The Weekly Photo – February 21, 2011

The two photos below were taken on the January Winter Photo Tour. Both images were made at Mistaya Canyon in Banff National Park and both were shot using my 17mm TS-E lens at f8. I used the shift feature in both cases to make a long vertical panorama of the canyon. I could not decide which photo I like better. I like the canyon in the first photo better and the foreground in the second better. Let me know if you have a preference.

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett


58 Responses to “The Weekly Photo – February 21, 2011”

  1. I’m thinking top for the win! And love the straight vertical lines. I think the t/s will be the next lens I invest in.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ian Weatherburn, Booom. Booom said: The Weekly Photo – February 21, 2011: The two photos below were taken on the January Winter Photo T… #Photography […]

  3. Hello Darwin
    Both of these are beautiful but I really like the first one. I find the small tree in the foreground of the other one stops my eye from wandering along the canyon, whereas it wanders smoothly through the first shot to enjoy the distance. I really like how the light has caught the colour of the tree trunks and the dappled sun on the snow on the right of the middle ground. To my eye it provides more interest. Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Its supposed to be summer where I live however this mornign there was snow on the mountain behind us….a funny world we live in

  4. I think the Canyon is the point of Interest in the frame and giving prominence to it makes the first frame better than the second.

  5. I like the first one better because it gives a deeper view into the canyon.

  6. “Choice1″, definitely; its more attrative/”deeper”; Werner

  7. I like the first one better as there is not as much “blank” space in the lower right… just seems to balance better also.

  8. Wow! I like both of them, but I must say the first one has more impact. Great work, Darwin.

  9. Excelent photos, both! 🙂

    But having to choose, I’m sticking with choice #1, the composition works better for me. 🙂

  10. vicente machado Says:

    In my opinion, the first and larger one shot is better than the second, because the details and definition, mainly the trees’s size and the entire sharpness reached along the canyon and background.

  11. I like the top one best. The feeling of diving into the deep – beautiful!

  12. The details and definition in photo one, and the trees in photo two. I like the way the trees lead the eye into the photo from the foreground; otherwise my eye starts looking from the middle of photo one.

  13. Personally, I like #1. The natural lines from the canyon take your eyes thru the frame better and more of the canyon is present. Also, the frame has less sky and more of the forest. Even the sky is beautiful, the forest fills the frame better.

  14. The first image is my pick, but the primary reason is for the details in the trees. The canyon makes a great foreground and focus, but as your eyes begin to wonder around the frame they’re drawn to the brownish-red tree truck in the upper left.

  15. Fran Gallogly Says:

    I like both of them but definitely the first. The canyon is the foreground and it’s fantastic.

  16. I like the top one too – closer to you – bigger wow! — Marilyn

  17. Amazing images! Very inspiring!

  18. Going against the crowd here but I prefer the second one. The small trees in the foreground provide another leading line for me and I feel like I’m more involved in the picture for some reason.

  19. Sam Foster Says:

    If I have to choose one as it is, I’ll go with the top photograph. Personally, I would crop the second just above the bottom tree and have the best of both worlds (I understand that would kill the aspect ratio, though). Either way, they’re both great!

  20. The first image seems sharp and “right” while the second one actually looks out of focus. In our business focus is the first thing noticed…

  21. At first I thought I liked the first image, for many of the stated reasons above, but then I put my critical hat on and found the second photograph to be my choice. I like the first photograph, especially the details of the canyon, but it starts right at the edge of the frame. It doesn’t give me time to anchor myself in the frame, before I feel like I’m inside the canyon. The second photograph gives me a moment to feel the space. I’m comfortable, I want to stay and look for a while, without the sense of: hurry up, look here!

    The second reason 1 doesn’t work for me, is the bare tree in the left of the frame. It draws the eye too much. I find it distracting the more I look. I don’t have that problem with the second photograph.

    In the end you are the photographer, it’s your vision. No matter what you show, I’ll look and enjoy.


  22. It is the first one for me. I too like the foreground in the second but, it still doesn’t top the first images wow factor. Both are great Images.

  23. I liked the first one better as well.

  24. Julie DeRoche Says:

    I absolutely like the first photo better. Love that long view of the canyon.

  25. Hi.
    I like best the 2nd one: the two pine trees run parallel to the canyon and then our eyes are directed to the upper left corner of the image… this guiding of our vision is what I like most in the pictures. Regards, Luisa.

  26. Darwin
    Trying to decide which I like better is a mugs game unless you are giving a prize in a contest. Both are great. The yawing maw
    of the canyon is dramatic. The foreground trees in the other set up a great landscape photo. Two different aspects of the same location. There are, no doubt, many more .

  27. I meant ” yawning maw”


  28. Hi Darwin…I guess I go against the majority here also 🙂 I definitely prefer the second composition. I find the foreground gives more depth to the image and the canyon is still very evident. I also enjoy the lines of the trees in #2.

  29. Much prefer the first one Darwin which makes better use of the synergy between clouds and canyon.

  30. I have to go against the majority, personally I like the second one.
    The small trees in front grab your attention and then you proceed to “walk” right thru the entire photo.
    In the first one my eye tends to go directly to the end of the canyon to the tall trees, then come back to the front to see what I missed.

