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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Perception, Perspective, Distraction & Critique...
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02/08/2024 12:31:03 PM · #1
Okay..... I'm looking to discuss some characteristics/results/perceptions/reactions/whatever fom the voters as they relate to distractions and of course, composition.

This image:

I got pinged on two of the three comments for the sign in the left forefront of the image.

I waffled on it, but chose to leave it 'cause it adds a bit of depth and reality, IMO. That's characteristic of that bridge as it has signs interspersing the light stanchions all the way across that bridge.

I guess what is ultimately my question is ..... What and where is the threshold of "Distracting Elements"?

I have seen comments before on others' entries where said elements are called out and I don't wholly understand the concept that something in the frame of the composition, generally something that cannot be controlled and/or is certainly not the focal point of the image, ruins the image......or at least detracts from it so much that it turns off the viewer.

I'm more of a big picture kind of guy and don't get concerned about obvious uncontrollable elements especially as the to a certain extent are not part of what is being conveyed by intent. Yeah, I could have cloned it out. I also could have spot edited the glimmers from the rivets holding the sign to the pole. I actually did remove those rivets, but then decided to put them back and leave it as seen.

In all fairness and to assur y'all that I'm curios rather than whining, even the other entitiy in my own house has spoken of distracting elements in my imagery from time to time. I often do clone things out, spot edit, selectively desaturate and other edits to enhance whatr I want from an image, so no issue on that front for me, either.

I would love to hear thoughts on my ramblings, and am supremely interested in thoughts and attitudes towards the infamous distractions.
02/08/2024 12:56:05 PM · #2
I would have given you another point if I had seen the sign.

Some people like to see an image they've seen before. It gives them a sense of comfort, and confidence that the photographer knows what they are doing, since they are so faithfully and accurately replicating what's been done over and over again. If they've been told that image is pretty over and over again, then they know it's pretty. If they've been told that image is "moving" over and over again, then they know it's moving. Those people will ask you to remove the sign.

I, on the other hand, give more points for discomfort, for seeing something I've never seen before. I want to be disturbed and surprised into beauty and emotion. Distractions are one possible way to do that.

The notion that you leave a distraction in simply because you are showing us what is really there, is incomplete. That's not good enough reason. You will never show us what's really there. Even without a camera, we never see what's really there.
02/08/2024 01:16:17 PM · #3
I agree with Don about the sign; in fact when I looked at the photo I first thought ho hum, attractive dramatic features, but then saw the sign and it grounded me, put me there in the grim reality that this is a bridge for automobiles and people who need signs and so on, and maybe they should read them.

(I never do anything non global to my photos. Prolly shows. Or not).
02/08/2024 01:36:31 PM · #4
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

That's characteristic of that bridge as it has signs interspersing the light stanchions all the way across that bridge.

I think it wouldn't be considered a distracting element if there was another sign or two visible between the farther light poles, but now it does somewhat unbalance the image (which as has been pointed out could be considered a good thing) and draw attention away from the misty lights and the railing.

I probably wouldn't have cloned it out (too big) but I might have co0nsidered cropping it out if it left the rest in a 3:2 aspect ratio.
02/08/2024 02:35:17 PM · #5
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

That's characteristic of that bridge as it has signs interspersing the light stanchions all the way across that bridge.


Originally posted by GeneralE:

I think it wouldn't be considered a distracting element if there was another sign or two visible between the farther light poles, but now it does somewhat unbalance the image (which as has been pointed out could be considered a good thing) and draw attention away from the misty lights and the railing.

I probably wouldn't have cloned it out (too big) but I might have co0nsidered cropping it out if it left the rest in a 3:2 aspect ratio.


I did try cropping it initially, but it took someof the depth out of the image.
02/08/2024 03:37:43 PM · #6
The sign took a good but common shot into the realm of film noir
02/08/2024 04:58:34 PM · #7
I'm totally pro-sign in this image. It's one of the more important elements in the *soul* of the image. I can understand why some call it a distracting element, but in my mind this means they haven't grasped the soul, the gestalt of the image. And the rivets are critical to that, incidentally. You done good, Jeb.
02/08/2024 06:30:11 PM · #8
The sign is not a distraction to me, just part of a moody mystic image which I like a lot.

Message edited by author 2024-02-08 18:30:58.
02/08/2024 06:37:43 PM · #9
Jeb,
I gave it a 7. Really didn't pay attention to the sign. I thought the image was grainy and soft, but that appeared intentional and it had a bit of a painterly look to it. Looks like you placed right next to me.

Message edited by author 2024-02-08 18:38:35.
02/08/2024 07:29:47 PM · #10
I'm in the anti-sign camp. Because I saw this as mystical and magical. It was bringing me into another world - another entry besides the one in the wardrobe. I wanted to explore it, to see what phantasmagorical experience waited beyond.

But the sign ruined it.

It's just the real world looking pretty.

It was disappointing. :(

It was an 8 from me. It would have been a 9 or 10 if you would have let me have my fantasy
02/08/2024 09:28:21 PM · #11
Good exchange of opinions
02/08/2024 09:28:30 PM · #12
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the feedback.

I sometimes think what I see is weird. Yeah, duh.....that goes with the territory.

Odd as it may seem, to me, the damn sign belongs there.

Had I done my due diligence scoping out the composition so as not to get signs in the shot, well.....

But that place, that moment, just freakin' everything spoke to me right then and there.

Anyway, I'm really glad to get different reactions.

Yay DPC community.

Thanks!


02/08/2024 09:38:41 PM · #13
Thanks for getting people to actually talk about some photography ... it's always amazed me how many threads are started to talk about what would be suitable for an upcoming challenge, but so rarely one discussing results ...
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