CS #148 - Take the lead

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gretchen i really like the recrop! personally i would like to see the focus on the fingertips and let the rest fuzz out where it would i think it would be a really cool shot
 
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Okay, Lyndee, I actually shot this one from a "ducking" position. (They sure didn't appear to have their bearings on take-off.) :tongue:

The original was shot with Dad's 70-300 from a range of 75' to 100'. I was panning the haphazard take-off from across a retention pond and into the trees with the sun setting directly behind the trees. (Dragging hand across face that I just admitted that. :redface: :tongue:)

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270mm 1/20s f/5.6 ISO 400​

Flipped horizontally and cropped, selectively USM'd each duck, stirred in some ketchup, and selectively sauteed each one to desired taste - just seeing if you're really reading or watching the Food Network. :tongue:


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You'll get no arguement from me that this started as a terrible shot. At best, the final version serves as an example for 1) The flow of energy from left to right; 2) Balancing a string of smaller, brighter subjects against a darker but dynamic background; 3) The use of ROT and placement of certain subjects along one line while others are placed at diagonally opposite power points.

(Oh, and ketchup will fix a lot, just not my duck photography. :biggrin:)
 
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First of all, I apologize for not sticking to the rules. The pictures was taken couple months ago. Didn't get a chance to go out and take some shots but still would like to contribute. However, the PP was done tonight. I wanted to do this for a while and would like to get some feedback to see if the PP made a difference. I hope Herschel the host doesn't mind. :smile: Hopefully, I've done this right.

This shot was taken on a hazy sunny day.
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After some cropping and sharpening to get rid of some of the dark silhouette trees and brough the clock tower forward.
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Im not sure if this is what youre looking for Herschel, this is my first entry out of all the collective shoots so here goes,

original
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With a little crop, and bringing out the details i came out with this
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Gretchen, selective colour can be done quite easily in LR!!
Set all the saturation sliders in the HSL panel to -100, then with the Adjustment Brush (with saturation) just brush back in what you want coloured.....:smile::smile::biggrin::wink:
If you do this, can you still use the greyscale tab sliders? I'm thinking not (and I do use these a lot in my conversions). I knew I could desat and pull back with the brush, but I don't think that allows me to then use the greyscale sliders. :frown:
 
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Herschel, I like your duck shot a lot. The blur adds motion! :smile: I would like to see a bit more room on the right, to give the ducks somewhere to "go" mentally. :smile:
 
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In the spirit of this week’s CS, allow me to join the ranks of the “I’m not sure this fits” crew. [It will have to do because I discarded everything else.:biggrin:]

I set up to photograph this bull thistle, and was then joined by a tiny skipper of as-yet-undetermined lineage.:confused: Full EXIF embedded. Processing consisted of a little sharpening, selective lightening and saturation, cropping to one interpretation of ROT, resampling, and addition of the border.

original
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http://www.greenapple.com/~rcoutant/temp/DSC_2960orig.jpg

processed
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http://www.greenapple.com/~rcoutant/temp/DSC_2960sm.jpg
 

LyndeeLoo

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(Oh, and ketchup will fix a lot, just not my duck photography. :biggrin:)
Herschel, the transformation is unbelievable! I will agree with you, the original shot was a little less than stellar, but you've been able to manipulate the scene into a work of art. This second image is really well done.

And you're right about something else: Ketchup can fix a multitude of things...an overly well-done steak...bad spaghetti...macaroni and cheese...! :biggrin:
 
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Suggestion

Great start Bob, might try rotating it 90 deg left (or less) and cropping top and bottom. To me the flutterby looks wrong in the horizontal mode, could just be me. Like the pic, they never sit still enough for me :)
 
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First of all, I apologize for not sticking to the rules. The pictures was taken couple months ago. Didn't get a chance to go out and take some shots but still would like to contribute. However, the PP was done tonight. I wanted to do this for a while and would like to get some feedback to see if the PP made a difference. I hope Herschel the host doesn't mind. :smile: Hopefully, I've done this right.

