SI 46.8 comments by Calvin Sambrook

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Calvin Sambrook, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. I thought this was a hard mandate so I'm pleased to see so many great

    46.8-Cooper-APCH.jpg: What a wonderful first image of the set. The
    composition and the juxtaposition of the very flat tones on the right with
    the clouds and broken tones at the bottom works well. I particularly like
    those flat tones. Superb.

    46.8-Cooper-Cow Barn.jpg: This has real interest and of course it's
    technically very well shot but somehow it doesn't do it for me and I just
    can't say why. I like the intense detail and the use of monochrome works

    46.8-Cooper-Waiting for Amtrack.jpg: I really like this despite a number of
    distracting artifacts, somehow it conveys a mood and a message. Disturbing
    me was the solarisation around the bench, whether that's natural or the
    result of some post processing I don't much care as it's distracting
    whichever it is. I'm not sure about the grain, personally I find it
    distracting but that may just be because I'm used to looking for that sort
    of thing, a non-trained eye might not even notice it and indeed it might
    actually be adding to the mood and feeling that the image conveys.

    46.8degrees-Savageduck-01.jpg: I just can't get excited about a photograph
    of a shop like this. The framing is interesting I guess but there are so
    many other things in life which can be framed this way. Sorry, not one for

    46.8degrees-Savageduck-02.jpg: Another shot which tells a story, what is it
    about waiting for public transport, maybe it's something we can all relate
    to. This shot captures the mood well but the restriction to use 50mm lens
    perspective has resulted in far too much distraction. I like the decision
    to place the subject in the lower half of the frame and include lots of
    essentially blank space above, that really forces the eye back onto the
    subject, well done.

    46.8degrees-Savageduck-03.jpg: Wow, that's more like it. This shot is well
    composed with lots of interest at places my eye wants to go. Placing the
    vanishing point of the track where it is makes me feel I can almost see
    forever there and the detail there seems more important because of it. The
    subjects are facing well into the frame which always helps and again that
    feeling of boredom comes through, it's something about the posture I think.
    There's not much you could do about it but that crate in the middle is a bit
    of a pain, I think it distracts more than it adds, photoshop it out? And
    what's with the white border? I've not really noticed it much before but
    here it is a definite distraction and seriously reduces the impact of the

    468_BobCoe_1.JPG: I shouldn't like this but I do anyway. Dumping the trees
    right in the middle really minimises their impact and a lack of contrast
    between them and the background should spell disaster but the whole thing is
    saved by the clarity of the reflection in the water. Well done for spotting
    that, seeing the potential and bringing it to life.

    468_BobCoe_2.JPG: I like the oversaturated look of this, it makes it look
    really cold and imposing. That said I think a more conventional composition
    would have worked better, I wonder, did you flout the compositional "rules"
    deliberately for expediency or for effect or was it just lack of care?
    Turning the camera just a little to the right would have brought the beach
    edge further into the frame and made the whole thing feel more comfortable.
    Tilting the camera up or down would have avoided the 50/50 split
    horizontally and could either have given more emphasis to the imposing sky
    or to the dull sand/sea, whichever message you wanted to convey, as it is
    the message is mixed and a little diluted. The seagull needs to go too, it
    looks too much like a camera defect.

    468_TimConway2.jpg: This shot doesn't grab me I'm afraid. There's no real
    focus of attention, well I suppose there's the signs but they're not
    interesting enough to hold attention. Each side of the image has
    distracting elements part in, part out of shot.

    468_TimConway_old.jpg: I quite like this as a snap but somehow it just
    doesn't have much interest really. The colourful blossom competes for
    attention with the hard lines of the cannon which doesn't help and somehow
    it's got an out of focus look.

    468_bowser1.jpg: This shot really works for me which is strange as I've
    just slated another shot of a street sign! I like the harsh unusual angles
    of the building and the sign is interesting enough to keep the attention.
    The composition is good. Well done.

