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Thread: Misty Luzern

  1. #1
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    Default Misty Luzern

    This is a picture taken during a trip to Switzerland in 2002 which I like. Would appreciate your critique and comments to improve the picture.

    Last edited by mpenza; 6th July 2005 at 10:57 AM.

  2. #2

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    hmm... difficult picture to critique!! white sky, dull buildings... looks like the color cant be saved. mebbe convert it to B&W? The swans add a nice touch but distracts from the mistyness of the city which becomes the background now.

    also, did U do a telephoto landscape pic of the buildings & the mist? Those 2 batman towers look interesting and the tight fit would highlight buildings vs mist...

    I'm no expert but this is what i'd do...
    Last edited by Rev; 6th July 2005 at 10:52 AM.

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    Hey dude, perhaps you can tell us why you like this shot?

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    I kind of like the moodiness it conveys and the postioning of the swans which provides some focal point on the otherwise empty lake lake.

    Rev, I didn't do a telephoto landscape pic of the mist & buildings. Hadn't occurred to me then

  5. #5

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    In the thread started by Zaren, I made a point why sometimes an image may not generate much interest.

    It may not be that it was "bad" etc. It may be well exposed, and composition OK. But it is just, well, OK..........

    I hope you get what I mean. Like this one. It is so dull, although I cannot fault the exposure. I understand that you are using the swans to add interest to the foreground, but my eyes were distracted by the lone swan on the extreme left. The sky is so uninteresting, the buidlings not saying anything.

    Yes, it is misty, it is moody, but so boring!

    See the works of Michael Kenna. Misty, moody, but so alive!

  6. #6

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    Student... I beg to differ.. Every photograph has something interesting to offer. It just occurred to me that in the case of mpenza's photo, I'll bet that size is a factor here. If he were to post this pic at 1600x1200, all the details can be seen and the expansiveness of the lake & cityscape gives more impact, then this would make an interesting misty foto. pity abt the lack of color tho.

    sorry for not mentioning this earlier mpenz... this is probably why U like this pic...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    Student... I beg to differ.. Every photograph has something interesting to offer. It just occurred to me that in the case of mpenza's photo, I'll bet that size is a factor here. If he were to post this pic at 1600x1200, all the details can be seen and the expansiveness of the lake & cityscape gives more impact, then this would make an interesting misty foto. pity abt the lack of color tho.

    sorry for not mentioning this earlier mpenz... this is probably why U like this pic...
    It is OK to differ. I can only comment on what I see on the screen. Michael Kenna's images are usually very small even in "real life" about 8x8 inches. Of course on screen they are even smaller and less resolution. But the richness of his images on screen are still there.

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    no problem. I appreciate all the comments. This is a pic I like, might be mainly because I was there and it brings back memories and feelings about the place in general. However, as a travel pic, I don't think it is good but I wasn't able to pinpoint the issues with it.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    It is OK to differ. I can only comment on what I see on the screen. Michael Kenna's images are usually very small even in "real life" about 8x8 inches. Of course on screen they are even smaller and less resolution. But the richness of his images on screen are still there.
    cool... interesting approach. However, for those 'small' (or enlarged) michael kenna images to work, they are mostly shot with telephoto rite? And Mpenza did his shot with WA...... so that means U're talkin abt the mood? I'm relatively a n00b to photography, would also like to learn =)

  10. #10

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    There is this very interesting thing about pictures. My all time favorite pictures are those of my son sitting on his pot, with all kinds of expressions, including the "kek"! Photographed 22 years ago with a I-don't-know P&S camera. Funny colors and composition.

    But just as what mpenza said, they bring back memories, and have a special value to me apart from the value as standalone images. If I were to critique these images, I will say, "terrible". But to me, I Love them!

    Michael Kenna's images are shot with a 6x6 camera mostly. They have nothing to do with whether they are wide angle or telephoto. A wide angle or tele is chosen becuse the image requires it. It is the physical size of his printed images that are small, unlike most landscape images which are usually 20x24 inches or larger.

    There are at least two reasons whay Kenna printed his images small.

    Firstly, a smaller image tends to be more intimate and draws the viewer in.

    Secondly, the original negatives are 6x6 cm unlike most landscape photographers who use negatives 4x5 inches or 8x10 inches (I am not talking digital here). So the "real estate" is smaller, and when enlarged too big, the grains start to bring down, and the tonality is loss, something Kenna did not like for his images.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpenza
    no problem. I appreciate all the comments. This is a pic I like, might be mainly because I was there and it brings back memories and feelings about the place in general. However, as a travel pic, I don't think it is good but I wasn't able to pinpoint the issues with it.
    You hit it right on the head of the nail. The key thing of this picture is what it means for you. In this case, memories and feelings of the place.

    It's a difficult picture to take because of the monotoneous tone. However here are my two cents worth of suggestion - Crop out the swan/goose in lower left, and also move the 2 towers closer to the left hand side of the cropped picture.

    A PS suggestion, maybe interesting to do the entire picture is B&W, except the buildings and the swans. Worth a try.
    deadpoet
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  12. #12

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    heh, this critique forum is more like info sharing for the poster & the critics..

    student: so kenna shoots in medium format because of less-noise when printing. but mpenza's foto & kenna's fotos are clearly composed differently because of the different choice of perspective; mpenza's was WA, kenna's is very focused (looks like telephoto) as if he took a section of what his eye saw. here's 1 example of kenna's landscape with buildings. I went thru kenna's site and most of the fotos don't show expansive landscape stuff like this example from ansel.

