Back Modifications (6)
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The Creel

By canam
I've had a low perspective image in mind looking down the cobbled path with good light hitting the watch tower. However when I arrived at the harbour the day after a storm and found the creels in disarray. I decided to make the best of what Mother Nature had left me. The foreground creel was photographed exactly where it lay. The sky still had a good stormy look about it. So I decided to use a wide angle lens from a low perspective to try and emphasise the cobbles. I'm trying to use the creels to the right hand side and the harbour edge on the left to lead the eye out to the small watch tower and that ominous sky behind. I'm just wondering what improvements I could have made



Tags: Harbour Cobbles Watch tower Landscape and travel Arbroath Creels Arbroath harbour

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Comments


dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1734 England
10 Jan 2018 11:58AM
Welcome back to the Critique Gallery, Maggie.

A couple of immediate thoughts - I checked the verticals carefully, because of the slope of the quayside surface! It slopes, the verticals are precise.

I'd like to see the original, unprocessed version. There's a bit of harshness to this, and an area with very weak blacks on the right, at the top of the pile of creels.

There's a big bright area on the left, and my mod crops the yacht out. Everything else is business, and it is pleasure and ease, so it clashes emotionally as well as compositionally. The crop removes a little foreground, so the image is now sitting on the next line of pavings up - and the watchtower is less central. Central can work, but this building is too small to dominate the composition, I reckon.

Finally, I dodged bright areas in the pavings, and burned in the creels at top right, to emphasise the former, and make the latter match the other creels.

I'd say that this may be a better composition than if everything had been perfectly orderly. And I know photographers who'd have put that creel right in front of the camera as a compositional device. They'd have put it back where it came from afterwards, of course!
canam 4 6 Scotland
10 Jan 2018 12:12PM
Thanks for that excellent feedback Dudler I see everything that you are saying.

I don't know how to let you see the raw file on here, I'm afraid

ddolfelin Plus
9 103 3 Wales
10 Jan 2018 12:13PM
A very interesting shot - lots to see.
canam 4 6 Scotland
10 Jan 2018 12:15PM

Quote:A very interesting shot - lots to see.


Thank you
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2288 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2018 1:10PM
A warm welcome from me too. I hope you'll find the Critique Gallery useful - it's not really about absolute truths, it's more about seeing your work through other people's eyes.

Like John, I would like to see the original. You cannot upload Raw files here, but make a jpeg copy without the exaggerated processing that we see here. You have Plus membership so you can upload it here as a version - or simply as a modification.

The textures are wonderful. My quibbles with processing are the harshness, as mentioned by John, plus the fact that there is more colour in the background than the foreground. (In the thumbnail I assumed it was selective colour). This upsets the balance, it takes my eye away from the real subject, the foreground creels.

A couple of thoughts regarding composition: Composition really is about how you want the viewer to explore the image. Landscape - horizontal - format naturally leads the eye sideways, horizontally. But the interest here for me is the journey from here along those cobbles to the horizon. That cut-off boat on the left is a distraction. I would want to use portrait - vertical - here. I shall try a quick modification.

And because of that colour imbalance, I would like to go for straight mono.

Back soon.
Moira
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4174 Canada
10 Jan 2018 1:37PM
Quite a bit of lens distortion, - would be nice to see the original - an unmodified JPEG from the RAW uploaded as your own mod, as Moria suggested above.


W
canam 4 6 Scotland
10 Jan 2018 1:47PM
Ooo I really like mod 3

Thanks I'll go make a jpeg of original
canam 4 6 Scotland
10 Jan 2018 1:57PM

Quote:Ooo I really like mod 3

Thanks I'll go make a jpeg of original




Original in modifications
RLF Plus
10 18 4 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2018 2:37PM
Love all of them.
A smashing setSmile
Rob
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4174 Canada
10 Jan 2018 3:39PM
Thanks for the original Maggie. Ive uploaded a mod using the original, mod6, and I also like your new version.


Mod3 is a duo tone, a version of a mono.

The basic approach was to make it look as if you took bracketed exposures, one for the sky, one for the quayside, and blended together, along with some lens correction.

W
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2288 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2018 5:06PM
Thanks for adding the original, and I really like your own modification. It simplifies the story and makes the light more even.

What are your aims when processing? That may seem a daft question, but it matters quite a lot! Do you try to get closer to what you experienced, or to create something different to reality?
Moira
pamelajean Plus
14 1.4k 2164 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2018 5:35PM
I like your new modification, Maggie, it takes me there. You are letting the image speak for itself. And what a great subject. I've seen a lot of beautifully stacked creels, but I prefer what the storm has done to these.

