This is a composite of two images. One of Mt. Shasta - pretty clear where that was taken. And one in the same Shasta Weed area, but quite a distance away of an old barn type structure using the wood window frame to frame the mountain.
What technical feedback would you like if any?
Any and all
What artistic feedback would you like if any?
Any and all
Pertinent technical details or techniques: I simply wiped out the view in the frame using PS, cropped and overlayed on an approriately sized photo of Mt. Shasta. After adjustments in LR to each photo for the usual suspects (wb, exposure, tone, presence and lens corrections - probably no sharpening nor noise reduction). A question is: “Is this of artistic merit or just a hackneed theme of using one old weatherbeaten frame for a lanscape photo?”. An inspiration for me from a photo I shot many years ago at the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum - I have added it below in a comment along with the component photos which were used to make this composite.!
I know the notion of “story” carries some baggage, but, more often than not, it can help answer some questions.
Your inspiration image tells a great story wrapped around layers in time.
Composites tend to throw up some subconscious red flags over some seemingly unimportant issues, but they can cause an observer to move on if not addressed.
For example, and I am just guessing, you may have been very intentional and I’m just way off base, but it seems the notion is something along the lines of, “How cool would it have been to have lived here, as many pioneer-types obviously did, and been able to gaze out at this view.”
So, for starters, the interior you are looking out of should be darker than the exterior, as in the inspiration painting. (the frame for the painting and your flash don’t count)
The window you used is an exterior shot looking in. The light and its direction clashes with Shasta.
There appears to be a cool old building in your other shot with the door ajar that would make a great place to explore for an, “interior looking out shot.”
Another cool, and easy thing to think about is, “What is your subject for the viewer’s eye?”
Your Shasta shot has lots of great fore, and mid-ground detail, but it they slightly distract from your story intentions. How cool it is to wake up to Mt. Shasta, not the yard or even the interior window frame. You have done a great job of capturing them all sharp, but in post it might help to ever-so-slightly blur them, not unrecognizable, but enough to drive an observers eye to its goal and source of ultimate, “ahhhh.” Shasta.
One other easy step is to reinforce a sense of depth by thinking about distance.
For this story a bit of desaturation of Shasta will add to the distance/depth and emphasize some nostalgia to boot. Notice your inspiration image has tack-sharp detail and saturation in the glass and dark window frame but the buildings across the street are a bit blurred and desaturated.
A very cool concept you have here. Worth another trip afield to re-shoot the interior even, if necessary.
I’m kinda new, hope I haven’t bored you with unnecessary detail.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, LARRY! Great ideas! First, I knew the fact that I was “shooting” Shasta “through” the outside of a window “looking in” was a problem - absolutely right the light is just wrong. Not sure what you meant by my “flash” - all taken in natural light. You are right - I probably should have explored the interior of the building that I used for the outside “looking in” [your “cool old building” is the same one I shot the exterior windor on - check it out it’s the nearest window on the left side of the building] - to shoot an inside window “looking out”. Frankly, I was a bit reluctant to go inside - although I didn’t see anyone around, I would have felt a little stepping over a boundary to do that without permission. Second, the dark intereior and unknown possible encounters of the bug kind was also discouraging. I don’t carry enough lighting around to light the interior to make it apear naturally lit. I don’t think a flashlight would have worked - but I guess I might have tried just to see. Chickened out on that. Any lighting ideas for the future greatly appreciated. Still the bugs . . .
As far as focusing on Shasta perhaps by blurring the frame and foreground, and desaturation of the view to indicate depth, will give these a try to see what it looks like.
Agree, a revisit to the building to shoot the window from the interior is in order. On my agenda . . . but the bugs . . .
Oh and the idea was that this is an old building and using the frame “re-frames” the time to an earlier one in a similar way the painting in the Cody museum did by capturing part of a scene from before. Not as well here . . . but I didn’t have a stagecoach
You also mentioned no stagecoach. If you want to play a bit more with flexing your composite chops, just for fun, you might also try capturing any ranch objects you can find and cutting them into the middle ground, or, “front yard.”
For example, and old windmill and watering trough, or even an old hand pump for water or an old mailbox. Or and old model A truck! Or, if you’re a total nut, shoot that metal dragon out on five just North of Shasta and turn this into an old hippie ranch. ha!
Cut them into the front yard and still blur a bit.
Even a kid in blue jeans and cowboy boots pumping water into an old bucket or pale.
The possibilities are endless and just add to the fun.
For the interior looking out it will be dark but you shouldn’t need lights. A reflector at best and probably not even that. Shoot with your lens wide open as you don’t need any depth of field. Shoot from a tripod and make the exposure as long as you need since the window is stationery and you are not trying to stop motion. A low ISO will keep it clean and works as time is not an issue.