Back Modifications (3)
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Porthcawl Lighthouse

By SueEley
I finally got a picture of this. It's a crop from a larger frame, as my max zoom is 70mm, and it has been worked on in Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik SilverEffex and sharpener. I had to clone out bright edges that appeared several times during the editing process. The pic is a little grainy as I was using high iso - even though I was using a tripod, it was very windy and I felt I needed this speed (also to freeze the water). Very happy to get his but would welcome critique - especially if it was naff to bring back the colour to the light!

Sorry I've been away so long. Family stuff, but hopefully more settled now.

Tags: Lighthouse Storm Wave Black and white Landscape and travel

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


jovanovic 6 26 France
23 Feb 2014 5:56PM
Your "B&W" are also perfect. A heart to see them! SmileSmileSmile

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SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
23 Feb 2014 6:17PM
BTW In Lightroom I brought down the highlights and straightened the horizon a tiny bit. In Nik I gave it a basic high structure smooth, then moved a couple of sliders and used control points to darken and lighten a few things. I added a vignette, film grain and a faint cool tone using presets. I then did two separate crops in PS5 and decided I wanted the close-up vertical one. I masked out the Nik mono over the actual light to bring the colour back, and cloned over the edges where bright lines had appeared due to processing (though there was a faint bright line on the neff - I don't know why) I found that it was better to use the clone stamp on normal and the layer I was cloning to set to darken, not set the clone stamp to darken which I usually do to get rid of intrusive light bits. Then I sharpened. Should have put more info the first time round. Sorry.
Coast 10 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 6:30PM
You've clearly put an awful lot of effort and work into this. Really love the range of tone and the graininess adds to the grit of the scene.

The colour pop to retain the lighthouse light won't be to everyones taste. I ran the mod with it mono and then decided to leave as you intended. It is a statement in itself and I felt it suggested safety - the warm bright light letting Sailors know that on a stormy night they were close to land, close to home and a sign to keep them safe. It won't please everyone but I wouldn't say it was naff to bring the colour back in the light.

For me the only comment is to the crop. I think there is too much unnecessary space above and below the main action so went for a tighter crop. For me it strengthens the image.

Overall nice work.
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
23 Feb 2014 6:35PM
Timing is very good.

The light is insignificant its so small, so makes no difference.

I would love to see less noise, its beyond graininess for me - tried a mod but not sure if its an improvement. Its also a touch underexposed, so included a tweak.

No idea what naff means!


Coast 10 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 6:43PM
For Willie - Naff

British slang, today meaning uncool, tacky, unfashionable, worthless... or as a softer expletive, such as "naff all" again used to describe something as worthless.

Good to see the smoother mod to compare. I still prefer the gritty graininess of Sue's original gives more punch to the exploding wave I think.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
23 Feb 2014 8:44PM
Thanks Paul.

SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
23 Feb 2014 8:45PM
Not sure what I can do about the grain, Willie, though if smoothing grain was the first thing I did, perhaps just on the sky, this might be a way to go. I do like the grain, but it does look very grainy on my iPad - more than on my computer screen. Thanks, all, for your time, comments and mods. The idea of warmth was what made me pop the light, Coast, so thanks for spotting that idea,
pablophotographer 6 951 334
24 Feb 2014 1:12AM
Hello Sue.

I understand this is a difficult picture to take and you have worked a lot on it.
I shall skip the technicalities and I shall point that because I like the height of the crashing wave being taller than the lighthouse and almost reaches the sky, I would explore a shorter version of the picture. I tried a square format , I am not sure if it is big enough, for the site specifications, to be uploaded, will try that soon.

My suggestion is to stop worrying about every other procedure, everyone here tried their best. Print it as it is on a glossy paper to maintain the wide range of shadows and to bring out the best of the resolution used. Noise will turn to ''grain'' or a surface like matte paper. Do not put a glass in front, just frame it and hang it. Job done.

paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2014 8:58AM
It's very well done and the colour popping almost invisible. i really would have stayed with colour, though. Mono is good for drama, but the spray and sky tones are too close together and start to merge. Either colour, different channel mixing, which I suspect would make little difference, or some dodge and burning to brighten spray and darken other bits.

It is a fin shot, though. In these circumstances, i try and get behind a wall, park the car as a sheild or something to put me out of the wind and, far worse, any spray which will kill a camera.

dark_lord Plus
14 2.2k 540 England
24 Feb 2014 11:23PM
Looking at the mods, I prefer the 'grainy' original, it has more energy, just what you're trying to convey. Smooth images don't always portray what we want as a photographer. Fortunately with the processing available in software we can have both versions.

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