    468_bowser2.jpg: Great, the flat sky works well and the formation is
    interesting. I guess this was a little too spur of the moment to worry
    about compositional niceties though? I'd have been inclined to cheat and
    move them down and right!

    468_bowser3.jpg: This shot just has too much wrong with it, are you testing
    how nice we'll be Bowser? The snow on the foreground trees is a complete
    distraction, there is no visual context to it so it just serves to make the
    brain scream "what's that stuff on the lens". The dog, loyal and lovely
    friend though he may be, is too insignificant a part of the image and so
    adds nothing. In the end it's just a shot of some snow in the woods.
    Sorry, that's a bit harsh.

    50mm_Frank_ess_blossomBee.JPG: What a wasted opportunity. Surely you could
    have found a camera position where the background wasn't quite so
    distracting? The green tree on the bottom left, the branch of the subject
    just going out of shot, the other branches just peeking in on the right,
    care over composition or at least application of photoshop are needed. I
    like the flat blue sky though.

    50mm_Frank_ess_emblems.jpg: Ordinarily anything like this would just make
    me switch off so this shot does very well to grab and keep my attention.
    The clean lines and clean tones work well together although I feel it would
    benefit from losing the extra bit on the right.

    50mm_Paul_Furman_0033548.jpg: Wonderful. Paul really has an eye for this
    sort of arty shot. The graduated background and the carefully controlled
    tonal range show real craftsmanship and the use of a standard composition...
    well it shows why this is a standard compositional technique I guess. A
    shot I'll try to learn from.

    50mm_Paul_Furman_R1- 4A.jpg: This doesn't work for me. Too much tree on
    the left and the bird feeder too close to the edge on the right along with a
    lot of confusion in the middle mean my eyes are all over the place but still
    finding nothing that grabs them.

    50mm_Paul_Furman_R1-19A.jpg: Something's wrong here and I'm not sure what.
    The composition is good and draws me in but the tonal range or the colours
    or something feel wrong Why do the top right trees look so flat? And
    what's that horrible white scar just right of centre towards the bottom?

    Jim Kramer HP5+F027.jpg: I like the composition of this and it's kind of
    fun but it doesn't really keep my attention. The decision to include the
    film perfs is fun too - I haven't seen them in a long time.

    Jim Kramer HP5+F028.jpg: It's out of focus to the point where I can't even
    tell what it's supposed to be! I guess this is meant to be arty but it
    misses for me.

    Jim Kramer HP5+F034.jpg: Great! A very of-the-moment shot and I really
    like it. It really needs a little post processing to clean up the straw or
    scratch or whatever that is though.

    SI 50mm Ice Cave by Calvin Sambrook.jpg: Mine. It's been v. cold here and
    my pond and fountain were fantastic. One of the many things I found was
    this little ice cave surrounding the only liquid water on the surface.
    Monochrome because I felt it worked best and reduced contrast/elevated
    blacks to try and make it look colder (thanks Dudley for that trick). Grain
    for the same reason although I'm not so sure it works as well as I'd hoped.

    SI 50mm Launch Tower by Calvin Sambrook.jpg: Mine. A crisp winter's day
    after a snow fall and I thought this reminded me of something. Low taking
    angle to try to get a clear background which almost worked and a flat sky
    because - well because that's how the sky was that day but I think it looks
    good here. I love the crisp detail in this shot.

    SI 50mm Off Guard by Calvin Sambrook.jpg: Mine. I've tried for so long to
    get a good fencing shot and so far this is one of the best I've managed.
    Way too much distraction, soft and grainy (no flash allowed and no chance to
    add lights) but I like the body shapes.

    SI_50mm_Alan Browne_1.jpg: An expert image. Almost everything works here,
    the rich colours, the sharp objects alongside blurred moving objects, the
    glare, the burn of the lights, the composition drawing you in and in and in.
    The only thing I don't like is whatever's going on at the bottom, it needs a
    good cropping.

