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Some places are meant to be shot a thousand times

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by WestOkid, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Below is a shot many people in NY shoot. This goes for tourists and natives. There are many places and scenes like this across the globe. I've shot this scene a few times now, and was about to pass it up for that reason. As you can see, I went ahead and shot it and the combination a light, angle, framing and other factors may have yielded my best version yet.

    That got me thinking about the many times I see hobbyists and forum members chastising work simply because the subject isn't particularly unique or the composition is obvious. Meanwhile Pros make money shooting these same type of scenes, tourists can't get enough of them and they litter the walls of homes everywhere.

    I have seen guys shoot the most uninteresting or even flat out ugly stuff at ridiculous angles in hopes of getting something different. Even worse is that many people shoot nothing because they turn down opportunity after opportunity looking for something someone hasn't shot yet. I remember being so stuck on finding something unique to shoot that I didn't shoot for months.

    I am not saying that as a hobbyist your photograph shouldn't bring something different to the table or challenge yourself. Those are certainly important factors. I absolutely try to make my shots something you want to stop and look at. Especially if I know it's been done before.

    That said, there is a reason why some scenes like iconic structures, places, sunsets, and people are shot many times; they are appealing.

    My point is that there are so many factors in what the end results of a photo will be such as light, processing, exposure settings, compo, color, sharpness, framing etc. We shouldn't avoid a great subject simply because it has been shot before. Even if the previous shooter was you, the next version may be your best yet.

    The shot below is a composite of a 133s exposure and a short burst to freeze the birds and get some texture in the clouds. It was merged in PS. This may be my best version yet. :) 

    39580949512_8f54f2bb8e_h. The way to NY by Gary Walters, on Flickr
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  2. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Legend

    Oct 8, 2013
    Agree with your narrative as well...
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I agree 100%, Gary (and love this image). I must have about 100 photos of Mt. Shasta in my Lightroom catalog, and while I have yet to take the perfect one, each one brings something new to the quest.
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  4. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Great photo as usual for you Gary.

    For me, I don't really care if something has been done a thousand times by others. I (try to) take photographs that will appeal to me or capture something I see or feel, or perhaps document some aspect of my life. If it turns out well enough, I may share it in hopes that it does something for someone, or brings some pleasure to someone else. If it's been done a thousand times before, so what? As with your picture, it is nice to look at and enjoy - mission accomplished.

    This is not unique to photography either, I think it probably applies to any creative activity. For example, I also do music. I play a lot of songs written by others, and performed countless times by others. Even if I try to put some of my own style on it, people would enjoy it in spite of me, because in the end it is a great piece of music. And hopefully, they are glad I played it for them and will like it the next time I play there. Works for them, works for me, it's all good. You could say the same about a painting, or a book, or a poem, or... a lot of things.

    Thank you for sharing your many great pics. Don't stop. ;) 
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  5. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Thanks very much Bob. and I love your analogy to music. It's a little different with music because people don't own photographic scenes as they do music. Even so, I totally support the premise. Some of the greatest musicians will remake songs and sometimes it's better than the original. This happens all the time in Jazz. In Jazz, musicians will make remake and republish their own music several times because each is just a little different. Even more to the point is your statement about enjoyment. Should you rob yourself and others of the enjoyment of playing and hearing your rendition? I say no. Keep jamming Bob.
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  6. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Well done!
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  7. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Feb 17, 2015
    I probably shouldn't ask, but, how do you get a 133s exposure time with all that light available?
    ND filters come to my mind first, right after stopping the lens down to f22 or smaller and bumping the ISO down to 25.
    Am I even close?
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  8. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I don't think the ISO can be set that low ;) 

    Gary, I have no words, nor for the photo or the narrative!
    That photo is STUNNING :eek-30:
    Even if I've seen this scene a hundred times as a viewer (never been to NY), I think its an exceptional execution. Definitely don't remember seeing anything like it before - which proves your point even more ;) 

    I just hope you print your photos. That one belongs hanged on a wall ;) 
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  9. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I'm trying to think of any of Gary's photos I've seen here (or on Flickr) that didn't belong on a wall. :D 
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  10. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Thanks and of course you can ask. I owe a lot to guys like David and Ad who were willing to answer my questions when I started this hobby. I think we all should our part to help others improve if given the opportunity.
    So as I said, this is actually 2 shots.
    I setup at F9 & iso 100 to shoot a few bursts to freeze the birds and clouds how I wanted. I then added the Nisi filter with polarizer and 10 stop ND. The combination of the polarizer and filter amount to about 12+ stops.

    Thanks Nick. Funny you ask because I painted my daughters rooms over the holidays and they want some images in their rooms. My 14 year old wants this shot in a 24 X 36 canvas.

    I really appreciate this David, but you knew me when I got my first real camera(NEX 5t), so you are certainly being kind.:) 
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  11. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 3, 2015
    Great image GaryWestOkid. I don't think I could have done better, different maybe :2thumbs:
  12. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    quite literally one of the shots i 'planned' to go for the last time i was in the big apple.

    it fell through.. still kicking myself about it too...
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