Monday, November 6, 2017

Which Do You Like Better?

     I am taking a photography course with an organization called the Center for Learning in Retirement, held at our local university in Pennsylvania. For our final project we have to put together a portfolio based on a certain theme.

     B and I just arrived at the beach in South Carolina. We'll be here for two weeks, seeing B's son and grandson, who live nearby in Charleston . . .  and, well, enjoying the sand and the surf and the little beach town and, hopefully, some warm weather.

     So I picked for my photography theme: November at the Beach.

     Ultimately, I have to put together a portfolio of about a dozen photos that encapsulate the feel of the beach at this time of year -- the Carolina beach after the season is over, after the crowds go home.

     So I'm asking for your help. I have a few photos here. Can you tell me in the comment section which of the two photos you like better? Or, please let me know if you don't like either of them -- be honest because I'll have to show these photos to my teacher and the rest of the class ... and, you know, I don't want to embarrass myself by presenting lousy photos. One problem with beach pictures is that they tend toward the cliche -- the setting sun, the breaking waves, the pretty flowers. Of course, a lot of what makes a good picture is not the subject matter, but how you look at it, the point of view.

     So anyway, if you'd do me the favor, please let me know which you like better . . .  Number 1:

No. 1

     Or Number 2:

No. 2

     I know, the photos are similar. But which captures the mood better? Or, again please be honest, are they both boring or too familiar?

     How about Number 3:

No. 3

     Or Number 4? They cover the same subject, but they are somewhat different, aren't they? Which one speaks to you better, No. 3 or No. 4?

No. 4

     How about this look at a beach road, with the shadows . . . You like Number 5 better:

No. 5

     Or this one, Number 6, which is a road of a different kind  . . .

No. 6

     And then I've got a closeup of a shell. Number 7 shows the shell through the water.

No. 7

     But does Number 8, with the shadow, seem better than No. 7 -- or are they both kinda boring?

No. 8

     And finally, which of these three do you like best . . . all playing with the late-in-the-day shadows. Number 9:

No. 9

     Or Number 10:

No. 10

     Or Number 11:

No. 11

     I appreciate your "votes" and thank you for your help. If you think this is fun, I'll show more photos later in the week. If it's not fun . . . well then, I'll just bug B with my photos. She's stuck here with me for two weeks and can't get away!


Trudi said...

2,4,11. The middle group is kinda boring. Finding fresh photos at the beach is hard.

Juhli said...

My favorites are
#1 - Captures the mood of the sea and the composition is good with more of the stairs showing
#6 - Tells a story if you will just walk down the path there is something to see
#10 - The angles of the object and shadow make it eye catching

Olga Hebert said...

i know so little about photography that my opinions will not be helpful. Or they might be helpful if you consider that I will undoubtedly pick the least appealing to those in the know. my eye is more drawn to #1 because the stairs are cut off in two places. #2's stairs seem just awkward somehow. I also like the texture in the foreground. I like both 3 and 4 but #4 has a bit of action that adds interest so I pick that one. Definitely like #6. #5has so much road and so much sky. I like the wind pattern on the sand in #7 but maybe it could be cropped more. ( I never get bored by looking at shells on the sand.) And #11 because it has more colors.

Tom Sightings said...

Thank you Trudi, Juhli and Olga. I'm taking notes.

Barbara - said...

As someone who is more than a little familar with this area, I would say 2 over one, and 4 over 3 definitely. I like six, I'm not enamoured with the shell photos (maybe if they were more close up) and I like both ten and eleven but eleven better. How many do you need to put in your portfolio.

Jono said...

Here is what I like and why. #2 has more depth and better composition than #1. #4 is better than #3 with something interesting going on outside of the frame. That gives it more of a story. #6 is nice because of the perspective and sunlight shadows. #7 I would crop to put the shell toward the lower left and the bubbles to fill out the rest. The shadows are nice on 8 (which grows on me the more I look at it),9, and 10, but 11 appeals to me a bit more with the skeleton of the old jetty, low tide and lighting. That is my opinion and you are welcome to take it with a shaker full of salt. The photos together make for a nice essay of a day at the beach.

DJan said...

