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All Saints - Brixworth, Northants

By strokebloke  
The oldest Saxon church in the UK at AD642.
Taken with the wide angle 20-35 f2.8 that I dropped on the floor the other day.
At least now, I know that it really is OK. Grin

the Saxon parts are fairly obvious to identify:
the tower with the flagpole attached ~
the square section beneath the belfry tower and spire ~
the nave wall with the semi-circular arches up to the banding at the base of the Norman windows

the inside is extensively Saxon - a service on when I arrived so internal shots another day

Advice, observations, critique, as always, welcome and appreciated.
Given that the graveyards are all around, and the ground slopes away dramatically from the door of the church, is there a better POV that I could have taken this from?

Tags: Photo journalism Architecture Saxon church Friday sunshine

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


ErictheViking 5 124 102 Scotland
15 Feb 2013 5:12PM
I really love the rich colours you have with the sun reflecting off the stone work. Compositionally its "what it says on the tin" a Saxon church, however the perspective of the verticals has been distorted by the lens causing the tower and walls to toe in to the centre of the shot. Using an editing program should allow this to be corrected and I've loaded a mod to demonstrate (my mod may not be perfect as not using my normal photo editor however should be good enough to demonstrate the effect)

As for different POV I like the one you have chosen to show the church but these buildings are full of unique aspects so maybe rather than a single shot a collection showing the different aspects of the church would be a consideration ie the stone work, the recessed windows and possibly some shots of the inside as well.

Hope this helps

Eric Grin

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alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
15 Feb 2013 6:24PM
I can't comment much with regards to the POV chosen - Eric has already addressed this above, and there's no need repeating. What I will add is something that most probably has been overlooked - dust. The top left corner of the image, in particular, shows dust spots on your camera sensor. The fact that these are already visible at f/9.0 is probably indicative of large dust specks on top of your sensor filter. I think a sensor clean would help here. The spots can easily be edited out (cloned) in software, so no big deal in removing them from the image. But do clean the sensor as otherwise all your shots would need such post-processing work.

One more comment, if I were in your shoes, I'd probably allow a bit more space up top, I think it would benefit the picture if the top-most part of the church wasn't that close to the edge of the frame.
strokebloke 9 493 17 England
15 Feb 2013 6:42PM
Thanks for the dust advice Alistair - I'd completely missed that - very noticeable when viewed 'Large'
iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2013 9:26PM
A good one, great exposure and colour. Good work in camera and post processing. You used your badly treated 20-35mm at 20mm which gives the distinctive distortion complete with curved straights - barrel distortion. I expect you intended or least expected this look. Did you try the lens correction in ACR?
Looking at the POV or camera position remember that if you are further away using a long lens this will reduce or cut out the distortion.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3882 Canada
15 Feb 2013 9:33PM
Hi jack,

A nice day to be out and about. Im inclined to say 'Out spot, out", but I wont!

The question is where to be when taking this shot. And one answer is another question, is, are you happy with what you have here? It looks good to me as is. Youve intended to get the entire church in the shot, front to back, top to bottom.

If you wanted top minimise these distortions, - which are completely normal by the way, you need to be level with the church, and perhaps a little higher, because the distortion are enhanced when you have to tilt the lens. So minimum tilting. You were at a disadvantage here as you were on a hill, apparently, and were forced to tilt up even more that if you were level with the ground.

Further away also reduces distortions, and closer enhances them, so you really can end up between a rock and a hard place if space is limited.

So you accept the distortions as is, - it can make a building appear more imposing, and higher; use Photoshop to play around with lens distortion correction; or, of you want to do this a lot, you have likely heat of tilt-shift lenses, which as the name suggests, allow you to correct the perspective, when shoting, optically. Pricey, but a must for architectural accuracy.

So, long story short, further back, higher up, if it was at all possible.

Loaded a mod to show what Photoshop thinks. It works for me as t is.

