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Cloudscape

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This particular day there were some unusual cloud formations. I found this one particularly attractive. It was the first time that I have taken photos solely of clouds. What would a judge in a competition make of this kind of shot?

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 7D
Lens:Canon EFS 18-135mm IS
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:20 Jun 2012 - 1:31 PM
Focal Length:18mm
Aperture:f/16.0
Shutter Speed:1/200sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Center-weighted average
Flash:Off, Did not fire
Title:Cloudscape
Username:czech czech
Uploaded:25 Jun 2012 - 9:29 AM
Tags:Clouds, Landscape / travel
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jun 2012 - 9:48 AM

Unfortunately I cannot answer as a modern day judge. I did minimal judging about 30 years ago and from that point of view I feel sure that I would have considerd the upload to have minimal work input for an average output.

What I see its value as today is a stock picture for inserting into others where a decent sky is needed. With the brightness about I would have reduced the ISO down to 100 and made the necessary adjustment to shutter speed and/or aperture.

Sorry to be so negative.

FRank

Last Modified By Focus_Man at 25 Jun 2012 - 9:49 AM

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czech
czech  2 United Kingdom
25 Jun 2012 - 4:21 PM

Thanks for your frank (excuse pun) and useful feedback Frank

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8754 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1587 Constructive Critique Points
25 Jun 2012 - 7:36 PM

Good on you, well seen, Czech, you have captured a beautiful cirrus cloud formation. See it here, on the site of the Cloud Appreciation Society.
I fully understand what Frank is saying about using it as a background for another picture. However, there are some cloud enthusiasts out there, including me, and another is Tooth (Stephen), a member of the Critique Team. These people will appreciate what you have captured here.
Like many others, I have a file of cloud pictures that can be used to replace a sky in an image where an alternative would drastically improve the scene. That's usually where they stay until needed.
I noticed that your next upload is a larger view of the same clouds, but with a little chimney in the bottom right corner. The little chimney simply looks like a mistake, an intrusion into the cloud picture. To make something of the cloud image, you need far more of a building or even something like a tree within the frame. I feel that something like a simple tree would be quite sufficient so that the clouds get appreciated more, but that's a personal choice. Adding a tree is far more complicated than adding a building or buildings, as buildings have nice straight lines to work with.
In case you're not good at manipulations like that, think about this when shooting clouds in future. A bit of land makes all the difference, and you could also look for something of interest on that land. You don't need to include much land if you want your clouds to be the main element.
Pamela.



Click on the blue words to go to the links.

Last Modified By pamelajean at 25 Jun 2012 - 7:38 PM

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Jestertheclown
25 Jun 2012 - 9:39 PM

I also quite like this for what it is.
Like most of us, I've also got a collection of skies to be used as replacements but I rarely do so because I find that, for lots of reasons, the images never look right once I've made the change. If an image contains a grey overcast sky, for example, replacing it with one like this simply doesn't work.
So for that reason, most of my cloud shots are just that.

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czech
czech  2 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2012 - 2:58 PM

Thanks very much for the feedback guys. I included the chimney in the other shot to give it a bit of perspective, but I was also thinking that it could be considered to be a distraction. In future I'll consider including adding something more substantial, such as a tree. I'm not really into swopping skies in shots - I took the shot very much in the spirit of 'cloud appreciation'.

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Irishkate
Irishkate e2 Member 3Irishkate vcard United Kingdom73 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jun 2012 - 12:17 PM

Judging by what the judges at our
Camera club would probably say
I think they would expect a something else with the cloud.
An old house, a lone tree perhaps.
That's all it takes but a great sky is almost always a plus.
As already suggested keep a folder with skies for inclusion in other images.
Kate

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Tooth
Tooth  95772 forum posts Ireland227 Constructive Critique Points
2 Jul 2012 - 12:02 AM

Pamela has mentioned me as a "cloudie", and yes, this is my kind of shot. Personally I think it's lovely, but in reality it's a very rare cloud shot that can stand alone without any inclusion of land for foreground interest. It's not just for foreground interest, but to give a sense of scale and context. For that reason we're not talking "rule" of thirds here - very few of my cloudscapes fit in with this. I find that the more impressive the clouds the less land can be included - but it needs to be of some interest and give some context and/or sense of scale. As Pamela correctly points out above, it's not enough just to include something that looks as if it's in there by accident.

Another point to keep in mind about cloudscapes is that the clouds need to be treated as compositional elements in their own right, so you need to pay attention to the shapes , curves and lines and make sure they're in balance with each other and with the rest of the elements in the pic (eg following diagonals through from the land through the clouds).

Not trying to fish or blow my own trumpet, but you'll find a good few examples of the balance between cloudscape and land in my own PF...hope you find something useful there

Stephen

PS

just saw this


Quote: I'm not really into swopping skies in shots - I took the shot very much in the spirit of 'cloud appreciation'.

man after my own heart Smile ..


in which case, as Pamela says, you could do much worse than look at cloudappreciationsociety.org

Last Modified By Tooth at 2 Jul 2012 - 12:07 AM

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