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Canary Wharf

By Benjitasphotography
Capturing buildings is not something I tend to do very often so please excuse me if this image looks awful to you!
I am looking for some feedback and advice about this image so please feel free to advise me good and bad.

Tags: London Architecture People London docklands Canary wharf station Canary wharf tower



paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2016 8:38AM
You need to supply more EXIF for sensible comment. Otherwise quite interesting and the colour popping works for me on this one, even in the middle. There are a few extraneous bits on the edges that I would clone out like the bike wheel. bottom right and the black spot in the sky. The mono tones in the buildings look very flat and mid grey. Not sure if it is conversion or a touch over exposure. A little more density would add impact.

mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2016 9:06AM
Hi Ben, welcome to the Critique Gallery! I see that you joined the site quite recently, and this is your first upload for critique - I hope you have explored the site and are enjoying it, and that you know what we do here. In the CG you waive the chance of votes and awards in the hope of getting more in-depth commenting.

For that we do need your camera settings. Normally the site picks this information up automatically but it can be stripped from the file when it is saved for the web. Could you add it please, either by editing the upload (click on the little blue Options button under your upload and follow the instructions), or just as a comment in this section.

Looking at other aspects - I like the use of portrait format here, to convey overwhelming, dominating height. This is one where I definitely wouldn't consider adjusting the verticals!

I also like the rising diagonal of the skyline. The lines throughout the frame roll and flow and then rise very nicely - we read this from foreground to sky very comfortably, that's how portrait format should work.

As Paul says above the cut-off bike on the right is unsatisfactory (and it could be cloned out if you follow lines and textures carefully). I would also like to see just a bit more of the building top right. As this frame stands, its triangle does not connect with the rest of the frame. So either stand back a bit or turn a couple of degrees clockwise...

Now an important question - why did you use selective colour for the Underground sign? I quite like it but I am interested in what it says for you.

Selective colour has been done to death, particularly for London transport! (Think red bus against b&w street...) It's a technique that can highlight an important detail. Equally it can say 'Look what I can do'...

One minor quibble - the shape in the sky top left - is it a bird? Is it a plane? If it was bigger it would add but being this small I think it detracts.

I shall make a couple of adjustment (bike and plane) and upload a modification shortly. You will be able to access it via the modifications button below your upload.

These are just suggestions, for future reference. It's a good image.
Thank you too both of you for your comments and advice. I brought the underground sign out because at the time I thought the image lacked something to focus on. Its also a style that I enjoy doing but I do agree that London transport has been done to death as far as the selective colour is concerned. The black mark was a plane which I agree I should have cloned out. Im not the greatest at photoshop but will certainly learn how to clone larger objects out of my images.

Thank you both again it is very much appreciated.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2016 11:26AM
Thanks for your feedback, and the Exif. The more I look at this the more I see the real story as being in the foreground lines, the mix of curves and straight. The Underground sign seems to me to get in the way of that.

I should have mentioned earlier - I thoroughly approve of the b&w, both its use and the conversion. B&W is about lines and structures, in colour the foliage on the right would seriously spoil the balance for me. And it's a good cold, hard, contrasty conversion.

A tip if you try cloning something like the bicycle - following the individual lines in the paving will ensure that you get the perspective right.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
16 Feb 2016 4:05PM
Welcome. Its quite well done as mentioned.

Theres a bit a odd lens distortion seen in the top of the central tower, on the left, where it tends to slope downwards to the left. Hopefully thats not an architectural detail, as Ive corrected it in the mod, along with a higher contrast look

Enjoy the site.


pablophotographer 11 2.2k 444
16 Feb 2016 5:47PM
Hi and welcome from me too.
I have been amazed by the stuff that your lens has managed to get into the final image.
I suspect you used a tripod, certainly the picture doesn't look as if it has been shot from the height of view of an 1,75m tall person standing, which is good, as it creates an interesting perspective combined with the widest focal length of the lens,
If this is an area easily accessible to you, I would urge you to visit again and try shooting the buildings from a different point. I shall reveal the point soon, but I want you to look at the photograph and check the imbalance created in the frame between the space on the top left and the space on the top right corner. Yes, I know we all need some air to breath but this shot is about ''architecture'' to me and I want to focus at the buildings even more. The inclusion of the tallest building on the right , regardless of how nice it fits the top corner seems a bit of excessive information for me. Banehawi may be aware of this name for it, it is called ''deadwood'' at the other side of the Atlantic. And what you normally do with ''deadwood'' you chop it out. So my attempt to bring all these buildings opposite of me inside a frame and pact it with stones, steel, cement and glass, requires me to move closer to the bicycle stand, lower my viewpoint and lift the lens upwards as well. Aim for no sky, just buildings, buildings buildings of three different styles and generations or even centuries! Explore the framing through the parked bicycle wheel and see how the arch of the station can match the arch of the wheel while the buildings impose their straight vertical lines behind them. Black and white seems the best option to choose. If you want to ''disappear'' people go for a long exposure and a Neutral Density filter ND 16, the lowest possible ISO and your tripod. Switch off image stabilisation of lens and let the self timer release the shutter. Bingo.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
16 Feb 2016 8:36PM
I know this... The Canary Wharf tube station, I think (am I right?), which is photogenic in its own right (and needs your 17mm, rather than the 21mm I had when I went there!)

Good points made above: I could see the plane was a plane, and it fits if this is Canary Wharf: busy, metropolitan, rich. But it would be better a little bigger - it might be worth enlarging it a little so that it is as subtle as a banker's braces, and I'd move it up and left a fraction for optimal balance.

As Paul says, the colour works, hackneyed as it is.
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
16 Feb 2016 9:38PM
That bicycle wheel on the far right is best avoided, once seen it is a distraction that can't be ignored.
With such a wide angle, a slight repositioning when taking the image would be enough, and certainly quicker than using software later.

Some people don't like this selective colour thing, even when it is effective, as here. I don't mind it.
However, the image is strong enough to stand on its own as a full mono.

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