Back Modifications (7)
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Enchanter 2

By Rose73
Hello,

This is a shot of the deck of the ‘Enchanter’ – the boat I posted a photo of earlier in the week. It was taken on the same day with my compact camera set to Auto.

I wasn’t sure what to concentrate on, so included the side of the hull and the curve of the bow as a diagonal in the frame.

I’ve also uploaded a B&W version as a modification, but feel the colour version may highlight the neglected condition of the boat slightly better - the chipped paintwork and exposed wood, the rusty bits, and also the green, algae stained ropes?

Are there any rules when it comes to photographing more abstract items? I know you said before about always consider patterns, texture and shapes. Apart from that?

I’ve been looking to see which ‘tags’ bring up the kind of images I want to look at for ideas on this subject matter.

I look forward to your comments and feedback…thanks. Smile


Tags: General Boats Decay Boats bits

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Comments


mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 10:35AM

Quote:Are there any rules when it comes to photographing more abstract items?


Quote:I’ve been looking to see which ‘tags’ bring up the kind of images I want to look at for ideas on this subject matter.

Thanks for being so clear with your questions!

Tags - for this sort of image, Specialist and abstract and Transport are probably your best bet; but it's a niche area... There are a number of people who really appreciate this type of take but the majority of members want their images more pictorial, easier to read. Nice views...

I don't think there are rules as such for abstract work, but as guidance, for an abstract effect always think in terms of lines and shapes, rather than subject matter, context or scale. Think about arranging lines in a frame so that they occupy it on their own terms, rather than just happening to be in the frame. Make good use of diagonals and blocks of contrasting colour.

On that basis you have done pretty well! I will add one more thing which is - consider a square crop. It works particularly well for abstracts for a particular reason. Landscape format directs the eye to explore horizontally left to right - we've been through that; portrait leads the eye upwards; but square doesn't dictate, it allows the eye to bounce around the frame freely. That reduces the importance of context and subject matter, makes it more about the lines.

I like what you have done here, there's the contrast of the two falling diagonals, and the upward sweep of the rope. I shall try a modification, again a horizontal flip for comparison (no boat name to get in the way of that here!) and maybe a tighter crop.

You haven't asked about camera technique, but this is overexposed on the bleached timber and the upper part of the thinner rope. If you have worked on the colour file, could we see the original as a modification please? It might be possible to retrieve more detail there.

You have moved away from auto since this was taken, so I won't comment further on the settings; just to say for the benefit of others looking in - this is specialist photography that needs control over settings. It's a bit like the washing machine, you don't use a General household wash setting for silk or wool...

Back soon I hope.
Moira
DaveRyder Plus
7 5.2k 9 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 10:39AM
I've used Nil Colour to pull the details and a second filter to add vary the inner/outer luminosity.
Finished off with a boarder.

I tried a B&W but didn't think it was as good.
loobylyn 8 5 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 10:52AM
Wow I love this picture...I'm not sure on rules etc but you obviously have a good eye...I do like to take "snap shots" of obscure things to.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 11:11AM
I've uploaded a mod now - horizontal flip and cropped to allow diagonals into bottom left and top right corners. A bit of cheating with Free transform to enable a true square composition...

I tried to get a bit more detail into the overexposed timer and rope but basically those areas are blown.
Moira
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
26 Mar 2021 11:16AM
Moira's provided a lot of good thoughts, and I'll make one general comment before answering your specific questions. I think you've got too many good things going on in the frame here. With anything where there's an overriding 'design' feel to the composition, you usually need to keep things fairly simple, so that the design is apparent. Here, the ropes, the side of the boat, the textures... I'd be inclined to select a smaller number of elements, and go closer, composing to get stark designs. I may try a cropped mod or two.

There aren't any special compositional rules for abstracts... Composition is composition, and when specific subject interest doesn't make it less important, it's the same for every subject.

