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rwboyer
10-20-2009, 10:28 AM
I can't stop staring above her knee and trust me I'm fighting it

It is a nice photo but I think the angles are all competing with one another making the photo want to turn abstract
I don't like the handrail
but without it her knees become very tight in that "corner"

I was going for something that was a bit ambiguous/abstract while showing the entire subject. the angles of the stairs and wood work attracted me to the setting and I wanted to show the similarity and the contrast in shapes of the subject with the setting.

RB

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 10:31 AM
I'll bet the committee insists on "Rule of Thirds" too! I've avoided the clubs because of this sort of pedantism. I was once asked to judge a club competition and spent most of the evening arguing that the rule of thirds or the golden mean are not prerequisites of a good photograph. Never again!!

As for the image - I really like it. To my mind - even if it is the knee, (right or left) that holds attention - the image is holding the viewer and making him or her think about it. I often take in square format - but usually print in rectangle. This tells me that even when I use 6x6, I'm still thinking and composing in rectangles. I think that the images themselves dictate the final shape and, whether it's square, rectangular, octagonal or round an image is good - or it isn't.

Anyway - JMO

Bob H

Philosophically I agree but like most people I have a predisposition to look for compositions that fit the frame I am actually looking through. The only exception is when I am using a view camera where the framing is more in my head than in my face.

RB

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 10:37 AM
Wow! How did you know? I joined the committee for 2010 in order to get these things changed.

Can't believe that I forgot to mention this. I love the OP's photo.

You have more patience than I do - I cannot stand to be wrapped up with that kind of crap for more than 10 seconds. My only experience was when I was shooting commercially and a local club in Dallas TX wanted me to participate in their competitions. I though it would be fun and knew one or two of the members from workshops that I had given.

After listening to the panel discussions for about a minute. I politely recused my self and made up a fake emergency to get the hell out of there.

RB

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 10:47 AM
Good call on the angles. I was too focused on....knees too. Actually the right knee cap.

I was going for something complicated/challenging compositionally, thats why I wanted to hear some others thoughts on it. I have had 20x20 hanging around my work area for about a month and the more I see it the more I like it, which is reverse of most images (mine and others).

Oh well.

RB

Fireguy2002
10-20-2009, 11:05 AM
I was just giving hell with that statement. I see where you are coming from now. It is compositionally complicated. I do like that(to me) the angles scream abstract while the square leans toward structure.

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 11:10 AM
I was just giving hell with that statement. I see where you are coming from now. It is compositionally complicated. I do like that(to me) the angles scream abstract while the square leans toward structure.

I don't mind - that is what I asked for. I would never shoot anything like this for commercial purposes - too complicated and complicated = problems/controversy/arguments simple+exactly what the art director asked for no more no less = client happy = photographer needs to shoot other stuff for fun.

RB

MikeSeb
10-20-2009, 02:19 PM
Err, what was the question? [mops up drool].

It works for me as is.

Was it Darkroom317 or BobNewYork who mentioned "camera clubs"? What a collossal waste of time those are.

Vaughn
10-20-2009, 03:28 PM
I like the square and I like your image, but...

I would have moved the camera just a little to the left, to include just a touch of window, her foot in the lower right corner and her body a little more centered in the square. (But it is not my image, so I didn't)

Between the off-balanced composition and her pose, she looks a bit stiff and uneasy. It does put a little more edge in the image, if that was your intent.

Vaughn

Donima
10-20-2009, 03:30 PM
Not that i dont like the model, i do! But i think i would rather see the image without the model. I also prefer the square format that i get with my 500cm. Don

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 03:36 PM
I like the square and I like your image, but...

I would have moved the camera just a little to the left, to include just a touch of window, her foot in the lower right corner and her body a little more centered in the square. (But it is not my image, so I didn't)

Between the off-balanced composition and her pose, she looks a bit stiff and uneasy. It does put a little more edge in the image, if that was your intent.

Vaughn

More window and more space around her foot? Wouldn't that be camera to the right? camera to the left would center the subject more but cut out more of the window and reduce the space around her foot.

I am confused but interested in your comments - just the way the I read them they seem contradictory.

Anyway - I framed to optimize the conflicting diagonals from the stairs and the molding on the opposite wall vs their relationship to the corners of the square from a structural standpoint - the pose was mostly inspired by the line of the stairs, back mall molding, and railing.

RB

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 03:39 PM
Not that i dont like the model, i do! But i think i would rather see the image without the model. I also prefer the square format that i get with my 500cm. Don

Another photographer buddy told me that when he saw the print hanging in my work area - then again he is a landscape guy and can count the number of people shots he has done on like one hand.

I do absolutely agree that the setting was the compositional focus - I guess that what experiments are for and why photography is a blast.

RB

Vaughn
10-20-2009, 04:15 PM
Sorry, by "just a touch of window", I meant less than there is now. With her foot closer to the corner -- puts a little more energy down there. And I would try to match this with the other lower corner -- so that you would also keep the energy you have there from that line coming right out of the corner.

So there would be a little more wall showing behind (to the left) of the figure, balancing the figure a little better (subjective opinion, I know) in the frame.

