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Partner cracklover


Nov 25, 2008, 9:35 AM
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Indian Creek pic
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Hi Folks,

Not sure if this is the right forum, but as the Critique forum seems just about dead, I thought I'd give it a shot. Y'all know your shit, so your opinions are valuable to me.

I submitted this pic to the site a while back:



I got feedback from several people saying that they would like the pic better if the climber was more visible.

This surprised me, as I thought of it as kind a landscape shot with a climber to make it "pop".

But I went to PS to see if playing with the pic could improve it. My first result was this:



But I felt like too much dodging made it look like the climber was wearing white pants. Not realistic.

Last version was in between:



So my question is - when you see this pic - do you think "landscape with a climber", or "climber in a landscape". Which photo *should* this be?

Because if the answer is that it would be best if the climber really should be stand out as subject, then probably the only answer would be a flash fill when the pic is taken, and PS will never really get me there.

Any other comments on the pic are welcome, too.

Thanks!

GO


petsfed


Nov 25, 2008, 9:49 AM
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This was taken at Broken Tooth, right?

Everybody takes this shot.

The best ones I've seen aggressively cropped it so you couldn't see the Bridger Jacks.

You need the climber to take up more of the frame for this kind of composition to work out. Otherwise, the climber is an afterthought, and the climb is more lousy framing of a landscape than a climber/landscape, which is what I presume you're going for.


Partner camhead


Nov 25, 2008, 9:50 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Indian Creek pic [In reply to]
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I like the pic, Gabe; obviously a "landscape with climber" kind of thing. Obviiously, a more brilliantly-lit background (if that is Broken Tooth/Fin Area, a sunset glow would be beautiful) and a more defined climber's silhouette would really make it a perfect 10.

Clausti took a similar pic a few years ago there:




kennoyce


Nov 25, 2008, 10:07 AM
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I'd say that the whole picture is to dark. be it a landscape with a climber, or a climber with a landscape if it were lighter it would look a whole lot better. I personally prefer to have either a landscape with no climber, or a highly visible climber with a beautiful landscape in the background, but that's just personal preference.


Partner cracklover


Nov 25, 2008, 11:05 AM
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petsfed wrote:
This was taken at Broken Tooth, right?

Everybody takes this shot.

The best ones I've seen aggressively cropped it so you couldn't see the Bridger Jacks.

You need the climber to take up more of the frame for this kind of composition to work out. Otherwise, the climber is an afterthought, and the climb is more lousy framing of a landscape than a climber/landscape, which is what I presume you're going for.

Just to be clear on what you're saying - the shot as is (cropped wide to include the Bridger Jacks) can work, but only if the photographer is closer to the climber so as to make him/her take up more of the frame?

Or are you saying that this shot simply can't work, with the wide landscape and the climber? That you simply must crop in tighter?

If it's the latter, what is it about this shot that makes a small climber "not work"? Certainly we've all seen shots where climber-on-landscape is fantastic, right?

GO


i_h8_choss


Nov 25, 2008, 11:35 AM
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cracklover wrote:
Hi Folks,

Not sure if this is the right forum, but as the Critique forum seems just about dead, I thought I'd give it a shot. Y'all know your shit, so your opinions are valuable to me.

I submitted this pic to the site a while back:

[IMG]http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c150/gostriker/moab%20April%202008/day2_pussy_go4_no_rope.jpg[/IMG]

I got feedback from several people saying that they would like the pic better if the climber was more visible.

This surprised me, as I thought of it as kind a landscape shot with a climber to make it "pop".

But I went to PS to see if playing with the pic could improve it. My first result was this:

[IMG]http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c150/gostriker/moab%20April%202008/day2_pussy_go4_no_rope_2.jpg[/IMG]

But I felt like too much dodging made it look like the climber was wearing white pants. Not realistic.

Last version was in between:

[IMG]http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c150/gostriker/moab%20April%202008/day2_pussy_go4_no_rope3.jpg[/IMG]

So my question is - when you see this pic - do you think "landscape with a climber", or "climber in a landscape". Which photo *should* this be?

