Landscape Critique Part 1
So bambi cantrell is the instructor that is here for all three days. Sam b is an amazing critique er you basically have a lot of experience doing this giving you take and feedback and you just have a way of doing it, bambi that like I said earlier you have constructive criticism but you're also very generous and people really respond well to that. I'm so glad to hear that, so I appreciate that about you. Thanks. All right. Well, next we would like to introduce criticized very own an incredible photographer in his own right, mr john cornyn hello? And I don't know if all of you know about the critical of history, but these two met on bambi can charles first crave life workshop that's, right? John cornyn tell came in and assisted her and he acquired many pet names for job that's right? This is uncle john. Theo, this is our way. Well, since that first workshop which I'm not sure if that was two and a half years ago yeah, I think so. Two and a half years ago, john has never been able to liv...
e those names. Now to this very day should he want tio very day everyone a local john and daddy so all right with that everyone we're going to get started, so our first category today is lance the landscape photography and we're going to show you all of the submissions were going to run a quick a slide show of all of the submissions for land stop landscape photography and then after that we're going to pick or have our twenty selections and you two are going to start with the critique so why don't we go ahead and run the slide show of all the images taken away guys thank you so much that was amazing work we really appreciate you guys out there putting yourselves out and showing us the work and being ready to be critiqued all right you guys without any further ado I'm going to throw it over to bambi and john for landscape advertising and fine art all right? Yeah well, you know, yesterday was an amazing day wasn't I'm telling you to watch some of that you're in new and scott were great hope I can live up to the entertainment value yeah it's great and it's always so inspiring to me personally when I see images you know from other photographers I mean, I've been shooting for almost thirty years and how long have you been photographing john? Probably about the same. Yeah, so between the two of us old people here way experience yeah that's right even though he looks way with it just for the record but you know, I hope that for all of you out there that when you hear yourself or you're here your image critique today that you take it in the positive spirit in which it's given you know we all learn from the mistakes that we make and I think that that's that can be a really positive experience I know the first time I ever got a critique from an image and it was a very negative critique and I remember feeling so completely devastated same here I mean it's it's it's rough but you know that we're we're looking at this with twenty twenty hindsight you know we can look at this a oil in the perfect world you could have been up ten feet higher and you know and there's no way you're going to get up that ten feet higher so when we say things like that it's just a perfect world situations how things might change what to think of next time out there you know, stuff put in the back of your mind to make the next image better I think that's a great great point so john let's look at this first image that we have before us and I'd love for you to start with the critique yeah this is this is beautiful I saw this one come up and it's I mean it's it's such a different image of a horse I don't know if I've ever really seen a portrait of a horse in this prone position like this there's a nice fall up of depth through the background not only in soft focus, but there's ariel depth to is it gets bluer and softer into the things go into the background, like the colors all work together, the chestnut of the horse or on the green, and it fades off into the blue of the water. I mean, some people would say it's centered in it, it is, but, you know, that's not always a bad thing, but I'm just drawn into the colors and the different perspective, usually seeing yeah, I think so too. It makes me feel very cuddly. I like that about the photograph very, very much let's talk a little bit about the about the lighting, obviously, and this category, you know, you may not be, you know, having to you may not be able to control your lighting scenario, but remember from we talked about yesterday, even though we can't maybe change the light will we can change camera position, so maybe that's something to think about, you know that even though you can't control, you know, there are elements that you can't control. There are some things that, as the artist as a photographer that you can control well, for here, one thing is that this brings up the high thing. If you got the camera a little higher, it would raise the background up in the horse would be against the green all the way around. So it may be another a foot or so higher if you could be taller. And there's also may be a chance of of a reflector popping in some light into the face of the horse. That's hard to tell for us on the monitors here because this one's a little more contrast than that. But I think there's enough light in there looking at through that monitor. How do you feel about the fact that the images in color for me it's working on here? I think it could work as a black and white, but it then I think it may get lost