Back Modifications (3)
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battle drums

By fighterjockey
the army band plays energizing music...
had a real tough time in shooting in harsh daylight.
C&C most welcome.
thanks for visiting

Tags: Photo journalism Portraits and people Army band

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DRicherby 12 269 726 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2010 12:10AM
You've done a very good job of exposing this to keep detail in both the white jackets and the dark trousers. The colours are excellent, too.

I feel the photo would be stronger and more dramatic if the band was marching towards you but I think it works well as you have it and don't have any particular suggestions.
clicknimagine Plus
11 878 105 India
27 Mar 2010 6:05AM
i agree with David above, if you could have taken the photo featuring the band marching towards you, that would have been better,

another thing i should mention that the exposure in the shot is not right, i have uploaded a modification here, i am unable to correct it, so i have marked those points, where you can see the detail is lost, i can not see the edges between the shirts, and lost detail in the highlight area can not be recovered, so at the time of light metering or setting exposure, you must be careful about this,

if i were you in this situation, i would have tried to point out an 18% grey spot (if not perfect, close enough) and used the spot meter of the camera to set the exposure, and tried to shoot as a starting point, and after a few dry run and consulting with the in camera histogram, i would have been able to point out the proper exposure for the shot,

also another point i should say, for this kind of images an wide angle lens( at least 18-55 @ 18 ), can give a more interesting image rather than a telephoto lens such as 75-300,

Hope you like it,
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2010 8:44AM
With much of the above other than the wide angle. One of the problems for me is confusion of composition. I would have prefered MUCH closer to just a small group of heads - easy to say after the event - then backs of heads almost as interesting as front.

DRicherby 12 269 726 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2010 10:59AM
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with nearly everything that Rahul (clicknimagine) has said. I don't want to get into an argument but much of it is objectively wrong on simple matters of fact.

The exposure is absolutely spot on. Look at the histogram and you'll see that it uses very nearly the full dynamic range, from approximately 2% intensity to 100% — it ranges from (nearly) pure black to pure white. There are no pixels bunched up at either the left or right edges, which means that there is no detail lost in either the shadows or the highlights. That's a fantastic achievement, given the difficulty of the conditions! There is no basis whatsoever for saying that the exposure `is not right'.

Although the shirts do rather run into one another in the regions that Rahul indicates, the highlights there are absolutely not blown out. Neither of those areas is pure white and both of them have pixel-level detail. It is a trivial matter to separate the tones using the burn brush: just set it to about 3% opacity and gradually burn in one of the shirts until the difference in intensity is visible, as I have done in my first mod. Nonetheless, thank you, Rahul, for pointing out this problem, which I'd not noticed.

Finally, although it is purely a matter of personal opinion, I cannot agree with the suggestion of using a wide-angle lens for this shot, unless it was possible to get very close to the subject, which it surely was not. Members of the public aren't allowed onto military parade grounds while they are in use. Shooting from the same position at 18mm would include huge amounts of the surrounding space and would leave the band tiny in the frame. I don't know what focal length was used, except that it was at least 75mm. For my second mod, I have resized the image to the size it would appear if taken from the same place at 18mm. There are three versions within the frame, showing what the effect would be if the original image was taken at 80, 135 and 200mm. In each case, you'd have to find a huge amount of interesting stuff to fill the green area with and the band would be insignificant in the frame. I'm sorry, but I can't imagine building a good composition around any of those.
clicknimagine Plus
11 878 105 India
27 Mar 2010 11:23AM
i agree with you David, but one thing i should say at both the sides of the histogram, there is clipping, but you are right that the dynamic range of the shot is very high, as i have said above the edges of the shirt is not visible, and one shirt is blending with the other, in this case , i really do not know how to improve it in camera, although your analysis is very much appreciated...
DRicherby 12 269 726 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2010 11:51AM
Rahul, there is no clipping in the histogram. None. Period.

In the whole image, there are three (!) pixels of pure white and none with intensity less than 4/255. If you threshold the image, you can see it build up gradually as you increase the threshold from zero and fade away gradually as you increase it towards 255.
clicknimagine Plus
11 878 105 India
27 Mar 2010 12:20PM
Thanks a lot Dave, i have never used threshold, i will try to study this feature today, actually i have commented on the histogram showing at the layer pallet, thanks a lot again, it is a new thing i have learned from you, any kind of help in this regard will be very much appreciated...
27 Mar 2010 2:34PM
Thanks a lot David!
What a keen observation you've got. wider angle of view was not at all looking good; given the fact that crowd was also there on the other side of the parade ground.
tried 18-55 but the result was nowhere near dramatic.
immediately changed my lens.

Drill movements were soooo swift and unpredictable and these guys were covering the whole ground making different formations. given the fact that this drill is only going to last few minutes and my canon only fires 3 shots/second(even less with flash), there was no chance of peaceful planning of composition(although all of would love to be in ideal situation). none the less, some important lessons learnt.
your suggestion is very precious.

i may have made a mistake by keeping the camera at manual exposure(setting shutter and aperture both). i wanted 1/200 sec without fail but also dint want to go full open at f4. results would be more pathetic in terms of chromatic aberration at f4 with this poor men's lens Wink Wink
i personally feel that even at f9 there is a lot of trouble in the image.

didnt really want to go for any other shooting mode because there was a lot of shadows/darks in the frame and evaluative metering would produce unexpected results. couldnt count on center-weighted average or partial metering because of the expected quick movement. [i did this calculation/analysis before these guys entered parade square. not even a minute to prepare Sad]
Aah! photojournalism would be very challenging.

About 'marching towards me'. it really didnt click me. there were a lot of press photographers(and me hobbyist). all of them clicked when they were marching towards us. i also have that shot.
but this one felt different. Smile gives a feel of 'they are going for the action'.

thank you guys for your comments.
this is my first ever image that has witnessed so much of learning discussion.

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