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Flowers & Plants CritiqueReeds and Water Lillies

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Matt Quinn
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Reeds and Water Lillies

Post by Matt Quinn » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:03 am

Reeds and lillies (1 of 1).jpg
I went looking for rocks and ripples but found this instead. Comments/critiques welcome. Matt
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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:23 pm

Long have I looked, and that tells me there is interest here, but I don't think this picture works well in B&W. There seems to me to be no center of interest. I can see the reeds but cannot find the water lillies, perhaps because they don't have enough contrast to stand out. My eye is drawn to the hotspot behind the darker reeds, and also to the hot reflection of sky in the water. I like the reflection of the reeds in the slack water, but I'm inclined to think the picture would overall benefit from color. I know the challenge! I have seen restful scenes like this and wanted desperately to capture the mood, but more often than not I just can't manage it. I know there must be a way to do it but I seem not to have the skill. Could you try posting the color version? :)
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Post by minniev » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:12 pm

This is one of those images I like for reasons you probably did not intend.

Overall, the black and white treatment makes it hard to distinguish the many parts, though this is precisely how I would have shot the scene. I am hoping you'll share a color version, because I can see it turning into a Monet-like presentation of a peaceful dreamy water-scene complete with a small bridge.

The area seen through the bridge is concerning. It looks like that may have lost detail. If there's detail there, bringing it back is better than darkening it. If it's not there it may be as well to let it go. That could probably be dealt with better in the color version though.

Here is what I love: there is that face. Do you see her? Just below the far post of the bridge. I love to find magic in an image.
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:00 am

Charles Haacker wrote:Long have I looked, and that tells me there is interest here, but I don't think this picture works well in B&W. There seems to me to be no center of interest. I can see the reeds but cannot find the water lillies, perhaps because they don't have enough contrast to stand out. My eye is drawn to the hotspot behind the darker reeds, and also to the hot reflection of sky in the water. I like the reflection of the reeds in the slack water, but I'm inclined to think the picture would overall benefit from color. I know the challenge! I have seen restful scenes like this and wanted desperately to capture the mood, but more often than not I just can't manage it. I know there must be a way to do it but I seem not to have the skill. Could you try posting the color version? :)


Thank you Charles. I shot this in monochrome on my Leica M, so there is no color file. Your interest and comment prompted me to return to the image. I reworked it in SEP2, made it square to eliminate the distraction of the bridge which Erich had called to my attention, and left the mallards in. I was enchanted by the glow in the reeds and on the heart-shaped leaf with the overarching reed, and am not sure how to retain that without affecting the rest of the image. I tried to PS out the dark spots in the left center which are the back sides of leaves.
Three mallards 2 (1 of 1).jpg
Thank you again. Matt
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:28 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:Thank you Charles. I shot this in monochrome on my Leica M, so there is no color file. Your interest and comment prompted me to return to the image. I reworked it in SEP2, made it square to eliminate the distraction of the bridge which Erich had called to my attention, and left the mallards in. I was enchanted by the glow in the reeds and on the heart-shaped leaf with the overarching reed, and am not sure how to retain that without affecting the rest of the image. I tried to PS out the dark spots in the left center which are the back sides of leaves. Thank you again. Matt

I do like this version better, Matt. The crop literally focuses attention on the restful scene, and the mallards add much to the peace. Shooting in monochrome takes some courage. I used to shoot everything in monochrome when it was all I could process myself, but I don't think I ever really learned to "see" in monochrome. Once I got into digital color I hardly ever convert, and now I shoot all raw and so far as I know you can't shoot raw monochrome, only jpeg. I'm still not convinced this scene works well in monochrome, although I see that enchanting glow and sure as heck would've shot it myself, and the crop definitely improves it. (Y)
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:27 am

minniev wrote:This is one of those images I like for reasons you probably did not intend.

Overall, the black and white treatment makes it hard to distinguish the many parts, though this is precisely how I would have shot the scene. I am hoping you'll share a color version, because I can see it turning into a Monet-like presentation of a peaceful dreamy water-scene complete with a small bridge.

The area seen through the bridge is concerning. It looks like that may have lost detail. If there's detail there, bringing it back is better than darkening it. If it's not there it may be as well to let it go. That could probably be dealt with better in the color version though.

Here is what I love: there is that face. Do you see her? Just below the far post of the bridge. I love to find magic in an image.


Minnie, There was a young girl walking around beyond the bridge but I thought I had waited till she had left. I can't see her face, although I can imagine a face in the rocks. Can you point me to it, please? After much help from you, Chuck, Erich and others, I have cropped the image as follows. Since that glow is what caught my eye, why not show just that. So here it is.

Are you dancing yet?

Matt
Sun lilly leaf (1 of 1).jpg
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:33 am

Charles Haacker wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:Thank you Charles. I shot this in monochrome on my Leica M, so there is no color file. Your interest and comment prompted me to return to the image. I reworked it in SEP2, made it square to eliminate the distraction of the bridge which Erich had called to my attention, and left the mallards in. I was enchanted by the glow in the reeds and on the heart-shaped leaf with the overarching reed, and am not sure how to retain that without affecting the rest of the image. I tried to PS out the dark spots in the left center which are the back sides of leaves. Thank you again. Matt

I do like this version better, Matt. The crop literally focuses attention on the restful scene, and the mallards add much to the peace. Shooting in monochrome takes some courage. I used to shoot everything in monochrome when it was all I could process myself, but I don't think I ever really learned to "see" in monochrome. Once I got into digital color I hardly ever convert, and now I shoot all raw and so far as I know you can't shoot raw monochrome, only jpeg. I'm still not convinced this scene works well in monochrome, although I see that enchanting glow and sure as heck would've shot it myself, and the crop definitely improves it. (Y)


Charles, I cropped to the sunlit parts and like it for its focus. I still like the other, and, as I try to understand why, I think I like the tactility of the tones on the leaves and reeds. Perhaps it is also the very subtle transitions between tones of gray that draw my eye. Don't know.
Sun lilly leaf (1 of 1).jpg
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Post by St3v3M » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:50 am

Matt Quinn wrote:Charles, I cropped to the sunlit parts and like it for its focus. I still like the other, and, as I try to understand why, I think I like the tactility of the tones on the leaves and reeds. Perhaps it is also the very subtle transitions between tones of gray that draw my eye. Don't know. Sun lilly leaf (1 of 1).jpg

I found it helpful to work through the thread with everyone's suggestions and love the last the best. Thank you for working with us! S-
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Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:38 am

Steve, As I look at this image now after all the discussions, I find it too busy and lacking in a clear and obvious center of focus and interest. I will go back and see what I can do -- more for my own satisfaction than for anything else. Thanks; Matt
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:41 am

Matt Quinn wrote:Steve, As I look at this image now after all the discussions, I find it too busy and lacking in a clear and obvious center of focus and interest. I will go back and see what I can do -- more for my own satisfaction than for anything else. Thanks; Matt

The third holds my interest! S-
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