There's a nice spot out on Carmel Valley Road, right next door to the Safeway. Their home made granola is amazing. We usually try to stay out at the Carmel Valley Ranch. I haven't been there since they changed hands, but a room with a fireplace in the bedroom, a private deck and a hot tub isn't hard to take.
Marin County, CA
Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.
About my picture, ( which nobody has commented on) allow me. It's overexposed, and although it meets the subject, I could have framed it better, and possibly found a better subject. If I have any creativity and imagination, it was my own fault I didn't use it. The problem with this picture was the loose nut on the shutter button.
Last edited by Rapid_Roy; 11-06-2007 at 04:10 PM. Reason: added critique
19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.
I thought I might get a jump start on providing some feedback on this week's fine crop of photos. You still have until Wednesday to post some if you are hanging on to a masterpiece.
As in the past, I will try to comment on at least one photo from each photographer. I may not comment on your photo if I've commented on another or if it has received sufficient comment from others. If you still want some, drop me a PM or say so in this thread.
Voni's back with a fun photo this week. I think that a bonfire or a camp fire fits the theme of "pure and simple" well. I like the composition, too, and seeing the fire through those sitting around it. Because we only catch glimpses of the fire, the exposure is pretty close to right-on. Often, with automatic light meters, such stark contrasts in lighting (fire and night sky) result in over-exposure. Perhaps what works best in this photo is the silhouetted forms in the foreground. Those in the background are lit by the fire; those in the foreground have their outlines illuminated. It's a neat shot, like many "lighting" shots, one that conveys a mood, in this case, pleasant.
PGlaves' first submission this week I like on several counts. First, it fits the theme perfrectly. Second, it's motorcycle related (not required, but always a bonus). Now let's take this brilliance and apply it to the composition. What if this were taken from an angle looking up? Or perhaps from the right, looking down the balancing rails? Such consideration would make this interesting picture an artistic picture. Great interpretation, though.
PGlaves' second submission works differently than the picture above for precisely the reason that it is composed the way it is. Again, it fits the theme very well and the composition (rule of thirds? Anyone?) works here because the large, open sky emphasizes the vastness of the desert, a requisite component to the story of having gravity-fed water tanks. It's a simple and successful photo.
Statdawg brings us a very pretty image this week, not a joint, but what I like to call "a candle." It's beautifully lit and well composed. There is a bit of a stark shadow, but it's not dark at all. He also refers to his light meter. I want to know if that's the one in his camera or if he is using a handheld meter here; if so, was it reflective or incident metering? I ask because the wall behind the candle is grey--as is the candle to some degree. It is immensely difficult to photograph objects that are all white or all black. Camera's light meters are calibrated to 18% grey reflectance. If you give the camera something all white or black, it will try to make it grey. This shot isn't too bad, but you can see it. One way to try to solve this is to meter the scene with an incident light meter, which meters the light falling on the subject rather than the light reflecting off of the subject. All built-in meters, by definition, are reflective. Another tip is to overexpose the picture by a stop or so.
Having said all that, it's a nice still life and one that fits the theme perfectly.
Bobh41 chimes in this week with an interpretation. Pure and smiple? You bet. Nicely composed, too. The (propane?) tank adds tremendous interest to what would otherwise be a rather bland photo. Instead, it's compositionally rather interesting. I love the "pop" of the red knee patches, too. As someone who employees a gardner with a truckload of power mowers, this looks like a lot of work to me.
Grossjohann is back again this week with a handful of really nice submissions--good photographs and theme interpretations. I like the one above because of its composition and lighting. I like that this square subject occupies the lower half of the frame. How many of us would have shot this horizontally? I love the interplay of the light and shadows, too. I would have liked to see this taken from an angle to exclude the sign, but that may not have been possible. Who knows what's lurking just outside the frame?
As Rocketman already so eloquently pointed out, this photo really works because it is a study of intersecting planes. Pure and simple to be sure, and a really interesting composition. Architecture is always an interesting subject and a challenging one, to boot. GJ does a nice job with these.
