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Taken on 2nd July on a visit to Blakeney Point, Norfolk. It was a beautiful day in a special place.
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Superb image love the composition with the sand path leading you into the beautifully coloured sea. What a great location for a nude shoot. Must find a model and get over there.
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I donot think that it bears any meaning. The composition also does not have a good story. If it is just a photo then you should give more emphasis on the blue sea and the blue sky. The grasses and the sand road should be given less emphasis so that the picture will be more attractive but i thing you have done just opposite.a polarizing filter u should use to give better emphasis on these as well as a different angle.
It certainly is a beautiful spot, Lesley and this is a good capture.
You have framed the shot well with the grasses. The sand path leads nicely into the pic and the colour of the sea is well saturated without being overpowering. You have captured the feel of the place well. Maybe a dog or a person would just have added that extra element to bring the shot a bit more to life.
Nice place and lovely colours that you've captured very well, especially for a less than perfect time of day. Classically composed too with the horizon nicely placed and sharp throughout. So why doesn't it work?
The overriding issue, for me at least, is the a lack of a central subject that the eye can rest on. The grasses have good texture and the sand nicely captures the light, the sea is a wonderful colour and the sky a perfect contrast. But nowhere is there a focal point that it all leads up to.
A couple, even tiny in the frame, walking alone along the beach could have told a story of togetherness, love, contentment. A child running into view around the grasses chasing a beach ball would have given us a story of childhood holidays, of fun and laughter. And of course there could have been boats, lighthouses, shacks etc. But a scene empty of a focal point rather falls flat.
There are some good suggestions already, but let me just add my opinion.
Having been to the Norfolk coast for my holiday myself, I can understand that you wanted to capture the beauty of those long grasses, combined with the sand and the sky. However, you had a few disadvantages when and where you took this shot. First of all, there was no interest in the sky whatsoever - only a blank, blue sky, with nothing in it. This would have made me reduce the area that the sky took up in the image as much as possible. But by including a lower-lying area in your shot, you made it impossible to reduce the area the sky took up. So I would have been inclined to compose it differently. Also, the sand you did include, is a path, by the looks of it. Lots of footprints of the many people who passed by here. What usually works better, is to find a spot where only one or two people passed, leaving a clear trail. Or finding a spot where only the wind touched the sand, which usually results in beautiful patterns. I would have given the long grasses more prominence in the composition, and the sky less.
Also, your picture is a bit bland, I thought. So for my mod, I increased contrast and saturation, and played around a bit with the midtones.
I agree with the comments above that in this particular composition you could have livened the image up by including a person or an animal.
Speaking of animals, did you get to see any seals while you were there?
Anyway, a nice memory of a pleasant day out, but if you want others to enjoy the image as well, it would need some work, or preferably even re-shooting.
there is not much wrong here,
Blakeney point is a beautiful and special place, i have stood in that very spot, you have framed the foreground well with the grasses, created a lead in with the sand and shadow areas through to the blue bands of the sea and sky, the exposure is good and it was a beautiful day.
there are couple of things you could do to improve this, like cloning out the head popping up behind the dune and i think a mono conversion may work better than colour but thats just a personal thing.
the main thing with this and any other landscape for that matter is if it is to rise into the next level, it has to have drama. unfortunately, the weather in this picture is lovely but not as photogenic as say the golden or pink tones of sunrise in the sky or a enormous bank of storm cloud or even whispy cirrus cloud formations.
its a lovely shot that only nature could have improved by throwing some special conditions at you. serious landscapers learn to read the weather and often prefer to go out shooting when conditions are likey to develop in this way and seldom go out in blue sky weather. you did the best with what you had.
all the best,
Thanks for the comments which are helpful.
I do have a dilemma though, as to get this photo I had only 10 mins before catching the boat home, which was dictated by the tide! My dilemma is the distance between a staged perfect landscape photo and one that reflects the moment as it was. I had no control over the weather, the perfect composition or the time of day. I just captured the moment, however imperfect. Where is the place for this in current 'perfect' photography?
