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Critic's CornerTension

Nature's beauty cannot be expressed more perfectly than in its flora.
- Flowers and plants in any state, from natural to arranged, outdoor or indoor.
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LindaShorey
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Tension

Postby LindaShorey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:47 pm

The surface tension of water, that is :)

Aside from needing a tripod and the longer lens (that I left home), what do you think of the pp and the idea for the photo subject? Does anyone have any experience with this kind of subject? I only remember previous similar when shooting one of those water-skating insects.

All suggestions welcomed; edits are fine. Thank you!
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Re: Tension

Postby Duck » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:18 pm

The beauty of photography, and one aspect that makes it so appealing to so many people, is the ability to show us something we don't see every day (or at all, in some instances). For example, a frozen frame as a water balloon bursts. Sure, we've all seen that occurrence at some point in our lives but never one single slice of time within that occurrence. Not until it was photographed, that is. Then, a bursting water balloon became amazing.

This image is along those same lines. I've lived my childhood around creeks and streams and have seen all kinds of bits floating along but to have it frozen in time for a thorough observation... can't say I've had too many opportunities for that. In this particular case there are so many elements coming together in a unique way that it creates, on a whole, a very interesting image. Separate each element would be rather mundane... grass stalk, water... but together, and with that light, the interplay between the two makes this captivating enough to cause me to pause and really observe that interaction. It's definitely about the light. Without it the interaction between the plant and the water surface wouldn't be as interesting. I also like that you really can't see below the water's surface. That little detail showing through from below isn't distracting and adds just that little sense of 'place'.

Now for a little side story. On one of my nature walks I once came across this lovely mushroom specimen. I took a shot of it and continued on. It was two or three shots among several dozen I took on that walk of varying subjects. It wasn't until I returned home, opened it up in Lightroom that I noticed how really beautiful that image was. The next several weekends were spent looking for and photographing mushroom specimens.

I tell you this because here you have a beautiful specimen that can lead to further exploration of similar subjects floating on water. That's where the challenge begins. One found image is considered chance, but recreating that look falls into skill (and can lead to a nice series like Minniev's "Dam Birds" or Ernst-Ulrich Schafer's "Calla Lilies" series). One never knows where the path leads.

If I were to give any form of critique it would be that I would love to see more empty space around the subject. Give it some breathing room.

I'd love to see others. :clap:
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LindaShorey
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Re: Tension

Postby LindaShorey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:19 pm

Duck, I'm so envious of your seeming ease at organizing your thoughts and presenting them in a thoroughly enjoyable and informative way. Thank you for your time and interest!

Your mention of wanting more space coincides with a comment someone made about trying a diagonal. Since I had to crop this significantly, there is plenty of room to work other ideas. The main challenge is there are large, light gray reflections in the water that must be dealt with :)

But also, it's a unique enough photo subject for me that I am going to stop procrastinating and finally order a new tripod, lol. And take the longer lens next time.

Your comment about "found" images vs. recreating is well worth its own discussion topic. I do derive the most joy from surprise discoveries, many of which can't be recreated due to the fleeting light or weather conditions. I have occasionally been gratified when going back time and again paid off, however :) Thank you again!
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Re: Tension

Postby Duck » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:27 pm

LindaShorey wrote:Duck, I'm so envious of your seeming ease at organizing your thoughts and presenting them in a thoroughly enjoyable and informative way. Thank you for your time and interest!

Comes from years of instructing. :-D

LindaShorey wrote:Your comment about "found" images vs. recreating is well worth its own discussion topic. I do derive the most joy from surprise discoveries, many of which can't be recreated due to the fleeting light or weather conditions. I have occasionally been gratified when going back time and again paid off, however :) Thank you again!

There are plenty of photographers that would argue how wrong you are to make this statement. Specially those landscape photographers who wait months or years to recreate one particular image. ;)

I would be so bold as to say you actually contradict yourself within the same statement -- "I have occasionally been gratified when going back time and again paid off". Yes, it is true that any one give situation will never be duplicated and that, in itself, is the beauty of discovery. My argument isn't about duplicating that one moment, per say, but using that moment as a springboard for exploration of a theme. By analyzing what makes that image succesful and then actively seeking to recapture that within a different subject becomes the new challenge, the new discovery.

Let me see if I can illustrate it in a different way; You are walking along the bank of a stream when you notice a waterbug gliding along the surface and you watch it in fascination, reminding you of a figure skater gliding on ice. Perhaps you take a picture of one, perhaps not. After all, they are rather abundant and there's always a next time.

