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The Circular River

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by NateS, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
  2. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    Sweet....another failed attempt. It would be nice to know if it failed because of my crappy compositional skills or my crappy post processing skills.
  3. Nate, do not be dishearted by an unsuccessful attempt. I have had hundreds of botched attempts at various scenes before getting comfortable shooting landscapes. Trust me, there are 50-60 rolls of film that are just me practicing compositional and exposure skills when I first started.

    Here is what I have noticed about your shooting style, you like critters and people. Both require good light and controled light as well to look decent. I have seen some of your critter shot and the subject is well defined, color is great and bold and the light is where you want it.

    Landscapes are a product of patience and waiting. I won't go Zen on you, but my approach to shooting landacapes is this, where are my eyes leading me? What is the light telling me? What is here that makes this place unique? When I do this, I see (visualization) a world that is different and I wait for when nature tells me it is time. Ask my wife, I have been known to go to a spot and wait for hours just for one shot.

    Others have a different approach to shooting but what I do works well for me. If you want to get into some serious read John Shaw's 'Landscape Photography'. I learned a lot from that book and it is a simple read.

    With your image here, here are my questions:
    What led you to shoot this?
    What is your subject?
    How does it contribute to the background?

    From what I see, there really is not a solid subject here. The background almost stops me from looking further into the image, basically it forms a wall and anything beyond that wall is to be private. Finally, time of day. It looks like this was shot when the sun was directly overhead (Icould be wrong though). Anyway the image is overexposed and there lacks the appeal.

    PM me please if you'd want to discuss this more. I am more than willing to help you get through this part of your photographic journey.

    God Bless,
  4. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    It really is discouraging. Even though they are both types of photography it almost feels as if landscape vs. insect or even people are as different as shooting a gun and driving a car.

    To answer your questions,

    I was led to shoot this because I liked the way the water made a "roundabout" in this area.

    My subject I guess would be the water.... I see your point though...no great focal point to draw your eye and hold your attention.

    I don't understand the last question about contributing to the background.

    I will try to get ahold of the book you mentioned. Sounds like that could give me some help that I deperately need.

    Thanks for your response...it sure helped me with the lull I'm in about this all.

    Oh, and my post work on landscapes is truly horrid. I usually hurt the image more than anything. Here is a version that is closer to SOOC.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Granted, I understand that no amount of post work can fix compositional errors....still worth noting that I made the image worse than I did better with my post "work".
  5. In many respects, landscapes and protraits/macros/animals are the same, and in mnay others, they are vastly different. Somes photographic rules and concepts will translate from one genre to the other. There are time where you just throw those rules out the door and almost make your own.

    As for the last question I asked, when there is a solid subject in the frame, the background elements should lead you in and out of the frame through the main subject. In other words, it should contribute to your eye having a feeling of getting lost within the frame and having a feeling of peace. Images like this one block that feeling a bit. The curve in the creek would make for a great subject, but perhaps not at the perspective you shot at. Something like you were wanting tends to do better when your perspective is elevated.

    As for PP work, I am still learning how to do that. My Photoshop class in college helped me out a lot. But one thing I learned long ago, get your exposure right and the PP you do will be minimal.

    God Bless,
  6. quest4quail


    Jul 6, 2009
    Clovis, NM
    You see a round about in the flow of the water, I see an island in the middle of a creek/stream/river. Maybe a bit of the bank in the foreground would let me see that you are not in the middle of the water shooting an island?

    If I look at the vegetation, I can see what you are talking about. I bet this would be a very interesting subject to work with for several days to find just the right lighting and composition.
  7. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    This shot just screams Fisheye to me, short of that maybe stiching together shots to get an even wider view. It just looks like it needs a stronger front to the picture.
  8. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    :confused:  This is actually 4 vertical shots stitched together...no fisheye. I guess I could have done an extra shot on each side to make it wider.
  9. NateS,

    What is your photographic background? Have you been shooting for many years or did you just recently buy your first camera?

    The reason I ask is you seem extremely frustrated with not having shots which should be published in National Geographic. Just because we have expensive equipment and fancy lenses doesn't a photographer make! If you don't have a lot of experience in one area of photography, for example landscape, I'd suggest buying some good books on both landscape photography and composition. Study them thoroughly and practice, practice, practice. Back when I started in photography, I was told "When you've spent a thousand dollars shooting film, then you will know before you trip the shutter if it will be a good shot!" (not necessarily true, but you get the idea) Fortunately we don't have to do that any more. But just because we can look at the image on the screen and delete it doesn't mean we still don't have to practice...............and that means make a lot of mistakes. Be patient. It often takes many, many years to produce good images. Remember, the camera and lenses are just tools. It takes a good photographer to use them to their best advantage. Just because I have good woodworking tools doesn't mean I'm a wood artisan!
  10. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    I've been shooting for a few years, but have never really attempted any landscapes. I shoot bugs and people but never landscapes. I'm good at the bugs and people stuff and really enjoy off camera lighting type stuff. However, I find it to be a completely different world shooting landscapes and that's why I'm getting frustrated. I figure if I'm good at one or two types of photography then landscapes should be a cakewalk.....wrong. With the type I usually do, I can use lighting to create a dramatic effect....work with moving subjects (whether bugs or people) to get different compositions.

    With landscapes...you can't "move" the subject...though I'm finding out that you have to move yourself more instead. You can't change the lighting on a whim like with flashes...you have to come back when there is different/better lighting.

    It is just an entirely different world than what I'm used to shooting...hence my frustration. I don't consider myself to be a beginner in regards to photography in general, but I do when talking about landscapes specifically.

    And to your example....imagine a widdler (sp?) trying to build a fancy china cabinet when all he has done is widdle animals and such....even though both are woodworking...he might feel way out of his element. That's the way I feel.
  11. Very well put..........and that's exactly what I meant. I used to shoot landscape photography for a living. (calenders, cards, salon prints, etc.) But I can't shoot a portrait worth a darn. And I don't think I'd be any good at shooting bugs, either. Photography has many different aspects to which we must pay attention..............and that is in every different type of photography. We can't just assume since we (think) we understand one type that we will instinctively understand another. Buy some books and learn something new. Landscape involves a lot of leg work as well as equipment choices. Good luck.
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