Evolution of a Railroad bridge.
This Bridge began it's life for the Rail Road, and now it evolved into the Rail to Trail routes that is open to ATV and motorbikes.
See the rest of last weeks photos Here
Another good week with quite a few intrepid photographers and some interesting, eye-catching images. Lets get to it, shall we?
JohnF's "EVOLUTION. . . not taught here" is the first image this week. The title/theme/photo really cracked me up. It's a nice architectural shot with a noteworthy effort to frame the composition with the trees. Nice. The church is slightly off-kilter, but given the theme and title, that works. John already mentioned the power lines. Enough said. A closer shot of the church, looking up, might have been another interesting interpretation.
John mentions not grasping the "transition" between the moment of the photo and what translates to the picture. That's an elusive bit of business. Learning to look through your camera's viewfinder (or at its screen) and seeing the eventual photo takes time to learn but pays off wonderful dividends. Keep working on that.
Statdawg's image is a beautiful still life of a statue. One of the notable things about this shot is that it's taken in front of a white, reflective surface but the subject is not dark (backlit). Really good exposure. I also like the interpretation of the theme, "war is always ready, the evolution is the cause and the clothes." It's a great composition and a good choice, I think, in the angle from which it was taken.
I was going to resist the temptation to discuss my own, but no one else has jumped in. I had high hopes for this shot, but I'm left disappointed. It's textbook rule-of-thirds, but somehow the composition falls flat. The yellow flowers are a bit over-exposed. Normally, a slightly fuzzy background is pleasing, but here it would have been better if I stopped the lens down for greater depth-of-field and, therefore, sharper focus. I used a polarizing filter for the dramatic blue sky, but I should have adjusted it so as not to be half-and-half.
I like this shot better, and I think it tells more of a story, but I'm still not to sure about it. I think it would be more successful, more dramatic, if I cropped it so the "road closed" sign disappears into the lower left margin of the frame. I chose to leave my bike running with the lights on. . . . I don't think that works. It leaves the viewer wondering, "Why did this idiot leave his bike running?" It is a dramatic photo and I like the colors.
MLS2GO contributed a nice shot, and one that fits the theme nicely. It and my "Zaca" picture are a bit similar--thematically--I think. I like the shot and admire the composition. Some thought was given to this picture. The horizon doesn't bisect the picture and it reveals the rule-of-thirds as well as the golden mean composition rules. There are, however, two notable concerns. One is that the subject is out of focus. I can't quite tell if it is focus or motion blur, but the lone sunflower is slightly unclear. The could be fixed by locking the focus on the subject (if out of focus) or increasing the shutter speed (if motion blur). The other concern is the picture's peculiar yellow-green cast. It makes me wonder if Bob's white balance is set for something other than sunlight. Be worth taking a look at. Having said all that, it's a nice picture and one that speaks to the theme well.
I like Bricciphoto's entry this week--an interesting shot to be sure. It's dramatically lit and a nicely arranged still-life. Can't say that he put this together or found it on a walk, but in either case it works well. I love the spider taking a ride; as he points out, this fits the theme in an interesting interpretation. The juxtaposition of the dead leaf with the soon-to-be-dead leaf is really thought-provoking. In addition. the total lack of reflection off of the water shows good attention to detail. The may have been accomplished with a polarizing filter, shade, or just luck of the sun's position. There is a slightly annoying flare in the upper left corner, but this could easily be photoshopped out. Really nice shot.
A beautiful image this week from boxergrrlie. An unexpected but solid interpretation of the theme, too. The first thing that strikes me is the angle from which it is taken; not your everyday snapshot--this is a photo preceded by some thought. It's also a picture that tells a story and a subject the flows from bottom to top (for me). It's nice, even lighting, too. It looks to me like a stock photo that might be used to illustrate a magazine article on piano lessons, child-rearing, or something like that. What's the thing in the upper left corner? A cell phone? A metronome? I might have moved that--if I had thought about it.
Once a sailor. . . . I like Paulbach's entry; it, too, is an unexpected interpretation of the theme (a theme which invites such surprises). It's very thoughtfully composed and the two men, one on and one off the boat, seem to invite the viewer to construct a story. What troubles me a bit is the exposure. The camera's light meter has exposed for the background, which is brightly lit--not an error but a computerized choice. Had I noticed this when I viewed the picture on the camera's screen, I may have shot it again and increased the exposure 2/3 or 1 f-stop, maybe only 1/3. Having said that, it is also notable how the exposure changes from the dark of the trees to the in-between of the boat to the brightness of the background which is interesting, too. I prefer the exposure of the boat to dominate the picture, but that's my subjective impression.
Voni gives us another thought-provoking shot this week. It's a compelling image because it's very familiar and speaks to such a volatile topic: pollution, fossil fuels, decay, urban infrastructure, etc. Neat image. The composition reveals some thought, including the sign and the fuel island superstructure as it does. The horizon is a bit off-kilter though. Were it more so, it might appear a purposeful choice; as it stands, it makes the view tilt his head. Another really interesting aspect of this shot, if you'll notice, is that the abandoned station's name is "Super Clean."
I like RandallIsland's entry. It leaves me with more questions than answers, though. I can't see a connection with the theme--though that may just be my thick-headedness. I also have no idea what that (tree?) is doing sloping down into a (well?). Presumably it's a pump of some kind. I want to know what the sign says on the building to the right because I can see part of it. It is, on the other hand, a great composition and I like that he's put his bike in the shot (we are, after all, BMW riders) and the way in which he's done so. It's also a remarkably monochromatic shot; the brightest spot in the photo (aside from the orange construction markers) is the muted blue of the partically obscured sign. Interesting shot to be sure.
