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  1. #11
    jp498's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Owls Head ME
    Multi Format
    I think of the beach as a big empty outdoor photo studio where you can do whatever your imagination wants. You could bring a reflector if you need additional light and it's not windy.

    Perhaps your photo is poor because it's weak in lines, composition, areas of light and dark. The Edward Weston photo linked had all that in a big way. Perhaps you need some shapes like putting the fish on a round dark plate that contrasts with the fish and sand, or set the fish on a dark rock or a bowie knife or someone's cleavage or tired worn hands. Wet the sand to make it dark.

  2. #12
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Victoria, Australia
    Multi Format
    Option 1: restrict focus and depth of field to object you wish as the central anchor; employ a tilt/shift lens to create a narrow focus 'peg' with shallow depth of field
    Option 2: use colour film that will differentiate tones and colours
    When everything comes up as grey, grey, grey, then is the time for a shift in thinking: subject, "anchor", colour film, maybe even cross-processed for effect.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    One beautiful image is worth
    a thousand hours of therapy.

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government
    to save the environment."
    .::Ansel Adams

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Medium Format
    Maybe it's not your kind of thing, but I often like colour film for this sort of thing.

    I had to look at your image for a bit before realising what it was. It's a nice photo, very nice in my opinion, and maybe this particular one suits B&W rather than colour. I do think that often though, scenes of nature deserve colour film, so much of the beauty and drama comes from the colour. If you're 100% into B&W though, far be it from me to discourage you.

  4. #14
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Multi Format

    Create Contrast!

    Same rule applies as everywhere else. If you want contrast in your negatives and the contrast is low in the scene, you must create it, and the only way to do that is to underexpose your film and then over-develop it.

    If there are no real black values in the scene, you will push the darkest values that DO exist, further toward normal shadow values by under-exposing.

    Then you stretch the tonality of the scene by over-developing, so that your mid-tone contrast doesn't suck, and your highlight intensity isn't weak.


    But then again, you may wish to focus on conveying the light that is there in a manner that is truthful to the scene, which could be equally effective.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Medium Format
    I took a second look at the image you are not pleased with and thought it would be helpful to see one that you like as well. Some times the place or time influences a shot and viewing it at another time you wonder why you ever took it to begin with. To me the one you are showing just doesn't work (I've got plenty of those too especially being somewhere I won't be able to return to - hey, it's just film). IMO the dark area at the top is not necessary and could be cropped, the fish and sand beside being of similar tone are very similar in texture and the light stick coming to the lower right corner is distracting. The sand could be lighter in printing with less exposure and contrast and burning the fish with more contrast than the sand to make it stand out and crop so the vertical branch doesn't show.

    My approach when finding a subject of interest would be to photograph it from different angles and use appropriate filters as well as no filter and perhaps with different lenses. If possible, spend time pre-visualizing what the finished print will look like. Once you have thoroughly covered your subject you can pick and choose the negatives best represent what you saw.


  6. #16
    Worker 11811's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Multi Format
    I made some test shots with different filters.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Test1NF.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	425.8 KB 
ID:	68842Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Test1R2.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	435.6 KB 
ID:	68844Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Test2NF.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	391.1 KB 
ID:	68845Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Test2Y2.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	419.0 KB 
ID:	68846
    Same roll of film: Legacy 400 + Diafine.
    Same location but, unfortunately couldn't do them all on the same day. They were done at the same time of day, though.
    Scanned them all from the negative using batch scan with same settings.
    Imported to Photoshop with same settings. No post processing except cropping and labeling.

    Seems like the results are much as you guys predicted. Similar effect between Y2 and R2.
    I think I like the red a little better.

    When it comes down to the end, I guess I'll have to size up the subject matter and decide what filter to use based on its color.
    Probably should get a green filter while I'm at it, eh?
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.



  7. #17
    Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Coquitlam, BC, Canada
    Even a slight change in composition can make a big difference.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fishy.jpg  

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