Back Modifications (2)
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On strict vigil !

By Jas2
I spotted this Black and white ruffed Lemur on the rooftop and wanted to bring out the orange eyes while it stood there in strict vigil.

Hence brought out the orange eyes in mono.

Been the rooftop, the rooftop is at a slant, and is deliberate.

Tags: Lemur Wildlife and nature

Comments


mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2078 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2019 8:13AM
Hello again. Settings here look sensible, and you focused well. There's rather more sharpening on the lichen-covered twigs than I would like to see.

Two completely separate thoughts on opening this. First of all, selective colour, 'colour-popping', can be very effective in highlighting an important detail. But it can also look gimmicky, 'Look how clever I am', and I will admit that I would prefer to see this straight b&w. But that's personal taste, and you have done this very neatly. I would say however - hang on to the original, because you may find that the effect here palls with time!

Secondly, composition. When I saw the thumbnail I really could not make out what it was, it seemed to have no structure or subject. That's because you have cut into the arc of the tail. I suspect that it would make better visual sense in colour. Is this cropped from a larger picture? If so, I'd like to see it. It really does need the full tail in order to work.

As it stands, there is a good composition available from the face and those wonderful twigs. I would go for a much tighter crop.

Mod to follow...
Moira

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chase Plus
14 1.2k 259 England
1 Sep 2019 9:43AM
Really difficult to see what this was from the thumbs and it took me a few moments to work it out when I opened it.
Think Moira has the reason..the tail chopped in half.
Selective colouring has been done well, exposure is good. The sharpening halos are a bit of a distraction but easily remedied with the clone tool set to darken on a separate layer.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2078 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2019 10:07AM
I've now uploaded a second mod. My first crop is really more about the twigs, which I will admit I find far more interesting than the lemur. The second is more about the lemur, I guess, and uses your aspect ratio but puts the eye on the upper left third.

I find both of these much easier to 'read' than the original!
1 Sep 2019 4:24PM

Quote:Hello again. Settings here look sensible, and you focused well. There's rather more sharpening on the lichen-covered twigs than I would like to see.

Two completely separate thoughts on opening this. First of all, selective colour, 'colour-popping', can be very effective in highlighting an important detail. But it can also look gimmicky, 'Look how clever I am', and I will admit that I would prefer to see this straight b&w. But that's personal taste, and you have done this very neatly. I would say however - hang on to the original, because you may find that the effect here palls with time!

Secondly, composition. When I saw the thumbnail I really could not make out what it was, it seemed to have no structure or subject. That's because you have cut into the arc of the tail. I suspect that it would make better visual sense in colour. Is this cropped from a larger picture? If so, I'd like to see it. It really does need the full tail in order to work.

As it stands, there is a good composition available from the face and those wonderful twigs. I would go for a much tighter crop.

Mod to follow...
Moira



Hello Moira
Many thanks once again for your critique.
Can I ask a question though!
Why does part of the tail not work but less than half the body in your crop version work?
I am finding this difficult to understand?
Regards
Jas
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2019 6:20PM
Because the area of main interest is actually very small in the frame - the head and the eyes. Most of the left side is superfluous and I would crop even tighter than Moira. The picture is the face.

Not sure about colour popping on an animal shot. definitely not on if the intent is natural history or any kind of record. As an image to spur interest, it is Ok, but then back to a tight crop to emphasise just the face.

paul
1 Sep 2019 7:02PM

Quote:Because the area of main interest is actually very small in the frame - the head and the eyes. Most of the left side is superfluous and I would crop even tighter than Moira. The picture is the face.

Not sure about colour popping on an animal shot. definitely not on if the intent is natural history or any kind of record. As an image to spur interest, it is Ok, but then back to a tight crop to emphasise just the face.

paul



so its a similar concept in portraiture hen is it - either have the full body or just the face?
Jas
1 Sep 2019 7:10PM

Quote:Because the area of main interest is actually very small in the frame - the head and the eyes. Most of the left side is superfluous and I would crop even tighter than Moira. The picture is the face.

Not sure about colour popping on an animal shot. definitely not on if the intent is natural history or any kind of record. As an image to spur interest, it is Ok, but then back to a tight crop to emphasise just the face.

paul



The idea was not only the face but the whole body of the Lemur showing how its almost ready to pounce on any danger/ the whole posture signifies its readiness to avert or tackle any danger...that expression is incomplete by just cropping too tight to include just the face...hope you understand
Jas
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2078 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2019 9:18PM

Quote:Can I ask a question though!
Why does part of the tail not work but less than half the body in your crop version work?
I am finding this difficult to understand?



Quote:so its a similar concept in portraiture hen is it - either have the full body or just the face?
Jas



Quote:The idea was not only the face but the whole body of the Lemur showing how its almost ready to pounce on any danger/ the whole posture signifies its readiness to avert or tackle any danger...that expression is incomplete by just cropping too tight to include just the face...hope you understand
Jas


There are a number of points here. First of all, cut-offs are always awkward. Cut-off hands, feet, elbows... Cut-offs tend to look careless, accidental. Here you have actually cut the tail into two chunks, with the tip detached from the body.

Take note of the fact that both Janet and I found it difficult to recognize what the picture was of at first! The whole of the left half of the frame is a seemingly random collection of black and white lumps, I said in my first comment that this might be easier to 'read' in colour because the animal would at least be distinguishable from the background. In mono that distinction isn't clear.

The complete tail would supply a strong line. But those twigs are also strong lines, and I prefer to see the composition that is available from combining those lines with the head.

