Which Compisition do YOU Prefer?

Olympus E300

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Nov 22, 2009
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Ste.Anne, Manitoba, Canada
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Hey gang! It's been FOREVER since I've had the time to surf or post on the forum. Life has me far too busy to pick up my camera much less post anything for critique! But this weekend while I was preparing to head out to the forest in an effort to cut firewood, I though that I would dust off the old E-3 and drag her along. I was hoping that the unusually mild weather we've been having lately would stir up some wild life. I wasn't dissapointed! This little fellow was my best friend for most of the afternoon even though I was buzzing away with a chainsaw. I can't decide which shot I prefer though. I've set them side-by-side for a direct comparison. Disregard the border. While I appreciate the detail behind all the foreground boken in the shot on the right, I realize that this composition does not fall into the realm of "The Rule of Thirds" photography. Which brings me to the photo on the left... While the rule of thirds might apply here, I've got far less foreground bokeh framing the subject. I also wonder if anyone's eyes are drawn away from the subject by the presence of what seems to be an imaginary "tunnel" just right and slightly above the subject's head? There has been very little post production done here.

Personally, I think I prefer the shot on the left. I do, however, want to hear some feedback from you fine folks. So fire away! You won't hurt my feelings!!

- Daniel
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Can I vote neither? The processing/sharpening on the squirrel is...distracting.
They are both great IMO. I like the "spying quality" of the right one.

And they are razor sharp already.
The blown up ones are much easier to see :D I'm a bit torn, I like the one with the nut the best I think. Or I'd crop out the 2 pinecones that are sticking out on the right of the first one.
I like both, although in the first one I would crop the half cones on right (and consequently crop also some on top, to maintain ratio). Really sharp, and the strange effect might be due to the perm it had at hairs just before shooting session :)
I'm leaning that way to mjhoward. Only if I could have had the foreground bokeh in the shot like I managed to create in the 2nd shot coupled with the overall composition of the 1st shot all while having the food source as predominant as it is in the 2nd shot. Oh, this wild life photography things is a tricky business. It's not like having a model who will adjust on command or a lighting studio of which you can tweak. But it is great fun!

- Daniel
I like the composition of the first better...

Also, can I please haz a squirrel? Too frickin' cute. :biggrin:
Errr....There hasn't been any sharpening done here. This is pretty much how they came out of the camera.

What about the soft focus around the squirrel? It looks like it was added in post.
Errr....There hasn't been any sharpening done here. This is pretty much how they came out of the camera.
If they came out of the camera as JPEGs, they were sharpened. If the in-the-camera sharpening control was also cranked up, they could come SOOC over sharpened.

Apparently, the EXIF data has been stripped.
You're correct KmH in that they came out of the camera as JPEGs. So technically I suppose they were sharpened in that sense, however, I didn't do any post production myself with regards to sharpening. That is what was suggested in Bossy's first post. Or atleast it was what I assumed the poster meant. That said, my images are hosted on Flickr - I do not know whether or not this particular host manipulates the images upon uploading. Regarding the "soft focus" around the subject phOenix, it's known as bokeh. Read up on it - I love the stuff. I try to use it as much as possible. It was not added during post production. It was created while shooting through a strategically placed cluster of Jack Pine branches which were much closer to the lens than the subject itself. While focusing on the subject, the foreground became blurry (the background as well - but not to the same extent).

Not to redirect this thread but here is an example of nice background bokeh phOenix. My first deliberate attempt at bokeh I might add :


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