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[C&C] Could be better!

Discussion in 'Photo Critique' started by P.H, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    131
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    Going through some photos from a recent cycling trip along England's NE coast and into Scotland and I'd appreciate comment on this photo;
    6170297584_8c4b648fd8_b.

    I like it, but there's something telling me it could be better, either when shot or PP, I just don't know what I could/should do different.
    I know, a big question, feel free to be honest, thanks:smile:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. akulya

    akulya SC Veteran

    219
    Mar 1, 2011
    Great shot!
    I really like the angle the light is coming from, and the interesting horizon.
    Exposure and focus are spot on too.

    Just thinking out loud, I might be tempted to try a 16:9 or 11:6 crop; keeping the clouds, horizon and boats intact, but removing the majority of the foreground?
    It might suit a panorama style better, but thats only conjecture.

    The colours look very realistic, but if you wanted to expreiment I might start with low contrast B&W - see if you can download a trial version of Nik Software's Silver Efex and have a play. Good luck, and if you perfect it, print one out!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Nice image. I like it the way it is. It reads well and has a certain emotional content that is relaxing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    You might want to try some cropping and a color boost. Exposure-wise, there's nothing wrong with it. Well done. Personally, I would have shot this motive with a longer lens, getting more out of the boats floating in the sea, the little mountain in the background and those nicely looking clouds.

    IMHO, these are the most interesting aspects of the picture and they are coming out too small due to the short focal length you used. Your focal length emphasizes the foreground, but let's be honest: a patch of grass and beach full of stones are not that interesting to look at. There's nothing going on on that beach, our eye keeps looking for an object that deserves our attention, there has to be something, yet it's not there. Then we spot the lovely little boats, the nice reflections on the water and those wonderful clouds. They make us like your picture, but that's not enough to consider it a great one. Plus, what is this little person doing on the left edge of the frame? ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    Nice. I haven't been to Lindisfarne for a couple of years. My dog (now sadly chasing the clouds) got covered in piri piri when we there, it took us ages to comb and pluck it out from his fur. I like this picture as it is. You could try boosting the colour or change it to black and white just to see what it looks like. The castle is very photogenic, as are the boat shaped sheds on the island. Did you take any more pictures of the castle? I'd love to see more if you did.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    131
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    Thanks for the comments so far, plenty there to think about and have a play with. Would those suggesting "Boost the colour" please clarify, I have Photoshop Elements, which I'm still trying to get to grips with! It can probably do boost, though a bit of guidance would be appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  7. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    131
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    My first visit, I've been passed a few times but times and tides didn't allow a crossing. The tides last week allowed four hours, I could have spent longer, so a place I'll have to return to.
    I've just posted some photos of the trip on a new thread, including a couple of the castle, neither of which I'm totally happy with, it's easy sitting in front of the images seeing what I could have done! Hopefully I'll pass that way again.
    https://www.photographerslounge.org/f22/cycling-along-coast-4293/#post40425
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    If you post a high or full resolution version of the file somwhere, I could play with it a bit.
     
  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    P.H., I like it, however I can see the reasoning behind changing the aspect ration to cut out some of the foreground. As for PS Elements, I can't say how to boost the color, but I do think you could use some more what we might call vibrancy in Lightroom terms and perhaps some fooling around with the tone curve...again, I don't know about PS Elements.

    I do very much envy you your being there because it's clearly a gorgeous and interesting place - what is the castle there in the background? I'm also captivated by the extreme low tide because, as far as I know, we don't have that kind of shore line here in the states... Whenever I see this sort of low tide I think of one of my favorite movies "Saving Grace" and the sort of offshoot television series "Doc Martin", two which I am addicted.

    I'll be sure to check out the rest of your pictures!
     
  10. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    I have PS Elements. Just watching celebrity master chef on catch up tv, having my tea, then I'll fire up my dusty laptop and talk you through it.
     
  11. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    I'm with the 'crop the foreground' bunch here. It's not that interesting and it's too dominant at the moment. Lose this and the focus shifts to the sea, the boats, the sky and the castle. I think I would also crop out the little guy on the left - he's too small to add any interest but noticeable enough to be a distraction.

    I'm going to disagree on the colour but that's because where I'm from is not unlike this place and muted, washed out colours are part of the landscape, especially on bright days. So I would say leave the colours as they are but perhaps teak the white balance a little (or pay with the hue slider if there is one in PSE) to ease off on the blue tone - only ease off though, for me it still needs to have some of that.
     
  12. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    It's very interesting to read everyone's point of view - what do you think, P.H.?

    Honestly, I did not see that walker on the left.:redface: However, now that olli has brought him to my attention - I'd like to see more of him..if he could be brought out a little bit more.

    So many variations are yours as the photographer but only you know what you saw and were after. It's a place that I would love to have the opportunity to visit, P.H.
     
  13. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    So you didn't read my post. :tongue:
     
  14. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    131
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    It is very interesting to read the contributions and I'm very grateful. I spent a frustrating hour or so trying to follow up some of the advice, couldn't get it to look how I wanted, you think you've nearly got it then BANG it's awful! The whole digital post processing thing is still new to me, time to get a book and learn it properly, a winter project. I'm also a bit stuck on 3 x 2:redface: It's the ratio I've always printed and even on shots that are never going to be hard copy nothing else looks right to me.
    The things I have taken from the advice, though some were two polite to say, was a bit more care before the shutter was pressed would have been better. What can I say, it was a bright day and the view on the LCD wasn't great, I should have moved further forward excluding some of the foreground and waited for the walker to clear the frame. I still like it but it hasn't lived up to the expectation I had when I took it.
    There's also the snapshot Vs art thing, which goes to the heart of why we take photos and we're all different. I like my photos to look like what I saw, I don't want to process them beyond that, even if that would make them a more appealing image. By most definitions I think that makes them snapshots, that's not to belittle them, or an excuse for them not being as good as possible, just seeing them for what they are. And don't get me wrong, I love loads of the images I see on this forum, it's just not what I want to do.
     
  15. snake

    snake SC Regular

    194
    Oct 4, 2011
    I think it's a great shot. I really don't know if it conforms to "the rules", which I often despise as being limiting, but it's a real picture of real life.

    From the artistic point of view, I'd just want to bring up color and contrast a bit, but not to the point that they are completely unrealistic. Maybe I'd crop a slight bit off the left. Otherwise, it's a beautiful shot.