Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by MrAndMrsIzzy, May 8, 2021.

  1. It’s early. 6:30 A.M. or thereabouts. I don’t know when I fell asleep last night. Only that it was early, shortly after I lay down and to the lullaby of a distant lion announcing his presence and territory to other lions in the area. A roar followed by a series of 4 or 5 short roar-like grunts. I know! One doesn’t think of a lion’s roar as being particularly conducive to restful sleep, and if it was right outside the tent, it wouldn’t be. But! When it’s some distance away. It’s a different story. The air is pleasantly cool and it’s very quiet. The only sounds are the soft ones of breeze rustled leaves and grass, cooing doves, and perhaps the chirping of a cricket or two. No honking horns or wailing sirens. An atmosphere of calm and peace. And why not? Before the honking horns and wailing sirens. Before the towns and villages. Before the cities and towers of concrete and steel. Wasn’t this? Or someplace like it? The ancestral cradle from which sprang humankind?

    katsone likes this.
  2. Olduvai
    Where very early hominid finds were made by the Leakeys and other
    MrAndMrsIzzy likes this.
  3. This is the Critique forum.
    It happens.
    LINK—Sometimes in Abstracts as well.
  4. Ooops. sorry and apologies to the Izzys.
    perhaps the moderator will delete it, please.
  5. Yes! This a critique forum. That's why I posted it here. I was (still am) looking for comments and\or critiques. It's my understanding that a photograph (like any other piece of artwork) is supposed to tell a story, capture a specific moment in time, capture a feeling of some kind (hopefully positive or at least not overly negative), etc. I also believe that in order provide critique and\or comment it might be helpful to know the conditions under which the image was captured and/or the motivation behind it. What I was trying to capture in the image was the feeling of calm and serenity I felt at the time. There were no "honking horns" or "wailing sirens", etc. The only sounds were the ones I described in the story. It was all very calm and peaceful. Very destressifying so to speak. That was the feeling I was trying to capture when I snapped the shutter. I think I did that, but that's me. I don't know how well it might translate to others. That's why I posted it. As for the cradle story itself weaving it all together. That came later.
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  6. The picture doesn't express calm or serenity to me. The vibrancy and saturation of the colors, the solid blacks of the tree and foreground, actually seem like visual equivalents of "honking horns" and "wailing sirens." The sky feels aflame and the earth scorched.

    When I first looked, I thought of it as Disneyesque, even garish.

    I have no doubt that you were feeling calm and serene at the time, but looking at the photo itself, what aspects strike you as calm and serene? What are the visual equivalents of the sounds you beautifully describe, the soft breezes, the rustling leaves, cooing doves, and chirping crickets? I'm not seeing a representation of that.
  7. As I said Sam "that's me". As for the sounds. I have no idea how those might be described visually. The corollary (think that's the right word) to "one picture is worth a thousand words" is "one word can produce a thousand pictures"
  8. Since the sounds were an important enough part of the experience that you included them in your intro, it might be a good challenge to think about how not the sounds themselves but the feelings of the sounds could be translated visually in a photo.

    If that's more than you want to take on, can you say something about the first way I phrased the question, without the sounds being part of it? What aspects of your photo strike you as calm and serene?

    ["That's me" may not be a very helpful response if you want a dialogue that results in something constructive. I assume you asked for critique in order for some sharing to take place between you and me.]

    I, by no means, expect you to accept my critique as gospel, but I think talking about what you think is expressed by various aspects of your photo is a good way (for both you and me) to start understanding what you're doing photographically and why. You provided a fairly descriptive and specific intention for this photo. "What I was trying to capture ..." It's worth dealing with that, isn't it?
  9. You raise a good point Sam, and it is something to think about. But! The fact remains. Without the description of the conditions at the time. The image is just another shot of pre-dawn (as in before the sun comes up over the horizon) on The Serengeti. I liked the lighting in the sky, and how it silhouetted the vegetation. That's the visual.
    For example. How many times have you looked at a sunset and thought wow! What a beautiful sunset. In the case of this image (for me at least), it started out as, wow! What a beautiful sunrise. As you pointed out. The sounds were an integral part of the experience.
  10. "It’s a different story. The air is pleasantly cool and it’s very quiet. The only sounds are the soft ones of breeze rustled leaves and grass, cooing doves, and perhaps the chirping of a cricket or two. "

