Harsh critiques requested

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I had a request to shoot this location for a lady who is going to hang these at her place of business. There is so much clutter around that this was about the only compositions I could come up with that eliminated the clutter. Anyone have a favorite or are they all blech? I shot these during the early afternoon hours on purpose because she wanted bright conditions. :confused: This is a man made beach in Guntersville.

I left the curve in this one to help frame the tree.
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Eliminated the curve in this one.
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A vertical composition.
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I like the first one best Andy, it pictures the description. I also find it to have the best composition - by far!
If I may suggest, re-shoot exactly that one either early morning or an hour or so before sunset - depending where the sun sets (you don't want to shoot into it).
Even though you shoot mid day for optimal brightness, it makes for boring, bad light (bright, yes - but bad). You will be surprised how nice it will look at the seemingly less bright hours suggested. The landscape will have much nicer colors because of it.
 
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I like the first one best Andy, it pictures the description. I also find it to have the best composition - by far!
If I may suggest, re-shoot exactly that one either early morning or an hour or so before sunset - depending where the sun sets (you don't want to shoot into it).
Even though you shoot mid day for optimal brightness, it makes for boring, bad light (bright, yes - but bad). You will be surprised how nice it will look at the seemingly less bright hours suggested. The landscape will have much nicer colors because of it.
Thanks Frits. I think I agree with you.

I know these aren't the optimum shooting conditions for us photographers but it was a specific request from the client in this case. I can't understand why she wanted the bright conditions either but it's what she wanted. :confused:
 
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Andy, I prefer the first image as well. I would also try to shoot this at other times during the day to take advantage of what different lighting might do for the shot. If the client prefers a brightly lit scene, then the first image has the best composition in my opinion.
 
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Andy, I prefer the first image as well. I would also try to shoot this at other times during the day to take advantage of what different lighting might do for the shot. If the client prefers a brightly lit scene, then the first image has the best composition in my opinion.
Thank you Frank. That's exactly what I wanted to know.
 
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All different light on tha scene would be pretty.
However I think the are very pleasant. nice blue, pretty clouds.
Very nice
 
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Andy
If I were forced to provide under these terms I think I would get very creative. One thing I would do is polarize the sky and use a ND on the foreground. This would allow you to dramatize the scene as much as possible.
Another aproach would be to lay down and shoot from ground level or alternatively from a very high vantage point. You need to make these stand out for her your client and these are things I would try.
Dave
 
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As far as composition, the first shot is the winner of the three. The curve line entering bottom left does help. I would recommend recomposing to get rid of the part of the tree entering the right side. Like the other have said, getting this shot under different light would help.
 
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The first one is best. What I would do to improve it:

1. Shoot in late afternoon or morning light, even if your client says bright.
2. If shooting at midday, use a polarizer to pull out the clouds and grass.
3. I like the composition, but the grass line should not end at the LL corner of the photo. Lines should not enter on corners.
4. Clone out the bit of tree entering from the right or include the whole tree.

Brutally yours :biggrin:
 
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Maybe I am missing something in all of this, but what is the "purpose" of the image? Is it to show the beach, the tree, the pier, the water, the far shore? I guess that what I am asking is, what does you client "like" about this scene? When I look at these, #1 is by far the composition I find most pleasing, but, thinking about what I like about the area, the beach, the pier, the water, the far shore, the sky, I would move a bit left, turn a bit left, and eliminate the tree poking out on the right as well as most of the grass. #2 goes way to far in cropping these bits out. What did you shoot this with? Perhaps a bit wider angle lens and a "turn to the left" would keep the nice curve and help you eliminate the other "messy" bits.

I do agree with the lighting suggestions as well. Oh, and lastly, to my taste the only completely "blech" out of these is the vertical. This is a BEACH for crying out loud, I want space to lay down, not stand up :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
 
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Perhaps a person or two in the foreground, walking along the beach?
Good idea but she specifically requested no people.

The first one is best. What I would do to improve it:

1. Shoot in late afternoon or morning light, even if your client says bright.
2. If shooting at midday, use a polarizer to pull out the clouds and grass.
3. I like the composition, but the grass line should not end at the LL corner of the photo. Lines should not enter on corners.
4. Clone out the bit of tree entering from the right or include the whole tree.

Brutally yours :biggrin:
Brutal is what I wanted. Thanks for the suggestions. Incidentally these are polarized but obviously the time of day hampered the effect. I also completely agree with#3. Looks a little disconcerting after I looked at it closely. It's these kind of details in landscape photography that I need to work on. Good stuff!

Maybe I am missing something in all of this, but what is the "purpose" of the image? Is it to show the beach, the tree, the pier, the water, the far shore? I guess that what I am asking is, what does you client "like" about this scene? When I look at these, #1 is by far the composition I find most pleasing, but, thinking about what I like about the area, the beach, the pier, the water, the far shore, the sky, I would move a bit left, turn a bit left, and eliminate the tree poking out on the right as well as most of the grass. #2 goes way to far in cropping these bits out. What did you shoot this with? Perhaps a bit wider angle lens and a "turn to the left" would keep the nice curve and help you eliminate the other "messy" bits.

I do agree with the lighting suggestions as well. Oh, and lastly, to my taste the only completely "blech" out of these is the vertical. This is a BEACH for crying out loud, I want space to lay down, not stand up :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
All great suggestions and when I go back to reshoot the scene I will keep all of these suggestions in mind. I agree the vertical is too cut up for lack of a better phrase.

As far as what she likes about the scene? The place holds a special place in her heart. Long story and she only related that to me recently.

After talking to her again I asked if I could shoot during a different time of day and let her see them before making a decision. She said sure but still insists on bright conditions because it relates to her "special happening". I may be out of luck as a photographer in this situation.

Anyway, I thank you all for the helpful suggestions and critiques. My forte is bird photography but I am going to force myself to have a more critical eye and do more of these type images. I truly appreciate all of you taking the time to do this for me.
 
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