Back Modifications (7)
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Russell sunset

By natrob
sunset in Russell NZ - I attempted to capture the beauty of it - I am an extreme beginner! Any comments very very welcome! Thank you

Tags: Black and white

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14 Dec 2009 7:16PM
Lovely image - well taken

Squirrel 15 471 7 England
14 Dec 2009 9:14PM
I like the way you have captured the sillouette of the boat and the shadow of the mast on the water, but the pole on the right is a little distracting. Also because there is so much water in the foreground it might be an idea to crop it a little. I've uploaded a mod.
Have a play with the cropping tool, don't be afraid to experiment. I cropped it to nearly a square, sometimes a letterbox format works.
Give it a go.
Rick_Huggins 15 143 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2009 9:16PM
Really nice image, but I would maybe crop out a little more of the dark cloud to empahsise the solitude.

Nice image
14 Dec 2009 10:57PM
Beautiful image.
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4314 Canada
14 Dec 2009 11:01PM
Welcome to EPZ Nat.

Question about the image first, - youve marked it as black and white, and called it Sunset, - so is this a B&W shot that youve toned, - or a colour shot? My gut feel is its a colour shot? If it is a colour shot, your camera is not doing a good job of assessing white balance. If it allows you to select white balance, chose one that suits the lighting conditions.

OK, - now for the critique.

Youve used portrait mode (held camera vertically), for what is a landscape shot. While this can work when your close to a subject, it often doesnt when further away.

The framing, - i.e. the position of the boat, - one of the main elements in the shot, is way too close to the edge. As a general rule, points of interest, or focal points, should be placed on a "third" , - imagine dividing the frame into thirds both vertically and horizontally.

The tone, - if its toning, is all wrong for a sunset, unless you have a different sun down under! I fact, if framed as a landscape shot, as in my mod, it makes a very nice black and white shot.

I also loaded a slightly toned mod 2.

Ive added space to the left, and cropped the bottom to make the boat land on a third, and place the horizon closer to a third; Ive sharpened overall, and removed some noise in the sky; and Ive used curves to increase contrast. All done in Photoshop CS3, but can be done in Photoshop Elements.

I hope you find this helpful, and constructive,


Davesumner 15 28 300 Australia
14 Dec 2009 11:02PM
Nat, welcome to EPZ and thanks for uploading your image to the critique area.

What a nice image, the colours are very pleasant indeed and the solitude as mentioned by Rick is very noticeable. Living in Aus a lot of sunrises and sunsets appear to be really golden or orange and I wondered if your image had been toned down a little as I would imagine NZ to be fairly similar.

Also you have quite a bit of space around the main part of the image which I think could be cropped off to bring the viewers eye into the main part of the image more. The post on the far right doesn't really add to your shot but the two in the foreground do add to the shot and provide a little balance as well.

However, there is a rule in photography which should be mainly adhered to (but it doesn't always apply) which is the rule of thirds. This means that if you draw a noughts and crosses type grid over your image dividing the image up into thirds both horizontally and vertically, you should then try and keep the main parts of the image on those lines which better for the viewers eye and makes the image more appealing. So if we crop off those two posts at the bottom, we can get the horizon closer to the bottom third instead of it being central which isn't always good.

I think this works because there is enough in the yacht to make the image appealing without the need for the posts.

I have uploaded a mod for you to see but remember, this is entirely subjective and the image is yours and you are the only one who can decide the final image.

I hope this helped

Grampy 12 507 71 England
15 Dec 2009 3:37PM
While I agree with the above please, please, don't get bogged down by rules, as a beginner find your style ,don't become a clone, because if we all listened to the rules advice, all our shots would be the same,you have made a great start with this image so forget totally about rules there aren't any, that YOUR eye doesn't make.
natrob 12
15 Dec 2009 8:55PM
Thank you all very much for your comments - they are very much appreciated. I am a real beginner, and the comments are so helpful! It is amazing to see the difference in the images that people have modified - I can really see that the image looks so much better.
The image is infact colour - I dont know why I selected the B&W - mistake on my part!
I will take on board all comments as I learn, and once again - thanks very much!!

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