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First Critique: Vermillion Cliffs

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InspiredbyNature View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote InspiredbyNature Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: First Critique: Vermillion Cliffs
    Posted: 14 March 2013 at 18:52
This is my first time trying to get critiques so I hope I do it right. First I will post one of my favorite pics of mine. I like this picture because for me it conveys the beauty and power of the American Southwest. Having the lightening and the dark clouds with the cliffs getting hit by the last light of the sun from the right makes it even more powerful. It is a bit noisy for my taste, but long exposures for just one image do that. Also I would have liked to have a better trail with the car. I think that the lightening sits on the rule of thirds grid so that is ok. Any other comments would be much appreciated. Hope to get good critique!
http://www.dvirbarkay.com/

A77: Sony 16-50, Tokina 11-16
1Dx, 1DIII: Canon 70-200/2.8 IS II, Canon 300/2.8 L IS, Canon 100/2.8L, Canon 200-400/4 L
 



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rovhazman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2013 at 19:24
As you said, it is a good photo overall and the lightening is a very strong element in the photo.
I would try to crop the photo by cutting off from the right and bottom parts until a little before the road signs line from the right and a little less than cm from the light trail on the bottom.
This way you will get rid of the "boring" parts of the photo and the lightening will be more emphasized. It will not be on the 1/3 of the photo anymore, but it will get the attention it deserves.
Also cutting from the right and top will be fine.

I am not sure about the light trails on this photo. Generally, they add some dynamics to the photo and I like this effect, but here I have the feeling that they are attracting too much attention and getting the attention away from the mountain and the lightening.

It will be nice to have the exif of the photo - how long is the exposure and what is the f-stop? Also, did you use a good tripod? I feel like the picture can be a little sharper.
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InspiredbyNature View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote InspiredbyNature Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2013 at 19:32
Thanks for the reply. I agree that It could be cropped more, but it is already a crop. It is actually two different photos taken one after the other, one with the lightening the other with the trail. So it is interesting that you would take out the trail, because you could technically do so because it is two photos. Lastly It is 30 second exposures, I forget the F number will have to look either f/5.6 or 8. Either way the wind was nasty and my tripod is really quite awful, so with 30 second exposure, it makes sense that it would probably have shaken a bit.
http://www.dvirbarkay.com/

A77: Sony 16-50, Tokina 11-16
1Dx, 1DIII: Canon 70-200/2.8 IS II, Canon 300/2.8 L IS, Canon 100/2.8L, Canon 200-400/4 L
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Kilkry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kilkry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2013 at 19:44
Cropping some from the right seems like a right idea : )

Other than that, I would desaturate it slightly, maybe just partially, and perhaps reduce the contrast a little. Additionally it could be that a higher pov would be interesting, though it is hard to say (and harder to achieve with winds).

The lightning figuring more prominently would be grand but just to capture it at all is very well done.

As for sharpness, I detect no movement blur at all. I feel the photo is too small to judge for sharpness at any rate.
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InspiredbyNature View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote InspiredbyNature Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2013 at 19:48
I will redo it, also wanted to ask what you mean by pov? point of view? Also the problem with all the lightening that it all happened behind the cliffs, out of 20 minutes that was the only visible lightening strike. I can tell you that looking at a 100% crop of this in PS shows that it isn't as sharp as my usual day to day shots, which combined with the long exposure, and maybe slight movement, might affect sharpness. But you are right that it is hard to discern this with such a small pic.
http://www.dvirbarkay.com/

A77: Sony 16-50, Tokina 11-16
1Dx, 1DIII: Canon 70-200/2.8 IS II, Canon 300/2.8 L IS, Canon 100/2.8L, Canon 200-400/4 L
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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: 16 March 2013 at 05:43
Nice photo. Great job in capturing a moment like this. The lightning is great. Too bad you couldn't move it a bit.

I agree with cropping from the right, probably everything past the edge of the road. The framing is a bit tricky here. On one sense, I think this would look good if it were shot with a wider lens. But it's not wide enough, and some of the stuff around the edges doesn't add much, and our attention would be better suited in focusing in on the center. I would also crop a bit off the top and/or bottom.

If you're worried about noise, you can address that in PP with a noise reduction program. I might also darken just a little bit, or maybe use a brush and darken selectively in different parts of the picture. The foreground definitely doesn't need to be so bright. The car lights could be a bit dimmer. The lightning and the cliffs are nicely illuminated and levels look good.

To me the most important elements are the (a) the rock face (which looks awesome), (b) the lightning, and (c) the curve of car lights, which leads my eye through the frame and then back to the rock face. Keep all those and then crop around them.

Ian
A77ii, A6000 + various alpha, homemade and adapted lenses
Articles: Tilt-Shift Lenses
 



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svjetlana View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote svjetlana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2013 at 13:47
Overall, this is very good image. Some elements work fine and some can be improved.
Visible rock face and color of sky work fine. Lightning, for me, is distraction because it takes away from the scenery, being so bright. It would work great if there was more of it.
Front elements are usually useful but in this case, ground takes away from the image. Composition can be much tighter, particularly on the right side. Finally, car trails, being the brightest part of the image and the main element, take a lot of viewers attention and, like you said, can be improved.
Overall very good image with a great feeling of American Southwest.
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bartman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bartman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2013 at 13:57
This one certainly has atmosphere and tells a story! I would suggest to crop it on the bottom and on the right side. And maybe a bit of sharpening?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote InspiredbyNature Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2013 at 23:16
After taking advice here is my newer version, what do you think?
http://www.dvirbarkay.com/

A77: Sony 16-50, Tokina 11-16
1Dx, 1DIII: Canon 70-200/2.8 IS II, Canon 300/2.8 L IS, Canon 100/2.8L, Canon 200-400/4 L
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rovhazman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rovhazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2013 at 23:47
YES! That is the crop I meant and I think it looks better.
I am still interested to see the version without the light path. It is hard for me to see whether it will be better without it (more attention to the mountain and the lighting) or worst (too boring).
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bartman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bartman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 March 2013 at 09:45
better.
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