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Mussenden at low tide

By Bajob3
I would like critique on this image. I took a number of photos at a number of angles but liked the lead in's in this image. I love the feedback and different ideas for processing and cropping.

Tags: Black and white Exhibitions 2020



banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4354 Canada
19 May 2021 11:59PM
Can you upload the original colour?


Bajob3 2
20 May 2021 6:14AM
Apologies Willie, Original has now been uploaded


20 May 2021 11:45AM
Hope you do not mind my looking at your photograph.
I like the sky and the light reflected in the sand.
I think there is quite a bit of drama in that sky and I suspect you have used B&W to develop that.
However, I feel you have pushed all the sliders too far, we've all do it, I certainly have, hence the halo along the ridge, the grainy texture and the dust spots, dust spots.
I have cropped to a square, partly because I just like square but more importantly what does the extra land to the right add, the focus is the tower.
I have used LRoom and Silver Efex to gently bring out that dramatic sky.
Reduced contrast and dehaze very slightly.
Got rid of the dust , though now I look again there may still be a few spots top right!
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
20 May 2021 1:35PM
You've done a good job in binging out the detail here from what on the face if it looks unpromising, but we've all taken images that look nothing like how we saw the original scene.

You'll get numerous ideas for procesing and cropping, nothing rigt or wrong, but hopefully the ideas will get you thinking, and are representative of different photographer's interpretations, some of which may strike a chord with you.

Whatever you do, be awre of halos appearing as gerainte1 has pointed out, they do detract.

So I'll try a mod, using yor colour original as the start point.
I made a Levels adjustment, bringing the white point slider in from the right.
A Colour Balance adjustment using the grey cloud as a neutral refeence. Clouds are neutral, and given the time of day and year in the exif that's quie safe to use as opposed to sunrise for example.
Shadows/Highlights adjustment to bring out detail in the cliffs.
A Curves adjustment to improve contrast.

This gives a good colour original to start a mono conversion. You need this so that you have more flexibility in mono processing and don't run into image degradation quickly. Of course you can push it as far as you want but you want that as an option rather than no choice.

For my mono conversion I used the Full Dynamic (harsh) setting in Nik SilverEfex, followed by a few tweaks to the colour channel sliders, to darken the blue sky further for example.
Bajob3 2
20 May 2021 5:59PM
Thank you for the feed back and the mods. Brilliant to see alternatives in the processing.
banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4354 Canada
20 May 2021 6:25PM
Thank you for the original Trevor.

Did you use any on camera filters for this?

Lets start with the colour original. Its a touch underexposed; its rather flat contrast wise, so best to get the original looking as good s possible first. The fact you used mono even suggests you were looking for better contrast.

When you take a shot thats looking into the sky, and also have reflected light from the wet shore, you have to either compromise by taking one shot; or, if you have a tripod, you can bracket shots. This means taking an exposure to get a threatening sky by underexposing some more, and taking another shot that increases exposure, some of which can be used for the darker areas. You combine these in Photoshop and using a layer mask, take the best of both. Its not terribly hard to do, but needs planning to bring and use a tripod, but its how the best images are produced in conditions like this.

When I downloaded the original, I tried to emulate this approach using Camera Raw to produce two JPEG images. In addition, I increased contrast overall, increased Vibrance, and slightly sharpened. You had applied a manual white balance that to me, and its a personal taste, looked too cool, so the results here have been warmed.

When the colour looked ok, I did convert to a contrasty mono in Photoshop, and the applied a duo-toned effect, also in Photoshop,

Ive uploaded both. One final thing, - Ive cropped a small amount off the top; I wanted to get the sea horizon on a third, and it was very close anyway!


20 May 2021 6:36PM
Perhaps if the original Image had been taken in RAW it would have solved the issue of the top of the ridge looking slightly odd against the sky. Working with RAW gives complete control over sharpening and noise reduction, so all the modifications uploaded still have an element of over sharpening of the ridge line. It must be something to do with the way Nikon applies sharpening to itís JPEGís, unless sharpening is turned up in camera settings?

Personally I think your own upload has the greatest impact. The over processed look is only apparent when you look more closely. Try RAW next time?
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
20 May 2021 10:02PM
So question 1: did you shoot in RAW, and forget to alter the default? The site only accepts uploads that have been converted to JPG, but you may have started in the right place.

There are loads of lovely leading lines here, and that has tempted you to a not-quite-central composition. I'm still thinking about whether it works for me...

The pale halo along the ridge is worrying - I'm pretty sure that it's happened in processing, but I am not sure exactly what you did. Blend better, I think, will be good advice.

It's a picture that demands repeated viewing, and that's never a bad thing.
Bajob3 2
20 May 2021 10:45PM
Many thanks for the feedback, I did shoot in raw originally, am wondering if I have done something stupid on the extract from lightroom. I used an ND graduated filter for the sky but didnít use a tripod this time as the shutter speed was high enough. I put the image through nik effects a couple of times and used layers in photoshop with layer masks so the halo may have been down to bad masking on my part.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
21 May 2021 11:13AM
I always worry when processing is extensive... There's a saying that you shouldn't use more than one filter on a lens except in very unusual circumstances: I reckon there should be a similar rule of thumb for digital processing.

Less is usually more...

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