  31. Both are beautiful but it’s #1 for me.

  32. Hai Dawrwin,
    I like more the first.
    I think the deep sensation is bigger and i almost makes me feel dizzy!!
    congratulations for both of them

  33. Hello Darwin,
    Both are fantastic !
    I would say the first one with a little more expsore would have made a difference.

  34. I prefer the first one , due to the contrast of the rocks against the snow.

  35. I prefer the first one as well. When you look at the second one after looking at the first one, the canyon almost feels like it’s cut short…

  36. The foreground tree is a must. 2nd image. However, I don’t like the other tree just above it and to the right. It’s hugging the frame a little too much for my taste.

  37. Second image is better for me. My eye starts at the frist small tree, then goes to the second small tree and then continues up to the right, over then down the left, where it meets the canyon and then spirals inward heading out to infinity (and beyond! 😉 ) What a ride!

    I also find the bare trunk in the first image to be the one thing that grabs onto my attention and keeps it, leading my eye straight up and out of the frame before I get to explore the image. Not good.

  38. the top image, with less foreground and more canyon is breathtaking…somehow it has more depth and is just stunning…

  39. michael matthews Says:

    View #1 by far: much more dramatic, with clarity enhanced by larger detail, more prominent contrast.

  40. The first one is beautiful.

  41. Both are sweet, but the second is an easy choice for me. I like the little tree in the middle to ground the image and give my eyes a starting point before wangering into the canyon and distance.

  42. The first one. The sky is more dramatic, and the compositional balance is better. I find the foreground trees in the 2nd image distracting. They pull the viewer away from the canyon.

  43. absolut amazing. I will have an eye on your blog!

  44. Both images are superb. my question is “do you have to prefer one over the other?”. I think I might be very tempted to try printing and displaying these as a diptych.

  45. Susan Osborn Says:

    I prefer the 1st because it seems as though the canyon is the main focus and is also serves as foreground. However the 2nd one is excellent also; however I would cut out the 1st little tree and have the trio of trees as the foreground. The trio acts as a balance with the trees in the background. I like how the lens brings foreground and background into clear focus. Did you use any filters?

  46. I definitely prefer the first because the lead-in line comes from the bottom of the image and not from the side. At least I think that is why I prefer it 🙂 I feel it has the best balance. Even if you have managed to “fill” the bottom right area in the 2nd image I still want to take a step left for the next shot. I somehow perceive the balance between dark and light as… unbalanced in the 2nd. But I often have a very instinctive feel that I struggle to explain or defend.

  47. I guess I am going against the grain with this one. I prefer the second image. I find the two small trees anchor my eyes and create a more natural movement of my eyes thru the valley. In the first image my eyes go right into the deep canyon. I also don’t like the brown trunk of the pine on the left hand side. It distracts my eyes from moving thru the picture space. Both images work, I guess it all depends on what you want to emphasize. The deep canyon or the valley beyond

  48. I prefer the second image. It is a bit brighter, as if there was more sun. You can still see enough of canyon to notice that it is there, and the trees in foreground add a lot to the atmosphere of this image.

  49. Steve Cole Says:

    Another vote for #2. I just don’t like the blank space in the lower right of #1. The trees in #2 along with the pillows of snow help lead my eye through the scene.

    Both are winners, though!

  50. Tough call – how about “C: all of the above!”
    Seriously, the top image clouds add to the grand scale of the trees, balancing the canyon depth. The Canoyon leads the eye into the frame, creating a great sense of depth.
    In the second image, the forground adds strength to balance the composition and also create a sense of scale and depth, leading to the background mountains.Each stands strong on its own. Together,it makes me ponder what it would’ve been like to do a vertical pano and horizontal – to the right side of the top image, to create a stiched image tall and slightly wider…..thereby creating a nice anchor with the foreground trees. I think living with both over time, I would lean more to the second image as the best composition. That said, I would be proud to hand either one on my walls.

  51. It depends on your intended main subject. My interpretation is that the canyon is the main subject and therefore the first image is stronger.

  52. The first one for sure for me. It comes back to the original reason for making the photo: the rugged beauty of the canyon, or the delicate poetry of the foreground trees covered in snow? Methinks you probably would not have shot this image if it were not for the canyon. So why make it the background decoration?

  53. I love both of these shots but if I had to pick a favourite, it would be the 2nd one. I like the little trees in the foreground which look friendly and personal, contrasted against the majestic distanct mountains in the background. Are these stitched panoramas or can you accomplish this all in one shot with the TS-E 17mm?

  54. Definitely the first one – the diagonal line leading the eye through the image is much stronger, and the image has much more impact.

  55. I tend to favour the first one slightly over the second one because the larger image of the canyon seems to deepen ones curiosity and genrate your own imagination as to what may be the actual scene. I guess, it depends on your personality. Do you like a well balanced photo or one that piques your deeper imagination.

  56. Thanks all for such detailed comments and for giving me more insight into why the images worked or did not work for you. 37 people preferred number one or voted for number one while there were 16 votes for the second image (some people like them both). I still am torn myself but now I know a few things I can do to make both images just a tad better. Again thanks! Darwin

  57. #1 – no question about it. That’ll make it 38:)

  58. Great shots!

    The second shot simply doesn’t have a strong enough foreground element to compete with the better view of the canyon.

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