This shot was taken on a hazy sunny day.
Kiley,

:smile: I'm glad to see you joining in this week. Normally I'd have to give you a demerit for a shot taken outside of the posted times. However, I'd like for you to leave this one right where it is. I happen to know that your skills have grown since you took this. And the potential for learning is too great to pass up.

So, hazy day shooting makes for more difficult PPg, as you already discovered. Did you know that we relate to vertical elements via our sense of being grounded in the world? (Bit of trivia for you.) The tower is a great subject, but the foreground trees and bottom right buildings are a little distracting. I think there is a different way of cropping this one so that you are able to retain as much of the contrasting balance as possible. (And I hope you don't mind me re-posting what I came up with.)

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So we still have that darn pine tree in front of the tower. But now we're using it to our advantage by helping to divide this shot and establish some contrasting balance. In this crop, now the shot is divided diagonally from upper left to bottome right, with the dark area being the lower left triangle. Also, by the position of that darn pine tree, we are also re-enforcing the other diagonal, and drawing the viewers' eye from lower left, out of the darkness up into the light, and towards the subject - the tower. Incidentally, the almost invisble horizon now lays along the lower horizontal third. Thoughts? :smile:
 
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Im not sure if this is what youre looking for Herschel, this is my first entry out of all the collective shoots so here goes,

original
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With a little crop, and bringing out the details i came out with this
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Charlie,

:smile: First - A big warm welcome and 'Thank You' for joining us!! To be honest, this week I'll accept any type of image contributed. To re-iterate, I want us to take a step back for this week from the types of 'themed' shoots that we normally do. Rather, I'd like for us to take a look at some of the underlying/subtle things that can help us to become better dance partners with our intended viewer. I'd like for us to gain a better understanding as to the "whats" and "whys" that draw us to a particular image.

Another example of using direct eye contact to make an immediate connection with your viewer. And, you've brought us in closer to the subject by cropping using the ROTs. (A subject that I'm going to guess to which you have a personal attachment. :wink:) Admittedly and alongside others, I am notorious for drivng my cats nuts. Lots of us use our pets as practice for portrait style shooting. And the first thing that I learned was to try to get the eyes as close to perfectly focused and as sharp as possible. Now, whereas we get "red-eye" when shooting people, with animals we often get a similar result, although I couldn't tell you if there is a particular name for it in animals. I don't have any tips for reducing it, other than using a flash diffuser or bouncing the flash when using the flash. So that will be something to work on.

The other thing I would tell you has to do with straightening. While I'm glad that you got down to your subjects' level, by the slant of the door in the BG, I feel like I'm on one of those tilting floors at the county fair. There are times when tilting the shot helps in enhancing one's artistic expression, there are a lot of other times when it serves as a distraction to the viewers' brain. So, what do you think about straightening as a first step in PPg? :smile:
 
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Herschel, I like your duck shot a lot. The blur adds motion! :smile: I would like to see a bit more room on the right, to give the ducks somewhere to "go" mentally. :smile:
Gretchen,

Thanks. I thought about leaving some more room on the right, but opted not to for a couple of reasons. First of all, I was really looking at the triangle formed by the four of them, and that the triangle points towards the right of the shot. I felt that cropping it tight created some mystery, as in not revealing everything about the scene to the viewer. And I felt that in turn also boosted the subconscious tension of the shot. Of course, once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

Speaking of cropping, and back to what we were working on yesterday with that wonderful shot of Em, I don't know if you've been able to re-do just her eye color in the BW. Hope you don't mind, Dad and I were on to the same thing without talking about it. The difference is that Dad pulled in tighter on the crop, and I think doing so does even more to really stop your viewer in their tracks. (And I hope you don't mind me posting these, just so that everyone can really see what we've been talking about.)

My version:

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Dads' version:


Obviously the further from the subject, the more difficult to make out the blue eyes in mine. :smile:
 
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In the spirit of this week’s CS, allow me to join the ranks of the “I’m not sure this fits” crew. [It will have to do because I discarded everything else.:biggrin:]

I set up to photograph this bull thistle, and was then joined by a tiny skipper of as-yet-undetermined lineage.:confused: Full EXIF embedded. Processing consisted of a little sharpening, selective lightening and saturation, cropping to one interpretation of ROT, resampling, and addition of the border.

