Daniel Michels's picture

Right or wrong?

Hello, I'm new here and now looking for feedback and suggestions for improvement.
I took this photo in the Swiss Alps and am not unhappy with it, but often I'm unsure if it is too dark after all. On the other hand, I like the contrast very much and I find the special atmosphere interesting. I am looking forward to your comments :)

Greetings

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7 Comments

C. Broken's picture

Try different aperture settings. Was the camera set to black & white mode or did you post edit to achieve the black & white image. Was a tripod used?. I wouldn't suggest a long exposure as the cow would move. Was a filter used? if so was it a ND which would be the incorrect filter. if you're going to shoot in black and white, try a red filter. if the ND is all that you have, then set the aperture according to how many fstops the filter uses. IE ND6 would us 2 stops. etc if you've done anything in post editing, let's see the before picture also.

Daniel Michels's picture

I only edited the photo afterwards and didn't use a filter, even though it was comparatively dark when I took it. My main question is whether the photo works that way or whether a slightly brighter (not quite so dark) approach would have looked better. Thank you very much for your comment and your helpfulness.

C. Broken's picture

If the time of day/night was/is dark, then some sort of external light should have been used to access the cows. Avoid flash attachments, moreover using a flashlight of sorts could have highlighted the lower half of the cow. Framing is acceptable. But I fell, one could have better used light to their advantage to achieve the desired effect. Even though I suggested a flashlight and not a flash per-say, a hot plate flash may have worked but would have been very harsh. Perhaps a flash filter/color filter which fits over the light housing could have been used to lighten up this image just so the cows don't appear legless..

Chris Jablonski's picture

I like the darkness, and the unusual, almost slightly odd composition here, Daniel! One of those images that somehow raises questions as I look at it, partly because of what can't be discerned. I wouldn't change the tonality at all. However, remember different viewers' different screen brightness will result in not everyone seeing what you (& perhaps I) do.

One minor issue is banding in the sky, a problem with which I struggle a lot when contrast is increased.

It's an unusual and imaginative image, Daniel. Hope to see more from you.

Daniel Michels's picture

Thank you very much for your constructive and positive feedback. It helps me a lot to improve my compositions and pictures. Especially when you read how other people perceive the picture.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Well, I couldn't have suggested to you how to improve this composition, Daniel! I'd never have thought of it. I think I'd have placed the cows facing into the centre of the image, but I really like what you've come up with. Got me thinking...

Rob Symonds's picture

Looks like you found a dramatic locale! The texture in the cow and the far background are nice. While I like the feel of deep blacks, I’m not sure they make this particular image stronger. I find that my eye searches for the cow’s face but can’t find it, and also tries to read the rock formation on the right and can’t. That missing information could give the image more depth, more layers, and more for the eye to do. Look at Sebastio Salgado's work (which this hints at) to see what I mean. I think sometimes really heavy burning can work if it pushes an image into feeling surreal or tones down unhelpful detail, but it doesn’t have that effect here, at least not to my eye. Would be great to see the raw image and then something processed with a lighter touch as well.