Because if the answer is that it would be best if the climber really should be stand out as subject, then probably the only answer would be a flash fill when the pic is taken, and PS will never really get me there.

Any other comments on the pic are welcome, too.

Thanks!

GO


Honestly I see a photo with about 50% of it being a washed out blue sky. There is no subject that grabs my attention. I think if you take out a lot of that sky by zooming in/out or by changing the frame to add a bigger climber, more rock, or more landscape, then there is going to be something that grabs me.


petsfed


Nov 25, 2008, 4:19 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Indian Creek pic [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
This was taken at Broken Tooth, right?

Everybody takes this shot.

The best ones I've seen aggressively cropped it so you couldn't see the Bridger Jacks.

You need the climber to take up more of the frame for this kind of composition to work out. Otherwise, the climber is an afterthought, and the climb is more lousy framing of a landscape than a climber/landscape, which is what I presume you're going for.

Just to be clear on what you're saying - the shot as is (cropped wide to include the Bridger Jacks) can work, but only if the photographer is closer to the climber so as to make him/her take up more of the frame?

Or are you saying that this shot simply can't work, with the wide landscape and the climber? That you simply must crop in tighter?

If it's the latter, what is it about this shot that makes a small climber "not work"? Certainly we've all seen shots where climber-on-landscape is fantastic, right?

GO

While it could work if you got closer to the climber, I'm not certain that such a shooting position is easily obtained (its been a while since I've stood where this shot was taken). What I would do is to move more to where clausti's shot was taken, and ignore the background entirely.

Also, wait for lighting conditions where the climber will be in the light, and have them wear highly contrasting colors to make them really pop out from the surrounding rock. As it stands, you have to look for the climber which (if the point is not a "where's waldo" effect) is not a good thing.

I think that waiting for better lighting could save the original composition, although the fact that either subject of the photo (the climber or the Bridger Jacks) is almost exactly opposite from the other sets up a conflict between the two of them, something you maybe don't want. Pick the subject of your image, then adjust your composition so that there's no confusion. If the subject is the Bridger Jacks, don't even bother with getting any portion of the Broken Tooth wall in the image. Like I said, it produces lousy framing. If the subject is the climber, I'd put the edge of the Broken Tooth Wall at or about the right third mark, and the top of the Fin wall at or about the upper third mark.

Of course, the advantage to digital is that you can take literally hundreds of shots, then pare that down to the ones you think are good enough. That's as much part of the end of the day ritual as treating gobies, if you really want to take good pictures in the Creek.


guangzhou


Nov 25, 2008, 5:05 PM
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Overall a nice picture, but a bit to dark. The hard shadow makes the climber hard to see. I think waiting for the sun to be lower in the sky would have helped, but I'm guessing it was a climbing trip not a photography trip.

You main question, climber or landscape, well it depends on your intended audience. Who do you want to show to picture too?

If you want to show this to people who climb mostly, like those on this site, then it's a climber in a landscape shot.

If you want to show the image to non-climber, then it';s a landscape with a climber to help show scale.

If you were selling images, the landscape with climber has broader audience appeal.

Someone mentioned getting closer. You can do that with a longer lens instead of moving yourself close.

If I could, I would return and shoot the same image with the sun lower in the sky. If so, make sure you climber wears a shirt that compliments the scene.

Eman


jmbekd


Nov 25, 2008, 6:51 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Indian Creek pic [In reply to]
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Gabe,

You could try something like the attached crop. Personally, I think it maintains most of the background you were hoping to include, but the more panoramic aspect ratio helps keep the picture more focused and, I think, brings out the climber more (in spite of the general lack of contrast on/around the climber).

JMB
Attachments: day2_pussy_go4_no_rope3_jmb2.jpg (78.2 KB)


Gmburns2000


Nov 25, 2008, 6:55 PM
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^^ that's a nice crop, but maybe take a bit of the sky out and bring the right side in a bit. that may be a bit claustrophobic for some, but i find that pics that are somewhat unsettling to have the greatest impact.



and be proud of me, i actually made a contribution to this site after making about 15 thousand drunk posts leading up to this point. sigh, maybe it's time for another...


jmbekd


Nov 25, 2008, 7:03 PM
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Greg,

You could (after all all this is just a matter of preference...), but then you would have essentially just have the climber in the upper most right hand corner of the frame and would have no idea why he is contorted as he is (you wouldn't get to see much, if any of the roof). Also, if you take off too much of the right hand side, it becomes harder to figure out what the shadow from (or where it is coming from) and where the climber is/may be going.