    _SRS0866.jpg: Great shot. The composition is superb and should serve as a
    lesson to us all. The control of the background focus is great with just
    enough sharpness but not too much. I suppose the right hand part of a tree
    could be distracting but the rest of the shot is so good it doesn't seem to
    matter. I like this a lot.

    Reading this through I see some of my comments are maybe a little brash,
    they're not meant to offend and with the exception of just one shot, which
    I'm sure I've misunderstood, the photos this month are all really very good,
    I think I'm just in a picky mood tonight.
    Calvin Sambrook, Jan 18, 2010
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  2. Calvin Sambrook

    tony cooper Guest

    Here's a companion shot in color. The train station benches are old
    oak hardwood benches that have recently been re-varnished. That's why
    they are so shiny. The weird bit right above the bench at the right in
    my original photo is light reflected off the glossy natural wood
    finish...light from the ceiling lights and not my flash. In this one,
    note the strong shadow from the ceiling light to the left of the man.
    My flash, from my position, would have put the shadow to the right.

    There's some grain in both, but the camera was straining to make this
    work with only built-in flash.
    tony cooper, Jan 19, 2010
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  3. Calvin Sambrook

    Bruce Guest

    Hard mandate? Don't be ridiculous!!! It is one of the easiest
    mandates ever. It is only "hard" for people who don't understand the
    very elementary terms "focal length" and "angle of view".

    If you fall into that category of people, you have no right to call
    yourself a photographer, because this is about as basic and
    fundamental as knowledge of photography gets.
    Bruce, Jan 19, 2010
  4. Calvin Sambrook

    Whodat Guest

    There's only one photo in the bunch that is worth looking at. Which
    surprised me because I thought the submitter didn't have any talent at all.
    Then when looking at the others that person submitted I was right on both
    counts. It was just a lucky shot. I.e. Even a stopped clock is correct
    twice a day for a nano-second. The entrant doesn't even know which of
    theirs is the good one. Because if they had, they wouldn't have submitted
    the others that were just as painfully bad as all the rest who submitted
    their snapshots.

    No sense telling you who submitted the only half-decent one, by accident.
    They all want to feel like they submitted something worthwhile or they
    wouldn't have bothered in the first place. I wouldn't want to rob them of
    their delusions.
    Whodat, Jan 19, 2010
  5. Calvin Sambrook

    Bruce Guest

    Wow! That's infinitely better than usual ...

    Well said!

    That's the best ever summary of the execrable Shoot-In. ;-)
    Bruce, Jan 19, 2010
  6. Calvin Sambrook

    tony cooper Guest

    Add to the offer that he can write his own reviews of his images.
    tony cooper, Jan 19, 2010
  7. Calvin Sambrook

    Bruce Guest

    But you have nothing to learn from anyone.

    That's the fundamental problem with the SI - no-one ever learns
    anything. No one ever improves. It's the same old dire snapshots
    every single time, regardless of the "mandate".

    Then, worst of all, comes the whining commentary on other people's
    shots, always the same, always praising them to the heavens
    (especially when their submissions are truly atrocious!) in case the
    person making the comments gets some honest feedback in return.

    This is probably the worst SI ever. The mandate couldn't have been
    simpler, but it is clear that several people completely misunderstood
    it. As a result, several contributions should have been excluded.
    But they weren't, because ignoring the mandate has never disqualified
    anyone from submitting something truly appalling.

    While you strive only for mediocrity, standards will only continue to
    drop. And that is what has happened here, yet again.

    It was possibly the most undemanding mandate ever (with the possible
    exception of "Favourites") and still people failed to perform.

    Q: Why would anyone with a shred of competence want to be involved?

    A: Some did at first, but they all left the SI a long time ago,
    leaving behind a bunch of grossly incompetent snapshooters.

    Sadly, the SI is all about failure.
    Bruce, Jan 19, 2010
  8. Calvin Sambrook

    Bruce Guest

    It isn't a cop-out.

    It tells you in simple terms exactly what is wrong with the SI, and
    why no-one who wants to improve their photography or aspires to any
    sort of standard would want to participate.

