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01-04-2015, 02:55 PM   #1
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Low-key lakes
Camera: K-5 ISO: 50 


Solicitating critique here. First post on the critique forum so please bear with me if I don't yet know the procedure very well.

As the exif will probably tell, these pictures were taken at different times, however, they ended up looking quite matching after development (except for the toning, my personal jury is still out on that). I actually ended up liking the end result in a way that I may actually make them into a set and take further pictures with the same theme. I also used a square crop, which for me is quite unusual, but seems to fit these pictures somehow.

I'm looking for ideas on what went well and what not so regarding these pictures as well as first impressions from people who also take photos (don't have many such acquintances in real life). I'm trying not to direct the attention to any specific issues or ideas as I'm looking for commentary that is untethered to my pre-concieved views on the images and as such I'll avoid going very in-depth in the pictures myself (I'll post more details a bit later if people are interested).

Both images are taken of small lakes in Finland and are quite typical scenery for the area, low-key and somehow 'approachable' as opposed to the majestic vistas you might get somewhere else. One is a day time photo taken on an overcast day and the other was taken after dusk as wisps of mist were rising from the surface of the lake.

Thanks for comments

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01-04-2015, 03:06 PM   #2
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Very nice!
01-04-2015, 04:09 PM   #3
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Interesting idea, this low-key landscape. You might go further with it, making the trees nearly black. Remove some sky so that the frame is mostly dark. The picture suits it with the lily pads against texture in the water. A few full white parts would be good.
01-05-2015, 05:23 PM   #4
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I really love the two photos!
However, I find them to have a powerful and mysterious, almost creepy feel to them, rather than low key. Makes me think of fairy tales from Norway about trolls and particularly Nøkken (The Neck; Fi:Näkki), who lured women and children to drown in lakes.
I like the square framing, and the inclusion of much sky and lake, and with the tree-line tapering to the centre. (The squareness also makes me think of CD/LP cover art, particularly some of the Black Metal art that I've been exposed to over the years growing up in Norway).
Not sure that was the feel you were aiming at, but that's what I initially got from the photos =)

I think including either more or none of the straw in the upper photo would be nice. In the second, I find the clear sky on the right to be a bit too bright, and takes away some of the mystique/attention from the photo. Also, I'm guessing the haze/mist would have intensified later on - making for an even more mysterious photo?

Please post more nature scenes

01-06-2015, 05:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments!

Clicksworth, very good point about the texture created by the lily pads. I kind of noticed it, but didn't pay that much attention on how significant detail it is for the overall feel of that picture. Using the whole dynamic range is also one of the things that I should consider as you suggested (it's a fine balance and I suppose it will change with each version tha I make of these photos be it print or digital)

AlexBW, thanks. I didn't think of it that way when taking the picture, but my wife just said that for the second picture she was actually considering a knife to scare away the "Näkki", while that picture was taken . Interesting interpretation and also one of the things I was looking for in posting here (personally I find the pictures quite calming, funny isn't it?). I didn't consider the effect of the straws in the first picture, a mistake on my part now that I reconsider as the texture might've been interesting addition. Agreed on the right hand side of the sky in the second picture, it's a bit too light for the rest of the frame. About the mist: it had an interesting quality in that it was a lot clearer while observing it without a camera. I can only guess why. I think part of it may be that they were quite well defined shapes, but constantly moving on the surface of the lake and hence lost a bit of impact on slow shutter speeds.

Last edited by fromunderthebridge; 01-06-2015 at 05:24 AM. Reason: gosh darn it, forgot to enable javascript again and the line breaks were mangled
01-16-2015, 04:26 AM   #6
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I really like the first photo. Clean, crisp image with detail that pulls me into
the photo like the lily pads in the front with the clouds that seem to bow down into the center of the shot.
Contrast makes it somewhat pop.

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