indecision – corny as Kansas in August…

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We all make lots of decisions everyday – about what we eat, watch, listen to, what to read, where to go, what to buy.  Some of these are pretty easy stuff to navigate through each day and some require some thought on our part.  In photography, sometimes the decisions are decided for us but some need a more thoughtful process to reach the full potential.  I liked this corn in a field (in August, no less) and shot several files in a horizontal format.  When I was reviewing the shots in camera I thought I had not shown that these plants can be very tall (over 7 feet at this point).  So I shot some verticals and processed them both.  Now, days later, I’m still not sure which format I like better.  I guess that’s an advantage photographers have over other artists – they can have it both ways.

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34 thoughts on “indecision – corny as Kansas in August…

  1. harrienijland

    I prefer the vertical one, Ken. The plants look taller; and I like to see how they are ‘grounded’; this also gives the shot a base; and it shows a nice colour-change-gradient from brown to yellowgreen-green-blue. Nice, basic shots.

    Reply
  2. Anita Jesse

    I like the vertical one best and it is all about personal experience. When I was a child my dad had a garden and grew corn a few years. I remember loving looking up at the stalks looming over me and the vertical shot brings all that back. Since I have a history of never being able to choose one image over another, this is a most satisfying exercise. Off the fence, at last. :-).

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Anita. There’s something soothing about seeing all that corn growing so beautifully. In spite of the bad weather we’ve had most of the summer, it turned out to be a good growing season.

      Reply
  3. Jimi Jones (@JimiJones)

    For this topic, I definitely like the vertical best. It shows more sky and provides a sense of height. Nice to see the corn stalks from the ground up. Having said that, there is surely no right or wrong, simply a matter of preference. Nice work, Ken! 🙂

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Jimi. There is another vantage point I’d like to try and that would be from above. If I could only convince someone with a plane to take me up.

      Reply
  4. John Linn

    Vertical. Is that unanimous? (Except you of course, but then in the end it is up to you)

    Adding the earth to the image makes the difference but that could have been done with the horizontal too.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, John. I do like the verticle but for a different reason. It shows that there is only one ear of corn per stalk better than the horizontal. I do have some horizontal shots that show the earth the stalks grow from but then it’s difficult to see the corn. A photographers conundrum.

      Reply
  5. john todaro

    At first I thought I preferred the vertical, but once I clicked on the horizontal and saw it enlarged I definitely preferred that one. Your WP theme (like mine) requires a clicked horizontal image for full sharpness and contrast. Aside from that, I prefer the horizontal because it’s a counterintuitive in a way (corn being vertical), and to me that creates a bit of a mystique.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      That’s a good point, John. My first shots are all horizontal because that’s the way I see it. It seems the most natural in that orientation.

      Reply
  6. Melinda Green Harvey

    Were you just in Kansas? Because I was just in Kansas. Probably couldn’t see you for the corn…

    And I like the horizontal frame better – it captures the claustrophobic feeling I got from all that very tall corn.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Mel. No, I’ve never had the pleasure to visit Kansas, but if I had a chance to visit I would certainly take it. Many folks don’t realize it but there is a of of agriculture in New York and corn can be found almost anyplace in the state. Dairy Milk is New York’s leading agricultural product and it takes a lot of corn to feed those cows.

      Reply
      1. Melinda Green Harvey

        I guess I’m glad you weren’t in Kansas; it would have been a disappointment to have been in Garden City*, only to learn now that you were just up the road in Scott City* and we could have met for coffee.

        *Neither of which are cities, in the strictest sense of the word. I didn’t see any gardens of note in Garden City, and nary a kilt in Scott City.

  7. Meanderer

    My preference is for the horizontal version. If you were intending to show the corn in a catalogue or magazine for botanical or farming reasons then you might want to show the whole plant – as in the vertical version, but for aesthetic reasons, the horizontal version works better for me.

    Reply
  8. Cedric Canard

    I’m not a fan of portrait shots (even for people) and rarely shoot that way myself. But the first shot is definitely an exception. I like it a lot. It reminds me of the work of an artist I once saw (whose name escapes me), who did hyper-photo realistic paintings of crops.
    Perhaps the landscape shot would have worked better for me if it had included the soil, which provides the foundation for the portrait shot.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Cedric. I purchased a grip for my camera specifically for shooting vertical orientation. I tend to shoot a lot and it really helps with the balance in my opinion. As for this particular shot, I’m still on the fence as to my preference. I do have a file of the horizontal shot that includes the earth at the base of the stalks. I should process it and see it’s full potential.

      Reply
  9. LensScaper

    They are equally good images. But the vertical one certainly gives the impression of height. The landscape version is more a pattern image – and there’s nothing wrong in that: they create a feeling of size and spread. The choice as to which is better is all down to the story being told – but they are really both part of the story.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Andy. It may be that my experience with shooting for the museum has me shooting from many different angles and points of view in order to get an accurate idea of the subject.

      Reply
  10. ehpem

    I prefer the horizontal one – I like the patterning and that it is partway to being abstract by not being attached to the ground. It would be interesting to see the horizontal shot with gradient from soil to sky, because I like that part of the vertical one. It could be interesting if you blurred these shots somehow. Andy once suggested I take a vertical slice of an image and then stretch that to the full width of the frame. I wonder if that might be interesting with the corn, especially if you had brown at the bottom too. (Can you tell I am in a bit of an abstract mood these days? Must be the result of shooting friends’ wedding last weekend and processing too many people photos).

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Ehpem. This (for me) is the best part of a post like this. I now have some interesting viewpoints on this subject. I do have a horizontal shot that includes the brown soil at the bottom but I have yet to process it to the full potential. I do like these corny shots so I will have to revisit them. I’ve been toying with the idea of takinf shots previously posted and reprocessing them. Not reuse but recycle into a different way of seeing.
      Wedding pictures are abstract enough for me. I can’t take the pressure of trying to please a happy couple.

      Reply
      1. ehpem

        The pressure is the worst part (though since the doing is a gift the ‘you get what you pay for’ maxim is a well rehearsed fall-back position for me). At least they are a happy couple – imagine doing divorce photos!

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