because the the green is going to go to a neutral gray, and I think the rocks in the background could be neutral. Gray. It may just flatten out everything in black and white on this one on, I'm joined into that brown color. I really like the warm tones of the horse. Yeah, I do, too. In fact, I was especially enamored by the fact I like the opposites, the fact that you've got that ground against that green and actually the brown towns are very a nice contrast to the blues in the background as well. I love photographs like this because they do it showcases on animal in a more unique scenario I mean, we're used to seeing pictures of horses running and and, you know, doing all kinds of, you know, jumping activity and so forth, but like, in fact, art wolf has an amazing image in a gallery in new york city. I was just there last week and he has some spectacular horse pictures and I personally love horses, so I find this very refreshing in fact, it is a little bit different I do feel that it's a little it's cropped a little bit too tight, I feel like I'd like to see a bit more room, but boy, oh boy, what an amazing image! And I think this would look fabulous in a home hanging on wallace piece of artwork you know, one of the things I personally love, I love images that are very simple on dh isn't it interesting that we have just a picture of a leaf or a cup of group of leaves and yet there's there's a bit of elegance and grace to this? Yeah, that the line of the leaf I just was that curve, and there is just so beautiful with the the arms stretching out from it on ly thing for me, when I'm looking at just above the leaf, is that one little bright spot it we have cloned out on our eyes do tend to go to the bright spots, and I keep seeing that there and wondering, what is it glitter fall in there? I say glitter because I hang out in the burlesque community here and everything tio john obliterated, everything is glitter. Yeah, so can you see the spot that we're talking about? We're talking about this little piece right here see how it's kind of pulls your eye away so you just go in and do a little bit of retouching on that. I personally think this is quite a beautiful image and I think would look beautiful in a home. I love the harmony of color I love the way that it was exposed was exposed quite nicely there or not, the highlights are blown out there's plenty of detail in the shadows as well. I feel like I'd like to see a bit more room I'm almost I feel like it's just a little bit to a cropped a little bit too tight, I think that for me, it's sze working, I just but I think I just love the warm tones and that little bit of in getting around it works really well, going back to that spot that I mean, I know in some camera clubs the nature category you're not allowed to do a lot of adjustments or cloning and things like that, so maybe that has to stay, and I don't know what the original intent of where this person was going to put this, so we do understand that maybe had to leave that dot in there so well, but if that were the case, then maybe what that would tell me was that when you actually took the photograph that you'd want to pay attention to those little nuances and there's those those details and I'm a big fan any time that we have to be that we have to present an image as it was shot, I think that makes us a better photographer and and I think that if there is a drawback to the digital era, the to me the drawback is the fact that because it's so easy to correct and make the perfect image in post production, I find that sometimes images lose their personality, there is no personality because they're they're antiseptically perfect, yeah, I don't know about you, but I grew up shooting slides, it slides and koroma shut four by five in eight by ten you know and it was transparency film we didn't get to do any retouching or anything like that with exposure had to be right on it wasn't like a negative film where you have some latitude s o a victor I mean that really helped drive me where I've gone. Okay let's move on here wow that's gorgeous that's really pretty there are so many things to like about this photograph I love the composition I think the composition is absolutely gorgeous I love the way that that strong purple line die sex that left hand corner and then goes to about the bottom right third to me that pulls me right into the picture I love the fact that they have slowed they've slowed down the shutter speed you know to allow for and create these beautiful strong lines for me the thing that's holding this image back it looks like a bit like hdr a little a little bit I mean there's it's very contrast e on the building I mean I love those purple lines the if the leading lines in the front two but some things if the building it's maybe they had to bring it up maybe it was too dark and they just dodged and burned a bit that it's it's a little noisier than the rest of the subject I don't know if it's eight an hdr thing or just the noise in it it's just not holding up a cz well in the background I tell you what I mean. I love the way that this maker composed this picture. I think they've done a very, very effective job of taking something that is, you know, that that could appear to be very, you know, maybe boring, just it's just a picture of a building. If you're like someone who loves people and pictures of of humans and animals and things like that, then they might look at that go, yeah, that's, just a building. But what a very interesting way to