Back Versions (1)
Modifications (4)
Views: 63 (29 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Down To The Water's Edge

By WeeGeordieLass    
Spotted this "triangle" of ladies in beautiful saris in the middle of a chaotic, busy bathing ghat in Varanasi.

I was drawn to this little "scene within a scene" because of the bright colors of the saris against the white steps which were shining brightly in the sun. I liked the triangular shape in the composition too.

I've uploaded the original as a before/after and would be grateful for any thoughts, ideas and advice on if I could have processed the image in a different or better way.

Thanks for looking.

Elaine Grin

Tags: General Landscape and travel Portraits and people

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


iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
8 May 2013 11:28AM
Another good one. In my view an excellent composition. Image is great as posted.
However I've can't resist a play, I've done a mod where I've boosted mid tones in levels and sharpened just a touch. I feel this gives the picture just a little more bite. On my screen it maybe needed just a little more contrast.
Keep them coming,

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8 May 2013 12:27PM
Hi Ian,

Your mod with the mid tones boosted does look better. It looks more crisp.

Thanks for your help - glad you like the shot.


Elaine Grin
paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
8 May 2013 2:28PM
You have done a good job here. Well composed and a real improvement on the original. Good work. Ian's mod improves sharpness a touch but is too dark for me. Facial tones have gone rather heavy. Prefer your mod with just a tiny sharpness boost.

Jasper87 Plus
8 2.0k 150 England
8 May 2013 4:17PM
The crop is excellent, Elaine. I had a play with the saturation and contrast but no sure I've changed it much on seeing the upload. I don't think it needs sharpening at all, though.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
8 May 2013 4:44PM
You did so well to spot this, - it really works well.

As for the modification, be careful with cloning, so you dont see repeats (left steps}; get the original right before cropping and modifying, the image will contain the accurate black and white points to use a a basis for both contrast, and colour balance, which to me, is not right. I would leave more of the steps in to retain that great sense of scale, and crop to leave more space on the left.

The mod Ive loaded is based on the original, and has only had the three persons cloned out; the black and white points set (no colour or contrast adjustments, - setting the points does all this in one step), cropped and sharpened. Frame added to make up for lost pixels.


9 May 2013 10:39AM
Hi Paul,

Thanks for commenting - I'm glad you like what I've done with the processing.


Elaine Grin
9 May 2013 10:43AM
Hi Dave,

Thanks for taking the time to upload a mod......I agree that there is room for improvement on the saturation and contrast.

I'll make some slight changes for the final version.


Elaine Grin
9 May 2013 10:46AM
Hi Jeff,

Your mod is lovely.........the difference is subtle and sharper.

Thanks - like it a lot.

Elaine Grin
9 May 2013 11:01AM
Hi Willie,

I love your crop showing more of the steps at the bottom - it gives the shot more impact and shows more accurately the scale of those huge steps at the ghats.

I'm never sure of what adjustments I should attempt first when I'm processing my images once I upload them into Elements from ACR...........usually I go first with what is the most obvious thing that needs improving i.e it could be the crop or it could be straightening or anything else.

Do you have a set workflow that you stick to each time?

Also, what is the best way to set the black and white points - is it just a matter of moving the sliders in the levels adjustment option so that the histogram is not either too much at the left or right hand side?

Thanks for your mod and great advice.


Elaine Grin
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
9 May 2013 3:11PM
About halfway down this tutorial, you will find the Elements equivalent of what I do using CS6. Its where the start of black and the start of white are identified and set by clicking with the droppers. This calibrates the entire colour range for the shot. Contrary to popular belief, I never warm any shot, - the actual colour temp thats supposed to be present will appear when you do this simple adjustment.

You may find some advice around the calibrate the value of the black dropper to 40,40,40 and the white dropper to 240, 240, 240. Dont do this, its meant for half tone press printing only. (defaults are 0,0,0 and 255, 255, 255)

Try it and let me know how it works out.

In ACR, you can try the auto colour temp, or the manual white balance tool to set a neutral area, white or grey. I sometomes do this, but the Levels method is very accurate.

15 May 2013 11:14AM
Hi Willie

Quote:About halfway down this tutorial,

Is there a link you could let me have for the tutorial?


Elaine Grin

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