Author Topic: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008  (Read 2093 times)

keithsnell

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Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« on: May 30, 2008, 11:18:34 AM »
As I mentioned in the May Newsletter, I would like to try implementing a "weekly assignment" to encourage members to explore aspects of their photography that they might not otherwise explore.  The purpose of these "weekly assignments" is to inspire members to explore a photographic technique or style in order to expand their creative abilities.   

I've chosen "Isolation" as the first weekly assignment topic because I believe it should be fairly easy for most participants to find relevant compositions in or around their homes.  You can choose to use a photographic technique (limited depth of field/selective focus or selective lighting) to isolate your subject within the composition, or you can submit an image to illustrate the "concept" of isolation (such as a photograph of an individual that is "isolated" from society, etc.).  Better yet, visualize and capture an image that employs both a photographic technique and a "concept" to illustrate the theme of "isolation."

This "assignment” begins at one minute after midnight on Monday, 2 June, and the results are due before midnight on Sunday, 8 June.  Update:  In order to have as level of a playing field as possible for all the participants, I'd like to tie this deadline to "midnight" in your respective timezones.  Given the nature of this community I don't suspect we will have any issues with folks trying to sneak images in after the deadline. 

I've added a "weekly assignment" gallery.  Please post your images in the appropriate album in the gallery (i.e., "Isolation, 2 - 8 June 08").  If you are done with your assignment early, you can post it in the gallery and ask for suggestions and improvements from the other members.  I'd like to encourage an interactive discussion of the images that are submitted (and techniques employed) as a learning opportunity for all our members.

I'd also like to encourage members to vote for their favorite images.  You can rate the images on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).  Each member can rate as many images as they would like, but can only rate a specific image one time.  The cutoff for voting will be Midnight on Sunday of the week following the assignment.  (Midnight on Sunday, 15 June, for the 2 - 8 June assignment.)  The "top rated" image will be determined by the "average" score for each image.

I promise that if you participate in these assignments (and resulting discussions), your photography WILL improve.  Even if you are only a “lurker” on the forum and don’t participate directly, you will learn from the images and critiques posted by the active participants.  As a minimum, I’ll post my images and you can all critique them.  :-)   As with all things in life, what you get out of this opportunity will be directly proportional to the effort you put into it.

Let's see some great images.

Keith

« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 06:34:06 PM by keithsnell »

Geoff_R

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 12:24:28 PM »
Sounds like a good idea to me Keith....I'll try and get shot or two sorted
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Geoff_R

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Geoff_R

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A Starter Image...
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2008, 09:59:02 AM »
here's one from me please dont vote on this one....it wasnt taken in the period but its just an example of my interpretation of the project.



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Geoff_R

"Always look on the bright side of life...."

keithsnell

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2008, 12:39:48 PM »
Geoff,

Nice example of subject isolation through controlled depth of field, and interesting composition, which reinforces the feeling of isolation.  What is the significance of the title of this image in the gallery ("The Longest Wait")?  I'm not familiar enough with boxing to understand what this implies.  I suspect that understanding the title would reinforce the "isolation" theme.

Thanks for participating in the exercise.  I'm curious to see what other folks will come up with.

Keith

Geoff_R

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 02:30:57 PM »
Hi Keith glad you like it...its just one of those little shots you grab while working.....it was while waiting for the scorecards to be collected from the judges for a title fight that had gone the distance to a points decision....about 15 seconds later the microphone was picked up and the winner announced....most have felt like an eternity to the boxers.....thanks BTW for the links and getting the article up. I hope it encourages more to shoot in RAW. I'm always surprised at the number of folks that dont......
best
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Geoff_R

"Always look on the bright side of life...."

Geoff_R

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2008, 02:37:47 PM »
Keith I meant to say I worked just up the road from you in '88...worked as a cow poke just outside of Colbran for the summer...a long story:-)....some of the best days of my life...I'll get a few pics up when I get a chance. Although work of a different nature has brought me back over the pond on many occasions I've never been back to Colorado....I'll have to get over sometime.
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Geoff_R

"Always look on the bright side of life...."

keithsnell

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008, 03:19:32 PM »
Geoff,

Sounds like an interesting story.  I'd love to hear it sometime.  If you ever do get back to Colorado, or even to the Midwest, maybe we can spend a few days photographing together.