    If you choose not to understand such a simple and honest appraisal,
    then you would appear to be exactly the right person to keep it going.
    Bruce, Jan 19, 2010
  9. Calvin Sambrook

    tony cooper Guest

    Where did you get the idea that the Shoot-In is intended as a learning
    experience? It's not supposed to be a School for Photography. It's
    entertainment, and - as such - it succeeds in that for the

    I've entered every Shoot-In since I saw that it was offered. I've
    never entered to learn about photography. I've entered because I
    enjoy finding subjects that meet the mandate (as I've understood it)
    and composing and preparing my entries. I like taking photographs,
    and I like being directed to stretch my thinking to include a mandate.

    I like the comments about my photographs because I'm interested in
    seeing how others see what I've done. I haven't consciously changed
    anything about how or what I shoot because of those comments, though.

    If I want to learn about photography I'll enroll in a photography
    class at one of the several schools in the area that offer programs on

    The fundamental problem here is that you are imposing a requirement on
    the program that is not part of the program. It's like watching a Tom
    and Jerry cartoon and complaining that you are not learning about
    animation, mice, or cats.
    tony cooper, Jan 19, 2010
  10. Calvin Sambrook

    tony cooper Guest

    No, it doesn't, Bruce. It tells us why the Shoot-In does not appeal
    to you. That does not mean that there's anything wrong with the

    As a non-participant, your opinion is not really valued by anyone.
    Only the people who participate can decide what is wrong.

    I really don't give a rat's ass if you enter or not or how you rate
    the entries. There's absolutely no indication that the Shoot-In would
    be more interesting with your participation.
    tony cooper, Jan 19, 2010
  11. Calvin Sambrook

    tony cooper Guest

    Which Tony? This Tony hasn't added or deleted any groups. Since this
    post falls in line with my posts, it would be mannerly if you'd make
    the extra effort of typing in the last name.

    I've got years of participation in Usenet in various groups, so that
    doesn't clarify things.
    tony cooper, Jan 19, 2010
  12. Calvin Sambrook

    Charles Guest

    Yeah, Tony nailed this one. Challenges and shoot-ins are for
    mind-stretching and to get those creative juices flowing. Even the
    technically bad shots are often worth considering because they offer
    examples of original thinking.
    Charles, Jan 19, 2010
  13. Chrlz, a.k.a. Mark Thomas, John McWilliams, is a well known
    net-stalking troll. It often confuses as many as 100 different people as
    being all the same one, merely a projection of its deep psychoses.
    Outing Trolls is FUN!, Jan 19, 2010
  14. Dontcha love this guy's use of "projection"? Kinda the opposite of
    Sybil, he is: one hurt and impotent personality expressed as thousands
    of nyms.

    tony, with the lower case I'm quite sure Mark is not referencing you at
    all- and since he and I are the same guy although on different
    continents, I speak with authority.... :)
    John McWilliams, Jan 20, 2010
  15. Calvin Sambrook

    Peter Guest

    I apologize to the group for not picking up on him earlier.
    Peter, Jan 20, 2010
  16. Calvin Sambrook

    Paul Furman Guest

    Nice shot but this begs for perspective correction to me.

    It is very 'normal' as in normal field of view (well, actually a bit
    tight at 75mm equivalent) and has a very archetypal sort of scene with
    building, trees, ground, cow. I'm thinking perhaps some foreground
    interest would help? Overall pleasing.

    At first glance I was really impressed with this one, I don't know why
    it appealed less coming back to it. The logo bag could definitely go,
    then I could see what's going on with the beautiful curved wood benches
    and interesting play with depth & the subject.

    I tend to frame things tight in camera and cry if I have to crop later.

    This reminds me of architectural rendering. Maybe an off-center position
    could have perfected the foreground. Or portrait orientation with the
    tower, Oak and round planter only...

    The other B&W cropped one caught the character nicely. This one is a bit
    pedestrian and harsh lighting distracts.

    I see it more as a classic landscape/street scene. The people are
    (almost) incidental. "Life in Paso Robles."

