Old 02-27-2008, 12:36 AM   #1
socalrailfan
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Question Would this have a chance in _____?

I took this yesterday. Some things abuot it. First off flowers in this part of the desert are rare and this year we have a killer bloom out here. This is Amboy BTW. Secondly it was a clear day. To put into perspective the mountains in the distance are 30 miles away. The train itself was over 2.5 miles away. OK, so tear me apart now!
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:42 AM   #2
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Or this one?
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:52 AM   #3
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I'm a fan of the second image, it's cropped tight to the actual train and there is a decent amount of contrast between the warbonnet and the background to get it to stand out. On the other two the train just isn't a big enough part of the picture to get my attention. At least that's my $0.02.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:23 AM   #4
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First and third, sorry, they are totally blah to me. In terms of composition, there is just too little - the flowered area is like a flat, formless surface. There is the distant line of the train, and the distant profile of the mountains. There is little that ties the various parts of the image together, one's eyes just move around randomly because the composition offers no direction. And since the train is so small, there isn't much there to make the pictures interesting.

The second zooms in, and provides more emphasis on the roads, which form vertical contrast to the dominant horizontal lines. The foreground is reduced, and thus, actually, given some emphasis. Now the flowered area is a reasonable complement to the train and to the mountains instead of a large formless mass. The various mounds (?) become a set of minor elements and add a presence.

I'm still not a fan, because I personally don't usually take much of an interest in semi-arid landscapes. But the second is way, way more interesting a shot than the other two.
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:26 AM   #5
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I think the third has the best shot because it looks a little clearer and the sky and mountain look better to me.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:01 AM   #6
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First: Too much blah on bottom of frame. I know how exciting it is to get unusual flowers in a shot. But here it would have to be in the left bottom about a foot away to work, I think. Then there is way too much clutter competing with the train. Also the train looks over sharpened.
Second: Better because the train is not so small. But suffers the above.
Third: Best possibilities of the three. I like the sky, the mountains and the train. But there is nothing of interest in the bottom of the frame. You worked in the mauve flowers but they aren't strong enough to offset the otherwise blah foreground.
My eye also keeps going to the concrete post. Try straightening, and cropping out everything below the post. It's now too narrow for submission but it makes a very nice panoramic.
I haven't been near the Mojave in years. I envy being able to go there.
BTW, you said to to tear you apart!
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrailfan
I took this yesterday. Some things abuot it. First off flowers in this part of the desert are rare and this year we have a killer bloom out here. This is Amboy BTW. Secondly it was a clear day. To put into perspective the mountains in the distance are 30 miles away. The train itself was over 2.5 miles away. OK, so tear me apart now!
I'll let the others make the suggestions, I just want to say, "Awesome scene Dave."
After going through the area last year, as you suggested, these scenes are a treat. There was no bloom like this last February.
Oh no, I think I'm having a melt down we still have 2 feet of snow on the ground. Time for another vacation in southern Cal
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:26 AM   #8
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If I were in that position, I'd get up close and personal with a large amount of those flowers, put them in the foreground, and shoot the scene with the train sailing by overhead (perhaps go with a slow shutter speed to blur the train a little bit and help make the scene more dynamic). This keeps the scene simple while filling the frame, giving you a sense of motion, and is just a nice composition overall. I'm too lazy to look, but I believe there are similar examples here on RP.net...
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:51 AM   #9
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I like the second one the most. But I think two and/or three could/should get in.

My opinion is meaningless, as I get a lot of pics rejected myself.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159
If I were in that position, I'd get up close and personal with a large amount of those flowers, put them in the foreground, and shoot the scene with the train sailing by overhead (perhaps go with a slow shutter speed to blur the train a little bit and help make the scene more dynamic). This keeps the scene simple while filling the frame, giving you a sense of motion, and is just a nice composition overall. I'm too lazy to look, but I believe there are similar examples here on RP.net...
Bingo! Just what I was going to suggest!
I think the second one still looks the best, but none of them really emphasize the fact that the flowers are there. They're kind of overpowered by other elements, namely the train and mountains.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159
If I were in that position, I'd get up close and personal with a large amount of those flowers, put them in the foreground, and shoot the scene with the train sailing by overhead (perhaps go with a slow shutter speed to blur the train a little bit and help make the scene more dynamic). This keeps the scene simple while filling the frame, giving you a sense of motion, and is just a nice composition overall. I'm too lazy to look, but I believe there are similar examples here on RP.net...

