C/C Welcome: Sculpture

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by jloden, May 15, 2013.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I wanted to participate in the recent C/C threads so I looked back through my recent work and found this one from a couple weeks back. I'll post color and B&W versions for commentary:

    8708351973_6d2fdde5b7_c.
    SeriousCompacts Meetup - Grounds For Sculpture by jloden, on Flickr


    8709475108_2ffe0f10e4_c.
    SeriousCompacts Meetup - Grounds For Sculpture by jloden, on Flickr


    What interested me in the pic and was repeating shapes/patterns in the sculpture, and I was going for emphasizing them while framed inside the piece itself. As far as technical notes, this is with a UWA lens (7-14) so I was just about in the sculpture to take the shot.

    Looking back at it, I just feel like something is missing. I can't figure out if I should have gone for a longer lens farther away to compress or flatten it out, shot from a different angle, or what. I ended up with a somewhat interesting abstract, but I can't help feeling like it could have been a stronger composition.

    Comments, suggestions, feedback?
     
  2. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    This would be a great image for selective color, the BW version of the sculpture doesn't pop. The color version does, but the background distracts. Generally I find the blue sky is too saturated for the image to not distract, but the sculpture definetly has enough achromatic appeal with just a bit of yellow warmth from the light in the sculpture to withstand some good selective coloring. I'm not usually fond of that treatment, but this is a definite case for it, maybe with a litte desaturation if the yellow in the light is too much on the sculpture.

    Generally I find the comp good, the only part I don't love is the hot spot in the upper right, drags away from the natural vanishing point in the image as it spirals away from the view, and the lower lefthand part of the sculptur where the lines lead out of frame. Maybe just backing up a foot or two if it's not too distracting in the lower right.
     
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    First off, my initial thought is that I prefer the color to the b&w version, although that may be due to the fact that I'm a bit of a sucker for blue skies. While the blue sky could be seen as distracting, the grey sky of the b&w doesn't provide enough contrast from the metallic structure for my liking.

    I think I may be experiencing the same sort of vague impressions of this image that you are, Jay. I'm having a hard time putting my finger on what it is, but I'll give it a shot.

    I think the weakness of this image may be its very abstractness. While the shapes are quite interesting a real "focal point" is somehow missing -- my eye doesn't know what it is supposed to be looking at what with all the various curves and their concomitant shadows. While this sort of tight framing might work with an iconic structure this single image doesn't provide enough context of the sculpture that I can "order" the lines I'm seeing in my brain. If this were included as part of a set of images that provided some different views of the same structure (e.g. a triptych) it might be more effective.
     
  4. the_traveler

    the_traveler Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Sep 12, 2011
    Columbia, MD
    Lew Lorton
    I think that there is too much going on and figuring out what goes where doesn't lead to any coherent impression.
    I would suggest simplifying it by taking out some elements and changing the brightness of some others so that the complexity and inter-relationships are much more obvious.
    Then the complexity of the sculpture becomes more obvious.

    8708351973_6d2fdde5b7_cllll.
     
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Hmm, I think that might have hit on what's bugging me: it's not abstract *enough* to be solely about patterns and shapes, but *too* abstract to give it a larger context. Maybe that's why it doesn't feel quite right. Interesting thought at any rate.

    Jim - interesting on the selective color, that didn't even really occur to me but I might give that a try another time just for grins.
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks Lew, I like this.
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I like Lew's crop. By removing much of the sky, you diminish the distraction of the blue. I also see for the first time in this crop what looks like a face shape in the sculpture (facing left), which is accentuated since it is in the center of the crop. This "face" serves as the missing focal point.
     
  8. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    The blue sky in the original uncropped image works for me. It puts the sculpture in its environment as do the trees showing through the middle. I think outdoor sculptures such as this, with holes and windows, are intended for the viewer to see them in their environment and to show the viewer how the piece fits (or doesn't fit) its surroundings. The convolutions in the center of this sculpture frame and play with the trees and the sky at the same time and to photograph it from a distance would lose that interplay between the artwork and the environment. I think it becomes more confusing as a two dimensional image . Probably works better as intended -a sculpture - than as a photograph but the attempt to capture in a photograph what it is doing as a sculpture is succesful here.
     
  9. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I prefer the color, but in general I feel a bit disoriented (?) by how the patterns of different areas on the sculpture intersect one another as they recede. I wonder if the composition could have been improved by moving closer and changing perspective, keeping the dark silhouetted portion in the frame at camera right but perhaps giving a bit more separation between the distant elements.
     
  10. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I also like the tighter crop. I felt like there was just a bit too much of the random shapes, a bit distracting and hard to know what exactly you were supposed to look at. I would have thought the B&W version would work better, but I'm not sure why it didn't quite pop. Maybe lack of contrast with a wide range between the lights and darks?
     
  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I agree, I think the tighter crop is a major improvement.

    Also agreed on the B&W... I tried processing it that way hoping removing color from the equation would emphasize shapes & patterns over color but it didn't quite work. Perhaps the lack of contrast as you said, but again I agree it doesn't pop the way I'd like. Some extensive dodging and burning maybe might have helped, I'm not sure.