Back Modifications (1)
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Clock tower

By SCJohnJ
A shot of the Furman Clock Tower from up close, and converted to a B&W photo using Photoshop Elements 8.0

Tags: Architecture Clock tower Black and white

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


DRicherby 7 269 725 United Kingdom
2 Apr 2010 2:48PM
You've chosen a dramatic viewpoint and composed and exposed the shot well. The fluffy clouds give the sky plenty of interest.

However, I find the photograph rather flat. I'm not sure it's lacking contrast per se but it seems to be lacking in features that would give the opportunity for contrast. In particular, the walls have been rendered as flat slabs of grey, which doesn't give much opportunity for apparent contrast. I assume the walls are mortared stone blocks but that is barely visible in the photograph and I think that preserving that detail is important. On the other hand, if the walls are plastered, I'm not sure there's much you can do about it and shooting from a different angle might be a better option.

The shot also looks a little soft to me, especially the clock face. It might just be that you forgot to sharpen after resizing, which you should always do, because sharpness depends on pixel-level detail at edges that gets lost when you resize. Or there may be a small amount of camera shake or insufficient depth of field; one can only speculate without knowing the camera settings. In any case, the softness is only slight and it responds well to software sharpening.

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2 Apr 2010 5:45PM
Thank you for the constructive points! I can't recall offhand whether or not the walls of the tower are mortared or plastered. I'll have to check the next time I go out there for photos. It seems they were very smooth, though. And you're right about not "sharpening after resizing". I have to admit I've not done that with Photoshop Elements 8.0 and need to find out how that is accomplished. I've not purchased the software yet, only using it as a trial offer to see how I like it. I sold my Mac that had Adobe Photoshop on it, and knew how to sharpen with that program. Anyway, I sure appreciate your taking the time to look at my photos! I'm certainly learning a lot! Regards, John J. in SC
arhb Plus
9 3.1k 68 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2010 5:48PM
Hi John, nice shot taken from an interesting angle, and as has been mentioned, some good sky interest with the clouds. The image looks great in mono also.
In my mod, I have added more contrast/shadow to the RH elevation, to add some more interest.
If it is of any help, when I sharpen after re-sizing for web, I generally find the the un-sharp mask tool(USM) works well, when set at around 70-0.7-0 for the respective settings, top to bottom.
Also worth mentioning, this same tool(USM), is great for dreating contrast in architectre, when set between 20-20-0 and 40-40-0.
It needs to be experimented with, but worth it.
Hope this helps.

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