Grossjohann's third submission is equally interesting to the one above, but this time because of the stark contrast of the two forms. Again, this works so well because of the way it has been composed. When going for stark vertical or horizontal lines, however, it is crucial that they are straight. The building tilts away slightly and this is noticeable because IT is the subject. A minor criticism of an otherwise very successful photo.
BMWDean is back with a submission that, frankly, had been rolling around in my head, too. This is very successful interpretation to our theme. I would have liked to have seen it closer, though the lens used may not have allowed that. The flash exposed the rondel perfectly, but the tank falls into dark underexposure. This results in very rich, royal blue colors that are actually quite pleasing. Pure and simple.
Outback UFO returns this week with more of his always interesting shots. I like this interpretation of the theme and that it's pretty much a study in light, the contrast of the inricate shadows in the silty dirt. This photo speaks volumes to anyone who rides off road.
I like this shot, too. Beautiful blue sky. Polarizing filter? It's also a picture that tells a story rather than a picture of a motorcycle. What a difference just a little compositional elan can make.
JohnF is back with a pretty successful interpretation of the theme this week. What I love about this photo is just that; what I don't like is it's thoughtless composition. Imagine this photo if it were shot just a bit tighter and [IMG]perfectly[/IMG] parallel to the plane of the plaque's surface. The two decorative bolts could anchor the lower corners. Or, as an alternative, takens from an extreme left angle. Either might have made this worthy subject compsitionally much more interesting.
Although we obviously can't read the plaque in this photo, it is much more compositionally interesting. The point of interest, the monument is placed in the "Golden Mean," and the motorcycle adds interest and tells a story. This is a nice companion shot to the one above.
Franze from Switzerland is back with a great interpretation this week. I'm thinking of having a "close-up" theme one of these weeks. This kind of photo is great because it divorces the subject from the rest of the world forcing the viewer to see it with fresh eyes, ones that often can't orient sufficiently to determine what the subject is.
I think it's a rivet and it appears to be anchored in fiberglass (though the color is near enough to human flesh to send a chill down my spine). It appears to be successfully lit with a flash, and I love the character of the head of the rivet. It's seen a lot of wear and tear and is hanging in there. Cool shot.
I would be less than honest if I were not to say, "I love this photo." Let me get this out of the way: It suffers from the same grayness that statdawg's did. Now, this is a poignant, touching, and revealing self-portrait. It's stark and nakedly honest. The triangle, symbolic of unity, recovery, and service, mirrors this three part composition. What works so well in this impressively simple image is the synergy between the three components: the symbolic triangle, the angel, and the key. Think of three, random objects: a spoon, a thimble, and a toothbrush. These would add up to nothing. RandallIsland's three exhibit a dynamism that tells an ongoing day-by-day story. Great stuff.
JDMetzger brings us another nice shot this week. This is a great still-life, one that fits the theme well. It's very well-lit and I love the ambience of the candles in the background. It's lit from beneath by I'm not sure what. This certainly indicates some forethought. The colors of the (beer?), the highlight in the glass, the water rivulet, all work together nicely. It has an unusually rich color. I would love to eliminate the vertical black pole emminating from the glass, but that may not have been possible. Really nice execution of our theme.
PAULBACH is back this week with a successful interpretation of the theme, yet another homage to BMW. Two things strike me about this shot. The first is the composition. Apparently, the engine is the subject, or at least the primary point of interest. This could have been composed a thousand different ways, and I think Paul has made a good choice. The second point is the lighting. Often, with on-camera flashes (I don't know how Paul lit this) a foreground such as this--bright, semi-reflective, light-colored--is blown out. Often photos like this recede into darkness. This photo has great exposure from front to rear. I would guess that the room is very well-lit or that Paul shot this at a higher ISO, 400 perhaps. But these are just guesses. Maybe he'll enlighten us. . . .
