Composing Outdoor Shots

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by Keta, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Keta

    Keta TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to incorporate previous advice - as much as I can in tricky outdoor conditions such as rapidly changing light and subjects that tend to flee at my approach - into my new pictures.
    Hope I'm improving! Here is a couple of shots of Great Blue Heron fishing in low tide. I still don't have any kind of filter on my lens.
    For the first one the sun came out for a second . ..

    [​IMG]


    I was hoping to capture maybe a bit of the 'drama' of the moment, sort of the heightened activity of the birds. Success? or Failure??

    The second shot I'm not so sure about, the sun hid behind some clouds and the birds were beginning to be annoyed with my presence . . .

    [​IMG]


    not nearly as exciting, colour-wise.

    For both shots I deliberately positioned myself so the two Heron in the background would be nicely in the shot.

    Good? Bad? Ugly?

    For the full story of that day, plus more pics please visit http://ketadesign.typepad.com/storybook/2006/07/more_drama.html
    but be warned, there is an enlargement of a bald eagle with an injured eye which may disturb some.

    PS: I am bothered by the post in the background of both shots . . .is it worth the trouble to blot it out in PhotoShop? I try to keep my photos as authentic as possible.
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, if you hadn't added your PS-comment on that big black post in the background, that thing would have been the first for me to mention for it bothers me to a great degree in your photos, too. So much so that I would really suggest you try to remove it - it might enhance your photos ever so much.

    As to keeping photos authentic as they come out of the camera. Well, I might be wrong, but I believe there have always been means to also "clone out" distracting objects in photos that are being developed in the darkroom. Darkroomers, tell me I'm wrong if I am. When you take your film and do your own prints, also there and then you have a chance to alter things and I am sure many a good photo of any of the renowned photographers from when there only was film has been "dealt with" in the darkroom so in the end it came out to that specific photo-author's liking, too.

    That said, I must say that although the colours are more intersting in the first with the sun shining onto the water, that very sun seems to have made exposure more difficult, there is a tendency to over-exposure to be detected, I think. And the horizon is not all level, which it should be with nature photos and water involved.
    The heron itself is positioned in a better manner in the first though, which is why I would still give the first preference over the second. The background herons also look better in the first with regards to their position.

    I think that with a bit of straightening and cropping, and maybe cloning out that big black, very distracting pole, that first one can be turned into something really good.
     
  3. JTHphoto

    JTHphoto TPF Noob!

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    That's pretty much what i was thinking when i first saw these. Your composition of the three birds is awesome in the first shot, but I don't like the overlap in the second. I agree with LaFoto on the tilted horizon - and that pole definitely has to go. ;)

    For mid-day shooting I actually prefer the sun behind clouds because it diffuses the light and eliminates shadows/harsh light. I also like to use a circular polarizer for midday shooting, it eliminates reflections and brings out the colors, especially in skies and foliage...

    these are better shots of the GBH than I have been able to come up with... you're lucky to have them so accomodating... :thumbup:
     
  4. Keta

    Keta TPF Noob!

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    All right! At least this means I'm catching on, somewhat.

    It would seem the circular polarizer is indeed the one I need; a great deal of my shots are taken in the harsh light of mid-day, usually with no opportunity for shade. I suppose, when the clouds take over, the filter comes off?

    Thanks especially for the comments on the composition, I feel that is my weakest skill right now but with some effort could be conquered. (I was already told the thing about straight horizon, but forgot! oops).

    Now, if I could impose on you just a little more (since you've been so helpful - see, that's what you get); here's a couple of shots I took last year . ..

    This Heron was finding so many fish he didn't mind my stealthy approach, I even had time to take off the telephoto and put a regular lens on. There is no horizon, but I really like the way the wave is just about to break, highlighting his little stork-legs.

    [​IMG]

    For this second shot I was trying to show the closeness between people and wildlife, opting to focus on the kayakers (because they were more colourful). Bad idea?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JTHphoto

    JTHphoto TPF Noob!

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    i like them both, they are interesting. the first one is a tad dark, but it's a great capture just because you got him with the fishy... i don't miss the horizon in that one at all... the top of the frame simulates it (and you don't have to worry about it not being straight :mrgreen:)

    I probably would have preferred the heron in focus in the second, but then, it may not have been as effective at portraying what you wanted it to. my first impression without reading your explanation would be that it was a blooper and your af selected the bg instead of the heron... but it's still an interesting shot...
     
  6. Keta

    Keta TPF Noob!

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    Really?? That's VERY interesting. Makes me like the shot even better!

    Thanks for all the input you guys, I packed it all into my little brain to use this past weekend. Got some more shots, will post them tomorrow once I can scan them!
     

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