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Vincent Langen's picture

First time in Namibia - what do you think

My first trip with a real photography focus. These are two of my favourite images from Namibia.

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Charles Mercier's picture

First one is great. At first, I thought the flats were the edge of the photo. Is it possible to bring out a little bit more contrast out it? The second one is washed out with too much empty sky. Beautiful tree though. I suggest cropping it around the tree.

Vincent Langen's picture

Thank you very much for the feedback! I will play around with the edits

Chris Jablonski's picture

It depends what you want to achieve, Vincent - scenic photography (I saw this interesting/attractive thing and here it is) or art.

While Namibia, Iceland, Torres del Paine, Cinque Terre, the Faroe and Lofoten Islands and other popular tourist and photographic destinations are popular for obvious reasons, photos tend to look like Namibia (massive dunes, dwarfed/dead vegetation), Iceland (AMAZING waterfalls, conical peak, dead DC-3, beached icebergs)... you get my drift. How many GREAT photos have you seen from these places? I saw some (Art Wolfe, Klaus Francke) years before these became must-see destinations, and have never seen them equalled, yet alone bettered, on FS or elsewhere. I've seen many more great images from more "ordinary" places.

Great destinations make for interesting holidays, but not necessarily photos that endure as more than scenic images.

From the art perspective, I agree with Charles to a degree. Both images are no doubt excellent record shots of how it looked to you. Specifically in the second, the midday sun does give harsh shadows and washed-out land and sky, which is why photographers tend to avoid it, and not just for landscape.

In addition to Charles' points, I'd crop a tittle off the bottom of the first image, as the foreground is very uniform in texture. (I rarely crop, and would have hoped to frame up a little higher instead.)

I like the composition in the second, and - well, that's how the sky was. It depends on what someone finds interesting. I might up the contrast a bit, and saturation. I'd be tempted to highlight the form of the dunes in both with a slight S shape in Curves.

Having said all that, for me there's nothing wrong with your images, which are well conceived, composed and executed, in your own vision, which may well be at odds with my CC. I particularly like the graphic aspects of the first, and the puzzle that diagonal poses, to make one think.

Follow your own heart.

Vincent Langen's picture

Thank you very much for your feedback! I really appreciate the time have taken to write this.

You make an excellent point about my intent. I am still very green at photography so I do not have a well developed intent or direction. I have been experimenting with a number of different things, especially macro (in lockdown this has been a great positive challenge to do within my 5k radius) and more fine art styled photos.

The photograph of Big daddy is definitely more of a memorabilia photo of my trip. It was unplanned and taken when ever I happened to have been there. This is obviously evident in the less than ideal timing of the light etc. I will certainly play around with the edit as you suggested to see what else I can make of it.

The photography of the footsteps in the dune represent more of an experimentation in the direction of fine art, focusing more on shape, texture and colour in an abstract way rather than representing a landscape at its best as you would expect out of traditional landscape photography. Having a look at your own work I can see how executing this well can make for compelling images!

Getting constructive criticism of my photographs is what I came here for and I am expecting a steep learning curve. Thanks again for your help!

Chris Jablonski's picture

Thanks for your kind words, Vincent. I didn't realise you're a fellow Melburnian until I'd posted my comment. It'll be good to be able to leave town. I've got Lorne and Dunkeld booked. Fingers crossed!

I see the two images as you describe them, the footprints more interesting as an art work, especially with that amazing shape. I like your inclusion of the start of the trail in the edit here. Suggest you put this version in your portfolio.

BTW as the OP you can edit the whole page, adding (or deleting, for that matter) images at left so the viewer can scroll directly between them. Just bear in mind that you may need to edit the text as well, or late viewers might be puzzled, and some of the early comments may seem odd.

Vincent Langen's picture

Thanks again for the tips. I'll have to really take the time to really get my head around this platform. Yes fingers crossed we can get out and about soon!