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By litesport
I was trying to get a door within a door within a door effect. This is the jpeg and has not been altered in anyway. I just feel that it doesn't quite make it as a good photograph. Obviously I can't do anything about the composition now but if I could should I have taken the picture with the camera higher up? What about the exposure? Bring it down in Lightroom?
Any hints/tips/suggestions most welcome.

Tags: Temple Aswan Landscape and travel



mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
22 May 2018 8:36AM
Hello Brendan, belatedly welcome to ePHOTOzine, I see that you joined us a couple of months ago. I hope you are enjoying the site.

You ticked for critique when you uploaded, that means that you waive the chance of votes and awards in the hope of more in-depth comments. From your description that's what you intended (it's not always the case!)

First off, I am deeply envious of course... Looking at your portfolio, you found some really interesting compositions in Luxor. One question - did you take a tripod with you? I suspct not, and they're not really convenient for travel, but the shots are taken at slow shutter speed and there's definite softness in the Luxor shots. This is sharper, there's good detail. But if you are hand-holding, you really need to watch shutter speed. Let us know whether you used a tripod or not, because there's more advice that can be given either way.

You used a program setting, which relinquishes a fair degree of control to the camera. Better to get to grips with settings and take control. But that's for the future. Looking at this, first of all I don't see any need to raise the camera higher, the converging verticals give a sense of the height and dominance of the arch. The shot is straight. You could crop a little off the left for symmetry.

This works for me, it gives the 'mystery and majesty' feeling, a sense of awe as we advance.

The two issues for me are that the camera's auto White balance (I assume that auto was used) has not coped well with the lighting, and the blown highlight on the left hand wall is distracting because it is so close to us.

I am uploading some modifications, if you go to the blue Modifications button under your upload you will find them numbered.

I don't use Lightroom, I just use Elements. Here's what I did: I reduced saturation by 45%, which gives a warm sandstone tone without the garish look. I did some gentle dodging and burning to enhance detail. And on that bottom left area, as there are no visible inscriptions to compromise, I cloned in some stonework from the stone below at 40% opacity to reduce the reflected light there. Then a bit of sharpening.

For me, stone architecture works better in mono. I worked the second version in Nik Silver Efex, using +15% on the structure slider - that's further than I normally push it but it really works on the carving; then +15% contrast, and a hint of sepia for warmth.

I shall now add more symmetrical crops, for comparison.

Just suggestions, other people who use LR will give advice that is better suited to what you can do. But I think the modifications demonstrate that there is a lot of potential here.

And I'm still envious!

banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
22 May 2018 1:45PM
Its a very difficult scene to shoot at all. Those lights are extremely bright, and will appear blown out in the image.

I would always shoot in RAW to start; then with an image like this where geometry is very important, make sure the lens is precisely in the centre of the image ( its a little too much to the left) and thats the camera is sqaure to the pillars ( its closer on the right side so the horizontals appear closer on the right)

Raw allows you to set white balance; you selected daylight here, - and from what I see, the majority of the light comes from the floor lamps? So it may well be too yellow.

Getting higher can help with a wide lens, but you can also use lens correction in LR, which Ive done in the mod.

The yellow tone is reduced, - but Im really guessing, so it may be wrong. Exposure is reduced by -0.5, - but as mentioned, its a difficult scene.

Its quite sharp at such a low shutter speed, so you have steady hands or a support. At 16mm, the minimum shutter speed to hand-hold a shot is 1/25th, so youve done well. (Thats 1/focal length X 1.5)



litesport 5 3 United Kingdom
22 May 2018 2:38PM
Hi Moira and Willie
Thank you for your detailed critique. I have many photos from Egypt (lived there for two years) but many of my photos just look like run of the mill holiday snaps. Trying to get better with my composition etc. I don't have a travel tripod so most photos are hand held or the camera (rather long in the tooth now) is sat on the ground/ledge etc. My photograph of Singapore (lived there as well) is obviously taken with a tripod.

White balance - don't really understand it so I only really ever use auto or direct sunlight. As for the EV thingy, no idea how to use it. I also have never really used any software but I do have an oldish version of lightroom on my pc and my work macbook has the latest photoshop. To be honest I have no real idea on how to use either. My intention is to get back into proper photography and learn to use one of the software systems I have.

I am also intending to purchase a new camera some time in the future. Thinking of an Olympus OMD EM-5 Mk iii when they decide to bring it out. My reasoning is that I do a lot of traveling and I want something light/small with a good choice of lenses.

Anyway, thank you both for your critiques, much appreciated.

dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
24 May 2018 9:04AM
And a late welcome from me, Brendan!

A couple of extra thoughts, prompted by your response (we all love responses - this Gallery thrives on conversation!)

First, the exposure thing, and exposure compensation, are things to get to grips with. They're fundamental to taking charge of the process, and that is what you need if you want to take serious (and seriously good) pictures. A websearch will bring up plenty of YouTube hits some more serious articles - once you understand the Exposure Triangle and how exposure affects tones, you'll be set. It seems far easier once you've invested an hour or two in reading, thinking, and playing with the settings on your camera. A bit like clutch control when you're learning to drive...

Second, the camera... I have an OM-D EM-1, a few years old, and I'm very pleased with it. I suspect that you will find the results better than your present camera, given its age: but you do need to be aware that it can look less good if you compare the results with a larger sensor: where I want quality as good as it can be, I use a full-frame Sony body. The best way is to try it and see. (As an aside, what are you expecting a Mk III to add to the Mk II's spec? I don't imagine there will be a big rise in sensor spec, and everything else is peripheral, really, unless you plan to shoot sport or wildlife... Best value is often to be had when a model has just been superseded, and the old model is being sold off cheap.)

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