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Boats at Sunset

By bigwulliemc
Took this early one evening, when the sun was just setting.

No Filters or adjustments have been made.

As previous, i'm a complete noob and any comments would be welcome.

Tags: Sunset Still life Water Boats Ocean Close-up and macro Landscape and travel

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18 Aug 2010 9:46AM
Thank you for the comments.

I'll take these onboard, I'm still coming to grips with composition etc. Rather than oh that's a nice picture, snap it and walk away..

I'm putting more focus now on rule of thirds, planning my photos better etc.
John_Frid 15 514 57 United Kingdom
18 Aug 2010 12:56PM
You have set yourself a bit of a challenge with this shot.

Compositionally I think you could have done better - it seems as if you have too much at the bottom and not quite enough at the top. I suspect what you did was position what you saw as the main interest in the middle of the frame - in this case the boats.

Now whilst that may seem sensible, in reality it tends to produce pictures that lack dynamic tension. The eye goes straight to the subject and it then becomes trapped in the centre of the image. Whilst it is by no means a universal truth, it often works best to have a key subject offsett from the centre (and preferably even nearer a top or bottom corner). This encourages the eye to make a journey through the image and involves the viewer much more. You can see by the mod from Focus_Man that moving the main subject down has strengthened the shot.

Also, bright sunlight hitting water can cause areas of extreme brightness. The challenge is to try to avoid them being clipped (turning to pure white), whilst retaining enough light to stop the shadows going to pure black. This is a tricky feat to pull off without using filters, HDR or image blending techniques.

The last thing o mention is that I feel the image is a little soft. I don't know what settings you used, but it may be partly down to camera shake (if the shutter speed was a little slow), or it may be the result of a wide aperture and imprecise focusing (which can result in a shallow depth of field).

The key is practice and a desire to learn from every shot. With time you will start to appreciate what does and doesn't work, and will learn how to get the best from you kit.

Good luck and keep the images coming.
18 Aug 2010 1:09PM
Excellent information, thank you John!
frz67 11 10 32 Italy
18 Aug 2010 2:16PM
John and Frank have said pretty much everything.
I'd like to add just a suggestion.
Try to take more than one shot of the subject, especially in cases like this (where everything is still, I mean), changing the composition and the setting of the camera.
Most of the times, we look at the display of the camera but this gives only a rough idea of what we've caught.
It's always frustrating when, looking at the computer's screen, we see possible improvement without (most of the time) having the chance to go back and shoot again.
Just as an excercise, I've uploaded a mod in which the crop is completely different from Frank's one, to show you how comp may influence the viewer. In this case, the lack of the land in the top part makes you imagine on open sea, rather than a natural harbour.
hope it helps
best regards
18 Aug 2010 2:21PM
Again many thanks for the comments and the mods.

I can see how cropping changes the composition. I have done this with other photos but usually only to take out something i don't like.

I'm thought of a picture that i'll upload tomorrow which may be better

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