Back Modifications (8)
Views: 118 (57 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Pier into the light

By BFFoto
I wanted the pier and decking to lead your eye into the photo "into the light" giving a sense of depth and wanting to explore.

Tags: Seascape Pier Architecture

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mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.4k 2038 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2018 8:05AM
Hi David, welcome to ePHOTOzine, and to the Critique Gallery. I hope you will enjoy the site, it's a good place to learn and to share. I hope you are exploring the other areas apart from the galleries, there's a lot here.

When you uploaded you ticked the critique box, I hope that was intentional! It has the effect of disabling voted and awards but it invites more in-depth comment. It also enables members to download the image and work on it, and I have uploaded three modifications which I will come to shortly. There are also two modifications already by another member, Ian (youmightlikethis), you can access these under the blue Modifications button below your upload.

When you upload for critique it helps if we have the Exif data, and the site is picking that up. It also helps if you tell us what you see in an image, any aspects that you are happy or dissatisfied with, if you have any questions... And let us know about your level of photography, your aims...

This is a classic, well-known and much photographed scene, the perfect subject for cool, formal symmetry. Symmetry can easily look sterile. The interest for me is always the breaks, the irregularities, and that's what the shadow provides. The shadow is the star here for me, it adds that wayward, dynamic element.

Settings look sensible, although photographing into a bright sky I would use a small plus exposure compensation as the sky will trick the camera into underexposing. (I really would like to see the original... ) The image is satisfyingly correct. Level, true. You have processed this quite a bit, I'm not entirely convinced by the vignetting. And there are magenta streaks in the sky, I'm guessing lens flare exacerbated in processing, but I'm not 100% sure... These streaks become more immediately visible in Ian's mono conversions. It would help to see the original, and you can upload that as a modification.

The question for me with a composition like this is always - where to cut off t the sides? You have gone for a broad, expansive feel. I have tried a crop, for comparison, as an alternative approach. I cropped to square, for a reason. This is about lines, first and foremost. Landscape will lead the eye horizontally, portrait will lead the eye up and down. Square doesn't prescribe, it leaves the eye free to bounce around and explore the frame.

I lightened shadows a bit, darkened highlights, used the burn tool very gently to bring out midtones in the clouds, then brightened to bring back the highlights. I was trying to get a bit more bulk into those clouds, I'm not sure if it's made much difference.

Then two mono conversions worked in Nik Silver Efex, both with a frame to contain the square. The first is cool, the second dark, grainy, menacing. Piers are strange places as well as being very familiar; caught somewhere between land and sea. Why not go with the strangeness instead of the familiar?

These are just suggestions, the Critique Gallery is to a large extent about different approaches, giving ideas. See what you think. And I hope we shall see more from you.

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Robert51 10 7 88 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2018 8:34AM
I just love piers, not sure if that's an age thing. You image captures everything why people just have to walk to the end and back.

Just thought I would try something a little different, playing with the perspective and colour a little. The colour was from various colour lookup tables in PS. Then a square crop to take the middle ground from landscape to portrait.

Great job...
Robert51 10 7 88 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2018 8:41AM
Sorry about the double load of last mod. Always happens if things don't happen quick enough on a computer...
dudler Plus
15 827 1474 England
28 Jul 2018 11:14AM
And welcome from me, too.

For my money, you'd done loads of good things - the settings look sensible, Aperture priority is a good option for thins kind of shot, and the result looks pretty good.

My one query is the vignette, darkening the sides. It's quite heavy, and rather than holding the viewer's eye in the frame, it calls attention to the sides and to the technique. If it was more subtle, a slight darkening of the edges, I think it would work better.

And I love panoramic images... It is arguable, though, that you need a little more subject matter to the sides: if you look at the panoramic work of experts like Colin Prior, there's a tale told as the eye wanders across the frame. You need more interest in a panorama than squarer images, and it has to fit together well. So I quite understand why Moira and Robert have cropped to hte central area: there are plenty of options.

It would be interesting to see the original image - you can upload it as your own modification.

A final thought: in some of yrou versions, there are bands visible in the sky. This can happen if the image is too compressed - but here, I have a feeling that it's faint flare lines, because the sun was close to (or maybe in) the frame. It can be worthwhile shading the lens with a piece of card in such cases. And, if you know you are going to crop at the top of the frame, it doesn't matter if the card is visible at the edge of the viewfinder...
banehawi Plus
14 2.0k 3993 Canada
28 Jul 2018 1:16PM

Geometry is very good.

Shooting into the Sun has resulted in concentric rings in the sky, magnified by the mono mod - but isnt too bad . Underexposed, but I cant tell if its due to the sun, or if you wanted it that way. Same with the vignette, - was it something you applied or is it the lens?

It would be nice to see the original if you can upload it here as your own modification.

paulbroad Plus
11 127 1280 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2018 3:34PM
I find the whole thing rather dark and heavy. The composition is OK but leads to the bright sky as I assume you intended. Interesting? Not sure it is.

for me, the foreground seat is quite dominant and might have made a better focal point - preferably with occupant.


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