When first viewing your lead image, I didn't like the noise in the sky, the light area atop the creels on the right, and the heavy processing.

Pamela.
canam 4 6 Scotland
10 Jan 2018 6:15PM

Quote:I like your new modification, Maggie, it takes me there. You are letting the image speak for itself. And what a great subject. I've seen a lot of beautifully stacked creels, but I prefer what the storm has done to these.

When first viewing your lead image, I didn't like the noise in the sky, the light area atop the creels on the right, and the heavy processing.

Pamela.



Thank you so much Pamela, I knew that I liked the subject but knew also that the image could be a lot better. And I do know that in here one gets honest and constructive critique. I much prefer my modification and think I am now happy with my image.
canam 4 6 Scotland
10 Jan 2018 6:22PM

Quote:I like your new modification, Maggie, it takes me there. You are letting the image speak for itself. And what a great subject. I've seen a lot of beautifully stacked creels, but I prefer what the storm has done to these.

When first viewing your lead image, I didn't like the noise in the sky, the light area atop the creels on the right, and the heavy processing.

Pamela.


Quote:Thanks for adding the original, and I really like your own modification. It simplifies the story and makes the light more even.

What are your aims when processing? That may seem a daft question, but it matters quite a lot! Do you try to get closer to what you experienced, or to create something different to reality?
Moira



Moira, not a daft question at all. I don't mind if my finished image looks a bit different from my eyes view of it as long as it looks right. As said above I knew my image could be better and just by taking onboard some of what has been said which made me look at the image again, I think on this image I am happy now.
I just need to learn where to stop on my processing I think, but a;so not to go for pre programmed filters as it is not easier unless of course you are competent at adjusting them. I have been using the dodge and burn tools very tentatively prior to today. What John said about how he'd used them gave me a bit of confidence to try it between and on the cobbles then add a bit of contrast to make my cobbles stand out. Ultimately that is what I strive for, images that catch the eye and are a wee bit different from everybody else's. But is expect that is the aim of every photographer really
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 706 England
10 Jan 2018 9:45PM
Welcome from me too.

It seems everyone else has given you advice and suggestions before I was able to look at this one today, so there's little more to add.

It can be a problem for all of us when processing our images that we can go to far. If you're after a particular look, then that's fine. Oddly enough I can accept a heavily processed moody mopno more than the equivalent in colour, I think becase mono is already one stage removed from reality.

One thing not mentioned is the exposure. the exif data says you used Manual mode and I just wonder what you based your exposure reading on as the original is heavily underexposed. You've extracted detail from the shadows which is fine but you've made extra work for yourself in post processing.
canam 4 6 Scotland
10 Jan 2018 10:29PM

Quote:Welcome from me too.

It seems everyone else has given you advice and suggestions before I was able to look at this one today, so there's little more to add.

It can be a problem for all of us when processing our images that we can go to far. If you're after a particular look, then that's fine. Oddly enough I can accept a heavily processed moody mopno more than the equivalent in colour, I think becase mono is already one stage removed from reality.

One thing not mentioned is the exposure. the exif data says you used Manual mode and I just wonder what you based your exposure reading on as the original is heavily underexposed. You've extracted detail from the shadows which is fine but you've made extra work for yourself in post processing.



I would have metered it through the viewfinder
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1734 England
11 Jan 2018 10:06AM
A couple of things.

First, thanks for hte original, though I won't have time to look at it today, I'm sad to say.

Second, if you meter through the viewfinder, pointed exactly at the subject as yo uwil lshoot it, there's no advantage in using Manual mode. It only produces a different (and, one always hopes, better) result if you take the reading from what you want exposed right, and recompose. A lot of people have been told, by people of my generation and older, that 'proper' photograpehrs always use manual. Once upon a time, they did, because there were no cameras that weren't manual. These days, an awful lot of us use Aperture priority, because it saves time and trouble and getting exposures wrong - we switch to Manual when we identify conditions that mean this will give us more consistent and more accurate exposures.

For this shot - and I have now peeped at the original - that would have given greater exposure, because much of the subject is dark...

Finally, it's intriguing that you say that you need to learn when to stop - I came at things from the other end, and process as much as I need to, and woudl rather do less than more most of the itme.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 706 England
11 Jan 2018 9:14PM
That's it, just taking a reading of the scene 'as is' can cause problems.
As John says you need to be aware what you're exposing for. Manual gives you that flexibility as does using AE Lock - use the * button on the back of the camera in easy reach of the thumb, I use it a lot of the time.

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