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Matthew Lacy's picture

Risky Composition.

I have taken many photos of squirrels in my yard, but this time I tried a new composition. It's received mixed feedback so far, so I decided to get some opinions from more experienced photographers. I personally like the negative space, but maybe it wasn't as good as I thought. Any kind of feedback is welcome.

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Karin Schotte's picture

Bold, but i like it

Tom Reichner's picture

This is pretty similar to most images I see where the squirrel is vertically aligned with the tree trunk. The only thing that strikes me as being different is that there isn't quite as much of the tree trunk as is normally present. To me, it isn't an unusual composition at all, as it is so similar to most images taken of squirrels on tree trunks.

Personally, I think it's a bit too tightly framed to be pleasing.
I would prefer a bit more negative space above the squirrel, a bit more negative space below the squirrel, and a bit more of the tree trunk.

The way the tree leaves in the background are rendered is quite beautifully done. There is enough depth of field for the leaves to be easily recognized for what they are, but not so much as to cause them to overpower the squirrel.

I am interested in knowing why you chose not to compose this a bit more loosely, and give a little bit of extra room on the top, bottom, and left side? I am including a squirrel image of my own to show what I am talking about.

Matthew Lacy's picture

To be entirely honest I had never seen another like it, and didn't really know what I was doing, hence the "risk" for me. I had more space on the left side, but I liked the leaves more than the trunk. I tried to include more space on the top and bottom, but that made the squirrel very small in the frame with how stretched out he was. I didn't like the look of that, so I zoomed back in. This is mostly because I don't typically shoot wildlife, so I was mainly experimenting. Beautiful image, by the way!

Troy Straub's picture

I agree with what Tom said. Wish I had more to add, but I think he covered it.

nitinchandra's picture

You could try to rotate and flip so the head if on the left and points up. Perhaps reduce the saturation of the green as well...

Tom Reichner's picture

But then he would have a bunch of upside-down leaves and branches ...... awkward alert!

Matthew Lacy's picture

Color-wise, I will be re-editing this photo. I switched monitors about a week ago and it wasn't calibrated correctly, so all of my last week's photos look weird. Some turned out alright, so I may leave them, but others have colors that aren't the way I want them. The chest of the squirrel in this picture ended up a weird color. As for flipping, I don't think I'd try that.

Andrew Williams's picture

You can have it both ways.

Matthew Lacy's picture

Nice. I'm not sure I would have known what to do in that case.