Crow and Snowy Trees: Is This Photo Interesting?
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

Is this shot at all interesting?

We awoke to a pretty layer of snow this morning, and I'm now going through the 249 shots I took on a short outing with Anthony. I was about to add this shot to the reject pile when I had second thoughts. I converted it to grayscale, futzed with the grayscale mix in Lightroom, and now it has some appeal to me, although I can't put my finger on exactly what.

Maybe the grayscale makes it interesting? I had a grayscale shot on my Artsy-Fartsy in Kyoto af f/1.2 post, which was met with overwhelming silence, so maybe I'm off track.

While writing this post, I first captioned the photo “Winter”, which was fine but bland. I then tried “Urban Winter”, but that casts a very different mood that doesn't really work here. So, I removed the caption. (If I were to be frank, I'd use “Big Nasty Crow Sitting On Ugly Utility Line”, but that also casts a different mood than I'm hoping for :-))

Anyway, I probably should just go with my first impression.

All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

It is interesting to me. It looks as though it is a drawing more than a photograph. Except for a few bits poking in on the left and the large out of focus branch on the right, I think it all works very well. Very nice.

What bits poking out on the left?
(ah, the benefits of revisionist editing :D)

I probably framed the out-of-focus branch on the right on purpose, to add some depth. I agree that in the end, it’s distracting.

Thanks for the kind words! Just looking at the amazing shots on the first page of your blog, your kind words about my shot are high praise indeed. —Jeffrey

— comment by Beau Harbin on February 18th, 2008 at 11:30am JST (15 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I like one-color winter images – 😉
Crow shot is very nice. I have some doubts about overal composition, but i always have em about my own shots too 😉

— comment by Alex on February 18th, 2008 at 3:02pm JST (15 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

I think the bird on the snowy wire is interesting enough to warrant a closer shot of just the bird and the wire, perhaps with just a few snowy twigs (in focus ones) around one or two of the frame edges to give context.

— comment by Jon on February 18th, 2008 at 3:07pm JST (15 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Is it interesting? In a word: yes. The bird is the only solid-seeming presence in what looks like a fluffy, cotton-wool world, a black-and-white bird in a grayscale picture.

— comment by Bahi on February 18th, 2008 at 4:55pm JST (15 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Definitely interesting and well seen.

I think I go along with Jon’s comment: how about a narrow vertical crop to include the pine tree in the background – about a third, or even less, of the present image width? The minimalist effect resulting puts me in mind of Imao Keinen’s Kachou Gafu, outstanding “flower and bird” woodcuts from the end of the 19th century.

Pity it’s not your tame heron, or you could perhaps persuade it to pose again for you!

— comment by Peter on February 19th, 2008 at 12:34am JST (15 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Yes, that’s exactly it, I also thought of sumi-e ink paintings when I saw the bird and branches.

— comment by Jon on February 19th, 2008 at 6:00am JST (15 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink
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