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Thread: Stone quarry--my first for critique

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    Default Stone quarry--my first for critique

    This is my first post for critique. Here's my dilemma. I look at it, and while I find some elements to like, it doesn't do it for me for some reason.

    So, my question is. What is it about this photo that you like/don't like--in particular, don't like--and _why_?



    Turns out this was shot with my E-30 (not my E-P1) at 12mm, 1/320, f/8 at ISO 200 (my preferred base ISO)

    Thanks for all C&C.

    -Jon
    Last edited by JonInKrakow; 11-04-2009 at 01:54 PM. Reason: oops, wrong image size

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    I like the reflection in the water--don't like the sky itself--no color. It is unbalanced--too much on the left. It doesn't cover enought to be a landscape and really does not have a central point of eye focus. My eye is drawn to the white buildings (?) in the far background, but they are not large enough. Little branches above the right center should not be there--ditracting. It does have some good fall color, but, not enough.

    halfwright

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    I like the reflection of the clouds on the still water. The problem is there is nothing that seems to really grab my attention. I find my eye wandering around the image, the leaves in the foreground, the trees, then the reflection of the clouds on the water. Hope this is helpful...

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    I hope you do not mind me doing some pp to your original. I used LR 2.5 and came out with two different versions + cropping. I also echo the other responses as to a missing element that grabs the viewer into the scenery. I have found myself with the same dilemma and maybe capturing the same scenery with more dramatic clouds, lighting can bring out a more interesting photograph.

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    Jon, I think its a combination of the lighting and composition (both sort of unbalanced) that leave it lacking. Looks like an interesting place to photograph, though. I hope you go back and give it another try!
    Nate

    "There's only one rule in photography - never develop colour film in chicken noodle soup." - Freeman Patterson

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenwing View Post
    Jon, I think its a combination of the lighting and composition (both sort of unbalanced) that leave it lacking. Looks like an interesting place to photograph, though. I hope you go back and give it another try!
    Thanks everyone for the C&C! Much appreciated!

    Unbalanced. That's a good way to describe it. I took a few other pictures, but this was the best of the bunch, sadly. Problem was, if you notice how close I am to the edge, I had almost no freedom to move. It was this location--or none (or fall off the cliff)... Sadly, the leaves have all fallen, so it will have to wait until next year. This was my second year of trying to get something out of this spot, and the weather cooperated--I just missed it. (the fact that I had two young daughters with me to keep my eye on will not serve as an excuse)

    Oh, and lacking a focal point... Maybe I'll post some other pics from here, to give an idea of what this quarry is like.

    -Jon

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    Quote Originally Posted by carisi View Post
    I hope you do not mind me doing some pp to your original. I used LR 2.5 and came out with two different versions + cropping. I also echo the other responses as to a missing element that grabs the viewer into the scenery. I have found myself with the same dilemma and maybe capturing the same scenery with more dramatic clouds, lighting can bring out a more interesting photograph.
    I'm all for manipulating my images. I understand what you are saying. I just don't know if it's enough to rescue this picture... Thanks.

    -Jon

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    People have already mentioned how the composition is too heavily weighted to the left, the other thing that happens is that when ever your eye tries to follow the sweeping curves of the scene it is interupted by unhelpful trees. My first thought was that a chain saw may have fixed the problem!! I don't think you can do that!!

    When I took it over to Photoshop I tried cropping but really it didn't help much, my usual next line of defence is to put a rectangular mask over it and go edit, transform, Distort where I can pull the picture around 'til it works for me. So that's what I did to your picture. (hope you don't mind)

    The next thing - I felt that foreground was a little too prominent - so I used an illumination editor plug-in to lighten the top half of the picture and lower the bottom.

    All the time I was working on it I tried to keep what I thought was your intention or what had appealed to you.

    I gave it 1 click sharpening (again, a plug-in filter) just because I think for the web it works

    "Distort" can be very handy for landscapes because it just looks as if you've used a wider or "correction" lens.
    Last edited by Halfa; 12-25-2009 at 02:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfa View Post
    "Distort" can be very handy for landscapes because it just looks as if you've used a wider or "correction" lens.
    Thanks for the manipulations! Looking better, even though the distortion, to my eye, is a bit "different" from what I remember.

    Actually, seeing your picture reminded me that I shot a couple "stitched" panos. I ended up not doing anything with them really, because the exposure turned out to be a problem, but I used DoubleTake (a Mac program) to stitch one batch, and LightZone to try to give some semblance of balance to the image (and then Picturesque for the bling). Here's the result. This picture shows better balance, and in the full sized image, the city in the background (this quarry is actually surrounded by the city) is quite obvious. Looking at the image ready to send, I think the image is still too dark, but what think ye?

    -Jon

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    Jon - one of the big problems with criticising work this way is that we tend to suggest ways to make pictures fit a general look that works most times.

    One of truely great things about photography is that everybody sees the world slightly differently, has different things that interest them and have aesthetic choices that differ hugely.

    There is something quite mysterious about your pictures that I like a lot, they a very still and seem to draw me into voids in the middle which then leave me thinking. These landscapes take you into that water and your recent "stair" picture does the same sort of thing in a different way.

    I don't think that better balance/composition etc is always the best way to think of it. In your case I'd say make a rule that the picture should always look as if you intended it to be that way , I think its often better to try to produce interesting pictures rather than "good" ones. All the best Clive

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfa View Post
    There is something quite mysterious about your pictures that I like a lot, they a very still and seem to draw me into voids in the middle which then leave me thinking. These landscapes take you into that water and your recent "stair" picture does the same sort of thing in a different way.
    I didn't say it when I posted those stairs, but if you've watched the movie "Schindler's List", then you have seen those stairs--when the young lady goes up them to ask for a job. Those stairs have a pathos to them all their own. When I took that photo, the factory was fenced off for renovation. I snuck in to take that for visiting friends. I had to shoot through a window, keeping an eye behind me, so to speak. As "photography" it's merely documental.

    With this quarry, on the other hand, There's something about it that I've been trying to capture now for 2 autumns. I know there's something in there, but I have yet to figure out how to draw it out--hence my questions.

    Krakow is actually _loaded_ with photography potential, but it's hard for me to draw out that (sorry for the cliche) patina, of a thousand-year-old city that has lived through so much.

    -Jon

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    Default Re: Stone quarry--my first for critique

    Nice talking to you Jon, I'm glad that I sensed that there was meaning/substance behind what you are trying to do, the more confidence you allow yourself, the closer you'll get to what you want to show us.

    No photgraphy isn't just documental - it can be about expressing ourselves.

    I'm not really very good it, I just got into it trying to take pictures of my sculptures, trying to get some of what I know is in them into a 2D image.

    All the best, Clive - There was one thought that I didn't mention, when I looked at your pictures, they made me think of the very great Norweigian painter Edvard Munch - I don't think it would hurt you to look at them, particularly his landscapes.

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