Lamble's back with a really interesting photo. We've had a lot of photos this week that are studies in light and this one is no exception. It's a very interesting image and plays well with its shadow. 500 bonus points for the charm of refering to a flashlight as a torch (I'm an anglophile, what are you going to do?).
The top of the coral is overexposed a bit; I could do without that. Of course, the white balance is way off, but whether that was purposeful or not, it works here. A couple of weeks ago Bluestune has some really impressive shots lit by a garage utility light. Now lamble with a torch and white paper. Lighting is everything, folks. "Learn it, know it, live it."
I like Tourunigo's submission this week. Imperfect though it is, I think it's a successful photo and a nice interpretation of the theme. Photos taken under extreme lighting conditions often exude this sort of character. And of course the compositional choice of focusing on the sax, rather than the saxophonist, lends an element of focued interest to this image. It's grainy, but that only adds to its charm. It's a bit motion-blurred, but under these circumstances, that seems to work. I'm bothered by the four points of bright light, not for their impact on the photo but that they indicate that this camera may have a few dead pixels. This is not uncommon and they only show up in dark, plain backgrounds such as this.
If you bought a BMW motorcycle in 2007, you have one of these lucite blocks. I tried taking a picture of mine against a white background with two flashes and umbrellas. It turned out terribly. Rebecca V grabbed this shot under available light and I think it turned out spectacularly. Simpler is better, no? It's a great close-up (anyone smelling a theme here?) of an ethereal subject. Well-executed, interesting, and fun. One minor detail that really jumps out to me is that you can see the rondels on both sides of the tank, making this look a bit like a giany, sophisticated X-ray.
To be continued. . . .
Of all the shots I've taken for the photo assignments, this was the one I set up most. Regarding my process; I took about 8-10 photos. The first was bland; a standard shot with the camera flash. From there I tried different room lighting without the flash - again, bland. The thought then occurred to grab my Xenon flashlight (a bright little thing that runs on lithium batteries - purchased to help spot bears in the far North). I tried different lighting; behind and above, behind and below, to the side, and then finally from below, through the glass top of the table. I had two of those, and this was the one I liked best. This was with a Canon "point and shoot" digital camera, no "vivid" on the camera; all the colors are as they appeared. The hardest part was not shaking, as I was not using any kind of tripod, the camera has no image stabilization, and I was kneeling on the floor with the flashlight in one hand and the camera in the other. Also, if you looked at the first photo and the last one (the one I submitted) you'll see the fluid level in the glass has dropped slightly.
I bought the micro light torch in England, that's probably why it's not a flashlight.
For the shot it was held firmly between my teeth. The auto white balance was "disabled", although I did do another version with it functioning and the result was a cool blue and less pleasing.
I'd welcome a suggestion on how to have compensated for the over exposure at the top of the coral and what effect this might have had on the rest of the image?
Unless I am way off, the "rivet" is actually a somewhat scarred hockey puck on the ice.
p.s. I grew up in North Dakota
It looks like a top for a drain or something with water flowing around it, IMO
19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.
You could have stopped down the aperature (or lowered the EV rating) but that would have darkened the rest of the picture.
Perhaps move the torch back a bit (you don't have false teeth by any chance?). Maybe diffuse the light with (more?) paper. It's doable, but a small point in an otherwise cool photo.
Thanks for the always fantastic comments. Your endurance is admirable.
I took a few minutes to photoshop this image to address the tilt. Since the building was about 200 yards away I was getting some natural “thinning” at the top of the building. I seeing the image in retrospect I absolutely agree with your comment.
The photoshoped image does look a bit strange on the far left of the building because the windows are starting to tilt in a bit. I experimented with more and less straightening…and a little color correction and focus.
Have you ever experimented with a telecentric lens? This theoretically straightens the light to avoid distortions like this, but most applications are for machine vision and measurement.
Last edited by grossjohann; 01-20-2008 at 03:01 AM. Reason: Image lost when thread moved to Photography Forum
I see your point about the natural receding of the building's lines. Although barely noticeable, the windows do creep in at the margin. Interesting. . . .