tell that story. I think it's quite pretty, and I love the contrast of color between those awkward is that air in the tower and the purples, I think that's quite beautiful, and it keeps drumming and wondering what created that purple. Is it a bus, a truck or something going by? What? You know, not going to find out, but it will keep my interest in looking at it, it's some like and look at in a number of time to not get tired of. So if you were to critique this image and give them something to that, you know, you'd like to see them work on or a point that needs that there's a little bit weak, what would that be, john? It offered me the tough one is what I assume is the headlight streaks in the front because there is so bright, they've gone to a complete white and they've blown out on a print. I don't know how that would look at, maybe you get the weight of the paper there. There was some way to hold back, uh, that I dont through a split neutral density filter or something on the lens because it everything else the exposure is great on so that's, where I would try toe, try to work on some howto pull that back a little bit. So one of the things that I've done, what I've had an image where we have really super bright whites a cz long is there's a bit of detail in that I might make that, as a caveat is, I'll process that file twice in light room, I'll process it the first time in light room as a raw file, of course, for the highlights and then all process it once for those shadow areas put the two images together and then create a layer mask and blend in the areas there and toned down just a little bit the areas that are a bit too bright, I'll tell you what that is a really quick, easy way. To balance out some of those areas in a photograph it's a great way to pull up the detail in that building in the background and then pulled down a bit those areas that are a bit too bright in the in the foreground as well beautiful people showed up thank you. Wow serenity crap it's beautiful I'm sorry that's absolutely stunning it's very tranquil um I think this is absolutely beautiful. Yeah good ham camera height there's no collision between the person standing in the boat in the background there you get the full figure there you see the guy standing the chair chair underneath them found fishing and the reflection or it works really nicely the landscape cropping of it and yeah everything's working really well in here. So it's a tough one to critique yeah iss you know and there is such to me a fine art in the way that you compose and the way that you direct an image like this the way that you handle it because I had this maker moved if he had just dropped his his camera perspective down just a little bit the fisher person in that boat would get lost you would not even see them in the background so it takes a good amount of skill to be able to accomplish on image like this in a very, very nice way not to mention the fact that the fact that there is still detail and I can see the detail in that in the landscape on the right hand side, I think that really does say a lot about the maker. How would you use an image like this? Tell me about how you might, you know, what would you do with a company like this? This we're in the landscape category. I mean, this would would make a wall print. It will be wearing very pleasing to look at all the time. Um, I mean, it could also probably be used in advertising a stock image. I could see various companies using this this image in in an ad. Or is a banner on a web page and the like? Absolutely. You know, one of the things that immediately strikes me, patty, you have a question. I just want to kind of confirm what you said yesterday because you look at this and you think all that person was lucky they were in the right place at the right time. But I still think that image is so beautiful because of the choices they made, like just what you were saying, you know, if they stood off to a different side or if they had their camera down or up, so there are there's, a lot of talent that goes into a meeting but that's not enough everyone pays attention to the when when you move your camera camera up or down the horizon moves with you the horizons always at the camera level so if you if the horizons going through someone's head bring the camera up a little bit and that means that horizon comes up their head goes down and we get him into a clear spot what they've done really well here yeah I'm just gonna comment that it's extraordinary even flipped upside down and so completely different it would were interesting image yeah that's in fact you know what? I'm glad you mentioned that stephen because you know, I think that it's a great thing for photographers to do to take their images and flip them upside down occasionally I also like to flip them from left to right because it first of all it will identify flaws in your image it'll help me to identify if you have spots on the picture or highlights that you need to tone down things of that nature but it also is a unique way to just get a fresh perspective on your photograph and any time in my opinion that you could do something you can create a photograph that looks unpredictable that causes people to talk about it because it is a surprise that's a good thing I mean I think surprises there just great yes, sometimes we come back um another thing. Surprise. Talking about surprises. A lot of people said the back of the camera, so they have sharp contrast in vivid colors and they come back