Further down you spot the seeded top of a grass stalk, broken off and floating in a little eddy just a little ways out from the bank. On closer observation you notice the similarities between this and the waterbug which prompts you to set up your camera to capture it. After all, it's not as common as the water bugs and, to your surprise, the image is rather striking. A little editing, some cropping and, voila, a beautiful image is born... and I come along with a challenge... expand on the theme. :photo:

In a way you have already done exactly what I am encouraging, looking for the similarities to create a new image. When you spotted that waterbug you painted a mental image (maybe even capture a physical one) that was reflected in the way the stalk appeared to you. While accidental and subconscious, there was a process in place that led up to that image. My point is now you have the concept in place, understand the parameters by which to work with, all you need is the opportunity. With that knowledge you have three options; wait for a similar opportunity to come along and record it, seek out that opportunity in order to increase your chances of recording it or artificially create that situation in order to guarantee recording it. The biggest difference being it has gone from a subconscious reflex to a conscious decisive action.

I hope that explains it further without confusing the situation.
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Re: Tension

Postby LindaShorey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:15 pm

Duck wrote:...Yes, it is true that any one give situation will never be duplicated and that, in itself, is the beauty of discovery. My argument isn't about duplicating that one moment, per say, but using that moment as a springboard for exploration of a theme. By analyzing what makes that image successful and then actively seeking to recapture that within a different subject becomes the new challenge, the new discovery.

...With that knowledge you have three options; wait for a similar opportunity to come along and record it, seek out that opportunity in order to increase your chances of recording it or artificially create that situation in order to guarantee recording it. The biggest difference being it has gone from a subconscious reflex to a conscious decisive action...


Awesome food for thought and I very much appreciate your expanding on your earlier comments, Duck. Funny you should mention "artificial creation" as an option, because a half hour ago as I was walking my dog, I wondered if that is possible (specifically plants or leaves on water) and how it is an intriguing idea for indoors when summer temps go over 95 :)
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Re: Tension

Postby ErichBrunner » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:33 pm

LindaShorey wrote:The surface tension of water, that is :)

Aside from needing a tripod and the longer lens (that I left home), what do you think of the pp and the idea for the photo subject? Does anyone have any experience with this kind of subject? I only remember previous similar when shooting one of those water-skating insects.

All suggestions welcomed; edits are fine. Thank you!

I really like what Duck had to say about this lovely image. I'd also like to see more of these. I don't have anything to add in terms of a critique.
Erich

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Re: Tension

Postby LindaShorey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:38 pm

ErichBrunner wrote:I really like what Duck had to say about this lovely image. I'd also like to see more of these. I don't have anything to add in terms of a critique.
Erich


Thanks for taking the time to comment, Erich. I have an itch to visit Mt Rainier tomorrow, but later this week I'll check back at the little pond. I also might have a shot of leaves that shows the surface tension, gotta get out of the recliner to confirm, though. Grateful for your interest!
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Re: Tension

Postby Psjunkie » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:02 pm

I'll go with Duck on more space Linda.....a very well spotted and presented image.

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Re: Tension

Postby LindaShorey » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:08 pm

Psjunkie wrote:I'll go with Duck on more space Linda.....a very well spotted and presented image.

Thank you, Frank, and also for the idea to try adding more space via canvas size and content-aware move or clone or all of the above. Anything to avoid wrangling the light gray reflections in my original! Which suggests I edited after cropping and that was true to a large extent. Yep, the bad habits keep being revealed in these pages ;)
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Re: Tension

Postby St3v3M » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:16 am

LindaShorey wrote:The surface tension of water, that is :)

Aside from needing a tripod and the longer lens (that I left home), what do you think of the pp and the idea for the photo subject? Does anyone have any experience with this kind of subject? I only remember previous similar when shooting one of those water-skating insects.

All suggestions welcomed; edits are fine. Thank you!

This image holds a special interest for me as I was experimenting with water recently and love that you've come across a childhood memory. I think we've all been or seen, that child that floats a piece of wood down a small stream watching it float away in fascination and wonder. Progressing forward it boggles my mind still that ships float as well as they do, but that's another story I suppose. What I like about this image then is that it brings back so much wonder an awe. In one sense it's a childhood memory watching things float past, in another it's a reminder of the world I love, but mostly it's an image at once familiar and different in the same.

While I would like to see a bit more space on the top and bottom I would also like to see it upright as if it were planted. In this manner I envision it as a triptych, or three photos together as a series sold to home buyers and hotels alike. I see a wonderful series here and years of photographic exploration! S-
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