SI: Interesting comments

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Calvin Sambrook, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. I'm amazed. When I saw the mandate and realised how hard it would be for me
    I thought there would be a very small entry. Well done everyone.

    INT Eric Stevens 2.jpg: I can see where you're coming from with this but it
    doesn't quite get there for me. I like the way you've juxtaposed the
    barrels with the post but the post provides too big a block of nothingness
    so it becomes a distraction.

    INT Eric Stevens 4.jpg: Again this didn't quite get there - I guess
    machinery's just not my thing. This feels like a documentary shot, maybe
    try altering the taking height so those complicated bits on the floor are
    accentuated or something. I like the detail though, pin sharp too, and the
    lighting's nice.

    INT_ E_Stevens_old.jpg: Wow. How can you possibly say "no artistic merit"
    in the comments, The angle the string cuts through the sky and indeed the
    completely flat sky with such a tiny kite force me to follow the string from
    the foreground to the kite. I'm reminded of something Miro, I'm sure he did
    an installation piece called "string" or some such which worked the same

    Int_BobCoe_1.JPG: I really like this but I don't know why. The subtle red
    tones and the very harsh vertical lines counteract each other nicely. You
    obviously have an eye for composition as the relative positioning of the
    balls and the camera works really well as of course does the lighting.I'm
    struggling to get the scale of this piece, something tells me it's really
    small but on the other hand it looks like maybe a stage set or something?

    Int_BobCoe_2.JPG: I like this too, the different detailing on each side adds
    interest and the total burn-out of the centre works really well.

    Int_BobCoe_3_old.JPG: I'm sure this is a good shot but why the strange
    border? Somehow that just makes me look at the border no matter how much I
    try to look at the image. What are you trying to say? Blanking out the
    border leaves me something I really like, especially the movement in the
    blurred wings - it sort of goes together with the soft colours and soft
    focus of the sea and sky.

    Int_MarthaCoe_1.JPG: I'm sorry but I just don't get this. There's no really
    attention grabbing feature and too many things which drag my eyes away,
    what's that bench doing there - hasn't it heard of cropping? For me this is
    just a snap of a building.

    Int_MarthaCoe_2.JPG: Now this is interesting. Close your eyes a bit and
    squint and this looks like an old fashioned shot of a steam train! Lots of
    things work well here, the vanishing point of the building is near a major
    third which I'm sure helps, the building has loads of texture and symmetry
    and that fence adds yet another dimension. I like.

    Int_MarthaCoe_3.JPG: As flower shots go this one is quite good I suppose,
    nice depth of field, sharp flowers, excellent composition, good control of
    dynamic range (it would have been so easy to burn the white petals out).
    But it's a flower shot and they are notoriously difficult to make

    Interesting-Almost Real-Cooper.jpg: This is a really powerful shot and
    technically very good too. I particularly like the (not so) subtle
    highlighting on the skin and wonder if that is due to good control of the
    lighting or is the model is made up that way. The composition could be a
    disaster but for the hat which turns it into a real attention grabber.

    Interesting-Bob Sosenko.jpg: One day I'll learn to light like Bob lights. I
    don't often enjoy machine shots but this one has a surreal look to it that
    keeps my eyes coming back for more. And with plenty of detail there's more
    to come back for again and again. Fantastic.

    Interesting_-_BobFlint_1_.jpg: I'm not sure about this, something grabs me
    but then again there's just a little bit too much distraction to hold my
    attention. I think part of the problem is the cropping, is the body/cab at
    the top part of the image or not, more or less is needed. The distant
    background is very distracting too, why is it in focus? That said I like
    the overall composition and the textures and details although I think that
    overall it could benefit from some dodge and burn to reduce the intensity of
    the sunlit areas and so leave scope to add contrast to the areas in shadow,
    maybe simply pull up the midrange in photoshop?

    Interesting_-_BobFlint_2_.jpg: This doesn't quite get there for me, the
    composition is to central and whatever's on the to right shouldn't be. A
    simple crop of the right hand fifth of the image, almost to the cage, makes
    it much better in my opinion as it gives it more balance. I like the
    texture in the soil though, good choice of time of day in order to get the
    light to do that.

    Interesting_-_BobFlint_3_.jpg: Another one where a tiny crop would make all
    the difference. Losing the scoop on the left gets rid of a major
    distraction and places all of the main components directly into the strong
    areas of the image
    I'm glad that's not my garden.

    Interesting_Savageduck-01.jpg: Here's an example of how to get it right.
    Straightforward composition which places the important bit in the right
    place even though that means including some bland bits on the left to relax
    the viewer's eye. Inclusion of another plane in the background with just
    enough depth of field so that it's clearly recognisable for what it is but
    doesn't in any way distract from the main image sets the context so that the
    viewer's brain instantly recognises the subject. Lots of detail in the
    important bits to keep the attention where it should be.

