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Re: [SI] Behold the Bounty of Bs!

 
 
Robert Coe
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      10-13-2011
On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:55:01 -0400, Bowser <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: At last, a bodacious bounty of beauties to behold, ...

Frankly, I was tempted to shirk any responsibility to comment this month. But
the comments have been trickling in slowly so far, and I wouldn't want to give
the naysayers any excuse to claim that interest in the Shoot-In is flagging.
So …

Bob_Coe 1
Someone suggested that I needed a longer lens for this one, and I agree up to
a point. If the objective is simply a picture of the bird, a tighter crop
would help achieve it. But I wanted to show the bird looking across the inlet,
and the shallow spots on the left are the minimum it takes to show that. I
considered and rejected some shots that show land on both sides of the inlet,
because the bird comes out too small. The submitted picture is the best I
could do as a compromise.

Bob_Coe 2
I guess this qualifies as a boring picture; even my wife could manage only a
tepid response. But it's a pretty picture, with each compositional element
more or less in its place. I like it at least as well as anything I might have
submitted instead.

Bob_Coe 3
Here you see the consequence of sloppy, incompetent grabshooting. Martha,
sitting in a beach chair talking to her sister, spotted the little boat with
the blue sail and called out to me. I whirled and squeezed off some shots,
catching the boat in a perfect position close to the shore, only to discover
that I had inadvertently set the ISO and shutter speed to totally
inappropriate values. The pictures came out hopelessly blurry and overexposed.
By the time I recovered, the boat had turned and was moving away, and this
shot was the best I could manage. No excuse: the 50D's dial has two positions
that can be preset for grabshooting, but I wasn't using them. And I even left
a typo in the caption.

Martha_Coe 1
Bicycles make good pictures, and they've been a recurring theme in the
Shoot-In over the years. But this one has a slightly amusing story. Martha had
just finished her shots of the Concord Depot for last month's Shoot-In and had
turned her attention to the bike while I waited for my train to Cambridge.
Then an elderly woman (well, not as old as us), also waiting for the train,
started asking Martha why she was photographing the bike. She seemed
incredulous that anyone would bother with something so prosaic.

Martha_Coe 2
Brown beads on a beach: that's a 3-fer. And they came out pretty well; Martha
has a good eye for color.

Martha_Coe 3
Damn, I've gotta lose some weight.

Bob_Flint 1
Like a previous commentator, I would have put the vodka bottle next to the
book. But the colors and shapes work well together, so you can't really argue
with what's there. Martha disagrees with me, BTW; she thinks Flint got it
exactly right.

Bob_Flint 2
Very nice color and composition. A fine entry.

Bob_Flint 3
Note the stylistic contrast between Martha's bike picture and this one. This
picture, with the vines and broken lamp post, falls into the "Ashcan School"
of contemporary American art, along with the work of painters like Edward
Hopper and the photographer Jacob Riis. I don't think I believe that the vines
grew over the bike, though; the bike appears too well maintained for that. It
doesn't detract from its artistic value, but I have to assume, until told
otherwise, that the composition was posed.

DudleyHanks 1
As others have noted, the colors are striking, and the composition is
impeccable. I think, though, that I'd like to see how it looks with a
reduction of three or four hundred degrees in ambient color temperature. The
reddish cast doesn't quite square with the overcast sky.

DudleyHanks 2
Nice composition, though I might crop off the intruding branches on the left.
And again I'd try lowering the ambient CT and maybe brighten it a tad.

DudleyHanks 3
This may be the best of the three in color accuracy, but it's too tightly
cropped at the top (especially) and the left.

Bowser_1
Is that really an electric bass or just a bass guitar (as if I actually
understood the difference)? I'd like to see the subject's face better lit, but
recognize the problem that poses. Direct fill flash would glare off the, er,
bass, and bounce flash would be impossible unless the bandstand has a
reasonably reflective ceiling.

Bowser_2
Nice picture. My only quibble is that I'd like to see a bit more light on the
mother's head - at least enough to resolve her eye. But I suppose a flash
might have upset her, and the last thing you want is to have to deal with a
charging buffalo when all you have to throw at her is a 5D2.