By what Dave said with the train being 2+ miles away from the camera, you would need a really slow shutter speed to get that affect. Way too slow of a shutter speed to salvage any more of the shot.

Dave, I don't know how warm it was out there, but it appears there is some heat distortion with the train. With that amount of zoom, obviously the quality is going to deteriorate some. You can see the train is blurry and has a slight "wave" to it - indicative of rising heat (or gas) / shimmer. I love the mountains in the background. The best I can do locally is Cuba Hill which is a whopping 400ft variation over about a mile.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:49 AM   #12
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There's a lot of heat distortion in 1 and 3. I like #2.

I have a similar shot from Amboy. I tried to compose it to emphasize the black lava from the Amboy crater all over the desert floor, but I wasn't happy with how the foreground turned out, so I'll have to give it another shot at some point.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Muller
By what Dave said with the train being 2+ miles away from the camera, you would need a really slow shutter speed to get that affect. Way too slow of a shutter speed to salvage any more of the shot.

Dave, I don't know how warm it was out there, but it appears there is some heat distortion with the train. With that amount of zoom, obviously the quality is going to deteriorate some. You can see the train is blurry and has a slight "wave" to it - indicative of rising heat (or gas) / shimmer. I love the mountains in the background. The best I can do locally is Cuba Hill which is a whopping 400ft variation over about a mile.
Look at my entire post, and you'll see what I meant.

That is just my own personal style, however...I've never been one for huge, open scenes like that, but rather the close-up, dynamic stuff (there's your Western style of photography vs. Eastern style...[just look at Chris Starnes' work versus Chris Kilroy's, and you can definitely see that difference...it's all personal preference, however]). A vast majority of Dave's stuff appears to involve a telephoto, so I figured I'd throw a new idea his way...it's up to him whether or not he wants to try it, however.
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159
Look at my entire post, and you'll see what I meant.

I did. I was just saying that it would be highly difficult to balance the shot while getting a motion blur of the train when it is that far away.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrailfan
First off flowers in this part of the desert are rare and this year we have a killer bloom out here... OK, so tear me apart now!
This year doesn't start for a few more months for the rest of us, you ##@%! Consider yourself torn apart! Flowers in Feb....

; )

/Mitch
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgoldman
This year doesn't start for a few more months for the rest of us, you ##@%! Consider yourself torn apart! Flowers in Feb....

; )

/Mitch
Mitch, as a former east coaster (born and raised in NJ), I can only say, come join us.... it was chilly this morning, got all the way down to 65 when I took the dog for a walk along the ocean. (Okay, I'll stop now... I actually really miss NJ and the NEC and all of that.)
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:41 PM   #17
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Hmmmm...14 degrees with a high of 34...Hey, it's getting above freezing! Maybe we'll get flowers!
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
.... it was chilly this morning, got all the way down to 65 when I took the dog for a walk along the ocean.

Grrrrr. More nasty thoughts
Enjoy.

I've lived up north here for 4 years now. I notice they don't even talk about spring here - it is "breakup". Or, winter ... one month of mud ...and 2 months of bad sledding.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAMR159
A vast majority of Dave's stuff appears to involve a telephoto, so I figured I'd throw a new idea his way...it's up to him whether or not he wants to try it, however.
15 replies and I've only gotten one reply alert email, hmm.

Well I don't agree with the first line at all. I think I have a pretty even balance here of everything from wide angle to telephoto to everything in between. I like being up close, far away, shooting whatever looks best for the situation. Usually for every shot you see of mine, there's 10 others in every focal range to chose from. I chose what I like best. I know I sound defensive, but I looked through the last 60 shots here from me and there was a good balance. Defense rests!

1 & 3 could have been better if I had more time and was able to use a tripod. It was about 75 degrees Chris. I went to this area, Amboy Rd and the crater, on this day for the flowers A few trains were a bonus for me, but it wasn't my main focus. I think if I'd have been real close to the flowers and trying to get focus on something 2' and 2 miles apart in the same photo it would have been impossible, and I don't like blurred trains during day shots. More or less I was experimenting.

Thanks for all the comments I'll have to think about #2 and look at some others I have before I submit anything.
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