    So, I'm still confused & i'm interpreting from yr post that using telephoto or WA lens in medium format to photograph landscape has no difference when the picture is shown in a small size?

  13. #13

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    the first thing i notice is the pair of spiked roofs, but immediately after that my attention gets drawn to the three swans, which seem to form an "exit arrow" straight out of the picture at the bottom right. the low contrast probably doesn't help either.. my eyes move quickly to the swans and don't easily go back to the rest of the scene without some effort.

    just my 2c.
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  14. #14

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    Exactly why I started photography anyway, cos they bring back memories and feelings of places I've been. Now for the photo to connect to you is easy. The difficult part is to make the photo connect to other pple the way it connect to you
    I've also realised that different pple react really differently, so if I can convey what I want to 10% of the pple I show to, I'm actually quite happy already! Of course, if I can make that percentage to 100%, then I would not only be a master photographer, but a master hypnotiser as well, and I wouldn't really be here, would I?

    Now, one of the key points of composition is to remove unwanted/unnecessary elements in your photo so that there is no distraction to your main subject/theme (the moodiness), so perhaps cropping out the lone swan on the left may help? After all, your initial intention of including them is to add some foreground interest and there're already 3 of 'em on the right...
    What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpenza
    no problem. I appreciate all the comments. This is a pic I like, might be mainly because I was there and it brings back memories and feelings about the place in general. However, as a travel pic, I don't think it is good but I wasn't able to pinpoint the issues with it.

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    took me a long time thinking over before deciding what i have to say. i would say that this picture has successfully captured the misty dull mood of the place. Generally it feels like a depressing scene and so it works for me if that is what the photog intends to capture. technically i would think that more space on the left would be better so that the swan on the left is not uncomfortably near to the left of the frame (almost crashing into the frame) i would also remove a strip of the top as the sky does not contribute as much to the scene as the waters. the darkness of the waters gives me the heavy feeling, adding to the depressing mood.

  16. #16
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    I agree with student on the distraction of the lone swan....


    Also,i think the shot can be a very nice moody b&w pic and make it grainy...
    Quote Originally Posted by student
    In the thread started by Zaren, I made a point why sometimes an image may not generate much interest.

    It may not be that it was "bad" etc. It may be well exposed, and composition OK. But it is just, well, OK..........

    I hope you get what I mean. Like this one. It is so dull, although I cannot fault the exposure. I understand that you are using the swans to add interest to the foreground, but my eyes were distracted by the lone swan on the extreme left. The sky is so uninteresting, the buidlings not saying anything.

    Yes, it is misty, it is moody, but so boring!

    See the works of Michael Kenna. Misty, moody, but so alive!

  17. #17
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    a crop of the top will cut off the overexpose sky and crop off the left will crop off the lone swan, which is a distraction.

    Then after, change to B&W, apply some grain/noise and i think it will be much better...

    I wonder if Darren allows the thread starter to post an "improved" version, taking into account the comments/tips by others?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev
    heh, this critique forum is more like info sharing for the poster & the critics..

    student: so kenna shoots in medium format because of less-noise when printing. but mpenza's foto & kenna's fotos are clearly composed differently because of the different choice of perspective; mpenza's was WA, kenna's is very focused (looks like telephoto) as if he took a section of what his eye saw. here's 1 example of kenna's landscape with buildings. I went thru kenna's site and most of the fotos don't show expansive landscape stuff like this example from ansel.

    So, I'm still confused & i'm interpreting from yr post that using telephoto or WA lens in medium format to photograph landscape has no difference when the picture is shown in a small size?
    I hope mpenza do not mind this OT to explain to Rev.

    In the example you gave (Kenna's) he was actually using a wide angle lens. Why do I say this? Look at the wall/fence. The near side is so much larger than the far side. The choice of focal length is dependent on the what the photographer wants to portray. I have a book by Kenna here right in front of me titled "A twenty year restrospective". He certainly uses his wide angle lenses very frequently.

    Kenna uses a medium format because it was an agreeable compromise to him. Portability and quality. He could if he wanted to, print at 16x16 inches. Another photographer called Ralph Gibson,uses a 35 mm (leica) and prints on 16x20 inches. Ralph Images are very grainy, but suit the subject matter to him. For Kenna, grainy images may distract from what he was trying to portray. Hence he prints them small, using mostly films around ASA 100 such as FP4, Acros 100, etc

    BTW, this 8x8 prints sell for about USD 3000.00

  19. #19

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    Student: I still dont understand =)
    Are we talkin abt composition (to use telephoto or wideangle), or mood (color or b&w, exposure) that helps transform a photo into an interesting image??
    I find it pointless to endlessly compliment kenna's work, sure it's good but how does USD3000 specifically help mpenza's pic with reference to mpenza's pic? =)

    U mentioned mpenza's pic is boring? here I find that a simple B&W conversion changes the mood or dullness for the misty city & its feathered inhabitants comin out for a swim... because color can be a distraction so B&W forces one to look at the objects (the mist, luzern's architecture & the swans) at their purity

    mpenza, hope U dont mind the conversion to explain my feedback...

    Last edited by Rev; 6th July 2005 at 07:33 PM.

  20. #20

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    :The swans in the foreground adds interest to the buildings at the background. I agree that the picture looks better in B&W, has a moody atmosphere to it.

    :The composition can be a bit tighter. There is too much empty space. Perhaps getting down to a lower level to remove the empty sea may help.

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