Marin County, CA
Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.
I'm sorry, I've been out of town for a few days and forgot to post a pic here before I left.
I'm going with this one.
Was out at Cabrillo National park today. Windy, sunny, very nice. Too many pics to choose from, but I'm going with these as my 2 favs:
old pt loma lightnouse
in the wind
Paul Glaves starts us off this week with a "look out!" dessert landscape. This is a thoughtfully composed landscape shot, with an eye to the rule of thirds, and it certainly appears to have been photographed during the "golden hours." A portion of the shot falls into the shadows, but the gold light and strong shadows add to the harshness of this compelling landscape. Where this image might fall down is in its apparent lack of a focal point. The point is, of course, the great variety of hostile plant life, but given the opportunity, I might have foregrounded one plant--that great cactus for example--to add an element of visual interest that may have calmed this frenetic photo. It's a good shot and one the definitely communicates a message.
Voni follows closely behind with this nice landscape shot. It's textbook rule of thirds, and she's chosen to have an interesting foreground--not a specific item, but a landscape that starts right in front of the viewer and extends into infinity. This photo has great layers. There are horizontal layers (the thirds of scrub brush, mountains, and sky) as well as the wonderful receding layers extending as far as the eye can see. Good lighting, lots of visually interesting texture, a blue sky. . . . A nice shot, indeed.
Nice to see Statdawg again this week with a winter landscape. Snow is an obvious component of a winter landscape, but so are these stark, leafless trees. They convey a real sense of dormancy, even a desperation as winter holds us in its icy fist. What I like here is the featuring of the two trees against a line of smaller trees in the background. That's interesting. In a weird way, the trees seem almost to be reaching out to each other, a la Michelangelo's Creation di Adamo. Unfortunately, it might be as easy to see these two as Laurel and Hardy. The image may have been more interesting--or competing less for the viewer's focus--if only one tree were featured against the backdrop of soldier trees. The snow is also underexposed, but to have corrected that may have sacraficed the blue sky. If I'm right about the trees touching (or even if I'm not), it's a thought-provoking shot.
MLS2GO is back again this week, this time with one of the most compelling images I've seen in a while. I'm struggling with trying to decide if this image is underexposed or not. It is, but is it a problem, or does it add to the considerable drama of this image? It's the very definition of dreariness, despair, and dying. Including the bit of foreground in the bottom really helps to anchor an otherwise gray and complex image. On the one hand, it lack a central subject, but on the other hand, this whole stand of trees is the subject. Like Voni's shot, it's a study of layers, making it all the more interesting and a very effecitve use of Rule3s.
Nice to see DarcyM back with three interesting submissions. This first is a lovely composition but is fraught with problems. Shooting nearly into the sun results in this backlit, high-contrast image that's unpleasant to look at, complicated by the lens flare. Horizon's crooked and the sky has no punch. Good use of foregrounding and layered composition. Not up to DarcyM's usual standards.
This next shot is a wonder. Including a camera in the foreground is wonderful. It's a bit postmodern, including the equipment in making the image. It definitely adds visual interest. It obscurse the annoying cars. This image embodies a number of the tenets of good landscape photography: The receding line of the retaining wall (lines) draws the eye to the couple (focal point) and looks down at the sea (high vantage point). A trifecta! You may also notice that the image can be divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. I also love that the line between sky and ocean is invisible. Great shot.
This third shot combines the reviews of the previous two. A bit backlit, but interesting textures and composition. La Jolla is one of the loveliest places on earth. You're lucky to live near there. Nice photography, all three, but two is my favorite, FWIW.
A big welcome to CapeCodBeemer with a nice landscape. This is a strong composition with an interesting focal point, Rule3s, and that nice atmospheric layering. I find the exposure a bit dim and the contrast too low (shooting into the sun, I suspect). This would be a radically different photo at a different time of day. Still, an interesting and effective image.
Dvandkq has developed a bit of rep, at least in my mind, for nice landscape photography, so this is right up his alley. This meandering river makes for a nice subject in a really good composition. The little sandbar in the foreground is just the thing to anchor and offer visual interest. The trees before the mountains provides some nice layering. I like that the trees hug the river and that some are near and others far. A higher vantage point (often impossible for those of us not packing aluminum ladders) might have made for more spread. This isn't exactly Rule3s, but it's divided nicely and in a visually pleasing manner. I don't know about the diagonal tree trunk. It was clearly included on purpose, does provide for a focal point, but I can't decide if I love it or hate it. I'm leaning toward the latter. Still, a particularly effective landscape shot.
