You know, the rule of the third always seems weird on a square crop... it does attract attention, but somehow, something is lacking. And I can't place a finger on what's that.
Anyway, I love your DI, especially how you bring out the texture of the "steel" grid. However, the "rock" just seems to lose all visible details in your treatment, making it at most a background subject, and hence making the title "Flower, Rock and Steel" somehow inappropriate...
Also, I personally felt that the square crop doesn't work in this case, for your adherence to the rule of the third tends to make the frame more appealing in landscape than a square. Don't believe me? Crop one-quarter of the bottom of the frame away, and you'll probably get a much stronger picture...
why the double border? and an extremely thick black one too. it really squeezes the viewer into an uncomfortable confined space. can you imagine how it'll look mounted/framed? your picture will be so tiny!
for the image itself, second what cheat says, weird composition/framing/cropping. you are not utilising the square crop. Either the reddish thingy to be at the bottom right corner. Or have a 3rd element at the bottom left to form a 'triangle'.
Otherwise good use of lines, and contrasting colour.
Thanks for the comments and pointers Cheat and Foxtwo.
I'll go and re-think my cropping.
PS: The thick border was kinda a experiment to see how it turns out. Looks like it doesn't work well here.
Last edited by Hobbesyeo; 11th April 2006 at 03:30 PM.
I tried to re-look at doing the original pic as a rectangle but somehow it didn't turn out quite right. I think the rock is in the wrong location.
So here's another version of the same subject minus the rock. Comments?
that doesn't work
you've trapped the viewer into a tiny space boxed in by the metal bars. notice the difference with this and the 1st image. 1st image, you're much further away hence more detached and less intense.
And there is a 2nd subject that suggests the viewer should proceed viewing in a certain direction. if you saw the flower first the rock second then you are moving down/right along the bars out of the frame, up out of the frame if the rock first. (i don't think left is possible when the left vert. bar is much stronger visually than the right.)
try PS away 1 set of the bars on either side. make one set of the vert. bars the 2nd subject to let the viewer exit the image. i've tried it out with PS and it works. take a try yourself.
Last edited by foxtwo; 12th April 2006 at 05:40 PM.
hmmm... i go and try again.Originally Posted by foxtwo
I like the first version. Something interesting in that it feels like its missing a third element but yet it works at the same time. It might work very well as part of a series/theme. 2nd version seems to lose that extra. It follows the rule of thirds nicely and has an interesting subject with good contrast but feels lacking in soul.
Thanks for dropping in.Originally Posted by eel
Yeah, the second version's iron grill texture didn't show up as nicely as the first one.
I was trying to contrast the harshness of a man-made item (ie the grill) vs the softness of nature.
I dunno, maybe if I added in a leaf in the 1st version, it might improve it?
Anyway, am still fiddling around with it in PS. If it doesn't work, I'll just try to do the shot again when I have the opportunity.
Reading this sub-forum makes me think hard about composition and I read this thread with much interest..
My personal opinion is as follows :
At first impression, the picture appeared quite nice but I had a strange feeling that something is missing and I can't tell exactly what it was.
After thinking hard about the various rules of composition and my own past experience, and experimenting a bit with my photoshop, this is what I've ended up with :
1) Because the black colour of the border is the same as the black background of the picture, having a very thick border would make the picture have a lot more negative space, meaning that a large part of the whole picture has nothing to tell and thereby gives a hollow feel. This is especially so if it's outside the white framing bounding the main subjects. Previously, I had encountered many "too much negative space" situations in my pictures and eventually realised that, unless the non-subjects serve a purpose of telling perspective or space, they should be kept to a minimal so that the main subjects occupy a large part of the frame to hoard the limelight and gain the viewer's attention quickly.
So I've used a much thinner border to avoid excessive/unnecessary negative space.
2) Square picture usually don't work as well as rectangular pictures probably due to the way we usually see things ("Usually" means most of the time and there are of course exceptions). My guess is that it's because a rectangular picture gives a perspective which is consistent with our human cognitive perception of either landscape (emphasis on the horizontal view) or portrait (emphasis on vertical view). A square picture is neither and the mind is not used to it and subconciously, is confused about whether to view it horizontally or vertically and internal resentment against the picture results.
Also possibly, we're used to seeing rectangular pictures as that's the conventional film aspect ratio.
So I've cropped it to have a rectangular landscape frame.
