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Thread: Help with composition

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Help with composition

    I have been eyeing a tree across the road from my house. It looks like there are macro possibilities for colour or B&W. I snapped a picture with the digital camera today and wonder if anyone has some framing suggestions for tomorrow when I take out the 4X5? All suggestions are welcome.

    Edward

  2. #2

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    Re: Help with composition

    Ask yourself what attracts you to this tree and focus ( ) on that.
    Never is always wrong; always is never right.

    www.LostManPhoto.com
    www.MarkStahlkePhotography.com

  3. #3
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Help with composition

    Once you get some shapes you want, return at different times of day to see how it's lit.

    Here's a small-format example of how I like a tree trunk lit. (link instead of image because it's not LF)

    http://jason.philbrook.us/gallery3/i...hotos/_DSC7425

    B&W film can handle a lot higher contrast light than digital, so keep that in mind for more options too.

    Your scene specifically might look nice with a double barrel shotgun leaned up against the tree, thin and/or soft DOF on B&W. Especially with a little glow of sun on the side like my sample photo.

    I see lots of abstract color possibilities which for the fun of it I have drawn shapes on.

    It might be nice to revisit when snow flies too. Perhaps some antlers beside the tree with a half inch of snow could be an interesting study in separating shades of white and tan.

  4. #4

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    Re: Help with composition

    It may be very helpful to keep shooting with the digital to better sketch your ideas out. Ain't gonna cost anything. But more it will give you something to look at and experiment with. You may stumble on something you hadn't even considered.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help with composition

    I shot with C41 120 rollfilm so I am actually getting the prints back tomorrow. It saves money on sheets and time on the developing. BTW, I don't have a shotgun; double barrel or otherwise.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help with composition

    I don't see anything with that tree. I might be wrong. Ive never done very tight true macros but Im sure there are "nice" photos everywhere when doing such
    If that's a true statement then you don't need that particular tree
    so
    ME
    I'd head for the woods as there must be 100 trees right near you with even more possibilities

  7. #7

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    Re: Help with composition

    I don't see anything from your photo either but of course I'm not actually there and am only looking at one view. Robbie has a great suggestion about using a digital camera and trying different focal lengths. Sometimes using a wide angle or super wide and getting in close works. Jp498 is right. The right time of day can easily make or break a photograph.

  8. #8

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    Re: Help with composition

    Nothing special but here was the best shot.

    CC400
    210mm f/5.6 Sinaron-S
    Fuji Reala

  9. #9
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Help with composition

    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    Your scene specifically might look nice with a double barrel shotgun leaned up against the tree, thin and/or soft DOF on B&W.
    And don't forget the sexy babe and the dog!

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward (Halifax,NS) View Post
    Nothing special but here was the best shot.
    #1, that's not macro. You need to first extend your bellows absolutely as far as they will go, and then compose the shot. You need 1:1 or better.
    #2, the light is wrong. From what it looks like, the side you are looking at is the north side of the tree trunk. The sun is low, so look at either the east or west sides. You need the light to come across the trunk.
    #3, color might not be the best choice for this. Think in B&W, and maybe extreme contrast for an abstract. Take the knot in a 4"x5" crop, convert to B&W, and then run up the contrast. Now how does it look?
    #4, the color bits are the moss growing at the base of the trunk. When using color, put something colorful in the frame. Enhancing filters can work wonders to bring out the colors.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  10. #10
    Preston Birdwell
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    Re: Help with composition

    Edward,

    In situations like this one you need to move in on the tree trunk and look for patterns, shapes and lines that tie together in a way that's pleasing to you. As Brian intimated above, you have to also see how the light is working, or not working for you. ("If the light is not right, move around to the other side of the tree.")

    Also, when you are shooting close-ups, the depth of field will be reduced. You will need to work carefully with swings and tilts and aperture to get everything sharp, assuming that is your goal.

    Here's a detail ( It Is Knot! )from the inside of a lodgepole pine snag. It was shot on Velvia 100 with a 210mm at f22. I was maybe four feet away. that, hopefully, illustrates some of my points.

    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

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