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One Man and the Sea

By billmyl
Just looking for any general comments on composition and technique. All will be gratefully received. Comments on sharpness would be particularly helpful.

Tags: Scotland North sea Landscape and travel Arbroath Seaton cliffs

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pablophotographer 9 1.7k 389
21 Apr 2015 9:32PM

Unfortunately my modification was too small to be uploaded, it consists of a vertical frame that contains the man and the sea but it uses the rock formation just above the man sketching a fictional jaw, an open mouth, a nostril and an orbicunalisoris (the part between upper lip and nostril). I tried various different frames but this was the most interesting I could find. You are right to believe that rules can't make a picture. I think you have attempted to frame the man within the frame made by the rock formation; but the question that needs to be a starting point would be ''what is my main subject''? ''The man and the sea'' seems to have been your answer but you seem to have forgot to apply the ''golden ratio'' 1.618 which describes the relationship of width and length. The man is too small within the picture and although his size works as a measurement of the size of the rock and the sea, the overall picture does not look engaging. I think the issue is a matter of proportions mainly and secondarily it is a matter of light direction and volume. I shall agree that the man is lit perfectly. most of his body is described by the light but I shall compare his total volume with the amount of light on the bottom foreground of the picture (which is coloured beige) attracts most of our attention. (Our eyes, examine first the lightened areas rather than the dark ones). Staying on the man studying at his clothing we can safely assume this is an impromptu image rather than a prepared one. His blue clothes seem to be close to the colour of the sea, as if he wanted to be camouflaged rather than distinguished in the picture.

I would explore the longest focal length of the lens, the 70mm, rather the 17mm to see if there could be a frame wth more interest. Do not fall for the notion ''aww it's landscape, let's go wide'', you need a strong theme and a subject that is depicted immediately by the viewer. Sizing up the subject in the frame correctly should be your priority.

banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4176 Canada
22 Apr 2015 3:33PM
Its a lovely shot Bill.

Sharpness may be very slightly over, - the vertical edges of the rocks are slightly jagged, and they respond well to a small amount of blur, effectively lowering sharpening.

I like the composition; man is small in comparison to nature, thats what it says to me.

I tried cropping to have the seam on a third, and also, mod3, lifted some shadow detail in the rock, - which I think looks quite nice.


billmyl Plus
7 171 1 Scotland
22 Apr 2015 4:13PM
Hi Willie,

Thanks for your comments and mods. I did think after uploading it was a bit oversharpened on some edges. Also I wondered about how much detail to show in the shadows. I think your mod has it spot on. The point of the image was exactly as you say.


paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2015 8:24PM
I rather like this. I woukd crop about half the foreground rocks off to force the eye more to the angler. Possibly the angker woukd be better a touch kargwr gut nit possible to get the frame


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