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Thread: The Blue Line

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    The Blue Line

    I usually know where I need help and ask for specific C&C. This time I'm not so sure just what the image needs. Any C&C is welcomed, of course, as I am still learning (aren't we all?).

    The Blue Line

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Frank

    I would pose the question - Is the image just too busy?

    So, instead of asking - What does it need?, the question becomes - What does it not need?

    I've just taken a sheet of paper and covered over the building to the left of the tracks as we look at it. I think it changes the image completely. The attention is then on the very bold lines, shapes and tones of the tracks, the transportation, the shrubbery and the platforms. And I think if there was some way of removing the building from the image, then it would take-off.

    And I can't see how you could possibly re-shoot to achieve that. So, it might be one of those 'if only' scenes, where the ideal picture is just not possible.

    But, of course, other people might disagree with me.
    Last edited by Donald; 23rd August 2011 at 04:50 PM.

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    Re: The Blue Line

    Crisp, clean and interesting were my initial reactions to it. I like the colors, the bricks, the train and the building on the left. I'm still a rookie so I'll leave the C&C to the vets. Where was it taken?

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Thank you Donald. I knew there was something not quite right but I couldn't put my finger on it. You are correct, there is very little in the way of shooting options for the train BUT, I did take other shots that evening. Here is one of the same scene with a more 'personal' touch.

    The Blue Line

    I think this one may have a better chance.

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by epmi314 View Post
    Crisp, clean and interesting were my initial reactions to it. I like the colors, the bricks, the train and the building on the left. I'm still a rookie so I'll leave the C&C to the vets. Where was it taken?
    Hi Scott. That is what I felt when I first saw this scene. As Donald points out, it is busy, perhaps too much so. This shot was taken from the top of a parking garage in uptown Charlotte, NC. We were hoping to get a nice sunset but the sky wasn't in the mood!

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    The Blue Line

    I think this one may have a better chance.
    Ah-hah. Now you can really start to see the potential in that.

    I was really struggling to see what the shot might be from your original, because it is one of the scenes that you look and just know that there has to be at least one good shot in here somewhere. I hadn't 'seen' the possibilities of getting in closer. But I think you're onto something there.

  7. #7
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    I had a thought. The original scene might just benefit from a Tilt-Shift treatment. What do you think?

    The Blue Line

    Does it need to be cropped closer in?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I had a thought. The original scene might just benefit from a Tilt-Shift treatment. What do you think?

    The Blue Line

    Does it need to be cropped closer in?
    Hi Frank,

    It has a train in, so I'm hooked already

    It certainly does suit the image, although not my favourite effect. Mainly because it is over used in TV programmes and advertising here (in UK) at the moment, you probably had that last year (in US) .

    Possibly a bit closer cropping would help.

    To me (and I may be mistaken), the tilt shift effect should have a sharp area right through the image, but here you have blurred the tracks behind the train (i.e. on 3 sides), so in that respect it doesn't work for me on a technical level.

  9. #9
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Possibly a bit closer cropping would help.

    To me (and I may be mistaken), the tilt shift effect should have a sharp area right through the image, but here you have blurred the tracks behind the train (i.e. on 3 sides), so in that respect it doesn't work for me on a technical level.
    Hi Dave, I thought the tighter cropping might work a bit better as well but wanted to see what others thought.

    I wrestled with a flat plane blur but couldn't decide if it would look too fake. Yea, the whole concept of miniatures created this way is fake!

    When I consider DoF and look at a horizontal blur, the tops of the buildings, which are much closer than sidewalk, would be blurred. If I aligned the plane with the tracks, the street at the very back of the image would be sharp but the buildings right beside the train would not. Neither option seemed to be realistic if this was really a model. If it were a model, the area in the distance behind the train would be blurred, as well as the height of the buildings, which would be behind and in front of the focus point, respectively.

    So, how would you replicate the DoF to match an actually model railroad diorama?

    Here is the cropped version...

    The Blue Line

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    So, how would you replicate the DoF to match an actually model railroad diorama?
    Ah, well I wasn't, I was talking about the Tilt-Shift effect of laying a strip of sharpness (in focusness?) along a single plane within the image. yes, that makes it look model like often, but that wasn't what I was talking about.

