Back Modifications (1)
Views 145 Unique 67 Award Shortlist   

Spitfire at rest

By DMLitvin
Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX at an air show. Three shot HDR, Nikon D80, Nikkor 18mm-55mm at 26mm, ISO 200, long exposures to "disappear" people.

Tags: Transport Aircraft and Airshows

Save 69% on inPixio Photo Studio 11 Ultimate (discount applied at checkout)


chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
3 Oct 2019 8:59AM
Hi David, welcome to the Critique Gallery and ePz, I see that this is your first upload here. I hope you will enjoy it and find it a good place to learn. We try to give advice that will help people to improve their photography both the taking and the editing of images.

Remember that the more information you give us as regards your photographic aims and intentions, the better. It also helps us if you respond to critique and indicate which ideas you find helpful. That means we can tailor advice according to your needs.

My first thought looking at this was...your sensor needs a good clean, lots of dust bunnies visible which have been enhanced by the HDR method. Easily removed in your post processing system.
The HDR effect is not bad but seems a little bright, perhaps a levels adjustment would be the way to go here.
Lots of distractions which do take away some of the interest in the plane, perhaps you could have moved positions to get a cleaner view.
Shame you missed the very top of the uppermost propeller, but the car on the right looks interesting too, maybe worth couple of frames.
I'll try a mod, see what happens.
paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2019 9:24AM
The composition is OK for me, the treatment is not. You really didn't need HDR for this image an the tonal range is very wrong indeed. Contrary to chase, I think the HDR is very over done giving a very flat and les than natural result.

HDR is rarely successful outdoors. It can work for bright sunsets and similar, but it s really meant for interiors and it should never be obvious regardless of the subject.

Did you have a reason to use it?

chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
3 Oct 2019 9:27AM
On the mod I darkened slightly with a levels adjustment. Removed dust many as I spotted...decreased yellows, especially on the wing, removed remaining people and feet under the wing with the clone tool on a separate layer.
There were quite a lot of light halos around the plane, probably down to your tone mapping/ HDR processing, some of which I managed to darken using the clone tool set to darken, again, on a separate layer.
Reduced noise with Nik Define.
Hope that helps.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 762 England
3 Oct 2019 12:16PM
Welcome from me too.

Composition is ok.
If I were to be picky, I'd want to see the complete propeller blade that's clippedat the top of the frame.
Lowering your viewpoint by 30-50 cm would hide the modern world behind the starboard wing, making the image stronger too as the aircraft would be higher and more dominant.

The weather looks cloudy bright. No need to use HDR, Paul explains why. One of those images from the series you took should be capable of a better, natural looking result.
The sky does not look right, and it appears you've tried to darken it down with the result of a very low contrast grey area. Best left alone. You could apply a graduated layer filled with black and set the blending mode to Overlay or Soft Light and adjust the opacity. A local contrast adjustment may be necessay after. That would give a more natural looking sky.
Your processing, either to darken the sky or lighten the aircraft has lect a telltale halo around the aircraft. Creating a selection, or using Layer Masks, needs careful application, zoomed into the image. It does take a little time but the results can be seamless.

It's nice to have got close to this machine and I hope you took the time for plenty of close detail shots too.

banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4229 Canada
3 Oct 2019 3:06PM
Hi David.

Its worth chatting a little about HDR, what it is, and when its a good idea. What is real HDR, and what is pseudo HDR

High Dynamic Range, HDR, refers a scene that contains a very high dynamic range, that is lots of detail in very dark areas, and lots of detail in very bright areas Its called High Dynamic Range as it exceeds the dynamic range of the cameras sensors ability to capture the scene in a single exposure. Typically, most cameras have a 5-7 "stop" range; i.e, centre, -1, -2, -3, +1, +2, +3. So to take an HDR shot, and I mean a real HDR shot, not an HDR-like shot, or pseudo HDR, you need to use a tripod and take 5-7 exposures.

However, the scene you capture must have that sort of range for the best results.If you can image a dark church, with bright stained glas windows, and a ton of detail in shadows and dark areas; or a night scene, dark, bright lights, lots of details in the shadows youre on the right track.

The 5-7 images are combined in software into a 32 bit image, and since we view on 8 bit monitors, 16 bit monitors, and occasionally 24 bit monitors, a 32 bit image cannot be displayed with all of its tones. So 32 bit HDR images are Tone Mapped to a lower bit rate to be displayed. The result can be amazing.

It has become popular though to try pseudo HDR processing, that produces and often fake looking image using a single image that has little of the dynamic range captured for processing. There can be some interesting effects obtained using this approach, but more often than not it simply looks wrong.
In a case like this, HDR now means, How to Destroy Reality.

Hope this helps. Theres tons of material on youtube about HDR photography if youre interested. You can also search flickr for hdr images to see examples


mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2397 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2019 4:45PM
I'm a bit late here, it's all been said. It's a strong composition, and I suspect that underlying it there's a good image. But it has been ruined by the processing. When the processing is the first thing that jumps out at the viewer, that's a danger signal.

Paul has asked why you chose this route, and I would suggest that this is worth thinking about. Because it's the in thing, because it's what everyone is doing?

It can work very effectively for interior views if approached subtly, but the processing should not be intrusive. It very rarely helps for exterior views. Here, it just screams out 'false'.

Could you please add the middle of the three base images here as a modification? Click on the blue Modification button below your upload and follow the instructions. It would be interesting to look at alternative processing options.

3 Oct 2019 5:36PM
There seems to be a fashion these days for using "HDR" in much the same way as one might casually slap on a Photoshop filter, and without any real understanding of its intended use as detailed by Willie, above. An effortless substitute for genuine creativity, rather like "Painting by Numbers."
The results, at best, look slightly false... at worst they risk reducing the quality of a photograph to that of a poorly printed illustration on a cheap tea-towel.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
3 Oct 2019 6:43PM
And I'm VERY late indeed.

It's all been said, just about.

Some people, very clearly, like the slightly weird tonality of an HDR (or pseudo HDR) image. For me, it's better confined to occasions when it's the only way to get tone in deep shadows and bright highlights - and even then, with really good HDR software, it's important to use a subtle approach.

Whenever the technique overshadows the subject, it's overkill...
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 405
3 Oct 2019 8:55PM
The subject looks well focused, and well framed, the picture as a whole is let down by the sky for me.
You could use a tripod, an ND filter and a long exposure to achieve a human-less frame.But my guess is that was not possible.
Alternatively from a colour manipulation perspective I would try a LOMOgraphy effect, punchy colours and vignette framing, it might work.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.