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A Ride on the Beach

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Taken on St Anne's beach. I was photographing the pier and saw the riders on their horses out of the corner of my eye. I swung my camera on it's tripod around and fired off a couple of quick shots. From memory I think the camera settings were auto.

I thought this scene would suit a letter box crop.

The sky was pretty bland so I introduced myself to the burn tool for this image - I attempted to use it with sublety on the sky area. I hope I succeeded.

I also sharpened the image. I hope I haven't oversharpened it. I never know when to stop with the slider on that tool.

I'd appreciate any comments/advice on how I could improve on this shot.

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D3100 Check out Nikon Nation!
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:7 Jan 2012 - 12:44 PM
Focal Length:55mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/5.7
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/400sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Not Defined
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Auto, Did not fire
Title:A Ride on the Beach
Username:WeeGeordieLass WeeGeordieLass
Uploaded:18 Jan 2012 - 7:49 AM
Tags:General
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
strokebloke
18 Jan 2012 - 4:41 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I don't think there's a lot you could do to improve this Elaine.
With the distance you were away from the scene (I assume you had a kit lens at full length [55mm]) you wouldn't have improved the quality of the shot by closing the aperture down. The detail is 'recognition' rather than 'precise identification'. The pier, the horses, the groups of birds on the water in the distance, the horizon. All recognisable and sufficiently sharp to be so. Any further sharpness wouldn't have made these details more identifiable.
The composition, IMO, is great.
The crop is ideal, again, IMO.
The contrasting colours of the sky/clouds and the sand forefront is, IMO, very attractive and the tone, just about right.
The sharpness is good. IMO.

To improve the shot:

Quote: I swung my camera on it's tripod around and fired off a couple of quick shots. From memory I think the camera settings were auto.

I wonder why you responded in the manner that you say you did?
The horses don't appear to be moving at any considerable speed & everything else (with the possible exception of birds taking off/landing in the distance) is stationary.
So why the rush? Your camera was already on the tripod
I would have thought you would have had time to assess the shot you wanted - check your camera for the optimum settings, maybe even had time to set up a series of 3 or 5 bracketed shots.

Had you done all that I don't think you would have actually achieved an appreciably better result than you have.
But, from what you've described as the way you took the shot, I suspect you had little confidence that you'd got the shot you wanted, until you loaded your memory card into your PC.

So my suggestion for improvement is:
Take you time. It's often better to take the shot that you prepared for, than to snap at the situation that presented itself to you.

All the best,
Jack

BTW ~ I'm a fellow Northumbrian. Born just out of Bamburg. I'm unsure whether that's to my credit or not WinkSmile

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paulbroad
paulbroad  782 forum posts United Kingdom874 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jan 2012 - 5:35 PM

This is very good - my kind of image. Strong and simple. well done. The sky is the only weak bit as you remark. I would actually take off even more sky to remove the brightest bits and have an even thinner letterbox.

paul

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WeeGeordieLass
WeeGeordieLass e2 Member 2346 forum postsWeeGeordieLass vcard England
18 Jan 2012 - 7:24 PM

Hi Everyone,

Just got in from work, so hope you don't mind if I reply to all of you in one message.

Hi Martin
Thanks for the Mod. I like the extra ooommmppphhh you've given the sky. The scene looks quite atmospheric - I like it!

Hi Frank
Yes I think a smaller aperture would have been good. I'm glad you like the space I left on the right hand side. The original image was shot with the horses riding into the scene from the right hand side, but I flipped the image to have the riders coming in from the left.

Hi Jack "Marra"
Lovely to link up with a fellow North Easterner. I love Bamburg, and regularly visit the area. We sail out of Amble Marina on occasions around the Farnes and Lindisfarne, Seahouses and all around that stretch of coastline (oh I'm feeling home sick!!).

Yes I did rush at catching the scene. I'm glad that you like the way I have presented the image, and it gives me a bit of confidence that I think I'm improving.
I'll take your advice and take more time in future.

Hi Paul

Thanks for your positive feedback - it's very encouraging for me. That's a good idea about a thinner letter box - I think it would create impact.

Thanks everyone I really, really appreciate all of your help and advice.

Elaine GrinGrinGrinGrin

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