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Dawn over my village Brookenby Lincolnshire Wolds

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Trying to show dramatic Lincolnshire dawn and mist clearing of the wolds.

Brand:Pentax
Camera:Pentax K-x Check out PENTAXPORTAL!
Lens:Sigma 18-250mm DC OS HSM macro
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:2 Sep 2013 - 5:04 AM
Focal Length:73mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/10sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Landscape
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Dawn over my village Brookenby Lincolnshire Wolds
Username:brookman brookman
Uploaded:4 Jan 2014 - 5:26 PM
Tags:Landscape / travel
VS Mode Rating 100 (50% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
mhfore
mhfore  7 England176 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2014 - 6:28 PM

Hi John,

There is a few simple adjustments you could make to your image but I'm not sure what you want to achieve. In your photo editing program if you go to "Levels" and in the window that opens (if you're using PS) click on the "Default" tab and select "Lighten Shadows" this is one way to make the houses stand out more as silhoettes and in fact brighten the dark areas of the image slightly. You could then go to "Colour Balance" select "Midtones" and move the yellow / blue slider slightly towards the yellow and the cyan / red slider slightly towards the cyan, you can then select shadows in the same window and make the same adjustments. The colour balance will give a better tone and boost the sky slightly.

John, there are so many ways to digitalaly retouch an image whithout knowing what you want to produce it's hard to do a mod Wink

Take care

Martin

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brookman
4 Jan 2014 - 6:39 PM

Thank you for your advice Martin. I am colourblind so anything I do has a certain amount of guess work. I took this through my window. I am hoping my friend will also join so he can check to see if I have got my colours right.
Thanks again
John

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mhfore
mhfore  7 England176 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2014 - 8:33 PM

John, I'm sorry you may not be able to fully appriecate the colours you've captured but you did get some nice yellows, reds and magentas etc. May I just add that if you upload an image for mod's and critiques etc you also add in the description what you would like advice on Grin

No problem if your not sure, someone will always help out.

Take care

Martin

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brookman
4 Jan 2014 - 8:57 PM

Thank you I am a new member so I am just feeling my way. We have a small club in our village,my work is usually praised. I am thinking of specializing in black and white but that can also be difficult. I just want to show my work and see the reactions
John

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8752 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1579 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2014 - 8:59 PM

Hello, John, and welcome to EPZ.
I was surprised to read that you are colourblind because this is so beautiful, the dawn colours are subtle and atmospheric, beautiful golds and reds against a background of pastel blue, with the misty horizon taking on an attractive mauve tone.
I like the framing by the foliage on the left and the background trees across the horizon.

I feel that it's a shame you took this from your window, but perhaps circumstances dictated this particular pov. However, if you had been able to venture out and possibly avoid the houses, the image would benefit from having just the misty hills as its foreground.

The location of a sunrise is important, the foreground is what sets it apart from others and makes it special. It can make of break an image. The best ones take a little planning, choosing the location, finding strong foreground silhouettes, waiting for the right moment, etc.

On the positive side, you chose a time when there was good cloud around, and that's when the real action happens.
Silhouettes do work well for sunrises and sunsets, giving the image a point of interest, adding depth, mood and context to it.
Speeding up your shutter speed would have given you stronger silhouettes, but I think in this case it's nice to be able to see those hills, and the houses can be silhouetted in editing.

Also on the positive side is the absence of the sun itself in your image, which often creates exposure problems if it's inside your frame.
Also, you have given up most of the frame to the sky because that is the main area of interest, so that's good.
To enhance the colours of your sunrise further, take your camera off auto white-balance mode and use the shade or cloud settings.

Your ISO 100 is good. The sky at sunrise is usually bright enough that you can get away with setting it this low.
I see you selected Landscape Mode, but it's often better to choose your settings for yourself. It has selected a slow shutter speed, so you needed to consider a tripod or anther method of ensuring your camera was still. It does lack sharpness.

In my modification I cropped and top and right, placing the horizon one third up on the vertical and keeping the foliage within the left third of the image. I adjusted the shadows to silhouette the houses and foliage, and to deepen the mauve hills, then adjusted contrast to enhance the sunrise colours, and sharpened. I also removed the house aerials to tidy up the foreground a little.

Without seeming to be rude, John, I wonder if you have considered doing black and white photography, where you will be able to recognise contrasts and tones far better. I did see from your portfolio information that it's something you like.

Pamela.

PS: Sorry, John, I just saw what you wrote in your comment above, about black and white.

Last Modified By pamelajean at 4 Jan 2014 - 9:04 PM

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom844 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2014 - 9:27 PM

Quite well done in technical terms. I would clone out the bright spot, bottom left. Then, ideally, something more than house rooves in the foreground. I know it' s not easy, but the classic church spire actiong as a focal point, left bottom, would make this. Nany sun rise and sunset shots should be used as backgrounds to something making a focal point in the foreground.

You will find this site very useful if you are prepared to take straight honest comment. You should still remember that, regardless of what anyone says, please yourself. That is what matters.

My many years with clubs as a member and PAGB judge and lecturer told me that many clubs, especially small ones, can become mutual admiration societies with everyone telling everyone else how good they are. You always need clear outside unbiases comment. However, subject matter can effect comment too. I tend to get fed up with sunsets and swans, for example, having judged thousands of them.

Paul

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brookman
4 Jan 2014 - 9:59 PM

I am pleasantly surprised with the response I have had.I only submitted my work tonight I welcome any criticism.I am a keen aircraft spotter so that is part of my work. I also love taking photos of the Lincolnshire Wolds.My friend is an experienced photographer so he watches over me.He says I have a good eye for composition.We intend to enter some of our work.The sunrise shot was a spur of the moment thing.Our bedroom window overlooks the Wolds,I was getting ready for golf so it was grab the camera and click.
Once again thank you everybody
John

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7396 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom971 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2014 - 10:47 PM

Hi, welcome to the site and to the Critique Gallery, I hope that you enjoy it here. It's a good place to learn, and to share.

I like this, it's personal. I reckon I can often recognise pictures that people take of scenes close to home, scenes that they are involved with and familiar with. There's no attempt to create drama, it's for real...

A couple of things. I don't know if this is actually level or not, but I want to rotate it a tiny bit clockwise. I want to get rid of that street lamp lower right, simply because it dominates the composition when it is not the important bit.

The light and silhouettes are gorgeous. I might have a play with it but nothing major.

Modification to follow in a bit, I hope...

Moira

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 4 Jan 2014 - 10:53 PM

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brookman
4 Jan 2014 - 11:13 PM

Thank you Moira,I am 73 and struggle to master taking things away etc.I tend to use Smart Photo Editor and sometimes Elements 10.As I said earlier I am colour blind,that doesn't mean I just see black and white. I see colours but some look the same. So I am worried in case I have a purple sky!. We are lucky with the view out our bedroom window. As you may have guessed we look east and the morning sky is different nearly every morning. I don't think I entered one of my best efforts.I look forward to your mods.
John

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