Brandon ~'s picture

Bonfire Macro

Not sure if I should include what I find minimalist about my photographs that post in this group, however, this one includes negative space and very nice textured burned hickory.

I recommend any and all critiques. I want to get better with my photography and I cant think of a better way than learning from experienced individuals. I don't consider myself experienced. I photograph what I see and am just now learning how to use custom settings.

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Terry Waggoner's picture

Brandon........Did you hand hold this shot? It looks a bit soft. I'm not sure I see the textured hickory and overall it's a bit confusing. Shooting fire/flame can be tricky. I first time I tried it using a nifty fifty(it was the fastest lens I had) I melted the rubber lens hood I had on it. Wiser souls than I proffered the following........Use a telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 150mm, definitely use a tripod and shutter release tho dragging the shutter can give you dramatic already figured out the most important part of photography in learning how to use your equipment.

Brandon ~'s picture

Yes, I was holding my camera without a tripod. I just happened to have the camera with me outside while me and the wife were sitting next to the fire. My technique for a holding shot is to tuck my elbows tight against my ribs.

This was taken from around 3 feet back with a Meike macro lens through the spark grate. The wood that is in the fire is Hickory. We were having issues finding firewood so I just used my smoking wood instead. Smelled amazing.

Ruth Carll's picture

Welcome Brandon! I've been away am sorry that welcome is late!

I think this is a great abstract more than minimalism shot. When I first looked at it, fire came to mind but was not the dominant impression. I noticed (and liked) the vertical lines with what I thought was so bokeh between them. Then I noticed the grain of the wood and looked closer to see that what I thought was bokeh was actually more grain. Then I stepped back and really enjoyed the rich colors, perfectly placed with negative space and perfect exposure. I don't think it is soft as much as translucent.

All that was to explain that I think is successful because I spent a longer than average time looking at it because it is interesting and that is a good sign in my book!

I would remove, however, the bright isolated lower bit of flame as it is not helpful to the composure and a little distracting. Since the top isolated one is not distracting, if you don't want to get rid on the bottom one, perhaps just reducing the brightness of it would work.

Well done Brandon! I hope you continue to post more!

Brandon ~'s picture

No worries, we all have lives outside of the web. I was at the river yesterday to take some photos, but I don't think they work for this group, but I did post them in my profile. I attempted a long exposure shot with an ND1000 and while the picture looks nice, the only Long exposure I obtained was from a tree branch moving in a circle.

My wife made a valid point that for whatever reason didn't cross my mind at the time. She said - You should have thrown a few rocks into the river for a ripple effect on the long exposure..... Wha? Yeah, I felt dumb. I was not near moving water. I was in a dry creek bed beside the river.

I keep reading about lightroom, but I'm cheap and don't want to buy it so I downloaded RawTherapee instead. I've yet to use it, but I was curious as to how the abstract photos were being recreated. So basically any photo I have posted has not been edited past just cropping.

Beyond all that, back to the photo at hand. Here is what I'm assuming you mean by cutting out the lower right flame. I can see how that would get distracting. Also, thanks again for the invite.

Evelyn Gorfram's picture

I really like this photo, and this crop makes it even better: the charred hickory wood is somehow easier to see, and the isolated bit of flame seems both softer and more of-a-piece with the bigger flames than in the wider images. You might even take it a bit more to the the right, trading the some of the blankness to the left of the flame for some negative space that that one free little feather of flame can float off into.
(This is all MHO, of course, and worth what you paid for it.)

Ruth Carll's picture

interestingly - if just meant remove the spot and not change the crop. But - now that I see the new crop though... I like them both!!

Brandon ~'s picture

Apparently I misunderstood. Taking out the extra flame and keeping all the negative space probably would have made more sense. LoL

Thanks again, Ruth.