3) My personal view is that perfectly flat horizontal and perfectly upright vertical lines do not stimulate/excite the mind as much as lines diagonally across the frame. This is because we tends to take perfectly flat horizontal and perfectly upright vertical lines for granted and don't think much about them while our minds are excited/stimulated when we see diagonal lines and try to make out what they are. So subjects which have lines give a better picture when framed to appear diagonally across instead of perfectly horizontal from left to right or perfectly upright from top to bottom. Exceptions are buildings, water horizons etc. which would give undesirable perception if framed unconventionally. Again there are of course exceptions to the exceptions.
I've rotated the picture so that the steel lines appear diagonally across the picture.
4) The picture usually appears better when the main subjects are palced at the intersection points of the thirds (rule of thirds).
Moreover, when there are 2 subjects, my own experience tells me that the picture is likely to give a better overall feel if there are placed diagonally across each other instead of along the same horizontal side by side or vertical line top and bottom. My guess is that a better overall balance is achieved if placed this way because if the frame is mentally cut equally into 2, the 2 resultant sides are more balanced whether you cit it horizontally, vertically or diagonally. If the flower and rock are placed side by side at the top intersection points , then it would give an uneasy top heavy feel. If placed side by side at the bottom points, light top, heavy base feel. If placed top to bottom on the left, left side heavy feel. If placed top to bottom on the right, right side heavy feel.
So I've framed the flower and photoshopped to move the rock so that they appear at those intersection points and diagonally across each other to give a more balance feel.
The above is just my personal attempt at gaining more knowledge about composition. I don't know whether my resultant piece works for others.
For further discussion.
Last edited by Clockunder; 14th April 2006 at 01:24 PM.
wow Clockunder.. thanks for the indepth post. I think I'll need some time to digest it throughly.
Its quite interesting how you've moved the rock away from the flower and tilted the pic. Its an unusual layout and I probably would have never done it like that.
Thanks again for your insights. Time to work those brain cells.
Last edited by Hobbesyeo; 14th April 2006 at 03:10 PM.
Great explanation Clockunder Didn't realise just turn the picture to a certain degree give so much impact to the overall feeling of the photo.
It may not work all the time and also different people want to portray different perspective.Originally Posted by Hobbesyeo
Your original picture gives a perception of height where the steel grill is standing upright, the flower is higher than the rock.
My picture seems to give an impression that the subjects are all mostly probably on the ground as the steel grill is unlikely to be able to balance when slanting at an angle.
That is slanting in the picture usually do not work well with buildings, water horizons and things for which height dimension or horizon balance is important.
By the way, how did you make your picture looks so artistically coloured? Looks like digital art to me.
It doesn't work all the time and for everyone.Originally Posted by John Teoh
Until recently, I still thought that I could just snap casually and then use photoshop to make any adjustment to have the picture I wanted. I subsequently realised that sometimes, we can adjust through photo editing (cropping, rotating etc.) but sometimes it's impossible because of the angle, distance, aperture and focal length we've used. I'm still trying to learn what works and what doesn't for most people.
Instead of just shooting, shooting and shooting without thinking, I think we should spend more time to read and learn about how to make the picture appears appealing because of its composition (what are included and their relative size), colours, angle, orientation, focus, background, etc.
I've just started to learn.
No complicated or fancy PS was done. Just the usual tweaking of curves, adjust contrast etc.Originally Posted by Clockunder
I did, however, applied a dark filter over the pic to try to bring out the grainy steel surface. It worked, surprisingly, quite well as the white parts were not really affected (altho I had a comment that the whites look overblown). The other glitch I suppose was that the rock became almost too red.
Anyway, I'm very thankful for all the helpful comments here.. Its helped me to become, at the very least, more aware of the composition aspect of photography. Thanks guys!
I think the image would have been stronger without the rock, but first composition definitely. Simplicity would have worked very very well in this case. Lovely textures btw.
Thanks for the comments.Originally Posted by Stoned
i rather liked the original composition (square, horizontal, vertical, rock, flower) as it gave a feeling of calm, zen.
subject matter needed no excitement as it did not give excitement nor wanted it.
there are certainly many ways the picture can be framed but TS should reflect what he wants to show.
i'd advise not to over-analyse this pic. go out and shoot with similar technique but different subject matter. get some fresh material, this one's a wk old, been chewed and spit out.
btw, great work Clockunder!
Thanks for dropping by.Originally Posted by foxtwo
I like your 1st one..
IMO - May the stone is the distraction in this piece of your work. by removing the stone, it create some space. And somehow I felt that the white in the flower is some kind of over-expose when you try to increase contrast..
and possible to explain why you take this picture..