how to make my "street photog" type shot more interesting?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by syphlix, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    was out taking shots of some bridges the other day, and saw this guy flipping over rocks on the side of the river and picking up who knows what from under the rocks...

    thought w the river and bridge in the background, it would make an interesting scene.

    however, when i looked at the shot, it didn't really jump out at me at all. i tried cropping it a little (the original has much more of the bridge and background, but the shot still isn't worth a second glance IMO.

    is there some way i could have composed the shot better? or is the subject material just not that great?

    thanks in advance

    link to larger

    [​IMG]
     
  2. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    I think if you got the whole bridge in it and made it like the city skyline/ a panorama it might be a little bit more interesting.
    That's one way of looking at it... another would be too maybe put the camera in macro and get a clean focus on that rock in the left corner, and the rest out of focus (the whole bridge here too), which would probably give the shot a different feel, and maybe turn out pretty creative from an artistic POV.
    The cut buildings annoying me as well... maybe even if you put the camera sideways and got a tall shot with the buildings in it. there are many approaches - from many different views.
    Nice attempt though, I see what you're getting at.

    BTW, which bridge is that?
     
  3. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    The guy flipping the rocks is almost lost among the rocks. If he's the main subject he should be more prominent in the shot. To me, the river has more visual weight than the rock flipper.
     
  4. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah. if you look at it form that perspective - you would want to get close in and make him stand out. WHat I said in my post above was to get the guy in the shot (rule of thirds in play) with him in focus and the rest of the bridge and skyline out.
     
  5. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

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    This is the original uncropped... i have a cpl more shots from varying angles as well... do u think i could have cropped differently?

    i tried applying a kind of lens blur effect in photoshop, but it always looked crappy lol

    [​IMG]
     
  6. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

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    Photo28: manhattan bridge

    samanax: how could i do that better? use DOF to isolate him? mebbe if i got down lower? i was squatting, but i get the feeling that if i shot from ground level it might be better, or if my angle was different like if i was along the shoreline as well...
     
  7. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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  8. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    Like I said. I think if you got the guy focused in the corner and everything out of focus - it would give a different feel...
    As in focus I mean similiar to this, the guy being the ostrich and the backround being the bridge and building... skyline.
    [​IMG]
    Not my image - off google
     
  9. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    First of all, think about what you are trying to say with this image. What elements in the scene are important to you and what you're trying to say. Look at the light. Look at the positive and negative spaces. Look at the shapes. Look at the colors. When viewing the scene through the viewfinder, try moving around while observing how the composition changes.
    Maybe. Which lens were you using? From the exif it looks like you shot this at f/5.0, 1/400, ISO 100 and 42mm.
    All things to keep in mind if another opportunity like this presents itself.

    One way to make your images stand out a bit more is to take them from a different or unusual point of view. This scene is very normal looking and something we've all seen before (or something like it). But what if you shot it from the water looking towards the shoreline...or if you shot it lying on your stomach close to the shoreline...or if you could shoot it from above somehow.

    In one of his books, Bryan Peterson suggests picking a stationary subject and shooting it while standing, then crouching, then lying on the ground. Then try another series a few steps closer. And then another series from a few steps closer again and keep going until you're right up to it. Then compare your shots and see how the same subject can appear very differently depending on where you shot it from. He even suggests getting a ladder and shooting it from above. Just an exercise to try to get you to see things differently.
     
  10. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

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    was using the kit lens... 18-55....

    sucks cuz normally i keep the 50mm on 99% of the time but was just using the kit to shoot some wides... oh well prob wouldn't have made much dif... i shoudl have just composed dif... i'll try again next time lol
     
  11. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The most effective trick is to take your shot from an unusual angle--it's hard to make a photo taken from eye level look interesting; the brain is too used to seeing that perspective--the subject has to be absolutely riveting, and even then it would likely be more riveting if the shot was taken from a more unique angle.

    In this case if you had taken the shot from ground level, you may have been able to use the water as a background for the man, so he wouldn't get lost in the rocks.

    BTW this shot might be cool if you rotated it 90 degrees and cropped out the cityscape, it would look like he's a rock climber on some alien landscape.
     

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