Working on Composition........which one?

Started Feb 4, 2013 | Discussions
Danny Williams Contributing Member • Posts: 843
Working on Composition........which one?

After an incredibly difficult climb, I finally reached this Tennessee waterfall. We hiked in just at dawn, and so the lighting was a little tough, since the falls is deep down into a small canyon. I didn't want to waste my time and effort, so I shot this falls from several angles, but just can't seem to zero in on the "best" shot. Your help will be appreciated. Thanks.

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Mark Turnbull Regular Member • Posts: 113
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

Personally I like the last one, I think it would look great with a long shutter speed....but I'm guessing it's too late for that.

Mark Turnbull Regular Member • Posts: 113
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

Actually....I think the second from last works best as is, but the last one would work best with long exposure.

DutchMM Senior Member • Posts: 1,172
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

1 and 3 are my favourites.  The backlight in 1 is difficult, but I like the way the Danger sign leads the eye to the falls.

3 may be technically better, in the sense that the falls seem to be at a thirds intersection; and the contrast between the strong foreground colours and the pallor of the falls in the background accentuate the mystery.

Anyway, who says there is only one right answer?

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Dheorl Veteran Member • Posts: 4,119
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

I think it really depends on what look your going for.

I personally think the 3rd one is my favourite. It kinda gives the impression of a little secluded pool where the faries come out to play type of thing.

The first one however undoubtably makes the waterfall look more imposing and impressive.

BrewLab
BrewLab Contributing Member • Posts: 652
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

#3 for me. #4 is nice, but like the other posters said, it would have been better served with a longer exposure. An ND filter is a pretty good investment for situations like this. Beautiful spot. Thanks for sharing!

Trevor

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alphacam
alphacam Contributing Member • Posts: 949
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

The last one!!  (Extra points for the standing-in-cold-water look:D)

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Bart7D
Bart7D Veteran Member • Posts: 4,438
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

Danny Williams wrote:

After an incredibly difficult climb, I finally reached this Tennessee waterfall. We hiked in just at dawn, and so the lighting was a little tough, since the falls is deep down into a small canyon. I didn't want to waste my time and effort, so I shot this falls from several angles, but just can't seem to zero in on the "best" shot. Your help will be appreciated. Thanks.

In this first one, the red sign wins, as a kind of comical note.

The second one is special, it has something like the moment of discovery, after the hike finally the view on the falls. And then the 3rd one gives it to us as a natural landscape view:

And finally the unimpeded overview of the water in all it's stages.

(Sorry - pushed it out of the quote and can't seem to put it back here)

So for me, the last two win. And let me add as a personal note that it's totally beyond me why everyone wants to change vivid, bubbling and sparkling water into dull angel's hair using the obligatory long exposure. Let's not make every (impression of) beauty into 'kitsch' by forcing a trendy idea onto it like all the cheap painters do in touristic places.

Thanks four sharing these Danny!

Bart

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dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

For me #3 at a quick glance.  I haven't read the other responses yet but wanted to give unbiased view.

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Dave

yihlee Contributing Member • Posts: 676
#2 and #3
dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

First pick was 3 but certainly see a lot of merit in this choice as well.

Totally disagree with the long exposure suggestion.  I know this is popular but IMO to the point of overuse of a method better suited to setting a mood in very placid waters.  The natural look of water in a shot like this is much nicer.

I would suggest stopping down some as the DOF is leaving the falls themselves OOF.  Experiment with a DOF and focus setting which will include both far and near objects--I believe "hyperfocas" is the term I'm looking for.

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Dave

john farrar
john farrar Veteran Member • Posts: 5,038
Re: #2 and #3

And another vote for 2 and 3 - they'd be the one's I'd pick for publishing.  3 is the best composition-wise but I think 2 is the most engaging one because the tighter vertical format makes it a stronger simpler image suggesting that you'd just got to the best place to take a clear look at it.

Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,728
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

3rd one is the best for me, but I wonder whether you could have moved a smidge up, to the right, or closer just to lower the foreground tree trunk in the frame.

Shutter-speed is also good in 3rd one. Not too frozen water and not too silky. In PP I'd work on making more local contrast on the wooded valley behing the waterfall (similar to how you have in 4th image).

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Mark W.

dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

NO, NO, NO.  Look at the beautiful flow of water in this shot.  Why would you want to obscure this with a long exposure?  This overused gimmic is ruining a lot of potentially beautiful water shots these days.

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Dave

dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

Very good advice.

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Dave

Mark Turnbull Regular Member • Posts: 113
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

It's really a matter of opinion isn't it. You don't like long exposure of moving water....fair enough, but a lot of people do and there is a reason for it. Whenever I show people these types of long exposures...Who have never seen anything like before, they are mesmerized. It's  captivating and makes movjng water images look dreamy. So you can't say that its popular because it's kitsch or fashionable, because these people have never seen it and know nothing of how it's done.. It just looks great to them.

I think it looks great as it is too, but long exposure would give a different dreamy effect which would be in keeping with the overall fantastical scenery.

Mark Turnbull Regular Member • Posts: 113
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

dlkeller wrote:

NO, NO, NO. Look at the beautiful flow of water in this shot. Why would you want to obscure this with a long exposure? This overused gimmic is ruining a lot of potentially beautiful water shots these days.

Man, stop telling people what they shouldn't do. YOU think it's ruined the shot but the person who takes it likes it. Gimmick? ....like I said in my other reply to you.....people who have never seen this style before are in awe of how it looks, so there must be something in it.

BrewLab
BrewLab Contributing Member • Posts: 652
Re: Never said anything about obscuring the flow..
1

dlkeller wrote:

NO, NO, NO. Look at the beautiful flow of water in this shot. Why would you want to obscure this with a long exposure? This overused gimmic is ruining a lot of potentially beautiful water shots these days.

I simply thought the shot could benefit from a slightly longer exposure. I like the third one quite a bit, but I don't care for the way the water looks in the fourth, that's all. It's just one man's opinion, which is what I thought the OP was asking for. It doesn't mean it's not a good shot. I don't think it's fair to call a technique a gimmick, just because it's not your preference. No matter what technique or "gimmick" an artist uses to achieve their personal vision, if they in fact achieve that, then the shot cannot possibly be "ruined". Just might not be your cup of tea.

Cheers!

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Slick Fork Contributing Member • Posts: 538
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

I like 4, 3, 1, 2 from best to least; but they're all good!

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Draek
Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Working on Composition........which one?

#1: the strong red draws all attention away from the waterfall and to the sign, which is devoid of meaning. Lots of unused space as well.

#2: subject too small and low in contrast, again the tree trunk draws most of the attention away, though it's not as strong and since the trunk fits with the "natural" theme it's not too objectionable either---could potentially be balanced in post, though the work might be considerable.

#3: same as before, but even less objectionable due to the composition. Still, the shrubbery 'framing' the waterfall makes the scene feel more constrained than it ought, given the subject matter.

#4: misses the problems of previous photos, making for a much stronger image overall. Some low contrast persists, but it should be easily fixable---or not, if you wish to draw attention to the river itself, which looks interesting unlike in the first two images, and dominates a significant part of the photo, unlike in the third one. I'd probably go with the waterfall, though.

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