Back Modifications (4)
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By Roy_Perryman  
Fishing boat beached on the shore, captured on a stormy day, late afternoon. Nikon z50, There was a lot of clutter on the beach so I zoomed in a bit to try and isolate the boat. The shingle bank made the image look as though the frame was not horizontal so I rotated the image in Lightroom to bring the shingle horizontal. The exposure looks right to me for the conditions. Any advice on creating a better composition for this image would be appreciated. Thanks, Roy

Tags: Fishing Beach Boat Transport Abandoned

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2420 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 9:37AM
Hello again, good to see you back in the CG! And thanks for again asking a specific question.

I'll get to composition in a moment, but first take a look at your settings. ISO 4000, shutter 1/3200 second, F/4.5, EV -2/3 stop. I wonder if the ISO was left over from a previous shoot? There was absolutely no need for it here. You were on aperture priority. Seeing a shutter speed like 1/3200 second displayed, in normal daylight conditions, should ring alarm bells! The image quality has unfortunately suffered, it's a bit 'muzzy'.

I think you focused on the chain, which is fine, but looking down on the boat like this I would want a smaller aperture in order to get more of the contents in focus. Equally, looking towards the light, a small plus EV setting would seem more useful.

But regarding composition, the problem that I see is what is happening at the edges of the frame. The sliver of shoreline and water at the top, those bits intruding on the right.

I think my approach would be to get down lower for the chain and the prow because they give the interesting lines, forget about what is inside the boat but concentrate on balancing its prow with the second boat background left. Your large aperture would be fine for that composition, and the much lower horizon would prevent the shoreline from being such a distraction.

Capto has some good examples in his portfolio of how a low pov can work with beached boats, example here.

I shall have a go at a quick modification though.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2420 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 10:16AM
I've added a modification. It wouldn't open for me at first, but seems to be fine now.

I cropped tighter and cheated using Free transform to get a square frame with the chain on the third; a bit of cloning to get rid of the shoreline at the top; and I lightened and tried to reduce noise.

Three lessons, I think. Concentrate on the main lines and structures; watch what is happening at the edges of the frame, to avoid distractions there; and always zero extreme settings at the end of a shoot (and check them again when you start a new shoot).

I really enjoyed working on this, it's my sort of subject. I might look at b&w...
pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2224 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2021 2:21PM
Hello again, Roy.

A single boat is quite a popular subject for photographers. You have a nice little angle on it and have focused on the chain in the front.
But to elevate that and give it the wow factor, you either need to use an exciting viewpoint and angle, or have something like a special sunset behind your subject.
The ground around your boat is a bit scrappy, but quite natural nonetheless. I am talking about aesthetics, of course, and sometimes a "pretty" background will just not exist, so you work with what you have got.

Moira's idea of getting lower is a good one, and would avoid some of the messy bits we can see inside the boat, whereas the colour, shapes and textures of the outside of the boat are worth accentuating. I like those signs of wear and hard work on the boat, as well as the rope and chain. Therefore, my first thought for a modification would have been along the lines of Moira's.

So I have firstly just tried to tidy up the image that you present here. In my modification I cloned out the part boat that is top left, the small part of another boat that is on the right of the frame, and the water that is showing at the top. I filled that with more shingle. Try to be aware of intrusions and distractions. Cloning is a remedy, but it's best to consider your framing better when taking the shot.

I have brightened the image (it was a bit underexposed), saturated the colours a touch (wanted to make the blue stand out, the shingle to look warmer, and the rusty bits to show up nore), adjusted contrast and sharpened.

chase Plus
15 2.2k 566 England
15 Feb 2021 2:27PM
Hi and welcome back.It's always good to have a specific question, thanks for that.

I general this looks a little flat to me, your high ISO has not helped you there either.

The stuff on the right is a bit messy and not adding to your composition here, yep, I agree with Moira, a lower POV may well have helped to give this frame much more impact on the viewer.A minor point though, I would have liked to have seen the very bottom ( right at the bottom of the frame) of the boat and much more of that chain.
The shingle line isn't adding to this for me and despite your straightening efforts it isn't straight.

My favourite bit is where the chain and ropes meet on the front of the boat, that must be worth a few frames with all those lovely textures...chain,rope and rust....
Perhaps you could have taken a few steps to your left which may have put the boat on a bit of a diagonal in the frame and removed some of the distractions.

A nice subject.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 776 England
15 Feb 2021 2:51PM
Welcome back.

A lower viewpoint is a good suggestion, though a higer/closer one looking down on the contents of the boat again avoiding distractions is another.

The point I'm making is hat you need to consider what's at the dge of the frame or just creeping in. Considering the shingle and its angle is one thing. Clutter in the frame can add context but can become a distraction, it's a balancing act.
So as well as concentrating on a pleasing placement and angle on your main subject, look around the background and edes too. As Pamela says pretty backgrounds don't always exist, so there will be times when you need to compromise, pehaps with a closer crop than you'd idaelly want.
chase Plus
15 2.2k 566 England
15 Feb 2021 2:57PM
I did a mod.
Cloned away some of the distractions, including the boat behind.
Cropped from the right and top then added a little more canvas at the top and filled it with shingle to isolate the boat much more.
Used a levels layer to brighten and increase contrast a touch which helped with the flat look.
Added a drop of vibrance, especially on the boat.
Just sharpened a little, not too much as it would enhance the grain already present from your high ISO settings.

As long as you used a sturdy tripod here, you could afford to bring that ISO right down and adjust your shutter speed to suit, the subject isn't going to move any time in the near future so you could have taken your time to go for a much cleaner composition.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1859 England
15 Feb 2021 4:32PM
Nice to see your work again, Roy.

I tend to think in terms of camerawork, and the thing to do when the background is cluttered is to move up, down (as Moira has suggested) and all round the boat to see if there is an angle where the clutter isn't visible. If you have a sufficiently wide aperture (you don't with kit zoom lenses, as a rule) you can open the aperture right up and go close so that the background is blurred.

The exposure's slightly under - that -2/3 has done what it's meant to. I'd say that zero exposure compensation would have been spot on.

One final thought - it's not a given that there is a good angle on every subject. Sometimes, there are just too many stray bits and pieces, so the only way to get a 'clean' picture is to clone and alter in editing. That's usually not fun!
16 Feb 2021 8:02AM
Thanks everyone for the helpful comments, the mods do look much better than the original. Iíll keep trying. Roy

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