#1, #3, and #10 are my favorites. I don't know exactly why, but they are better representations of the out-of-season beach scenes to me. :-)

Rian said...

I love photography... so hope you are enjoying it. It should be fun to go through these responses and see what the general appeal is - if there is one. I'll just say that I like #1 best. It's the only one that draws me to it. The others are fine, just not as appealing... although #11 is interesting. I love the sea and the sand (although I'm not around it much).

Tabor said...

Number two is a warmer hue and plays down the structure focusing more on the ocean. Number 4 tells a story better. Hope this helps.

DDD said...

2 4 6. 7 11
Have a great time!

Savoring Sixty said...

Here is my two cents: Number two has warmer hues, the cloudy skies adds some drama to the white capped waves. Very natural. Number four has better lighting and more personality drawing you into the scene. Number six is my favorite ~ the light, the composition, gives one the feeling of being right there or the desire to be in that place. Number eight- the shadows add more depth, but the scene looks a little staged. Number 11 is my second favorite of your photos. It is appealing because of the decaying jetty with the shadows. The low tide adds more to the composition making it more interesting to look at. This is fun, I hope you share more photos! Enjoy your time at the beach!

Mac n' Janet said...

I like 6, 10 and 11. We live in coastal Georgia and those photos look right to me.

Sue said...

Hi Tom,
I like #1 more than #2, #3 more than #4, #6 more than #5, #7 more than #8 and #9 more than #10 or #11. My favorites are either #1 or #3.

JudyC said...

I don't much like 1 or 2. I like 4. 6 is my favorite of all. I also like 10 and 11. Grew up spending summers on Carolina coast. You capture it well.

Keep the Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keep the Faith said...

I meant 2,4,11

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us chime in! My favorites are #2, #4, #6, #8, and #11. I agree with one person's comment about the shell photos, though... I think you might want to try again to capture one a bit more close up. Have you tried any of these in black and white, or are you allowed to edit the shots at all?

Have fun in your class!

Stephen Hayes said...

#1, #4,#7 and #10 are my favorite. The stairs in that first photograph are far more intriguing than the second one and the steps also serve as a better anchor for the composition.

Tom Sightings said...

So everyone likes the pier on 6. Almost everyone likes 4 over 3. Most people like 11, but 10 has some solid votes. Most of you simply ignored the shells. And the first two beach photos split the vote. This was fun (at least for me) and will prove very helpful, so I might try it again. I need to present ten photos in my portfolio, in a class after T'giving, so I'll be workin' on it. Thanks to all!

Kathy @ SMART Living said...

Hi Tom! My husband Thom and I both like #6 the best and then #3. We took a photography course together a few years ago and I remember how it helped me see things so much better that I might normally overlook. I'll bet you are learning a lot too. ~Kathy

Anonymous said...

1, 4, 7

Anonymous said...

#1 because of the framing of the stairs, #3 because you don't see the faces and your going for November at the Beach and not taking family pictures, #6 - just a much better picture, #7 - more for the sand texture and finally #9 just over #11 - I like the edge of the sand in #9.

Barbara said...

1, 3, 6, 7 and forgot the rest of the numbers by the time I got to the comment. Old age, old brain.

AWmom said...

My favorites are 2,4 6 and 11

Mona McGinnis said...

#1 captures the barren shore more than the warm colors in #2.
#3 focuses on the sea while #4 draws the focus away with the guys pointing up.
#6 focuses on the sea vs the morning shadows in #5.
#7 with the whole shell and pattern in the sand.
#10 with the focus on the driftwood and shadow vs the line in the sand in #9.
#11 beats all for me.

Anonymous said...

11 because of the color, contrast, shadows, and composition :)

scapaflo said...

Boring, every one! Bringing the larger pic in with a second closer look would help immensely. #6 leading into close up of stairs would be a good start. #6 has one being led in to something. Good depth and contrast, very nice.

Karen D. Austin said...

I like 4 (implied action, relationship), 6 (shadows with the shell, and the shell is broken, which I think is cooler), 8 (complex image but orderly because there is pattern on the right), and 11 (more visually interesting and complex--similar to what I like about 6). Carry on!