    Interesting_Savageduck-02B.jpg: And here's and example of the opposite.
    Where is my attention supposed to be? Scoop thing? Detail of door tips?
    Detail on door hinges? I dunno!
    Add in poor exposure control so that the definition between the subject and
    the background is lost in some areas as well as shadows with no hint of
    their origin and hope is lost.

    Interesting_Savageduck-03.jpg: I like the centre composition of this, I
    think it adds power and menace, it reminds me of Helen's child with Gun shot
    from a few month's back. The lighting is immense but is it real? certainly
    the top centre looks a bit strange to me. The rest is of course technically
    spot-on too, in particular the tonal range which is just about right in the
    important bits like the engine detail. The only slight down side is the
    depth of field which I feel could do with being a little shorter to get rid
    of the buildings a bit.

    Interesting_TimConway.jpg: Once again there's too much else going on for the
    bit that matters to take centre stage as it should. This needs a
    dramatically different camera angle or a very short depth of field or
    something. It should be a picture of the engine and prop not of the
    buildings, truck, gantry etc.

    Interesting_TimConway2_old.jpg: Lovely. The arrangement of the domes works
    well and whatever you've done to the sky is great but could it perhaps use a
    little more contrast so there is more black in the image?

    Interesting_TimConway3_old.jpg: I quite like this although it does seem a
    little contrived. How was the lighting done? The use of a slightly
    battered example adds interest too. The composition is a little, well,
    tried and tested, indeed I have an almost identical shot hanging on my
    living room wall (not taken by me I must add).

    SI-Interesting-by-Calvin-Sambrook.jpg: Mine of course. A deliberate use of
    converging verticals to give an impression of height and reach. I kept the
    left hand books vertical and tilted the right hand side in as it seems to
    make it look more as if the model is climbing than if they both slope to the
    centre. Lighting is deliberately on her back in an attempt to add texture
    to her clothes but in retrospect it might have worked better from the other
    side. The ceiling is deliberately burned out in order to lose it's detail
    which was distracting in test shots.

    SI_Interesting_Solomon_Peachy_1.jpg: Fantastic. The choice of intense
    colour and really tight focus really works as do the strong highlights.

    SI_Interesting_Solomon_Peachy_2_old.jpg: A great image, you've captured a
    wonderful look and the whole thing carries a lot of power. It's an image
    which forces my brain off into "what is she thinking" sorts of questions
    which I suppose is exactly what you intended. Technically: great lighting,
    very well controlled, wonderful use of tonal range with the only real
    highlight being the flame and that on a strong point too. The really flat
    tone of the face really forces the viewer to keep coming back to the flame.
    The only slight downside I guess is that glass in the bottom right but the
    rest is so powerful it doesn't really distract.

    int-bowser-1.jpg: Cute but the impact is totally lost in the confusing
    background. Control of depth of field was a must here.

    int-bowser-2.jpg: What a fun picture. It's actually got great composition
    and I particularly like the subtle ways in which motion is indicated. Great
    textures and just the right amount of depth of field to still shout
    "sea-side" but not be distracting.

    int-bowser-3.jpg: Wonderfully complex but I found there was simply nothing
    to focus my attention on so the image as a whole lost it's potential impact.
    Nice dynamic range and some very subtle tomes.

    int_simon1.jpg: A nice bug-shot if you like that sort of thing. The
    composition would fail miserably if it weren't for that stuff on the left
    balancing the angle of the wing on the right. Nicely done.

    int_simon2.jpg: Again this shot would lose it's impact because of poor
    composition if it weren't for the lines in the background mimicking the
    plant. For me it needs just a little more depth of field so that at least
    the antennae are in focus if not the whole body.

    inter-Frank-ess-01.jpg: I like this a lot, the framing works really well -
    more so because each 'window' has a different content. Good use of texture
    on the trellis and colour in the plants. A good decision to burn out the

    inter-Frank-ess-02.jpg: Great technique, I really like the offset
    composition and the shadow which seems to have just the right amount of
    sharpness. Great texture and detail.

    inter-Frank-ess-03_old.jpg: I struggle to believe that this is cropped in
    the way intended by the photographer, was it an attempt to add impact by
    breaking the basic rules? sort of like Punk? If so it certainly works in
    that it disturbs me. Colours are nice though.

    interesting--CD-Cooper.jpg: I quite like the circle-in-a-box-in-a-box
    arrangement of this. The texture is good too, lots of lovely detail.

    interesting-flea market choice2-Cooper.jpg: Control of depth of field could
    have made this shot. Instead I'm struggling to make out the foreground from
    the background, particularly in the centre. If I imagine an out of focus
    background and with perhaps a little less sky this could have been quite

    si_lunabella.jpg: I like this, the symmetry is great. The texture in the
    feathers, which could so easily have been lost, if really rich too. Great

