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breeden
ursulav

52+ Photos: Week 3

Hard on the heels of yesterday...I have a couple this week, and a couple of thoughts, such as they are! (Critique is welcome, but be kind--I'm still new at this!)

angus2

Angus the cat, taken in Camera+ and filtered therein. Turns out if you blur around the edges, for whatever reason, it tells the brain that whatever you are looking at is very very small. (Well, my brain. Your brain may be different.)  So Angus looks like he ought to be in a dollhouse or something. Interesting to know.

sammyflail

Sammy the cat is acting Very Dignified here.* Taken in Camera+ and given a bit of filtering. I would have liked to be able to ditch the dresser in the background, but alas, Sammy's wiggling did not allow for much posing (and if I'd tried to change the angle, she would have sat up and assumed it was petting time!) I think it'd probably work better if the bedspread continued on the other side, say.

Still, y'know, wiggly cat photo!

whalebarfsml

Why I Should Not Be Left Alone At World Market. (After some cropping, this is actually one of the better composed photos I've taken this week. Probably that says something profound about me.) Would have been nice to find a way to work the one sign on the right in--it said "Water Closet"--but I could only fiddle with stuff on the shelf so much without enraging the staff.

*Sammy is probably the least mentioned of our felines, because frankly she doesn't have a lot of personality beyond "Pet me. Pet me now. Pet me more. Pet me. Pet me. Pet me."

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KITTIESSSSSSSSSSSS

The vomitous ceramic whale is an instant classic.

Actually that dresser confirms you actually shot this in colour, otherwise i would have taken it for a black and white photo. Is that the same coverlet in both photos?

I like the effect of the two together, and how the filter on Sammy's picture makes it look like a frame from a partially colorized movie.

I am not a scientist, but...

Iirc, there is Science behind the blurring-around-the-edges thing! Specifically, the science of depth of field.

...there is a lot of math in that article. ;S Trying to put what I understand from my long-ago reading about cameras into simpler terms (bearing in mind that I've never taken a physics class...): Depth of field is -- if you focused an analog camera* on something, tied a string to the tripod, pulled the string straight out in front of the camera, and tied one knot at the point where the string started looking sharp/in focus and another knot at the point where it went out of focus again, your depth of field would be the distance between the two knots. It's how far there is from the nearest point where stuff isn't visibly blurred, to the farthest point ditto.

*Digital cameras are less useful for this explanation because they tend to have some auto-focus tech going on.

In landscape photography, normal depth of field is near infinity. In portrait photography, it's still generally several feet or yards. But in close-up photography of Small Things, it measures in the inches or less. The result is, that our brains are trained to interpret "this Thing is in focus but the stuff right near it is blurry" as "this is a very small thing that was photographed with an extreme zoom lens". So... that's why you can easily trick your brain into seeing photo!Angus as very small with a simple blur filter. SCIENCE. :D

Re: I am not a scientist, but...

SCIENCE!

Re: I am not a scientist, but...

This is why there is a photo editing technique called tilt-shift (there are even with websites that will do all the work for you except picking a photo).

It makes for some freaky-cool photos.


http://visualphotoguide.com/tilt-shift-photoshop-tutorial-how-to-make-fake-miniature-scenes/

I'm noticing a pattern in your compositions. (I first noticed it in the Thrush-Bob photo.)
You tend to put the focus slightly up and to the left.
And the upper left corner tends to be busy while the lower right tends to be "empty".

Not that that is a bad thing. I'm just sort of curious why it is happening since I never noticed it in your other art.

*grin* Interesting! You may be right. Hmm.

Well, compositionally, action on top tends to be a little more dynamic (all else being equal) because you have the...err...weighty bits of the image balanced over more dead space, whereas dead space on top is just "sky." People staring up at the sky are less interesting than people hanging off a cliff, sorta thing.

That's a very broad generalization, though, and it could just as easily be that I'm always turning toward things with my phone held in my right hand, and that's influencing the composition somehow!

Looking at some of my own photographs (that I thought "artistic" enough to post on deviantart) I can see that the bottom of the the picture tends to be the foreground and one doesn't generally want to clutter up the foreground.

The "phone held in the right hand" would be a better theory if you didn't have the opportunity to crop the photos afterward. Most of my early photos required cropping to center the compositions.

My favorite compliment was a respected artist friend who told me my photos had "interesting edges". I'm still not entirely sure what she meant by that.

Those are better than what I get!
And I totally have a "pet me now" cat. He's also a "feed me now" cat. And god help you if you have french fries.

I see your black cat and mine should compare notes on how best to receive dignified pets.

My black cat apparently missed the memo on how to receive pets and still remain dignified. Among other things, I'm pretty sure dignity does not involve drooling in ecstasy.

I know nothing about photography (or art, or aesthetics), but I'll share my impressions.

General note: I really don't like the heavy filtering people do these days. Makes everything look pretend to me. I want my photos (mostly) to be as real as possible (if only to emphasise that any weird elements are actually real).

The first picture I find way too filtered for my tastes, but I like the composition. There's an interesting contrast between the tightly-bound cat and the open wide fabric, and in particular the creases on the fabric draw the eye in toward the cat. It sort of makes the cat seem important, powerful, yet the cat's expression to me seems shy. I think it's a good paradox - plus the cat looking back at the viewer is good, particularly since the lines of the fabric draw the eyes to the main bulk of the cat, but the eyes draw the eye slightly to one side - I like things being slightly discordant visually.

The second picture, while I don't like filtering, I do quite like the colour palatte you've gotten as a result. As said above, it's an interested semi-colourised, washed-out-but-crisp look. And I don't have a problem with the dresser per se, it just helps add colour and texture and divide up the field (so the field is three stripes of different colour). My problem is with the cat. Black cats aren't great to photograph, I think, their features sort of get drowned in the black, particularly when they're in a confusing pose, like this one. But more generally, the unposed position of the cat, which doesn't really feel as though it connects thematically with the rest of the picture much, makes me interpret it more as 'slice-of-life' photojournalism than as art - flicking through an album I'd probably go 'meh' and move on to the next one. It may also not help that both the distance from the subject and the palatte suggest coldness to me.

The third is brilliant - and I think it's good not to have the sign in. Having those letters in is intriguing, adds character, whereas having an entire sign in would be... too on-the-nose, I think. Too much as though you were trying to make a joke or have a point. I like the weirder effect you have here. My only problem would be that it's just TOO perfect, so some part of me just goes "oh, massively posed photo from some arty shop catalogue", even though I know that it's actually yours. And I suppose if I were being really critical I might think it better if there were a bit more colour - it's unfortunate that the vomitus is so wood-coloured, I think (and there's a sentence I've not used before), although admittedly if it weren't it might be too overpowering. But yeah, great photo.

Somewhere out there, the proprietors of the Inn of the Barfing Whale have finally found their napkin holders.

That ceramic soap holder barfing fish thing is AMAZING.

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