Composition Gutter

We have one day of dog shows in the books.  The good news is both dogs ended up taking a first place in one of their runs with Rizzi even earning another title.  The bad news is they had more than one run a piece – translated, another 6 failures to round out the day.  Speaking of failures, I’m actually sitting here in the midst of a rain of confetti thanks to a Butler choke and apparently OVER-RATED Zags – those two games drove me to tear up my NCAA bracket into tiny pieces and toss them in the air.  Oh well, I can always Cub it and declare “Just wait until NEXT season”.    Meanwhile I’ll work the sorrow off by cranking out another post.

Consider this part two of the Indy Botanical Gardens Statues post (link here).  I was not kidding when mentioning there are a lot of interesting status there.  Take for instance the Zombie Turtle

This little guy (or maybe gal) gave me an opportunity to assess the impact of composition on the overall impression of the shot.  The shot above doesn’t look that bad.  You can see the detail in the turtle’s underbelly and the outline is dark enough to pull it out of the background.  The water didn’t come out as smooth as the shots in yesterday’s post – there wasn’t any fish in the ponds so guessing it was the wind effect again.  Also note from the shadow you can tell the sun was high and in front – not my preferred shooting conditions (Linda also reminded me it was over 100 that day!).

Changing up the angle a bit gave me a better shot of the shadow, but at the cost of the main subject getting a little lost in the background.

The bizarre posture and the water ripple ended up mushing up (highly technical photograpy term) the reflection anyway.  The turtle now looks less like a brains craver and more like an Olympic diver building up momentum to pop off the diving board before executing a Triple Lutz with an Inward Pike Somersault ending in a Fakey.  If that makes sense to you then I’m not the only one who doesn’t know a damn thing about diving.  The turtle sculptor must have been busy, because there were other poses sprinkled around the gardens.  In another attempt to find a background that would complement the shot, I went with the water vegetation.  If you recall, I tried a similar thing with the frog in the previous post.  The results seem a tad distracting.  My eye keeps getting drawn to the background.  I call this the Kite Flying Russian Dancing Turtle.

And then there’s Michelangelo running through his forms.

A mere 20 degrees probably prevented that shot from being one of my favorites.  Obviously not taking into consideration the full composition, I ended up cutting the angle short and instead of filling the background with uniform vegetation it looks like I got some concrete structure.  Also makes it hard to shop in a picture of Shredder (hehehe).  Lesson slowly getting hammered in – give the background more attention – 6 more times and it just might stick.

Hit the jump to read more about the Indy statues – but be warned, it does eventually descend into the gutter.

Of course, every rule of thumb ends of being broken sometime.  Take for instance the Scrat Meets Success shot below.  In this situation, I did pivot enough to get the background covered in vegetation – but at the cost of losing features in the squirrel.

Shifting to the left some gave a much better visual on how happy the squirrel is (although revealing it didn’t have the same fangs as Scrat)

… but that meant a gap in the vegetation.  It seems to work okay since it immediately focuses the viewers eye on the nut, but it would have been worth trying a few more angles to see if the full head could have been captured without the grey background.  What’s your opinion of the two shots  – stay with first, give the advantage to the better head angle or chuck them both!

Next up was the find of the day.  By complete accident I found this rabbit hiding out in some brush behind a bolder.  The rock kept you from seeing it while walking toward it on the path, but if you happened to look back you were given a special treat.  Clearly this sad little bunny didn’t want to be seen giving into emotions.  I call it “Fiver Learns His Vision Came True”.

No worries, Bigwig will help them get through.  If you get the chance to make it to the gardens, be sure and explore off the beaten path – you never know what you might find.  But be prepared, there are some things you might not be able to push out of your memory – depending, of course, whether you like to stray from the sidewalk from time to time.  Recently, Linda and my brother Ron commented on how well they did on spatial relationship tests.  I would have to say my skills were pretty good with those too, but my real specialty is perspective.  This ability was extremely helpful in my early years of 3D modeling programming (which I can’t really talk about here)  but it can turn up handy during shoots as well.  Take for instance this proud  bunny

The minute I saw this I started laughing.  There are things out there that leave me very intrigued and generally provide thought fodder when it comes to speculating on the origin of a creative piece of art.  Was the creator just naive (spending waaaay to much time on the sidewalk) or did he or she purposely leave an interpretation that say.. might be more in the gutter.

My guess with this particular specimen… the creator knew EXACTLY what was going to happen.  Oh yeah, we’re going there so if you want to keep your innocence then I suggest you stop reading now.. as in RIGHT NOW.  On the other hand, if you haven’t already figured it out for yourself and in for a little humor, check out the angle I was bound and determined to get before we left that scene.

Yes folks. that is one proud MALE bunny.  Surely the sculptor knew this was going to happen – just like the graphics guy at Planters who designed this (link here) – (turn it upside down).  Of course I couldn’t leave it there, especially when I noticed an equally interesting rock off to the side.  A little more composition work and ….

Now we have a proud mail bunny that spent the night sucking down too many brews over at the Watership Down Bar!  When you are a male bunny, the world IS your bathroom.  Okay, fun is over and you can jump back onto the sidewalk.

Unlike the other shots that make me smile – thinking I better not hang this one up at work… well, at least this angle!

That’s all for tonight folks – looks like tomorrow is going to be spent navigating through a heavy snowfall (Global Warming my ass) so better get my rest.  Remember to experiment when you are out in the field – you never know what angle will get you the best… laughter.

2 thoughts on “Composition Gutter”

  1. Hehehehe nice one! I was going to comment on just how happy the bunny looked but like your take better.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Rocket!


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