Rolling Hills – Harris 2

From the comments on the last post “Rolling Hills – Harris” here is my interpretation of the suggested crops to this picture.

Crop above as taken. Lesley, Barbara and Melanie liked it as it is.

Paula – you wanted the car included but less dominantly. Janice wanted to lose the Radiator Grill of the car – what do you think of this?

John Long, Andy Hooker and Janice wanted to crop out the car altogether.

The square crop above suggested by Janice is growing on me. It tells a different story to my original interpretation, one that is far more minimal but still retains the strong diagonal composition. As they say less is more. As I said in a comment to somebody a day or two ago use it or lose it is a very good way of thinking about composition. Question the image as John Blakemore would say to test and challenge assumptions.

Eddie Ephraums would say the best way to check the balance of a picture is to temporarily flip it vertically and look at the picture as shapes of tones rather than a recognisable scene.

I think this has been a really useful exercise because it clearly demonstrates none of us has the absolute correct view of our own work. Nine people commented on my original crop each said something different.

A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2012

14 responses to Rolling Hills – Harris 2

  1. rosaleenm says:

    Hi Andy. I prefer the cropped version. My eye kept returning to the car. The image without the car is much stronger and speaks to me, up the road to the abandoned house. A lonely forgotton house on a bleak hill.


  2. Hi Andy,

    I like the square crop the best because the center road marking on the horizontal line leads the eye onto and along the winding road to the house on the hill ( sounds like a couple of famous song lyrics there ). Loosing the car stops my eyes flicking back and forth and becoming distracted.




  3. I wonder just how would one capture the scattered nature of the Hebridean communities?
    Certainly scattered houses, partially hidden down hollows, undulating and often single-track roads IS Harris that’s for sure.
    I’ll need to go back there one day.


  4. Lesley says:

    What a great post Andy thank you. I love the quotes have noted them down, very useful. I still prefer the car and all of it, because it presents an interesting filmic quality, very David Lynch which sends my mind racing what has happened. It is very arresting. The square crop is good.but the image becomes more staged . Love your blog , thank you 🙂


  5. square, no car works best for me.

    excellent tip to flip the image. i sometimes check if the overall contrast is balanced by making the image extremely small onscreen 🙂


  6. melanieylang says:

    It’s a testament to the excellence of the original photo that I really like each image. The crop with less of the car hints at the story, more than telling it. Despite losing the car altogether, the square crop is exquisitely balanced and still tells a story, albeit one without a car. Great tip about flipping the image, too – I used to do this with drawings, but by holding them up to a mirror instead. Your method makes even more sense.


  7. Paula says:

    LOL, Andy.
    I like the crop you have done with just a wee bit of car showing. To me it looks more mysterious and unusual than the predictable and ‘prettier…no car at all.


  8. Janice says:

    Thanks, for that exercise Andy and for us to see other points of view and the results it is interesting!
    Personally I prefer one of the cropped versions, I like both as they do indeed tell different stories, the version with a little of the car showing as it gives a third element, also forms a triangle between the three objects and the square crop is more simplistic.


  9. LensScaper says:

    Andy, how refreshing to have our thoughts listened to and acted upon! Thank you. The square crop that Janice, John and I suggested certainly works, But I’m also impressed with the reduced car. It just goes to show that a picture can contain more than one final image. Each powerful and complete.


  10. Paula says:

    Interesting post indeed and amazingly enough: everyone seems happy after all! Well done, Andy.


  11. Distan Bach says:

    To my eyes, I loved your crop the best Andy. It just seemed the most balanced. Now; inverting the image – that was such an interesting suggestion and really made me pause. Seeing all the suggested crops was a terrific learning experience. Kudos to you.


  12. Murray Foote says:

    I think the problem with the original image is that the car is light so your eye goes to it but then it’s out of focus and it’s also coming out of the image at you whereas the image leads you to the distant house. If the car were parked then the solution at the time would have been easy. You could have got a brick, broken into the car, parked it the other way around and spray painted it a different colour. Then you would have had a probably improved image without an extra requirement for post-processing.

    Alternatively, you could take a different car, preferably an old one, facing in the opposite direction and drop it in over the other car (being careful to tidy up any little bits of broken glass and twisted metal that might result). You could do a separate mono conversion for the new car on a different layer and then adjust the tonality so the car wasn’t dominant and didn’t blend into the background (in which case it might help if the car were neither white nor black to start with). You’d need to lose the centre line too, otherwise you’d have to pretend it was a daydreaming American tourist or somewhere in Iceland. I think that might work better than the square image.

    With the final square image, I think it would also help to lose the centre line because that takes you out of the image and doesn’t bring you back.


Please share your thoughts on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s