Each month we use one post to look at some of the photographs submitted to The Discerning Photographer’s Group Pool at Flickr. The goal is to provide the photographers with some feedback that goes beyond the usual Flickr ‘Great capture!’, providing the chosen shooters with a bit of constructive criticism. I’m hoping you’ll study these images, read what I have to say, and add your own thoughts in the Comments section below. It’s through YOUR participation that we get a conversation going!
This has been a month of landscapes and outdoors photography for our members. Many, many of the fine images that were submitted for August were shot outside, and that is the theme that we’ll explore here today. Let’s get started:
‘Manhattan Bridge,’ by KBT Images.
KBT is a British photographer who spent some time in the U.S. over the summer, resulting in some interesting images. Here’s one of them. I like the cropping here, KBT. I think the composition is greatly enhanced by the ‘pano’ crop that you’ve put on this photograph. Plus, you had the good aesthetic sense to get out there when the light was nice. Tell us about the processing: how much did you do, in what software package, to achieve this result?
‘Hotel Project, Never Finished,’ by Florian Gradwohl.
There’s a post-industrial, apocalyptic quality to this image that I find appealing and disturbing at the same time. Sort of a bit of ‘Bladerunner’ feel, you know? Also the orange and blue are vibrating off of each other nicely (see my June post about color theory if you missed it). What does everyone think? Does this image work or is it missing an element to make it truly successful?
‘Totaranui Estuary at Sunset’, by Andrew Duncan.
The clouds are fabulous, of course. The reflection is nicely composed. But for me, the thing that makes this image work is the interest point created by the driftwood in the shallow pool. It gives my eye something to grab onto as I then scan around the image. In his comments in the Flickr post, Andrew says he spent about two hours scouting and working out the location. Nicely done!
‘1 Centre Street, Manhattan Municipal Building’ by Mick Leconte.
Shooting straight up like this is devilishly hard to do, especially without a right angle viewer of some type (or articulated LCD screen, one of my favorite new innovations that’s appearing more and more on cameras). If the lines are off by much, you’re dead. So this one works pretty well. The two buildings don’t line up perfectly, but that doesn’t bother me. I especially like the clouds overhead as well. Hey Mick, tell us about shooting this image? Did you lie flat on your back to line it up? I’d be interested in the exposure information as well…
‘ The back edge,’ by Joe Chan.
Joe has shot this wind farm before, or a similar one. I gave him a hard time previously about the composition, thinking a tighter crop might improve the overall result. What do you guys think about this one? The light is beautiful of course, and the stark, dark silhouettes are great. I think I wish the placement of the central wind mill were a bit more off center, to the left, to increase the tension in the frame. Joe? Your thoughts?
‘Up, Up and Away!’ by Kevin Barry.
The flight of this cormorant is beautiful indeed. The motion in the wings tells me that Kevin was out experimenting, working to find the right shutter speed to create just the right amount of ‘magic’ in the wings. Is this correct, Kevin? Or was this simply a lucky grab? The only distraction here for me is in the credit, which really draws my eye away from the composition. But I understand the thinking on that, even if it probably won’t stop a determined thief.
‘Cornes Du Chamois,’ by Justin G.
Not to beat up on Justin, who submitted this beautiful black and white landscape from an Alpine trip, left. But I was so disturbed by the muddiness of the submission—which contained no true black or white in the image—that I felt compelled to open it up quickly and adjust the levels histogram in Photoshop. The result is the same image, right side. Hope you don’t mind me singling you out for this Justin! This is a fine photograph that just deserved a better toning job.
“Rain on Leaf,’ by Sean Garrett.
No, it’s not a landscape, but at least we’re still outside! I love this image: composition, lighting, tonality. Sean, please tell us about shooting this fine photograph! Is it natural light, of did you do this in the studio?
That’s going to wrap up this month’s selection of images. Please take a few moments to add your thoughts about what you liked, or didn’t, in the Comments section below, and thanks!
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog