Misses/Failures/Mistakes (Good or Bad)

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by michael_r, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I thought it might be interesting to have a thread about composition/aesthetic issues. For example, but not limited to:

    -A composition that worked in the mind's eye but ended up missing the mark for whatever reason
    -Mistakes (good or bad)
    -Pictures that seemed good but either ended of just missing or totally failing on sober second thought

    I'll start it off with one of my own oldies which required a lot of planning and was a difficult setup. I had to do it several times. While it initially seemed good, it ultimately failed (for me) due to some aesthetic issues that bother me, and some execution problems.

    One of the problems here is lens distortion (barrel distortion), which magnifies an existing aesthetic problem - the design itself creates the illusion the image is twisting clockwise. Worse, when I look at it the print doesn't even appear to be a perfect rectangle, being "stretched" to the right at the top right corner, and downward in the bottom right corner. I have matted/overmatted prints of the image and they still look this way. Perhaps that could be an interesting effect, but it wasn't what I was going for. I envisioned something cleaner, and worked hard to get everything as squared up as possible. It just doesn't work for me in the end.

    The 35mm TMX negative was made with a 24mm Nikkor, orange #22 filter. 2 minute exposure. Scan of work print on Ilford MGIV FB:

    Floor 37
    37th Floor.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  2. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    How about cropping so you use the main central part of the picture? Looks really good, there's a pic hidden there.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    When composing I always look carefully at the entire image area and edges. For me cropping would remove too many elements I wanted. It might work for somebody else but for me this is simply an image that failed for a number of reasons.
     
  4. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I divorced my "Misses"/mistake. 'Nuff said...
     
  5. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    Hey - I think that's a cool image as-is. It looked counterclockwise to me initially and still does.

    I have a similar photo I took at UCLA long ago, but yours is far more interesting because of the contrast in light and dark and the non-parallel railing.

    Don't overthink or put too much weight on the minor details (even though we strive for perfection). It's a good photo. I love it.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I like "Floor 37" just as it is.
     
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    michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I appreciate the comments - for me the image doesn't work. To some extent it was essentially a geometric study and to my eye there is enough geometrically "wrong" with it that it fails aesthetically.

    I'm hoping others will share images and stories. They can also be things that turned out better than expected for whatever reason.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  8. Svenedin

    Svenedin Subscriber

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    I think it is a very interesting and well executed photo. I can't see the flaws described by the OP but it does hurt my eyes/brain a bit like the pictures by M C Escher. It took me a while to realise that it was a staircase.
     
  9. tedr1

    tedr1 Member

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    I had an idea about this image and have taken the liberty of attempting to illustrate it here, I hope the OP is OK with this.

    Perhaps the issue is one of framing choice. The original has the steps as the horizontal and vertical references and the very strong black lines of the railings are perhaps in conflict with the light pattern of the steps. Here is the image rotated so that one of the strong black lines is horizontal. Now it is the light step pattern that is oblique and to my eye this creates an illusion of rotation around the central point at the foot of the stairs, and I prefer this version.



    37th Floor_A.jpg
     
  10. OP
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    michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Appreciate the effort but it's not what I was going for. Floor 37 just wasn't meant to make the cut. Perhaps more of a "near miss" than a total bomb, but still a miss. A learning experience.
     
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