I would like to discuss the aesthetics of photography...

Started May 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
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Re: Are you saying...
In reply to ROC124, May 24, 2013

ROC124 wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

I am still honestly confused.  While your photo above is very nice (I absolutely mean that), it looks to me just like what a good landscape photo usually looks like.

What, pray tell, were they talking about?

Damned if I know!

Seriously, I was trying to make sense of them, and the contrasting, often opposite comments I hear from other photographers. About that photo, another photographer asked me that night why I didn't sharpen more to highlight the details. He noted the softness in the background where I had applied slight negative clarity.  It is all audience-dependent, but for that small sample it told me to pay attention to the appropriate balance of elements, don't let any one thing overwhelm the others, and don't emphasize something just because the technology allows it. I think that is what the person who said "digital is often too self-conscious" meant - many prints emphasize things that don't contribute to the image just because the tech allows it.

Myself, I'm a great fan of ultra shallow DOF, which many decry as going too far in the other direction.  I even try it on scenes that one would not usually associate with shallow DOF photography, but usually without much success.  Here are some examples that I consider successful:

Canon 5D + 50 / 1.2L @ f/1.2, 1/8000, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 50 / 1.2L @ f / 1.2, 1/8000, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 50 / 1.2L @ f / 1.2, 1/125, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 100 / 2 @ f/2, 1/8000, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 50 / 1.2L @ f/1.2, 1/125, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 50 / 1.2L + CPL @ f/1.2, 1/3200, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 50 / 1.2L @ f/1.2, 1/800, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 24 / 1.4L + CPL @ f/1.4, 1/3200, ISO 100

Canon 5D + 24 / 1.4L @ f/1.4, 1/250, ISO 100

Of course, another way about it is to shoot with very narrow apertures, which will result in significant diffraction softening, but with a much more even softness across the frame than the above shallow DOF examples.

Again, please allow me to express my appreciation for your very interesting observation, along with your insightful replies.  Let me also reiterate how much I enjoyed going through your galleries -- outstanding work!

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