Back Modifications (1)
Views: 52 (16 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

A place to sit and watch the world go by.

By hgvdriver1969  

Feedback welcome!!

I was just after a photo of peace in a busy world, we all need our escapes.

Tags: Rest Peace Tranquility Quiet Wildlife and nature

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


mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
18 May 2013 9:15PM
Welcome to the site, it's your first upload and you've come to the Critique Gallery. That's a good start...
I like the fact that you enjoyed the air, the light, the tranquility , and wanted to capture it. Difficult light - shadows over the flower bed, harsh sun on the tree trunk, but very attractive when you were there with the sun on your face. So, how to record it...?
You've used quite a high ISO, which reduces image quality a bit. I assume you were hand-holding, not using a tripod - but you could have kept the camera steady at 1/110 second rather than 1/200, and that would have allowed a lower ISO which in turn would have allowed better image quality to play with.
It's always easier to work on under- than over-exposed files. For a shot like this, check out exposure compensation - you could have set the camera to under-expose by a bit, which would have given better detail in that tree trunk. We'll come to raw in due course, don't want to scare new members off...
What editing software do you have? Whatever you have it should allow you options to adjust the light, and that's the most important area for you to explore. here you need to reduce the highlights, get some detail into those over-exposed areas, and also get some contrast into the flower bed which is in shadow.
I like your composition by the way. It's quite formal, symmetrical, but has breaks in symmetry which give it life. The overhanging leaves at the top are good.
I'll download this and have a go at a Mod.

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mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
18 May 2013 9:28PM
Sorry for typo, meant 1/100 second, not 1/110...
pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2022 United Kingdom
19 May 2013 7:37PM
Hello, Paul, and welcome to EPZ.
I like your concept of peace within this image, the bench providing an invitation for the viewer to sit and relax, enjoy the sunshine and commune with nature. It gives me the idea of a park within a busy town, somewhere to retreat to, away from the hustle and bustle.
You were faced with difficult light, giving you some overly bright areas, and others in shade. With the bench in the light, it becomes an important part of the story, but the overexposed tree in front of it takes attention away, and so I think that instead of going for symmetry, I would have stood more to the right, resulting in an angle on the flowerbed and moving the tree away from the bench so that all of it is showing. This would also serve to allow you to offset the bench in the frame instead of placing it in the centre.
The flower bed is in the shade, reducing the detail and colours. If this scene is near to where you live, try going back when the sun isn't so intense, and see if you can get fine a time when there is some light on the flowers as well as the bench.
With such bright light, I am surprised that you chose to use such a high ISO setting. Maybe you were trying to brighten the flower bed.
Thanks for the feedback, interesting mod, not what I would have done but I really enjoyed seeing the mod. I liked it.

Thanks Pamela, yes, I might go back and have another go, I see what you mean in regards to the tree, if I try again I will do so in less sunlight, which wont be difficult, summers gone. LOL
Moira, you wont scare me off, LOL.

I am interested in other peoples views, as I may benefit from some of the advice and I appreciate people taking the time to offer their views, thanks guys.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
20 May 2013 11:59AM

Quote:Moira, you wont scare me off, LOL.

So, have you ever shot in raw, or considered using it? This is the sort of light situation where it really earns its keep. I cheated a bit in my Mod, I overlaid some cloned detail at a low opacity over the tree trunk. Otherwise there's no way that you'll get detail back in that area from a jpeg.
Here's what I posted on another upload recently, I'm copying and pasting for speed.

Quote:The problem, as you will be aware I'm sure, is the extreme contrast in light and [...shadow]. Your Exif shows Recording media: jpeg; if you used raw you would need to adjust the entry, the site just picks up how the file was saved for uploading here. But I suspect that this was a jpeg and if you want to progress, and you haven't got round to shooting in raw yet, you need to think about it.
Raw (it's a word not an acronym) really does what it says on the can it records all the raw data available to the camera, 100%, without editing.
With jpegs, the camera's 'brain' automatically selects the data that it thinks is important, a relatively small proportion of the total, it edits for you. You have no way of getting at the rest of the data, it hasn't been recorded.
In nice, balanced, gentle light this can be fine. But as soon as you hit difficult conditions - harsh light, or strong contrasts of light and shadow, jpegs lose out massively.
Working on a raw file gives a lot of options that aren't available for a jpeg you can vary white balance as though the camera had been pre-set, similarly sharpness; you can vary exposure, effectively trying out what different shutter speeds would have given. Recovery allows you to retrieve data specifically from overexposed areas. That's just a tiny fraction of what's available, but perhaps the most important elements. When you first open Raw files they can look quite flat and dull, but the scope for improvement is amazing.
There are a few downsides. Raw means you have got to process think of the file as a film that needs to be developed. The files are much bigger, they take up more space on your memory card and hard drive. You still need to make jpeg copies of the processed files for easy viewing, emailing, uploading to the internet. And you may not be able to open Raw files in software that pre-dates your camera.
It's quite a steep learning curve but well worth it.


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