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JoeG

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Apr 1, 2010
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I'll be thankful for answers to either question:

1) I'm not sure which of these images I prefer. Does one seem better to you, and can you say why?

2) I'm still learning the camera, which is vastly more complicated than my old 70's Konica. I've blown the highlights on the lamp. How would you handle that?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

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back alley

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Feb 21, 2010
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i prefer the second image but i would lose the reflection in the top left corner.
i like the lighting best in the second image and there is more of a story there but with fewer details, nice and simple.
 

BBW

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Why don't you try taking the photo again. The first two worked out pretty well except you didn't quite keep the top of the lamp's finial. The lighting on the first worked out well, I think, and my only other suggestion would be to crop in from the right and see if you like it better without the curtains.

Once you get the exact image framed, you might want to try bracketing and/or metering with the spot meter option and then see which you like the best.

I think the image is very pleasing and love the wood grain and details. I do like seeing a bit more of the books, too.
 

JoeG

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Thanks. I see what you mean about the cropping, and I'll try a retake with spot meter and bracketing. Better get out the big tripod as well. I took this with the ten-dollar, eight-inch special I keep in my camera bag.
 

BBW

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Hey, you're not alone! My old tripod which was pretty handy was usurped quite a few years ago when I wasn't looking and is now functioning as something else in my husband's workshop.:rolleyes:

One of these days I have to get myself a new one.:wink:
 

LisaO

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I think first or second is best, I agree that I would get rid of the reflection or even crop it into a vertical for the second image. I would turn the lamp so the cord would be hidden behind it for the photograph. Also you cut off the top of the finial, I would like to see the top. If you shot RAW you could probably recover the top of the lamp base.
 

GaryCh

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Apr 14, 2010
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The second one just because of the composition follows the rule of thirds better than the other two.
I don't put much store in the rule of thirds. Whilst quite useful for landscapes it is formulaic, and anything formulaic becomes dull and predictable over time.

Perhaps the word 'rule' is too strong


I prefer the first. It has more detail and less distraction... particularly the lack of back wall (seen in second) and the way the books do not end but rather merge into the darkness stretching away from the lamp... this gives a sense of continuance to the books as has been given to the room.

The second has the distractions absent from the first. Although it brings us the beauty of the wooden tabletop it loses so much more in the composition and becomes an open and rambling scene.

The third is far too open for my tastes, the lamp draws my attention but it is hanging uncomfortably from the bottom of the frame. Ignoring the painful situation of the lamp I find myself looking at a rather beautiful room and wishing I could see into the negative space... if only to find a better shot : )

I'd rank them in the order presented.

1, 2 and then 3

Of course, this is all subjective.

Number 1 works best for me, and any changes I'd suggest would be subtle.

If I could do anything I would try raising or lowering the viewpoint very slightly... just to prevent the top of the shade being quite so straight. Might just be me but I find it distracting being so parallel to the top of the frame. I'd also try getting just a *little* more space above the lamp to get the finial in (As BBW suggested) and I believe this will make the image look a little less constrained too ... I'd just try not to add any partial elements when doings so though (lower frames of photographs etc) otherwise we're introducing the distractions which confuse image 2.


-Gary
 

JoeG

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Thanks for the excellent suggestions. I'll try again and post what I come up with tonight.

Just the little I've done here gives me some insight into the work you frequent commenters and PAD people put into this site. Not just time but talent and informed seeing. Thanks again.
 

Caroline

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Mar 4, 2010
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London
Joe - for me the second one is definitely my favourite shot - it has to do with the positioning of the lamp relative to the table top and the balance of light and dark, though as I am very much an "intuitive" photographer I can't ever really explain why something looks "right" in a logical way like others can!

The only other thing I'd suggest is taking a square crop of the scene to remove the light band to the far right, which personally I find a little distracting, plus most of the dark area to the left, to balance things up a bit even more in terms of dark and light, and show off more of the wood grain of the table. It also, to me, gives the shot more of the "feel" of a leather and wood study, I think by excluding any elements that don't really "belong".

Hope you don't mind that I've taken the liberty of downloading your shot and doing an example crop to show you the sort of thing I mean - again I'm better at this by demonstration than in words! (BTW I am very conscious that in doing this I am hosting your photo on my website, albeit "hidden" from the main menu - I am happy to remove it and mail it to you instead if you would prefer that, or if it is against forum etiquette to do this).

Like all photography it's a subjective decision as to where to put the crop, so you might well feel it would be better in a different place, but I think it's always worth experimenting with different aspect ratios even if you're not sure it will make much difference. I often find simply by changing from square to 4/3 or to panoramic in the camera I am able to "see" very different shots in the scene I'm trying to shoot and that sometimes leads to better or more creative pictures than I would otherwise have taken. Hope this helps anyway :smile:

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goldenlight

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I prefer the composition and tighter crop of No1 plus the warmer glow seems more "natural" from a tungsten light source. Can't do much about the burnt out highlight but does it matter? This is one situation where you might expect the contrast to be too great for the human eye too, and as such it appears quite natural. Not the most interesting of subjects, of course, but with No1 I think you've made a fine job. :smile:
 

JoeG

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Apr 1, 2010
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Bowling Green, Kentucky
Relit

Thanks to everyone, especially Caroline. I wish I'd seen your crop before I took another whack at that scene tonight. Two problems emerged: my tripod's a mini and only goes up to about four feet (Plainly, I need a new one), and that pesky lamp cord has a memory. It kept springing into the picture.

Anyway, here's what I came up with tonight. I'm prepared to try again tomorrow, though my wife thinks I'm certifiable.

Thanks again. I think I've learned something whether it shows here or not.

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Christilou

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Feb 25, 2010
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Camberley, Surrey
Joe's photo

Hi Joe, I'd like to say how much I have enjoyed watching you go through this process, it's been very helpful to me too! Looking forward to hearing more from you. Welcome to the Mad House :rofl:
 

Caroline

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London
Hi Joe, I'm glad you found my remarks helpful and I agree with BBW and goldenlight - the composition of your last shot is great and the exposure you've used (in pretty difficult lighting conditions) has really captured the beauty of the table and the character and colour of those lovely old books wonderfully :bravo-009:
 

cosinaphile

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certifiable is a prerequisite for participation in the forum. welcome .....

personally i feel quite at home too :biggrin:

btw your last image is the best of the bunch , nice imho
 
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