    Miss Victoria Dominatrix.jpg: Great shot, how on earth did you get her to
    pose? The choice of black and white really works well and despite your
    protestations it looks good and sharp to me at least at screen res. I'd say
    there is lots of consideration of technicalities, the composition is good
    and the dynamic range perfect for what could be a nightmare if it were
    messed up, with important detail at both ends of the scale. The only
    negative is the background but I can image it would be a little difficult to
    boss that model around!
    As an aside is it "Miss" by Victoria Dominatrix or "Miss Victoria" by

    SI_Int_Alan_Browne_1.jpg: There's lots to like about this shot but
    unfortunately things to dislike too. Stacks of detail, rich colours and
    textures, basic composition, all great. So how come there's a table and
    chair which can't decide whether it's in this photo or not? And it's friend
    the bookcase seems unsure too.
    The black line thing is all very well but it does rely on a written
    description to excuse it which doesn't really seem to be the point in a
    photo, at least to me anyway.

    SI_Int_Alan_Browne_2.jpg: This doesn't do it for me, at an intellectual
    level then maybe a border can be interesting but as a photo it's a concrete
    post and a white line. Albeit the white line has some visual interest all
    by itself I suppose.

    SI_Int_Alan_Browne_3.jpg: Purely as a photo I quite like this, the curve of
    the seats and the textures are interesting in their own right. It could do
    with a little cropping in the top left though to remove an obvious

    Wow, my fingers are now bleeding! Hopefully everyone will take my comments
    in the spirit they are intended which is of course an opinionated but honest
    view of the merits of each photo. Thanks everyone for letting me see such a
    good collection.
    Calvin Sambrook, Sep 8, 2009
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  2. Calvin Sambrook

    Eric Stevens Guest

    There wasn't much I could do about that. The large cast iron column
    was where it was and the space to set up my camera and tripod was
    limited. I positioned my camera to try to capture the view between the
    column and the cylinders. In the end it was overweighed by all the
    heavy stuff in the plane of the columns and the cylinders.
    In this case, my vision had focused on the chair which I called 'the
    seat of power' in the mid-background. It works best in a larger print
    where the chair is more obvious. I did intend it as a documentary
    shot, along the lines of the exemplar of the V8 engine in the old
    aircraft in the Smithsonian. Machinery is my thing. I've spent half a
    century, as a mechanical engineer, photographing machinery of all
    kinds (usually broken). I must try and break the habit.

    The lighting was very difficult. The basic lighting was gloomy, rather
    like a church, with light admitted by those occasional very bright
    windows. I made use of the on-board histogram on the camera to make
    sure the exposure was in the range I needed and then dealt with the
    overly bright bits with NX2. The same comment applies to INT Eric
    Stevens 2.jpg
    I should have said it was not intended to have any artistic merit. All
    I was doing was exploring the resolution of the camera and lens.

    I think it was Miro who once talked about taking a string (or was it a
    line?) for a walk.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Sep 8, 2009
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  3. Calvin Sambrook

    Tim Conway Guest

    Agreed. I shot it from the highway. I then tried to get closer, but the
    place was locked up.
    Agreed, also. It's an HDR from 3 exposures. My first try - it's probably a
    wonder it lookis that good.
    It's a macro shooting into the setting sun. I used a fill flash at -1.7 if
    I remember right.
    Tim Conway, Sep 8, 2009
  4. Calvin Sambrook

    Paul Furman Guest

    Well done. The perspective choice works, and the exposure. Interesting
    and effective composition. It's not easy to make people look good near
    the corners of a wide angle view.

    Thanks for the well thought out comments. They helped me analyze the photos.

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Sep 9, 2009
  5. It was taken in a "dungeon". The chains were very cold... and not
    entirely decorative. Let's just say it was an interesting evening...
    The glass in frame was unforutnate, especially when you consider that it
    was mine.. but if I'd moved the glass I'd have missed the moment.

    I wish I could say I carefuly planned this shot out; like the vast
    majority of my (heh) work, this was rather opportunistic -- but I seem
    to be getting better about placing myself into um, interesting
    situations and composing by the seat of my pants...

    - Solomon
    Stuffed Crust, Sep 9, 2009
  6. Stuffed Crust, Sep 10, 2009
  7. Calvin Sambrook

    Robert Coe Guest

    : Here were my favs:
    : BobCoe1;
    : Love it! can't quite figure out the dark area in the middle,
    : however.
    : I think this pic would really be awesome if you Photoshopped in a tiny
    : lady lying in a bed in the bulb on the right.
    : But even as is, the shot looks like something out of Science Fiction.

    Thanks, Bret! Science fiction isn't that far off; it's a van de Graaff
    generator. When they demonstrate it, a huge spark connects the two balls. They
    darken the room to heighten the effect. BTW, that sucker is HUGE. It pretty
    well fills a two-story auditorium, and each ball looks to be about 3 feet in
    diameter. (I tried to find out for sure on the MoS Web site, but they
    apparently don't bother to say. Bowser, do you happen to know?)

    Robert Coe, Sep 11, 2009
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