home and they bring on the computer. They're always disappointed. I do the opposite. I set my camera to neutral or faithful. So I'm kind of disappointed as I'm shooting when I get back to the computer. Well, they came out much better than than I thought. That's what I would have never thought about that that's. Awesome. John, do you have any experience with printing images like this? Not not a lot. Now. I did commercial printing back in the eighties, but it's mostly for still lifes because I know that absent makesem papers that are just scrumptious for printing an image like this, one of my favorite papers that they make is the cold press bright white it's, a fine art paper. But it is absolutely fantastic. It's got a really good tooth to it. And I think this image would look amazing printed on that. Yes, patty. I was a camera shot one time and they had cannon come in with a printer and they were doing a demonstration and they used all different papers, and it was amazing how the image looks so different. Yeah, I mean that's the thing I mean the kind of paper that you print an image on can take it and either make it an opera singer or it can take it and go it's just not all that great looking so you know, I think that that goes a long way I think it's important for photographers to educate themselves not just on clicking the shutter but also on things to do after the fact whether it be you know, learning to color correct or to balance out a photograph in like room or or using but again the only thing I want to say the horizon straight thank you. I know e that such because it is so funny because I can't tell you much times that you know I do that myself we're always hilton image yeah, baby, I was really impressed when you were here for photo week I learned that you do a lot of your most of your own printing. Yeah, we dio yeah that's in your studio. Could you just tell us a little bit about that? Yeah, I love printing my own work because I can think of an idea in my head and work the file and then I can go printed out myself we use the absent seventy nine hundred and the ninety nine hundred I got my seventy nine hundred first which is you know, and then I ended up buying the ninety, nine hundred because I thought, you know, if biggest good how much is bigger bigger, you know? So I can print images the size of this wall if I need to it's not cheaper to print your own work ok, just so you know it's not a cheaper way to go, but I like I think it's it's really a beautiful way especially if you know that you want to print in some of those fine art papers we print on luster paper we print on canvas sometimes and we print on the whole press bright white my favorite papers to print on in house are going to be the fine art papers I use bay photo lab is my color lab and they do on it incredible job I love them for the canvas is because I don't wanna have to spray my prince it's a lot of work to have to spray your work, so if it's if I'm going to do a canvass, then I'll send it to bay and have them do it if I if they do amazing metal prints which are screaming just gorgeous this by the way, look amazing on medal I think, um but then if I want to do some fine artwork, then I'll use our large printers and one of them just from a wedding standpoint when I do bridal fares because I can print forty four inches wide all print for you know forty four inches wide by eight feet and make a giant enormous print from my trade show booth because I want people to see something when they walk in that room I want them to go hello I'm home that's the photographer for me and and in my studio I want big prints so all print of their easily a sixty or seventy inch print for my studio for my walls because I want people to see big pictures because they can't buy they won't buy a big print if they don't see it big so if you want someone to buy big prints from your studio then you better be prints and big things so oh yeah gorgeous wow man, this isn't canada thing this is spectacular. Do you do a lot of photography? Yeah, I do. In fact, you know it's really funny because up until I'd say it was seven years ago, I never ever took in the landscape photograph ever. And you know why? Because I was terrified I was absolutely petrified because there was no people who live e I am absolutely people photographer and, you know, give me, you know, you know, a child or a bride and I am home free I know what to do but be on the middle of all this stuff is really tough to do I mean, I've gone out with other landscape photographers and they're finding stuff and I'm just standing there going where the people who wear the people at in fact I used to almost I have to tell you I was almost a little bit of a snob about it cause I go well, sure ansel adams could create that picture moon over half don't I mean, you know, it's not going to go anywhere right on the noon does move you know what? But one of the things that I've learned is that it takes a great deal of skill to capture a landscape effectively and I think the maker has done eight brilliant job on this yes, the purples and the background against the greens they play off each other really well, this looks like it could possibly be a bill a bit of a djinni orbit here it works for me like I said yesterday, hdr often doesn't work because you could tell it's hdr hdr works when you don't know it's hdr yeah, exactly this actually reminds me who is that that artist like in the thirties that did all of those, you know, the little ladies that were on the