    It looks like you are cropping all your shots to an 8x10 aspect ratio,
    that's probably a good exercise and likely improves things overall.

    The foreground is gorgeous. I would crop the sky out completely. It
    might have been possible to get up on a log or something, point down &
    get some foreground also perhaps.

    My impression is dynamic balance. I do see your point about the right
    edge, there's just a hint of some details but no satisfaction, even with
    a smooth beach, it might be a little more comfortable to have some more
    beach on the end.

    I like it as an architectural rendering. I wonder if film would have
    caught the bright sky better.

    If the frame continued to the left into a substantial bit of wooded
    ravine, I'd be very satisfied with this image.

    Nice use of foreground too. That adds so much to relate to a place you
    could put your hand into and touch.

    Or just to the right. This shot fits in with my blue abstract flower :)

    Interesting light but the centeredness does bug me on this one.

    Frank's style is kind of like that though, sort of frank and inclusive
    of the complexities of life. OK maybe I'm blabbering... I do appreciate
    the inclusion of a background in a macro shot though. It took me a long
    time to notice the bee.

    Hmm, maybe some redeeming qualities but the red reflection bugs me.

    Thanks, it's pretty darn straightforward but yeah, lots of work goes
    into these focus stacked shots. It's a completely different way of
    working than in the field. This was a stack of about 35 shots with a
    50mm f/1.2 wide open at I think about 4x magnification on a bellows.
    Reversing the lens would give much better corner performance, I was just
    curious how the lens would do stretched to it's limits. The center
    sharpness is pretty decent. Off center has atrocious astigatism/coma or
    whatever that is. Those tips were caught in best focus through the
    stack. The bottom is actually cropped so the 50mm rule is broken there.

    I'm flattered that you found any redeeming qualities. I actually shot
    these on film for the first time in at least 10 years. I didn't know how
    to control the exposure in post; maybe I should have left them alone,
    the skies look weird but it was a bright gray day. 24 experimental
    exposures of Kodak Gold 200 print film to photo CD.

    Too much for me also.

    Bad bokeh :p
    Great shot though.

    One could spend a long time doing studies of this scene. Trying
    different lighting & compositions.

    Ha!! Thanks for that.

    Bonus points for putting the mandate to good use; it's clear that we are
    right there in the fray. Lots of perspective cues from the foreshortened
    body to the building but the guy in front is in the middle of a normal
    lens so nothing freaky in the technique, just good honest up close
    action. The distracting background doesn't bother me here, it feels like

    Beautiful image, it really captures the lovely lighting I so often see
    and wish I had a camera build into my glasses.

    Nice cinematic feel but the Charlie Brown Christmas tree is a letdown.
    ....or maybe a poignant refrain? Maybe I have the feeling that this isn't
    the final story, like a movie, we are just glimpsing one frame in a

    Thanks again for your thoughtful responses.

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Jan 20, 2010
  17. Calvin Sambrook

    whisky-dave Guest

    How do you know that ?

    Even I've learnt a few things[1]
    Well I've only seen a few of the more recent ones, I'm not sure how you
    can be so sure that no one improves. But is that really the aim.
    If you want to improvev yuor photography what do you do
    complainn about other people, or do to look at other peoles photos
    or perhaps go to a college and leanrt about it.
    How do you suggest one learns photography by buying the most expensive
    or latest camera on the market, or perhaps memorising the manuals and specs
    is the way to go.

    I find constructive criticism interesting, I find comments of most sorts
    interesting and whinny little bitches boring.
    Well there's is the option of you to show everyone the 'light'
    I mean I could tell you what's wrong with the world, but could I run it
    better, probably.
    But of course I don;t need to prove that all I have to to is believe it in
    order to feel superior.
    Maybe we just need someone to show as the way via an example rather than
    like a girl outside a closed shoe shop.

    why not, I mean do all sorts of things that I don;t really understand, why
    do people do sports
    when they already know they aren;t the best in the world at it.

