Back Modifications (4)
Views: 109 (48 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By SueEley
Having survived school's inspectors, have now started to take an interest in life again. Within 3 days, 2 separate people suggested to me that Topaz doesn't just produce overblown landscapes and b&w portraits with every beard hair so sharp you could cut yourself. So I decided to download the trial and have a go. This is probably full of schoolgirl newby errors, and I didn't check the verticals.... But I do quite like the effect .... would be intereested in feedback.

Tags: Black and white Landscape and travel

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


lonely_oryx 10 61 55 England
2 Dec 2011 8:21PM
Nice effect but IMO could do with a bit more contrast

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SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
2 Dec 2011 8:25PM
I think this is contrasty enough to be honest, but the sky I would tone down slightly. I always think clouds should be soft but perhaps these are a little too sharp. I've just looked at it with the top 1/2inch cropped off. See what you think.
Rock Plus
16 10 2 England
2 Dec 2011 9:39PM
I find the shot quite appealing although the windmill is better in colour .

Daisymaye Plus
9 23 16 Canada
3 Dec 2011 3:16AM
Very nice, good work.........Sandy
fentiger Plus
16 918 24 England
3 Dec 2011 7:38AM
I would expect that this works better in sepia than black and white and the composition is fine. I find the tone you have chosen a little too dark and i have attempted to lighten this in a mod with shadow/highlight adjustment and some dodging in the middle section.

paulbroad 10 123 1240 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2011 11:17AM
One or two points I think. I would prefer the composition putting the mill on the right third - it is 'looking' to the left. The problem with any sepia treatment is that it will create a flatter image. You are loosing the extremes of contrast by making blacks brown.

After conversion, and it is best done in the channel mixer, or by any means that lets you control the saturation and hue, you will probably need to increse both brightness and contrast. That is the case here.

The darker areas have blocked up solidly and the lighter areas are too dark. Boost brightness and contrast and you have a nice scene.

SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
3 Dec 2011 3:38PM
Thank you all - you have given me a lot to think about.
Niknut Plus
8 1.8k 76 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2011 4:24PM
Beautiful shot !!!!.....the sepia toning suits the subject very well, though the contrast is a tiny bit flat ?, & the windmill should be facing 'into' the picture ?

I've done a mod. to illustrate my points, plus a few other changes, if you can spot them....see what you think ????

SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
3 Dec 2011 5:07PM
Keith - how did you turn the windmill round?!

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
3 Dec 2011 6:19PM
Select the upper part of the windmill with a lasso tool; copy and paste; use the edit transform tool to flip the windmill the other way; position accurately, clone over any signs of the old windmill.

Sue, - Im not a fan of Topaz, and many above may attest to, its very easy to overdo it; it produces extremely unreal colours, way too much contrast, and it can look very obvious on an image that some severe tweaking has been done. However, - to be fair, - its quite possible Ive only seen the over done examples, and with a light touch it can do a good job.

Its impossible to tell what Topaz has done for you here without looking at the original colour, - you can upload it as a mod if you have it?

This particular image I find rather dull and flat, and not quite sharp, - so perhaps lack of sharpness is due to loading the re sized image before savingit, opening it, and applying sharpening as needed, - this check needs to be done every time.

I will upload a mod shortly.


SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
3 Dec 2011 7:03PM
Willie, I have shared your feelings about Topaz, but did see some really nice things a friend had done the other day (in mono) - would not have known it was Topaz. Which is why I am trying it out. As to the shot - just had a look at it, and it was only ever reasonably sharp. I took it at the end of a long walk on a windy day without a tripod and the subject was at a fair distance - so it isn't really worth uploading. Adobe Raw converter allows for a lot of work on b&w, and I already have it, so maybe getting better at using it is the real answer Smile
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
3 Dec 2011 7:14PM
Thanks Sue, - nice to have this added info.

NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2011 11:13PM
Ive had a few mornings parked in the gateway off the main road waiting for sunrise over the mill, last time a barn owl came skimming over me in the dusk, was a bit scary.

compositionally i think that the focal length is a little longer than most shots ive seen from the position, and with the sails in that direction, it would have been better to turn the camera around to the left and used the negative space over the fen, stopped by the little footbridge to the left side.

the sails make my eye scan to the left but the buildings on the right, together with the cars in front pull attention back to the right and it creates a tension. also the foreground grasses etc that flank the little raised bank along the footpath are a bit patchy in the area below the mill and im not sure they are adding.

im not sold on what ive seen of topaz but have never given it the benefit of a trial so ill remain objective but i doupt it can do much that couldnt be acheived in photoshop. and im really sorry to say that im not that fond of the sepia type effect on this shot other than to give the timeless feel.

i think it may have looked better as a more infra red effect or a nice natural mono conversion.

SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
4 Dec 2011 9:42AM
Thanks again to everyone. Very informative and thought provoking!

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