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local woodland in late autumn pencil sketch effect

By ropik
sony a200 telephoto 55-300 lens set on auto.sunshine ,fresh late autumn sunshine.mixed woodland beech and birch.photoshop pencil effect. some sharpening for greater depth. please comment on picture quality and originality.

Tags: Woodland Black and white


mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2078 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2019 5:03PM
Welcome back to the Critique Gallery, you last ticked that box in 2010, that's quite a long holiday!

I like the effect, I'm not sure that it actually says 'pencil sketch' for me, there's rather too much detail. It's closer to high-key. But it has a clean, brittle, wintry effect. It definitely says mid November.

Can you add the original file please as a modification, just click on the blue Modifications button below your upload and then on 'Upload a modification'. Other members might like to try their own versions.

My feeling looking at this is that I'd like to see a lot less space at the bottom of the frame. There's too much emptiness between us and the trees and the result looks top-heavy. I would also like to see more of the overhanging branches top right, or none at all. I wonder if you took any other compositions, with less foreground or perhaps angled towards the left?

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mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2078 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2019 9:24PM
PS The lens description doesn't match up with the Exif, I think you may be misremembering.
dudler Plus
16 927 1516 England
1 Sep 2019 7:35AM
Yes - a 55-300 lens generally doesn't go to 18mm...

I like the idea, and even, unusually, the way that the pencil effect has worked - you've found a scene that it works with.

On the technical side, you could do much better by adding a tripod to allow a much longer shutter speed and a smaller aperture. Sharpening in processing won't increase depth of field, but stopping down will do the trick, and allow real sharpness fromt to back.

It is the sort of shot that will benefit from really high sharpness, and your Alpha 200 can deliver that, even with the limited number of pixels, by modern standards. But to get the most from any camera, the settings, and matching them to the conditions and your needs, matter a lot.

If you were travelling light, wedging or bracing the camera against a tree could improve stability a lot, and make the slower speed that you need to allow an aperture of f/8 or f/11.

A great idea - it would be worth going back to the location again with a tripod and repeating the shot, aiming for a really good technical result. Or, since the image is six years old, according to hte EXIF data, it may be worth going back with yoru current camera...
chase Plus
14 1.2k 259 England
1 Sep 2019 9:34AM
I like this, it's stark which makes me feel cold. Not quite a pencil sketch but close.
I do like Moiras' mod which brings the viewer further into the image. That's exactly what I would have done to this.
Some good advice from John too.
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2088 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2019 5:31PM
I don't see this as a pencil sketch, Mike, although I like the idea of processing it to look like that.
What is your reason for wanting it to look like a sketch?
I suspect that the original, when we see it, will show a fine image which, with a few tweaks, would be quite pleasing, without adding any effect to it.

You might like to keep this effect, so I will just suggest an alternative composition in my modification.

You have a nice diagonal line at the base of the trees, and you have also nicely placed the largest tree (on the left) on a thirds line, which looks good. However, I wanted to remove the dark horizontal branches at the top of the frame, and also reduce the amount of foreground leaf space. So I cropped, maintaining your aspect ratio.

You say that you sharpened, and I think you overdid that a bit. So I softened the image a little. I also darkened the image, and adjusted contrast


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