I would bet your camera has its own spot removal software too if you poke about. Once you show it where the dust is, - it will remove it on every shot, - will defer a cleaning.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
15 Feb 2013 10:04PM
You really don't want my advice on converging verticals Jack.

As for the dust spots, Willie may be right re. your camera self cleaning them but they are quite impressive and there's a couple over towards the right too.

Might be time for that bleach and a brillo pad that you normally use.

strokebloke 9 493 17 England
15 Feb 2013 10:35PM
Space is at a premium here. From where I took this I had my back (literally) against the wall.
So I did make the decision to get everything in, from low down, with the converging verticals being part of the shot.
I knew that I would get some barrel distortion, and was actually surprised at how little. Given that it was wide open.

I confess that the lines should have been straight. Remiss of me Sad Wink

I'll take some shots with another lens tomorrow to ensure that the dust is on the sensor.
If it is, I'll try the on-board menu solution - it is in there somewhere Willie.
Or, I might leave it until next month & get it cleaned (special offer price) Wink at Focus on Imaging

Thank you all, for some great input.

Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
15 Feb 2013 10:52PM

Quote:Or, I might leave it until next month & get it cleaned (special offer price) Wink at Focus on Imaging

Possibly Jack but there was a thread on here after FOI last year re. sensor cleaning at the show and people didn't think that the special offer prices were actually that special.
strokebloke 9 493 17 England
16 Feb 2013 12:07AM
Well in that case Bren, I may look at doing it myself. I got all of the kit, swabs etc for the D100.
I've done the D300, so may have a look and see if the D3 is markedly different. If not ........

(anyone want to buy a D3 CMOS sensor with a ruptured alias filter ??????) GrinTongueWink
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3882 Canada
16 Feb 2013 12:23AM
Itsvan easy job. The hardest partnis to SEE the dirt to make sire its done. Its Very difficult to break that filter.

strokebloke 9 493 17 England
16 Feb 2013 12:30AM
I certainly found it easy on the D100 & the 300, Wilie.
As you say - it's finding the dirt. Smile

I do have 100's of nice A1 sheets of sky blue paper: I'll tape one of them to the wall & take some test shots when I think I have it clean
strokebloke 9 493 17 England
16 Feb 2013 1:37PM
The D3 sensor has now been cleaned. Spotless again Grin
I've also found the 'dust-off' feature in the Settings Menu, Willie.

It would appear to actually be easier to clone out in PS. Better still, clean the sensor.

I need to take more care to spot possible dust-bunnies in RAW/jpeg before upload, rather than assume that everything is spotless.
A salutory lesson. Learned. GrinGrin
paulbroad 10 123 1245 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2013 7:34PM
Nice shot. Composition fine for me. Verticals do not have to be perfect. The dust has been discussed, but for it to be this obvious at f9, there was a lot and I don't think in camera cleaning would help much. Test exposures should always be done at minimum aperture, f22. Dust shows more the smaller the aperture.

Dust has always been a problem with interchangeable lens cameras, even with film. I am always very careful when changing lenses, particularly outdoors. Never put the camera down without a lens. Keep the body pointing downwards and have the replacement lens ready to put straight on the body. I am reluctant to change lenses outdoors in much wind.

strokebloke 9 493 17 England
16 Feb 2013 8:16PM
I have always considered myself to be suitably careful when changing lenses, Paul.
Obviously my technique or attention to detail leaves something to be desired.
Not the first time that I have been proved to be woefully in error. GrinGrin

The D3 & the D300 both have a fresh start, as of this afternoon.
All of my lens glass (& filters) have been thoroughly cleaned too. Smile
LynneJoyce Plus
9 20 99 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2013 8:24PM
I spent ages cleaning dust bunnies out of my shots of Scarborough because I couldn't clean my lens quickly enough before more dust was blown on to it. It reminds me that I ought to get a life! Dust bunnies aside, I love the colour and textures of the stonework in this shot.

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