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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a photo I took a few hours ago, about 2 miles from my house. Please feel free to critique, and any comments regarding exposure, preferred camera mode, etc., would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :wink:
 

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Beautiful! A haunting winter scene...

From a composition point of view, you have a lot you can play with...I would like to see how it would look cropped so that bottom two-thirds is lake, and the top third is the distant shoreline. I think that 'closing in' the heavy winter sky and filling the space with the subtle blues of the water might enhance the wonderful, lonely, winter-y feel of it, by highlighting the big sweeping distance compared to the smallness of the birds. It has a great atmosphere to it...

:) Fran
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The weather looks like it'll be the same tomorrow, so I'll try again, with different compositions. :)
I thought I had the bubble level on the tripod pretty well centered. I should pay more attention to the viewfinder, and less to the bubble level. :oops:
That was taken with a 17-85mm zoom lens, which has become my most used lens. Maybe I should try with a 50mm lens, too. Less glass in the way of the image might help.
 

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What a beautiful photo John! I hope it's ok, I had photoshop open, and I experimented a bit. Thought this might make a good memory photo for you, to remember your day spent taking photos at the lake.

 

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I find it really hard to eyeball "level", personally. Fortunately, it's a simple fix in most photo editing programs. ;)

I've never experimented with different lenses... I mainly use a little point and shoot camera, and I have enough trouble trying to remember everything I need to pay attention to even with that! With lots and lots (and LOTS) of practice I've finally stopped taking pictures of people that make them look like they have trees and telephone poles sticking out of their heads. :lol:

I don't think that there are any real compositional flaws with your picture, I love the ethereal mood you captured. Just thinking that a slightly different crop might make for an even more dynamic impact. :)
 

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Something I've found VERY useful is the grid feature on my camera LCD display. If you haven't got that feature, then you can get some plastic sticky stuff with very faint lines on it. This will help with the horizons.

Also, remembering the "rule of thirds" is a good idea.

Apart from those, there's not much else to critique :D

I love the misty atmosphere, and with practice, you'll get some really stunning shots.
 

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John, one thing to consider when shooting a horizon is that depending on your angle, it may not always be 100% level when a grid is overlaid. But if your bubble level is perfectly centered, then you are what I term "architecturally level." That is what you want. If you look at the extreme background in the center, you will notice structures along the horizon. Those are vertical and thus I feel the image is composed properly. If there is any artificial structure like a tower or building, use that as your point of reference if needed. Since those buildings in the distance are vertical, I feel the image IS composed properly.

Now the shoreline of the lake in the distance would appear to have been tilted. However, that is the wonder of compressing 3 dimensions into two. If you are not 100% perpendicular to the far shore, there will be a diagonal in your finished photograph. Take a look at the following.



Now my camera was totally level, yet there is a diagonal from not being perpendicular to the far shore. But you can tell it is level because there is the bench to provide a point of reference. Your image is difficult to find the point of reference because of the low contrast. Take a look at the ducks/geese in the foreground. They do not appear to be headed downhill. Lastly John, take a sheet of paper and align it with the left or right edge of your image. This will have the effect of acting as a carpenter's square. If you notice the extreme background at the horizon, the left edge is practically level with the right edge. Of course, with any scenic, you have to be aware if there is a hill at the horizon.

So my personal opinion is that you did compose the image properly. The far horizon shows vertical structures that corroborates this. The appearance of a tilt is merely because you are not perpendicular to the far shore of Lake Guntersville.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, everybody. I'm learning a lot, with your help. :D
And thank you sooo much, Geri! I love the way you enhanced the contrast.
Oh, lest I forget. Thank you, too, Jeanie!

Doesn't look like I'll get out there before sunset today. Between doing other chores and taking Arianwen out for her hunt, there isn't time.
There will be more misty days, though! Maybe tomorrow...
:eek:rcat
 
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