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Chess in the park

By lagomorphhunter
As ever, general feedback please. I do have another version without the boat and a pair of chess players near right. I kind of prefer this one but not so sure of the composition...

Tags: Street Park Chess Poland

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I've added the original for reference and another picture from a different moment and composition.
I'd be very keen to hear thoughts on what's the better picture, if any ARE good that is!

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dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 591 England
23 Jul 2019 9:50PM
The water looks to be at angle in the main image, but looks ok in the original. I wonder if you accidentally rotated the crop.

I like the warmth in the main image, something rather lacking in the original which is down to using Auto White Balance. This tends to give a cooler look, and also 'corrects out' any colour cast. So the attractive warmth of early evening light is removedand you have to 'put it back. I'd use Daylight colour balance here. If shooting RAW you have more contro over your colour balance later. Not a big issue, but worht remembering.

Spot metering has caused the small amount of overexposure. Where did you take the spot reading from? If it was from the darker areas of the scene then that's the answer. You need to take that reading from a mid-tone in the same light as the subject. You've ended up with some burnt out highlight areas. While it's not detrimental to the overall look of the shot, spot metering off the wrong area can make for spectacular exposure errors.
Matrix metering is often the best choice, and the lighting here, whie contrasty, isn't in the 'difiocult' category where I'd want to resort to complicated readings or exposure compenstion settings.

All that said, it's a nicely captured moment, ad a pity you only had a 50 mm lens. Could you have moved forward at all? Moving with your feet is a great compositional tool as it makes you think harder about what you're capturing. In that sense using a fixed focal length lens is a good thing but you do have to work harder on occasion.

Boat in or out, different images. It can be distraction from the group but I like the contrast between the two activities.

It's an interesting juxtaposition of the two groups in your third image, always worht looking for something like that.

Thanks K@eith. I'm going to have to remember to reset my settings, certainly check them! I am usually photographing birds with my 200-500mm on spot metering.. I was on a business trip with hand luggage only so just put my 50mm in. I also wanted to learn to use it more, I prefer my 85mm prime but wanted to force myself to use the 50mm. Good lesson, check ALL the settings.. I can however with the Nikon D500 set up setting 'banks' to be my typical settings for that lens, I'll do that this weekend to help me not do this!
I couldn't move forward without disturbing the people, my spoken Polish is minimal (I can order a beer, just), it was possibly wiser just to take it from where I did. I did move around quite a lot though to take the photos. I do shoot in RAW so sort the colour balance in Lightroom/Photoshop.
dudler Plus
16 949 1521 England
24 Jul 2019 7:05AM
Apart from the tilt, the original looks excellent, and hte processing works well.

The composition with the boat is better than the alternative version, because the two centres of interest sit together better...

Pretty good stuff, and easy on the eye.
pablophotographer 8 1.3k 352
24 Jul 2019 6:53PM
Lead image works well for light temperature and composition.

I have an interesting suggestion for V2.
Crop the 2/3rds of the tree trunk on the right and then flip the image left to right. The two chess players closer to you are now on the left and the those far away from you are on the right.

How does it look to you now?


chase Plus
14 1.2k 264 England
24 Jul 2019 9:11PM
I like this, a view of everyday life.
Had this been mine I would have cropped from the top to remove that building behind the trees and straightened the waterline. The crop puts the chess players on the LHS third and the boat on the opposite third with the waterline just about on the upper third.
I did a quick mod to show you what I mean.
Well done with the lens you had to hand.
Thanks, @pablophotographer, I'll have a go at that on my other photo and see how it works.
@chase, yes, I'll have a play with the crop, I think it does work better losing some of the trees and putting it on the thirds.
Added the final version after the suggestions!
dudler Plus
16 949 1521 England
25 Jul 2019 9:48PM
Yes - that works well!

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