The Old Man and the Sea


nitewalk

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#1


1. In what area is critique to be sought?
Composition.

2. What one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
Took this shot when I began to learn photography. Took this shot as I thought of the book "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway.

3. Under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
Took this in JPEG, as at that time, I didn't even know about RAW format. Anyway, this shot was taken at around close to sunset time and I was taking a stroll along East Coast Park.

4. What the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
I personally like taking the shots of people's backview, although many told me this is not the "conventionally acceptable" way to shoot people with camera. I am hoping to learn what areas can I improve upon, especially with regards to composition.

Thank you all for viewing and critique.
 

Eworms

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Oct 11, 2009
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#2
the idea is good. but i can't tell that he is an old man.
 

Jul 13, 2005
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#4
Looks like a young man to me...
 

candycaine

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#5
Heyy, I know you posted that you are seeking critique for your composition, but if it's okay, I just have a comment about the technical aspects to the photo, because I think it kills the composition anyway...

Firstly, the horizon is a little tilted. But that's a minor issue.

More importantly, you exposed for the sea in the background which needs a faster shutter speed coompared to the man and the tree in the foreground, which is less well lit and hence needs a longer shutter speed. The result is that the sea and ships are properly exposed and the man and tree becomes a silhouette. In the end, this turns the photo into something like.. the sea and the old man instead of the man and the sea if you know what I mean. The focus is simply not on the man at all.

You could do an exposure blend to get all the parts of the photo correctly exposed. Maybe you could read up a bit on that.

Also, a slightly looser crop would help just a little bit.


Hope this helps,
AC
 

nitewalk

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#6
the idea is good. but i can't tell that he is an old man.
Heyy, I know you posted that you are seeking critique for your composition, but if it's okay, I just have a comment about the technical aspects to the photo, because I think it kills the composition anyway...

Firstly, the horizon is a little tilted. But that's a minor issue.

More importantly, you exposed for the sea in the background which needs a faster shutter speed coompared to the man and the tree in the foreground, which is less well lit and hence needs a longer shutter speed. The result is that the sea and ships are properly exposed and the man and tree becomes a silhouette. In the end, this turns the photo into something like.. the sea and the old man instead of the man and the sea if you know what I mean. The focus is simply not on the man at all.

You could do an exposure blend to get all the parts of the photo correctly exposed. Maybe you could read up a bit on that.

Also, a slightly looser crop would help just a little bit.


Hope this helps,
AC
Thanks for taking time to advise me. I am enlightened about the diff in exposure for sea and man. I certainly didnt consider that.

I didnt had a gnd filter at that time, now i do. Generally speaking i can control that diff in exposure using gnd? I mean other than blending exposure, gnd also can help right?
 

candycaine

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Sep 12, 2009
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#7
Thanks for taking time to advise me. I am enlightened about the diff in exposure for sea and man. I certainly didnt consider that.

I didnt had a gnd filter at that time, now i do. Generally speaking i can control that diff in exposure using gnd? I mean other than blending exposure, gnd also can help right?

Hey, no problems.

Usually a GND is used when the "horizon" is linear, since the GND is half darkened, half normal. In this case, there's no way you can use a GND. Imagine putting it in front of your camera, no matter how you try, the sea AND the tree/man will be covered by the darkened portion. I would do an exposure blend in this case.

However, if the part of your photo that is significantly brighter than other elements can be 'seperated' from the rest of the photo, a GND can be used, possibly.

Hope this helps, and that I'm clear enough :)
AC
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#8
composition is fine for me. i would choose to leave out that bright, distracting ship on the right.

it's ok for me, after you settle the horizontal perspective/possible tilt issues. not a bad use of the thirds.

still, it is important to keep in mind that this is not a cracker of a photo.
 

nitewalk

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#9
Hey, no problems.

Usually a GND is used when the "horizon" is linear, since the GND is half darkened, half normal. In this case, there's no way you can use a GND. Imagine putting it in front of your camera, no matter how you try, the sea AND the tree/man will be covered by the darkened portion. I would do an exposure blend in this case.

However, if the part of your photo that is significantly brighter than other elements can be 'seperated' from the rest of the photo, a GND can be used, possibly.

