Back Modifications (2)
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Tight Fit!

By salopian
I tried to capture the essence of canal cruising - no crowds and slow progress - the main excitement being negotiating bridges and locks! The crew are nearly silhouettes and there is a lot of vegetation to the right of the picture where I have tried to leave space for the boat to move into the frame. Any suggestions re these points and any others of course?

Tags: General Boat Locks

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banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4307 Canada
7 Mar 2013 8:05PM
Its quite a good shot overall. I do like the silhouettes, the timing to get barge and bridge in, all works well.

I would have been tempted to use a smaller aperture here, - you have the front of the barge sharp, but it lacks dof, so some areas are a little soft.

The area of sky over the bridge isnt adding anything, - could be a distraction, so I would crop tighter.

For me, the colour saturation is very high. Theres a point with saturation where its enough, and going further causes the colours to bleed, or bloom past their pixel boundaries.

Ive cropped the mod as suggested, and reduced saturation. I would be interested to know how it looks to you. Dont to a side bu side comparison, - just the mod alone, do the colours look OK?


paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2013 8:36AM
Nice pictorial record. All I would do is crop off the sky. it is a bit weak. come down just below the bridge top. Possibly up the ISO a bit and reduce aperture.

salopian 10 3 28 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2013 10:34AM
I did crop quite a lot of sky, but agree that taking it down to the bridge is much better.
Willie - Just before posting I reduced brightness a little to make the image richer but I don't think it helped! The colour of the sandstone is the giveaway and, in your mod, looks much more accurate and true to life. I was interested that you liked the silhouettes?
Thanks for all the comments.

pamelajean Plus
16 1.7k 2253 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2013 4:00PM
I feel that you have captured the essence very well, Geoff.
Capturing the boat at this particular part of its journey is excellent, and your title suits it well. I also find the bridge an attractive feature for its colour, texture and shape, and like the angle of the boat too.
The placement of the narrowboat is fine, and leaving space on the right is perfect.
To be honest, I avoid the sky whenever possible, unless it happens to be a very nice one. Your action is all taking place below the bridge, and the image looks so much better when the bridge, water and boat are the main elements.
At the time of shooting, you could have considered these as the main elements, lowered your camera and included some more of the water, instead of the sky. I know it was probably tempting to get the nice curve of the top of the bridge within your frame, but it isn't necessary.
I have done a modification where I cropped the top and added exactly the same space at the bottom. I just stretched the path and water, so am sorry it looks a bit oof. However, it should give you an idea of the composition I am referring to. I also brightened the image because, all of a sudden, it looked dark once the little bit of sky had been removed. I also lifted shadows a bit to see if I could get your silhouetted people revealed a bit more, but because they are so dark, there was only a very slight improvement. Simply brightening the image will give you a bit more detail in the blacks, but there isn't much there to be revealed really.
They are silhouetted because there is such bright light behind them. This light underexposes what is in front of it and makes it come out dark. The backlighting from the sun shadows them. Also, it doesn't help that they are just going into the bridge, where it is even shadier. So there is little you could have done, and anyway I think you have placed the couple absolutely perfectly inside the back arch of that bridge.
salopian 10 3 28 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2013 12:10PM
Thanks for your comprehensive critique Pamela and the mod works very well. I have plenty of food for thought, but one point immediately stands out, i.e that I should look more and think more before pressing the button!
Thanks again,


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