Back Modifications (2)
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A bush in the dessert

By Magicdarcy
I saw this lone bush in the Dubai dessert and I love the fact that there is added texture in the sand from the car and bike tracks. This was taken on auto mode on my little HP compact.

Tags: Landscape and travel Desert landscape

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2016 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2011 8:42PM
Hello, Stacey, and welcome to EPZ. I see from your portfolio that you are keen to learn and that you intend to come out of the auto mode. Later, you will look at pictures like this and understand what opportunities were wasted. I have done it myself. There are several issues with this image, which you can at least consider for future shots. The sky is burnt out, there is no detail and very little colour. The bush, which is your subject, according to your title, is out of focus. Your bush is too central in the frame. You like the marks in the sand, and I would suggest that you concentrated on, say, those on the left, offsetting the bush in the frame, and avoiding the sky altogether, as your camera could not cope with the brightness. Your focus does appear to be on the sand bottom left, and your aperture was too large to get anything else in focus. A smaller aperture could have had the sand marks as well as the bush in focus. I think the bush gives a point of interest, otherwise the sand alone would have been a little uninteresting. When trying to photograph marks in sand, it is better to wait until the light is low so that you get strong shadows which accentuate the indentations. Lower light might also have enabled you to get some colour in the sky.

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phader Plus
9 16 3 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2011 12:02AM
Pamela as helpful as ever! (Have been away for a while but still remember your comments on my first ever upload!) Grin

Yes, this is a nice photo, and some technical and compositional work could really make it stunning! Pamela has said it all...

Well spotted, though, and that's the starting point Smile
20 Aug 2011 12:34PM
Hi Pamela,
Thank you for the comments. Looking at the picture again with your comments in mind I can now see the mistakes.

Other than cropping how else could I improve the picture?

I am now going to go through the pictures I didn't delete from my outing yesterday with these comments in mind.
Thank you so much.Grin
pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2016 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2011 9:36PM
Hello again, Stacey. I apologise for not doing a modification yesterday, which I have now rectified. You ask how else you could improve the picture. Firstly, I cropped away the sky and some of the right side in order to offset the tree on the horizontal. I lifted the highlights and deepened the shadows in order to accentuate the contours of the dunes and the marks in them. I increased the saturation and sharpened the image to bring out some texture in the sand. I adjusted levels, used "Clarify" in PaintshopPro to give a stronger contrast, then lightened the tree with the dodge tool and selectively sharpened it. I think that if you do the crop and add some contrast, you could be better pleased with it. My second modification is an afterthought, where I toned down the saturation because I feel I might have gone a bit too far in mod 1.
20 Aug 2011 10:18PM
Hi Pamela,

Wow these are fantastic. Thank you so much. It is amazing how the modification make the picture so much better.
I have just go my Photoshop 9 package and will now be going through all my older pictures and making the adjustments.
Again, thank you so much for the feedback and pointers. I am going out again tomorrow with more information than I had yesterday.

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