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Author Topic: Figures in the Landscape  (Read 63971 times)
Terry-M
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« on: July 28, 2009, 09:20:50 AM »

Something non-technical for a change  Wink
In the past I have tended to avoid getting total strangers in my images, particularly when out in the countryside and taking landscapes. However, I have begun to appreciate the value of including the human figure in such images to give either a focal point, or add to the sense of scale and perspective.
My wife and I had a trip out last Saturday to a popular area in England, the Derbyshire Dales. On a Saturday in the holiday season it was difficult to avoid getting people in the picture so it seemed a good idea to make use of it. These were not close-ups of people so were not intrusive to them, just relatively small features in the photograph, which, I think, adds interest.
I’ve inserted some examples below, no “fine art” stuff, just record shots of a day out. The 3rd is a “village-scape” and like the others, I waited for the people to be in the view.

So what do others think, do you include the human figures in your landscapes, does it enhance or detract?
Did I say "popular", just look at how many people are on top of that hill  Roll Eyes
Terry.

Dovedale


Footpath to Dovedale


Ilam Village Cross

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Fred A
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 09:56:04 AM »

Quote
enhance or detract?

Oh just wonderful, Terry!
The effect is startling especially in number one. I would have no idea of the size of that hill without the perspective added by the people.
Number 2 shows me size and distance...
Number is just wonderful with the houses showing the size, and the people adding enough life to be real.

Fred
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Terry-M
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 10:51:04 AM »

Quote
Oh just wonderful,
Thanks for the nice words Fred.
I'm half hoping that someone will disagree and we can then go further.
Also, it would be good if some of our pro's chipped in, does it sell a picture etc.?

Much of the forum is the technical stuff, which is good, but that is a means to an end. We want photographs that invoke an emotional response as well as being technically adequate.
I'm hoping this thread will expand some horizons. Cool

Terry
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mburke
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 12:31:31 PM »

Hi,

I don't post real often but I thought the people in #1 were a little distracting. My eye was drawn more to them than the beautiful area. #2 was better because of the positioning between the rails. #3 was ok. That picture would have been nice either way depending on what you were trying to show.

As an aside, I am finding this whole Qimage website to be one of my favorites. I print mostly for myself so I don't use all that Qimage can do for me but it sure is nice to have all the features available.

Mike
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 01:27:42 PM »

Terry,

I'm a techie and I'm no pro photographer, so I can only relate to what I "feel" when I look at the photos.  The first thing I notice in shots one and two are that the people are heading toward the camera.  This makes me feel like the people are either leaving the beautiful landscape and heading back to their car, or they are "posing" for shots.  My preference in shots like that would actually be to get the back of the people as they are walking away, into the landscape.  That way you get the idea that they are enjoying the same view that we are and it is less distracting.  In shots like those, showing one person leaning against a tree and looking off into the distance (again away from the camera) is a powerful effect.  I do like the third one.  With the buildings/street, it invites people to enjoy the day and since the two main subjects aren't heading toward the camera, I get the feeling they are enjoying their day and you captured the mood rather than people wondering "who is that guy with the camera" as they walk toward you.

My .02.

Mike
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Terry-M
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 08:08:56 PM »

Thanks for the comments guys.
Mike B said
Quote
#2 was better because of the positioning between the rails.
One thing I didn't like was the red clothing, too strong on a green landscape.
Mike C said
Quote
The first thing I notice in shots one and two are that the people are heading toward the camera
and
Quote
My preference in shots like that would actually be to get the back of the people as they are walking away, into the landscape.
Mike, you have to remember I was out with my non-photographer wife who was not waiting patiently, I had to get what I could  Grin
A techie comment:
#3 was my least favourite, probably because I had to "work" on it. The easy part was that I had exposed for the bright clouds, when the people came by, they were in the shade of a passing cloud and so a value of +19 was required in Qimage raw refine. The "work" was related to the fact that I should have changed lenses to my Sigma 10-20 but carried on with the Canon 17-85. Not only did I have to correct perspective, but barrel distortion too.

