Is this the Final Verdict?

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by pavel_l., Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Pavel, the image is well seen and composed. If it were mine, I'd strongly burn the diagonal barrier to add contrast and punch. Also, I'd clone out the vegetation along the right edge, stopping before the plants in the bottom right. Finally, I wonder if the image has too much headroom. Hope this helps.
  2. Thank you Michael.
    I agree that cleaning vegetation and 4:3 will improve the shot. My attention, though was directed to social interpretation of signs.
    michaellinder likes this.
  3. Crop 80%. The wide open spaces offer nothing.
    michaelseewald likes this.
  4. Tell that to John Wayne and Montgomery Clift! :)
    It feels like the image itself doesn't want contrast and punch. I'm seeing it more as a kind of "new topographics" image, plain and having its own more neutral mood.
    Unfortunately, this seems to be the focus of the photo, and the quite obvious "message" isn't doing anything for me ... once again.
    michaellinder likes this.
  5. Thank you Bernie. I can see this.

    Thank you Sam.
    Black an white arrows and splitting of the original direction can be symbolic.
  6. The social interpretation is for a political forum perhaps. As such, you may have been wise to climb the mound and photographed the signs square-on and captured them much larger and more prominent in the frame so viewers can try and guess what you are attempting to convey more easily. Photographically, all you have is a snapshot of an uninteresting mound of dirt and two motorway signs held up by a steel structure. Your perceived and probably politically sensitive social message appears to have distracted you from your role as a photographer and impaired your judgement as to what critiquing in the forum is about.
    michaelseewald likes this.
  7. Thank you kmac.
    This is a photograph presented on photo forum, so interpretation is the the personal preference or if I can say is derivative of the image - as you,for instance, have analyzed your perception of composition.
    When I take a photograph I try to "compose the story" that based on the surroundings of the main subject - the road is the part of the story - it's not a minimalistic pic.
    P.s.: the objects on this photograph were not altered in process of capturing.
  8. The stories you’re composing, though, you’re being told, are not very moving or thought-provoking. In another of your photo’s critique pages, the candles on the keyboard, obviously also message-centered, you claimed there was no message and it was just a still life. So, either you’re being disingenuous, just trolling us, or don’t have a handle on what your photos look like and say or don’t say to anyone but you. You seem impervious to critiques of substance, even as you claim the story is important, instead responding more to tips about cropping or bringing up the lack of alteration in a very plain photo that obviously hasn’t had elements altered. And you seem not to want to deal with the actual communication of the story, which often is either not happening or not significant enough to matter. Here and elsewhere, you can’t muster up the will to tell us what you find significant that tells a story you think is worthwhile.
  9. Yes, I heard you the first time, it's not resonate with you. I applaud the fact that you actively participate in critique threads but this is not make you opinion as the final instance on the object of critique, and I am not going to guess how much description I should present with my photo to satisfy you analytical approach.

    "You seem impervious to critiques of substance,..."
    The only critique from you was that the photo does not resonate with you - I do not blame you for your reaction.

    I also should remind you that the negative space can be used to convey the message, in my photo the real estate share of the negative space is increasing when moving from left to right along with (direction) road and directions of signs that is reinforcing the main story.

    "... you can’t ... tell us what you find significant that tells a story you think is worthwhile."
    Yes I can. Because there are more than one response on the thread there will be more than one discussion - not mustering of my story. By the way, check your old posts in the other threads regarding your telling "... us what you find significant ..."
  10. If you can, then do so. Tell us what the story in this photo is.
    No guess necessary. Ideally, you would need no verbal description. The reason I’m asking for one is that your photo is failing to tell whatever story you want it to. Since the photo isn’t doing that, words from you could help explain what your photo is trying to tell. Once you’ve described what story you want to tell, constructive criticism can be made which might help you create a photo that tells that story.

    Note that none of the people who commented here mentions a story. They talk about cropping and darkening lines. There’s likely a reason for that. I suspect I’m not the only one your story isn’t reaching.
  11. Sorry, but it doesn't tell me a story or symbolize anything for me. We have all seen thousands of signs like these. To make this more than just a snapshot of highway signs would require more than shooting it from down a hillside. The white isn't really white, of course, but yellow, and turning it white by converting it to B&W doesn't make it more interesting.

    Then again, I once saw an accomplished curator highlight a photo that was a poorly exposed and not level shot of a tree that had fallen on a fence on the side of a tennis court--something that I thought looked like a quicky phone shot done for an insurance claim. So there's no arguing over taste.