I hope that makes sense. Really it comes down to the problem that as uploaded, this is a very confusing image. So look to ways of simplifying, refining it.
Moira
dudler Plus
16 927 1516 England
1 Sep 2019 9:48PM
Rules are often a problem: no cut-off at all is a rule. But principles do work, and the principle is to avoid cut-off that is confusing, or which interrupts a flow. The flow of the lemur's tail, for instance, is beautiful, a lovely curve. Hacking straight lines through it is visually disturbing.

Does that help?

I think there may be additional confusion because the detail in the lemur's coat is subtle, tonally. The (less sharp) twigs on the right have benefitted from the same quite high level of sharpening in processing, and are higher contrast. Therefore, rather messy as they are, they've dragged interest into the right hand side of the frame.

So there's a lot of competition going on in the frame, visually, and it's not particularly organised. one of the aims of a composition is to help the viewer make sense of a scene, and simplifying usually helps. Lookign at the real thing, yo ucan move a bit to get extra data on what's before you: your viewers don't share this luxury, so need cues and assistance.
2 Sep 2019 12:24AM

Quote:
Quote:Can I ask a question though!
Why does part of the tail not work but less than half the body in your crop version work?
I am finding this difficult to understand?



Quote:so its a similar concept in portraiture hen is it - either have the full body or just the face?
Jas



Quote:The idea was not only the face but the whole body of the Lemur showing how its almost ready to pounce on any danger/ the whole posture signifies its readiness to avert or tackle any danger...that expression is incomplete by just cropping too tight to include just the face...hope you understand
Jas


There are a number of points here. First of all, cut-offs are always awkward. Cut-off hands, feet, elbows... Cut-offs tend to look careless, accidental. Here you have actually cut the tail into two chunks, with the tip detached from the body.

Take note of the fact that both Janet and I found it difficult to recognize what the picture was of at first! The whole of the left half of the frame is a seemingly random collection of black and white lumps, I said in my first comment that this might be easier to 'read' in colour because the animal would at least be distinguishable from the background. In mono that distinction isn't clear.

The complete tail would supply a strong line. But those twigs are also strong lines, and I prefer to see the composition that is available from combining those lines with the head.

I hope that makes sense. Really it comes down to the problem that as uploaded, this is a very confusing image. So look to ways of simplifying, refining it.
Moira



Many thanks Moira for your vital feedback. I understand where you are coming from now.

I will keep these things in mind. I do not have this level of thought process. Where do I learn these finer aspects of photography?

Regards
Jas
2 Sep 2019 12:31AM

Quote:Rules are often a problem: no cut-off at all is a rule. But principles do work, and the principle is to avoid cut-off that is confusing, or which interrupts a flow. The flow of the lemur's tail, for instance, is beautiful, a lovely curve. Hacking straight lines through it is visually disturbing.

Does that help?

I think there may be additional confusion because the detail in the lemur's coat is subtle, tonally. The (less sharp) twigs on the right have benefitted from the same quite high level of sharpening in processing, and are higher contrast. Therefore, rather messy as they are, they've dragged interest into the right hand side of the frame.

So there's a lot of competition going on in the frame, visually, and it's not particularly organised. one of the aims of a composition is to help the viewer make sense of a scene, and simplifying usually helps. Lookign at the real thing, yo ucan move a bit to get extra data on what's before you: your viewers don't share this luxury, so need cues and assistance.



Many thanks Dudler for such a beautiful explanation of what's not right in the picture and why its not that appealing.
What book on basics do's and don's have you read which I can benefit from?
Regards
Jas
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4032 Canada
2 Sep 2019 4:24AM
Can you upload the original colour version if you still have it? Click the modifications button, then select Upload.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2078 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2019 7:35AM

Quote:I will keep these things in mind. I do not have this level of thought process. Where do I learn these finer aspects of photography?

There is an excellent book that is primarily about composition, The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman. It explores among other things how people 'read' a composition, how the eye navigates round a picture, why one composition will work when another apparently similar composition doesn't work nearly as well.

You might find it a bit daunting at this stage. So I would suggest that a good way to start is by looking through the main gallery here carefully. Find pictures that work for you as compositions, and try to analyse why; find pictures that don't work for you and again try to sort out why.

Similarly, work back through the Critique Gallery, look at uploads where people have added cropped modifications and look at how the different crops interpret the original.

Remember that a digital photo is a small flat rectangle. Viewing it is totally different to seeing the scene in reality. So you need to 'arrange' lines and shapes within that rectangle so that they give the viewer the impression of what you are seeing in real life. You need to make it accessible to the viewer, and immediately interesting. That's what composition is about.
Moira
dudler Plus
16 927 1516 England
4 Sep 2019 4:56PM
My answwer is the same as Moira's - the Freeman book is excellent, and it is also very in depth. If you want a quick-and-dirty approach, try Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll. No-nonsense and slim, it's a good introduction all round.

If you can, hold onto the idea that everything is a bit provisional, a bit work in progress.

Keep shooting, and looking at the reactions that you get from others - certainly here, at EPZ, but among family and friends, maybe on other sites (though my impression is that there's less critical thought in most places).

Experiment, and it may be sensible to assume that whatever you do, there will always be some criticism, however good it is. Ditto however bad it is, there will be someone who likes it...

Keep shooting, keep posting, keep learning.
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2019 8:41PM
You don't need a book, you need your eyes. What looks right? Right to you may well be different to others, even to all. if you have achieved what you want, you don't need critique!

For me, the face is the interesting bit, and, in this pose, makes the strongest image. Instant impact matters. Frame filling matters - but both in different ways to different people..

In terms of this section, if everyone likes an image, you have cracked it. If no one likes it - delete! In most cases some will like aspects, some will not -as human nature dictates. I use the site to determine general appeal of an image, which adds strength to it's sales potential via libraries.

I also often despair at some images with votes and awards in the main gallery!

Paul

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