Back Modifications (5)
Views: 74 (36 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Siesta Steps

By WeeGeordieLass    
This gentleman was having a kip in the sun on the steps of Caernarvon Castle, and I couldn't resist snapping him.

I'd be grateful for any comments particularly if you think this is a good image.

I converted to b & w as I thought it would bring out the tones & textures in the brickwork, and show the gentleman nicely against the door with his white vest on.

I considered a closer crop but decided that the steps leading up to the man enhanced the composition - I'd love to know your opinions.

Also I've uploaded another version as a mod, where I've added a vignette. Please would you let me know if you think the vignette works, or if you think the vignette is too strong.

Also I straightened the image in line with the verticals of the steps but do you think I should have straightened in line with the horizontals?

Tags: General Black and white Portraits and people Humour and fun

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


Irishkate Plus
7 41 114 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2012 11:49AM
Couldn't see anything to change.Beautiful steps.Great mono tones.Perspective looks perfect to me.GrinKate

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11 Apr 2012 12:00PM
Thanks for taking the time to comment Kate, I'm glad you like the shot.


mhfore 11 6 176 England
11 Apr 2012 12:12PM
Hi Elaine,

To me it's the type of image that can work very well in B&W but I tend to favour a stronger look ie. more contrasty. I'm not sure if I went through "Overlay" before but all i've done in the mod is made a copy and in the blending options select "Overlay". This alters the contrast (and colours) in a more subtle way than just upping the contrast. I then went to "Adjustment Layers" and selected "Levels", in the box at the top where it say's "Default" click on the options and I selected "Darker Midtones", and thats it, see what you think.

With regards to the vignette I feel this does have a place but it's down to personal choice, I think whithout making the alteration's I made it works fine, did you try a dark one?

If there's a building in an image I normally try and straighten by using the verticals, corners, doorways etc as they have normally been built using a spirit level Wink. Steps get walk on (as they should) so they could start to sink in places, but i'm not saying which way is right or wrong. In some images as you know you have to go with your eye until it looks right.

Take care
11 Apr 2012 12:38PM
Hi Martin,

Thanks for your help again.

Your tips on the Overlay option look helpful and interesting, but I can't find it in my menu options - I need to check to see if that menu option is available in Elements 10? - I hope so!

For me, the jury is still out on the vignette and also the straightening, I hadn't tried a black vignette - maybe I'll give that a go.

I have got a more contrasty version and was going to upload that version, but changed my mind at the last minute when I previewed the upload as it looked too strong. I'll uploaded it as another Mod - if you have time, I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks for your help Martin.


11 Apr 2012 12:44PM
I've uploaded the wrong "more contrasty version" Martin. Please ignore the first one - I'll try again TongueTongueTongueTongue
ams99 Junior Member 7 65 9 England
11 Apr 2012 12:45PM
Another one of your images i really enjoy.

As a personal preference i would rather the the door be a touch to the left in order to balance the image centrally. Great lead in to the subject via the wall and steps.

Good capture

11 Apr 2012 12:47PM
Oh 'eck Martin - I've done the same again and loaded the wrong one - I think I better give up while the going is good - I don't want to flood the gallery!!!!
11 Apr 2012 12:55PM
Hi Alan,

Thanks for your compliment.

I think you may have a point about cropping to put the door a bit more to the left. I'm defo going to give it a try.

Thanks very much.............nice one!!

NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2012 1:29PM
A wee cracking picture, taken by a wee cracking photographer. Love it to pieces, love narrative as well.

Regards Nathan
mhfore 11 6 176 England
11 Apr 2012 2:05PM
Hi Elaine,

In Photoshop Elements 10 you should find "Overlay" in the drop down list in your layers pallet along with options like, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light blend modes etc. This group of blend modes enables you to play with the lighting in your image.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
11 Apr 2012 4:04PM
Hi Elaine, an opportunistic shot indeed. I like that youe managed to keep the verticals in line even though it appears you were shooting upwards.

Your questions: For me, a closer crop is essential, as the subject is quite small in the shot, - unless your intended sug=bject is the doorway and building, and the man is used as a prop to show the scale of the building.

Vignette for me does not work.

The image, though well exposed appears very bright, so some contrast or toning that doesnt add more brightness will likely help, - or at least give it a different appearance.

So I would crop, - tried a version in the mod, and rather than contrast which also brightens the light areas (im sure the door is not white as an example) I used a duo tone, and a very small amount of Sepia tone.

Im not familiar with Elements, so not sure if Duo Toning is an option (martin may know), but a Sepia tone is likely available that you could experiment with.

Take a look at the mod and see what you think. View large.


11 Apr 2012 6:43PM
Hi Nathan,

Thanks very much for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you like it.

Cheers ye canny lad.

11 Apr 2012 6:48PM
Hi Martin,

Oh yes, I know where the Overlay option is now thanks.

I've only used it before when I've been adding grungy type backgrounds - I didn't know these options could be useful for lighting in an image!

Thanks for another great tip.


11 Apr 2012 7:02PM
Hi Frank,

Thanks for taking the time to advise me.

I've always remembered your advice given to me previously about the full aperture being the worst performing part of the lens and now I never use the full aperture if I can help it - whenever I'm setting up a shot your advice always pops into my head, and I'm grateful for your help.

With this shot it really was "point and shoot" opportunism and I didn't have time to think out what settings would be the best.

I was nervous in case the gentleman opened his eyes, saw me taking a picture of him, and hit me over the head with my zoom lens.................then I'd be the one having the "siesta" - LOL.

I like your advice on using shutter priority instead, and I'll bear this in mind the next time.

Thanks again for your help

11 Apr 2012 7:11PM
Hi Willie,

Thanks for the Mod.

I was dithering back and forth on whether to crop in closer - yes, your crop does look good - I like it, it does ensure that the gentleman is the subject - which is what I intend with this image.

I have Topaz Black & White Effects software and there are loads of options/presets in there. I'm sure there will be ways of reducing the brightness using different tones- I'll play around with it.

Your advice is much appreciated Willie.



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