Stills V3

March 8, 2009

Eye on the prize

Filed under: Doonster — doonster @ 09:07

Eye on the prize, Tanzania, January 2009



  1. The B&W isn’t working for me. It didn’t work on the elephant shot either. I’m assuming it’s a conversion. It just seems a little flat.

    B&W aside, I love the composition of this. That bit of head space keeps this from being too corner-to-corner.

    Comment by matt — March 9, 2009 @ 00:21

  2. I’m not seeing this on a high quality monitor, but I’ve no immediate concerns about the mono conversion.

    Subject and composition: spot on.

    Comment by Colin — March 9, 2009 @ 23:49

  3. I think I would prefer to see the gradations of grass in colour mainly because there is no real alternative to the way this conversion is done and, with the best will in the world, one is going to be left with an expanse of middling grey. But the lion could be a sniper with its view of the single wildebeest.

    Comment by John Ellis — March 10, 2009 @ 07:51

  4. I used the word lion generically, but just in case I risk being misunderstood, I do, of course, mean lioness.

    Comment by John Ellis — March 10, 2009 @ 11:37

  5. ‘one is going to be left with an expanse of middling grey’

    Perhaps part of the reason all that ‘middling grey’ feels so disconcerting is that it seems so out of place for what I suspect the light was like.

    Comment by matt — March 10, 2009 @ 12:31

  6. Matt – nope, the light was low and flat – early morning overcast, yellow lioness in yellow grass (not sure the exact time from on the road). In fact, these comments give me a couple of ideas to improve the conversion that can easily be done.
    One of the things I’ve found with the Tanzanai shots I took with B&W in mind was I wasn’t also adjusting my exposure as well (which I tend to do).

    Comment by doonster — March 10, 2009 @ 18:08

  7. I’d say that 99% of these shots would not have included so much space above the prize. So it works well for me. Having said that, my eyes go through the lions to the prize and then sit on that small circle of shadow halfway between the prize and the top edge (above its shoulder). It gives a slight unbalance to the shot and has me falling out of this a little along the left. If that spot could be ‘moved’ or calmed a little then I would stay more along that top edge. Well seen and for me the best yet of this series.

    Comment by akikana — March 12, 2009 @ 01:09

  8. If you normally adjust exposure for B&W, what adjustment do you make.

    I think akikana is on to something when he points out the shadow on the prize. My eye stopped there as well.

    Comment by matt — March 12, 2009 @ 12:51

  9. “what adjustment do you make”. For low light like this I tend to under expose on digital to protect from noise. With B&W that is less of a concern so I’d have gone for at least a stop more exposure saves from having to pull everything from out of the shadows.
    If it was film, I’d probably have exposed about where I did which works well for scan as positive.

    Comment by doonster — March 12, 2009 @ 17:42

  10. If I had been processing this, I would have fretted over the lack of detail in the grasses—and I would have missed the power in the shot. For me, the simplicity of the elements is part of what makes this special. With so much of the picture possessing little detail, I am left with the full impact of a powerful statement about hunter and hunted.

    Comment by Anita Jesse — March 12, 2009 @ 18:09

  11. “I would have fretted over the lack of detail in the grasses”
    For most of my Tanzania shots it’s been the other way for me – way too much grass detail detracting from the main subject.

    Comment by doonster — March 12, 2009 @ 22:08

  12. I like this a great deal because it is an inventive wildlife shot with the use of DoF, subjects and overall simplicity.

    I was interested that the wildebeest(?) lost its identity as I scrolled through at one point and lost the lioness. The wildebeest became an ant without the lioness. It reminded me of a Turner watercolour which becomes an abstract when you hide the cow.

    Comment by Rex — March 14, 2009 @ 21:16

  13. As Colin said “subject and composition: spot on” The story is there.

    When you describe the light and color “early morning overcast, yellow lioness in yellow grass” — I want to see it that way.

    Comment by Christina — March 15, 2009 @ 02:44

  14. a lot of story going on here. It could almost work ‘corner to corner’ with a square crop – not sure if it really needs the head room, cropping it would make everything feel a bit more urgent and pressing – just like it is.

    Colour/ b&w – seems like it would work either way – I suspect there isn’t a whole lot of colour going on anyway

    Comment by Gordon — March 16, 2009 @ 18:35

  15. What can I add? I’d be proud if it was my shot.

    Comment by Robert Hoehne — March 19, 2009 @ 06:14

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