Perspective…The Sequel…

Themed 365 Project

I have been reading quite a bit lately on the concept of scene recognition and taking the time to properly plan out the shot that is in front of you. I need to do more of this. Case in point, you may remember this photo that generated over 10000 hits to my blog, well, the above photo was taken just minutes after that one and one in which I should have waited just a few minutes for the fishing boat to exit the scene. I was so jacked up about the lighting that I overlooked all of the elements seen through the viewfinder and although this shot is not bad, I think it could be even better had I been more aware of the fishing boat and waited for it to clear.

Do you find yourself doing the same thing? How do you approach planning a shot you might already have in your head? Do you survey the whole viewfinder or just fire away? Something to thing about during your next outing.

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18 thoughts on “Perspective…The Sequel…

  1. I agree, but then I don’t! I am nowhere near your skill level sport and although I am trying I think I will be dead before I reach it (Niether of which bother me much) But the times I have waited and had the shot totally blown away, has forced me into the mode of shoot first ask questions later. (This doesn’t seem to have the depth of yoy reference shot so I will assume it hasn’t been tonemapped etc. but why couldn’t you have waited a few minutes more and got the shot you now refer to. I reckon Plan like Hell but shoot like the blazes so you don’t miss something.
    You Mate Down under (Whom you seem to chide often)

    1. Ron, I don’t think we disagree often(maybe only with B+W) in fact I think we’re all in the same boat in terms of wanting to get better. For me, panning my viewfinder and being more cognizant of the details of a shot will help get me to the next level. I don’t look at my shots as better than anyone else’s, I only look at them as how could I have done it better.
      BTW, the referenced shot is not tonemapped at all, just pure lighting.

      1. I have come back and re-read your reply about three times, pondering a reply, I meant no insult by mentioing tonemapping (It just looked so even). Your work is one of my main corner stones to aim at. My best attempt at cherishing light in this way:

        http://danudins2009challenge.blogspot.com/2009/01/311-365-sunrise.html

        has in no way neared your standard but is a real triumph for me. The point of this is that I planned the shot for days beforehand, and took this shot just as a reference for when the sun rose above the horizon. (It was at least 40 minutes until the sun arose. Then the light was too harsh and overpowering, lacking what I was after.
        My question here is, how can you know enough to plan for this type of thing. I thought with my eye the sun rising looked great but in the camera/computer I could not compensate for the harsh light. For this reason I have turned into more of an opportunity snapper than the patient Sniper that this and the reference shot paint you to be. How many days did you plan this before taking the shot?

      2. Ron, no harm with the tonemapped comment…just letting you know of the processing:)
        My level of planning is simply looking at the weather the night before, waking up and checking the sky and off I go. If I’ve been to the location before I know whats there and hope the lighting is advantageous for good pictures. Clouds are important for great pictures, it added details and drama to any scene. When the light gets too harsh I look for shots in which I can place the sun to my right or left and add good lighting to the features of the landscape. This9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/boomer3297/4725122963/) is a decent example of what I’m talking about. And here’s(http://www.flickr.com/photos/boomer3297/4423293611/) another.
        Living near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean makes it easy, look north, up-beach or turn south towards down-beach.
        BTW, I really like that shot you linked to. The composition and scene is beautiful. My only thought would be the amount of noise in the picture, it’s a bit distracting. Maybe your iso was too high.
        Remember, I don’t take anything personal and happen to enjoy the banter…we’re here to help each other become better at the craft.

  2. I guess that is the true art… to see the picture you want to shoot and wait for it. Although, I’m with Ron in that I shoot while I can and then shoot again and again. Then again, my photos are never nearly as stellar as yours…

    If I had this photo and the fishing boat was bugging me, I might cheat and try to remove the boat via Photoshop.

    I just looked back at the “zillion hits” photo.. which deserves all the praise… but this one is better in some ways because of how the foreground frames the picture. The fishing boat doesn’t really ruin it, but tells the story of one person getting to enjoy the morning light. (Oh, that’s the other way to do with this… rationalize the flaw!)

    1. Judi, thanks for your comments…yes I like the framing better as well. I don’t know maybe I’m too much a perfectionist.

  3. I do the same thing all the time. Just get so excited about all the possibilities that I try to get it all. Then, realize when I get home that there are several good shots, but didn’t get “The Shot”. Have been trying to be patient and get that one great shot rather than a bunch of okay ones. Thanks for sharing.

  4. well Im not the patient one either buat sometimes that adds something extra to a photo that I did not think of in the first place

    this shot is great with perfect reflections and the fishingboat ads a little live-life to it so it does not disturb me taht much πŸ™‚

  5. patient is not for me but then I sometimes get pgotos I never thought of instead

    I like this one with perfect reflections and the fishingboat adds alittle live-life, if you understand what i mean, so it does not disturb me πŸ™‚

  6. You make a really good point, but unfortunately I am not that patient…but I am working at it. I love the foreground silhouettes and how it leads us to that calming and well lit water. The fishing boat adds a nice contrast to the empty boats! Beautiful in my eyes!

  7. Mike, it’s pretty obvious from this image and the prior one that you “see” and plan your compositions far more than most of us and when I see this gorgeous work I have to wonder why I don’t take more care as you’ve reminded us. I’d be lamenting about that fishing boat too, but it’s an incredible scene – too bad you couldn’t have gotten both of them as they are both worthy.

    That fishing boat does add interest because it is so different than the other three so it works I think – were it a pair of each type of boats, not so much.

    I love so much about this – the silhouetted framing with the trees and the gate / fence, more interest. Beautiful light and I particularly like a threesome that is two and one removed from the pair a bit (the sailboats). I’d have a hard time choosing between either work.

    Might just be me but I’m finding the varied lighter marble-like areas around your pictures quite distracting, The various colours and light levels make it a little busy I think and hard to see the outlines of your images. This is a strange one… could the black of the background also be too black – I feel like it’s making your pictures too dark, even those beautiful flowers. Your work is so well executed I’d hate to see it detracted from. Again, just my experience, doesn’t make it so! πŸ™‚

    Your landscapes are inspiring Mike.

    1. Pat, again thanks for the comments. You know Pat I guess I do see something when I look through the viewfinder but I feel like I don’t see enough. In this particular shot I absolutely saw the lighting and pounced on it. I don’t remember seeing and saying “wow” that’s perfect framing of the trees, etc. And I absolutely did not see the fishing boat. hence my comments in the post.
      So, I guess I’m just trying to take the time to see ALL elements within the frame. Again, part of my perfectionist personality.
      You know I’ve noticed the same distraction of the marbleized background in my last few shots, when I have the time I plan to change it if I find something I like.
      Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

  8. This is a gorgeous shot, Mike, and I have no qualms about zapping that fishing boat with photoshop. Content aware will do the trick.

  9. Me too with the learning and the banter, it’s all part of my style of life and I have never been shy at ribbing you or Jens (You know – Big Boy) because of the come backs. Thanks for the time spent on replies, we all appreciate it!

  10. I’m more than guilty of not planning a shot, probably because I rarely get out on my own to shoot, it’s usually in conjuction with a family excursion. Impatient companions don’t bode well for patient planning. I really like the framing on this and I’m not bothered by the fishing boat as I like the human element. I think the skill of seeing the whole scene is one that comes with practice and experience. It’s natural to incorporate new skills a little at a time, seeing the light, choosing the composition, setting the aperture or shutter speed to get a certain effect. Each element needs to become second nature so we’re not distracted by it – once we achieve that we’re more able to gather all the elements together when we press that shutter button.

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