Back Modifications (6)
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Up And Away - Monotone

By Ploughman
Taken at local air disply and converted to black and white with PI 12. Also, I managed a lower shutter speed than with previous upload.
Comments very welcome.

Tags: General Transport Black and white Sports and action

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
9 Nov 2012 3:04PM
This is a cracking shot - the image looks sharp enough but the propellers are blurred showing movement - which is great. Static propellers wouldn't have looked good.

I'm not sure if you can get some more detail out of the shadows in the cockpit area. I think it would improve the picture if that was possible without messing too much with the image's contrast.

Also, I would increase the canvas a bit (shouldn't be an issue given the plain sky behind them), to give some more (negative) space to the two planes to "move into". You might want to reduce the amount of trail-clouds to compensate, without removing too much though. They add a lot to the image so there's no need of cropping much out of them.

One final thing, I don't know whether you're into this sort of editing, but have you considered copying the right wing of the plane on the right and merging it (do this carefully and seamlessly) with the right wing of the plane on the left? I think the left-plane's right wing's leading edge is a bit too blown-out given the position of the sun, but using this method you can probably lessen this without being "caught" in the act. I once did this kind of editing on twin boys, copied the hair from one of the boy and "pasted" it in place over the other (it had distracting elements covering it). Refined and finalised with the clone tool then.

Regardless of all the above, I reiterate that it's a cracking shot and I hope my input helps to make it even better. Well done!

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Focus_Man 7 481 631 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2012 3:24PM
Another excellent shot. I do have to agree with Alistair about the space to move into as the planes for me are leaving the frame, sort of rendering the trails a bit less that i would have liked. The problem with doing so means that some of the trails will be cropped off so which is the worst? Who knows,depends how you feel about it.

I have just uploaded a mod but this is a case of what is in the eye of the beholder. As mentioned above, none of this detracts from a very technically good image.

Ploughman 5 28 3 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2012 4:18PM
Thanks for your input. I am unable to get more detail from the cockpit area, perhaps because these aircraft are very modern and have a bubble canopy over the cockpit. However, your idea about cloning the wing from the right machine onto the left machine is brilliant. Not sure if it shows as a botch job or not. Perhaps you would let me know after you have a look at the modification I have uploaded.
These little Pitts Specials are amazing, the displays they do are incredible. I will add a picture in colour as another mod.

At the moment the picture was taken these machines had almost stopped. They then fell backwards in a very scary manouvre, they were only a few feet apart and perfectly synchronized. I wanted to portray the lack of motion at that point and also how close to each other they were.
paulbroad 10 123 1230 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2012 5:22PM
Why on earth, mono. This is a superb shot but the very subject screams colour. Colourful planes, blue sky - really should be in colour. Noreason for mono at all in my opinion. I wouldn't bother about more space, OK as is.

Ploughman 5 28 3 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2012 6:13PM
Hi Paul,
thanks for having a look. I have included the original colour image in the mods. Please let me know what you think.
Like you, I reckon space is OK.

alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
9 Nov 2012 6:34PM
Paul anticipated me on the colour comment - saw the image in colour and loved it. Best to use mono when the brightest element (in terms of coloration) is not the subject per se. In such circumstances mono helps to remove the distracting colours in background. Of course there are subjects that tend to look much better in mono regardless, like some portraits for instance. However, in this case, the planes' bright yellow colour against the blue sky (its opposite colour, one can say) is something that should have remained in the picture. Blue and yellow will contrast naturally and so create a more dramatic picture.

Also, as regards the cockpit, I hadn't realised there was a canopy there, thought they were open-top and the shadows had darkened the image too much. Once again, this goes to prove that colour version would be better, since in the colour version this is clearly visible, particularly in the reflections that kind of get mooted in the mono-version.

Finally, as regards the space to move into, it's a subjective decision, but the plane do seem to the viewer as if they're about to exit the shot, regardless of what really happened next. As viewers, we don't have the benefit of knowing that, so the use of negative space sometimes helps to send a message across accordingly. Maybe in this shot, the negative space could have been to the right, given that they were about to loop backwards in generally that direction.
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
9 Nov 2012 6:43PM
Uploaded my mod.

Modified photo style - added negative space to the right, played around with the smoke to show it a little bit more curved to better show that these two were about to loop backwards. It's a small modification that should hopefully better send the message that they were about to loop backwards - I tried to infer this through the curve in the smoke direction.
Ploughman 5 28 3 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2012 8:55PM
Thanks for the suggestions but I`m not sure Alistair, to my eyes there is excessive space to the right that spoils the composition and the curve in the smoke is too severe. The smoke curve of the right machine is around 70 degree,s all within the apparent thickness of the smoke and within about two aircraft lengths. To me this makes the machines look like models.
Isn`t it amazing how we all see things so differently.

alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
9 Nov 2012 11:33PM
I didn't go into that much detail to be honest in the smoke. I just modified to showed you what I was saying above. Wink As regards the negative space, as I said, I presented the mod as an alternative to consider, I understand not everyone would want to go down that path too.

As regards the edited wing which you had asked about, I think you only left few traces around to show there was editing involved, halfway through the wing there are around three slightly lighter areas that form sort of small triangles / tips that extend outwards. Maybe excessive movement of the clone-stamp brush? Otherwise it's well merged! Smile
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3840 Canada
10 Nov 2012 2:03AM
Very nice shot. Colour is the way to go I think. And a re composition.

Also loaded mod, space top and right, imported clouds from Canada, fixed the wing as suggested, sharpened, - a lot, lifted cockpit shadows, desaturated smoke trails.


Ploughman 5 28 3 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2012 7:50AM
Thanks for your work Willie, I like it a lot. that final touch of sharpness just sets it up perfectly.

paulbroad 10 123 1230 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2012 8:05AM
Yes, colour. I would just lift the contrast a touch I think.


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