Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!


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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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Old 23rd October 2014
stevewestern stevewestern is offline
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Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

Having just posted in the thread about making it easier to post pictures on this forum I figured I ought to make the effort to post one, if this works..

I was out today for a walk in a place called Minions, which is the highest village in Cornwall, on the edge of Bodmin moor, and is home to the 'Hurlers', an ancient stone circle.
It was fairly misty, and straying off the path didn't seem like a good idea, even more so when I did and suddenly couldn't see my landmarks despite me being only 30-odd metres off the track. I didn't have much time and if I am honest I felt a little spooked as I felt so alone and vulnerable, though about 10 minutes later I did see someone walking their dog, much to my relief.



Anyway, any idea and thoughts about how I could improve this - I am not much of a PP person, especially as wearing glasses hurts my head (I am waiting for the results of an MRI scan having exhausted all other avenues) so this has just had a quick conversion to B/W and the usual sharpen etc.
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Old 23rd October 2014
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Zuiko Zuiko is offline
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

Hi Steve, I'm glad you made the effort because I love the moody and evocative feel of this one. The processing looks good to me, although others with more B&W experience may be able to suggest improvements. Hope all goes well with the scan, have you tried contact lenses?
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Old 24th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

I like this and although I feel that B&W is suitable for very few images I definitely feel this is one of those. I think the foreground, especially the nearest stone, could do with perhaps a little more clarity/contrast although others may think differently.

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Old 24th October 2014
stevewestern stevewestern is offline
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

Thanks for the replies and suggestions - I agree Dave, the foreground does need to be lifted a bit - I'll have a go at it shortly. I am not sure if the whole thing needs some straightening, though my camera was pretty level.
John - I've not tried contact lenses as I wear different glasses for close up and long distance and cannot get on with varifocals despite trying several times (at great expense) - the problem seems to be more the actual frames putting pressure on my head - even headphones bring on the odd feelings/discomfort etc. Its no fun getting older.
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Old 24th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

The 7mm has given a great field of view but I am not keen on the perspective it has left.

By stretching the bottom (by a considerable amount) until the big stone on the left was vertical (which also had the effect of increasing the width of its base) and stretching the right hand side (to both straighten the horizon a smidgen and drop the puddle) I could take the drastic step of cropping off the bottom (to remove the puddle). I ended up with more of a panorama style than you took so its a different picture but I felt it helped the misty effect to not have an expanse of sharp foreground at the bottom of the picture.

I found I could not improve on the clarity/contrast of the big stone and feel you have it spot on.

There are also some circular artifacts in the sky, possible a result of shrinking the picture size and compressing the filesize which I have tried to remove.

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Old 24th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

For me the main issue is the histogram does not reach the right so there are no whites in the shot. I think it needs a levels adjustment to sort this and curves adjustment and or some doding and burning.
What software are you using?


This file surrendered due to compression but this is tatse of what I mean.

Not-my-shot-62 by alf.branch, on Flickr
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Old 25th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

Wow - Thank you so much for taking the time to have a play with the picture !
I have only recently got the 7-14 so was keen to try it at its widest, but clearly I didn't need to.
I use ACDSee software - its not too popular over here but I believe it is more so in the States - I find it so much easier than Photoshop and have never tried Lightroom.
While I want to keep the puddle in the shot your results are way closer to what I wanted to achieve - I have never been good at landscapes as people are my main subjects and getting help such as yours is so much appreciated - thank you !
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Old 26th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

Hi Steve.
I think this is a lovely moody shot and well suited to mono. I can see how you would have felt spooked! I would have too!
I am not good with landscapes so what I say shouldn't be taken as advice, but just as an impression I get from a photo.
I like your shot just as it is. No straightening as the angles add to the mystique.
If it was mine I would most definitely keep that gorgeous pond and even crop a tad off the bottom to bring it even closer.
The one little thing that draws my eye and I wish it didn't is the little grass tussock behind the leading stone. I know there is another pond there, but I would ditch the tussock.
I hope you get to the bottom of your head discomfort, and I really enjoyed looking at your photo.
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Old 27th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

I'm with Lyn it has captured that spooky feel nicely. I too would have been inclined to keep the little pool but also like the crops too.
Steve I have had a very similar experience as you with varifocals. I really wish I'd have been able to get on with them but I just can't. Might try some simple old fashioned bifocals next time.
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Old 28th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

Thanks to you both as well, Lyn and Phill. Again, your input is much appreciated and illustrates just how we all see thing differently, and that maybe there is no right and wrong sometimes !
I hadn't really noticed the second tussock peeking out from behind main stone when I took the picture - lesson one for me is to spend longer thinking and looking before surrendering to the spookyness - I am hoping to go back to the location in a few days if half-term kids duties and mist permit for a second attempt. The main thing I was going for was a misty atmosphere which I seem to have been on the way to getting - maybe now I know to spend a bit longer and use my eyes a little more to see, rather than to just look.


Phill - varifocals made me walk with my hands out to see if I was about to bump into something - I had no spacial awareness, which is something I need and rely on in work. I've not tried bifocals but am currently using some 'office' lenses, which are allow me to read as well as see clearly up to about 1.5m - a near-field type of varifocals. They are not too hard to live with and I am hoping will gently lead me towards true varifocals in time - good luck to you too !
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Old 28th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

I've not heard of office lenses before are they something special? I just use my old reading glasses that are not quite up to the job now.
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Old 28th October 2014
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Re: Misty Stone Circle on Bodmin Moor

Phill - office or work lenses (as I have heard then called in a couple of opticians) are a varifocal that only covers a limited range - I need to be able to see things close up as well as up to about 1.5m for work. They might be worth a try if you need some new specs, but as you might expect are more expensive than plain reading glasses..
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