Hope this helps, and that I'm clear enough :)
AC
This helps! Thanks... I have learned something new from you :)
 

nitewalk

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#10
composition is fine for me. i would choose to leave out that bright, distracting ship on the right.

it's ok for me, after you settle the horizontal perspective/possible tilt issues. not a bad use of the thirds.

still, it is important to keep in mind that this is not a cracker of a photo.
Yes, actually i have no cracker of photos. Haha. Still trying to get my basics right. Will take note, should have cropped out the ship. Thanks for pointing out. :)
 

Aug 25, 2009
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#12
Yes, actually i have no cracker of photos. Haha. Still trying to get my basics right. Will take note, should have cropped out the ship. Thanks for pointing out. :)
A few more suggestions:

1) If you do not have GND, expose for the man and the tree and let the sea and its elements blow out. They are a distraction anyway.

2) Move more to the right of where you were shooting and shoot a tighter image of the man and the tree to close the gap between them. Heck, you could even get a portrait instead of a landscape so you needn't even crop those ships away! Now it looks like a pic that couldn't make up its mind, were you trying to get the man, the tree or the ships? The eyes wander all over the pictures when one sees this pic.

Keep shooting... if possible, reshoot this scene to try out the techniques that doesn't need GND. If in doubt, could post your questions here again. :)
 

nitewalk

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#13
Thanks for the suggestion! AnywY for point 1 i'm not too sure what u mean by blowing the elements?

The intention was to capture the old man and him looking on at the sea, hence the sea. It was intended to convey a relax mood at the seaside.
 

candycaine

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#14
A few more suggestions:

1) If you do not have GND, expose for the man and the tree and let the sea and its elements blow out. They are a distraction anyway.

I don't use my GND often, as I prefer to do exposure blending, so I may not be the best person to ask about GND usage, so correct me if I'm wrong:

I don't think it's possible to use a GND here, honestly. Let's say you align the horizon of the GND with the edge of the beach. Most of the tree and some of the man would be covered by the darkened portion of the GND as well. In the end, there will be uneven exposure.
 

nitewalk

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May 31, 2010
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#15
I don't use my GND often, as I prefer to do exposure blending, so I may not be the best person to ask about GND usage, so correct me if I'm wrong:

I don't think it's possible to use a GND here, honestly. Let's say you align the horizon of the GND with the edge of the beach. Most of the tree and some of the man would be covered by the darkened portion of the GND as well. In the end, there will be uneven exposure.
I get what u mean, i.e. the tree and the man overlaps with the well-exposed tree, so if i use gnd, the sea will darken but so will the man and the tree?

Actually i recall the intention to capture silhouette here. Is that a bad idea?
 

Aug 25, 2009
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#16
I get what u mean, i.e. the tree and the man overlaps with the well-exposed tree, so if i use gnd, the sea will darken but so will the man and the tree?

Actually i recall the intention to capture silhouette here. Is that a bad idea?


Its an "ok" idea, but sadly, I find that silhouettes often is a bad excuse for choosing poor subjects or in bad lighting situations.... wouldn't help in improving. Sadly alot (including me) start out liking it.... but gradually, I think they are quite situational.... like HDR. :p

Its good to explore, but I do not advice lingering too much on it. There's a ton of things to learn besides silhouettes. :p

For my point 1, if you exposing so that the tree and the man is correct exposure, you'll end up with the background all whitish and too bright... which isn't that bad if you just wanna isolate the tree and man.... that is what i meant by "blowing out the background".
 

nitewalk

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May 31, 2010
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#17
Its an "ok" idea, but sadly, I find that silhouettes often is a bad excuse for choosing poor subjects or in bad lighting situations.... wouldn't help in improving. Sadly alot (including me) start out liking it.... but gradually, I think they are quite situational.... like HDR. :p

Its good to explore, but I do not advice lingering too much on it. There's a ton of things to learn besides silhouettes. :p

For my point 1, if you exposing so that the tree and the man is correct exposure, you'll end up with the background all whitish and too bright... which isn't that bad if you just wanna isolate the tree and man.... that is what i meant by "blowing out the background".
Ya! So much to learn! Hahaha which makes it fun :) thanks for the advices!
 

#18
Just some personal opinion to share:
1. How do we know he is an old man?

2. Too much distracting elements in the shot

3. The composition of the shot don't match the title at all

4. For example, a side view shot of an old man's face with a sea as a background will suit your title better, of course there are many other ways to compose the shot.

cheers;)
 

nitewalk

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Staff member
May 31, 2010
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#19
Just some personal opinion to share:
1. How do we know he is an old man?

2. Too much distracting elements in the shot

3. The composition of the shot don't match the title at all

4. For example, a side view shot of an old man's face with a sea as a background will suit your title better, of course there are many other ways to compose the shot.

cheers;)
Thanks for sharing! :)
 

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