Epic Composition – maybe….

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  • #33387
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    When I first took this picture a couple of weeks ago, I reviewed it, and thought to myself, “Wow! That looks like something James Staddon himself would’ve taken!” – I thought it had quite a Staddonesque quality to it!

    Then, as I looked at it further, I began to question my initial overly-positive thoughts. For one, I thought, if it was truly a perfect photo the trees on the horizon should probably be in focus, right? But the camera was hand-held, I don’t think I could’ve much changed my aperture… it would’ve become very under-exposed. And then perhaps I should’ve plucked the grass off of those rocks, it does look somewhat messy; although that would’ve scared the lady that was watching me even more than she already was scared seeing me perched so precariously on the steep bank. Plus, I’ll be honest: the thought of the risk of falling in to the water wasn’t exactly appealing.

    So that, in a nutshell, is the background story behind this photo. I’d love to hear thoughts on it – things that you like or don’t like about it. Do you think it’s an epic composition?

    Camera: Nikon D3100
    Lens: 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 | Focal length: 18mm | Shutterspeed: 1/60 | Aperture: f/4 | ISO: 200

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    #33390
    Dan Cope
    Participant

    What I like about the photo is that you have found something interesting for a foreground subject. Imagine this photo without the rocks in the foreground and it would be much less interesting. Now for what I don’t like! To me it’s too heavily “weighted” on the right side. The rocks are primarily on the right and even the tree line on the horizon is thicker on that side. The open water on the left of the photo leaves a lot of empty space with nothing interesting to look at. Also the angle of the rocks is creating leading lines directly to the right side of the photo and adding to the feeling of being too heavy on that side as well as leading the eye out of the frame. This looks like a location with great potential and you’ve done a good job finding something to work with as a foreground subject. Of course a colorful sunrise or sunset wouldn’t hurt it any either! Too bad we can’t order those on demand!

    #33450
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    I love background stories. 🙂 I’ll see if I have time to talk about this tonight….https://www.lenspiration.com/photo-critique-with-lenspiration-sep-11/

    #33505
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    I had fun thinking through your shot on the webinar last night, @bennett-family! You can re-watch my comments on the 5 aspects that may contribute it it looking “Staddonesque” at around minute 1:22:09, https://www.lenspiration.com/video/webinar091118/

    #33541
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    It was so neat to hear the reasons behind why it made me think of your pictures! Thanks so much.

    #33577
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    @dan-cope, so sorry – I just realized I never replied to you here! Thanks so much for your comments. I’m trying to figure out how to fix the “weighted on one side” feeling in this type of situation… I mean, the only thing on the left to work with is open water and more of the same trees in the background. I don’t know what I could’ve done differently in composing the shot.
    And I agree about on-demand sunrises/sets. If I could, I would also change where in the sky they happened so I could actually see a sunset from my back yard instead of the sun being blocked during the entire golden hour and sunset by trees and a mountain! :p

    #33620
    Dan Cope
    Participant

    Well I can identify with you on that since I live in the “Mountain State” tucked between two hills! I don’t get to see sunrises or sunsets unless I leave home! And I can also identify with what you’re saying about not knowing what you could have done differently in composing the shot. It’s easy to look at a photo and say what could be improved, but sometimes the suggested improvements simply would not have been possible in that particular situation. I could think of a lot of things that could fill in the empty space and help to balance out your composition – a brightly colored boat; some ducks or geese floating on the water; some reflections of colorful clouds, etc. etc., but of course all of these things are beyond your control. But the good thing is that empty space in a photo isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can always be put to good use by filling it with a Scripture verse or inspirational quote!

    #33638
    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    Good thoughts! Thanks for that!

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