It is fascinating to hear what gets different people to react to photographs.
Of course many of the old masters used figures in their landscapes, one I know well is Monet's Poppy Fields with ladies walking through them.
Just for fun I Googled "figures in landscape" images and there are many examples in both paintings and photographs.
Terry.
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Fred A
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 08:41:06 PM »

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Of course many of the old masters used figures in their landscapes

The old Masters used chubby naked ladies in a field with poppies and daisies.

That was a trick question!! Cheesy Cool Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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Ya Me
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 11:34:34 AM »

Terry I am no Pro

#1 First the big mountain catches my eyes then I see the patch of trees The people in the picture I can't say if it adds or takes away from the picture.
After looking at it I wonder what is on the other side of the rolling hills. The picture give me the feeling that would be a cool place to go to.

#2 First I see the people then I notice the cross over. I think "to myself" that is neat the way they build the wall. Then I look at the mountain and ski. So I go back to Picture #1 to compare the mountains to see if they are the same mountains.

#3 First I notice the ski but my eyes are drawn to the cool buildings. So I have to look at all the scenery. Think "to myself" that must be a cool place to see. If the people in the road weren't there I would wonder where is everybody.
 
Yes, I think they are great pictures. I see the pictures "they make me think" not just look at them and go to the next page. If I had 3 thumbs I would give you 3 Thumbs Up.

Great shots
Thanks for sharing

Ya Me
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Terry-M
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 12:58:44 PM »

Ya Me
Thanks for your comments, I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed the photographs.
Some information:
Quote
First the big mountain catches my eyes
Strictly it's a hill of 942 feet called Thorpe Cloud; a 1000 feet makes a mountain in England.
Quote
I notice the cross over. I think "to myself" that is neat the way they build the wall.
That is called a "stile", very common on footpaths that cross farmland fields; animals can't use them  Wink and can't be left open like a gate.
Unless it's a "kissing" gate, a sort of swing gate in a tight enclosure, I don't know where the name came from  Roll Eyes  Grin
The wall is a dry stone wall, common in Northern England and in part of Victoria, Australia where people from Derbyshire settled.
Terry.

 
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Ya Me
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2009, 01:33:15 PM »

"stile", very common on footpaths that cross farmland fields;
Northern England, Australia.

There is some great farm land to see, not just places that have bodies of water.
 Never been there, But seeing photos like yours I am able to see what I am missing and think *where would I go if I am going to go on a long trip* and who will baby sit me Cheesy  Grin

Thanks for sharing

Ya Me
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Fred A
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 03:22:13 PM »

Ya Me,
Now picture Robin hood and his merry men fleeing on horseback from the Sheriff of Nottingham and his men.
Arrows raining down on them from the top of Thorpe Cloud, they hold their shields over their heads as they gallop at breakneck speed into the next forest for safety.
Little did they know that Terry-M was hiding behind the large oak with his camera. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Fred
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Terry-M
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 04:25:47 PM »

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Now picture Robin hood and his merry men
Here's one of 'em  Grin

Terry.
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PH Focal-Scape
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 09:02:00 PM »

So what do others think, do you include the human figures in your landscapes, does it enhance or detract?
Did I say "popular", just look at how many people are on top of that hill  Roll Eyes
Terry.

Nice landscape, some scenes in NZ are very similar, including the use of styles. We don't see much drystone walling though.

It's an interesting question you raise.

To my eye, the people in photos #1 and #3 distract too much (#3 less so). Whereas in photo #2 they are the "framed" subject. 

In photo #1 my eye wants to follow the valley but is repeatedly distracted by the people. I agree with Mike C's comment about preferring people entering  (or communing with) the landscape rather than leaving it .

PETER

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Seth
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2009, 08:27:00 PM »

  My preference in shots like that would actually be to get the back of the people as they are walking away, into the landscape.  That way you get the idea that they are enjoying the same view that we are and it is less distracting. 

You mean like this?

In Zion NP


Leaving Albania (Well, not too scenic)


Chania (KRITI)


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Seth
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Terry-M
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2009, 07:03:46 AM »

I'm glad that someone else has shown some images, I was beginning to think you are all shy & retiring  Wink

Quote
Leaving Albania (Well, not too scenic)
Having the one face visible makes this picture I think, thanks for sharing it.
Terry.
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