Back Modifications (5)
Views: 78 (27 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By MattX
The view from the train station in Remedios caught my eye, I found it difficult to capture though and invite comments on photographing such scenes.

Tags: Landscape and travel Travel landscape

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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 1927 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2014 10:23AM
Hi again, more travel photography to make me envious! (It was 2° here when I got up this morning...) Real life, bustling and colourful. I can see why you would want to record this as a memory of a very characterful place.

First of all, probably the lament that I hear most frequently from beginners is 'It doesn't do the place justice, it looked much more attractive/interesting than this...'

When you are there you are experiencing a view in so many different ways. You can move around, explore different angles. You see the movement of light dancing on surfaces, you feel the sun and the breeze, you hear voices or birdsong...

The viewer, including you yourself after your return, sees a small flat rectangle on a screen. So the challenge for the photographer is not to just record a rectangle of the scene but to find one that will take the viewer there, make them feel a part of the place, make them feel that they want to explore further, and that they can.

Composition is a big part of that. If you look at this you have a street of very colourful buildings, but they are crammed into two diagonal lines. The main space in the frame is the foreground dust-coloured road, and the middle of the frame is pretty well empty. That is the problem for me. A large area of dusty gravel is not really very inviting. You could crop a little strip off the bottom for a start.

There are various crops available here and I will go and experiment with them here. But if you have a similar opportunity again, I would suggest three different possibilities:

1) - Move off-centre, concentrate on a dominant diagonal line of colourful buildings, with the perspective leading towards the right. That will give you proportionally more character and colour in the frame. Plus a strong diagonal serves as a lead-in, it draws the eye into the frame.

2) - Look to capture figures nearer to the camera, preferably moving towards the camera although moving away can work. They will effectively welcome the viewer into the street.

3) - Look for foreground interest to provide a tactile, immediate link with the scene behind. I would home in on that pink/purple bicyle!

A couple of other points: assuming hand-held, your shutter speed was too slow to avoid camera shake, and also too slow to freeze human movement successfully. Both are important! With that cyclist in the frame I would want 1/250 second or faster. As this stands, a local application of the sharpening tool might improve the cyclist.

Also the dynamic range is a bit flat, the image would benefit from greater contrast. A simple Levels adjustment, moving the two outer sliders inwards, would work wonders here I think. Then I would also use the burn tool, set to shadows, about 3% or 4%, a large brush size, over the foreground road, to bring it forward and thus throw the background back. The two adjustments combined would give a better sense of depth and distance, and so make the scene more 'real'.

Modifications to follow in a little while!

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mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1927 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2014 10:43AM
I've uploaded three Modifications with notes - I omitted to mention that I skewed the bottom left corner of the frame down very slightly - but I think this is a scene where the principles of vertical and horizontal need to be fairly flexible!
mistere Plus
4 4 3 England
18 Apr 2014 10:49AM
Excellent advice from Moira, I agree with everything she said.
As a beginner myself I am still learning and experimenting. If i were taking this image i think i would have gone with a
faster shutter speed to freeze the movement, perhaps by bumping up the ISO, and then tried moving a little off centre
to get more interest and colour from the buildings.
It is a fascinating scene though, would love to see more of it if you have any versions.

pablophotographer 6 931 333
18 Apr 2014 11:08AM
so this is it; Remedios.

Honestly, it is a documentary capture, you can leave it as it is. But boy, they have lots of cables Smile the top part of the pic could be a picture of its own. You can also break it in two pieces, left and right and have them in two different square frames hanging on the wall.

Reality may not be as rosy but people go on with their lives, the cyclist give exactly that moment. Now, if you waited for a camión to arrive and be in the middle of the road or a flock of goats, that would be an interesting story... but it all has to do with your time available...
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
18 Apr 2014 2:51PM
Judt adding my two pennorth to Moira's excellent explanation. One of those scenes, like a 'western' waiting for a shoot out!!!!! Grin. I think you need(ed) to explore the options, research the angles, act like a sniper...perhaps get down lower or even higher?

Think I prefer the 'full frame' shot, just needs the clarity/vibrance lifting.Smile
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
18 Apr 2014 3:50PM
I really like this. Its street photography, quite literally. A documentary image of a moment in the life of the people in the scene.

I personally would not change anything other than contrast and a minor crop. Its s subjective opinion, you can see theres different ways to look at the shot.

Im amazed its so sharp at such a slow speed. I know its a VR lens, but its still amazing.

I would crop some of the empty street at the bottom and increase contrast as Moira has done. But for me, its a toned mono that would work best for a street shot.

I uploaded 2 mods, one colour, one toned mono.


MattX 4 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2014 4:45PM
I'm loving this site. To be honest I only joined as there was a competition to enter but the advice I'm getting is top rate. Lots of different viewpoints to consider and the modifications people submit are a great lead into editing. Thanks everyone, I think I might just join.... now how much is it....?
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1927 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2014 6:45PM
E2 is £29 a year and worth every penny - and we are not on commission! You are showing up as e2 but I'm guessing there's an introductory offer for new members at the moment, covering your first month here...
pablophotographer 6 931 333
19 Apr 2014 9:44AM
You are welcome Matt.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
19 Apr 2014 7:25PM
Free if you dont choose E2, - you are limited to 600 pixel uploads, and a Critique one a week. Best deal on the wb


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