Back Modifications (5)
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St Kilda Gold

By Bricki72
This photo was taken on a spring evening at St Kilda Pier, Victoria, Aust in 2016

Tags: Sunset Landscape Water Pier Breakwater Landscape and travel

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dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1679 England
13 Jul 2020 8:53AM
Welcome to Ephotozine, and particularly to the Critique Gallery, Brett.

You've posted this in the Critique Gallery - did you mean to do that? Here, you can't receive votes or awards, but you will get some thought-through feedback on your image. If that's not what you want, make sure that you don't tick the 'Critique wanted' box next time, and please let us know before we spend time writing things that you don't want to read.

If we're going to give you the best ideas and suggestions that we possibly can, we need some real input from you, including a lot more information. That way, the critique that we give is far more likely to be what you are looking for, and consequently far more helpful to you. So it would be helpful if you could give us the answers to some question:

What is your reason for requesting critique?
What inspired you to take this photo?
What were you hoping to achieve?
Do you feel that you succeeded or failed?
Are there any specific elements of your photo that you want help with?
Do you want advice on camera settings, processing, composition, or something else?
Do you have any particular questions you would like answered?

Without that data, it's only possible to offer limited comments. My initial impression is that this captures a hot evening in a marina, but that the horizon may be slightly tilted to the right. I like the way that the white-capped posts lead into the picture, and would really like to see the line along the shore on the left complete, rather than just seeing the first and last posts. And there's something strange about some of the posts - are they at different heights, or have you removed the dark lower section of some of them?

However - the more you tell us, the more we can help. And a conversation always works best...

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chase Plus
14 1.7k 411 England
13 Jul 2020 9:20AM
Hi Brett and welcome.
John has asked some really important questions, would be good if you could help us along with a little more information.

Just going on what I see and the exif data you have provided, I don't think you needed F20 here, F11 may well have been ok which would shorten your shutter speed as I think I see a touch of movement here. Judging by the flag it looks as though it may have been a little breezy so even with a tripod, at 9.2 seconds exposure time the slightest movement of the camera would cause that.

The very bright yellow in the sky on the left does pull my eye a little, on my offered mod(s), I attempted to calm that down a touch with the clone tool set to 25%
I also cropped from the left and top to put that lovely building approx on the upper third of the frame.
Cloned away a couple of the very bottom posts on the left and about half a dozen dust bunnies.
Brightened slightly and increased the contrast a touch.

My second mod shows a different way of presenting this...I flipped it.
Just different ways of seeing things.

Input from you is very important to us, so, over to you..........
DaveRyder Plus
6 4.4k 7 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2020 11:20AM
I wondered what this would look like as a B&W.

I've added 2 mods with a little straightening then conversation to B&W and a 10 unit sharpening in FastStone, second has a crop.

mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.2k 2247 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2020 11:29AM
Welcome from me too. I hope you will find the Critique Gallery useful - as mentioned above, it helps if you join in the conversation and tell us more.

My first thought was that the colour looks slightly strange. That may be intentional, arising from processing; or it may be the result of your manual white balance setting. Can you let us know what effect you were aiming at, and if the colour has been manipulated in post processing could you please add the original as a modification? Just click on the blue Modifications button and follow the instructions.
Bricki72 New Member
13 Jul 2020 11:39AM
Hi I first want to thank you thank you for my critiques that you have provided. I am an amateur wanting to improve my photography. I'm certainly not a wordsmith so I find it hard to answer the questions you put forward. The posts with the white caps were all different heights. I took the image in RAW format and processed it in lightroom.

1: I wanted the critique to improve my images sometimes I feel like some of my shots accidently work out, not so much my knowledge or hard work.

2: I was inspired by the beauty of the scene, the calm water, life on the pier, beautiful colours.

3: Sometimes I don't know what I plan to achieve, I was after a long exposure shot, It was a little wet with a a bit of sun coming through.

4: I think I succeeded in getting a good shot but maybe not what I set out for.

5: I think the elements of the photo I'm ok with

6: I would love advice on camera settings, composition, post processing

banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4149 Canada
13 Jul 2020 4:00PM
Hi Brett, - Im arriving late, and a lot of good feedback has been provided already.

For me: definitely evidence of camera or subject movement, - its especially apparent on the masts of the boats on the right, as it possible they were in fact moving during the exposure judging by the flag. Try to avoid subjects that move in a long exposure.

