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Thread: Tranquility by the river Nile, Aswan

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    Tranquility by the river Nile, Aswan

    Tranquility by the river Nile, Aswan

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tranquility by the river Nile, Aswan

    Gamal

    I have looked at the series of images you have been posting. And thank you for doing so.

    I think there are a number of elements in this one that can be studied as a means of learning further about such things as exposure and composition. These principles can be applied to all image-making.

    Firstly, in this one the sky is over-exposed to the extent that all the detail is lost. It is 'blown'. The challenge this presents us, particularly in countries where there is very harsh lighting, is to capture all the detail that is in the image.

    We can, of course wait until those times of day when the lighting is not so harsh; i.e. early morning, or in the late afternoon or evening. Or we can use graduated filters to balance the light in, for example, the sky with other parts of the image. Or we can apply High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques.

    In relation to composition, one of the important lessons to learn is that we must always remember to look at all parts of the image in the viewfinder and ask how all the things that we see fit together to make the final image. In this case, we have parts of a table and chairs appearing at the bottom of the image. Are they important elements in the image? Were they placed in that part of the final image deliberately?

    To make an image of such a scene, as opposed to merely a casual snapshot, we have to think about everything that appears within the viewfinder. If it does not contribute to teh image, then it should not be there. Similarly, we must always be asking if there is soemthing needed in an image that is not visible in the viewfinder. If you had excluded any foreground and just had the river and the far bank in the image, that would have been equally lacking in overall quality. So, the question to be asked is - What is the right foreground detail I need in this final picture? The you must compose your picture accordingly.

    I hope these comments help your learning. There are a lot of things to understand. The important thing is that you do not try to master all the skills at once. Concentrate on one until you feel competent in that. And then move on to the next one.

  3. #3
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Tranquility by the river Nile, Aswan

    Hi Gamal,

    Thank you for contributing your images to our forum.

    This image is quite interesting but, Donald's comments are quite valid.

    The sky has lost all detail. It is often difficult to shoot a landscape, when the sky is completely bare of clouds, without losing all detail in the sky. When there is a bright area within an image, my attention is immediately drawn to that area. IMO, a graduated neutral density filter would have been difficult to use in this instance because of the very ragged rock formations which make up the border between land and sky. HDR would have also been difficult, if not impossible because of the moving boat.

    From the direction of the shadows, it appears that the sun is at the camera right. I believe that in this instance, a polarizing filter may have darkened the sky enough to make a significant difference in the shot. As a general rule of thumb, a CPL filter quite often helps images shot in desert or semi desert environments. The CPL not only darkens the sky, reducing the overall exposure range to one more easily captured by the sensor, but reduces reflections on rocks giving them more detail and greater saturation.

    I realize that this was a grab shot and you should be commended for getting the boat in your frame. But, the partial table and chairs are distracting. I would either like to see the table and chairs as a significant element in the image or not see them at all. Moving to your left (if possible) might have removed the table and chairs but, cloning them out is always another option, depending on your editing skills and how much time you are willing to devote to your image. Moving back when shooting or choosing a wider focal length if you were shooting with a zoom lens might have shown the table and chairs as a significant element.

    I hope that I am not sounding too critical but there is one other factor that I notice in many of your images. The horizon is not level. It is not easy to get a horizon level when you do not actually see the horizon. In the case of an image like this, there is an imaginary horizon which is the river bank. Your image seems to be tilted slightly down at the left side and the boat seems (IMO) to be traveling slightly downhill.

    I had a problem with tilted horizons when I added a Canon eyepiece to my camera. I would expect that there are some photographer/camera combinations that are more apt to result in a tilted horizon than other photographer/camera combinations. I would recommend that you pay specific attention to your horizons being level. Often gridlines in the viewfinder (if your equipment allows this) help getting the images level. Gridlines certainly help me keep my horizons level.

    I did a very quick edit to show you what I mean. I didn't spend any time on it to look professional/ My cloning out of the chair was not done smoothly and my selection of the sky was also not done smoothly but, this illustrates my general idea of removing the table and chairs, darkening the sky, leveling the artificial horizon and cropping the image at the top and bottom to more of pano effect with the shrub at one corner balancing the boat.

    Tranquility by the river Nile, Aswan
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd August 2011 at 03:19 PM.

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    Re: Tranquility by the river Nile, Aswan

    Dear Donald and Rpcrowe, I'd like to thank you for your very useful comments. In fact, I'm trying to take this hobby forward, and hence could be stumbling in very obvious/basic glitches. Your feedback is very well appreciated.

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