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Old 26th August 2018
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Re: July 2018 Photo Challenge; Night Lights

Night Lights Challenge comments

ET Calling – Blu-by u
The first entry and it was obvious it was going to be up there with the winners. It definitely got a wow response from me on first sight. Excellent post processing to bring out the details with some great interactive forum collaboration and support at the time I seem to remember. There is a nice balance between the Milky Way and the terrestrial light from the building and I also like the framing created by the dark trees. An impressive image from a great trip, for anyone who hasn’t followed Henry’s recent travelogue threads I’d definitely recommend them. All in all a worthy winner.

Harbour Lights – Barr1e
This is a lovely crisp night light shot with very cool looking colours. Detail has been nicely retained on the dark boats and the light under the arches has been well controlled and is not overblown. This angled line of bright arches gives depth and leads nicely into the scene. For me though the foreground light on the RHS is a bit detached from the overall composition and maybe excluding it would focus the scene a little more? As an alternative thought maybe a portrait crop of the LHS of the image might be worth considering again putting more emphasis on the diagonal line of the arches.

Last Light on the Thames – pdk42
Paul has found an unusual view of London’s skyline and shoreline here with just enough fading sunset colour and darkness to bring out the drama. Nice sky tones and just enough detail retained in the dark gravel shore. Possibly there is a little too much dark sky and river on the RHS maybe? I’d certainly have liked to see more of the intriguing domed shaped building on the left. I’m sure I should know what it is but I can’t recall it at the moment.

Bus Stop Millport – Scottwin
I definitely like the contrast between the brightly coloured point lights and their soft reflections on the wet tarmac. The dark sky and shiny road surface convey a cold wet feeling and the empty bus shelter adds a slight sadness to the scene. Who was just there waiting for that last bus? Did they get it, or just decide to walk home? The lights running into the distance make me think what’s going on down there? I just wonder if by moving a few steps to the right and changing the angle of the shot slightly whilst still keeping the bus shelter prominent but bringing the road junction onto a thirds point in the image would add a bit of extra balance to the composition. You’d have probably needed to have a higher viewpoint to make that idea work though.

Turkish Sunset – Rebnats
Oh if only I was there  it’s a superb sunset with lovely deep orange colours. Nicely silhouetted palm trees and a mysterious boat moored just off shore. Magical scene but I’m not sure the dark RHS adds all that much. Maybe a crop to a portrait aspect ratio removing the RH palm tree trunk and placing the sun and it’s reflection in the sea on a 1/3s line would work as an alternative view? It would also be nice to see a bit more sky around the LH palm and possibly include a bit more of the suns reflection and the interesting beach hut building at the bottom.

A Few Watts from Tokyo – Birdboy
Quite a spectacular light show with a spectacular electricity bill to go with it no doubt  more than just a few watts here I’d say John. This is a scene that definitely needs to be viewed large to explore all that lovely detail. I really want to spin this image round to see what the rest of the panorama looks like. A slight darkening of the sky might work to give the image even more pop but not too much though otherwise the cloud detail could be lost.

Untitled Nightlights – Wornish
Well balanced starburst ground lights with the dark starry sky Dave. I think it was a nice idea to pick out the sparkles in the roadway as a complement to the stars too. It could probably have done with a few more though to make them more noticeable. I bet a touch of light painting to highlight some of the tree leaves more would also look good here.

Untitled Nightlights – The Technician
Michael this is a beautiful serene sunset that I really wish I’d taken. It definitely deserved more votes. Maybe if the theme had been Nightlight rather than lights it would have gained more support? A definite framer in my book though this one.

London Imax Cinema – OM User
This creates a very dramatic and vibrant shot with nice contrast between the sharp action image on screen and the blurred passing traffic not very far away. Definitely generates a feeling of two very different environments close together in one scene. Shows the advertisers task of grabbing the tired commuters attention on the monotonous drive home from work, I wonder how well they succeeded?

Light in the Dark – Mark MJ224
Admission time now as I really wanted to vote for this one but didn’t, sorry Mark, maybe if we’d had 4 votes each . It has a very nice and appropriate use of grain to give a smoky dark cinematic feel. I’m left wondering what was on stage? And what else is happening in the background? A very thought provoking shot.

New Ship in Town – Alf Branch
Gorgeous colours and reflections Alf with lots of retained harbour detail and nicely placed brightly lit boat and buildings at the focal points. Another shot that deserves to be blown up large and explored. The more you look the more you see, wonder what that castle like building is?

Agios Nikolaos Crete – JohnGG
This certainly creates a relaxed evening atmosphere typical of the slow pace of Greek Island life. You can almost hear the gentle lapping of the water around the moored boats. Overall a little dark though for me, I’d have liked to see a bit more detail in those nice water reflections. I’d also have liked the diners on the extreme LHS to have been a bit further away from the edge of the image. Or even crop them off actually, that might work well too.

Piazza St Marco, Venice – Clockwork Donkey
Robert you have captured some lovely twilight tones in this shot and with your slow shutter speed created a nice contrast between the sharp buildings and the blurry bustling tourists. Excellent use of angles too drawing the eye into and around the scene.

Working Late – Me
Difficult to comment on your own shot. Well actually it’s a combination of two shots in PS to get the moon and shard exposures to work. I just liked the way the shape of the shard looks unfinished or even “broken” in the dark sky. Presumably what the designer intended I guess.

Big Ben Under Wraps by Night – Andy McNair
The excellent detail in the lit scaffolding around the tower without blowing the highlights too much makes this a great dramatic shot. I know it shouldn’t bother me but for me the noise in the sky does spoil the overall effect a bit. I just wonder if it would be possible to reduce the noise a tad in the sky without losing the detail in the scaffolding. Maybe just slightly darkening the sky top left like a graded vignette might work ok too? Or maybe just leave it as it is and ignore me.

Crete Cement Ran Aground - ChiaroScuro
An intriguing shot of what looks like a pretty major event. There is a lot of detail here that is quite difficult to see, maybe cropping the top and bottom and posting larger would work to reveal the activity better. Don’t lose any of the ship or water reflections though as they look great. I think a landscape crop could also work keeping the water reflections but cropping off the crane above the first two highlights. Lots of possibilities.

Lightning – timclarkih
Another shot I wish I’d taken! One day I’ll get one of these. This is a really good lightning strike around the crane and you’ve kept the interaction with the ground well. Actually I think having even more of the ground detail in the shot at the bottom would have worked well too. Just adding to the context of the strike a bit more perhaps?

Final words;
Overall in my view an excellent set of entries and very well done to everyone. Hope I’ve not upset anyone with my comments it was certainly not my intention at all just my personal views so please feel free to ignore them. I was chuffed that Mark asked me to do the competition comments this month but certainly a little daunted when I saw the excellent job Paul did previously. Hope this is OK, sorry it took me so long to get these done, a holiday got in the way.

Good luck to everyone for August.
Cheers Phill
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