CS #148 - Take the lead

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Herschel, it's a pleasure to join you. I've had so much fun looking at the images and reading your feedback and criticism, along with that of everyone else. I just took a stab at it to get in the game, but you gave me a lot of ideas.

I had made (or tried to make) the sculpture the subject. I liked your idea of making the "inviting-ness" of the garden the subject. I re-cropped (per your suggestion), undid some of the highlighting on the sculpture, lightened a spot on the path behind and to the right (inviting the eye back further), and lightened the benches to make them more inviting. Did same with the tree trunks to add texture and make them pop. I changed the pic mode to Landscape to make the whole more vivid. Blah, blah, blah...here it is:

Tell me what you think, now. There are still some distracting branches on the right. Getting rid of them would take some doing.

Will you help me make all my images look better?:biggrin: You guys are great! I love this thread. You have an amazing eye, Herschel, and I thank you for hosting and helping us sculpt more keenly.
Hey Neal, I like what you've done with this image - in the original, I felt as though the gates were trying to keep me out:frown:. Just one more suggestion to put a little icing on the cake: Use your eyedropper color measurement tool to probe the color balance of several "white" (or otherwise neutral) objects in the scene (flowers on the left, benches, etc.). You will see that there is a slight excess of blue on those areas -- that makes the scene feel just a tad "cool". You can correct that by applying a little bit of a "warming filter" [I like the Wratten 81A plus about 5% brightening , but your software may not specifically offer that filter so one of the CC (color correction) filters will work too.]
 
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Thanks for the feedback, Bob. I see what you mean. I was going to try some selective warming per your suggestion. I warmed the whole scene, and I liked it. In comparison, I suddenly felt the original was too cool overall. Do you find it too warm this way? Certainly, the blue is gone.:smile:

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Sorry that I'm still playing after the whistle. Bob made me do it.
 
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Thanks for the feedback, Bob. I see what you mean. I was going to try some selective warming per your suggestion. I warmed the whole scene, and I liked it. In comparison, I suddenly felt the original was too cool overall. Do you find it too warm this way? Certainly, the blue is gone.:smile:



Sorry that I'm still playing after the whistle. Bob made me do it.
Neal, you may have gone just the tiniest bit too far, but that simply makes the result consistent with the welcoming feeling generated by the rest of the image. [The main thing is whether you like it or not:smile:]
 
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Some additional thoughts

While most of the discussion in this thread has centered on the use of lines, curves, shapes, and open space to influence the viewer’s perception of an image, other factors come into play as well.

Subtle differences in sharpness, saturation, and color balance (and gradients in those parameters) also affect how we respond to an image. Tom’s bird picture is a good example of the importance of saturation. Both the yellow bird and the yellow/green portion of the background have fairly high saturation levels with the result that the viewer’s attention (at least mine) is divided between the bird and the background. However, selectively lowering the background saturation essentially isolates the bird – just as effectively, IMO, as darkening the background. For those interested, Bob Johnson has written about selective enhancement of vibrancy in some of his weekly tips at www.earthboundlight.com. :wink:

Neal mentioned selective vs. global color balance. While we often think about global control of white balance to get the hues right, selective control of color balance as a function of either tonal level or image area can be a very effective means for influencing viewer response. For example, suppose Neal “cooled” the shaded area near his benches and simultaneous “warmed” the sunlit path – where would those of us in the northern hemisphere prefer to be in that scene today? Now imagine that same site as a winter scene – then, I’d want to be in the warmest spot out there:biggrin:.

There... I'm done
 
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Thanks to Herschel for once again ably serving as the host of the Collective Shoot and for all who contributed images and comments. You all truly make the Collective Shoot a collective effort.

cathead77 has agreed to host CS #149 and has posted his thread here. Be sure to stop by for a second...or longer.:wink:
 
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OK, just one last image....

Just finished working on today's POTD shot and realized that it is another example of what was discussed in this thread. IMHO a bit of judicious darkening and reduction of exposure makes a difference in this image:

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OK, on to the new Collective Shoot!
 
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Herschel, :eek: you certainly have good eyes and made an excellent point on the spindle blocking the label. I guess I was too focus on the spindle and didn't pay enough attention. Thanks for pointing that out and I sure will remember to pay more attention to the entire scene of the picture.

Regarding reading from left to right, it really depends. If someone is a "vinyl junkie", then he/she will be reading from right to left since the stylus sweeps across the record from right to left. Also, most Asian culture reads from right to left. :tongue:
Kiley,

Your welcome for the nit. Developing habits takes time, practice, more time, and more practice. And you're right about the variations in reading when comparing different cultures. (But from which direction do we hear? :biggrin:)
 
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Herschel, it's a pleasure to join you. I've had so much fun looking at the images and reading your feedback and criticism, along with that of everyone else. I just took a stab at it to get in the game, but you gave me a lot of ideas.

I had made (or tried to make) the sculpture the subject. I liked your idea of making the "inviting-ness" of the garden the subject. I re-cropped (per your suggestion), undid some of the highlighting on the sculpture, lightened a spot on the path behind and to the right (inviting the eye back further), and lightened the benches to make them more inviting. Did same with the tree trunks to add texture and make them pop. I changed the pic mode to Landscape to make the whole more vivid. Blah, blah, blah...here it is:

Tell me what you think, now. There are still some distracting branches on the right. Getting rid of them would take some doing.

