To start with, I live in the country. Not way out, I live close enough to a city to ALMOST satisfy my city needs, but there are plenny folk around me who are way, way into their country-ness and are fine with it. It’s new, I can deal with it… and I’m finding ways to enjoy the unique views of life you get out here, too!
This is one of those “enjoy” moments. A few miles away is a big elk farm. The males are HUGE but are often kept far from the road… and it’s $$$ to visit/hunt (I haven’t had the guts to ask about photographing yet). So I stand outside the fence. On this day, the cows were gathered near the road, eating hay. This one became interested/gutsy and came over for a close view of what me and my kids were doing, staring at them. She got close enough to lick my camera (I dodged, at the last second). The image was neat, unexpected, but not very exciting for all of that… I thought. But in processing, I went into my new PhotoTools (yes, I bought it; no, I didn’t do a review yet; yes, I will… I think I have about 5 different imgs to add to it now) and added some filters on a whim. I ended up with this bleach/bypassy look, which I enhanced further in photoshop and lightroom, a look which started to give me a distinct sad feeling to the image. Here is this wild thing, trapped in captivity, watching the sun set and people ogle her through the fence… I enhanced the blue tone and the blues in the sky and tried to bring as much of that feeling into the image as possible.
Then came the question- to crop or not? I ended up trying it out and I would LOVE your critique/thoughts on it. The crop aligns the eye and the sun with the exact “lines” that I use when trying to focus the viewers attention on a certain spot (I use the golden rule, which is close to the rule of thirds… an idea stolen/given? from Trey Ratcliff of Stuck In Customs in his ebook “Composing the Photo”). I think it makes it a better photo… but I’m not sure if it conveys the same sadness or even the same animal-ness… it might be too much of a crop to be able to tell it’s an elk, for example. What do you think?
Still, I posted it away, hoping to get some feedback- from my website http://www.kelleybard.com, from flickr, from facebook… It will be interesting to see what I hear from you all. Enjoy my work and have a great weekend!