Tags depend on how well people tag pictures. I'm awful, and tag minimally: some people throw in the kitchen sink every time. My feeling is that just looking around will serve you as well as a search, but please tell me if you find otherwise! (Different people organise their thoughts in varied ways: and the internet isn't a very disciplined place.Clickbait usually trumps accuracy.)
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 11:26AM
One further thought regarding finding similar work on the site - as well as using tags, look for members who regularly upload the sort of work that you are interested in and look at their portfolios. This guy uploads a lot of abstract work, if you look further back in his pf. (He's a bit preoccupied with spring blossom at the moment... )
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 11:36AM
Another portfolio to look at. In particular look at the lack of an obvious sense of scale for some of the architectural abstracts. That's what happens when lines are more important than subject matter or context.
26 Mar 2021 11:44AM
Thanks Moira for your feedback on this…that was VERY helpful.

I do like your square crop and flip! It a better format to look at and it focuses on the important elements. And again, the upward sweep of the diagonals by flipping the image looks better to the eye.

You were talking about the overexposure of the timber and thinner rope. Yes, I tried to reduce this with Elements but as you say, the highlights were pretty much blown.

I had bought the Lumix camera shortly before getting my DSLR, and hadn’t gotten around to reading the manual regarding taking it off Auto and inputting my own settings - very lazy of me! I then just kept it on Auto to take quick shots of anything that happened to interest me while out and about and then go back with the DSLR. Unfortunately, I had to uninstall the Lumix’s software and when it was reinstalled I’d lost the original files and only had the jpegs left – which is what I’ve tried to adjust here. I’ve learned to back up all files now - twice!!

I’m going to get into the habit of taking a set of bracketed exposures as one of you mentioned, and to check the histogram while still at the scene before moving on.

Thanks again for your feedback…and for the portfolios to check out. Cheers. Smile
26 Mar 2021 11:49AM

Quote:I've used Nil Colour to pull the details and a second filter to add vary the inner/outer luminosity.
Finished off with a boarder.

I tried a B&W but didn't think it was as good.



Hi Dave,
Thanks for your modification...I've still to try out Nik Colour to enhance, but it looks good! I also like your use of the border.
Cheers Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 11:50AM
Thanks for coming back so quickly!

The histogram is one of the most useful tools that we have, both when taking and when processing images. So far as the material that you have lost - put it down to experience, learn from it - but if you use your eyes, this sort of opportunity crops up everywhere. Lines, decay, textures, everywhere from town centres to country walks will provide material. So plenty of scope for practice! And you know enough to do it better next time. Wink
Moira
26 Mar 2021 11:51AM

Quote:Wow I love this picture...I'm not sure on rules etc but you obviously have a good eye...I do like to take "snap shots" of obscure things to.


Oh, thank you loobylyn for your compliment! Yes, obscure things are very interesting....Smile
26 Mar 2021 12:05PM

Quote: Tags depend on how well people tag pictures. I'm awful, and tag minimally: some people throw in the kitchen sink every time. My feeling is that just looking around will serve you as well as a search, but please tell me if you find otherwise! (Different people organise their thoughts in varied ways: and the internet isn't a very disciplined place.Clickbait usually trumps accuracy.)


Hi John,

I like the way you’ve split the points of interest into two separate images…I also particularly like the B&W of the mast with the ropes wound around it. That looks much more effective in B&W that the whole picture.

I suppose with regard to tags…I was looking at ways to cut down time searching through multiple images that I might not be interested in at that precise time. No patience!! Smile
26 Mar 2021 12:12PM

Quote: Lines, decay, textures, everywhere from town centres to country walks will provide material. So plenty of scope for practice!


Yes, I’m realizing that now. I used to think living in a small place was boring, but I’m actually very lucky because of the variety of subject matter there is on my doorstep! Smile
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4227 Canada
26 Mar 2021 1:14PM
Theres 4 or 5 shots in this if you get closer. Its said already, - pick one and get closer/zoom in or its too busy and becomes distracting.