Bowser_3
Great picture! I love old truss bridges, and this one is very nicely captured.
Was it once a toll bridge? That looks like an old toll house on the left.

Frank Ess 1
Everybody else seems to love this one, but I think you have to have some light
on the bee. I could live with just the backlighting if the bee weren't there,
but it doesn't look right to me as it is.

Frank Ess 2
That's pretty spectacular. Martha and I both wonder how Frank ever managed to
get that picture. (I assume he didn't just cheat and rotate a picture of the
planes in level flight! But even that would have been a difficult capture.)

Frank Ess 3
Excellent job. The depth of field is low, of course, but the focus is exactly
where it has to be. And the lighting is perfect too.

TimConway 1
The colors are interesting (purple beans??), but IMO the picture loses
something by being framed by no discernible boundaries.

TimConway 2
This one also lacks boundaries, but has more in it and is, I think, more
successful.

Tim Conway 3
The colors and lighting are fine, but the low depth of field is not well
handled. The focus point could plausibly be on either the butterfly's head or
its wings, but in fact it's on neither.

Savageduck 1
Were it not for the white blotches (which are obviously not the photographer's
fault), this would probably be my favorite of the bunch by a wide margin. It
evokes the style of Edward Weston with almost the visual appeal of an Ansel
Adams. What are the blotches anyway? The last vestiges of a failed stucco
covering? Concrete patches holding the building together until broken bricks
can be repaired? The remains of last night's snowstorm? (No, that's not
right.) There's also some zigging and zagging in the brickwork that vaguely
resembles JPEG artifacts, but I guess that was more likely an intentional
design element.

Savageduck 2
An amusing subject neatly captured. The ball decoration looks like some sort
of insect-eating plant.

Savageduck 3
Another one that others seem to like more than I do. Is it my imagination that
the subject is twisted by severe wide-angle distortion? I find myself
searching in vain for redeeming artistic value.

Tony Cooper 1
Nice capture of an unusual subject. Maybe a bit too tightly cropped.

Tony Cooper 2
Excellent composition and lighting. Subject not my thing, but an obviously
good picture nevertheless.

Tony Cooper 3
See Tony Cooper 2.

Otter 1
Those of the cackling class may ridicule it as a snapshot, which of course it
is, but it captures the spirit of the event very well. It looks truncated at
the bottom; I'd like to see a little more of the drums.

Otter 2
Good overall view; even the raindrops on the lens help capture the mood. The
crowd looks pretty cheery, considering. But this is Texas, isn't it? I guess
no one there will complain if it rains these days!

Otter 3
A bit choppy; it won't win any compositional awards. But again it captures the
spirit of the event, which is the precise purpose of this type of photo.

Solomon Peachy
Superb expression on the child, but the picture looks dull overall. I think it
could be rescued by turning up the brightness and contrast a bit. If this were
a Canon RAW shot, I'd say try turning on portrait mode. Nikon must have
something similar.

Peter Newman 1
The mother baboon looks embarrassed by her surroundings, and it's hard to
blame her. What is she sitting on (a giant artificial flower?) and why? To be
honest, the picture seems more than a little contrived and a bit pointless. If
that's how the zookeeper set it up, I guess we shouldn't blame the
photographer. But this seems to be a photo whose goofiness quotient leaves
little else to be said.

Peter Newman 2
Is Peter going for this month's Sisker Award? That sky color is just not
credible. Assuming he did it intentionally (and I've been known to do the
same), I also think the picture is too narrow. I'd expand it at both the top
and bottom (assuming, of course, that there's expansion room in both places).

Peter Newman 3
There are some good compositional elements in this one (the geese, the rocks,
the trees), but I don't think the beach fragment works very well. I'd show
either more of the beach or none of it, preferably the former. If the current
cropping allows it, try expanding the picture at the lower left corner, while
maintaining the current aspect ratio. A little bit ought to suffice.

Paul Furman
The bones are interesting, but the solar panels don't do the picture any
favors. Paul, if you get up there again while the bones are still drying, you
might see if you could find an angle that deëmphasizes or eliminates the
panels. (Of course, by that time the mandate will be some other letter. If
you're lucky, maybe it will be "W".)

