Back Modifications (3)
Views 95 Unique 42 Award Shortlist   

The Fields of Selston

By MrTony
Hi all.

Thanks for all the previous feedback.
all information and critique is greatly apprieciated.

So last night I had bit of a local wander with the camera.
I managed to grab a few pictures of horses and some countryside.
And also this..

Now I like this image, and the only real editing I've done is a crop.
my question is does this image appeal? am I on the right track for countryside photography?

My aim was to show the lines of the fields in the back, also the field in the foreground with the evening light on it.
and whilst I have done this i feel something is 'missing'

Maybe too much sky?

all I know is for some unknown reason, it reminds me of a cornflake box.. maybe that's all inside my head only Smile

Thanks all.

Tags: Fields Landscape and travel Evening walks selston

Support ePz In 2021 - Buy 'Plus' Membership For Just £15/year


dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1774 England
27 Jun 2020 5:23PM
There are two things that may need a rethink here.

First, there's no real subject. The fields are partly obscured by the hedge, but you haven't gone close and focussed on the twigs, or moved so that the field is above the hedge, rather than behind it. This often happens with wide-angle views, as one tries to 'get everything in' - so everything is in, and not particular aspect is taking the spotlight. It can actually be easier to make good pictures with the restricted view of the long end of your zoom.

Second, there's a lot of essentially blank sky between the field and the clouds. Where there's a gap like that, and you have no way of filling or bridging it, decide where you want to make the picture, and be brutal in removing other areas.

I shall try a panoramic crop... And maybe monochrome.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 734 England
27 Jun 2020 5:52PM
I'm sure there is an image to be had somewhere in the location but this isn't it I'm afraid.

There's no real subject or anything to hold the interest. If you saw this, as a viewer, how long would you look at it?

The use of the hedge as foreground interest to give some idea of deoth and as a bottom frame is a good approach.
But after that, where does the eye go to and what is there to find?
So if there were some farm machinery for example (can't be too long before harvest) and/or a more interesting skythen that would make a real difference in engaging other people.

Horizons don't often look good hrough the centre of the image so while I'm not going to go on about the rule of thirds this image does illustrate why choosing more land is beneficial. You have to ask yourself what is the more important - if there was a spectacular mackerel sky sunset for examplehat would be good and those parts of the hedge silhouetted against it would be good.

However, even if the sky is bland with a little detail you can use a graduated neutral density filter to hold that detail. I'm sure this was stronger in real life, it's that the brain render that information whereas a digital sensor can't so needs help. Or take a second exposure just for the sky and blend the two together later.
There may be enough here so I'll try a mod.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 734 England
27 Jun 2020 6:05PM
In my mod I lightened the land area.
I created a graduated fill layer for the sky set to Overlay blending mode, and duplicated that for a stronger effect. A Curves adjustment wa used to tweak the brightness and contrast. Finally a crop from the bottom to make more of the sky that has been revealed.
27 Jun 2020 6:17PM
Thank you.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment, and upload mods.

I agree, my attempt of a landscape, is quite empty.

I think something I can take away from this is to start thinking about the image in the viewfinder, and not what my eyes see.
Also rule of thirds.
Being there at the time it was a beautiful evening, but the sky brings nothing to the image.

Thanks again for your time
I must get more practice, but having you guys giving opinions is a brilliant way to learn.


banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4200 Canada
27 Jun 2020 7:21PM
Time of day is critical for landscapes. Early, before say 9AM and later, after 7 PM depending on season.

Use the bracketing function in the camera using a tripod to get a sky exposure (darker sky) and a land exposure (brighter land) and combine in post processing.

I uploaded a mod with comments.


dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1774 England
27 Jun 2020 8:47PM
You've hit on a really important point there, Tony - look at what's in the viewfinder, and ignore what isn't. Standing in the evening sunshine, with the scent of the flowers in your nostrils and the breeze in your hair is a very different experience from seeing the image - it needs a positive act of self-discipline and imagination to envisage the second when you are in the middle of the first.

And seek out a subject: there's usually something that you can light on and (literally) focus on.

If you want a thoughtful and thorough book on composition, get hold of a copy of The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman. He's probably the best, most articulate and knowledgeable author in the bookshops today, and has written on most important topics.

But start with a few 'rules' (thirds, S-curves, leading lines) and apply them a few times (or a few dozen). And then break them, deliberately do other things.
pamelajean Plus
14 1.5k 2188 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2020 9:21PM
Hello, Tony, and welcome back to the Critique Gallery.

Thank you for asking questions and explaining the reasons for taking this shot. That helps a lot.
To be honest, the image doesn't appeal to me, but I am very hard to pleaseSmile.
I admire you for uploading a picture you are unsure about in order to receive some help in improving your technique.

You were shooting into the light, as we can see from the burnt out sky on the left of the frame. This is something to avoid, if possible, unless you want to use backlighting for a special effect. A good exposure is always going to be difficult to achieve if you have bright light in your frame. Either choose a different time of day or change your point of view.

Also, with that amount of bright sky in your frame, your camera will make the land area dark, and that will need some compensation at the time of shooting.

Looking at what you had to work with here, you could have reduced the amount of sky and concentrated more on the land. You could make a feature of that foreground shrub, focusing on it and letting the background blur a little. Alternatively, shoot through it and avoid it altogether. Find your subject. If there isn't one, maybe move on and see if you can find one along the way. Sometimes, just a lone tree can make all the difference to a scene like this.

HERE is an EPZ article about landscape photography for beginners which you might enjoy.

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.5k 2343 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2020 11:51AM
OK I'm late here, what is there left to say?

You have some good ideas, you are trying to capture the feel of the moment and that is a big part of what photography can do for us. This image will take you back there, the problem is that it may not work for others who were not there.

A very important lesson from this is that there is a big difference between that experience of being there - seeing the view in the round, 360 degrees; seeing light and clouds move, watching the breeze ripple the grass, feeling that breeze and sun on your face, hearing birds sing... and the separate experience of seeing a small, still, 2-D rectangle on a flat screen.

How to contrive an image that will give viewers the 'being there' feeling? You need to make it accessible, to invite them in to explore. You need to provide a way in, a route for the eye to follow, a focal point to come to rest on. This is really what composition is about.

Wide angle is not necessarily a good idea because it lacks intimacy. Here it increases that empty middle ground and pushes the distant view further away. Forget about trying to include everything, look for a structure of lines and shapes within the frame.

Here, in the absence of livestock or a hay bale or some other useful cliché, I reckon there was scope for using a longer focal length, and getting down lower and focusing on interesting lines in the foreground twigs. Getting down lower would have two further advantages. It would simplify the background and it would also lift the foreground stems well above the horizon, giving them more importance and emphasising the 'here' part of the image, where the viewer is. And using a longer focal length would bring the distant view closer.

Keep looking, you are working on the right lines and thinking about what you want to achieve.

And thanks for your feedback, it makes all the difference to how the Critique Gallery works!
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.5k 2343 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2020 5:11PM
By coincidence a nice example of how it is possible to concentrate on the foreground in a situation like this has just appeared here in the gallery. Low pov, longer focal length. Interesting for reference I think.
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
2 Jul 2020 8:59AM
As above, I'm afraid. There is nothing to focus on. A scene demanding a subject and the field idea needs significant tonal variations between crops or lighting, or both, to work.


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.