recall that John advised darkening the top-left and bottom-right corners, above.)

    I do understand what you’re getting at, and had something of the same feeling myself. But did you have a look at the image large on black? It looks bit better under those conditions, where you can see a bit of detail in the corners.

    I suppose I could have another go at burning in the corners rather less. The real problem, however, is dealing with the leaf convincingly while maintaining detail. I guess the image is inherently problematic, and probably isn’t retrievable in an entirely satisfactory way, so I probably won’t enter it in the L&CPU! 😉

    But it has been interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts. You can learn such a lot from the discussion, even if the image is less than perfect.

    Thanks to everyone!

     

    #2313
    Profile photo of D. Williams
    D. Williams
    Participant

    It is so delicate in parts that it must be a nightmare to handle and edit.  I still think it is stunning and would personally persist.

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