Dutch town cemetery

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by dutchsteammachine, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. For the past few years I have taken up photography as a hobby. I have got several 35mm and medium format systems, most of which I have gotten comfortable with. I have kind of decided which systems just FEEL and LOOK great, and which I tend to never use. I am working on narrowing it down, thinking about selling most of my Canon FD stuff. (aside from a few speciality lenses and my T-90)

    I've mostly been photographing things on a whim, when the weather was nice. When there was some kind of event. Due to this most of my photography is pretty fractured, there is no cohesive thread. But I think the power of photography is the ability to tell a story, from beginning to end, purely through still images. This is something I want to get into in the future, to actually try and transmission a journey through photography. Like a music album where all songs are connected.

    This was not one of those shoots, but I in post (Several months after) i've tried to make something out of it.

    Gear:
    Nikon F100
    Mamiya 300mm f5.6 N
    Kodak ProImage 100

    Flickr Album

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    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. What I take away from your introductory remarks, by your own words, is that your gear has been thought out and considered and your photos themselves are motivated by “whim.” Something worthy of note!

    Regarding the series, shots 2 and 4 have the most potential to me, and the final shot as an abstract punctuation mark works well. The nature shots you’ve included provide emotion, atmosphere, and mood but may also point to one of the shortcomings I find. Those nature shots would work better as part of the series if the shots of graves and tombstones had a similar intimacy and sense of feeling, which I don’t think they do. Shot #2 has potential but just doesn’t involve me. As a matter of fact, I feel emotionally somewhat left out. Same with #4. The idea is there, but the tombstones face away from me and I’m lost in the foreground before even getting to the tombstones. This perspective could work, in terms of saying something about the alienation and distance to us of death, but without any tombstones that really involve me it just feels like a lost opportunity. I’d recommend putting the best of what works in the strictly nature shots into your shooting of the graves and I think you’ll come up with stuff that’s richer in emotional pull. The nature shots feel the most personal and the closest.

    In terms of the series itself, I’d consider starting with the locked gate/Christ superimposition (though that symbolism seems like a fairly strong antagonistic message which doesn’t exactly go with the rest of the photos) or something like it as an establishing shot. The wall of windows you begin the series with doesn’t invite me into your series.
     
    dcstep likes this.
  3. Thank you samstevens for taken your to write a thorough criticism.

    I did feel like the last shot was pretty abstract so thought it would make for a good last shot, something different from the rest.

    Do you think more wide shots for establishing location and scenery could have worked, or would this take away from the closeup feeling provided by the telelens?
     
  4. A wide shot is often good as an establishing shot, depending on whether you feel as if you're "documenting" the cemetery or doing something else. A very intimate, personal shot of one of the tombstones could also be a good way to start. If, on the other hand, the purpose is to showcase a particular lens, I'd go with what does that best.

    My approach would be to focus in on a narrative and feeling you're after, what about the subject matter actually interests and intrigues you, and go from there, using an array of wider and narrower shots. Use the camera and lens to serve your vision. Unless, again, this is a project ABOUT a certain lens, in which case I can't be of much help.
     
    dcstep likes this.

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