    Like other have said, I don't see or feel the serenity that you tried to portray ? it's a nice shot no doubt, but silhouettes tend to lean toward the dramatic more than the peaceful. This is a pretty explosive scene with the Sun coming up(or down) over the horizon. The tree in the foreground seems to drown out everything else in the image and stands out as the main subject. If that tree is the main subject then why ?
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  11. On another note. Regarding JD's shot of Olduvai. Think of it. Today it's a dry, sun-blasted, semi-desert of a place. But 2 million years ago when Lucy (that's the hominid I believe JD is referring to) wandered through there it was lush, green, with plenty of water for critters like Lucy as well as other hominids and some very early humans to drink. Quite possibly a part of the cradle, or perhaps an extension of it. I know this post has nothing particularly to do with photography but it's a thought.
  12. Dramatic and Peaceful aren't necessarily contradictory. As for the tree. If I had taken the shot when I first stepped out of the tent, that tree would've been dead center. Moving to different position to put the tree more to the side like that (sort of like a natural frame), I thought made for a better composition. As for seeing or feeling the serenity. Use your imagination to put yourself in that situation. See if that makes a difference.
  13. Why did you ask for critique?
  14. A photograph is a piece of artwork. Just as much a piece of artwork as a painting, pencil sketch, pen and ink drawing, etc., even a piece of sculpture. The basic principles of composition, highlight, shadow, shape, form, proportion, etc. are the same, accept with a piece of sculpture you have the added factor of three dimensions as opposed to two. Granted you use different tools to arrive at the final product but the principles are the same. Every image is made up of elements. The principles I mentioned above as well as the objects in the image (in the case of "Cradle" there's the sky, the pattern of light in the sky, the tree, the bushes, etc.). Those were the tangible (or visual if you prefer) elements. The sounds I described were the intangible (unseen, non-visible, etc.) sensory (don't know if that's the right word but it's close enough) elements. All of those elements visual and non-visual, combine to form the conditions\situation (motivation if you prefer) under which an image (that one or any one) is captured.

    How many times have you taken a picture (captured an image is probably a better term) and when looking at it later on, asked yourself. Why did I take that picture?

    I asked for the critique to find out how well or how poorly I might've captured that condition, situation, feeling, motivation, etc. Whatever adjective you prefer.

    Does that answer your question?
  15. As indicated in an earlier reply. Without those intangibles. It's just another sunrise picture.
  16. And yet, when you were told by two of your peers that you didn’t, you suggested we had to use more imagination, turning it on us as the viewers rather than accepting the critiques you asked for.
    True, but they can be. And, give Harry Joseph credit for knowing this and for suggesting that your photo shows drama and not peacefulness.
  17. "I asked for the critique to find out how well or how poorly I might've captured that condition, situation, feeling, motivation, etc"

    That isn't and wasn't in my head.

    "Dramatic and Peaceful aren't necessarily contradictory".

    "True, but they can be. And, give Harry Joseph credit for knowing this and for suggesting that your photo shows drama and not peacefulness."

    Again. That isn't and wasn't in my head.
  18. Regarding the "Again. That isn't and wasn't in my head." part of the above reply. What I should've said (and meant) was that I do give Harry credit. I just didn't think it was necessary to say so. As for the suggestion of using more imagination. That's simply a way of looking at an image that includes any described intangibles as well as the technical aspects. Not at all meant as turning it back to the viewers.
  19. Looks better cropped like this I reckon, I could see it hanging on a wall, but only as a decorative picture, not necessarily anything else, perhaps as a reminder of your holiday. The tree may be harsh but it does have that "V" shape which is a pleasing departure from the usual vertical single trunk tree. The picture has a certain balance that appeals to me. For what it is, you probably caught the scene at the right time.

    Tree Sunset.jpg
  20. Thankyou!

    BTW I like the crop.

Share This Page