Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An Image From A Collection Is Not Made

Sometimes a group of image elements simply does not come together to make an image. As a postage stamp this looks quite nice but once seen at any reasonable size, there is too much clutter, too much distraction, and too much rust all roughly the same brightness for the image to work.

Various attempts at cropping this conglomeration just make the situation worse. Just possibly it might come together in better lighting, though I wouldn't count on it. Every attempt to simplify  the composition also weakens it.

I spent a couple of hours working on this, as the light was failing and in which by the end I could not keep the exposure to 30 seconds without increasing the iso.

The shapes and textures were so intriguing I was determined to find a away to make a successful image, but in the end failed.

The angled shot below, combined with some dodging and burning, and some local contrast enhancement, was the best I could come up with but I'm not satisfied.

Realistically, not every setup is going to work, and it is well worth trying a few setups in any single shoot, so that you have a reasonable chance of coming home with something pleasing, if not actually wonderful.

Too many unpleasing shoots in the past have made me give up photography for as many at 15 years at a time. Of course, this was in the days of film, and many times a single setup, albeit with several framings and positionings, was about all one could achieve. Some find the change to be outside and puttering or hiking a reward in itself but I confess, for me, that was never enough - I wanted decent images to make the effort wortwhile, and I'm sure a lot happier photographer since switching to digital specifically for the ability to cover a few scenes in an afternoon.

If you are shooting digitally but continue to put all your eggs in one basket ...


TJ said...

I don't know what's the original resolution of the image, but usually, right now, I'm sort of developing my own since when it comes to abstract shots. I depend mainly on illusion and losing the touch of space and edges.

Example: http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee106/seanfear/common/faba63ef.jpg

Original: http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee106/seanfear/common/ad3da087.jpg

In this shot I've cropped the ground and made 2 copies of the same image; one inverted and one upright.
In the image above I would probably crop in such a way to keep the circular formation on up-left corner.

Sandy Wilson said...

One can never judge the success or failure of an image when viewed on the LCD screen of the camera. I have experienced this situation on many occasions, when the image is finally viewed on the computer screen.

Is it not nice to know you are not alone in experiencing this situation George.

The other peace of advice is knowing when NOT to make an image and to walk away. Sometimes this is extremely difficult to do , but reflecting on it it is always for the best.

However, on a different day things will sometimes be different and a successful image will be achieved.

Where do you find all this great subject matter? There is nothing like this where I live, but I am always looking.

When I occasionally do find something worth photographing amongst the mundane detritus of every day life,it certainly gives the photographic moral a boost. It always makes the task of searching very worth while.

Tim said...

It's not the rusty metal that makes the image, it's the frame you bring to it.

I'm not sure what result you had in mind, but I suggest a more contrasty light from the top-left of the first shot would have improved matters. Maybe, if you're going to do it at dusk, try a little light-painting as well?