"Too Many Notes, Mozart"

August 19, 2011  •  Leave a Comment
A Self Critique - "Too Many Pixels, Brian" and musings about HDR.


This week I'm thinking about the  famous complaint of Emperor Joseph II about The Marriage of Figaro - "too many notes, Mozart".

Looking at an image I made last week at one of my favourite locations- the barn on Enfield road, I found myself thinking about the emperor.  What he was saying could easily apply to one of my images this past week - perhaps too many pixels, too overstuffed.


A colourful sunrise, eye-catching colours in the foreground, barns, an interesting composition, lots of mood -I thought this a good effort all round.  Then, the image was not working at all.    It looked underexposed and simply overloaded with colour and overstuffed with too many different "actors" ( I learned this term at the Oshawa Camera club.)  Was each actor in the image competing for attention and just creating a confusion?  There are a lot; rich colours, barns, the tree, the yellow-green vegetation, dark clouds, green field, and that all too broad area of light-brown.  

Simplifying, by taking away the element of colour definitely creates a different dynamic. But has it lost its early morning mood?  Can even the tree be cropped out now as the colourful sky around it is no longer in play?



  No Tree works too:


 But what happened to my "early-morning-mood"?  Better composition, sure, but no glorious colour, and is the subject now just the barn?  Really, the early morning is all about enjoying the light and the colour -why else get up at 5 am!!  Just up the road, behind the barn, I took this one. I like this better:



 As proof, the B&W version,  because there are so few actors and no colour its impact seems very flat:



 Some other examples from the last two weeks:  Seems there are no hard or fast rules here other than the old lesson...for impact keep it simple.











And a re-visit to Oshawa's Second Marsh:




20141005_0700-001_HDR
Trying out Nik's infra red filter




HDR Angst

To help reproduce what my "eye saw" many of the images above have had some HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Nik filter post-processing but I hope its not too obvious. However, these below are clearly grungy HDR.   I'm a big fan of what HDR can do but does this type of HDR take us out of the realm of photography and into what I call "illustration art", and if so, does it really matter?  I can't decide which placement of the hut is better - the first or second image? 

Tobacco kiln, Newcastle.












Visually this next image is very appealing ...  Artistically B&W is an abstraction from 'real' experience so why not this?





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