    Must have been before I arrived.
    are you one of those ?, or just someone that doesn;t take pictures
    worthy of even being classed as a snapshot.

    But who's failing those that don't submit or those that do ?

    [1] I've learnt who actually takes pictures and who just talks about
    that you appear to troll, but not sure if that;s all you are a Troll or not,
    that is the question.
    whisky-dave, Jan 20, 2010
  18. Calvin Sambrook

    Robert Coe Guest

    : I thought this was a hard mandate so I'm pleased to see so many great
    : entries.
    : ...
    : 468_BobCoe_1.JPG: I shouldn't like this but I do anyway. Dumping the trees
    : right in the middle really minimises their impact and a lack of contrast
    : between them and the background should spell disaster but the whole thing is
    : saved by the clarity of the reflection in the water. Well done for spotting
    : that, seeing the potential and bringing it to life.

    Thanks, Calvin! Your comments are very perceptive as usual. That picture would
    indeed never have made it past the "delete" key if it weren't for that
    reflection. I liked that the fact that the reflection showed off the trees in
    a manner that the straight-on shot didn't begin to do. Can anyone explain the
    blue aura around the treetops? Scattering of light by the branches themselves,

    : 468_BobCoe_2.JPG: I like the oversaturated look of this, it makes it look
    : really cold and imposing.

    No saturation applied, though, except to set the Canon "picture style" to
    "Landscape" instead of "Standard".

    : That said I think a more conventional composition would have worked better,
    : I wonder, did you flout the compositional "rules" deliberately for
    : expediency or for effect or was it just lack of care?

    I try to apply reasonable principles of composition, but I don't consider any
    of them to be "rules".

    : Turning the camera just a little to the right would have brought the beach
    : edge further into the frame and made the whole thing feel more comfortable.

    There was some sort of obstruction or distraction to the right that dictated
    where I positioned the edge. I have some other pictures of the scene, taken
    from a slightly different angle, that are not as tightly cropped on the right.
    At least one of them is probably a better picture than this one, but their
    focal length doesn't conform to the mandate. :^|

    : Tilting the camera up or down would have avoided the 50/50 split
    : horizontally and could either have given more emphasis to the imposing sky
    : or to the dull sand/sea, whichever message you wanted to convey, as it is
    : the message is mixed and a little diluted.

    I don't see that (which certainly doesn't mean that you're not right about
    it). More broadly, I tend to think the horizon belongs in the center, all else
    equal. That's usually where one's eyes place it in an actual scene, and it
    usually causes fewer perspective problems if you have to crop the image,
    assuming you crop the top and bottom evenly. IOW, the shrinking of the image
    with increasing distance should be the same in the top and bottom halves if
    possible. BTW, if you think the sand and sea in this picture are dull, you
    haven't had to contend with nearly as many really dull seascapes as I have.

    : The seagull needs to go too, it looks too much like a camera defect.

    To me he's pretty obviously a bird, although I frankly hadn't noticed him
    until you brought it up. The low resolution required by the Shoot-In rules may
    be the culprit here; I've often been surprised by the degradation it causes.
    Don't let anybody tell you that the relatively low pixel count of computer
    monitors keeps it from making a difference.

    Thanks for your comments. As always, I pity the trolls and naysayers for not
    realizing how useful and fun this all is.

    I may piggyback on some more of Calvin's comments, but I don't have time to do
    so tonight. They changed the commuter train schedule last week, and I now have
    to get up at 4:30 in the morning. :^(

    Robert Coe, Jan 21, 2010
  19. I see some more shots have been added. I've put my comments in the proper
    place in the order.
    48.6-peter-chant.jpg: I really like this and think it works well which is
    interesting as in many ways it is similar to shots which I think don't work.
    The composition is excellent and this shows how to use a foreground border
    to good effect, the overhanging tree "joins" the distant hillside and
    provides some continuity, a "resolve" if you like. The leaves at the bottom
    are not dominating as they get lost in the foreground mud but they do help
    to break up what would otherwise be a block which would distract from the
    scene. The two horizontal breaks on the thirds (sky to trees and grass to
    mud) balance the shot nicely and so provide a settling influence which is
    further enhanced by the dewey look to the grass and the misty look to the
    hillside - did you get up early Peter? Add in some cows which look so very
    relaxed and the end result makes a statement - peaceful.
    The only thing I'd quibble about is that blob of yellow in the bottom right
    which im my opinion is worth the effort to remove.

