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Old Aug 4, 2011, 11:44 PM   #1
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I've been really struggling with photography recently. It hasn't helped that I'm not taking the time to go out and take pictures because when I do go out, they aren't as good as they should be - for me photography takes constant practice. I seem to forget things if I don't work at it.

In any case, here are some pictures I've taken over the last month or two - I'd really like some suggestions and comments about them. A couple of them are ones I like the idea of, but there's something else about them that I have a problem with - in one case it could be the processing, I wonder if it's over the top. There's a theme to most of them (except for one) - maybe I'm tired of the theme or something.

#1 Converging lines, shot for the last biweekly challenge but never posted. (K5, DA*200)



#2 Parallel Lines (K5, DA*200)



#3 Vertical Line - I want to like this shot but don't. Can't say why - any ideas? (K5, FA31)



#4 Leaves (K5, DA 35 Macro)



#5 HDR Building - is the HDR over-cooked? (K5, FA31)



#6 Sunrise - taken for the golden hour biweekly challenge but not posted since it's really a bit too early for true golden hour lighting. I had to add saturation to bring it out in this shot. (K5, FA31)



#7 Ripply Lines (K5, DA*200)



#8 Obliging Butterfly, some parallel, some crossing and some converging lines and one of my best butterfly picture to date (K5, DA*200)



#9 Flower (the one with no lines, and while some might think it's not that good of a flower picture, it's my favorite picture from the last few months). (K5, DA*200)



I really like the flower picture, there's some type of indescribable dimension to it that speaks to me. Not sure it'll speak to others in the same way.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any comments, suggestions or ideas to get me fired up about photography again. This is really driving me nuts, I feel so uninspired and dull. And as you can see with this set of pictures, I was shooting mostly with several really good lenses, but don't think (except for perhaps the last one) that the pictures do much for showing off their capabilities.
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Old Aug 5, 2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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First, let me state, I like them all... Changes I would make:

#1 - I am not happy with the DOF on this. I think the contrast would be more striking, if you had left it clear through the whole frame.

#2 - I would have cropped the right side a little tighter; just showing the cable securing thingies (yes, I'm so technical! LOL)

#3 - Perfect! You're crazy for not liking this shot! I would hang this on my wall!

#4 - Crop tighter, all the way around. Fill the frame with the leaves.

#5 - Perfect!

#6 - Crop the left side tighter, so that the building covers the edge.

#7 - Perfect!

#8 - Perfect!

#9 - Perfect!

Have you followed daily shoot? It tells you what to shoot, every day. It's great for getting you out of a rut. I visit the site every day. I don't always make the photos, but I often do. And I enjoy seeing what other people are doing.
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Old Aug 5, 2011, 6:02 AM   #3
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#5 - HDR is fine,lovely.

I really like #7 & #8, great shots !

I think maybe you need to get away from your themes and just get out there, enjoy the environment you're in, and take photos of whatever takes your fancy. I'm sure the fun will then return !
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Old Aug 5, 2011, 11:54 AM   #4
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Mtngal,

By far, my personal favourite is #1.

It reminds me of this type of sculpture ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/proptology/26426303/ ), which is outside the Toronto Convention Centre.

The converging lines, and the juxtaposed vertical beams have a compression / dynamics and rhythm to them.

It's like taking a look at a scene and then removing all conventional ideals of subject matter and then just getting left with some sort of raw essence. (Whatever that essence is). And then getting to feel that essence directly.

(Can you tell I have an art background?)

But I really do love that #1 capture. I just really connected with it.

Take care, yours truly,
Glen
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Old Aug 5, 2011, 11:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments so far.

Glen, I've really liked the lines also, and have tried several times to capture it - I always think of giant open jaws when I see it. This is the closest I've ever gotten to capturing an interesting shot of it that comes close to what comes to mind. However, as Jeannie pointed out, I ran into dof problems (result of using a telephoto - I couldn't replicate the view with a wide angle because of conditions).

Thanks for the feedback on #5, the HDR building picture - while I liked it, I've lost so much perspective I've become hypercritical about what I've been getting with HDR software.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the obliging butterfly is?
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Old Aug 5, 2011, 11:38 PM   #6
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Mtngal,

I don't mind the out of focus in #1. It's so bold and strong I think it stands up really well.

But if more DOF is on the plate, would that stacking technique I've seen around work in this case? Not sure how all that works.

Take care, yours truly,
Glen
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Old Aug 6, 2011, 9:06 AM   #7
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Stacking to add dof would work for the shot above, I'd need to use a tripod but that could work. Good idea, I think I'll try that.

Forgot to mention before, I think FF has the best idea - forget about all my cares and just go somewhere and enjoy it. Forget about everything else, just go have fun.
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Old Aug 7, 2011, 11:52 PM   #8
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Okay, I know nothing about art, and there are many on thus furum who are able to compose photos with much more elegance than I. So take these comments for whatever they're worth -- probably not much.

Personally, I'd like to see what #1 looks like if the photo had a shallower DOF. I'd like to see the lines in the concrete disappear into blurry oblivion.

I like #2 just as it is.

I also like #3 very much, and I'm not at all convinced that this idea would help the photo, but I wonder how it would look if the wooden post were centered. I realize that violates several "rules" of composition, but I'd like to see how that works.

There's something about the HDR shot that doesn't look quite right to me. I think it might be that the front of the building, in shadow, isn't quite dark enough to look right. I really like how you kept all the detail in the dark archways, but I'm thinking if the front of the building were just a bit darker, that might help.

I love your ripply lines, and the little critter who's making the ripples.

I also love the butterfly shot. I have no idea what it is, but I love the shot.

But I have to agree that FF hit it on the mark. Few (if any) of us are professionals, so we do photography just for fun. Let the fun resume!
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 9:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for your feedback, mtnman. Your idea of having less dof field for the first one is interesting - I'll have to explore that further. Less dof with the same lens is easy. don't know if I can get the blurry oblivion before the end of the concrete or not, but I'll see what happens with something like that.

I can't recrop #3 to put the post in center - there's nothing more on the left side. My personal experience is that I probably wouldn't like it - in general I don't like vertical trees etc. in the center. I do wish I had put the post a little closer to the center, or else gotten lower down so I didn't have so much brush/hill in the picture, more of a clouds with post picture. I could re-shoot that post (next time I take the time to wander down that road) from several different angles, increasing the amount of brush in the shot. I'm unlikely to see a sky like that anytime soon though. I think I'd like the shot better if the post were a little more on the third line, instead of way off in the corner of the shot.

The red eared sliders are always fun to photograph, though somewhat frustrating. When their shells are dry they reflect enough sunlight to have hot spots. When they are in the water their shells are beautiful, but the water causes distortions and sunlight reflections (which I used in this picture). Next time I wander by I'll put the CP on whatever lens I use and see if that helps.

I posted the HDR building under the HDR section and got the suggestion to add a bit more blue. While that did some odd things to the building, it really helped the sky, so I think I'll try that.
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Old Aug 8, 2011, 12:50 PM   #10
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Really like #1, and I also have no problem with the DoF. Personally I'd have probably boosted the contrast but that's just me.

Also #6 - lovely colour on the building, especially the one on the left.
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