Back Modifications (1)
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the book shop

By Herrero
I'm trying to work on manual in all kinds of light conditions and took this one during a walk in the evening. I try to show a touch of light in the darkness. It is the book shop at the courtyard in the monastery of Maulbronn, my town in Germany.
Thank you for critique and comments!

Tags: General Landscape and travel

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


paulbroad 10 123 1243 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 8:20AM
Quite well done. Difficult to be sure of sharpness and a slow shutter speed. The tonal range is against you, do you go for the shop lights or the snow. I think you have to expose for the shops to retain highlight detail, but then the rest is very dark shadow. Not easy to deal with, you could try a little dodging of shadows.


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Herrero 5 24 Germany
1 Feb 2013 6:12PM
Thank you Paul for your suggestions! I went for the shop lights, not the snow. I'll try again exposing on the windows, if it ever stops raining in Germany ...

I am not quite sure what you mean by "dodging of the shadows". The dictionary (English is not my mother tongue) says exposing an area less during processing or enlarging. Will have to find out how to do that.

Hope to load a new version soon Smile

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2016 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 8:43PM
I admire you for attempting this night shot, Renée, and think you have done quite well.
You have nice perspective on the book shop windows and have made good use of the available lights inside and outside.
Some of the lights are quite bright, in particular within the middle window. There is a lot of trial and error in taking night shots, and with practice you will be able to look at a scene and select the ideal settings.
I assume you were using a tripod for this shot, or else you found somewhere to place your camera and keep it still.
As here, often night photography has huge areas of the scene in darkness with occasional illuminated areas, and the camera's exposure meter isn't used to such scenes and may need some manual help, so you should take a shot, preview it and if it looks too dark or too bright, simply manually adjust the camera's exposure using the compensation setting and try again and repeat until you have the right balance.
There is quite a bit of noise in your image. An ISO of 100 should be fine and will give you less noise.
You are right in your interpretation of "dodging the shadows". You should be able to find the Dodge Tool in your editing programme. Run it over the snow area and adjust as necessary. You don't want it TOO bright, but I think it's worth lightening.
In my modification, I cropped all sides in order to bring your main elements to centre stage. I particularly cropped the right side because the largest picture in the window is very bright, has lost detail, and pulls the eye. I used Perspective Correction to straighten the lines of the windows. I then used the Highlights/Shadows Tool to reduce the highlights and lift the shadows, which also helped to brighten the snow areas. Then I used the Dodge Tool on the snow to brighten it further. I removed some of the glare around the lamp and window frames, too, as well as the two spotlights in the foreground window.
Herrero 5 24 Germany
2 Feb 2013 7:38PM
Hi Pamela!

Thank you so much for your valuable advice and new version! I need to learn a lot about editing. I don't have an editing programme right now. Can you suggest one?

I also don't have tripod, nor was there a place to put the camera. I just normally inhale, hold the breath and shoot.

I'll try again, hopefully soon, the book shop is in my town Smile

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2016 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 10:21PM
Here are some free editing programmes for you to investigate before you spend a lot of money. Photoshop is the most popular one, but not cheap.
I use PaintshopPro, I find it very user friendly.
You can also try Picasa or GIMP.
Herrero 5 24 Germany
5 Feb 2013 9:11PM
Thanks Pamela! I've downloaded two and am trying, don't have much time right now Sad Hope to upload another version of the book shop soon, have done some shots but the light seems very boring, probably because the snow melt?

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