Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Battling Mediocrity

Do you ever have a photo that isn't that good, but you keep coming back to it for some reason? This is one such image. I don't know why, but I regularly get sucked into a rescue attempt with this photo. I know it's not destined for greatness, but I try to convince myself that I can find it's hidden potential and bring it out.

I have tried cropping it in every way imaginable. I have attempted most of the funky special effects that are described in "The Photoshop CS2 Book" by Scott Kelby. I have tried both black and white, and duotone. Nothing seems to work. So why do I keep coming back to this mediocre picture?

The way you see the photo here is directly from the camera. I said that I tried every trick in the book, but the results were always disastrous. Any suggestions? I need the strength to throw this photo out if it needs to be junked, so don't hesitate to encourage me to send it back from whence it came. Is there anybody else that has had to fight this battle with mediocrity?

Canon PowerShot S2 IS, 72mm, f/3.5, 1/60, ISO 50


Blogger Brent Vermilyea said...

I really don't have any suggestions for you. But I find myself in the same boat as you with certain images. You know, those images that mean more to the photographer than to the viewers.

Crave honest feedback? Well, there's nothing here for me to grab onto; I don't know where to look. The blurry plant in the foreground distracts some but I think there needs to be a dominant subject here: a bird, an animal, etc. You did capture some crazy foliage, though. It's much thicker than over here in Flagstaff, AZ. Good textures. Was this taken in harsh light? If so, you might want to shoot this place with more forgiving light. Kind regards, Brent

3:43 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger Stardog Champion said...

Well, first a little caveat: if you've seen my pictures, you'll know I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, so you'll probably have to take what I say with a grain of salt.

To me, there really isn't much you can do with this picture. Like Brent said, the blurry branc in the foreground is quite distracting. Perhaps if you'd somehow moved it out of the way before you shot it, and then framed it differently it would have been better.

That's not to say this shot is bad; it does have rich colours and a nice theme. And who's to say that's a bad thing?

4:55 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

It is a pleasing picture, but I see what you mean. I think the biggest problem is the branch in the foreground. I have pictures like this; basically pleasing but lacking something, like a focal point, or they have a distraction that cannot be fixed.

5:39 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger Azhar said...

Like others : the branch in the foregrounds bugs.Thats it otherwise I like the shot with the lighting and crispness.Maybe the dark tree is the background is a but too dark.Anyways GREAT SHOT!
I keep coming back to shots but just keep working on them over and over till I get something good.

10:04 PM, May 18, 2006  
Blogger Kris said...

I think most of us have the same experience. Some scenes are appealing to us at the time of the shot, but sometimes the output may not expressed the same .

In this case, since you dont mind playing with PS, I suggest you try layering or merging :)

12:09 AM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Ana said...

beautiful lighting on this shot. it's a wonderful shot, well lit and the different textures and greens is excellent.

5:31 AM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous unklrbrt said...

Hi timmybomb,

I was thinking about what you said about this photo. The best part of you blog is that you share your thought processes1

I have had many photos like this - I mean, ones that I keept going back to even thoughthey were overall poor.

This is what I think the reason is: We missed a -WOW!!!- photo by not paying enough attention to detail when we pushed the shutter release. The POTENTIAL is evident in the actual, but poor, photo that we ended up with. The chances of getting back to the same spot, with the same light, the same colours and the same subject matter, arranged in the same way are VERY VERY SLIM. So we try (desperately) to make up for the 'blunder' (not wanting to admit our foolishness) by attempting to salvage the image. What we should probably do is recognizing the potential of the photo - get our buts back to the location ASAP (keeping in mind when the same lighting might occur and realizing that it is very possible we will never be able to happen on exactly the same conditions). It's easy to say, "just push the DELETE button and move on". But I know that it's not easy - too much room on the hard drive or DVD. If you need some help, I can come over and help you ruthlessly delete some of those "time-waster" that were almost "WOWS".


5:45 PM, May 19, 2006  
Blogger siege2050 said...

I like this one. I like the angle of the shot and the lighting. Did you climb the tree a little?

6:47 PM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous deji77 said...

honestly as unklrbrt said even when the pictures are lacking something interesting, you still manage to pull us into the image with your words.
nothing much to say about the image though, its just there.

1:08 PM, May 20, 2006  
Blogger Fraser said...

Nature's greens are always appealing to me. I like the way the mossy limb streches out like some psuedopod surrounded by the unaware pine.

5:31 AM, May 21, 2006  

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