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I love this photo - I'm not sure what would have improved it because I was trying to capture the layers of islands and the warm light, but the foreground just seems so boring. Would a different vertical position have improved it?

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Added by Trish
on Aug 7, 2010.
 

Comments

  • A former member

    The eyes are drawn to the beautiful layered mountains and then explore the railing which is a pleasing curve. Your hunch was right about the foreground as it does not add to the image and the eye is left searching for an interest on the ground. Perhaps the image would be stronger if the bottom was cropped up to the bottom of the railing. It may be stronger still if the top of the image was cropped a bit as well as it would make those mountains more prominent. The railing/people/foreground are a bit underexposed, but brightening those areas may compete with the mountains. The foreground may benefit from a bit of sharpening as well. Well seen!

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  • Gail S.

    It seems to me that there are several things going on here. As you mentioned the layers of the islands, the foreground, and the fence with the people. The repeating lines of the fence (and the dry grasses next to it) with the repetition of the people seem to get a bit lost with the foreground. Did you try the vertical position that you mentioned ? I am not sure that would help create the affect you are after. I do think the horizontal view works here. I wonder if you had taken the image from a different vantage point -say, from the fence looking down and across toward the islands , if that would have helped. From that vantage point, it might have worked out that the repetition of the islands and the lines of fence would have been more pronounced than the foreground here. It has a vintage feel to it as well. How does it look in sepia ?

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  • Trish

    Thanks Russ. Looking at it more closely, had I zoomed a bit and brought the frame to the left and cropped out the foreground and some of the sky it may have been a lot better. I'll play with it in photoshop sometime and see if I can salvage a mediocre photo -- and transform it into something quite good. Gail, I did try this from different vantage points, but this one was the best to get the layers of the islands. But, I'll go there again one evening and see if I can recreate it, only better -- and I'll try your sepia suggestion as well. Thanks very much!

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  • A former member

    It's funny how we all see things differently. My eye was immediately drawn to the railing, on the right side, and then to the major figure. I then noticed the foreground and only the background last....because it is faint. I think your idea on retaking it differently framed is the best one. I like what you were going for though.

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  • Russ K.

    I'd say it all depends on what you are trying to say with this picture. It shows a whole lot of things, but none of them prominently. If the railing is important, it might be a vantage point closer to the railing might work better. If the people are important, finding a way to separate them from the background might be useful. If the layers in the background are important, reducing the foreground to emphasize the background, or zooming in to foreshorten the background might work. Figuring out what you want to say is the key. cheers, Russ

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  • Trish

    When I took the shot I first liked the layered mountains and then wanted to include the railing because I liked the warm light. When I think of cropping, I have conflicts because I like the right side with the long line of the railing and the people. I find the main figure important. But the foreground! It really detracts. The best part of the layered mountains is to the left. So if I were to crop it down it would be quite like a panoramic shot. I could stand to lose a bit on both sides... I'll try it and see what happens. Thanks very much for your comments!!!

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  • Russ K.

    I'd say this picture is one of them learning experiences. The next time you are creating a picture like this, when you are constructing the picture, try to pause, and gain a precise awareness of how all the elements relate to one another in the frame - the proportions and division of the picture space is critical to the success of a picture with so many things going on - this is the crux of the issue you are having now with the foreground. cheers, Russ

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  • Trish

    Wow, I'm amazed at what I'm learning from your comments. So happy to have your feedback! Thanks!

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  • Bruce I.

    Hi Trish. I agree with everything said so far, but I sent you an email with an alternative crop that I think helps to bring out what it is the image. I believe this is a normal issue that when your subject doesn't match the shape of the sensor of the camera, you get a lot of "empty space". I think it is a good situation to apply post production to improve isolation of the subject. For me the subject includes the mountains, the people and the railing.

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  • Trish

    Thanks Bruce!!! I really see now what it looks like. It really does preserve the elements I like and removing the distracting dead space. Thanks again!!! I've uploaded your example to the Aug Misc. album - http://www.meetup.com/photo-475/photos/1010327/#17030678

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  • Derin S.

    Trish, I was going to suggest what Bruce mentioned (cropping out the uninteresting ground/"empty space") but he beat me to it. Also, you should always watch the four edges of what you're photographing and avoid having some piece of an object or person sticking out. It looks like you cut out parts of 1 or 2 people on the right side edge of the image and also someone's arm on the left side edge.

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  • A former member

    Hi Trish, just came upon this forum and I have posted my version of your photo as mine - as what I would do from this photo

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