Monday, 8 March 2010

Project: Cropping and Extending

In the the last exercise of Part One we are asked to look at some of our existing images and crop them to make either better images or to possibly find images within them.

I always tend to use the cropping tool within photoshop, but I am learning fast to try and make that crop a better one through the view finder. For this exercise I went back to my raw files, which are unedited and selected three to demonstrate cropping an image.

In all cases I have shown the original image, then a view of what I will crop and then the final image.

In the first example I think that this is a fair attempt at making another image from the original. Although there is a lot a space around the main subject (the bee and flower), I think it works well, but cropping well into the photo also works and creates and entirely different feel to the image.

In the next example I took an image that I had overlooked, in its original framing it is not a great image to say the least, but I think I have brought it back to life at least a little in the final crop.

And finally, this image was one I like a lot. It was taken on holiday in France in an open zoo. I did originally crop this image the way I have done so here, this was for two fold. Firstly there is an unsightly blur of something (perhaps a persons jacket) that needs removing, secondly a tighter crop gives a much more vivid image. It is interesting that although the rhino's horn is out of shot it doesn't really matter, the image draws upon how sad the poor chap looks and feels.

I have always been a bit of a cropper, it is probably one of the most used tools I have in PS.If you look at my posting on 'Positioning the horizon' this also give s a reasonable image of extending the frame with multiple images.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Exercise: Vertical & Horizontal Frames

In this exercise we are to take around 20 photographs, two of the same scene on horizontal and one vertical. The aim of this is to demonstrate that there are two formats and to be aware of shooting or making shots work in a vertical format. For me I tend to shoot a lot in vertical mode, see my previous post, if anything I over do it - not sure why?

The first image is a woodland shot, I think that this works good in both frames, though the vertical framing draws upon the height of the tree to the left, whilst the horizontal image draws me to the central small brown tree.
Again I think the next two shots work well in both formats, though the vertical framing gives a greater sense of height.
These two images are quite different and I prefer the vertical framing. The obvious framing for most photographers would be horizontal but here it looks better vertically.

The following two shots definitely show that vertical is king here. The horizontal shot is drawn out without any real focus or frame filling.

The next two show that this can be taken in either format, I cannot make my mind up here I think they look equally good, one showing the length of the stems the other showing a nice even balanced row of plant heads!

In the final pair the horizontal framing does not work anywhere near as good as the vertical shot. There is too much wasted space either side of the person

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Project: Dividing the Frame Positioning the Horizon Ex 2

At last some decent weather! I have been conscious of things slipping, this has been down to the dreary days of February with little going on, but yesterday the sun shone and I was able to go to Ashdown Forest to take the pictures for my next exercise. I had tried this before on an overcast and grey day, however the images were so disappointing that I didn't even download them off the camera....these are much better!

The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate framing the scene and using natural divides, the biggest one being the horizon. We were asked to take several shots re-positioning the horizon and commenting upon these. In all I took four shots of the same scene all at f16 using a tripod with a 17mm lens. I was not expecting the results I found.

The first image has a high horizon and the foreground dominates the scene, the sky almost seems incidental with a distant hill. This images gives a great depth of field with the land seemingly flowing for a distance. I also think that this scene gives an impression of elevation, after all it was taken on one of the highest points in Sussex.

The next image lowers the horizon to roughly mid way and produces a more balanced view, to me this does not concentrate on any aspect in particular  though the vastness and depth of the ground is still apparent. I think that this image lacks focus and is not a good frame, the scene needs the viewer to concentrate on something!

The following image now starts to have the sky dominating the scene. I was lucky to get some good clouds and with the wide angle lens suddenly the depth of field has switched from the ground to the sky. I also think that we are also now starting to loose the feeling of height, this image could have been taken from any height.

The final image has the sky dominating completely, the ground now becomes incidental, but the far hills still have a perspective of depth. What I have really found interesting is that this image has the feel that it was not taken from the top of a hill, especially when compared with that of the first image.

There are many many good examples of work where a horizon is used to focus an image. For me here are two good beach examples one concentrating on the sky the other on the foreground. 

Images taken from the SLR Photography Guide

Finally, I can take this opportunity to publish my best shot of a horizon when in 2009 with a group of friends we attempted the 3 peaks challenge, here is the view from the top of Ben Nevis in panoramic, balance is 50/50 here but I think it works!