Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Smartphone Challenge 1 - Sunset at Bugibba, Malta

Versions (Before and After)Version Help

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!
Add Comment

I set myself a challenge uploading this one. I wanted to create an effective image using only my smartphone and some post-processing. This is the result. I'll upload the original file as a variant and will enable modifications. The challenge, primarily, is to be able to end up with a good result even though you have at your disposal a relatively weak camera.*

I wasn't after any particular message here, simply admiring the idyllic scene before my eyes - the sun setting in the distance and the lovely Bugibba (Malta) promenade. A great place for a peaceful walk.

*Please note, the shot was taken at 480x640 resolution. This element wasn't intentional, and it made the job of editing even harder. Bear this in mind - there's a limit to the amount of detail that can be achieved here.

Lens:not applicable
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Focal Length:4mm (equiv. to around 30mm)
Flash:Off, Did not fire
Title:Smartphone Challenge 1 - Sunset at Bugibba, Malta
Username:alistairfarrugia alistairfarrugia
Uploaded:5 Apr 2013 - 4:45 PM
Tags:Bugibba, Critique, Htc sensation, Lamp post, Landscape, Landscape / travel, Malta, Sunset
VS Mode Rating 99 (25% won)
These stats show the percentage of wins and the rating score that your photo has achieved. You can go to the VS Mode by clicking on this icon.

Signup to e2

Signup to e2 to see which photo this has won or lost against in the vs mode
Votes:Voting Disabled
Critque wantedCritique Wanted
Modifications wanted Modifications Welcome (Upload a Modification)
Variant - Before/AfterVariant - Before and After
Awards have been disabled on this photo

Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
NDODS
NDODS e2 Member 43660 forum postsNDODS vcard United Kingdom107 Constructive Critique Points
5 Apr 2013 - 5:29 PM

Love the outcome Alistair.

Regards NathanGrinGrinGrin

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 74062 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 1:04 PM

Alistair I'm not sure I'm qualified to discuss smartphone pictures, the few that are on mine are from drunken nights out Wink or if I'm bored.

The main thing that struck me, is it needs some clockwise rotation as the lamppost is leaning slightly. As there is little detail in the foreground I'd be tempted just to all the darks go to black. Was there room to your left, as the left hand FG impedes. Otherwise you could exclude all the land and just set the lamppost off against the sky.

If you want more detail, is there a HDR app? There is for mine, and it's OK.

EDIT: just noticed the light balance between the lamps is different, I would be tempted to balance hem with a copy of the final image as a layer, attach a white balance clipping mask, correct the one you want to balance. Then on the layer mask on the colour balance CTRL+I this will hide the adjustment (ie turn layer mask black) then pain with white on the layer mask just on the relevant lamp.

Last Modified By Nick_w at 6 Apr 2013 - 1:08 PM

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

Tooth
Tooth  95772 forum posts Ireland227 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 1:07 PM

You've said it your self really, Alistair - you're gone beyond the capability of the phone, or at least at that resolution. There's only so much detail you can drag out of shadows like that without artefacts emerging

It's very soft but I don't think it would stand any sharpening without introducing worse pixellation.

Compositionally, it's a pity you have the base of the lamp breaking the bottom of the frame - not sure if you could have taken a few steps back for a wider shot.

So, potentially a lovely shot, but the quality means it would only be good as a memory shot for you if you didn't have your camera with you

Stephen

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

alistairfarrugia
alistairfarrugia Critique Team 2164 forum posts Malta88 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 1:10 PM

Thanks Nick and Stephen - some of my original assumptions were right then. As regards the rotation, I felt like it needed additional counter-clockwise rotation, judging by the vertical from the buildings on the left. In post processing, I had introduced a small perspective shift to try straighten things, but it seems I didn't do enough. Will try a further mod to take into consideration what you've told me, and see if that improves things.

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 74062 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 1:12 PM

What was I thinking of, doesn't need to be a clipping mask, just colour balance adjustment layer - rest of the advice still applies, ie inverse layer mask and paint white on the bulb.

It you use perspective control Alistair you will still have problems as they are in the same half of the image. If you think the image is worth it, correct the lamppost. Then make a generous rough selection of the buildings, right click, copy to new layer, Ctrl+t on this layer, then right flight and select skew / warp or perspective, (you will have to experiment) then correct the building vertices ( I turn the grid on to make this easier) . When your happy, place a layer mask on the layer and paint black with a soft brush to blend.

Last Modified By Nick_w at 6 Apr 2013 - 1:18 PM

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

alistairfarrugia
alistairfarrugia Critique Team 2164 forum posts Malta88 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 1:40 PM

Thanks for the detailed critique Nick. Unfortunately I do all my editing in Paint Shop Pro, a very old version of it. I plan on getting Lightroom in the future, though CS is a bit too expensive for now, what with the wedding expenses and all. In the future, maybe. It costs as much as a new lens, and I think it gives you that much back, but for now it's too expensive.

