Post Your Favourite FX Pics that Nobody Else Likes

Started Jul 22, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Re: OK, I'll play...

Robin Casady wrote:

Ray Sachs wrote:

This one got one like. Yeah, it's pretty heavily processed - I do that with most sunsets. Just my personal taste, or lack thereof. But I don't think that's it. I think it's because I posted it at the same time as another sunset pic that was MORE heavily processed but it was much more popular and probably stole any thunder this one might have generated.

So here's the one that isn't very popular:

I like the colors. I don't think it is over-processed. The problems are with composition. The horizon cuts the image in half. That gives a static feel. Also the birds are pretty much centered. I think you could improve it by cropping a little off the right. You don't want to crop to much because that would cause the sky to have a more static balance. You want to just cut off enough so the birds are not as centered, but the sky is still about 2/3 covered with the close dark clouds. You also don't want the birds to seem like they are leaving the frame.

While I think you can improve this image greatly with a little cropping, this is the kind of thing you want to learn to see in camera. You would have been able to move your camera position to the left a bit so you go a little more of the pilings, the birds were better placed, and the sky was still well composed.

Dropping the camera position would have helped lower the horizon for a better composition.

Actually, I took other shots of this scene, over the course of the minute or so the ducks were swimming by, that met all of those rules of composition. But when it came down to seeing the images on the screen, I liked this one the most of the bunch. I know that having the horizon in the center is a no-no and doesn't follow the rule of thirds. But in this case, with interest in both the clouds and and the ducks in the water, I was happy to break it. And the ones with the ducks swimming into or out of the frame rather than dead center just didn't work as well to my eye either.

I've been at this since about 1968 to one extent or another (heavily in HS and college and until I had a career and family and again the last few years, but just a snapshooter with a slightly better than average eye for many years in the middle) and I know the rules well enough to feel comfortable following them and sometimes NOT following them. And, remember, this is the one I DO like that not many other people do. That's OK, I still like it. And I appreciate your comments but those are all things I took into account, I do look for the image and the composition in the frame before I trigger the shutter, and this one just works better for me than the versions that follow the rules. But I also appreciate why it doesn't for you and others.

Oh, and if you want the tongue in cheek version, here's a failed attempt at composition that got one more "fave" than it deserved...

Do you know what's wrong with this composition?

Without getting into all of the specific rules it may or may not break, it breaks the only one that matters to me - it doesn't pull the eye into the shot and then give it a place to rest. There's just nothing compelling enough in the shot either from a content or a visual perspective that's interesting enough to hold my eye. Arguably the most visually striking part of it is the lines in the boards in the upper right, but they're pulling the eye out of the photograph rather than into it. I'll often see scenes like this and think there's a composition hiding in there and I go in and look and take a few frames, looking for different ways of framing it. Usually I'll find one that works. In this case, I really didn't - this one seemed to have enough potential to process it, but nothing really emerged from processing.

I'll be honest, the only reason I bothered putting it on Flickr was because there have been just enough occasions where I'll see NOTHING in a shot, but then other people will really love it, to make me sometimes throw the spagetti against the wall and see what sticks. Sometimes when that happens the popularity doesn't change my opinion of the image at all, but a few times it's caused me to re-assess and come to like it and I usually learn something when that happens. So I still usually post anything I bother to process and eventually I take some of it down. But you just never know what people are gonna like that you didn't or won't like that you did...

Thanks for taking the time... And anything you'd like to add, particularly on the second one, I'd be interested in hearing...

We judge photographers by the photographs we see. We judge cameras by the photographs we miss - Haim Zamir

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