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Towards the M-Shed, Bristol

By jacomes
A cold sunny day in January; I like contre-jour, so took a few here against the low sun. I increased the contrast of the buildings and skyline in the background to bring out the detail I made two other versions, one cropped just tothe left of the horns on Peiro's bridge, the second also cropped along the feet of the benches cutting out the foreground fountains, giving a letterbox format. Gratefuls for comments on composition and general technique.

Tags: Town Water Bristol Black and white B and w Townscape Contrejour


paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2015 7:54PM
The idea is good and strong but you have a very strong highlight right on the left edge and the sky is not needed.

As you have mentioned, I would have either gone for a central letterbox with no sky and no foreground fountains, or a slightly higher viewpoint looking down more to crop all the sky and include more foreground, but with care to control highlights.

dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1884 England
14 Feb 2015 12:13AM
First, welcome to both Ephotozine and the Critique Gallery, James! I hope that you'll enjoy what you find here, and that this Gallery will give you some options and ideas.

This is one of those odd ones, where there are plenty of elements for a lovely and competition-winning image, but they haven't quite come together yet.

I'm a sucker for contre jour and aerial perspective, too, and I entirely understand the desire to get as many of the elements in as possible! However, unless you have vast ability, simpler usually works better...

So I like the ideas you described - you could post them as your own mods to the picture.

Other than cropping, i can't really suggest things to do with this specific shot. With so many elements in play, you'd probably need to walk around, try different lenses and exposures to find the really telling shot.

This is good, and I'd have taken a similar shot, I'm certain. But it needs either to be simpler in terms of content, or possibly to be simplified by having a driving idea, a master plan to the composition, which isn't quite present here.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2015 8:06AM
A warm welcome from me too. Street photography, b&w, use of light - this is my comfort zone, it's good to see a new portfolio taking shape in this area.

I had a look at your two previous uploads, they are excellent. This one strikes me as a near-miss - there's a lot of potential in the scene, with strong vertical and horizontal lines as a frame for human activity. But it's a bit too busy and the water feature, while occupying a large area of the frame, really isn't very exciting. And while the contre-jour effect is very atmospheric, the blown highlights on the water are a major distraction and the image as a whole contains an awful lot of samey mid-greys.

The light was difficult, but I would like to move round clockwise a bit if that is possible, and more importantly to get down lower, to give more height to the little water jets while allowing them less depth in the frame.

You mention your various alternative versions. Rather than considering those, could you let us see the colour original (assuming that this is not in-camera b&w) please? You have Plus membership so you can upload it as a version behind your image (go to Options, below your upload, click on Upload a version and follow the instructions). Alternatively you can upload it as a modification.

jacomes Plus
6 30 42 Portugal
16 Feb 2015 2:30PM
Thank you all for your comments.
Dudler, your first modofication is virtually the same as my crop, Version 3 which unfortunately is too big to see in large view!
The original colour shot is version 2. Moving to my left was possible, but I couldn't have got lower as I was crouched down!
I have just made a colour version of mod 2, which I quite like with its limited palette. Also tried cropping to leave the three cranes, which does reduce the blank sky.
What are your thoughts?

mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
17 Feb 2015 9:34AM
Thanks for adding the colour original. I've uploaded two modifications. The first is a pano crop with a few minor bits of cloning - getting rid of a street lamp and a couple of spurts of water that intruded into the frame. I felt that this needed the bench on the left and the couple on the right.

Then I made a Levels adjustment to create a wider tonal range.

The second mod is a straight b&w conversion of the pano. My message would be - get the light right, convert, and then check the light again.

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