Monochromatic Rural Landscape

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by Ricochetrider, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Well since nobody's posting anything lately for critique, I'll put something up. Im not much of a landscape photographer- and I can admit it. Also, I often like my photos only to find out that others, not so much! But hey, I can take critique and also laugh at myself. Can't take life too seriously, after all.

    Meanwhile I've been shooting a lot of film lately, so here's something I like. I also just posted. it in No Words, hope I'm not overkilling it here! If so, tho- oh well. LOL.

    Let me know what you think.
    Cheers, and happy holidays to everyone!

    michaellinder likes this.
  2. It's a scene that has the potential to involve the viewer. Once again, though, the naked sky draws my eye into it, which isn't all that satisfying. The perspective, shot from above as it is, counteracts that feeling of involvement for me. I'm observing a road yet it seems to want to lead me somewhere but I'm not located, as viewer, in a spot to be led. The trees and shrubbery, also from this vantage point, don't do much for me. If I felt more in it, maybe I could feel the tangle, with the road leading me out ...
    michaellinder and Ricochetrider like this.
  3. That rock face is very interesting to me. It almost looks like a waterfall and I'm guessing that much water does flow over it at certain times. The blank sky and ordinary vegetation detract from the power of that interesting feature. The road coming up the middle, leads me away from the rock face.
    michaellinder and Ricochetrider like this.
  4. I'm not really into landscapes, I'm afraid. I like the composition. For me, the center third (top to bottom) seems to be mid-greys with little contrast. Reality, but a bit bland.
    It depend on whether you want 'truth' or the most interesting image. I have no problem with the latter. Playing around with it in Photoshop, I found that some PP steps gave the image a bit more 'bite':
    - sharpening 30% with a HPF
    - applying medium contrast
    - applying strong contrast on the cliff face and to a few contrasts on the trees left
    - slightly darkening the road to give more contrast

    All a question of personal taste, of course.

    michaellinder and Ricochetrider like this.
  5. Moving to the left and making the road a bit more diagonal might lead the viewer’s eye across and through the shot.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  6. I would crop the sky out entirely. Nothing is happening there.
  7. My first impression echoed what Sam recognized as the image's strong suits. I took the liberty of cropping the image to address concerns about the sky. Otherwise, I suggest slight darkening the rock face between the two cascades.

    luis triguez and Ricochetrider like this.
  8. Something I’ve become more and more aware of over the years is that my critiques are often less meant as a way to “fix” or improve the photo I’m critiquing and more meant to give a fellow photographer something to think about in future picture taking/making.

    Though it happens, there is less often a better picture lurking in the one that’s presented if only this or that were done differently now that the shot has already been taken. There is more often a satisfying picture lurking in the next outing having learned from the current one.

    Yes, on occasion, this or that measure can be taken to significantly improve a particular photo but I tend to emphasize the bigger picture and longer term objectives that are more about overall vision and less about this or that specific instance.
    Ricochetrider and michaellinder like this.
  9. In my view, the strong anchor point in the scene is the road. It’s pristine, dark smooth appearance invites the viewers into the scene. The adjoining shrubbery and hill put a nice envelope around it, giving it context and great contrast between man-made and nature, geometric vs organic. The barren hill and lush greenery produce a balance between peace and peril which alludes to the relationship of the road with nature, one being the hallmark of the adventurer, the other being the love and challenge that await him. Aesthetics wise, the texture of the hill creates these natural lines that converge from the opposite angle of the road, creating dynamics and depth in the scene. Surprisingly, I don’t mind the featureless sky in this case. To me, it acts as a counter-element to the feature-rich landscape.

    what I do mind is the light though. The dark patch on the right is an unfortunate consequence of shooting under full sun, but the processing otherwise is appealing to me and reminds me of rich contrast films like T-max.
    michaellinder and Ricochetrider like this.
  10. Thanks to everyone for you input & critique. Apologies for not having responded to your input previously.

    Something about this scene captivated me- it was that big rock face. Feels kinda Ansel Adams-y, in some odd way, I guess its tones are what drew me to this- it reminds me of Half Dome, in the most vague way, I guess. However, admittedly the rock face gets a bit lost amongst the other, far busier aspects of this image. I like the road moving through this scene as well, it gives the eye someplace to go, perhaps.

    AND yes, Supriyo, this was obviously shot in the full sun of mid day.

    As for cropping, while I do tend to crop fairly often- even cropping my film photos, I usually shy away from cropping to odd ball shapes- that is to say, I mostly try to stick pretty closely to whatever ratio the original shot. had, so sure or 4x6 for my medium format stuff, and 3:2 for this 35mm stuff. I guess my digital camera shoots at 4:3, but I'm not averse to cropping down to 3:2. Every now and then I might go hog wild and crop to 16:9 or something. But in theory I'd stay pretty close to whatever the original aspect ratio was when possible. Cropping all the way down to a shot becoming another image altogether isn't out of the question- this is something I've done a lot of, but more before I knew very much about photography and composition. I'd shoot wild, randomly and, then "find the photo" within whatever it was I ended up with! I more or less stopped doing that, or let's Say my enthusiasm for doing that fell off a bit as I've gotten to know more about composition and since I was told by an accomplished photographer friend that it is always best to make more of an effort to "get the shot in camera first" and then deal minimally with the results.
    I do still sometimes do this with phone pix tho as I tend not to take these as seriously as I do "real" photography! LOL But the truth is I've gotten better at getting the shot in my phone camera too.

    Cheers, everyone and thanks to @samstevens for spurring me on to responding to y'all's critiques. Did I say I appreciate your time, opinions, and expertise? I do, so thank you very much.


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