Will you help me make all my images look better?:biggrin: You guys are great! I love this thread. You have an amazing eye, Herschel, and I thank you for hosting and helping us sculpt more keenly.
Neal,

:wink: By golly, you've got it! That's exactly the crop I was picturing minus, as you said, the intruding branches on the lower right. As for making our shots look better, I can only call them as I see them. My best advice is to practice, learn, and hang out with a great group of people who like to do eaxactly the same thing: practice, learn, and share. IMHO - there isn't a better place than here. And 'Yes' - we have a LOT of fun in the weekly CS. :smile:
 
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Herschel,

Thanks for hosting yet another informative CS. Not only I had fun participating, I sure have learned quite a bit on composition and how to 'lead' the viewers.

As an appreciation, I would like to post one last photo (hey, don't close the gate yet, it's only half past 11pm here :biggrin:). I don't have a baby, I do have some lemons. :tongue:

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Kiley,

:biggrin: Your appreciation is duly noted. I told you I didn't have any lemons - what I neglected to say is that I've made a few from time to time. :tongue: Very nice shot making good use of circular and triangular shapes, and slternating colors. I keep looking at the drop, waiting for it to fall. The potential for action is another good way of engaging the viewer. Glad to be of service, but happier that this CS gave you some extra tools to tuck in your gear bag. :smile:
 
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While most of the discussion in this thread has centered on the use of lines, curves, shapes, and open space to influence the viewer’s perception of an image, other factors come into play as well.

Subtle differences in sharpness, saturation, and color balance (and gradients in those parameters) also affect how we respond to an image. Tom’s bird picture is a good example of the importance of saturation. Both the yellow bird and the yellow/green portion of the background have fairly high saturation levels with the result that the viewer’s attention (at least mine) is divided between the bird and the background. However, selectively lowering the background saturation essentially isolates the bird – just as effectively, IMO, as darkening the background. For those interested, Bob Johnson has written about selective enhancement of vibrancy in some of his weekly tips at www.earthboundlight.com. :wink:

Neal mentioned selective vs. global color balance. While we often think about global control of white balance to get the hues right, selective control of color balance as a function of either tonal level or image area can be a very effective means for influencing viewer response. For example, suppose Neal “cooled” the shaded area near his benches and simultaneous “warmed” the sunlit path – where would those of us in the northern hemisphere prefer to be in that scene today? Now imagine that same site as a winter scene – then, I’d want to be in the warmest spot out there:biggrin:.
Dad,

:smile: Very well verbalized and informatively stated!! I had planned for discussing more "directional tools". But just in case that plan didn't quite pan out, I'm glad I implemented Plan 'B' early on, by providing alternative links of information aside from my own perspective. I appreciate the additonal assistance and the link for additional insight. :wink:
 
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Just finished working on today's POTD shot and realized that it is another example of what was discussed in this thread. IMHO a bit of judicious darkening and reduction of exposure makes a difference in this image:

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

Excellent capture!! This one is really intriguing with what we've been talking about this week. In wanting to go from left to right, the attention quickly connects the pressure hose with the spray gun. Very interesting reaction to this as we realize that this worker is coming our way, and if we don't move, we're going to go into Alan's CS with yellow stripes. :biggrin: Beautifully done. My hat is off to you. :wink:
 
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Herschel, you da man! Thanks for stepping up to bat and for all the critique you offered up. I always enjoy your themes.
Herschel -

Alan stated it correctly - you 'da man!! This was a great challenge and I really learned a lot. Thanks so much for hosting this week. Sorry I couldn't contribute more; real life kinda got in the way, but everyone did a fantastic job and I really enjoyed your comments...!
Outstanding Herschel, thanks for a great CS. Seems like you inspired everyone to do their best. I appreciate your stewardship on CS 148!!!
Thanks to Herschel for once again ably serving as the host of the Collective Shoot and for all who contributed images and comments. You all truly make the Collective Shoot a collective effort.

cathead77 has agreed to host CS #149 and has posted his thread here. Be sure to stop by for a second...or longer.:wink:

:rolleyes: Y'all are making me blush. I'll take a bow, so long as everyone else does the same. To paraphrase Dave - collective fun from a collective effort.

Now let's get on over to Alan's CS, as he is the next to 'take the lead'. :wink::tongue::biggrin:
 
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Is it ok to continue this discussion of "leading the eye" a bit? I have this shot of some pelicans on a dock that's gone so just the posts are left. The first shot is the original and the second one is flipped so that it goes from left to right...is that better?

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That's why I read this stuff....to soak up the thoughts from those who have done it right for a long time.

My immediate thought about that pelican shot was that it went the wrong way but then after seeing it that way for awhile, then flipping it also looked backward...that's why I posted the question.
 
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Is it ok to continue this discussion of "leading the eye" a bit? I have this shot of some pelicans on a dock that's gone so just the posts are left. The first shot is the original and the second one is flipped so that it goes from left to right...is that better?
Hey Jerry -

I agree with you and Connie - that flip does look better to my eye.

I'll offer (without evidence - lol) that the original might be more pleasing to some of our mid-Eastern or Asian Café members, though.

I think that leading the eye engagingly in photos originates - at least somewhat - from the the pattern with which we're taught to read as youngsters.

Of course, excellent composition transcends boundaries (IMHO).

Eric
 
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Jerry,

Hmmm....actually, both versions do it for me. The flipped version obviously pulls the eye with the direction of the posts. But with the original, I find myself paying more attention to the direction in which most of the birds are facing. And I think there-in lies the possible distraction bettween the two. The "power-pull", in my mind, would have be a combination of both.

At any rate, I'm glad to see that everyone is continuing to gain from this. :smile:
 
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