lounge chairs and stuff come on with his name? They're very you know they have like uh fargo's yeah, that's, this reminds me don't ask me walk, maybe it's the color tone ality or something, but but this is absolute beautiful. One of the things that I like that the maker did. I think the composition is absolutely on point. I love the fact that there is that little bit of negative space over on that left hand side look at that fabulous diagonal line that goes from that left hand corner on the bottom to the top corner, absolutely beautiful, and I love the variations in highlight and shadow and that, really to me speaks a lot about how important you know light is and, you know, in a photograph and the way that we compose an image that I really like the perspective on this, the person step back and use the longer lens here by stepping back. It's made everything compressing the background and just beautiful layers, and the aerial perspective that lightens things as they go back works out really well here. If they had tried this with the shorter lens from in closer, the mountains in the back room would have been completely lost too many times. I think that's one of my problems with landscape is like, arian says, you need a wide angle lens for landscape, you go out there with the wide angle lens. And everything's tiny you come back and you've lost the grandeur of it I mean most ansel adams things were taken with longer lenses from further away because it really brings everything into the scene instead of making everything seem like it's receding away from you and you know for those of you that are new to landscape and who would like to be able to incorporate it let me tell you what I did because this was truly for me was a life changing experience about seven years ago I had the opportunity to go toe iceland I was one of microsoft's first icons of imaging when they were working on some programs for photography and when they said they would they were taking us to iceland I'm not kidding you I was rolling my eyes going what the heck am I going to do in iceland? I mean they're like only three thousand people there you know and there's lots of animals and just you know ice right? Well I learned that iceland is actually quite green green was like and it was absolutely a life changing experience the first two days I'm highly competitive the first two days all I did was try to beat the other photographers and but okay I'm gonna take the best image today and I totally sucked was awful and I literally would go back to my room at night and cry because I couldn't see the landscape I couldn't see it I could not understand I could not compose I couldn't I could not have I didn't have a breakthrough and finally on the third day we went to this amazing volcanic area and they had these two passed it was so poetic I mean if I had written about you would think that this was a story but it's the truth they had this one path that said easy path and then they had this other path that said difficult path well I thought you know I'm just gonna take the difficult path and anybody who has ever seen my shoes it is it I'm probably not wearing the most practical shoes who are kind of other things like that but I did it anyway and I was by myself and one thing about this volcanic area there are no trees because there's no trees there's very little with wildlife there it is quiet I mean it is absolutely so quiet you can hear your own breathing so I got about, you know, twenty minutes down on the path and I got I was having my own little personal pity party because I was doing such a terrible job and then I thought, you know what? I sat down on iraq and I cried for like five minutes and I thought, ok, you need to just get your act together girly and after that I started taking there's no people there so I'm gonna just do some self porches but we had a bright sunny day so I started doing my own little self portrait of bambi my shadow right? And I don't know what it was about that moment but it gave me a breakthrough and I started noticing the landscape itself and then I started thinking about the way that I composed a wedding photograph or a photograph that had people in it well, there are no people here but are there elements that I can incorporate into this moment as if there were people like you know there are the rule of thirds there is you know you can look for triangular shape composition the way the light would fall across something to create these beautiful this dimensionality like higher that highlights and generous and well you said there's warren trees there but the place is looking for gesture in the trees I mean the j may sell thing of you know, objects have gesture gesture doesn't actually mean it's actually moving but you know just the shape of a tree or how it relates to the to the background and things like that and you look for and and start building it the other thing about landscape photographers they usually get up early in the morning yeah, I'm not an early morning person and I think one of our instructors was zacarias once said on the people photographers like just by the post court against lee played him by the postcard. There you go. Well, the good thing about iceland is, guess what stays daylight for, like, twenty to twenty hours a day in in in august, so it was very easy to stay up to get up early and then stay, you know, stay a place, so and I'm a morning brought girl I love give me early morning. I'm I'm happy camper, but after six o'clock, no better.