Dad,

:biggrin::biggrin: Technically, for this week, everything fits. :biggrin::biggrin:

Okay, WOW!! "That's a beaut, Clark."

My thoughts on this equally simple and complex shot are as such: The first thing we notice are the spikes of the thistle bulb. The brain, naturally, wants to avoid "sharp-pointy-stabby" things. But then, like the skipper, we want to "smell the flowers". And then the eye is pulled to the strong triangular shape of the upright wings. I haven't forgotten what a thistle thorn feels like. And I think that's what makes this such a great image. The skipper is such a delicate creature, yet there he is braving the spikes for a yummy meal. That's it for the complex symbolism.

Now for the cool part that goes straight to leading the viewer thru the image: The colors are simple - just 3 - green, purple, and gold. But let's take a serious look at the lighting of the bokeh. If you focus on the shifting bright area of the BG, from top to bottom, you should be able to spot an 'S'. The 'S' line causes the viewers' eye to shift around and roam about thru the image, never really leaving. It's very subtle, but it's there. And there is where your viewer is going to stay. Really good job on this one. :smile:

Here's a rotated version so that everyone can play "Spot The 'S'":

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Herschel, the transformation is unbelievable! I will agree with you, the original shot was a little less than stellar, but you've been able to manipulate the scene into a work of art. This second image is really well done.

And you're right about something else: Ketchup can fix a multitude of things...an overly well-done steak...bad spaghetti...macaroni and cheese...! :biggrin:
:eek: ketchup with duck!
Lyndee and Kim,

:smile: Thanks. If there is one thing I learned from my brother, it is this: Ketchup and Mustard fixes everything. Did you know that with a little Mustard, cooked veggies like Broccolli and Asparagus are delicious? :wink:
 
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Kiley,

:smile: I'm glad to see you joining in this week. Normally I'd have to give you a demerit for a shot taken outside of the posted times. However, I'd like for you to leave this one right where it is. I happen to know that your skills have grown since you took this. And the potential for learning is too great to pass up.
Herschel, first of all, thank you for not kicking me out. :tongue:

So, hazy day shooting makes for more difficult PPg, as you already discovered. Did you know that we relate to vertical elements via our sense of being grounded in the world? (Bit of trivia for you.)
I think I can relate. I remember I was asked once a similar question: why do mirror images are reversed left and right but not up and down? And my first thought was probably because we are bipedal and vertically symmetric. :biggrin:

I think there is a different way of cropping this one so that you are able to retain as much of the contrasting balance as possible. (And I hope you don't mind me re-posting what I came up with.)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

So we still have that darn pine tree in front of the tower. But now we're using it to our advantage by helping to divide this shot and establish some contrasting balance. In this crop, now the shot is divided diagonally from upper left to bottome right, with the dark area being the lower left triangle. Also, by the position of that darn pine tree, we are also re-enforcing the other diagonal, and drawing the viewers' eye from lower left, out of the darkness up into the light, and towards the subject - the tower. Incidentally, the almost invisble horizon now lays along the lower horizontal third. Thoughts? :smile:
Of course I don't mind and I would love to see what you've done. Not sure if it's just me but I can only see a big red X. :frown: Could you repost Pleeaase? :smile:
 
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Now for the cool part that goes straight to leading the viewer thru the image: The colors are simple - just 3 - green, purple, and gold. But let's take a serious look at the lighting of the bokeh. If you focus on the shifting bright area of the BG, from top to bottom, you should be able to spot an 'S'. The 'S' line causes the viewers' eye to shift around and roam about thru the image, never really leaving. It's very subtle, but it's there. And there is where your viewer is going to stay. Really good job on this one. :smile:
The background is what nature gave me.:biggrin: The crazy thing about the image rotation is that my brain says the spikes are a lot more distinct in the vertical orientation. [ My crummy right eye playing tricks again? Or, more conditioned response?]
 
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Okay, for some reason I'm getting intermittent "X'd" pics, so let's try Kileys' tower again:

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Seems to be working now, from what I can see. Let me know if anyone has troubles viewing this one.

Thanks.
 
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