Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by BratNikotin, Jul 25, 2021.
Looking for a critique. Anything that can be said about it ? what is to be improved ?
Nice shot. I think its fine the way it is.
An atmospheric scene with the low cloud adding a sense of mystery. The reeds and rocks to the left and in the middle distance provide a path for the eye to move between the foreground shallows and the distant hills. Unfortunately the large dark rock draws my eye irresistibly away from the more interesting parts of the scene and, for me totally dominates the composition. I would have tried to find a viewpoint which either eliminates this rock completely, or relegates it to being a feature at the base or edge, providing a degree of framing to the shot.
Lovely and helpful description of the photo.
I get the sense that the rock was an important feature to the photographer, taken from the low angle it is and seemingly framed deliberately. I don't see the rock itself as much of a distraction, but rather as a counterpoint to the ethereal nature of the scene as a whole. I do think, though, that the rocks being placed in the frame where they are creates a distinct half-and-half composition which doesn't add to the counterpoint but instead works agains the scene by defining a middle-point in the foreground which is imposing. I think the reeds are quite nice.
Agree with John about the rock. Picking a vantage point where that rock might not've been quite so intrusive (if such a vantage point was available) might've helped, as would a little straightening (far shore looks tilted down towards the left a little). All that aside, this is a nice image. "Like the atmosphere. Looks familiar! Where was this image captured?
I too, agree with John about the rock. Sam may be right about the photographer's desire, but I also think that he may be simply following a "rule" to have something interesting in the foreground. I want to explore the clouds and mist and the rock keeps pulling me back to land. If it were mine, I'd do something like at 2:1 aspect ratio crop, with the bottom of the crop going through that large rock.
If the intent was to have us study the rock, then mission accomplished, but then I'd minimize the clouds.
What if the intent was to come up with a less typically pleasing landscape photo, one that provided the kind of tension and imperfection often experienced in nature, especially when one may not be trying to impose beauty and order on it with their camera? Sometimes, we do appreciate a scene like this while struggling to maintain our footing along the rocks, our vision consistently interrupted as we do so. The clouds and the mist may be the sweet spot but, IMO, they’re just the beginning of all that’s present in this scene to explore, which seems as much to lend itself to the soft against the hard. I’m not sure it’s been framed in the most visually compelling way, as I said, but I hesitate here to tell the photographer not to do what seemed to be in his gut and what seems to have the potential of being more personal, less typical, less easy on the eye, and more rich than yet another atmospheric fog and water scene.
Too me, if that was the intent, it's out of balance, with too much emphasis on the rocks, which pull me away from exploring the mystery in the fog and clouds.
Clearly, that's my personal preference. The "Rule" about having something interesting in the foreground can lead to too much emphasis on the foreground, in my opinion. Clearly, just my opinion, but I think that may be what's happened here.
Sam, as always, thanks for your probing and thoughtful responses.
You may be right about “the rule,” though I don’t see much of a rule being followed here. I try to take what photographers do at face value and at least try not to judge such things as rule influence until and unless I have more information. If I’m searching for a photographer’s motivation, I generally land on personal visual and expressive ones rather than more generalized assumptions about following rule of thirds or other rules being the driving force. Being able to know that from just one photo would be above my pay grade!
Precisely what I think I could potentially be more effectively challenged with here. If there’s a chance for challenge in the scene, I’ll usually appreciate that. Not that there’s no challenge in the mystery of fog and clouds, but having an offset to that and even having to work to get to the mysteriousness can add a significant layer to the experience.
I feel like I don't need to be "right" about "the rule" to present it as a theory. Until our OP gives us feedback, we may never know.
The contrast between the foreground and the background is huge in this image. Perhaps that's the message and I missed it. I try to see what the photographer is trying to say and then when I don't get it, I start thinking about what I'd do if the image were mine. When the OP is inquisitive, which I think he is, I think it's appropriate for us to think and express ourselves both ways.
I’d at least want to suggest that you do see what the photographer is trying to say … and don’t like it which is, of course, your prerogative and a valid form of critique. The reason I’m suggesting this is in what you say:
You’re not missing it. You’re stating it clearly. Whether that was intended or accidental, it does seem to be what the photo is showing and where the photographer’s instincts took him.
Again, a legitimate way to look at others’ work and critique it. And there are likely as many critiquing styles as photographing styles. I tend to enjoy maintaining that the photo is not mine and letting what’s already been done guide my comments. This is one reason I’ve found critiquing others’ photos so helpful to my own photography. Not because it’s reinforced my vision or my vision can reinforce theirs, but because critiquing this way seems to force me to question instead of rely on my own taste, to make sure I look at work with a different perspective from my usual one and see if there isn’t a photo there more unique to the other person that I may or may not like but that expresses their individuality and more unique vision.
As you say, none of this is a matter of right or wrong. I think it’s great to be open not just to different tastes and ways of approaching all kinds of photos. It’s also great to share different ways we look at, think about, and critique others’.
We're totally in sync. Thanks for your thoughtful input.
Nice mood. Unfortunately, to my eye, it's not well balanced due to the cluster of rocks on the right side. It makes it too heavy on the right side. Perhaps a difference position would have spread them out to create a more balanced composition. Also, I would like to have seen more separation between the one rock that is almost a tangent with the waters edge in the background.
I tried this maybe?
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