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Old Jan 4, 2009, 11:46 PM   #1
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I'm not quite sure what to do with this picture, or if I should do anything with it. There's things I really like about this one, but there's something about it that I don't like, and I'm not sure what it is. I think it's the framing, but can't figure out how to improve it. I tried cropping it and adding a little extra contrast, but didn't like that one either (think the extra contrast goes against the feeling I was trying to capture). It could be my mood tonight, but thought I'd ask here what others would suggest I do with it.

Here's the full frame picture, the jpg version (I often shoot raw+) that has only been resized:



And here is what it looks like as modified.



Maybe it would be better if I hadn't added the extra contrast? Should I crop closer? Or is this one of those shots that's an "almost" shot and hopeless to improve?
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 12:44 AM   #2
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I have no problem with your original version. I just dont like the out of focus foreground. That tree and the background is just beautiful in its starkness. If only you could have made the foreground in focus or eliminated it then you would have a wall hanger for sure.
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 4:04 AM   #3
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mtngal wrote:
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Maybe it would be better if I hadn't added the extra contrast? Should I crop closer? Or is this one of those shots that's an "almost" shot and hopeless to improve?
What makes this picture interesting, imo, is the intertwined patterns of the herbaceous plants and the branch standing as the subject. So, I should say I appreciated your choice of b&w in the first place, and the extra contrast boost emphasizing the patterns.

Still, I think the cropped out plants on the left bottom side was providing a nice natural frame as well as counterbalancing the eye pleasing pattern projecting into the framefrom the opposite corner. Idid a little lighting arrangement and added a light source to the left top corner rendering a diagonal sense of movementwhile complementing the contrasty elements andde-emphasizing some elements on the background.
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 3:45 PM   #4
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It's probably the OOF foreground that's bothering me so much, now that you've pointed it out. My only weather sealed lens is a 50-135 and and it was snowing enough I didn't want to be hiking/wandering around without that protection. That limited what I could do with this angle, which I really liked (probably should have walked all the way around instead of only half-way though - I might have gotten a better shot from the opposite side). That's gotten me thinking about getting the weather-sealed 16-50 lens, now...

The light source is an interesting idea - it does help take the eye away from the OOF foreground. The black and white wasn'texactly my choice - the picture is actually in color (there's a hint of brown toward the bottom). There just isn't much color when it's snowing and somewhat foggy, a wonderful time to be out with a camera. I got some really nice macros between the time it stopped snowing and before it melted.

Anyone else have suggestions?
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 4:50 PM   #5
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Overall I like the shot. ( I think the second one is a bit over processed) As has been said before the OOF foreground is a bit distracting.Bahadir's edit is very good also.

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Old Jan 5, 2009, 6:18 PM   #6
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Ok this is overly cliché I'll admit but its the kind of pic that makes me think of some guy with a big mustache and a dusty derby carrying a couple hundred pounds of photo gear on the back of a mule.

I added a faint Vignette to simulate the light fall off of old lenses then the edges in photoframe. Then I added the sepia tone, grain and aging with virtual photographer.

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Old Jan 6, 2009, 12:22 AM   #7
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tsnaps - whether it's a cliche or not doesn't matter, I like it! I never think about doing something that drastic to any of my shots, yours suits the picture quite well. Thanks very much for the suggestion!

And I do agree also about the second one being over-processed, especially when I looked at it today. I just couldn't figure out how to deal with what was bothering me with the original (the OOF foreground). Both edits move the eye away from it and that's what I like about both of them over my clumsy attempts. Sharper/higher contrast does not always make a picture better.

I also didn't think about a vignette/oval mask/matting type of thing - that's another idea to deal with the OOF areas. I'll have to work on that tomorrow night (gotta finish trying to figure out my latest toy, a GPS).
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Old Jan 6, 2009, 7:00 AM   #8
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I don't think that you can do anything with this photo in post production. The problem is the background. It's too "busy". This is one of those photos where the eye sees things differently than the camera. When you were standing in front of this scene you saw only the tree in your mind. Your brain automatically "cropped" out the background.
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Old Jan 6, 2009, 7:03 AM   #9
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A very interesting picture, thanks for sharing!

My first try without any cropping, I just played around to see what's in the picture and found this one: "Blue hour". Some drastic changes... and it isn't quite the "snow photo" you posted, but it has something of a oversaturated full moon shot or a late blue hour... what do you think?
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Old Jan 6, 2009, 7:16 AM   #10
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The "snowy side of life" shows this one. I tried to bring out the branch as a main object.
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