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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 21st September 2008
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Hdr Derelict Boat

I've previously posted a very high contrast, against-the-light HDR image of this old boat. The general consensus at the time was that it didn't quite work.

Here's another HDR version of the same boat, taken from a different angle and in less extreme light levels. Any comments, advice or critisism most welcome.

For example, has the HDR effect destroyed the natural shadow structure to some degree?


Thanks for looking, and if you comment it will really be appreciated.
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Old 21st September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

Hello John. To be honest, this photo has left me with mixed .Compositionaly it is very good, but it's let down by the lightning. Having said that, I cannot express precisely what bothers me. Maybe it is the differnce between the sky and the ground. I mean, the sky is a dull grey while the ground suggests sunshine in its tonality. Also, the shadows are... odd. Too light (see for example the shaded side of that barn). All these make the picture look flat, and a bit artificial. I assume this is due to the HDR processing. Maybe if you showed us a non-HDR'ed version of that picture? I believe it can easily stand out with milder PP.

Ps: take this with a pinch of salt. I never liked HDR, so I am not unbiased towards the image.

Cheers, George
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Old 21st September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

I do like HDR images, but what I see here is a lack of definition between the boat and its background. May be a mono conversion? And I'm not sure about the shot containing both the barn and the boat - what is it I am supposed to be looking at? Each one on its own would make an admirable subject. BTW I don't think the HDR is overdone, despite my comments the conversion seems right.
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Old 21st September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

Hmmm, I must admit I'm happy with the sky and I rather like the juxtaposition between the boat shed and the boat but, like George, something is bothering me that I can't quite quantify - which is why I'm seeking advice and opinion in "Perfection."

Maybe I have misread the composition or am missing the point with the sky, I'm just not sure, and would certainly welcome some second opinions. It's rather academic, I'm afraid, as I seem to have "lost" the originals and only have a few HDR versions on my computer. However, a critical analysis now might help me do a little better in future, which is always a good thing.

Just to take Stephen's point about competing elements a little further I've cropped as follows:-


Not sure this works, I must admit I prefer the original, BUT had I composed the image like this at the time I may, of course, have found a better angle that did work better!

Regarding Stephen's comment about lack of definition between boat and background, I wonder if a larger aperture, to defocus the background, would have been preferable? This might also have have shifted the point of interest in favour of the boat as the boat shed, too, would have become defocused.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks George and Stephen for your comments so far, it really is helping me in trying to assess this image in a more objective manner.

Cheers,
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

I like the picture, even though it's an old boat that's probably rotting away it looks quite comfy in its surroundings, all the colours work together to make it a warm and comfy sort of picture.

I have a feeling though, that it might not be quite what you were aiming for. I haven't any real idea how to get a different feel, perhaps a lower skyline might help, with the view through the windows of nothing more than sky?
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

That's a good point, must try to get back up there sometime for another try.
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

Hello John

For me, their is not a lot wrong with the composition, where I struggle with it is simply that the boat, the field in which it sits and the barn are all of a very similar colour and not one element really stands out for me, is the boat really that colour or is it a result of the HDR?
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

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Originally Posted by Ellie View Post
I like the picture, even though it's an old boat that's probably rotting away it looks quite comfy in its surroundings, all the colours work together to make it a warm and comfy sort of picture.

I have a feeling though, that it might not be quite what you were aiming for. I haven't any real idea how to get a different feel, perhaps a lower skyline might help, with the view through the windows of nothing more than sky?

or even the barn framed though the window of the boat...............

overall I find the image 'pretty' but not inspiring. the sky / foreground lighting imbalance is troubling - sort of indicative of a storm brewing when this is seen normally.

there is also the shadow in the foliage behind the boat which, although natural looks wrong - if that's possible! we know the sun's behind our right shoulder so why the shadow there - the lighting overall has flattened the ground in that area so we don't sense enough uneven ground to create this effect.
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

I've looked at this for a while: It certainly has the makings of a great picture... in my view the HDR has flattened the look too much.

This won't help one bit, but I am coming to the conclusion that the main problem is that the sun was in the wrong place



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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

Hi John,

It's interesting to see your pics of the Thornham boat - I have quite a lot of them in my collection taken over the years and I think the best is in B and W. Not taken on Oly - or even digital so won't post it here but B and W seems to suit the subject.

As a matter of interest did you take any shots of the abandoned jetty timbers at the end of the creek? I think there are good pictures to be had there and my artist wife thinks there is potential for a good picture but neither of us have been happy with our efforts.
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

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Originally Posted by ndl0071 View Post
Hello John

For me, their is not a lot wrong with the composition, where I struggle with it is simply that the boat, the field in which it sits and the barn are all of a very similar colour and not one element really stands out for me, is the boat really that colour or is it a result of the HDR?
Yeah, the boat pretty much was that colour on that particular occassion, thanks to the very warm toned natural light. But I think you may have put your finger on part of the problem, the warm glow is almost too much, overpowering the more usual tones in this scene.
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

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Originally Posted by photo_owl View Post
or even the barn framed though the window of the boat...............

overall I find the image 'pretty' but not inspiring. the sky / foreground lighting imbalance is troubling - sort of indicative of a storm brewing when this is seen normally.

there is also the shadow in the foliage behind the boat which, although natural looks wrong - if that's possible! we know the sun's behind our right shoulder so why the shadow there - the lighting overall has flattened the ground in that area so we don't sense enough uneven ground to create this effect.
What you say here is absolutely spot on and a very astute observation!
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

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Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
I've looked at this for a while: It certainly has the makings of a great picture... in my view the HDR has flattened the look too much.

This won't help one bit, but I am coming to the conclusion that the main problem is that the sun was in the wrong place


Pete
You may well be right, Pete, although at the time it seemed perfect. It's a thought, though. This image was taken early morning in late May, if I return during the winter months the sun will be about 30-40 degrees further round to the left and may well provide better modelling for the boat.
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Old 22nd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

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Originally Posted by mike_j View Post
Hi John,

It's interesting to see your pics of the Thornham boat - I have quite a lot of them in my collection taken over the years and I think the best is in B and W. Not taken on Oly - or even digital so won't post it here but B and W seems to suit the subject.

As a matter of interest did you take any shots of the abandoned jetty timbers at the end of the creek? I think there are good pictures to be had there and my artist wife thinks there is potential for a good picture but neither of us have been happy with our efforts.
I like the idea of B&W but feel I lack the necesary skills. Nevertheless, here goes:-



HaHa, I think this is going to open a whole new can of worms! In many ways I prefer it and I think you are right, in skilled hands this could be made to work, but maybe from an original and not an HDR! Curiously, some HDR artifacts have now become more apparent than in the colour version, notably the "halo" around the boat shed.
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Old 23rd September 2008
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Re: Hdr Derelict Boat

simply - 'wow'

for me that works, and I am not a conversion fan

hdr + b&w =
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