Is there a middle ground?
If the image captures the moment and the memory for you, then it sounds like it does just what you want it to do. There's nothing wrong with that and if you can frame it and enjoy it day after day, there's every success. But if you want to take 'perfect' landscape photographs, ones that others can enjoy just for themselves, then I'm afraid it's going to take a lot more than 10 minutes.
With no control over the weather, you have to have the patience, or occasionally the luck, to find the right conditions. And that can mean waiting for the right time on the right day in the right season, to catch what might be a fleeting moment.
If you are really serious, check out the lightandland web site for courses with the likes of Charlie Waite, Eddie Ephraums and Joe Cornish. And do consider popping along to a local camera club- the chances are they have several highly accomplished landscape photographers.
Quote: My dilemma is the distance between a staged perfect landscape photo and one that reflects the moment as it was. I had no control over the weather, the perfect composition or the time of day. I just captured the moment, however imperfect. Where is the place for this in current 'perfect' photography? Is there a middle ground?
I can see your dilemma, but I don't think it necessarily has to be a dilemma. First of all, I don't agree with your use of the word 'staged' - take my own suggestions above, for instance, they're mostly composition suggestions, with a few post processing ideas as a bonus. Nothing about my suggestions has anything to do with a landscape being 'staged' - it's just a matter of choosing your subject and your composition carefully. Even the suggestion of including someone in your composition simply means that you try to capture a moment when someone walks by. You're still shooting the landscape as it is, you're not changing it or staging anything. But showing the landscape as it is, doesn't mean any part of the image has to be dull or bland or whatever, you can make your image interesting by thinking hard about what you're doing when you're taking the shot, and having a good look at it in post processing and giving it some tweaks that make it just that more attractive to look at.
And I think that's the middle ground that you mention - no staging, no heavy manipulation, just a careful composition of (a part of) what you saw when you were there, and making sure that you process it to make an image that's as pleasing as possible.
If you're thinking that you should just take your shot without going to any lengths to show an interesting angle or composition and without making any minor tweaks that just make it look good, then I suspect that you're only interested in taking record shots - showing how something is, just for the record, and nothing more. If that has your preference, fine, but then I would mention that in the description if I were you, and we would take it into account in critiqueing your image. If you don't want to take just record shots, you're going to get suggestions like the ones above, because we will then assume that you want to make your image as attractive as possible.
There is a lot of good advice in the above comments, but for me...it is just composition, closer to the ground... I would have moved to the right a little more, to have shown how the path runs down to the foreshore, perhaps I would have got a breaking wave in that short of shot, and the excessive bush on the left would have been caught at a different POV...
Just my imagination taking a shot without the camera, I just love the Internet.
Thank you Conrad and Malcolm.
I have been taking a photography course for a while, which has been excellent but I need to start thinking more about composition and coming out of my comfort zone. Your comments have really given me something positive to consider. I do love the N. Norfolk coast so I am not short of opportunity. And yes the seals were fabulous too. It was a lovely day out.
Well, that's the main thing - you enjoyed yourself. The rest will come, too...
It's great that you are taking a course, but from what you write it's not addressing every aspect of what you already recognise you want to achieve. To stretch your comfort zone you obviously need to experiment, but more importantly you need to be able to discuss why you have experimented in a particular way, whether and why what you have achieved is good or bad, and how to improve it.
If you have an open studios week where you live, seek out the photographers and talk to them- they'll love talking to another photographer and be completely relaxed in their studio or home. Find out if you have a convenient local club and pop along- again they'll love looking at fresh work from 'new blood' and almost certainly will be more than willing to help you.
It's amazing how quickly talking to other photographers and hearing them express how they see a picture allows you to understand what it is about a picture that niggles you- how many times in critique here have you seen someone say now you point xxx out it really niggles me too
Oh, and above everything, just enjoy your photography- you already have some nice work in your portfolio, but there's always more to learn!
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