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Sir Keith Park

By salopian
This is the nameplate on the locomotive I featured a couple of days ago. I took an oblique view rather than a straightforward frontal shot so I could get some nice diagonals coming out of the left hand corners ( a la Moira ) and read up about USM, in an attempt to get sharpness without overdoing it. What do you think?
( Sir Keith was a senior RAF officer during the Battle of Britain and used to visit the fighter stations in his personal Hurricane, dressed in his white flying overalls, to keep up morale)

Tags: Park General Severn Loco

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dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1928 England
11 Mar 2015 6:20PM
Aperture priority is a good way to go for general shots. In rather dim light, though, shooting diagonally, I am surprised that so much of the frame's reasonably sharp.

Sharpness needs to be in the file to begin with, and there's no point in tweaking it later if it's not present. You can make fractionally-off sharpness look better, but the risk is usually of overdoing it. Too sharp looks awful.

Here, you're short of that, but right at the limits of what works without looking too gritty and wiry.

Compositionally, there's always an issue with machinery of any sort: you have to cut off somewhere - but it's the choice of the exact places that makes (or breaks) the picture. This is OK, but not spectacular - there are those tubes and rails around the edges, breaking things up. I have no confidence that I'd have done any better at all.
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2015 8:12PM
A good record shot made more attractive by the angle. I might just run the burning in tool over the top right corner to reduce brightness there. Pulls the eye slightly.

Keith Park was a New Zealander and commander of 11 group. That was London and the SE, The pivotal area of the Battle of Britain. A very respected sector commander under Dowding. He was later AOC for the air defence of Malta.

banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4307 Canada
11 Mar 2015 10:24PM
Looks good.

Im not 100% certain, but I dont think the X-20 uses an anti-alias filter, so the photos should be quite sharp from the camera, in RAW.

The only reason you would be applying any significant sharpening would be with re-sizing.


Sooty_1 11 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2015 1:31AM

Quote:Keith Park was a New Zealander and commander of 11 group. That was London and the SE, The pivotal area of the Battle of Britain. A very respected sector commander under Dowding. He was later AOC for the air defence of Malta.

AVM sir Keith Park was indeed 11 Group commander (not a sector commander) during the battle. Bitterly opposed to his rival, AVM sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, who believed he should have been given command of the group, Park's tactic of feeding fighters into the battle in small groups worked well, and subsequently proved effective again in the defence of Malta.
He was criticised by Leigh-Mallory, and the egotistical and outspoken Douglas Bader, who believed large formations of fighters were needed to smash the German formations. Unfortunately, even though they had much more time and space than the squadrons in Kent to form up, the "big wings" frequently missed the German formations altogether, allowing them to bomb unopposed.

Following their success in masterminding the air defence of Britain, after the battle, Dowding was quietly pensioned off with virtually no reward and Park shunted out to a backwater, while Leigh-Mallory got Park's job. Unsuccessful at the time, Leigh-Mallory's tactics were subsequently proven time and again to not be effective, yet both he and Bader were promoted.

While top brass dropping in unannounced was hardly the way to raise morale, Park's secret was the rapport he had with the front line personnel. He would often sit and chat with them at their dispersals, discussing tactics and strategy, so they all felt involved with the decision making process. It was his way of bypassing the normal channels and getting information first hand, also anything the pilots needed could be fed back immediately, cutting out the "red tape".

As for the photo, I'm not sure that the angle really does anything for me. I'd like to see a more dramatic angle, but that would cut visibility of the panel, whereas a square on shot might seem dull.
I don't think there's a happy medium, but it's a nice record shot nonetheless.

I have photos of both "Tangmere" and "92 Squadron", both "Battle of Britain" class locos, none of which I'm really happy with!

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2015 3:49PM
Apart from the B of B, the question is, record or pictorial. If record, side view or slight angle, if pictorial, wide angle, distortion or whatever?

salopian 10 3 28 United Kingdom
13 Mar 2015 11:02AM
Willie - you are right - " the X20 sensor has a random colour filter array that means it doesn't need an anti aliasing filter" ( in quotes as I had to look it up ! ).
I looked up USM techniques in a manual on Photoshop and one of the "hints" was to occasionally try settings of - Amount 10 - 25, Radius around 50 pixels, Threshold zero. Seemed crazy to me but tried it on one or two pics and was pleasantly surprised, The author called it "low contrast enhancement"
Thanks for the comments and Mods and to Nick for his dissertation on Sir Keith Park's career.

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