My Comments on Your Comments #2 « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Comments on Your Comments #2

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This image was posted here on June 28th; readers were asked to critique the image, to love it or rip it to shreds, and to let us know why. Please see my comments on your comments below.

My Comments on Your Comments #2

First off, thanks to all who visited and especially to those who commented. More folks on average liked this image than image #1 in the For Your Critique series. Several folks stated that they would have deleted that one; nobody suggested that here.

I will share my thoughts on your comments here. Many folks suggested a pano crop from the top, losing the clouds. Though a different and lovely image would surely result there is no way that I would lose the clouds. I am with Peter Noyes on that point! For me the clouds balance the whole image. Many folks stated that they loved the layers and I agree 100%. Most of all I love the first two layers, the wind-blown water and the flock of Tundra Swans. And I like field and the the mountains a lot and I love the fact that the the clouds pretty much balance those first four layers. And I like that the wind was behind me so that the birds were almost all facing the camera.

I am torn by Mary’s suggestion to eliminate the dark blue bit in the lower left corner. First I loved the idea but in retrospect I am not so sure. Chuck, the partial hill on our left is so far back that it is both out of focus and partially obscured by clouds so I would not go there. I love the various shades of the blues and on my calibrated monitor the WHITEs look just fine: not too bright with good detail showing. It is important to remember that even with calibrated monitors there will be variation depending on MAC or PC, ambient light, and the monitor angle.

Michael Eckstein, Therese S, Debby C, and especially David Policansky pretty much hit my nail on the head. (David, my brain is telling me that you have been on an IPT; am I correct?) Please do not feel that I am praising those who agree with me only because they are seeing things my way. I am just expressing my opinion as you did yours. And I do appreciate everyone who took the time to stop by and to comment. Jeff Dyck, I answered your d-o-f question in the comments section. Doug Bolt’s idea of making a B&W image has merit and I appreciated Jim Ducey’s comments on the peaceful mood of the image.

My student Alan Lillich decried the lack of a clear subject; for me the row of swans was clearly the subject. How many folks know that I coined the term “bird-scape”? I would not wish to crop any of the water from the bottom as the bottom of the image as is has perfect thirds: 1/3 water, 1/3 birds, and 1/3 field. To crop from below would upset that balance within the balance to my eye. Thanks Lesley for your winter wonderland comments; that is how I felt when I was there. Lesley’s husband Peter Kes is my web man as well as a dear friend; he is on a plane to Quito to join us as my guest after a last minute cancellation. As is my 12-year old grandson, Sam Egensteiner. Sam and I fly early on Sunday morning.

I’ll drop by tomorrow for a brief visit.

ps: Did I forget to mention that overall I liked the image a lot?

6 comments to My Comments on Your Comments #2

  • Artie,

    Only thing i would do here is clone out that small dark blue patch of water in the lower left of the image. otherwise I like how you balanced the many elements in the image. Good use of layering (water, birds, land, mountain, clouds and sky) to provide many horizontal layers in the image thereby adding depth and a flow into the background.

    For me the birds are not necessarily the main focus of the image, just one of the many elements that contribute to the whole.

  • Charles Scheffold

    Artie – I didn’t have a chance to comment earlier, but I do love this image. It reminds me of a similar image I took in Yellowstone but with Bison instead of swans 😉

    The rule of thirds is well demonstrated here by the clear “zones” in this image… the clouds, the mountains, the swans. I guess that’s my “technical” explanation. Artistically, it just works. Nice job!


  • cheapo

    I did like the clouds Artie, but, me being me, I wanted to magnify the presence of the swans, admittedly at the expense of the bigger picture. I’ve been called many things, but ‘artist’ isn’t one of them.

  • David Policansky

    Thanks, Artie. Sadly no, I haven’t been on an IPT yet and we haven’t met, but I have bought items from your web site (and just missed one) and we have exchanged some emails. I certainly have learned from you in those ways.


  • Stuart Freedman

    I think it is a great shot over all except for the brown ice along the shore line.

    Don’t think that color is consistint with the cold scene. Take a look at making it white.

    Stuart, I think that your brown ice is actually grasses coming through the snow…. artie

  • You’re taking your grandson to the Galapagos! What a wonderful summer vacation for him, one that he will remember for a lifetime. I might venture a guess that it will be a trip that you will not forgot. I would be hard pressed to know where to direct my photographic energies. While the wildlife is certainly spectacular, I am betting the priceless image is of you and you grandson. You guys have a great time.

    Thanks a stack Tommy. We will see you this fall. artie