    If you're trying to imitate a model, when you think about it, you snap a model with a normal lens square on to the baseboard and what you'll get normally is a strip of sharpness across the frame, parallel to the bottom edge. Even if you tilt or angle the camera, the plane of sharpness is still at equidistant points from the lens and since models are usually 2D and flat if shot from above and at some distance.

    For example, note the plane of focus here;
    The Blue Line

    and here;
    The Blue Line

    The only way to cheat that is to rotate and crop the image, then you'll see an angled plane of focus in a model shot, a bit like you have in your shot Frank. I couldn't find a good enough example to demonstrate the last point

    This is kinda what I mean, but actually it's a con because it was largely achieved by panning and motion blurring the background
    The Blue Line
    Not a great image, the other rails are too bright and distracting from the subject.

    But if you get down, into the model, things start to take on 3 dimensions;
    The Blue Line



    If interested, see the album here, all shot with a bridge camera in 2008, so apologies for lack of PP skill in those days.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 23rd August 2011 at 10:38 PM.

  11. #11
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    If you're trying to imitate a model, when you think about it, you snap a model with a normal lens square on to the baseboard and what you'll get normally is a strip of sharpness across the frame, parallel to the bottom edge. Even if you tilt or angle the camera, the plane of sharpness is still at equidistant points from the lens and since models are usually 2D and flat if shot from above and at some distance.
    I'm learning, Dave! Slowly, but I think I'm making progress.

    OK! Another try. This time I used the flat horizontal plane. With the tighter cropping, I'm not getting the problem with the tops of the buildings so it looks better than what I had before. I'm beginning to wonder if the angle is just too steep to make this work?

    By the way, you have some very nice train images in the link! Thank you for sharing!

    The Blue Line

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I'm learning, Dave! Slowly, but I think I'm making progress.

    OK! Another try. This time I used the flat horizontal plane. With the tighter cropping, I'm not getting the problem with the tops of the buildings so it looks better than what I had before. I'm beginning to wonder if the angle is just too steep to make this work?

    By the way, you have some very nice train images in the link! Thank you for sharing!

    The Blue Line
    Hey, we're all learning, I learnt typing that reply!

    Yes this is much more like it, but yes, at that angle, the fall off of focus wouldn't be this pronounced probably, becasue the differences of distance (in almost a plan view) are small (unless shooting wide open)

    I bet if you took a letterbox crop off that now (of just the train and a bit of foreground track) it would 'look the part' though.

    Cheers, and thanks for kind words on the (now ancient) pics,

  13. #13
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I bet if you took a letterbox crop off that now (of just the train and a bit of foreground track) it would 'look the part' though.
    Thanks, Dave. One more time and I think we might be there.

    The Blue Line

  14. #14
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    For me, Frank I think the image needs light... dramatic light to separate it from the ordinary. Just a thought.

  15. #15
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    For me, Frank I think the image needs light... dramatic light to separate it from the ordinary. Just a thought.
    Hi Willie! Dramatic light as in a reshoot earlier in the day, or were you thinking about something along the lines of increased contrast in PP?

  16. #16
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Willie! Dramatic light as in a reshoot earlier in the day, or were you thinking about something along the lines of increased contrast in PP?
    What I meant was that it looks too evenly lit. Just my observation. At times, waiting for that elusive moment when the light is really different makes a shot unforgettable.

  17. #17

    Re: The Blue Line

    Even still, though, I think it's pretty cool! I'll let you guys work out the details of how to get a stellar shot but, sometimes, we talk about photography showing us something in a new way that catches our attention and this does - make me see something in a way that I've never seen it before. Funny. I thought that the original image was, actually, a model, at first (after scrolling up through the other models, it makes sense.) Of course, I'm not negating the excellent advice that you're getting in any way. Just think, it's a nifty shot.

  18. #18

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    Re: The Blue Line

    I like the original pic.

  19. #19
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Blue Line

    Thank you, Bobo! I am still playing with the original, trying different ways to see if I can improve the lighting as Willie suggested. I may well have to reshoot earlier in the day.

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