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Photography ConCrit Interested amateur photographers can post photos and receive constructive critiques from others. Please read the guidelines thread before posting any photos.

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Old Sep 21 2008, 12:53 PM   #1
Hans
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Default Hans 1: Grasses in backlight and normal

Since a few years I find myself accompanying my wife on trips to gardens and including gardens in our holiday trips. This results in may garden pictures just to record ideas and register plants but sometime I get the chance to do something different.

Last year we visited the private garden and nursery of a famous garden and landscape architect who specialises in grasses. And because of the day I had a chance at some backlight/blue skies pictures I present here.

As for the first two I especially want to know which one appeals to you best and why. But every criticism is welcome of course.

Nothin much technical can be said of these except that I had to wait a few minutes for mother nature to provide the amount of white (clouds) I wanted







This garden designer had a lovely garden of which the next two photographs but represent one aspect. I loved the way he sculpted the hedges at the end if this garden and the majority of points for composition are for him, not for me





OK, have at it!
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Old Sep 21 2008, 06:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

Nice images Hans!

I well have to look at them closer later, too much on my mind right now!
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Old Sep 21 2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

They're all nice, but the first two have too much sky, with the grass cut off so close to the bottom. The third one is much better in that respect, that you can tell the silhouette of the plant is the focus of the photo - the first two don't really seem to have a particular focus.

I like the first view of the garden better than the second - and Hans, it may not be your garden, but the composition of the photo is what YOU choose to put in it!
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Old Sep 21 2008, 10:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

Beautiful shots, Hans!

The first three are fantastical to me. (Am I the only one who sees horses in the clouds in the first one?) With a little imagination they could be forested landscapes on some faraway world. The garden is fabulous too. I love to see places like that. You did an excellent job of capturing the colors and shapes the gardener worked so hard to produce. to you both!
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Old Sep 22 2008, 03:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

@Brenda:
I could crop the second picture but the first has vertical lines that stop short a mere inch from the top, do you think that should be cropped topside too?
Aren't you afraid that the pictures will lose their balance if there will be more black than blue/white sky in the top half?

@Sandi:
Thank you. Must admit I don't see the horses.
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Old Sep 22 2008, 09:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

After reading Sandi's post I went back & could see the front of a horse in the second pic.

My fav. is the last one. I love the plant in the forefront.
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Old Sep 22 2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

It's interesting how different people see the same thing differently. The horses I see are in the first picture. The one I see in the center cloud is standing, head collected (tucked close to the neck) and I admit his legs are sort of lost in wispy swirls. The other is in the left clouds, leaping out of or over the heavy cloud that seems to be rising out of the ground.
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Old Sep 24 2008, 04:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

I guess I would have taken the picture with more of the grass showing in the first place, maybe from a lower angle so that there was more grass and less cloud, more grass in front of the clouds.
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Old Sep 24 2008, 10:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

I don't agree with those who say there should be more grass in the first shots. I think that with them being backlit, more grass would detract too much from the overall effect of the picture. Lay on your back in a grassy field and look at the sky. Unless you turn your head close to 90 degrees, you're not going to see much more grass than that.

But the first shot of the garden is too panoramic, too wide-screen. It needs more height. I feel like I want to see more of the trees, or get out of the car I'm in, forced to see the garden through too compressed of a view. If the shot was taken out the window of a car, I would include that window to help frame the picture.

I like the way the decorative grass's color explodes in the foreground in the second garden shot, without completely overpowering the background's hedge shaping, and the trees in the very rear repeat the almost disorderly feeling of the grass, as compared to the order and organization of the shaped hedges. This is my favorite of your group. I'd like to see other plants that I see in the first photo singled out in the same way, if possible. With the hedges to tie them together into a series, I think they would go together in a display piece for a large wall.
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Old Sep 25 2008, 01:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

Actually, I liked the first picture best of those two. Let's see if I can make sense trying to explain why. I think it is the contrast between the thicker grouping of grasses to the right and the sparser grouping on the left. And then the clouds being more on the left balances the thicker grouping of grasses. And I just find the shape of the clouds pleasing. I also liked the slant of the grasses. Those things combined in a very pleasing composition.
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Old Sep 26 2008, 01:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

I really like the third photo...especially if the bottom part was cropped off a bit... the dark weight of it drags the eye downward, and keeps you from enjoying the upward spreading form of the flowered grass, against the blue of the sky.
The garden photos are lovely but like Draco said...a bit to compressed, you needed more height to give a fuller garden scape feel to it and to balance it. The one with the decorative lavendar plant is very lovely, but I would have opened it up for more height, and let the the front roundish plant anchor the photo, with it's color and size.
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Old Sep 26 2008, 05:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: Grasses in backlight and normal (Hans 1)

I accept that the balance between light/dark - blue/black in the first pick could be better but I also liked the few very thing grass blades that now show and the fact that one is so clear that you can see every little hair. For that space around it was necessary.
Hence I went for a more "grass crowded" view in the second pic. It brought more contrast but also more black. So I think I agree with Draco on this.

Maelin, I have though os cropping that third picture and actually have done so, but the disadvantage of it was that you also lose the first branching of the first two little branches with mutulates the plant, I think. So I decided against it this time and left the relative heavier presence of the black in the bottom of the picture.

As for the garden pics. Yes, could do that and it would give some more air/height although that tree you see is very much uhm... is very much there And when I looked at the pics I found the tree too dominant when not cropped off. So I cropped it this way to force the attention to the hedges. I'll make a second version of both cropped according your advice. Sometimes you just have to look at things a little longer to see it "differently", thank you.
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Old Oct 23 2008, 10:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hans 1: Grasses in backlight and normal

In regards to the first pic.

I love the angle that you got on the grass to sky. I think that the dark silouhette against the clear sky enables the blue and the clouds to pop just that much more.

To me at least it's like sitting on my porch taking in the smells and sights of my backyard and flying free in my daydreams on a sunday.
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