Keith

keithsnell

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008, 10:00:19 AM »
Just "playing" with the assignment.  Trying to use limited dept of field to "isolate" the flower from the background and provide a pleasing blur to the background.  I'm still not quite happy with the results.  The iris were a bit battered this morning from the wind, and I spent a fair amount of time jockeying my position to find a flower in decent conditon with a pleasing background.  In retrospect, I probably should have clipped off the stem going up to the right.  This would have removed this distraction and allowed more of the out of focus background to show through in the upper right corner.  I would have also perfered a little more light on the foreground.  I'll have to try again tomorrow morning and see what the flowers and light present.

Keith
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 10:08:35 AM by keithsnell »

rod1

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 01:07:19 AM »
Hi Keith, Took a series of images this afternoon, then after processing, reduced down to 5 and posted them in 'Weekly Assignment' gallery. Should I limit to one image only in future? Also, EXIF data is removed from image when resizing and "saving for web" in CS3. Is there any way of including the EXIF data from the original RAW files? Anyway, the whole exercise got me thinking which I am sure was your overall aim. That being the case, it was a success. Thanks. Rod.

keithsnell

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 02:15:22 PM »
Rod,

Sorry it took me so long to answer your questions.  Rebecca and I were teaching a photography workshop at Mount Evans, and so had limited access to the internet.  (The workshop went very well, even though the weather wasn't as cooperative as we would have liked.)

You can submit as many images as you would like in the "weekly assignment" gallery.  As you surmised the whole purpose of the exercise was to get folks to think about different photography techniques and improve through practice.  By the way, I really like your Wisteria image.  The color tones behind the leaf are nice and "creamy" and definitely add to the composition of the image.

You are correct that "save for web" strips EXIF data.  A relatively easy way to "save for web" in a way that the EXIF information is left intact is to use the "image processor" script in CS3.  If you are processing the image from within Photoshop, make sure the image is open, then on the "File" menu select Scripts > Image Processor, and follow the steps on the dialog box.  Make sure you select the "resize to fit" and "convert profile to sRGB" check boxes.  Please let me know if you have any problems using the Image Processor and I will go through the steps in more detail. 

Thank you for submitting images in the weekly assignment.

Keith

rod1

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 05:55:21 PM »
Hello Keith, Well done. Your instructions worked to a 'T'. I took the liberty of replacing the original image with the new one which contains Camera Data. I am interested in why the file size is now so small! Thank you very much. I always feel like such a slow learner, however, I certainly appreciate your help. Rod.

keithsnell

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 06:04:49 PM »
Rod,

You might want to check what the JPEG quality was when you ran the "image processor" on the image.  I've noticed that the default setting is fairly low, which would result in a small file size.  A JPEG quality of 8 is about right for web images. 

Thanks for asking the questions.  Lots of people learn by reading the answers.

Keith

rod1

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 09:56:06 PM »
Sorry to keep bothering you Keith! The jpeg 'Quality' was set at 8. What do other settings give me? You have said that file size for posted images should be no larger than 300kb. The setting of '8', gave me a file size of 63kb. (mind you...its a long way down from the almost 20 mb of the original RAW image) and it still 'look's' O.K. I guess providing it's not printed out, it would suffice for general web exhibition!! Rod

keithsnell

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Re: Weekly Assignment, "Isolation," 2 - 8 June 2008
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 10:12:14 PM »
Rod,

The beauty of JPEG is that it varies the size of the final file based on the "detail" in the image.  An image without a lot of detail (for example lots of blue sky) will save with a lot smaller file size then one with more detail.  The smooth tonalities in the background of your wisteria leaf image probably lend themselves to very "efficient" JPEG compression, hence the small file size.  You are welcome to try saving the image at a higher JPEG quality setting (try a setting of 10 or 11) and determine if you can see any visible difference at a 100% view. 

JPEG quality setting 8 is normally a good compromise to keep the file size down.

Keith