Critique#1C

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Andy
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Critique#1C

Postby Andy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:08 am

This isn't Vermont, but it is an image I submitted for critique on another forum where I am a member. Would like to see what kind of "critique" comments I get here.

Rules: "beautiful," "nice image," etc. are not admissible - must be something you like/dislike or think could make a better image and WHY :mrgreen:

Image
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .


autzig
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Re: Critique

Postby autzig » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:32 am

Andy, this image is well composed and the lighting is very nice. I think the rail in the foreground really creates the 3D illusion. Without it, the image would be very two dimensional. Speaking of the rail, is that the shadow of your head on the right? If that was you, you could have fixed it when you made the photo. It will be much harder now. I learned to check for my shadow any time I am shooting with a low angle sun.

There are two things I would do to this image in post processing. The buildings on the left are leaning. There is nothing you can do about that in-camera but using free transform in Photoshop you could pull those buildings to vertical. The other thing I would do is enhance the clouds. I'd do that by applying a high pass filter sharpening to the clouds only. More dramatic clouds would add to this image.

Al

Andy
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Re: Critique

Postby Andy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:48 am

:mrgreen: Good catch on the head shadow. I usually check for that too, and because I use a cable release, am able to step out of the frame. This time, for whatever reason, I missed it (I have older photos that have tripod shadows in them too).

I should try to BS my way out of it and say that I did it on purpose to "balance" the black light fixture on the deck at the left :twisted: - but you are right, almost impossible to "fix" now.

Can you give me some detail on how to accomplish the "high pass" filter on the clouds?

Also, I use free transform ocassionally to "straighten" an image I didn't get level. Haven't ever used it on buildings. Do you outline the buildings and use it, or do you do it on a layer.

I have used the perspective correction tool. I don't know if you knew it or not, but PS5 also has a lens correction filter. I will post a later version of this where I applied that, but still wasn't thrilled by the result. Tilt and swing mechanism would sure be nice for these building images.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

autzig
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Re: Critique

Postby autzig » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:31 pm

Andy, I’ve taken the liberty of downloading and fixing your photo. Here’s the result of what I did in 15 minutes of work:

Image
Here's your original.
Image

First I removed your shadow. The tablet really works well for such work; great control over the clone brush.

To straighten the buildings I made a copy of the background layer and then chose Edit > Transform > Perspective. I grabbed the upper left handle and dragged left until the buildings were straight. Worked like a charm. Use a guide to check them. You then have to flatten the image to make a permanent fix.

To enhance the clouds, I made a copy of the background layer and then chose Filter> Other > High Pass. I set the radius to 16 pixels and hit OK. Then I pressed CTRL U, and desaturated the layer. Next, I changed the blend mode from Normal to Overlay. I then selected the sky and added a layer mask to apply the change to the sky only. The pixel radius will vary from picture to picture. You just have to experiment. Unfortunately you can't convert the layer to a smart object and make the changes because the smart object is not directly editable.

Al

Andy
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Re: Critique

Postby Andy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:24 pm

Very cool, Al: Will have to play with the transform feature a bit. Thanks for the lesson!!
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

deaner1971
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Re: Critique

Postby deaner1971 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:38 am

On the SF skyline, I feel like Al's increase contrast in the clouds, in addition to increasing their level of "drama", also balances the picture as the clouds now seem every bit as substantial the buildings to the left. It also brings out the Coit Tower in the background.

I like this approach, as opposed to Brant's crop, because it keeps the Coit Tower in the shot. I prefer to keep it as it provides the depth that the picture needs and, assuming that the file is large enough, will be one of those great details to pick up when a viewer is seeing it at large size (as opposed to the small scale here).

I think I would also have edited out the graffiti to the bottom left. In fact, when i get home I will try editing the photo into a panoramic dimensioned shot and lose most of the water. I think I don't love the railing in general and without it anchoring the foreground, anything but a little water would be unbalanced.

I might be being influenced by the way the photo is being displayed in my browser as I right this as the image if effectively cropped to a panoramic scale and I think it works. I am definitely being influenced by my not liking the graffiti. The darkness of the water and of that section of railing means that the white graffiti is more attention grabbing than it normally would be.

I do have to admit that I am going to seek out this angle next time I am there as I do think this is a really great spot. You should have also had a good view of the bay, Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge to the right and I think at sunset, this could be a fun vantage.

Thank you for sharing this shot and for opening the door to expanding this beyond foliage and Vermont. Since I am weather cursed of late, I don't have too many new Vermont shots to share (at least ones where I don't already know that the issue is that I am under gray skies) and was hoping that all photos were fair game.

abby
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Re: Critique

Postby abby » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:39 am

Andy wrote:This isn't Vermont, but it is an image I submitted for critique on another forum where I am a member. Would like to see what kind of "critique" comments I get here.

Rules: "beautiful," "nice image," etc. are not admissible - must be something you like/dislike or think could make a better image and WHY :mrgreen:

Image

Andy,
I like this image and I like what Al did using free transfrom. That is what I use to straighten an image (you taught me that years ago), but I have never used it as Al has. I have layer phobia which I need to work on.
Carol

Andy
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Re: Critique

Postby Andy » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:57 pm

Hmn. Saw a couple responses on my image that I somehow missed earlier.

Carol: As for your "layer phobia" you are going to have to get over it if you want to perspective correct the way Al did it. You cannot do it on the background layer -- PS won't let you in! :)

Dean: Thanks for the comments. I cleaned up the graffiti (and used Al's technique to fix the leaning building) and posted on another forum - where I had originally posted it. I'll have to see if I can find it and re-post here. It also crops the right side out. The prominent comments in that forum were crop of the right side and fix the grafitti. Everyone seemed to like the railing. I was trying for something different in this image, to show "where" I was when doing the shooting.

Interesting comment about Coit. I purposely put Coit in the image. The comments on the other forum were that it was so small, it receded into the background (clouds and grey didn't help). But I hadn't thought about what it might look like as a much larger image.

You are right that it is a pretty magical location. Never got down there at night. Will do it for sure next trip. Not sure you can see Alcatraz from there very well, but the Bay Bridge is right on top of you.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

deaner1971
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Re: Critique#1C

Postby deaner1971 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:13 am

Now that I look at it again, the railing does appeal to me. Maybe it is just the graffiti that threw me a bit.

I love the Coit Tower so, I might be a bit biased but I really think in your shot it is a great background detail. The clouds around it are darker and seem to lend it a mysterious air. Also, it completes a great diagonal of the buildings diminishing in perceived size from left to right. If the sun had been hitting it more fully and making it appear a bit more white (and thereby seperating it more from the clouds), I think it would work even better. But, as you cannot yet bend the sun to your will, I'll take it as is.

Alcatraz would have been a good distance away so you are right that it is probably not a vaiable shot. Great location for the city though.



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