But you have a strong image there. You have the softer rounded female form, surrounded by sharp angular male forms. She is not bathed in light, but is being struck and almost shoved back by the light bursting through the window. Her hand is in an active pose -- not a hand at rest. And that can be said for her pose in general. My suggestions above would change that -- not necessarily for the better.

It is a very active composition, there is a lot of tension in it. It grabs our attention and makes us want to wait to see the rest of the story. Which might be a reason that one can have it on the wall and not tire of the image.

Darkroom317
10-20-2009, 04:23 PM
Was it Darkroom317 or BobNewYork who mentioned "camera clubs"? What a collossal waste of time those are.

It was me. I wouldn't sy they are a an absolute waste of time. The only problem I seem to have is that out of the two clubs I belong to, I am one of two film shooters.

My only point was; that people who don't know much about the 6 X 6 format often don't like square photographs.

I especially like how in the OP's photograph, the woman's left leg mirrors the railing.

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 07:05 PM
Sorry, by "just a touch of window", I meant less than there is now. With her foot closer to the corner -- puts a little more energy down there. And I would try to match this with the other lower corner -- so that you would also keep the energy you have there from that line coming right out of the corner.

So there would be a little more wall showing behind (to the left) of the figure, balancing the figure a little better (subjective opinion, I know) in the frame.

But you have a strong image there. You have the softer rounded female form, surrounded by sharp angular male forms. She is not bathed in light, but is being struck and almost shoved back by the light bursting through the window. Her hand is in an active pose -- not a hand at rest. And that can be said for her pose in general. My suggestions above would change that -- not necessarily for the better.

It is a very active composition, there is a lot of tension in it. It grabs our attention and makes us want to wait to see the rest of the story. Which might be a reason that one can have it on the wall and not tire of the image.

Thanks a lot for the clarification - I think the I was successful at what i was trying to do based on your comments and that is good feedback.

The other thing that I appreciate is your comments that are more calling into question if what I was trying to do was "appropriate" - or maybe ill conceived in the first place. Both are important to me.

I really enjoy making images that are a couple of things at once and a little complicated - not cluttered - complicated. For me it is a breath of fresh air after spending years shooting idiotically simple things for other people.

Thanks again for spending the time and thought process.

RB

rwboyer
10-20-2009, 07:16 PM
It was me. I wouldn't sy they are a an absolute waste of time. The only problem I seem to have is that out of the two clubs I belong to, I am one of two film shooters.

My only point was; that people who don't know much about the 6 X 6 format often don't like square photographs.

I especially like how in the OP's photograph, the woman's left leg mirrors the railing.

I am shy about pointing out specific intent regarding my own photos especially when it comes to things that I myself am not sure about the success of failure of but I just have to respond to the leg/line/railing thing...

In this particular comp I was struggling with balancing the whole shooting match in a square and trying to achieve some sort of equilibrium between symmetry and juxtaposition or contradictory line. I usually am a much more intuitive shooter but I was having an issue with what I was seeing vs what I wanted so here is what I did.

My best to have a natural line of the model - imagine a center line if you will mirror the diagonal of the railing, molding, and downward line of the stairs.

The line of of each of her legs - the part below the knees - mirror the diagonal in the molding below the window in the lower right of the composition and the number of diagonals from the stair treads being the same in the opposite direction.

RB

bowzart
10-21-2009, 01:10 AM
All well and good (what a dead metaphor that is!).

With respect to all that's been said, I can't help but think that your model looks like maybe she'd rather be doing something else.

Thomas Bertilsson
10-21-2009, 08:15 AM
Square is one choice. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. But if I have a camera that shoots a square ( = all my cameras except 35mm and 5x7) I aim for the print to be square for no particular reason.
For me the choice is more about how the pictures look on the wall, together. When I shoot with a square format, I try to make the square work.
Yet, if the square doesn't work, I don't mind cropping either.
Whatever the situation takes I'm willing to put up to make it work in the print.

BobNewYork
10-21-2009, 08:40 AM
In my opinion Thomas - you've nailed it! A photograph doesn't have to be anything...and by the same token it doesn't have to not be anything either. If the image works, firstly for the photographer and secondly for his or her audience...it works!

Bob H

markland
10-23-2009, 07:53 PM
I like the composition as such, and exposure is great, but it's not clear to me why she's on the stairs...in the middle of the day and in lingerie. While I don't mind the sentiment, it seems a bit out of place or rather the 'story' is off. She's beautiful, the shot is beautiful, but it says something close to 'why am I waiting?' which isn't too compelling for me.
-Mark

rwboyer
11-28-2009, 09:58 PM
I like the composition as such, and exposure is great, but it's not clear to me why she's on the stairs...in the middle of the day and in lingerie. While I don't mind the sentiment, it seems a bit out of place or rather the 'story' is off. She's beautiful, the shot is beautiful, but it says something close to 'why am I waiting?' which isn't too compelling for me.
-Mark

Mark,

Thanks for the feedback - any imaginary hints of a story that you would tell instead? Anyhow - I treated the whole thing as more of a still life than a portrait or journalistic image.

RB