delpeoples 2012-06-22 16:54
Hello dear Michael
I hope you don't mind that I haven't used a Smiley here, I've run out and don't know when I'll next be back on TE. I promise to buy you a beer instead if I ever meet you in person.
Firstly, I think the photo is stunning. It's absolutely sharp, is luminous and as you say, has many of the traits of a great photo. The reflection is exquisite, despite your doubts and the subject itself is so charming and totally unlike anything I'd see in my own country. The Englishness of this image was obvious even in the thumbnail!
But I think you're right to raise the composition question. I always look at my photos and try to think of better ways they could have been composed.
I agree it was a good idea to try and use the bank of the canal as a lead-in for the photo. If that was your priority, it may have paid to step a little to the right and compose the shot so the line/curve of the canal ran straight out of the left-hand corner of the frame. If you want to get good perspective and empashise lines, it's almost obligatory to have the lines running directly out of the corners.
Having said that, if you did what I just suggested, you'd have cut the reflections of the marina even more. So I see your dilemma. Personally, I would have tried both compos, moving to the right for the perspective, the left for the reflections and also trying it both in vertical aswell as landscape format. Then seen how they all looked on the screen. But one thinkg TE has taught me is to look for the lines, whether they're solid objects or those created by the light or shadow. Often we ignore that at the time of shooting.
To me, the big black space in the left foreground is not really adding to the composition here. I would probably crop it out in this particular version of the photo.
It could be my tired (?) eyes, but I notice a slight incline in the photo - perhaps you took it after lunch? The marina looks to be sloping to the right.
So I've done a Workshop, which although is not that great, at least gives you an idea of what I'm talking about.
Anyway, I hope that helps and thank you for sharing this very beautiful photo with us.
Have a nice weekend
To delpeoples: Hi
You most definitely owe me a pint! Not for the lack of smiley but for the fact that you wrote an essay and I thought I was back at work!!!
I like what you have done with the workshop - I understand what you mean about the crop - it feels like it has a little more balance on the one you did and I like the burning in of the side of the house which adds something to it.
The incline wasnt due to alcohol! I think its a combination of the bend in the canal making it appear that way along with a little lens distortion - I was using a wide angle so that may be the reason.
As for the positioning - you are right a step to the right would have lost the reflection - a step to the left would have required underwater equipment! I was stood as close as I could to the edge and leaning out as far as I dared so I couldn't really deal with the issue of the bridge arch clipping the rooftop on the building - a bit annoyed about that one because the positioning limits any attempts at symmetry in the composition too.
It is a quintessentially English scene but whilst apparently tranquil its a dodgy place! About an hour after I took this some guy ambling along started to talk at me (not to me) and he explained how he had recently been released from prison after ten years for killing his wife and how it was nice to have someone to talk to! He followed me all the way back to my car! I'm afraid that's more of a quintessentially English experience these days! Dangerous hobby this photography lark!! Ha ha
Have a good weekend