Back Modifications (7)
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Puzzle Corner

By BigAlKabMan
This chap is looking puzzled as he stares at his phone. I admit that it was not until I processed the image that I saw the statue on the plinth had a similar stance. Did they have cell phones in the 1750`s ?

Tags: Street Monochrome Bedford

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2375 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 12:01PM
Serendipity - the knack of making happy, unexpected discoveries... It does also depend on being able to recognise their value, this was a gem.

I think this is the first time you've ticked for critique? Welcome to the Critique Gallery, I hope it was intentional. You've been on the site for 18 months, uploading some good work, I guess you know what we are about here.

You captured a lovely juxtaposition. A few thoughts. The most obvious first observation is that this needs rotating clockwise, or alternatively a bit of skewing. The angles are a bit weird and I wonder if you have skewed already? The sign at the top is nicely horizontal but we are not quite parallel to it, and the verticals are quite a bit out. The verticals nearest the centre of the frame are the benchmark to work from.

Secondly, this has had not only b&w conversion but I suspect a certain amount of other work. Could we see the original please? We do usually ask to see it when a picture has been significantly processed. You can upload it as a modification.

The foliage and twigs, particularly in the area of the church window look over-sharpened, and there's a dark halo round the branches seen against the sky.

I'll do a quick modification just to illustrate rotating the image, but I'd really like to try a b&w mod based on the original file, and I suspect that others would too.

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2375 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 12:15PM
OK, I've uploaded a quick modification, go to the blue modifications button below your upload and click on the 1 to view.

I used a mix of Rotate and Skew to get the verticals looking something nearer to true. That required a crop and a tiny bit of cloning to fill the top right corner. I haven't touched processing, that's where we need to see the original file!

I will just add - in street photography, I love it when there's a visual relationship between people and their surroundings - even if they are not aware of it!
9 Mar 2017 1:30PM
Moira, Many thanks for your critique. I have uploaded the original now. The image was shot using the Effects mode on my P7100 compact, which only gives me jpg. not RAW. The short end of the zoom has awful barrel distortion and I should have tried sorting that out before I cropped it. I agree the tree branches look weird and this is mainly due to the blur that has been applied in Nik colour efex after working on it in Silver Efex. I look forward to seeing your interpretation. Regards, Alan
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2375 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 1:42PM
Thanks for adding your original, I was hoping it would be colour. I'll see what I can do...

A few further thoughts at this stage - I would strongly advise against using special effects in-camera. You are reducing your options massively. As you have processing software, get the base image right and then see what you can do with it.

And I would avoid piling effects on top of each other. Less is usually more, particularly if you want to retain the feeling of truth in the image.

And now I'm off to see what I can come up with.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2375 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 2:02PM
Back again, I've uploaded a quick mod based on your original. Work done:

Very slightly tweaked to get the verticals looking right. (Some of our town centres have a fairly elastic interpretation of verticality...)

Cropped using your aspect ratio, but putting the man on the right hand third.

Highlights darkened slightly, then the image lightened overall. (This was a tricky shot, looking from shadows out into light).

I isolated the man, lightened shadows a bit and also reduced midtone contrast. This gets a bit more detail in his dark suit.

A bit of very gentle dodging (highlights) and burning (shadows), with a large brush and 3% exposure, applied locally over the more distant view in particular.

A tiny bit of unsharp mask.

I haven't added any toning, as you used in your worked version. If you do add it, remember to check light again afterwards, because it will reduce the tonal range a bit.

See what you think.
9 Mar 2017 3:06PM
Thanks for the guidance Moira. Your tweaks are subtle but effective. I don`t usually use in camera effects but as I had set RAW+fine I was a bit taken aback to discover RAW was not recorded in this mode. Will not make the same error again!
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2201 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 5:11PM
Welcome to the Critique Gallery, Alan.
This works well and is an amusing moment well captured.

There is a lot of "dead" space around your "story" of the man and the statue, which diminishes its impact, so I have cropped in my modification, and ended up with a square format. I still wanted to maintain the elements that showed the man standing in a side street where the walls are darker than the background.

I used your original (thankyou for uploading that) for my mod because you have done a lot of work on it.
I used Perspective Correction to get the lines straighter, which makes appreciation of the image easier for the viewer.
I lifted the shadows and adjusted Levels.

Ideally, I'd like to see the same image without the barriers because I feel that it slightly prevents the viewer's access to the statue, when I want the connection to be obvious. But you may never get the same chance of this shot again.

dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1809 England
9 Mar 2017 9:36PM
And welcome from me, too.

In-camera effects can be good - but be very wary of anything that robs you of the RAW file. This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and model to model. Generally, the more upmarket the camera, the fewer 'creative' modes there are, which says a lot, I think!

The tilt got to me, too: and I also note a good deal of sharpening in the original post, giving a wiry,gritty look to detail, like the railings and branches. The best sharpening is there, but it's not obvious that it is...

And yo ucaught a perfect moment.
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4217 Canada
10 Mar 2017 12:21AM
Quite a geometric challenge, as I found out!

Many cameras wont output a raw when using effects, but many do; they need you to select RAW + JPEG so you have the JPEG with effects, and the RAW.

pablophotographer 9 1.8k 398
10 Mar 2017 10:57AM
Hello from me too BigAlKabMan. I am not in position to modify and offer my alternative mod at the moment but I can happily share my thoughts with you. I have noticed by the metadata of the (original?) image that you used quitede angle, 6mm from the back of the sensor sounded too wide. As a result you have a wide image where the only justice is offered to the beacon of the tall building on the background, which does not associate with the image that caught your eye. You have done well to crop as this attempts to emphasise the relevance between man and sculpture. The selection of an end result in black and white does make it look as unreal, because unless one is comp!etely colourblind, this is not how most of us see the world. Yet it is very successful as it implies this could have been a shot from the 18th century, if mobiles and cameras were invented then. It does help to avoid colour and other people getting in your way but it is not a scholar's dictation that street photography must be black and white, it is a choice based on humour, if I understand your motives rightly. Since it is unrealistic then, I see no reason for straightening of the horizon, you are in fact bending the Time and I expect Space to be skewed a bit too. Seriously, if you doubt me go back to 1927 and ask Einstein about it.
My mod would be still black and white and skewed. But it would zoom in so tight that the only 3 items visible would be the statue, just the word "castle" from the sign and just the puzzled man with his full body visible. This is your story, these are the essential elements of it. No windows on the right, no building beacons at the background, not the word "lane", not the side of the building from the left. Your frame should be as small a a two lines poem, not as big as a book of poetry, leave that to those who shoot landscapes.
Adios and see you around!
Pablo photographer and poet occasionally, haha
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 398
10 Mar 2017 3:25PM
Mod uploaded, enjoy!
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 749 England
10 Mar 2017 4:55PM
Well observed and taken (I suspect the moment didn't last too long)

Sometimes in camera effects can work very well but it's best to shoot normally and 'play' later, especially as you've got the Nik filters. Talking of which, that would have been helpful info to put in your description. Don't get me wrong, it's nicely processed but in the Critique Gallery it's nice to know what's been done as that will help us in our feedback. For example, Moira mentions oversharpening, which may be a result of the combination of effects or purely just a sharpening issue.

I agree about the tilt but I must admit to warming to the tilted image, it reminds me of cold war spy movies where enemy agents are watching each other!

Did they have cell phones in the 1750`s

Only in central London I believe Wink

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