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Photo show ready?

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retta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Photo show ready?
    Posted: 21 June 2017 at 22:54
This photo was taken at dawn. It is a row of Subarus stored at a horse arena by the local dealership.I am entering it in a student photo show. I would like general critique.

[IMG]DSC02305 car art show adobe RBG - Copy by Retta Edling, on Flickr[/IMG]

Edited by retta - 22 June 2017 at 01:53
 



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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2017 at 08:11
Hi. Nice to see an original photo, and an unusual scene!
Okay, I've going to be very critical here as I would be on my own pictures (yes, they often have things wrong with them too!)

1. The picture doesn't seem to have any of the usual colours or streaks of sunlight that shout 'Dawn!', so it seems to me there's little point in leaving it dark like that - it just looks underexposed. More comments about this later.

2. In terms of composition, you have a fairly strong diagonal, which is usually good, but it has a kink in the middle which is too strong to ignore but not strong enough to seem like the main interest in the picture. Maybe if you'd got lower this would be more marked?

3. I think where you have a line of similar things stretching into the distance, you usually want to make the front one take a bit more of the picture - here it is barely in view. Is this a crop? If so, let's see a bit more of the rh bottom corner.

4. The other way to emphasise the distance is to use a wide aperture (and slow shutter speed if necessary) to put the background out of focus. You haven't done that here, which means you sort of rely on the difference in size to make the point.

5. If you brighten up the image according to comment (1) the background buildings will attract the eye even more than they do at the moment, particularly when your eyes stray to the end of the line of cars. You should decide whether they are an intended focal point of the picture, in which case you could try selectively brightening it up to make it look like a shaft of sunlight, or not, in which case maybe you should crop it out?

6. The most effective pictures at exhibitions have very simple composition and minimal visual clutter, unless the clutter is an important part of the image. I think you should take a sheet of blank paper and draw (with a pencil) what you think are the main elements of the composition.
- Is it just the cars, alone?
- Is it the juxtaposition between the cars and the horse fences?
- is it the different textures of the cars and the fences/etc?
- Is it the relationship between foreground and background?
When you've done this, it will help you decide where your picture should be cropped, or darkened.

7. What would I do?
- First I'd crop everything to the left of the final car, and everything above the top bar of the fence on the right. They clutter the image IMHO.
- I would view the tone map and mess with it to boost the brightness and contrast. I don't like dim lifeless images (had enough of those with colour prints years ago)
- I'd *try* putting the grass to all black with then tone map.
- I'd get rid of all the colour, then maybe try sepia tone.
But I think you should think about the picture yourself first, as I've suggested.

8. Even more personal comment: I sometimes think of myself as a purist, in that I prefer to get the picture right when I take it rather than saying 'there's a neat image in there somewhere; I'll find it in PP', BUT there's no harm at all in messing heavily with a picture in PP to see different effects. The only snag is you can't change the point of view, and that's the thing which often makes or breaks the picture! .

Anyway, that's just my 8p worth.

Edited by Miranda F - 22 June 2017 at 08:14
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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waldo_posth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2017 at 16:39
This is a fascinating image.
Its magic is the first light of the day which reflects on the front parts of the cars.

My suggestions:
- crop a little bit on the top and on the left hand side;
- increase the saturation of teal - which you see in the window panes, alternatively: use a color contrast filter (like in NIK Color Efex, downloadable for free from Google) to achieve a similar effect;
- try some vignetting filter with the kink in the middle as center, increase brightness a little bit in the center and decrease it at the margins (considerably).

This is an almost perfect image. Don't change too much in PP!

Good look for entering the photo show!
"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." (Walker Evans)   http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo_posth/
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retta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2017 at 18:34
WOW! These are some really helpful critique points. I am going to try them out later today to see what I get. The deadline looms. I wish I had asked sooner...

In my "defense" I underexposed it to deliberately reduce the background influence. I did not think of cropping it out which now gives me an additional perspective on what I do. I know what I am after, just learning how to get there.

I also agree on the angle. I didn't try very many    . It was freezing cold and I was racing the sun's reflection in the headlight lens.
I took this about a year ago when I was first starting out and knew so little about how light worked from the vision to the final product. This picture was taken very underexposed and I did not know how far I should bring it up. I didn't like it much lighter, but with the cropping I think I will. On my monitor it shows slightly lighter than the photo in my hand, but is enough the same.

Unfortunately the lower RH corner is the edge.

I wanted the reflection of the sun in the lens to be the most compelling element. It sounds as though I missed it.



Edited by retta - 23 June 2017 at 16:30
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ifreedman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ifreedman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2017 at 03:25
I agree with many of the comments above. To emphasize the ones I find most important:

1. Nice composition, and line movement of the cars. So well done.
2. It's underexposed, which can be OK, but I don't see much point for it here. I'd brighten up the image.
3. Because it's dark, there's very little going on besides the cars. That's OK, except for the fact that there are edges of the image that don't have cars and are pretty boring IMO. I'd crop off the left side and the top of the pic. Focus on what's most important -- the cars. The fences is a nice element in the background, but I think it's OK if you crop off the top part of the fences. It helps to keep the corner interesting, and leads my eyes around nicely and brings them back to the cars.
4. Maybe play with colors and color balance a bit. If you're looking for reflected light from the sun rise, you can probably bring that out a bit.

Good luck in the competition!
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2017 at 13:30
Originally posted by retta retta wrote:

I wanted the reflection of the sun in the lens to be the most compelling element. It sounds as though I missed it.

Ah, I see. I think that would have worked better if you had been able to get much closer to one of the headlights to make it more obvious in the picture. But it was a good idea, nevertheless.
You probably won't get another chance to take the same picture again (Ain't that life?) but having played around with the image in PP will help with similar scenes next time.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
 



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retta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2017 at 16:32
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

Originally posted by retta retta wrote:

I wanted the reflection of the sun in the lens to be the most compelling element. It sounds as though I missed it.

Ah, I see. I think that would have worked better if you had been able to get much closer to one of the headlights to make it more obvious in the picture. But it was a good idea, nevertheless.
You probably won't get another chance to take the same picture again (Ain't that life?) but having played around with the image in PP will help with similar scenes next time.


Each step I take should be a learning one.
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momech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2017 at 17:22
The reflections do catch my attention, but the long curve of the parked vehicles is the dominant subject of the image. The lighter areas of the reflections reinforce that. It's a very nice image.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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