    It seems to me to have too much negative space--it draws they eye away from the signs rather than highlighting them--but from the thread, I think that's probably beside the point.
    samstevens likes this.
  12. Good one. BUT …

    I am generally hit in the gut with stories and emotions in a good photo. Some photos, of course, do suggest deeper analysis. But here, my analytical approach is not to your photo but rather to critiquing it. Since no one here is getting what you’re after, and you’ve asked for critique, it would be helpful if you told us why you took this and what story you see. Then we might be able to help you communicate that to your viewers. So, if you truly want a critique, you will talk about what this photo says and/or means to you. If you mention symbolism again, that’s not enough. What are the symbols, what do they represent, and what story are they telling?
    michaelseewald likes this.
  13. LOL. :)

    Sure there is, especially in a photo critique forum. My taste has evolved because of criticisms I’ve read and “arguments” I’ve had about art over the years. Taste is not a fixed commodity and differences in taste can lead to passionate discussions and disagreements, which can often then lead to someone realizing what they thought was personal taste was as much a matter of not seeing well or of habitual expectations or aesthetic shallowness. One can learn to see and one can refine their taste. It doesn’t have to be done in silence and taste doesn’t have to mean we’re each as perceptive about what a photo has to offer.
    kmac likes this.
  14. Actually, I agree, and I think that some of what passes for fine art photography--like the photo of the tennis court I mentioned--are lousy photos. I was just acknowedging that there are people (people, unlike me, who have stature in the photographique world--that would say the opposite.
  15. Well I really have hand it to you simply for continuing to post photos in critique.

    That said, I find this is at least a little more interesting than some of your recent submissions. I kind of like the directive of the signage (exit ONLY) and its directional guidance (north/south). Although I sort of like the way the diagonal demarcation between earth & sky mirrors or mimics the diagonal struts of the sign support structure, that is to say I like the IDEA of elements in a photo echoing ear other... as these do.

    But to my eye the overall image itself isn't super engaging, even tho I did spend a couple minutes sorting thru its elements to digest the whole thing.
    I agree with those who have said shooting it from a different angle or stance would improve it somewhat... not having been there myself however I'm not predisposed to suggest an alternative to this perspective. In the end, I can find enough to like in the elements alone here but as presented, the overall shot doesn't grab me.

    Some of where I'm coming from in this comes out of my own challenges in shooting in square format. I've been making an effort to fill more of the frame- not sure how I got onto this particular ethic (aesthetic?) but it drives my intentions in square format. I mean I think there's room for that element of "space" (read: sky) in a landscape... but, in agreement with Sam, this does have more a "New Topographics" feel to it. It is, decidedly, NOT a landscape at least not in the tradition of such.

    SO- finally, a clean-up & crop, IMO and also in agreement with others, would serve this best.

    Thanks for posting.
  16. Aesthetic, not ethic! Ethics are about moral principles. Aesthetics are about visual and artistic ones. There can be overlap, such as the ethics of photographing only painfully thin models an ad agency determines to be aesthetically pleasing, etc. But filling the frame seems to me most certainly an aesthetic, and not an ethical, choice, unless you were thinking of filling the frame with painfully thin models! :)
    michaelseewald and Ricochetrider like this.
  17. replies

    I can't say exactly what notion forced me to start to compose my shot. I still unsure about way to modify the angle that was referred in several replies.

    So this is the story I "found". The wide freeway is splitting in two un-compromised opposite directions before the exiting the frame in the undefined future. In real life such type of attitude (un-compromized) is very toxic. The opposite colors as well as increasing the negative space in the frame, underline the difference of two streams and detrimental consequences.
  18. Thank you Ricochetrider.
  19. Thank you. It helps to hear the story you're trying to tell. My further critique, based on what you said, is that you're over-interpreting the scene, which seems to me to have nothing tying it to uncompromising human attitudes or detrimental consequences. Something would have to suggest humanity here and something would have to suggest detrimental consequences in order for a viewer to go where you think your story goes. It could possibly be processed in such a way as to suggest at least some of what you're thinking about.

    What's interesting to me is that I think you could use your interpretation of the scene or at least the feelings that interpretation evokes in you to create a more engaging photo, not in order to convey that specific story or message, but in order to simply inspire you to give the scene a sense of something greater going on that the viewer could fill in any way they like. Right now, I see a much simpler and more matter-of-fact scene here, that I think could be worked with and kept simple and matter-of-fact. If you wanted to take it deeper and further into a narrative, I think you might be able to as well. As is, it's not reaching me on the deeper level and is a bit plain and underwhelming to communicate simplicity or matter-of-factness worth sharing on film.

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