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Wierd tree for modification

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I would like to see what experienced Lightroom etc. users could make of this

Brand:Sony
Camera:Sony A100
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:24 Jun 2013 - 4:25 PM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/5.6
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/160sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Program AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Wierd tree for modification
Username:cjlar cjlar
Uploaded:2 Jul 2013 - 4:20 PM
Tags:Flowers & plants, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 101 (100% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7394 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom968 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jul 2013 - 4:52 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

It's potentially a good subject. You've photographed it straight on, with bits of background - that gives a fairly prosaic feel. I think my instinct would be to move in, look up, try to get a plain background, try to angle it for a more dynamic feel. Also to use a longer lens to isolate detail, there's just a bit too much detail here for me. But there are some strong lines and angles pulling against each other in the upper part of the tree - I'm seeing tortured arms and wings. So I'm thinking get rid of the foliage, maybe rotate, add some contrast, look for a square crop... perhaps look at changing the background... Nothing too far removed from reality, it's the realness of those textures that makes this interesting for me. I'll have a play with it and see what happens.
Moira

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7394 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom968 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jul 2013 - 5:17 PM

Mod uploaded. I've simply tried to replicate how I would want to take the subject - at an angle, from below, against a plain sky. So all I have done is paint out the foliage, rotate and crop, then adjust the light to give greater contrast. In particular I wanted a diagonal to rise from the bottom left corner, which gives a much more dynamic effect that standing straight.

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8752 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1578 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jul 2013 - 7:39 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

A very strange tree indeed, Colm, and thankyou for the opportunity to play with it.
Like Moira, I immediately wanted to isolate the tree, then give it an alternative background. I was going to try for a bit of an eerie look, but went for "fairly straightforward" instead.
I chose one of my sky backgrounds that wasn't too detailed, so as not to detract from the outline of the tree. This one has some gulls flying around, which I felt interacted with the tree. The birds seem curious and even a bit wary about its form. I wanted the clouds to be moving diagonally so that I could lean the tree into them.
Two modifications. The second one is simply a square crop of my first.
Pamela.

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cjlar
cjlar e2 Member 2cjlar vcard Ireland
2 Jul 2013 - 10:02 PM

Thanks very much Pamela and Moira, This is what I was hoping for. The seagulls bring Alfred Hitchcock to mind.
I will try a couple of angles and directions next week and upload for critique.
I am a bit confused about using a longer lens as I used an 18-70. I will try a 70-300 and stand in the next countySmile
Thanks again
CJ

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7394 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom968 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jul 2013 - 7:46 AM

Sorry, the Exif above hasn't picked up your lens details so I assumed you were using a 50mm lens. I should have said a longer focal length - 70mm would enable you to go in closer for the angles and details.
Moira

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