Veg's entry this week is perhaps the most astonishing. This man is an artist. Catching the light of the sun's afternoon glow brings out the highlights in the toaster tank. And the juxtapositon of an airhead and an oilhead brings to the fore an excellent interpretation of the theme. The colors are a bit muted but the image is tack sharp with everything from foreground to background in focus. And while the horizon is not sloping it is noticeably bent. You might want to have your lens checked.
Oh, and charge your batteries for crying out loud.
Here's a nice submission from Paul Glaves. This is a snapshot, but one that works well, I think. It received a number of comments testifying to its success in interpreting the theme--one which any rider who's been around for a few years can appreciate. It tells a story to rider and non-rider alike. The exposure is good in spite of the bright background. Since I've mentioned polarizing filters this week, one would have come in hand to eliminate the reflections from the GPS screens. Although notable, these reflections in now way diminish this interesting photo's impact. Nice shot.
BeereTeam has given us another nice group of submissions (nice being a rather gross understatement). This guy's a photographer, that's for sure.
The picture above works for any number of reasons, but I'll try to point out a few. First, sometimes you can't, or don't want to, photograph the whole bike. This is an interesting shot. Also, sometimes you have to get on the ground. This is an excellent angle to highlight his chosen subject. It's powerful and dramatic, like the bike itself.
He sure lives near some beautiful scenery. I'm envious of that. This is a beautiful shot (MOA Foundation Cards?). Like two or three others, it's not strictly a bike shot, but a travel scene that includes the bike in an unusual or thoughtful way. Hi Buddy!
The colors in this photo are breathtaking. How BeerTeam pulls saturation like this out of his camera is beyond me. Now, I feel like a charlatan trying to criticize one of his photos, but I would say that the placement of the bike in this shot bothers me a little bit. This is nit-picky, but I would like to see it move back three feet, or all the way forward into the lower-left corner. But as I said, that's not only nit-picking, it's a subjective impression. Hard to paint this as right or wrong.
Another clearly thought-out composition, self-consciously so. Fun with mirrors. Many of us have taken a bike shot--one that inevitably includes the mirror--only to find some happy coincidence like the passenger's face or a bird or something. Here, BeerTeam has taken a moment to purposefully arrange such a shot giving us the very unusual perspective to two angles that couldn't normally exist in one photo. Imaginative and inventive.
I very much enjoyed this week's photos and I hope you all did as well. I enjoy offering this commentary and I encouarge others to chime in as well. I am but one voice in a forum of many thoughtful and skilled folks. You needn't be a photographer to voice an opinion, either. You need only to have an impression of a photo and be able to articulate it.
Next week's theme will be up tonight or early tomorrow. Watch for it.
Last edited by SNC1923; 10-04-2007 at 08:31 PM.
First, let me thank you for taking the time to review everyone's efforts. I enjoy seeing someone else's interpretation of the images as much I like to see everyone's pictures. It helps me learn about my own work and how it is perceived.
The item in the upper left of the picture is a toy car. I left it in to help emphasize the theme of evolution - in this case my 13 year old niece moving from childhood to adulthood. I tried to juxtapose the toy with the complex piece of music in front of her. I should have left more of it in so that it was obvious what it was.
The submission you critiqued gave me pause for being an evolution of our water uses. Water cooled motor, etc. Nothing more profound I'm afraid.
The latter I thought to include, but only in showing the differences in age and technology, the house age as a strong given for the setting. Old to new(er).
Focus or motion
It was motion. There was a 20 mile an hour wind with gusts to 35. Thanks for doing this!
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The evolution of our water uses. How did I miss that. Once you say it, it seems so obvious. I actually earn a living as an interpreter, but I'm not always good at interpreting things!
And I appreciate your thanks--everyone. What fun! Let's do it again!
Last edited by SNC1923; 10-05-2007 at 05:02 AM.
Echoing what Rebecca said, thanks for doing this Tom! ItÔÇÖs fun and interesting to see what others shoot.
I agree with all your comments on my image (thank you for them). My shot was found after my original concept failed to pan out. I just noticed the leaves and spider floating in a stream as I was desperately seeking a Plan B shot. I used a polarizer and I saw the reflection in the upper left hand corner, couldn't completely eliminate it, but if we were allowed to crop, I would have cropped it out of the frame. Adding to your comments, I would have removed the seed pod floating between the two leaves and the grass coming in from the lower right hand corner if I was shooting this for a more formal purpose. I left them there for fear of spooking the spider. I would have also cropped the shot much tighter. The light is filtered late afternoon (4:30-5:00-ish) ambient sunlight with no other filtration.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful analysis of the photos.
I am such an amateur but love learning.
You see things the casual observer never notices.
You're a great teacher!!
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Motion can be tricky to deal with. I'm a total amateur (at best!) at this fo-tog-ruf-ee stuff, but one area in which going digital has been a godsend is motion. I can remember how awful my film-shots of landing airplanes looked when I got the pictures back. Digital allows the lessons to be applied right away, and you get an instant-do-over in many cases if you want it.
One such case was last year at a Boxerworks Forum Rally. I stumbled out my tent one morning, and was almost hit in the face by a tiny worm swinging on an invisible silk. The worm was no more than half an inch in length, but looked very interesting so I had to get a picture. The swinging had an arc of maybe 8-9 inches, and I knew that the macro required being VERY close to the subject. But every few swings the worm would stop and just hang there for a very brief moment. I took several tries to catch the worm at just the right moment, but I was rewarded for my persistence:
So my advice is to just work with it and be patient, and use the forgiving nature of digital cameras to see if you can learn some good strategies for motion.
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