In summary, a good Shoot-In. Some really nice shots and no really awful ones.
Congrats to all. (Now Noons and Bruce can let me have it for being too
namby-pamby with my criticism.)

Bob
 
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Pete A
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-13-2011
On 2011-10-13 01:27:48 +0100, Robert Coe said:

> [...]
> In summary, a good Shoot-In. Some really nice shots and no really awful ones.
> Congrats to all. (Now Noons and Bruce can let me have it for being too
> namby-pamby with my criticism.)


I found all of your comments interesting to read (even though I didn't
submit any images this time). Many thanks for taking the time to write
them.

 
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Robert Coe
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      10-13-2011
On Wed, 12 Oct 2011 20:31:24 -0700, Savageduck
<savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> wrote:
: On 2011-10-12 17:27:48 -0700, Robert Coe <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
: > Savageduck 1
: > Were it not for the white blotches (which are obviously not the photographer's
: > fault), this would probably be my favorite of the bunch by a wide margin. It
: > evokes the style of Edward Weston with almost the visual appeal of an Ansel
: > Adams. What are the blotches anyway? The last vestiges of a failed stucco
: > covering? Concrete patches holding the building together until broken bricks
: > can be repaired? The remains of last night's snowstorm? (No, that's not
: > right.) There's also some zigging and zagging in the brickwork that vaguely
: > resembles JPEG artifacts, but I guess that was more likely an intentional
: > design element.
:
: The white blotches are the results of restoration work to the 1797 bell
: tower at the Mission San Miguel Archangel after damage sustained in the
: 2003 6.5 San Simeon earthquake. As it is an historic monument and some
: of the restored sections where the original adobe brick has been
: destroyed beyond repaired. So the white blotches mark where repairs and
: restoration have taken place without using original brick. They are not
: concrete, or stucco.
:
: The structure is sunbaked adobe brick built by Salinan indians under
: the supervision of Jesuit priests over the 10 years from 1797 to 1806.
: The restoration committee did not want sections of non-matching new
: brick. So the repairs were made and the sections in question indicated
: with whitewash.

What were they thinking? That's like finding some chipped paint in a Rembrandt
and covering it over with gesso. The right way to do it is to make the repairs
look as close to the original as possible and indicate on a diagram inside the
building, or in the visitors' center, where the repairs were made and why. I
don't think the members of that "restoration" committee should be allowed
within fifty feet of a valuable work of art or architecture ever again.

Bob
 
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PeterN
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-15-2011
On 10/12/2011 8:27 PM, Robert Coe wrote:

>
> Frankly, I was tempted to shirk any responsibility to comment this month. But
> the comments have been trickling in slowly so far, and I wouldn't want to give
> the naysayers any excuse to claim that interest in the Shoot-In is flagging.
> So …
>


>
> Peter Newman 1
> The mother baboon looks embarrassed by her surroundings, and it's hard to
> blame her. What is she sitting on (a giant artificial flower?) and why? To be
> honest, the picture seems more than a little contrived and a bit pointless. If
> that's how the zookeeper set it up, I guess we shouldn't blame the
> photographer. But this seems to be a photo whose goofiness quotient leaves
> little else to be said.


I am tempted to say that I saw those miniature baboon sitting on a lily pad.

Seriously, the baboons were smack dab in front of a rock wall and there
was no separation. The original lily pad, which is real but color
enhanced had a dragon fly in it. Since I just bought a new book on
compositing, I figured it wold be a good practice project.



>
> Peter Newman 2
> Is Peter going for this month's Sisker Award? That sky color is just not
> credible. Assuming he did it intentionally (and I've been known to do the
> same), I also think the picture is too narrow. I'd expand it at both the top
> and bottom (assuming, of course, that there's expansion room in both places).
>


It was a perfectly polarized sky. The only post I did was a levels
adjustment and some sharpening. I understand what you are saying about
the pano effect, but that's what makes a horse race.


> Peter Newman 3
> There are some good compositional elements in this one (the geese, the rocks,
> the trees), but I don't think the beach fragment works very well. I'd show
> either more of the beach or none of it, preferably the former. If the current
> cropping allows it, try expanding the picture at the lower left corner, while
> maintaining the current aspect ratio. A little bit ought to suffice.