But in any case, definitely just a matter of taste...

JMB


Gmburns2000


Nov 25, 2008, 7:17 PM
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jmbekd wrote:
Greg,

You could (after all all this is just a matter of preference...), but then you would have essentially just have the climber in the upper most right hand corner of the frame and would have no idea why he is contorted as he is (you wouldn't get to see much, if any of the roof). Also, if you take off too much of the right hand side, it becomes harder to figure out what the shadow from (or where it is coming from) and where the climber is/may be going.

But in any case, definitely just a matter of taste...

JMB

Yeah, I know, but like I said, my taste in photos is a bit different than most. I really enjoy photos that make me stop and think. Photos that simply cause me to enjoy seem lacking to me. For instance, I think there are two types of Ansel Adams fans / critics: those who think his photos are endless and those who think his photos lack something enticing (bar moonrise, of course, which, btw, is a phenomenal photo in real life). As you might imagine, I prefer the latter because I feel that nature is too perfect to be captured. Imperfection is what makes photos interesting to me. I loved moonrise because of the human element (imperfection). There was just something haunting, off-center, not-quite-right that drew me in and forced me to ask questions. It had a lasting impression on me.

I think your crop is the best advice thus far, but it isn't haunting me enough, and somehow I just get the feeling that by taking away a bit of the perfect symmetry and finding the imperfect one would make this a standout photo. How to do that and where to find it in this specific photo? Well, that's up to tastes, of course, and it may be too difficult to do in the end, but i personally would like to see the human element contrast nature as opposed to blending in.


lrossi


Nov 25, 2008, 7:30 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Indian Creek pic [In reply to]
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I'm no expert, but I think the climber should be the subject. I would crop it vertically and lighten it a lot ... something like this. See the attachment.
Attachments: ic.JPG (125 KB)


altelis


Nov 25, 2008, 8:09 PM
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thinking about it, i think one of the biggest things that makes this an ok photo and not a great photo is that the major part of the skyline is slam in the middle- 1/2 way on the vertical axis and takes up the middle 1/3 on the horizontal axis.

this means your eye is immediately drawn to the skyline, and the sky on these clear utah days can get pretty unremarkable.

not sure if post production work can do it.

i agree that a different time of day would be key, and not only to illuminate the climber differently but also to get some contrast in the sky.

and by changing the angle (on either or both axes) you can tweak that solid mid-way sky line. i've taken a big queue from japanese landscape and like to put my skyline (when applicable) either very low or very high.

another thing i just noticed is that the main cliff band is right in the middle at eye level, and leads your eye nicely out to the left of the photo. but then it ends in sort of washed out and out of focus background. by shifting the angle more to either side you could get an interesting effect.

shift the angle to the right and include more cliff and metering the background better you might actually accentuate it by focusing in on it by narrowing the sky horizontally- this would make that area stick out because it would be some of the only bright blue in the bottom 1/3 of the photo.

shift the angle left and you would incorporate more of the background. this would absolutely require different lighting to both bring the climber out of the shadow (to make him "pop" because he will become even less obvious) and to make the background not washed out or out of focus. this, i think, would really better provide the effect you were going for- an interesting landscape that your eye is drawn to, then an interesting little detail (the climber) in a separate area of the photo, which keeps your eye moving, finding detail, and seeing the whole by seeing the pieces. right?

make sense? i feel like that might be a little garbled. any way you slice it though, i think to improve on the photo will mean going back and doing it again rather than tweaking with post-production stuff. looks like another western climbing trip is in order, eh gabe?!?!?!


braaaaaaaadley


Nov 25, 2008, 8:17 PM
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Here are my to attempts at editing this. I would have gotten better results if I had the time and a better file. #1 is an HDR generated from 5 exposures taken from the original. #2 is a quickmask edited with curves. For best results I would have combined the two methods, but like I said before it's hardly worth the time... getting good image quality out of the original (on rc.com) is like trying to pull teeth from a live shark in the middle of a feeding frenzy... not going to happen.

