Back Modifications (5)
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Old and new

By billmyl
City Quay in Dundee. Looking for comments on composition and technique generally. I was trying out taking shots in Program mode.

All comments and critique are very welcome.

Tags: Photo journalism Dundee Architecture City Quay

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


mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
10 Apr 2014 1:05PM
Composition: It's an interesting exercise in asymmetry. Take a basically symmetrical subject, the view along a street of terraced houses, and create / look for the breaks in symmetry, make them balance. So the dormer windows, arch and chimney on the left balance the stronger bollards and drainpipes on the right. The incongruously bright blue roofs in the distance are off centre, not at the precise perspective focal point.

There is one minor detail that really does look unsatisfactory to me, and it's easily fixed. The verticals on the left are true, on the right they aren't - bottom right needs skewing out a notch. That's easy.

I like the fact that your diagonal meets the bottom right corner, and the same thing almost happens on the left, but not quite - again that can be tweaked. I can imagine a composition also with the diagonal of the pavement edge meeting the bottom right corner - a line ending midway along the edge of the frame always looks a bit awkward to me.

I wonder how much you wandered from side to side to find this composition? I can see all sorts of possibilities. I can imagine standing a little way to the left, and moving back a bit to be sure of getting the full height of the chimney, for a differently proportioned view. A bit more height, a few more pixels above the chimney, would not go amiss in any case, it looks a bit cramped.

I'm off to have a play with this. Some basic tweaks as mentioned above, but I am also going to try some different crops.

Assuming that you had time to stop and think about settings, I'm curious as to why you used Program mode. But it has worked out pretty well.

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banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
10 Apr 2014 1:37PM
Program has worked quite well Bill.

Im not sure you should have used the -1/3, its left the lower area a tad dark. Ive adjusted this in the mod. A personal preference for me with this is symmetry, so that pole at the end is in the centre. Doesnt have to be, just what I prefer.

As Moira mentioned, an odd slant on the right that can be straightened. I would think lens distortion, but its not apparent on the left, so Im thinking that its maybe the camera was pointed more right than left.

A slight sharpening helps with detail, - the light wasnt great, likely quite typical for the time of year though. I like the concept of the old taking us down to the new. Im reminded of Coronation Street a bit with this type of street housing.

So a good exercise with P mode overall, see mod for the tweaks I suggested.


billmyl Plus
5 171 1 Scotland
10 Apr 2014 2:21PM
Thank you as always Moira and Willie for your comments and mods.
The object of the exercise was to go out and take a few shots using my 35mm lens and the camera set to to P mode. In some cases this worked reasonably well and in others not so good. This image turned out not too bad and the slant on the right may be down to using auto perspective settings in LR.

Luckily I live near Dundee and shall return to redo some of the shots I took yesterday with a different lens and tripod which may help.

As ever I really appreciate your suggestions and taking the time to look at my images.


dudler Plus
14 701 1340 England
10 Apr 2014 7:06PM
The big problem with program mode is that it makes the choices for you... The things that you normally use for "creative control" - aperture, shutter speed, even ISO - are dealt with by an algorythm that is very clever, but has no soul.

My suspicion is that it will go for reducing camera shake first, and avoiding too wide an aperture second. For this scene, arguably, it's nto chosen settings far from the ones you might have gone for if you'd been in perfection mode. Maybe a slower shutter speed and a slightly smaller aperture, but 1/200 @ f/7.1 will definitely do!

Unless the light was exceptional - I'm imagining a sort of stormy glow - this has the look of a shot that's been processed a bit - can you confirm that it hasn't (or let us know what you did)?

I haven't got anything to add on the technical side - though as I'm keen on mono, I may try a conversion, and some dark Satanic burning-in, of course...
billmyl Plus
5 171 1 Scotland
10 Apr 2014 9:36PM
Thanks for your comments and mod John.

As I said above I was merely walking round taking shots in P mode as a little experiment. As to post processing nothing too major just adjustments using the basics panel in LR. Did not even alter the exposure!

I did not realise there might be so many good opportunities wandering around the riveside in Dundee and will definitely be returning but not in P mode!!



PS Really like the look of your mono version.
lenocm 5 3 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2014 9:34AM
I have an image of Chandler's Lane taken the other way round, i.e. from City Quay to the Tay. Chandlers Lane

It isn't as good an image as yours and was taken into the sun, but I think the "old & new" style of buildings is more evident from the other end with the contrast between the white brick on the left and the curve with the old stone on the right. The white brick, as you'll know, only extends part way down the lane. Just a thought. Smile
billmyl Plus
5 171 1 Scotland
11 Apr 2014 11:37AM
Thanks for your comments lenocm.
I like your image as it does show better the look of the buildings. Might be worth investigating in early morning light. I think you are being rather harsh on yourself, your image is fine.



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