Back Modifications (3)
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North Somerset Coast

By rjpring
View of Wain's Hill, Clevedon from coastal walk

Tags: Black and white Monochrome drama

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2021 8:37AM
Hello Richard, welcome to ePHOTOzine, I see that you have joined us today. I hope you will enjoy it here, it's a very friendly site and has a lot of material - I hope you have checked out the reviews, articles, etc as well as the galleries.

And welcome to the Critique Gallery too. You ticked the critique box when uploading, I hope that was intentional. It has the effect od disabling votes and awards but it invites in-depth comment, from the Critique Team as well as other members. I hope that was your intention!

It's a strong image, sensibly taken, and b&w suits a subject that relies primarily on lines and textures. Looking at the other images that you have uploaded to your portfolio, you have an eye for strong lines, particularly arcs. When you registered with the site, you did not state your level as a photographer, but you understand the settings. My quibble with them would be the minus exposure compensation - I wonder why you used it? And what processing did you do to the colour image before conversion?

The problem that jumps out immediately - this needs a small anti-clockwise rotation! The water needs to be horizontal. But beyond that, how did you convert to b&w? It would help if you add the original colour jpeg file as a modification - click on the blue Modifications box below your upload and then on Upload a modification. This has plenty of well exposed detail but the effect is a bit samey, fifty shades of grey... B&W needs actual black and white to be included.

So let us see that original, and tell us how you converted. Are you using colour channels? Are you checking light after conversion? A perfectly balanced colour image does not convert automatically to perfect b&w...

I will also add that there are a lot of dust blobs in the sky, particularly on the left - I think your sensor needs a clean!

You will have seen a pop-up message when you ticked for critique, and you will have received a message from the site after uploading, explaining how we work in the CG (Critique Gallery). It's important for us to know how you see this - are you satisfied with the image? Are there aspects that you are not satisfied with? Have you any questions? Plus - please join in the conversation here, that's how the CG works best.

By ticking for critique you authorise members to download the image and modify it. I will upload a modification in a little while - a rotation, dust blobs cleared, plus work to give greater contrast particularly in the foreground rocks, for a more 3-dimensional feel. The composition gives priority to foreground over sky, so the foreground needs to be tactile, immediate. Modifications will appear under that blue button, click on numbers when they appear to view.

Back soon...
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2021 8:59AM
Back again. I've added two modifications - here's what I did:

Rotation plus necessary crop; seven dust blobs removed; added brightness, then a Levels adjustment moving the right hand slider inwards to touch the graph curve. (Are you familiar with the histogram?) Then dodging and burning on the foreground - dodge tool set to highlights, burn tool set to midtones then shadows, huge brush and just 3 % exposure on both.

The problem area is the sky, the sun was behind those clouds. Early morning would, I suspect, have given much more sympathetic light. I really would prefer to have a go at the original colour file, so it's over to you.

The second modification is simply a horizontal flip, to illustrate the difference between having a composition lead from right to left, and having left to right. Unlike a lot of people I don't think that left to right, as in the second mod, is a necessity; but I do believe that it makes a big difference to how the image communicates to the viewer.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2021 11:35AM
And something that I omitted to say first time round - well done for getting down low, this was potentially painful on the knees but it allows a gap below the horizontal trunk and it allows the foreground rocks to dominate.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
12 Jun 2021 12:08PM
Welcome from me, too, Richard.

Moira's said most of what needs saying, and has done two interesting mods - one that corrects the problems, and a second that shows how reversing an image can change the atmosphere, though it deviates from reality a bit!

I'll add that mirrorless sensors are really easy to clean - and that if you use mainly wider apertures, you may not notice how dirty your sensor has got. Small apertures cast hard-edged shadows of the smallest speck of dust or dirt. I might have allowed a wider aperture here to blur the distant headland a bit more.

You used spot metering - what part of the image did you take the reading from? (If this seems an odd question, we need to talk about spot metering, as it's a tricky beastie!)

Like Moira, I appreciate the low viewpoint, and the strong composition. And the more you can tell us about what you wanted (and what you didn't) the better! Over to you.
rjpring 17 4 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2021 1:23PM
Very many thanks for the very helpful comments. Thi is the first time I have nervously submitted a picture for criticism and am overwhelmed by the detailed and helpful advice. It may take me some time to organise myself to respond
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2021 1:42PM
Thanks for coming back, and don't worry about nerves. John and I have asked a few questions between us, take your time and come back again when you are ready.
chase Plus
16 2.2k 580 England
12 Jun 2021 5:37PM
Hi Richard and a warm welcome from me.
Just take your time with a response, we are here to help. Specific questions are really good for us to 'hook' onto, the more info you can give us, the better we can tailor replies for you.

Good advice and comments above, the most important one and the one that shouts the loudest for me is the sloping horizon, easily corrected in your editing program.
Those Dust Bunnies are a bit on the large side, a swift sensor clean will get rid but, again, easily removed during post processing as has been ably demonstrated.

I do like your subject it creates a lovely shape in the frame and lots of super textures.
POV is good, the sky is a little over exposed in places, perhaps 2 exposures would have helped, one for the tree and one for the sky the combined.

A drop more contrast would give you better blacks and whites which are a bit vague in your original.

Would be great to see your starting point to the conversion Richard, easily added to the modifications above.

Hope to hear more from you.

dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
12 Jun 2021 6:15PM
Thank you for responding! Looking forward to the detailed and thought-through version.
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4264 Canada
12 Jun 2021 6:42PM
Hi Richard.

Looking through your uploads, I notice you haven't enabled voting. Is this intentional, or an oversight?


rjpring 17 4 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2021 6:58PM
Oversight due to still getting to grips with the rules
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
12 Jun 2021 8:54PM
Welcome from me too.

It would be good to hear more from you regarding this image and your photogrphy in general so we can pitch any feedback at an appropriate level. If you've any specific questions or concerns on this image now's the time to ask.

pablophotographer 10 1.9k 411
14 Jun 2021 10:22AM
Hi, welcome from me too.

I notice an optical balance in your picture -the horizon sits in the middle of your frame- and a proportionate justice to all of the elements, the land, the sea, the sky placed on stripes one upon the other within the frame.

What I consider forgotten is the the cause of this epic struggle of this defiant yet very dead tree now.

To be continued..
pablophotographer 10 1.9k 411
17 Jun 2021 2:21PM
... So what it appears as "balanced" is to my opinion imbalanced. The tree has been bent by the wind and the wind is associated with the sky. A frame of the classical 3:2 format which includes more of the fierceful heavy sky could be one option. A longer exposure with slight more movement on clouds would be stronger as well as an even much longer which mashes up the clouds into a grey mass.

For me the frame could naturally look better if it was cropped to an envelope size of 16:9 or even a panoramic one.

Yes, one which would be hanging above the sofa!

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