Franze is here this week with a wonderful landscape. This shot defies conventional wisdom inasmuch as it's not wide-angle, or at least terribly wide-angle. It strikes me as more short-to-medium telephoto. This selective composition is quite effective, though. Like several shots this week, it lacks an obvious focal point, but has that wonderful, layered composition. The wheat (?) in the foreground is quite effective, particularly its muted color. The complexity of the trees is a wonderful study, especially against the simple, but not plain, blue sky. 50 bonus points for such a cool title. Nice shot.
SheRidesaBeemer is here again this week, this time with a snowy landscape. Like others this week, this photo struggles with shooting nearly directly into the sun (see fence post shadows) but it suffers very little due to this fact, just with contrast, in the distance. It is otherwise a very good and very effective photo, putting me in mind of a Frost poem. The snow is quite pretty, and fairly white, with intriguing little foot/hoof prints scattered about. The composition is great--the fence line draws the viewer's eye and leads it through the picture; it adds considerable visual interest as well. The closest, lower fence railing has dropped, too. This picture has all sorts of little interesting details. Not sure how I might improve it. A really nice landscape here.
Grossjohann is at it again this week with his "Sunset Tundra." What I like about this picture is that it's utterly abstract and bears no particular relation to the actual object photographed, necessarily. It's entirely a study in form, texture, and light. Gutsy and successful. Such an image invites a great deal of thought and interpretation. I can't help but wonder what this might have looked like with longer exposures, a flash, playing with the white balance, etc. I can't really comment on its fidelity, as it is removed from the original subject and from my experience. As an artifact, it certainly succeeds in grabbing my attention.
Kbasa's here this week with three real treats. I confess this is my favorite. This is a wonderful study in light--a sunset photo that doesn't feature the sun, but instead the sun's light playing across a magnificent landscape. Talk about the golden hours. It's a marvelous composition. The grass, trees, hills, and light all form a quilted texture. There's a fair amount of latitude between the sun-soaked surface and the areas of shadow, but both exhibit admirable detail. One might argue that the image doesn't contain a focal point; another might say the light is the focal point. This is such an appealing and successful landscape image. I really like this one.
Kbasa's second submission is a landscape that is as different and as nice as the first. This shot is a series of layers, and does contain a focal point--the stand of trees. I would only add that this is an object lesson in shooting in the golden light, choosing a specific time of day and taking pictures of light as much as of objects or detail. Try to image this shot at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Pretty, perhaps, but I doubt nearly as effective.
Another great image from Kbasa. This one is really too yellow for my taste, but that is really subjective. The lighting is so dramatic, that I can see how it would appeal. Great composition and very interesting, by virtue of the inclusion of this great focal point, the ancient, dead, mangled tree. The three cows, stacked as they are, and all different, are also quite interesting. I wonder what this would have looked like underexposed slightly. This lighting--in contrast to the image above but like the first image--is very bright and harsh. Still a compelling and interesting still life/landscape.
Poobah has his camera on, no doubt about it. Really nice work this week, Dave.
Nice to see Rocketman back this week, feet firmly on the ground. This is a neat landscape, made interesting by its perspective. The two fencelines are the classic receding lines converging on a vanishing point. That the road rises adds a compelling area of visual interest. The road has a remarkable, mottled surface. It almost appears to be grain in the image, but I'm not sure about that. None evident in the sky. The big crack in the asphalt in the LR corner is perhaps the most visually interesting aspect of the photo and an excellent composition choice. There is an overall blue/purple cast to the image that I wonder about. I've peeked at the EXIF and some of my questions have been answered. This was shot at ISO 1600 with a compact camera--the result is the tremendous grain (or noise) you see in the blacktop. This can be effective as texture in bright light, as it is here, but can be quite annoying in low light images.