We have to assume you used a very solid tripod for this, - and, its also a good idea to use mirror lockup for a long exposure.

The colours are very over saturated all round; this is actually objectively measurable so that any subjective judgment, and monitor/screen variations are excluded by looking at the individual colour channels in Curves, - and that exceed the right side boundary are over saturated, - and this will exaggerate to appearance of blur.

You dont mention if an ND grad filter was used to equalise the exposure of the bright sky and the less bright lower area, - but it looks to be like the non sky is underexposed. You can deal with this in post processing if you dont use a filter, - and its done in the mod.

I liked the flipped version thats been uploaded, - it places the lead in posts from left to right which looks good, and ive used that in my mod. Ive also tried to correct some shake, reduced saturation (depending on what you use to view it, it might look under-saturated, but its not), straightened using the flag pole as a reference, and cropped to take out some sky.

Thanks for responding to the questions,


dudler Plus
16 1.2k 1679 England
13 Jul 2020 6:34PM
Thanks for getting back to us, Brett.

It really helps to know that the main objective was a long exposure for blurred water. You've got that. Longer will give a smoother result, and the clouds will also start to blur.

If you need slightly longer exposures and own a polarising filter, use it to give yourself two stops more exposure - if you want more, you'll need to buy a neutral density filter, and possibly a 'super stopper' to give several stops' change in exposure. SRB Photographic is a good place to look in the first place - they sell good and relatively cheap ND filters, as well as the full-on square glass filters the landscape experts use.

My advice for any technique is to try it out on a trivial image, so that when you're faced with a big opportunity, you know what to do. Train hard, fight easy as the SAS say.

And don't get so tied up with the impressive stuff that you forget the basics, like checking the horizon. It's so easily done!
pamelajean Plus
14 1.4k 2149 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2020 7:18PM
Good Evening, Brett, and welcome to EPZ and its Critique Gallery.

There is very little more for me to add, but I hope you have found the modifications as interesting as I have.

Removing those two posts in the bottom left makes a lot of difference, cleans up the foreground and leaves the viewer free to enjoy the sweep of the row of posts that take the eye through the image.

Flipping the image makes an enormous difference and, although I enjoy seeing that difference, I like the effect that you achieved in your original orientation, the posts curving towards the sunset and the eye then moving across to the right and taking in the pier and harbour.

Quote:sometimes I feel like some of my shots accidently work out, not so much my knowledge or hard work

Hopefully, with the critique you receive on your picture/s, you will be able to see where the plus points are and then you can give yourself a "well done" pat on the back and will remember those things in the future, using them purposefully and understanding why. If we can help you to achieve that, we will be happy.

I hope we see some more of your work, and look forward to that.

dark_lord Plus
16 2.6k 683 England
13 Jul 2020 7:26PM
A late welcome from me too Brett.

Sometimes we don't get the shot we want but can be pleasantly surprised and pleased with what we do get.

Quote:I would love advice on camera settings, composition, post processing

That's exactly the sort of thing we like to know from posts in the Critique Gallery so our comments are relevant.

I'd certainly consider filters as John mentions in order to achieve long exposures rather than use a small aperture but if you don't have that opion at the moment then fair enough.

Either way, you need to ensure your camera is firm soo that movement doesn't spoil the image. One way is to hang you camera bag or other wight from the centre column of your tripod which will lower the centre of gravity of the whole setup. Triggering the camera remotely with a cable release or wireless device will help a lot.

That said, with an exposure as long as you used here any vibration attributed to pressing the shutter release would have died down and not had an impact on image quality.

The biggest threats to moement are such things as wind, traffic and people walking across a wooden bridge or walkway if that's where you happen to set up (I'm not suggesting that here but it may be somehting to look out for in future locations).

There's good advice on composition and post processing above, and if there's anything you want explained further then please do ask.

You've taken this in some very nice light and that goes a long way in making an image appealing.
LarryG 3 9 1 United States
23 Jul 2020 9:32PM
Brett, To me this image is about light, color, sky, and lines. As someone else said, the image looks a bit oversaturated. I'd call it a bit over baked for my taste. You have achieved nice clouds and sky as well as smooth water. I also detect some camera movement on the right side of the image. Composition-wise, I find the two posts in the lower left to be a distraction that competes with the image. You may be able to clone these out, but probably could have avoided them by moving your position some when setting up the image. This all said, I find the image pleasing and look forward to seeing more of your images.

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