I did, however, do some further editing to the image and will upload two new variants. One is based on the original document (presently v2), where I rotated the image, rather than perspective-corrected it. Then applied a selective blurring effect - I'm not sure about this. Your feedback would be welcome.

The other is a separate shot I had taken, that follows in what you had said of shooting the lamp post with the just the sky showing. That had occurred to me then and recorded one shot like that, (that would be v4)

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

paulbroad
paulbroad  789 forum posts United Kingdom880 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 2:45 PM

Whatever else you do, the quality is very poor. The sharpness mainly being the issue. Probably too slow shutter speed chosen by phone. You did hold it in two hands, not just one of course. Everyone I see uses these things one handed. Not ideal for quality.

As with a camera, you needed a firm support.

Paul

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

alistairfarrugia
alistairfarrugia Critique Team 2164 forum posts Malta88 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 5:37 PM

It wasn't the two hands issue Paul, of that I can assure you, I always try to get the phone as steady as possible, but it's a bit slippery and it's not really ideal for photos as the shutter button is on screen - you introduce movement like that all the time. Moreover, I only realised afterwards that the resolutions was way too low, at VGA (640 x 480). I was just trying to see if I could get some good material from the phone, but it seems it's got to be DSLR or at least my fuji compact for some decent stuff hehe.

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

wenzu78
wenzu78  2 Malta
6 Apr 2013 - 5:39 PM

I loved your challenge ... all comments made before me will surely help you achieve better results .... I am one proud Malteser for having such talent on the Island ...

Wink

IT goes to show that there's no beating a good quality SLR mate.

Will soon upload a few pictures from the Miniature Scale Exhibition held this weekend at the Maritime Museum in Birgu.


cheers buddy

wenzu

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

alistairfarrugia
alistairfarrugia Critique Team 2164 forum posts Malta88 Constructive Critique Points
6 Apr 2013 - 5:51 PM

Thanks for the encouraging words Wenz. I try my best, and I'm glad you like my work, so thanks again.

As regards the SLR issue, it's all about knowing what to expect from your phone, compact, SLR or whatever equipment you have ultimately. With this one, I tried to do it the hard way. Also tried to get a portrait facing the sunset, but the on-board flash (2 LEDs!) wasn't enough to light the face and retain the background colours. Wouldn't bother uploading, it's just a black foreground and sunset in the background. Next challenge will probably be with a compact. I should manage that I guess... (getting foreground portrait well-exposed and the sunset in background showing properly). I recently saw a video on just how to achieve that with a compact, so I'm confident I'll replicate the result. We'll see hehe.

In the meantime, I look forward to your snaps from the Miniature Scale Exhibition - I'm sure there's some nice work in there too. How's the close-focusing ability on the new lens?

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

wenzu78
wenzu78  2 Malta
6 Apr 2013 - 6:06 PM


Quote: Thanks for the encouraging words Wenz. I try my best, and I'm glad you like my work, so thanks again.

As regards the SLR issue, it's all about knowing what to expect from your phone, compact, SLR or whatever equipment you have ultimately. With this one, I tried to do it the hard way. Also tried to get a portrait facing the sunset, but the on-board flash (2 LEDs!) wasn't enough to light the face and retain the background colours. Wouldn't bother uploading, it's just a black foreground and sunset in the background. Next challenge will probably be with a compact. I should manage that I guess... (getting foreground portrait well-exposed and the sunset in background showing properly). I recently saw a video on just how to achieve that with a compact, so I'm confident I'll replicate the result. We'll see hehe.

In the meantime, I look forward to your snaps from the Miniature Scale Exhibition - I'm sure there's some nice work in there too. How's the close-focusing ability on the new lens?

Firstly let me augur you the best of luck with your new self-imposed challenges using an inferior camera ... but I guess it's fun as well Smile

You tend to bend the rules somehow and achieve great results anyway. So I will definitely look forward to your uploads.

The Exhibition was a blast ... detail-freaks had a filed day snapping away to their heart's content. I tried my bit as well taking my nifty fifty to a ride. It's not a macro by any stretch but I am quite happy with its close focus range.

Patience my young one... will upload some pics shortly Wink


cheers


wenzu

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

paulbroad
paulbroad  789 forum posts United Kingdom880 Constructive Critique Points
7 Apr 2013 - 9:09 AM

Whilst we knock phones. That is the way things are going. My daughter in law has one of these I-phone thingies with a 5MP camera and a DSLR. She tends to use the phone for kiddie pictures. I have blown up one of her shots of two grand kids in spray from the sea to A3 and i would challenge anyone to say it wasn't from my 7D! It is that good.

Watch this space as they say......

Paul

Nominating Constructive Critique

Please ensure that you understand what is meant by Constructive Critique - see FAQ here. If you still wish to nominate this comment click Yes

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.