Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by dcstep, Jun 20, 2019.
All critique welcome.
Dawn by David Stephens, on Flickr
I would start with adjusting Levels, Color and Contrast...Slight Sharpening.
I would also move the horizon out of the center of the image. The beach looked more interesting to me so I moved the horizon to land on a third and 2/3s to the beach.
I'm in with both Ray's and Rick's comments, as they reflect my own first reactions. I'm also less than enamored with the single surfer on the far right edge. I might consider cropping or cloning him out, hence emphasizing the role of the pair as the primary focal point. The inclusion of the single surfer dilutes the feel and apparent intent and/or impact of the image. I'll have to come back later for more, as the day job is screaming for my attention.
OK, so I couldn't resist the siren's song of a photographic challenge. Here's my take on a crop and edit. I've warmed the tones a bit, increased contrast, added a touch of clarity, vibrance, and saturation, and cloned out the single surfer. I tried cropping the surfer out, but then the projected path of the two prime subjects intersected the edge of the frame before the water, so cloning out was the better option. I quite like this one, but I'm certain there are other very appropriate and desirable alternatives.
I can’t see the point of incremental changes.
OK. Here’s one. A guy walks into a bar. He asks the bartender: What’s the difference between a critique and a post-processing challenge?
A post processing challenge is a specific request for how YOU would do it. A critique could maybe start with the understanding that the original photographer’s voice is of prime importance.
The alternatives presented all have merit and are different photos. David’s, for example, simplifies it and makes it more iconic and less narrative, certainly a valid vision. But I don’t see it as a critique of what DC has presented. What DC presented has that more complex narrative, has warmer and softer colors than what Ray presented and gives the buildings more room to breathe than what Rick presented (and the horizon in the original doesn’t seem centered).
To me, a critique focuses on the individual vision of the photographer who’s offering the picture and may try to help zero in on that. At the very least, it would communicate to the photographer what HIS photo is currently saying to or showing me. What I see is the unfolding story of a bit of a warm and naturally, fuzzy-eyed morning on a beach that’s starting to come alive.
I'm leaning toward your view Ludmilla, but I'll reserve detailed comment until this thread has cured a little more.
I agree, wholeheartedly, but how many of us have vision beyond something nice or trendy. Or would have the balls to say what they are trying to achieve.
Patience my friend. I was hoping that my image would speak first and then I'd say something about it's story and how I view it.
Still, Ludmilla may have a point. There IS a story that goes with my image, but my thinking is to let the image speak first and then fill in the narrative later. Do others here think that the narrative should come sooner? I adopted my current thinking after we got into a discussion of titles and how they can influence the viewer, rightly or wrongly. This image has a starker title than I used for it in the past, for a different audience. Still, my pared down title here speaks more directly to this image's story and mood than my previous, more explanatory, title did.
I wouldn’t feel the need to explain one of my pics unless I felt the need to explain it. In a critique session, I would generally start out by presenting the photo and getting reactions. I would then offer responses to those reactions. If people asked questions, I’d answer what I genuinely could and be up front about not necessarily having an answer for all questions. Sometimes, I know my intentions for a photo, other times, it’s more elusive than that. I also know that I want a photo of mine to live and am as interested in hearing what others actually see as I would be in telling viewers what I see or might hope is seen.
The more experienced at this I get, the more there’s a range between, “yikes, I blew it” and, “wow, how exciting that you see something so different than I do in my work.”
The original image speaks to me the best. It creates a mood with smoky, subdued, dreamy hues, kind of like my own mood in the morning, just before I had my coffee. The image has a tenderness attached to it, and the wet sand and foams feel tangible.
With just a hint of urban dwellings on the left, it creates a context for the beach without intruding too much into the scene. The urban dwellings also go well with the surfers and remind me so much of the SoCal beaches.
Wow! I think you get it, my friend. I feel like you're reading my mind. ;-)
Its all to your credit!
Supriyo nailed it (thanks) and spilled the beans, so I'll go ahead with my intent.
This is about a warm, hazy, cloudless morning in North Florida (could have been SoCal just as easily). Even though the surf is modest, a couple of boys and a man are still all going out to surf before school or work, as, I suspect, they do almost every day. The surf is ordinary, but this is their routine. (When the surf is extraordinary, they'll be late for school/work). I do know how to remove haze and sharpen my images, but I believe that the haze and softness help convey the atmosphere of this morning. The sky is cloudless and my normal tendency would have been to crop out some excess sky, but I leave it to convey the type of morning. Also, the extra sky emphasizes the haze, which is part of the reality I'm trying to convey.
David T. got me thinking about the "extra" surfer, but I think he belongs, to further the "young and old" storyline. Also, I love the leading line from the boys to the man and the piling-sign.
The bottom 1/4 of the image isn't very interesting IMHO. It would be if it included some reflections of clouds or the like. I am curious as to why you included it?
I wonder if sometimes photographers are trapped by the aspect ratios of their equipment.
Actually, I'm a quick-to-crop kind of guy. Looking at it again, I see it as very inviting. Perhaps that's because I'm a barefoot beach walker and spend lots of time toe-deep. ;-)
I forgot to add that I like the photo very much. It is warm and inviting...wish I was there.
What would have happened if you had shot this from a lower position?
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