New and the Old

Taking images from a boat is challenging. I was intrigued by the small point and spring foliage against the grasses from last year. The lighting was particularly interesting. It did not work well in color hence B/W. Some radial filter use to enhance the lighting.

Specific Feedback Requested

Keeper or not? Comp and processing.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
200 mm, f/16, 1/400, iso 200


I love this Mario, masterful use of B&W. The strong edge burning works well here. But I also like the subtle areas of light in the LRC water, and the ULC background trees. Those nice small touches add to my enjoyment of the image. A very bold and impactful image, well done.

I agree with @Ed_McGuirk that this is very impactful. I also think the highlight on the water really adds to this image in a big way. Typically I agree with Ed, but I am not as sure about the highlight on the background tree. For me it pulls me out of the image a bit. Regardless of that minor nit, this a fine BW image and is very well done!

I like this too. Not sure about that background tree. Maybe darken it some but not completely away.

@Kerry_Gordon made a comment on another image that for me applied to this image. What is this image saying? I get the dark and light contrasts and it’s effectiveness in defining this scene but I’m not clear on what is being stated. This is a little different than Kerrys comment which challenges the author to make his statement more clearly. There is no ambiguity here but more puzzlement. So it’s probably my issue and I just need to be with this longer. Personally I would like the message to be clearer, more obvious.

Thank you all @Igor_Doncov @Alan_Kreyger @Ronald_Murphy @Ed_McGuirk for your time to comment.
Igor, I appreciate the question on the message and it is a pertinent one. In this instance there is no message other than the ostensible one of a peaceful scene because of the light. Some would say photography is about light but I believe it is also about life in some images. Some times , for me, it is simply capturing a scene I see …showing you this is what i saw, as most images presented on NPN are. I love looking at these images for what they are aesthetically and technically. I am doing various projects, that alternatively have a “message” via multiple images presented together. I think projects are the way to do that for metaphorical statements or simply presenting life. NPN is not a theater where this is easily done in my opinion. Thank again for the comment and incentive to reflect on what I am actually doing with the work I am presenting here.


Alan, after seeing your comment I changed my mind on the background tree. I now think you are right, it would be better to burn it down.

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Now wait a minute, Mario. I’m not exactly buying what you’re selling. Not the photograph itself, which I do like, but what you’re saying about it in response to @Igor_Doncov 's comments. I mean, clearly this is not what you saw. Most obviously, it’s in black and white which, unless you’re totally colour blind is not what you saw. But more especially the dramatic contrasts and all that you’ve done in post is not what you saw. It may be what you felt or experienced but I can’t believe it’s literally what you saw. I don’t see this as a problem in the slightest. After all, isn’t that what art is about - creative expression, which includes interpretation. My mentor, David duChemin talks about this all the time in the distinction he makes between what the photograph is “of” and what it is “about”. Not every photograph needs to tell “a story”. Some don’t. But every photograph is about something and it is the responsibility of the author, the photographer to guide his readers towards that vision. Too often I don’t ask the question until after the fact, after I’ve taken the picture. But the best of my photographs are a result of asking that question in the midst of making the photograph and slowly working my way towards the essence of what the image is “about” - for me. When you say, “It is simply capturing a scene I see” - to be honest, I don’t what that means. When I look out at the world and see something that strikes me or draws my attention and then pick up my camera and shoot everything that is in my field of view, I am ostensibly photographing what I see. But the point is, I’m not actually perceiving everything in my field of vision. Something is drawing my attention amidst all that my eyes see out there and as a photographer, that’s what the image needs to be about and I have to find a way to frame that so that the reader has some inkling of why I took the picture in the first place. All this that I’m saying is philosophical and, obviously not as easy to do as to say. But, at least for me, it is this approach that has helped me grow as a photographer and as an artist. I hope you don’t mind me using your image and this conversation to think out loud :crazy_face:

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@Kerry_Gordon Thanks for the reflection on this Kerry. I agree this image is more of what i felt when I observed it and hence my interpretation in processing.

Mario. This short article may offer an explanation of your image. What do you think?

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@Ed_McGuirk @Alan_Kreyger Here is a version with removal of a small radial filter on the tree. I think I still like the original better but thought I would give it a go.

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Thanks to your suggestion I’ve been reading many of the fine articles that David duChamin has written. They contain much valuable information for the photographer. However, I have not found anything that I didn’t already know. I have learned everything on my own by shooting, experimenting, and thinking. I could have leap frogged many years by getting such information from books but did not. I specifically went into photography to learn and discover on my own. I wanted some knowledge that was completely my own. I felt that being taught was robbing me of some valuable pleasure, a pleasure I had been robbed of repeatedly by both schooling and in the professional world. So I had mixed feelings about the readings. Yes there was valuable information but I was so glad that I had discovered it on my own rather than learned it from a written page. Does anything I say make sense to you. Do you agree with any of it.

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THank you Igor. I do think it applies to the image. Nice read. I am subscribing to him!

It makes perfect sense. It would be absurdly presumptuous of me or anyone else to debate you in your own experience. Only you have the authority to assess that, which by your account has been fulfilling, meaningful and creatively stimulating. Therefore, I salute you. As long as we don’t insist that our process is the “right” process, which you most certainly aren’t, it is really about taking the creative path that is consistent with who we are. Now, all that is from a psychological point of view. From a spiritual perspective, I tend to question any sense of “my knowledge”, “my opinion”, “my creation”. In an interdependently arising reality we are all of us drawing from the same source or, let us say, field of consciousness. And while I give it its unique shape or expression according to who I am and what I have to offer, I am not its source and therefore, it would be an illusion on my part to imagine it is “mine”.

I agree with you on this, Mario. The tree adds a layer of mystery - the barely seen - that adds to the impact of the image.

This is lovely, and I’ve nothing to add as far as critique, other than to say that the dim background tree feels essential to me. It adds an air of mystery. I enjoyed the discussion very much, also.


Thanks for the repost without the spotlight on the tree. I have to say that I do prefer the repost as it strips away, what to my eye, is a minor distraction. But we all see things differently and I appreciate this fine image regardless.

Wonderful imagery Mario! I think a great choice going monochrome - I can only guess what colors were there in the background could have been distracting. I much prefer the original where the background trunk is more visible. Even with it’s presence, the light is diminished in the background and I think the hint of the tree trunk adds a little mystery and depth to the overall scene.

I think I understand what you mean by referencing “what I saw” - but perhaps to clarify the meaning, I might say, “what I recognized…” ie. clearly the scene and light conditions that drew you and motivated you to capture with your camera.

I think I also understand your point that sometimes things are just simply beautiful. I’m not one to assign any great meaning to any photograph. If anything, any meaning is for me personally - but I’m not trying to make it meaningful for everyone else. Sorry, but not every photograph has to provide meaning, or carry a message to the viewer. Anyway, to each our own.

This image is beautifully seen, captured and presented.


If you are attracted enough to photograph domething then by definition it has meaning to you.