You are correct about the left hand corner. I should have taken two
shots and combined them. Notice it was a 30 second exposure.What doesn't
show is a very tolerant traffic cop staying right behind my car as I was
in a place where my car could easily have bee hit. I did not want to
take unfair advantage of his good nature. I plan to give him a copy of
the image as a thank you for his help
BTW the geese were from another image, or they were specially bred
helicopter geese. Whichever version the viewer prefers.

I really appreciate you comments, although I don't agree with all of
them. Please continue to comment.

My comments will follow in a few days.





--
Peter
 
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PeterN
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-15-2011
On 10/12/2011 11:31 PM, Savageduck wrote:
> On 2011-10-12 17:27:48 -0700, Robert Coe <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>
>> On Mon, 10 Oct 2011 15:55:01 -0400, Bowser <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> : At last, a bodacious bounty of beauties to behold, ...
>>
>> Frankly, I was tempted to shirk any responsibility to comment this
>> month. But
>> the comments have been trickling in slowly so far, and I wouldn't want
>> to give
>> the naysayers any excuse to claim that interest in the Shoot-In is
>> flagging.
>> So

>
>
> I am usually eager to make my SI comments, but for whatever reason I
> haven't been able to muster the energy to apply myself to the task.
> ....yet.
> So I must thank you, Pete A, and Frank S for your thoughtful comments.
>
>
>> Savageduck 1
>> Were it not for the white blotches (which are obviously not the
>> photographer's
>> fault), this would probably be my favorite of the bunch by a wide
>> margin. It
>> evokes the style of Edward Weston with almost the visual appeal of an
>> Ansel
>> Adams. What are the blotches anyway? The last vestiges of a failed stucco
>> covering? Concrete patches holding the building together until broken
>> bricks
>> can be repaired? The remains of last night's snowstorm? (No, that's not
>> right.) There's also some zigging and zagging in the brickwork that
>> vaguely
>> resembles JPEG artifacts, but I guess that was more likely an intentional
>> design element.

>
> The white blotches are the results of restoration work to the 1797 bell
> tower at the Mission San Miguel Archangel after damage sustained in the
> 2003 6.5 San Simeon earthquake. As it is an historic monument and some
> of the restored sections where the original adobe brick has been
> destroyed beyond repaired. So the white blotches mark where repairs and
> restoration have taken place without using original brick. They are not
> concrete, or stucco.
>
> The structure is sunbaked adobe brick built by Salinan indians under the
> supervision of Jesuit priests over the 10 years from 1797 to 1806. The
> restoration committee did not want sections of non-matching new brick.
> So the repairs were made and the sections in question indicated with
> whitewash.
> There were other issues regarding horizontal lines in the structure
> which had me scratching my head so badly I had to share my dilemma with
> Tony, and a few others, and I did not submit the capture I had
> originally intended.
>
> Regarding the patterns in the brickwork that was original 1797 brick in
> all its inconsistent glory.
> < http://homepage.mac.com/lco/filechut...6G-Crop-01.jpg >
>
>>
>> Savageduck 2
>> An amusing subject neatly captured. The ball decoration looks like
>> some sort
>> of insect-eating plant.

>
> ...and amusing it was intended to be.
>
>
>> Savageduck 3
>> Another one that others seem to like more than I do. Is it my
>> imagination that
>> the subject is twisted by severe wide-angle distortion? I find myself
>> searching in vain for redeeming artistic value.

>
> While it was certainly shot wide, it is one of many bent and twisted
> structures in a very seismically active area. The epicenter of the 2003
> earthquake which did the damage to the bell tower was about three miles
> from that barn. Nothing is level, and finding a true horizon or vertical
> is almost impossible.
> The distortion is a reflection of its reality.
>
>
>> In summary, a good Shoot-In. Some really nice shots and no really
>> awful ones.
>> Congrats to all. (Now Noons and Bruce can let me have it for being too
>> namby-pamby with my criticism.)
>>
>> Bob

>
> Once more, thanks for taking the time to go through all those and comment.
> ...and with regard to the SI, who cares what Bruce or Noons think?
>
>


I question whether they say what they really think.

--
Peter
 
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