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Arid Africa

By wideangler
This area of South East Kenya has seen rain since I was there, thank goodness, but it was a common site to see so many dead animals that even the vultures didn't touch them all - they had far too much to eat.

I thought this picture worked well with the mid point horizon and ignoring the 'thirds' rule. Any thoughts?

Tags: Photo journalism Kenya Landscape and travel Wildlife and nature Amboseli

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Comments


frz67 11 10 32 Italy
10 Oct 2010 1:04PM
Hi Neil,
what a beautiful place! It reminds me of some of Nick Brandt's pictures of Africa (just google his name in internet, if you don't know his work)
I don't see any problem with deliberately ignoring the ROT, although I'd check out how the impact would change with different crops (cropping most of the sky to enhance the impact of the skeleton in FG, or viceversa emphasize the dramatic sky, by cropping the FG).
The main issue with this picture is the lack of contrast which flatten the sky and makes the gnu's (or whatever they are) barely visible.
I would also suggest to convert it in B&W, since colors here are not so significant.

hope it helps
regards
francesco
wideangler 12 8 Wales
10 Oct 2010 1:40PM

Quote:Hi Neil,
what a beautiful place! It reminds me of some of Nick Brandt's pictures of Africa (just google his name in internet, if you don't know his work)
I don't see any problem with deliberately ignoring the ROT, although I'd check out how the impact would change with different crops (cropping most of the sky to enhance the impact of the skeleton in FG, or viceversa emphasize the dramatic sky, by cropping the FG).
The main issue with this picture is the lack of contrast which flatten the sky and makes the gnu's (or whatever they are) barely visible.
I would also suggest to convert it in B&W, since colors here are not so significant.

hope it helps
regards
francesco



Francesco, you're too right. I rarely ask myself the question b or w? and I should. It's an obvious improvement, many thanks

Neil
CathR 14 151 564 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2010 2:43PM
It's always worth experimenting with where the horizon is, Neil. I have offered you an alternative with the sky cropped to give a 2/3rds foreground. To me the shot tells a story about the aridness of the landscape, so it's all about the endless foreground. I think showing more of the foreground adds to the impact of the story.

I would like to see the skeleton playing more of a role to add impact to the story. Perhaps getting down a bit might have helped, so it is bigger in the frame.

But it's a good shot which really tells you how it is out there. I very much like Francesco's b and w treatment. The starkness of the b and w adds to the impact and the tree stands out brilliantly.

Best wishes

Catherine
rogerfry 15 543 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2010 3:37PM
Neil, I agree with both the sets of comments above, and I'm putting up a couple of suggested mods, the first of which is similar to CathR, but with slight addition to contrast in the foreground to try and bring up the skeleton....the second is a pano with the sky enhanced to give a different feel to the shot - more sunny, less arid !

(Francesco's mod would also crop into a lovely pano in black and white)

Roger
rogerfry 15 543 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2010 4:21PM
Neil, after looking at the mods side by side, I think my first effort has disguised the skeleton rather than enhance it !, and the sky on my pano attempt is too turquoise.

Probably, your original, with the sky cropped as per CathyR, best conveys the desolate feel.

At least I tried !

R
wideangler 12 8 Wales
10 Oct 2010 4:34PM

Quote:It's always worth experimenting with where the horizon is, Neil. I have offered you an alternative with the sky cropped to give a 2/3rds foreground. To me the shot tells a story about the aridness of the landscape, so it's all about the endless foreground. I think showing more of the foreground adds to the impact of the story.

I would like to see the skeleton playing more of a role to add impact to the story. Perhaps getting down a bit might have helped, so it is bigger in the frame.

But it's a good shot which really tells you how it is out there. I very much like Francesco's b and w treatment. The starkness of the b and w adds to the impact and the tree stands out brilliantly.

Best wishes

Catherine



I'll add a mod from the original this afternoon that tries to combine the advice received Catherine. I think what you have done is to demonstrate that the sky does distract from the story I hoped my picture would tell. Getting down to take the better picture is difficult - but you don't want to hear about my knees so I won't go on....

Thanks for your very helpful comments and mod. Neil
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4235 Canada
10 Oct 2010 5:39PM
Its a nice shot. Looks like you were perhaps trying to get too much into the frame, - and I cant blame you for that, - most of us would.

That foreground carcass really deserves a better placement, as it a critical part of conveying the sense of dryness.

It is lacking in contrast which is often the case I see with African shots with a very bright high sun.

Sometimes a photograph needs a helping hand, like moving the Zebras, and the carcass, - as in the mod.


Regards


Willie
wideangler 12 8 Wales
10 Oct 2010 5:47PM

Quote:Its a nice shot. Looks like you were perhaps trying to get too much into the frame, - and I cant blame you for that, - most of us would.

That foreground carcass really deserves a better placement, as it a critical part of conveying the sense of dryness.

It is lacking in contrast which is often the case I see with African shots with a very bright high sun.

Sometimes a photograph needs a helping hand, like moving the Zebras, and the carcass, - as in the mod.


Regards


Willie



The master at work! How on earth do you do that so well Willie? Brilliant. Neil.
wideangler 12 8 Wales
10 Oct 2010 5:52PM

Quote:Neil, after looking at the mods side by side, I think my first effort has disguised the skeleton rather than enhance it !, and the sky on my pano attempt is too turquoise.

Probably, your original, with the sky cropped as per CathyR, best conveys the desolate feel.

At least I tried !

R



Roger, you did try and I'm grateful. So much good advice to take on board. I should have got so much better by the time I next go to Africa...I hope I can get there again soon.

Neil
11 Oct 2010 7:32PM
very well captured

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