Nice to see Bony back, with what might be my favorite image this week. One of the tenets of good landscape photography is framing, and this is a textbook study. Often tree limbs or a fence post, this framing is almost an exploded view. Not entirely clear what this is, but it appears to be shattered or decay, the wall of an old shed perhaps. The jagged edges, the (bullet?) holes, the fading paint all combine for a frame that very nearly competes with the image it reveals. The background--the subject--is a small stream on some farm land. The layers in the landscape and the little bit of foam on the water add such interest and harmonious complexity. Another technical note is how impressive it is that Boney maintains detail between the extremes in latitude between the sky and the shadow on the wood's interior. Fabulous title, too. This is an amazing, wonderful image. I commend you on such a successful shot.
[My wife just walked by and remarked "Ohh, that's pretty!"]
DarcyM has two more very nice landscapes. This first is a great composition. Lighthouse pictures are nearly as clich?ģ as rainbows, but it's hard not to like them and this is a good one. The choice to include the rock outcropping is an excellent one and is what makes this shot so visually interesting. The rolling hillside, the inclusion of the road, and the ocean all combine to make this effective. I like that the lighthouse is a feature of the photo--apparently its subject--but that it doesn't dominate the image. The only thing I'd change is the dead-centering of the horizon. It's not exactly dead-center, but it's maybe too close. Circumstances may not have allowed for the choice. In any case, a really strong image.
I could almost repeat the above critique for this photo. It's very effective. The flower makes it, the horizon is a bit centered, it's got layers, it's interesting, there's a focal point, etc. It's a very nice image of this flower, too. Imagine if this were merely a close-up of the flower. Pretty, but far less interesting. The wind, simultaneously visible and invisible, is certainly a character in this drama as well. I wonder how this may have worked shot from a different perspective--higher or lower--with the flower slightly farther into the corner? This is second guessing, of course, a really well-executed and successful photo. Nice work, on both counts.
That's it. If anyone has forgotten to migrate a shot over from commentary or has anything else, feel free to post it. I thought we had a really well-managed thread this time and an especially nice crop of photos as well. There are some really talented shooters here.
Last edited by SNC1923; 03-07-2008 at 04:34 PM.
Nice critique as always, Tom. I too, think that boneys shot is my fav. as I stated earlier in the comment thread with Kbasas and SheRidesabeemer running a close second. And yes I did shoot with high ISO to bring out the grain as the blacktop did have quite a bit in to begin with and was hoping the high ISO setting on the G9 would enhance that aspect of the driveway. I still wasn‘«÷t sure if it really qualified as a ‘«£landscape‘«ō thou and almost replaced it with the B&W version of the wildlife reserve I posted in my other thread.
So I guess we‘«÷ll leave this as a sickly till you post the next assignment so that folks will see the comments right away, then let it fall down in the threads listing?
"MLS2GO is back again this week, this time with one of the most compelling images I've seen in a while. I'm struggling with trying to decide if this image is underexposed or not. It is, but is it a problem, or does it add to the considerable drama of this image? It's the very definition of dreariness, despair, and dying. Including the bit of foreground in the bottom really helps to anchor an otherwise gray and complex image. On the one hand, it lack a central subject, but on the other hand, this whole stand of trees is the subject. Like Voni's shot, it's a study of layers, making it all the more interesting and a very effecitve use of Rule3s."
Tom you are right on about the underexposure. I set up to take a shot of the heavy frost on the branches. Even looking into the little screen on the camera, I could tell it didn't really work. So I started playing with the exposures and tried several ways. I went from trying to show the frost, which looked good to the eye but not to the camera, and ended up going with dreary winter landscape. If I got close enough to get the frost, it wasn't a landscape. I tried several locations, none of which worked.
Once again thanks for doing these.
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Thank you, tom.
An excellent instructional assignment this week.
Marin County, CA
Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.
I learn more from your critiques than I do in the brief research efforts I make before rolling out to shoot.
I must apologize to BMWDean; I PM'd him and asked if I could include this shot from over at the commentary thread, and I've been dragging my feet. . . .
This photo really impressed me. One of the landscape tip sites I included in the assignment referred to shooting during the "golden" hours, referring to sunrise and sunset. This is really a beautiful example of that. The yellow is so intense as to be otherworldly. I also really like the composition. Jeff foregrounds the one cactus, but only a part of it, focusing attention on the arm. There is a second, smaller plant, and then many more further in the background. This really leads the eye. This is an especially nice landscape, and that the moon is the shot is a bonus.