    50mm_Alan_Browne_2.jpg: I like this a lot. The composition is good and the
    colours in the flags work well. The imposing sky does rather compete for
    attention with the flags, I wonder what this would have turned out like on a
    day with a clear blue sky? Don't let that detract from the shot though, I
    think it looks good the way it is.

    50mm_Alan_Browne_3.jpg: At first glance the bright colours make me like
    this but the effect only lasts a second or two before the problems show up.
    There's quite a list of sins here: half a dancer at the left, lights in bad
    places, background dancers masking the shape of the sunbect and more. On
    their own each of these might not be too bad but together they drain the
    power from the shot which is a shame as I want to keep liking it as much as
    I do at first sight.

    aqua baby1.jpg: Hee, hee, that's a fun shot. It looks posed of course and
    it's hard to make posed shots look good unless you get everything right, I
    guess the viewer's brain automatically sets a higher standard for posed
    shots. This shot works, good composition with a nice balance between the
    wall and the floor, strong colours and a lack of distraction. It's a shame
    about the vertical stripes on the left, could they have been disguised in

    bw_schools out.jpg: There are elements of this that work, the choice of B&W
    and the harsh lighting are great but there are also problems, the half
    in/half out fish at each edge, the grain or dirt in the tank, the low
    resolution or soft focus or whatever and the faint images of other fish
    right in the middle combine to overwhelm the positives. Which is a shame as
    I think it has real protential.

    reversed falls.jpg: What a beautiful piece of abstract. I guess from the
    title it's a waterfall but I can't see how it's done in any detail. I
    really like the play with colour and tone, having a splash of colour in one
    corner, mid grey in the middle and a darker area in the other corner really
    works well. Great composition too with things in strong places and a sense
    of balance. Come on, tell us some details: how's it lit? what post
    I'm glad these extra shots have been added, they are well worth it.
    Calvin Sambrook, Jan 21, 2010
  20. I really hate that word "rules" and I put it in quotes for that very reason.
    I too don't consider them to be rules in the sense of "must do", maybe "rule
    of thumb" might be a better term. What they really are is expressions of
    some principles which have been discovered over the years about how the
    brain works. You can choose to arrange a shot to satisfy the brain (by
    "following the rule") or to disturb the brain ( by "breaking the rule"),
    which you choose delpends on the effect you want to create in the viewer's
    Hmm. It's fairly well established that the brain very much likes to divide
    things up in cetain ways although I've never seen an explaination as to the
    underlying processes invloved. Visually the strongest division is into
    thirds and if you provide some nice strong elements in the scene at the
    right points the brain is contented and the shot looks "resolved". Other
    divisions create other effects so if you wanted to create a tension in the
    scene you might move the horizon up a bit more and put it at say 1/5 to 1/4
    of the way down from the top. The division into halves doesn't satisfy but
    neither does it cause a particular tension - it's a weak position. If you
    are familiar with musical composition you may have come across some
    analogous concepts where notes in the scale are "strong" or "weak" and so
    provide tension or resolution to a phrase, have a look at some sheet music
    and you'll see that phrases (almost) never end on anything other than the
    "root" or the "fifth".

    In this photo your use of the 50/50 split gives the viewer's brain no clue
    as to the element which you want to dominate the scene. Foretunately you've
    shown a strong, moody sky and a weak, dull sea/beach which works as a
    juxtaposition. I quite like that but I can't help imagining this photo with
    the horizon moved up (saying "dull beach" - not a winner) or down (saying
    "powerful sky").
    Calvin Sambrook, Jan 21, 2010
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