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Thread: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

  1. #1
    Corran's Avatar
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    Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    In response to a recent thread, I would like to start an image-sharing thread dedicated to showing your best, most recent work, with critique and discussion of photographs implicitly allowed and encouraged. Some "ground rules:"

    One image per month. The intent here is to share what you think is your best work from the previous month - either shot or developed, since I know some take a while to get to the development part. Multiple images specifically shot to be a diptych or triptych and presented as such are okay, but let's try to keep the thread more focused towards quality and not quantity, which also doesn't overwhelm and bury new photographs. Some leeway is fine with images shot near/at the end/beginning of the month - let's just not spam the thread is the point.

    Helpful critiques and discussion. There are already threads for those specifically asking for critique on a given image or theme, but my idea here is an open forum where one can give helpful comments, either what they find compelling or what could be improved, if they choose. All images are implicitly open to discussion in this thread, and let's try to keep the surface-level "Great!" kind of comments to a minimum. Both technical and artistic comments welcome. Critiques should not be given with harsh or derogatory terms, and follow all overarching forum guidelines.

    Technical details and artistic intent by the photographer. Please include relevant details on how you shot the image, and also what your thought-process or intent was for the photograph. Feel free to also include some thoughts yourself on what you did well and/or could improve on in the future.

    Be open to back-and-forth discussion. Your critique should not be given as gospel. Be open to discussion on the image and/or your comments on said photograph. Take all critiques in the spirit they were given, with the knowledge that acting on critique is still the purview of the photographer.

    Let's see how it goes folks. I am not a mod and can't enforce the above, and don't want to add workload to the current mods, so let's all try to keep things civil and helpful. I will be happy to kick-off the thread here in a moment with an image from November.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    My best image from November (actually really late October but let's roll with it since I just want to start this thread and I didn't shoot a lot of LF in November) is this photograph I made along the shore of Canada Creek, just below what is called the "first falls" on Canada Creek.

    What drew me to this scene was the interesting downed tree and layers of lines and shapes from the rocks. Finally, the sunlit tree in the background with leaves changed to yellow glowed on the ground-glass. I used a Chamonix 45n2 camera and Schneider 90mm f/8 SA (thanks esearing for letting me borrow your camera!) with Delta 100 film, and developed the film in FX-39. I accidentally developed the film using data for T-Max 100 since I wasn't thinking, but the negative came out okay.

    Not visible on a small image post, the upper right corner is not in perfect focus. Sometimes the Chamonix has a tiny bit of swing or tilt due to being out of parallel, which is something I am trying to be better about checking for. The light was changing fast and the forest is very dark outside of the sunlit area though so it's hard to see on the GG. Anyway, a bit of front tilt was used and this was shot at f/22. Overall I am happy with the composition and have made a few large prints of this image in my darkroom.

    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    I hope this goes well. If I may, to get your intent on the record, so as to critique with regard to your purpose of the photograph. I understand that you have three main subjects, the downed tree, the lines and shapes of the rocks, and the sunlit tree in the background with leaves changed to yellow. Is that correct?
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    More specifically the bottom rocks, downed tree, and sunlit tree are layers (foreground / midground / background) that I hope gives a balanced composition. I wouldn't call them all "subjects" necessarily. Main subject is the tree and rock in the midground.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    I see good gradations from black thru white. Nothing appears blocked up. Exposure and sceneare well balanced. The placement of the tree draws you in across the water and then onto the “trail” at the other side. The bright tree, forces you to stay on the trail as does the darker bush opposite the bright tree and finally led out at other end of the trail.

    I find there are many subjects yet none are the sole subject however, they all add together to make the scene more than the sum of its parts.

    Overall this scene works well as you saw and composed it.

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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    beautiful image!

    as a backpacker, i fell in love with this scene. first thing i looked at was the speed of the water which forces me to plan a crossing to what looks like a potential trail. a concern is if that tree is a roller. you've accomplished the viewers involvement.

    as for the photo... the central cross, the tree over the rock, is to me just perfect composition. exposure n print are gorgeous. the water flowing gets my eye exploring more. the back tilt brings up tge foreground very nicely.

    well done!

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    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Here is mine that I worked on last month. Grand Canyon at Toroweep. Chamonix 45H-1 with Schneider 90mm f/5.6@f/22. Shot on Tmax100 and developed with 2-bath Pyrocat.

    I was drawn to the scene because of the clouds and the way the light was streaking thru and hitting the cliffs. Also the Colorado River that flows down the canyon into the horizon.

    So far only printed digitally.


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    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Bryan,

    What I enjoy about your photos is that they always seem to have some sort of natural flow (left to right, light to dark, top to bottom, you get the point) and this photo is no exception. For me, my eyes go right to the bottom of the image tot he rocks and naturally move up focusing on the log and then the background. I also feel that the scene at the top would be too busy by itself and the bottom maybe too simple but the combination of the two is "just right". Your technical workflow is flawless as always. If there is one thing that I could offer as a critique is that the imbalanced border is distracting from the image for me and I would recommend cropping just a tad bit on the left so the empty black space matches the right side.

    Pali

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    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Steven,

    That is an unbelievable image and I absolutely love it. The only nit-picky comment I have is that the sharpness is a bit too excessive for my taste but that very well could be due to the Flickr processing. I would also suggest keeping a slight black border on the top edge of the photo as well.

    Pali

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    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Thanks for the comments guys. I am glad that my "flow" composition that Pali mentions is coming through. That is generally how I try to compose. I'm also glad Paul connects to the image as a hiker. And I agree about the film borders Pali.

    Steven, I like the light cutting in from the right, without seeing the sun. I am generally not a fan of wide-open landscapes without some kind of foreground interest, but here the river provides a bit of an echo to the light cutting through the upper part of the scene, so that helps. I agree with Pali about the lack of border on the top. Personally, I find the upper sky/clouds area too burned down. It looks a bit fake and perhaps a bit of uneven development is even starting to come through? But that might just be the clouds, it's not obvious. Clouds like that are a tough thing to balance right - some slight contrast/brightness tweak might make it 'just right,' I don't know.

    Pali - I was thinking a small-format mirror of this thread might be appropriate if people are into it?
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

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