Window shopping

By xwang
It was taken in the middle of the day.The light was strong,I adjusted constrast/brightness,I'm not sure if I get it right or not, but noise is still a problem,or turn it into B&W.All your criticisms,comments and MODs are welcome.Thank you.

Tags: Street photography Photo journalism 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.

Comments


26 Feb 2010 12:59AM
Nice light and shadows..

steve..

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Carabosse Plus
12 40.0k 269 England
26 Feb 2010 2:56AM
I can see, to a degree what you were trying to achieve here and it is a pleasant enough result. However, given that you were trying to portray "window shopping", I am not certain that the distribution of light and shadow has helped you here.

The eye is drawn unerringly to the red-headed woman who is spotlighted as it were and the man looking into the shop window seems almost an afterthought. A change in positioning would have helped, I think. But taking the photo as it is a major crop from the left will help to concentrate the viewer's eye. Unfortunately it also means you lose the fountain - but it could be argued that this does not add much to the story you are trying to tell.

I have uploaded a mod for you in which, as well as cropping, I have used the shadows/highlights tool in PS to even out the lighting. A bit of sharpening has also been added. Noise doesn't seem too bad and is pretty much an inevitability with a tiny sensor and an 18x zoom!
cats_123 Plus
12 4.4k 25 Northern Ireland
26 Feb 2010 7:51AM
don't think noise is a problem. ran it through noiseware with no significant gain, but as Carabosse, have lifted the light a little (see mod) Smile
NickParry Plus
10 1.0k 79 Wales
26 Feb 2010 9:38AM
I have uploaded a mod with the lady removed from the image. I think that it works much better (as Carabosse has mentioned). Again, noise isn't an issue necessarily with the shot.

I do actually like the image, and it has painterly qualities. Reminds me of Hopper's paintings.

Nick Smile
xwang Plus
6 32 7
26 Feb 2010 10:28AM
Thank you CB for your helpful comment and MOD.The light was too strong for me to handle.I had already cropped it.The light inside the shop was beautiful...The lady was with gentleman,and then she decided to walk out, that's why he seemed to have an 'afterthought'.Maybe that's why she was there,because they were together in my mind...but only from the photo and title,she seems has nothing to do with the image.
Thank you Jeff for yourMOD. Love your cat,remember to say 'hello.' for me to JimmySmile
Thank you Nick for your compliment and MOD.CB's "Unfortunately...",became fortunately,we still have the fountain.If I could manage the light better,it would be a nice photo,that's why I need your help.I was lucky at right time and right place...
Thank you all for your kind help.
xiaoli
26 Feb 2010 11:09AM
from your comments above, i guess your main problem with this image is the light, because the highlighted wall is very much distracting, if you had tried to show the light in the window shop as you said above, i am afraid to say that in this situation where there is a bright sunlight, you will not be able to show this, unless at the time of taking the image you exclude those bright area from your composition, if you want to show those persons as you have also said, then i should suggest you to use your in camera flash at least, so that the shadow area is also exposed properly, try to practice a lot to cope with the situation, this can help you in a better way,

wish you best of luck for your future works...
BarryC123 Plus
7 43 25 Ireland
26 Feb 2010 11:20AM
A really fine idea, Xiaoli, well-spotted, and given the lighting, well-taken. I think Nick's mod has really made all the difference here, giving a very balanced composition indeed.

I'm not normally in favour of such extreme mods as taking people out, but in a case like this, where, given a few moments they would have passed by anyway, it seems quite reasonable - especially when it gives a really good result !
26 Feb 2010 1:57PM
A lovey image Xwang. The only thing I would is lighten it a little as I think the composition is very good. A well composed shot Smile
Carol
paulbroad 8 108 987 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 5:24PM
You are getting your exposure right now, you are exposing for the highlights, which thus retains detail in them. You have picked a difficult scene with bright highlights and dark shadows - not easy at any time.

But, because your highlights have detail, you can now sellect the shadows, or use the shadow/highlight tool if you have CS£ or later, and lighten the shadows a little.

