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Thread: Image for comment please

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2014
    N-E Victoria, Australia

    Image for comment please

    This scene is basically a patch of reeds with nearby Red Gum trees. In the morning light the whole composition is quite lovely, but it needs to be photographed on a windless day, since the rush heads catch the slightest breeze. Ideally it should be photographed in summer when the rushes are in flower and the heads are highly reflective. Although I've wanted to photograph this for ages, either it was too windy or my camera wasn't finished. At last it all came together, but I'm not all that excited with the result. I don't think it's all that bad, but I just wonder how the image is seen by others. Any comments would be appreciated. Efke 50 film 2.25" x 3.25" (cropped to remove top wire of fence at bottom), 0.2 mm ems aperture at 36 mm from film. Many thanks for comments.

    Reeds & Red Gums web.jpg

  2. #2
    Hi Barry,

    The image certainly looks promising and I can see why you are drawn to the site. It's a little hard to judge the result since the image is very small, even when I click on it.

    What catches my eye even in the small version is the tree just left of center toward the back. If that could "pop" a bit more, I think it would strengthen the image considerably (my eye tends to go straight to trees anyway). But I like the overhanging branches and the rushes themselves. I also really like your toning: are you doing that chemically or in the computer after scanning?
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  3. #3
    It's a good image, Barry.Perhaps if the subject or main object of the image were more obvious it would be a stronger photograph. My eye tends to wander a bit aimlessly about the photo without a clearly defined object as a base.

  4. #4
    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    I, too, want a bigger image to view. I can see a progression of triangles from front to back, that would work if they had more contrast in values. I am not sure that the heaviness of the branches at the top is helping the viewer to read the portions of the image further back in the scene.
    "a squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?"
    -Don Van Vliet

  5. #5
    Hi Barry,
    That's a very engaging image I can see why you've been trying to make it for a while and suspect you aren't finished with it yet.Following what the others have said,probably printing it with varying contrasts will help it become your vision of the scene.
    Well done.

  6. #6
    I agree a bigger version is needed. It appears to be a good image, but generally when we produce something that others like but we don't, it's because it didn't match our previsualization of the scene, not because the photo is bad. My suggestion - put this image away for 6 months and revisit it with fresh eyes. Forget what you previsualized and take the image for what it is, and see what you can make of it.

    In the meantime, go back to the scene when the rushes are in flower. Try it when the wind is blowing. Try it when the breeze is blowing. And take an extra film holder cause, who knows, the wind might stop for 15 seconds, giving you the chance to take your shot the way you previsualized. But even if they are moving, give it a try - you just might get some unexpected mixtures of movement that show you exactly what you love about the scene in the first place.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2014
    N-E Victoria, Australia
    Thanks everyone, very helpful. Firstly, image size: I may need some extra knowledge here, as I had in mind the 100 KB file limit and did the best I could. I had a larger image but the board wouldn't accept it, so had to reduce the image size and submit again. I set the resolution at 72 dpi. What else can I do? Maybe scan at 2x actual rather than 1:1, but then the file size would increase. I hate all this digital stuff - too many headaches

    Dave, the tree at the rear is definitely intended as a dominant part of the composition as it lights beautifully in the early morning light, as do the reeds. I chose a vertical orientation to ensure that the effect of the tree would not be diluted. Unfortunately at this stage I do everything by computer, but am working toward a return to wet processing as funds permit. I use Pixelmator for the Mac - not a good substitute for PS in my opinion, but it's cheap. This was a greyscale scan with slight sepia toning and overall contrast increase, crop (as mentioned), and definitely no sharpening!

    Steve, I agree. I think this would be a better composition with a longer 'focal length', as it would allow tighter composition and the main parts of the composition, far tree and reeds, would appear closer.

    Earl, yes, the overhanging branches above are a bit heavy. I'll have to learn about dodging or hurry up moving back to wet printing.

    Don, I think you're right about contrast. I did apply extra contrast overall, but maybe the midtones need to be strengthened; I think I can do this in this program - good point. You're right, I haven't finished with this. It's a lovely spot and I'll certainly revisit it.

    Kier, interestiing thought, I've been waiting for calm conditions, and despite a bit of breeze when I made the exposure it wasn't really noticible; perhaps movement is not all that bad. The exposure by the way was 50 sec. and I was rather conscious of any breeze effect. Thanks also for your notes on scanning. I've been away for a few days and will need to get my head around it all and try what you suggest.

    Thanks everyone for your very helpful suggestions.

  8. #8
    Barry, I used to upload directly to F295, but then a few years later started hosting my images on Flickr, and cross-linking the BB code of the image directly to my post, meaning that I can display a full-sized image.

    Regarding your image, it's a good one, but reminds me of Nick's recurring visit to Mosquito Hill with his little 35mm color film pinhole camera, how he documents the subject throughout the seasons. That might make for an interesting project, and I'd like to see a series of images like that.

    Keep up the good work.

    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  9. #9
    Joe's method of using Flickr will work. If you prefer not to use Flickr, you can adjust your export settings. Your program probably has something like JPG quality or compression amount. If it goes by percentage, try 60% or 70%. If it uses words like "max", "high", or "medium" - try "high" or "medium". Bottom line, you don't need the highest quality display on the web. BTW dpi doesn't matter when saving for viewing on screens (and ONLY for when viewing on screens).

  10. #10
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Sonoma County, California
    Late to the party here, and I like this image and can see why you like this location! I think what Kier said about pre-visualization is a good thought.
    When I see this I also want to be closer to the rushes to see them better, and maybe reduce the upper branches ( I go back and forth in my own compositions about whether I like branches as "framing"... ). Not sure how safe it is move about close to that water, here in California I would think nothing of it, but I suppose there could be some fearsome critters to watch out for where you are
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

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