Jason Stewart  

Thoughts of Murder by Jason Stewart

January 2020 - Thoughts of Murder

January 2020 - Jason Stewart


About the Image(s)

Canon 1DXii, Canon 70-200mm
1/400 sec. f/6.3 200mm ISO 12800, shot in manual mode with auto ISO
hand held

This photo was taken just after day brake at 0820 at Eckley miners village in PA. It was very overcast and cloudy. I do mostly wildlife photography so i had my camera in manual with auto ISO and this was my first photo of the day so I didn't think to change my settings. I liked the skeleton of the old coal breaker. The two crows were perched on it calling to each other. I liked the high key affect from the cloudy background against the black crow and skeleton of the building.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
11 comments posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Welcome to Group #67

I am at a disadvantage as I look at this picture. Looking at this as a photo judge I should NOT look at the time, but I already know what your chosen title is (after all, I posted the image). So when I think of "Thoughts of Murder" I'm thinking of the crows as the subject. This line of thought is enhanced by your write-up all of which leads to further confusion. When one views an image, the eye is naturally drawn to the light and the bright and so my eye is attracted to the large white area in the upper left. Even when I look to the crows, my eye drifts back to the white. It is a powerful magnet. All this leads me to ask, just what is the subject? If the crows are the subject then the composition is wrong as they are small and positioned almost out of the frame. PSA suggests that the subject should connect to the fixations points in the frame (think, rule of thirds) If I am wrong about the subject then please disregard the crop I've attached. If your subject deals more with the structures please let me know, and I'll retrack this and try again. :-) My crop below is an attempt to make the crows a stronger subject. I'm interested in your thoughts.   Posted: 01/01/2020 18:20:41
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Jason Stewart   Jason Stewart
no, you are absolutely right the crows are supose to be the main subject. I was afraid to crop in more to them because of the loose structure on the left but I like it now that I see it.   Posted: 01/01/2020 18:56:35
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
To help you get started try to think of the rule of thirds as a starting place. When composing you can rarely place you subject in the center of the center box. This works for symmetrical subjects but it creates static and boring images.
You subject will have greater interest for example if it is small by placing it on ONE of the numbered junctions. The subject can be placed number 1 & 2 or 3 & 4 if it is larger.
Powerful dramatic subjects can be placed on #2 and #3 creating a rising diagonal showing power (think a leaping leopard) or perhaps 1 & 4 for a diving bird enhancing the power of the dive.
You can use 3 of the points to create a relaxing or calming image.

Try looking at images from any source this month and see how well this works. Then seriously think of these techniques as you are shooting in the field.

When you crop---get rid of things that do not make the image look strong. Crop to make your viewer focus on what YOU want them to see.   Posted: 01/01/2020 19:27:12
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Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
You might want to look at some of the images in group 74 to or Arne's image in my other group #36 to get the feel of a Ansel Adams type image.   Posted: 01/09/2020 14:13:03

Mark Winter   Mark Winter

This is an interesting one. I like the high key version and the play between the hard wooden structures with the silhouettes of the birds. Perhaps a different crop may help my eyes focus on one subject I like Larry's version as it as it does allow me to really focus on the birds.   Posted: 01/11/2020 18:55:13

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Jason, I like the Black and White concept. Cleaning up the white sky was a good move over that dull muddy gray sky. Must say I agree about the subject of the image. If not for the title concerning the Crows they would not be the feature I would be lookin at in the photo. Having grown up in the coal country I really like the images you can find at these old mining areas. Other than the aforementioned Crow thing I really do like the image. I could use something like this in a B&W discussion group I attend every month.   Posted: 01/14/2020 08:04:11

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Jason, I can tell you are a creative guy. The title made me think of a group of crows being called a "murder". So the two crows are waiting for the rest of the murder to arrive. Larry's crop definitely strengthens the composition, making the crows larger and bringing them more into the frame (rule of thirds). I like the way all the lines lead to the subject (crows). This is a good one to print, hang on the wall in a black frame. You can enjoy explaining to everyone when they ask, "Hey, what's that all about?"   Posted: 01/14/2020 13:16:19

Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
Interesting concept here Jason. I feel the crop of the tracks as they lead up to the top box and the crows is a strong leading diagonal line. The black and white is a perfect format for this shot. It brings the crows to the forefront.   Posted: 01/14/2020 22:32:52

Madhusudhan Srinivasan   Madhusudhan Srinivasan
Welcome to the most interactive group I have been part of so far... :)

I like the choice of B&W for this image. I am wondering if you have another frame with both the crows standing up like the one on the left so it could like a pattern running from extreme left to the the extreme right of the image growing diagonally... in-line with 2nd and 3rd fixation points as explained by Larry. Another look, and corresponding thought in my mind is how about a vertical crop? So it fits the required subjects well in the grid and removes the dead space on the top left... something like the attached...   Posted: 01/20/2020 08:00:57
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Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
I like this crop very much!   Posted: 01/21/2020 19:40:33
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I like this crop as well. Just wish the crows were larger.   Posted: 01/21/2020 22:43:34