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Thread: Not my Cup of tea

  1. #1
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    Default Not my Cup of tea

    Welcome to Psychobiologist's First Entry to be shot at by the masses, please load your weapons

    Title -> Not my cup of tea
    Concept -> Abstract Art



    My main aim right here is to obtain comments on whether my composition has well portrayed my intent.

    By classifying it under abstract photography, i hope to instill in the viewer, a sense of tranquility and peace in the simplicity, akin to that of tea-art or chado with a slight amount of zen feel. i had decided not to include a bamboo-mat as a "coaster" for both the teapot/teacup but instead use bokeh to fill up the emptiness of the background.

    I'm looking for opinions on the feel of this picture.

    As for what i think of the picture, i dont know. But at least i feel the texture is right.

    No tea was wasted in this process.. i drank it eventually.. kinda got thirsty after the shooting
    Last edited by psychobiologist; 15th July 2007 at 10:59 AM.
    chezburgr i can haz?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    Generally I detest explanation for a photo, just as a joke explained is no longer one.

    So ignoring what you wrote, these are my impressions of your work.

    Immediately the impression is that your still life is too still.

    What makes still life work, despite the genre's name, is animation, ie the elements interact with each other and the background, and their relative placements, to give a sense of motion, or life. You have to see effective still life to know what I mean. I can quote an example from my works.

    Specifically there are countless ways to achieve that animation in this particular work, as you have tried. For me perhaps I would use lots of negative space, and without texture, like an all white background, and not so tight a crop. But then again I might not. The way I go about doing still life is to play around with the elements - in this case just two, or three - and the background and their placements and shoot from various angles and distances - and of course very importantly, the lighting - until this sense of animation is attained. Sometimes I just abandon the project. And I do not know what the "rules" are.

    And then some technical stuff:

    1. the spot at the bottom of the tea is very distracting.
    2. the teapot's spout being OOF relative to the pot is also disconcerting.
    3. the shadows are too harsh.
    4. the teapot's shadow ought not touch the left edge - destroy any sense of deliberateness in the placement.
    5. teapot's tassel is a great element, but not exploited here, but rather becomes a distraction for being untidy.
    5. the background texture is not in harmony with the smooth surfaces of the subjects - but then again sometimes contrasts work to create life, but not in this instance.
    Last edited by espion; 15th July 2007 at 07:34 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    thanks for your critique ~ at least from it i know i've achieved a percentage of my intent.

    the technical explanation was more like an attempt to paint with my camera than serious photography. since its frowned upon i shall zap it.

    once again, appreciate it ~
    chezburgr i can haz?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    Quote Originally Posted by psychobiologist View Post
    thanks for your critique ~ at least from it i know i've achieved a percentage of my intent.

    the technical explanation was more like an attempt to paint with my camera than serious photography. since its frowned upon i shall zap it.

    once again, appreciate it ~
    would like to see the entire teapot in focus though, maybe a different background help you achieve your original intention

    just keep shooting.

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    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    Generally I detest explanation for a photo, just as a joke explained is no longer one.
    i don't understand why you need to write this. the short writeup requirement is implemented in critique corner for a good reason you ought to know as well. please refrain from making such sweeping comments.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    i don't understand why you need to write this. the short writeup requirement is implemented in critique corner for a good reason you ought to know as well. please refrain from making such sweeping comments.
    nono, its not much of a fault on his part but together with my initial post i had put in other relevant details on how many shots i took, and how i rotated and move the combination.. although was possibly interesting information but could be lengthy to others.

    but i guess in his opinion that information was not necessary
    chezburgr i can haz?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    Hi there, just some comments and opinions from me.

    2. the teapot's spout being OOF relative to the pot is also disconcerting.
    I agree with this. Watch your focusing when shooting.

    Nice attempt at your shoot but the photo lacks a strong point of interest. To improve it; maybe you could've done the following:

    1. Focus on the teacup and have a shallow DOF for the teapot or vice versa.
    2. Can try shooting from a lower angle instead of straight shots.
    3. I maybe wrong but there seems to be a little bit of yellowish colour cast on the pic. Did u use AWB?

    To achieve a better "zen" effect you can try to place around with space and light. My idea would've been to zoom out to include the whole table and two chairs and the side, with good lighting and less shadows. Pot and cup of tea placed nearer to the edge of the table and shot from low angle.

    These are just some of my opinions. Keep up the shooting

  8. #8

    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    I think you need to re-think your lighting and your overall depth of field.

    The depth of field is not deep enough, and neither the teapot nor cup are completely sharp.

    The lighting has very harsh shadows.

    I am guessing you were relying on ambient tungsten lighting from the top.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    can i just ask something?

    why u chose the tea pot n tea cup to be totally different colour? (and i guess, different materials?)

    everything is brown, but the cup is white, so is the subject the cup or the teapot?

    apart from that, would just prefer to see the stout of the teapot focused too

  10. #10

    Default Re: Not my Cup of tea

    Quote Originally Posted by Bosty View Post
    can i just ask something?

    why u chose the tea pot n tea cup to be totally different colour? (and i guess, different materials?)

    everything is brown, but the cup is white, so is the subject the cup or the teapot?

    apart from that, would just prefer to see the stout of the teapot focused too
    why different?
    Because "Not my Cup of tea"

    Anyway I find the whole pic taken very good.
    Quite like it.
    Except that the first not so good impression it gave me is the focusing.
    Not soothing to eyes.
    And the shadow being cut away on the left edge

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