Paul
xwang Plus
6 32 7
26 Feb 2010 6:49PM
Thank you Barry for your kind help and support all the time.And your wonderful supply of beautiful music for us.
Thank you Carol for your kind support and encouragement.
Thank you very much, Paul.It was you taught me about the light matter at first place,and it was your photos,"First walk,Shirt tail" , etc...made me try to have a look of this one... You have wonderful photos on your PF,I'm looking forward to seeing the next oneWinkThank you again.
gerrymac Plus
8 10 1 United Kingdom
27 Feb 2010 7:51PM
I like the woman...especially her shadow....nice mods.tho'
Gerry
27 Feb 2010 11:24PM
The picture is nice, and the mods and comments are very useful. I would have taken it with and without the flash, just to see the difference. (For some strange reason the comp. voted for me without letting me finish this note.)
Many thanks for your comments.
Helen.
xwang Plus
6 32 7
27 Feb 2010 11:57PM
Thank you Gerry and Helen.
xiaoli
28 Feb 2010 12:03AM
Hi Xiaoli,
Thanks for commenting on the dog. He's one of ours, called Albus. He loves attention and knows when he's admired, how could you guess he was a Leo?
H.
malc_c 9 2 167 England
28 Feb 2010 7:33AM
Hi Xiaoli,

You've had some good comments already, so rather than repeat those here are some of my thoughts and more radical suggestions...

The crop- As the story here is between the man, the woman and the shop, I've cropped out most of the rest, just leaving the fountain with its flowers as a place setting. Writing in particular can be very distracting- in this case the shop name- and here it tells us nothing important. This also gets rid of lots of part two-

The wall- inevitably it's completely blown out, in fact I doubt even a decent SLR would have coped with the entire dynamic range. I can see you've reduced the brightness to render it a light grey, which helps a lot, but as there's actually no recorded detail it's a still flat colour whatever you make it, and that's essentially unheard of in nature. So, I selected the blown section, added random noise, colour filtered it to the general tone of the actual wall and then lightly gausian filtered it so that it looks like a painted stone finish. That all sounds a little complicated but actually it's pretty simple and hopefully removes the worst of the distraction.

General levels- Although there is plenty of detail recorded in the shadows, such as the shop itself, it's all quite dark. So I simply selected it all (by clicking round with the magic wand in this case) and then carefully refining the edge selection and applying a levels adjustment. Even then I had to blur out some of the selection edges manually to avoid unnatural lines occurring.

More levels- In order to suppress other smaller distractions I toned down the very bright tea pot and the bits of wall behind the man.

Other stuff- The above is what you see in the mod I posted, but given time I might also be tempted to clone out the sign on the wall behind the woman's head. The problem is to do that whilst retaining a natural hair style for her!
imalcolm
malc_c 9 2 167 England
28 Feb 2010 8:02AM
oops... first my apologies to the jug for calling it a tea pot, next time I'll check what I write!

Posted another mod after filtering for a painterly look and heavily vignetting the result to concentrate the views attention on the space between the characters. You'll either like it or loath it, but at least it shows how characters are the story here.
malc
xwang Plus
6 32 7
28 Feb 2010 10:00AM
Thank you very much Malc for your kind help and support all the time.
I like the new wall you 'painted',this is really something new for me.I have endless battle against noise to reduce them,you added them on beautifully.
The rest of the adjustments I need more time to learn...I'll see if I can get there.
Tea cup always goes with teapot,ha,ha...understandable mistakeWinkit would look better to display a teapot than a jug...tell you a secret(not any more),I was told by my father that I liked teapot,obviously I bought serveral unknowingly... Grin)))
Thank you again and best wishes to you.
xiaoli
nonur Plus
7 15 9 Turkey
2 Mar 2010 7:31AM
I like your own version of the picture with its contrast and pastel colours. To me the end result has a very nice mood.
2 Mar 2010 10:45PM
Thank you, Xiaoli, for your comment on the dogs playing in the snow. They are Mr Blobby and Albus, and the lady wiht them is my elder daughter.
Do you keep pets?
Best wishes,
Helen.
xwang Plus
6 32 7
4 Mar 2010 4:45PM
Thank you Nezih.
Thank you Helen,it's nice to know...
Thank you so much Brian for you kind support and help.
I apologize for being late again.
Thank you all for your kindness.
xiaoli
xwang Plus
6 32 7
12 Mar 2010 12:40AM
Thank you Malc for teaching me how to 'paint' the wall.I could not balance the wall and the window when I followed your last step to adjust the level.Sorry,I don't have colour filter,so I did another degree of gaussian blur.
Thank you very much for your kind help and support.
xiaoli.

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