W
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 761 England
26 Mar 2021 1:16PM
It's a wonderful and classic subject. Yes, mono works well though you may need to, and indeed can, push it harder. With mono the shapes and lines become more important so you need to think about limiting the amount of 'stuff' you get in frame. For example the bit of rope in the bottom left corner, it's not major nut the image looks neater without it so you can concentrate on the strong parts innthe scene.
Having said that, the colour is very attractive with all those subtle muted tones in comtrast to te fading red.

Any camera set to Auto wouldn't have got the exposure 'just right'. By that I don't mean switch to Manual but either take a reading excluding the side of the boat (which would be shadier even on a dull day as the deck is facing the sky directly and thus getting the most light) or use some negative exposure compensation for a darker image and retain highlights. In fact, the deck looks a decent mid-grey.

Colour balance looks cool (which may contribute to the decaying look) but I'd warm this a touch.

Tags, on here and in general, depend on the accuracy and willingness of the photographer to be as helpful as possible. You are allowed up to ten additional tags on top of the main tag on here and a suggestion list appears as you type. However, if you put a lot of keywords on your image that field is read when you upload the image. That's why you see some images here with 20 or 30 tags. Conversely, I've seen uploads where there are several words in one tag and unless someone can demonstrate otherwise is of no value for anyone searching.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2211 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 2:57PM
Hello again, Julie.

Searching for pictures often requires getting the search words just right. I tried "abstract close-up photos of old boats" on Google and was happy with THIS.

And HERE is an interesting article by photographer Michael Dragonetti on his abstracts of boat hulls, which I found by Googling for "how to photograph boat abstracts".

I like what you have done here, the lovely sweep of the boat and the ropes, and you have some interesting modifications to think about, too.

As to your question, try changing the word "rules" for "guidelines" and understand that once you have got to grips with compositional guidelines, you can choose to either use or break them.
Not only are there no rules, but there is no standard, universally accepted definition of an abstract.
So, abstract photography is not about abiding by the rules.
In fact, it’s the ideal opportunity to break the rules.

There are, however, key features to a good abstract, and you have already had some advice about these:- Form, Shapes, Angles, Lines, Curves, Textures, Patterns, Repetitions and Colour.

It takes a different way of looking at our world to perceive the abstract photography opportunities that surround us. The key is to emphasise something about a subject that others might otherwise not have noticed.

Pamela.

Quote:Theres 4 or 5 shots in this if you get closer. Its said already, - pick one and get closer/zoom in or its too busy and becomes distracting.


Hi Willie,

Yes, I can see what you mean about it being too ‘busy’… John’s modifications have highlighted this very well by focusing on specific elements of the picture which makes such a difference…Smile
Hi Keith,

I like your mono version…I wasn’t sure how dark I should make my B&W. Yours really stands out as dramatic and eye-catching.

Cropping off that piece of rope at the extreme bottom left corner also makes a difference too – as you say, it looks neater.
Thanks for your feedback Keith..Smile
Hi Pamela,

Yes, I’m very happy with that Google result as well! There are lots of nice images of ropes, chains etc. to study. Thank you.

I’ve bookmarked the article by Michael Dragonetti and will have a read at it later.

I like the modifications Moira, John and Keith have done…all food for thought! I’m learning every day…..


Quote: It takes a different way of looking at our world to perceive the abstract photography opportunities that surround us. The key is to emphasise something about a subject that others might otherwise not have noticed.


I like this! Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2021 6:54PM

Quote:I’m learning every day…..

The most satisfying thing that we can read!
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
26 Mar 2021 10:00PM
I've been away from my computer for several hours - what a conversation! Thank you, Julie.

A conversation, and learning. Perfect.

If you're not sure, try it, however extreme - and keep looking at it, and the less pushed version over a few days. That often helps decide.
26 Mar 2021 10:18PM
Thank you John...Smile
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 761 England
26 Mar 2021 10:29PM

Quote:I wasn’t sure how dark I should make my B&W

It's personal choice Julie, some prefer more darkness and contrast than others. All we can do is suggest different treatments that you may not have considered.
30 Mar 2021 4:22AM
Excellent Subject Matter-----------------------well done-----keep them coming!
30 Mar 2021 12:16PM
Thanks Ed...Smile

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