Back Modifications (6)
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By davidburleson    
A photo taken in Manchester a while back of some modernish buildings. I wasn't quite sure what I was trying to achieve here. I think the cable at the top is quite distracting. I've done some colour and verticals correction but never really got around to cloning out the cable.

I'd appreciate anyone else's input on the best processing for a photo like this.

Tags: Architecture Modern architecture

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NDODS 10 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
27 May 2015 3:25PM
You are right in what you say David the cable is somewhat distracting and would benefit from being removed in a suitable software package. Photoshop CS or Elements would be able to handle this without too much trouble. May I suggest a mono conversion as well as I do feel that the band of orange light adds a further distraction. I would love to produce a mod, but I am a little tied up at the moment.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
27 May 2015 3:34PM
I know where this is, and it looks really interesting but is very difficult as a photographic subject. The cable does kill it, so that needs to be cloned out I think. There may be a good abstract where the two angled and one vertical line meet in the lower half of the image. I see a square composition around that point, cropping out any sky.

You've prompted me to have another go myself next time I'm in this area, as I've so far discarded every attempt I've made.
sonsdad 14 3 1 United Kingdom
27 May 2015 3:55PM
You can crop it until the cable vanishes and it still shows some great angles
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4217 Canada
27 May 2015 4:10PM
At the time of taking the shot, apart fro using a lower ISO, I would suggest you decide if you want to prioritise the sky, or the bulk of the buildings, which are quite a bit darker.

If I assume you want the buildings, I would add a +2/3 to +1 exposure compensation.

In processing, - apart from removing the cable which is quite simple, Ive made a couple of changes to the RAW adjustments that were in the exif.

I reset all the changes, so where whites were say +15, I set to -15, using ACR. With that done, I increased exposure by 0.95; and increased colour temp, - +15 and +2; this is largely a shade shot, so a higher temp will work better.

I lifted shadows and blacks a little, then open it in CS6.

I slightly darkened the upper area only, using curves, a layer mask and a grad filter. With exposure increased, noise was a little more visible, so a slight NR and sharpening. Added a small amount of colour sat.

Cable removal was a combination of the patch tool in content aware, strict mode, which worked well in the sky and on the left, and some close, careful cloning on the right.

Filled in a sliver of white bottom right from a rotation. Its a nice shot with the angles of the windows and the buildings.

I think it look decent, - how about you? Is this what you were looking for?


paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
27 May 2015 4:46PM
There is a decent image in there. The cable must go but the lighting is against you. You ideally need strong directional lighting and a deep blue contrasting sky. It is a composition of simple shapes, but, as such, needs something to add drama and that is contrast and lighting?

I would not consider mono as the tones will not translate well into greys.

dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1811 England
27 May 2015 7:02PM
I wonder if a few steps forward was possible, putting the cable out of view at the top... Would this have spoilt other elements of the composition?

Cloning with the sandals is always preferable if it works...
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2376 United Kingdom
27 May 2015 7:22PM
Hi David, my sort of subject, lines within a frame. I've just had some fun playing with it...

As above - the problems are the cable and the sky. The first is messy, the second plays havoc with exposure. Both are unnecessary, the real interest is in the lower part of the frame. I thought immediately on the same lines as johnnyriley1uk, this is crying out for square. Square contains abstract shapes, keeps them taut, and because it doesn't prescribe a direction for the eye to travel (landscape sends the eye left to right, portrait directs us up and down), it leaves the eye free to bounce around the frame.

The problem then is that the dominant vertical is nearly but not quite central. Central would be strong, imposing, Here I stand. Well off-centre is inviting, suggestive. This is neither one nor the other, and that's a bit unsatisfactory... I've uploaded two crops placing the vertical well to one side of the middle. Frames were needed to bring the file up to 600 pixels.

I've lightened quite a bit, this needed a plus exposure compensation, at least one stop. What I've done there is much more basic than Willie's adjustment!

I found the same white streak bottom right, when you've rotated or fiddled with perspective it's worth viewing against a dark background to check!

I reckon that without the cable there's a square to be had from the upper part of the frame, I'm off to check that one out now. Get that diagonal to strike the top right corner...
xwang 11 56 8
27 May 2015 7:43PM
Oh... I know where you were...Smile, it's a hotel,isn't it? Outside The John Rylands Library in Manchester. This is the first modern building I took few photos in March as well. I really got some decent shots there..I like the blue, shape and lines. I shot at the different angle to show the triangle shape..Processing wise, I agree, get rid of the wire, I did on mine. And maybe you could increase the contrast with soft light layer..and I would crop off the yellow light at the bottom. Beautiful sleek lines.. nice shot!
TanyaH Plus
17 1.3k 409 United Kingdom
28 May 2015 1:57PM
I've got to admit, I find this far more interesting without the sky and cable. I love the way all the lines are pointing towards the centre of the image, so I've based my mod around that. I've gone with a square format and I've tried to bring out the blues and greens more in the glass. I've also added a soft vignette using a Levels adjustment layer, centred on the point where the three major lines from the buildings converge in the centre of the image.

I don't know if you'll like it, or even if it's where your thoughts were going with this one. Architectural photography doesn't normally float my boat, but I actually really like this image for some reason. I think it's the slightly futuristic, sci-fi feeling of all that glass and diagonal lines going through it Smile

I think if the original sky had more texture, interest and substance it should have been left in, without question. But for me this one works better without that top half.

davidburleson 14 3.0k 3 United Kingdom
28 May 2015 2:05PM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Every time I see these types of buildings I'm always looking for the best way to get a photo out of it, but never seem to find it (without copying someone else). The comments have given me alot of think about the next time.

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