Back Modifications (5)
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Seascape with Railings & Windsurfer

By Otinkyad
Taken from Hastings seafront. I like the railings, the light on the sea & the baleful sky, but do you think the railings work?

Tags: Seascape Windsurfer Landscape and travel

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pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2094 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2016 8:23PM
There is a lot to like about this, Richard. And, yes, the railings do work. Your horizon and railings and nice and straight.

I like the sky/sea/shore division on the vertical. You have two thirds sky to one third sea, then again two thirds sky and sea to one third shore.
In my modification I have cropped a bit from either side in order to place your surfer on a thirds line, corresponding with the thirds you have already used.
This also serves to take the symmetry away from your railings. You may or may not like that idea.

I have seen a similar picture to this in your portfolio, without the railings, and with the surfer completely against the water. In this one, your surfer crosses the horizon, which isn't always a good idea, but I am finding that it works ok here.

The other thing that I did in my modification was a Levels adjustment to get a bit more contrast into the image. This gives a moodier feel, especially to the sky, so if you want it more serene, just ignore meSmile.

The first thing that I noticed was that your surfer looks like a cut-out. The man himself is quite stiff. The sails are often transparent, so I would have expected to be seeing some water and sky through his sail. In that case, it might have looked better if the sail didn't cross the horizon.
You have added a little shadow, and that's good, it really helps place your surfer into your scene. I suppose the look and finish depend upon your intention really. Is the surfer and sail an image that you photographed, or is it imported from somewhere else?


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banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4036 Canada
6 Jul 2016 8:45PM
I think its the person on that sailboard that doesnt work. Looks very much "placed". There seems no contact with the sea, and no wake, which would be expected.

Lots of good elements overall, but for me that prevents it from working.


paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2016 7:35AM
I assume this is a composite. There is no wind at all, so a wind surfer would struggle. I don't think the railings should be there. they are an absolute barrier to the travel of the eye, but when you do get past them, the surfer just looks wrong. May be his an rather than moving across.

Top crop to remove the bright sky and bottom crop to letterbox with surfer actually surfing, then you have a strong image.

All a matter of opinion.

TanyaH Plus
16 1.3k 395 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2016 2:38PM
There is something slightly odd about that windsurfer, but i couldn't put my finger on it at first Smile Because I'm not really a water person, or a sporty person, the elements that didn't quite add up with him didn't register!

But I think the others are right ... and the more I look at that shadow on the water, the more it looks wrong. It might look right and dandy on land, but I'm not sure whether a shadow on water would look like that?

Anyway, I've had a go at a quick mod. After seeing Colin's mono, I thought I'd go that way but couldn't get something I liked. So I went square format instead, cloning out that windsurfer altogether.

One thing I really do like about this shot is the clearly delineated areas of interest ... the sand, the sea and the sky. All very distinct. All very different to one another. Those railings in the foreground don't bother me at all, actually, as visually it's somewhere to pause and rest my arms/foot on, while looking out into the subtle light of the distant horizon. So far from being a barrier to the image, for me they're an integral part of it.

Oh, and I framed my mod too as I felt that the square format needed something formal around it Smile

dudler Plus
16 951 1521 England
7 Jul 2016 10:13PM
Actually, I really like this: pure weird, and I could see it on the cover of a JG Ballard novel.

Or maybe it's a hoverboard?
Otinkyad 16 2 7 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2016 9:04AM

"The Drowned World" perchance?

dudler Plus
16 951 1521 England
8 Jul 2016 11:41AM
Not particularly - it's the air of oddness rather than a link to a specific book...

But I like the idea, and full marks for knowing your Ballard (probably better than I do...)
Otinkyad 16 2 7 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2016 3:48PM
Thanks to everyone for their critiques. I was hoping that the windsurfer I had pasted in might not have been so obvious - so well spotted everyone!

Picking up on suggestions I've modified the windsurfer a bit - added some variable transparency, added a splash of wake behind it and modified the shadow - does a semi-transparent white sail cast a dark shadow with the light behind it or give a lighter reflection? mmmm. Anyway the guy leaves a shadow anyway. I've also added a bit of mid-tone contrast and bit more texture to the sea. I've posted this modified version as a mod and also posted a version without the windsurfer.

Unfortunately I've not been able to add more wind!

Thanks again


PS Perhaps I should have put on a bit of a vignette as well.
TanyaH Plus
16 1.3k 395 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2016 4:01PM
Hi Richard

He's slightly more believable now, but (and I'm going to be honest here) the splash of wake is a fractional different colour to the rest of the water. Whether playing with the opacity and/or blend modes would help more, I don't honestly know. Sometimes it's just a case of redoing the image at some point with an actual windsurfer in situ in reality! It's one of those odd things where the brain picks up that something isn't quite right, but the eyes 'believe' the image if that makes sense?

Otinkyad 16 2 7 United Kingdom
8 Jul 2016 5:02PM
Good spot Tanya!

dudler Plus
16 951 1521 England
8 Jul 2016 11:32PM
I think you'd have a dark shadow on the water close to the sail, and a bright reflection where the reflection lies (closer to the viewpoint than the shadow).

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