Following artistic advice

Even though I don’t think Dee would necessarily agree, I like to think that I am always open to considering suggestions and advice.  I might not always feel able to agree with these suggestions, but I will always think about them.  One blogger who has kindly offered me suggestions is Adrian Lewis.  He has a distinct style of his own and if you haven’t yet visited his blog, then you should try to find the time.

Adrian offered me a few thoughts on some of the photos in my Botswana – Day 4 (Part 6) post.  Sorry about my post titles.

I have tried to interpret and apply his thoughts on those photos and here is my take on what he said about one of them.  My apologies to Adrian if I haven’t understood him correctly or done quite what he was suggesting.  Please put this down to my inability to think as an artist.

Adrian thought that my shot of the Kasane Airport runway could be turned into a good mono abstract.  I struggle a bit with abstracts unless they are very tight crops or start out as abstracts.  Perhaps the fundamental problem is that as I took the photo, I think I know what I expect from it.  Anyway, I tried to follow his suggestions in stages.

I started by turning the image to mono and cropped it a bit, and I already like the result.  I would probably have stopped there.

Runway

Recognising Adrian’s insight and thinking that he was probably suggesting a much more severe crop, perhaps to just the tarmac, I produced this.  It is no longer a runway.  It could be a pedestrian crossing.  It has certainly become abstract and I can see a worthy image there.  Maybe Adrian could say whether I have got it right.

Runway (Crop)

Adrian also likes to rotate his images, and suggested that this one could be rotated 90 deg clockwise.  Does it improve it,

Runway (Crop 90 deg CW)

and if it does, what about 90 deg anticlockwise?

Runway (Crop 90 deg ACW)

The first rotated image ‘contracts’ from left to right, while the second ‘expands’ from left to right.  To me, the second one seems more appealing, just.

I think what this post has shown, is that images can be seen in very many different ways, but that it can sometimes be difficult for the original author to visualise these options.

Further comment would be much appreciated Adrian, or anyone else.

I’ll address some of Adrian’s other comments in a future post.

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16 thoughts on “Following artistic advice

  1. I love that you’re playing with this. I like the sever crop image. And then turning it on it’s side. I like the last image batter than the one before it. For some reason my eye likes it better/doesn’t fight it when seeing it.

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  2. It’s great to experiment and I these crops work really well although I prefer the second 90 degree rotation shot – the left to right version. I have also been inspired by Adrian to experiment with tighter crops and rotations. It’s worked really well with a couple of otherwise uninteresting images.

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    • And thank you for returning the visit and your comments. I was struck by the quality of your December Morning. I can now see that there is much more great work on your blog. Thanks for sharing it.

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  3. I already like the firs one a lot, b/c it’s a nice perspective. Looks like you had a fun time experimenting –always a good thing! As for me, I do severely crop and rotate, but just now and then. I suppose it’s a combination of laziness, and feeling like if I didn’t really “see” the image at the time, then I don’t want to play around with it too much later. One possibility is to practice taking shots at a titled angle; much easier said than done–as I knew someone who just did it so naturally, whereas I had to ponder all the different angles. Have fun.

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    • Like you, I think I would be happier ‘playing’ with crops and rotations of abstract images if I had started out with that intent when taking the photo. However, these accidental images can still be quite interesting. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Much more of this artistic endeavour, Dave, and you and I will have to be hippies – maybe we should just start hanging out in headbands and beads, always willing to try those banned substances that are somewhere “far out” there, somewhere beyond alcohol’s orbit …

    I’m very flattered by your comments and your references to my blog >>> and I think that this is a tremendous post in two ways – first for what you display here, and second for your firm resolve to just “get up and do it”! I think that you should practice this sort of thing, not necessarily with a view to always producing abstracts, but certainly with a view to thinking hard and long (pre- and/or post-capture) re the framing that an image is going to have, >>>once everything extraneous has been excluded from it<<>> and this may have something to do with our viewing images left to right – maybe my eye feels more comfortable starting out on the left, where the lines converge into the distance, and then having the lines expand as they come nearer to us. Having said this, the second image from the bottom also has eye-catching potential, simply because it makes me less comfortable.

    Excellent stuff, my friend! Adrian

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    • I think maybe I will stick with the alcohol Adrian. Other illegal substances might react with the multitude of drugs that the doctor is already feeding me to keep me going. If someone offers me advice, then I always consider it, even if I don’t actually act on it. I agree that it is always worth considering the framing post capture, because it often isn’t quite right ‘in camera’, sometimes because of a lack of perception when the shutter was released, but also because a different aspect ratio is better. I take your point about convergence into the distance being natural perspective, but for some reason I can’t explain, I quite liked the ‘explosion’ to the right, probably justified by the fact that the image by now was abstract anyway. There really wasn’t much in it though. Anyway, thanks for the ideas and I will continue to experiment with them. For now, have a Merry Christmas tomorrow. Dave.

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