Back Modifications (3)
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A narrow lock

By Morvinson
I like this part of the canal with the lock keepers cottage. I would be most grateful for any criticism that would enable me to take a better photograph of this scene.

Tags: Canal Lock Landscape and travel

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banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4263 Canada
5 Nov 2020 3:55PM
Its quite good as it is.

I dont know what we would see on he right if you had moved back, or used a wider lens to get all of the lock parts in on the right; there was probably a reason not to do so.

Apart from that, bright weather, with a little sun is always helpful and wasnt present at this time.

I would just suggest it can be a little brighter, with a small increase in detail of the darkest areas, and perhaps a little saturation increase, all done in the mod.
Ive very slightly rotated it ti get the edge of the white house vertical, - its a tiny bit off, and may well be due to its age.


Thanks Willie, I can see what you mean about chopping the lock bar off. I only had this 35mm prime with me but I could have got all of it in (careless of me). It has been very dull here, at first I thought I had blown the sky but it was that colour and texture.
Thank you for the modification, it does look better. I will try this another day with better light!
chase Plus
16 2.2k 578 England
5 Nov 2020 6:09PM
I quite like this and Willies mod has improved the colours very well.
The sky does let it down a touch but, tbh, I have seen much worse.
A step or two back or a wider lens would have been beneficial as has already been commented on.

Quote:I will try this another day with better light!

The only thing with that is will the sky improve? ..... you could do with some nice fluffy clouds in a blue sky, and, you may struggle with the whites. A nice cloudy day would be the best time (but white fluffy ones Wink ) as cloud cover can help filter the strongest light and help with the exposure on the whites.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2455 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2020 6:16PM
Technically it's fine, but this is about composition for me and it's rather unsatisfying. The first thing that I noticed was the cut-off on the right. Not just losing the end of the lock gate, but also I'm wondering what the buildings there continue to; while on the left is attractive but essentially empty space. We start with a capital letter, the white-painted timber; but what is lacking is a full stop.

Your focal length was fixed, there was the option of stepping back a few steps but much more interestingly, you could step to the left. Even move closer to the structure, but photograph from the end of it not in front. Viewing the lock gate obliquely would give strong diagonals, the end of the gate as a 'full stop', and the continuation of the buildings.

The message is - always use your feet and eyes together! Move around, look at what the lens is seeing. Composition is about arranging lines in a frame to good effect, they need to look as though they fit there. You cannot move the structures, you can move your angle of view.
The light and sky look 'right' to me, they match the tones in the scene.
chase Plus
16 2.2k 578 England
5 Nov 2020 6:22PM
I did do a mod, just to show you what a difference a pretty sky makes, replaced in Photoshop.
Warmed up, straightened,removed a couple of bits of debris in the water bottom right.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend replacing the sky as it can look odd, get it right in camera, even 2 exposures, one for the sky and another for the rest then combine them in your editing program.
I did it this time just to show you the difference.
phred 15 85
5 Nov 2020 6:31PM
Pretty damn good to me.
Perhaps a slight contrast and saturation boost?
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2455 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2020 6:32PM
As a postscript to my comment above, as well as moving left this may also be a situation for moving down. Views taken from a low pov are often more engaging, involving.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2237 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2020 7:56PM
Hello again, Barry.
This scene has a great deal of potential, but also could be taken from several different angles. I like Moira's ideas on this.

Although I think that stepping back a bit would get a bit more of the gates in the frame, I also feel that stepping to the left could have given you more interest on the right and less of the grassy area on the left, even if that meant clipping the end off the LEFT hand gate. The lock keeper's cottage is an attractive feature.

Watch your verticals. They need straightening here, but you might have got them straight in-camera by using a thirds grid on your screen, if your camera offers it, or checking your frame edges against the verticals in the scene. But not getting your lines straight is a common photography mistake for both amateur and pro shooters. When there are verticals in the image, the one nearest to the centre of the frame needs to be true.

I like the reflection of the trees that you've captured in the water, and feel that a lower point of view might take that away, but you need to decide that for yourself.

You might like to consider watching the weather forecast before you try this again. You will see that both modifications are brighter and warmer in colour. This can certainly be achieved in post-processing, if the weather doesn't co-operate.

dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
5 Nov 2020 9:43PM
There's nothing I can add to the advice given above, in terms of this image.
What I would suggest, is that if this is local to you, to try visiting this in different conditions at other times of the year as it's a scene with lots of potential.
Thank you all so much for your valued criticism. Fortunately, this place is local for me so I can try again to incorporate your ideas. The only restriction I had was that I couldn't move back much further as I was opposite the towpath and I was in restricted space. However, I could change the angle or lens. I like the idea of moving more to the left to reduce the left bank.
I was on a walk with my wife so consequently I didn't spend much time there. I will now return by myself with a full kit and take some time over it. You have all made me realise that iI need to be more thoughtful, I have a tendency to take "snaps"
The sky was as seen, grey. The modification that Chase did to the sky emphasises that I should think about weather conditions as well. I'm very much a learner when it comes to post processing and need to work on that.
Once again thank you all for taking the time and trouble.
Kind regards,

Robert51 12 7 124 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2020 8:45AM
I really like the image and as above there are things to look out for next time.

The problem is we all have too many images where there is no next time. So for me the question becomes what can we do with what we have. Looking at the imageit was a dull day and I think that's all part of the image. The hard lines of the lock gate and building takes away from the little cottage look. So in the mod I have gone for a softer soft focus look, which I hope works with the image.
Just ideas to think about...
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
6 Nov 2020 9:02AM
I'm very late at the party, so it's all been said. Getting the end of the lock gate in jumps out at me: and I was going to ask if this is local for you when I saw your comment that it is.

Now, I have lock gates within a quarter of a mile of where I'm sitting as I type, and the importance of your lock and cottages being local is not so much that you can go back and take another picture, but that you can go back regularly, and take many more pictures.

Not only with varying angles and camera positions, but in different weather - picking up on Janet's comment about the sky.This is OK as it is, and Robert's treatment gives an olde-worlde feel: but imaging a sunny day, with perfect white clouds in a blue sky... Or a rain-sodden day with reflections from all the cobbles and stones: even (perhaps) in winter, with virgin snow on the ground and early morning light.

It's a wonderful location, and there are no end of possibilities.

By the way - that's a fine camera-lens combination: easy to carry for hours, and capable of incredibly good results...
Robert51, many thanks for your comments and for the modification which I think looks very effective and suits the scene. You have certainly given me some ideas to think about.

Dudler, Once again many thanks for taking the trouble to review my photograph. I could kick myself for chopping off the gate bar! You have certainly stimulated me to go back several times to capture various weather conditions and angles. I now feel more confident about photographing the scene again.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
6 Nov 2020 3:41PM
So it is local, that's good.
It's easy to feel rushed when you're out with non-photographers.
Most post processing that's required is straightforward so it shouldn't take too long to get to grips with. For example, here just a lift to the shadows, warming and a small rotation are small adjustments but make a big difference,
Someties it's reconising that a particular adjustment is needed.
We're here to help with that too.

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