P.S. Gabe... nice route and good photo even if it is a little underexposed (always better to underexpose than to blow out your highlights). I hope you all have a blast on your Thanksgiving trip wherever you decide on going!

Here's the final edit:




(This post was edited by braaaaaaaadley on Nov 25, 2008, 8:38 PM)


braaaaaaaadley


Nov 25, 2008, 8:50 PM
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Forgot to crop...




ilikerock13


Nov 25, 2008, 10:27 PM
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try using Picasa it is more user friendly sometimes
Attachments: day2_pussy_go4_no_rope2.jpg (126 KB)


ilikerock13


Nov 25, 2008, 10:45 PM
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here is the one i menat to put up...no astigmatism, but the lighting is better in the fist one.


ilikerock13


Nov 25, 2008, 11:09 PM
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Attachments: day2_pussy_go4_no_rope-41.jpg (92.5 KB)


petsfed


Nov 25, 2008, 11:23 PM
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braaaaaaaadley wrote:
Forgot to crop...


This is a good one.

The climber jumps out, there's clearly spectacular scenery, but there's no awkward conflict between the climber and the background. I like this one a lot.


Gmburns2000


Nov 26, 2008, 8:11 AM
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This draws me in. For some reason, I could stare at this for hours wondering what it is that is making me decide if I visually like it or not. By default, that means that I mentally / emotionally like it.


clausti


Nov 26, 2008, 8:20 AM
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petsfed wrote:
braaaaaaaadley wrote:
Forgot to crop...


This is a good one.

The climber jumps out, there's clearly spectacular scenery, but there's no awkward conflict between the climber and the background. I like this one a lot.

i dunno. i personally prefer photos where the color hasn't been so obviously fucked with. not saying you did it badly, braaadly, just that it's obvious that something was done to the picture, which i find distracting.

i think taking out most of the sky helped that picture a lot, but the climber's just in an awkward place.


chanceboarder


Nov 26, 2008, 10:51 AM
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clausti wrote:
petsfed wrote:
braaaaaaaadley wrote:
Forgot to crop...

[image]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3066/3059873699_c939c06bce.jpg?v=0[/image]

This is a good one.

The climber jumps out, there's clearly spectacular scenery, but there's no awkward conflict between the climber and the background. I like this one a lot.

i dunno. i personally prefer photos where the color hasn't been so obviously fucked with. not saying you did it badly, braaadly, just that it's obvious that something was done to the picture, which i find distracting.

i think taking out most of the sky helped that picture a lot, but the climber's just in an awkward place.
I've got to agree. Personally I think this photo is just an attempt to recover a lost image. The original was super contrasty with very harsh lighting and shadows. Hard to avoid given the time of day it was shot, possibly waiting till later in the day or earlier in the morning when the light was more favorable would have been ideal if you were doing this for the photograph, but as its been said, this was a climbing trip and not a photo shoot.

I like the crop on the latest photo I think it's over saturated and the highlights are starting to go on the rock in front of the climber. I find it very distracting, but then again I found the harshness of the light very distracting on the original. Not a whole lot can be done.


braaaaaaaadley


Nov 26, 2008, 11:54 AM
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I was just trying to make something happen with little to work on. In response to Clausti's comments, in regards to the backround/sky, I don't find it to be way over saturated-- perhaps your monitor's settings are different than mine. In fact, I would be willing to bet that the edit's color is closer to the actual conditions than the original photograph. I did find the climber to almost have the highlight's blown out, but I had to do something to make the climber stand out in the picture. I guess it's not perfect, but it's a lot better than the original.


Partner cracklover


Nov 27, 2008, 12:07 PM
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I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions tremendously!

Actually, the fact that this is, apparently, a mediocre photo gives y'all plenty to talk about, and gives me plenty to learn.

Will pore over your comments and versions of the pic more when I have the chance.

Thanks again!

GO

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