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Thread: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

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    Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Hi Guys!

    After posting before and getting some great feedback regarding night photography, I decided to go shooting again tonight. This time I managed to find a bridge in Sydney that was actually intact from the late 19th Century.

    I shot in RAW + JPEG with 1s exposures and a 5s exposure too to attempt to capture details of the North side of the bridge (~100m away).

    Any input much appreciated!

    Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW
    18mm, f/4.0, 1s (shutter priority mode), ISO-250

    Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW
    18mm, f/4.0, 1s (shutter priority mode), ISO-200

    Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW
    55mm, f/6.3, 5s (shutter priority mode), ISO-200

    Thanks!
    Last edited by dan88; 7th April 2009 at 04:43 AM. Reason: change photo links

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    I applaud you for looking up: many do not.

    With the two “looking up” shots, I would have been inclined look up the other side of the arch also, such that the light was not in frame but was the illuminator – you might have done this?

    I understand, (well I assume), that one of the features you wish to create, is the light in shot: but the point I am making is, it burns so much of the detail of the bridge and the placement of that burn is so central and dominate in the composition.

    The other issue is the flare these lights create: especially across a dark sky, as it was quite overcast last night and that flare spoils the black sky, IMO.

    Also there is a little Veiling Flare which is sapping the detail of the stonework in places.

    On the long shot, the street light is problematic, its position spoils; and also note the green cast.

    I just cannot remember the terrain exactly, but I think there is enough space camera left to set up such that the street light would be out of frame, but moving would change the perspective of the front elevation, which I understand is the point of the photograph: and there might be another one of those Light-beast-poles on the left footpath, too.

    I think that when a strong light is in frame, it will always be a dominate element of the composition, and keeping that in mind, IMO, it is important that the placement of the bright light is such that it does not overpower the composition, nor detract from the detail of the subjects in the scene, and the Lens Flare is controlled.

    So, for your consideration:

    img_3929.2008.11.22.cic.jpg

    Tech Specs: 5D / 24F1.4L

    Shooting Specs: F2.2 @ 1/8s @ ISO1600, Hand Held (braced), Manual Exposure, Spot Meter (three readings, exposure manually calculated), UV filter removed, Lens Hood on.

    Post Production: RAW / Photoshop (Colour Temperature, Colour Balance on Bricks, Sharpening)

    WW
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    Last edited by William W; 4th April 2009 at 01:03 AM.

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I applaud you for looking up: many do not.
    Hi William,

    Thanks for your input.

    You make a very good point about looking up on the other side of the bridge. I will have to try this next to try and capture it without the lighting in the center. The light wasn't what I was looking to have in the shot, I just didn't plan the shot out all that well (because it was late at night and I had already spent about an hour there).

    I've heard that lens hoods tend to avoid flare... would this be the case and would it benefit in such a situation above? Also, I've heard Image Stabilisation should be turned off when using a tripod, would you agree with this? Are higher ISO/lower shutter speeds the way to go when trying to avoid the veiling flare? You must be living in Sydney to know that it was overcast last night right?

    How do you avoid the green in the photos? Can this be fixed using WB or is there something else that I need to do to fix it/avoid it reoccurring?

    On the long shot, I probably could have taken the photo from the North side of the bridge (I'm not 100% sure but I think there might be less of the light-beast-poles on that side). You are correct about the perspective of the third photograph being the reason that I took it. If I was to move, it would have to be to the other side of the bridge as I wanted to take a photo that was fairly symmetrical.

    Lastly, I think you forgot to attach a photo to your last post.

    Thanks once again for your comments, they're really helping.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 4th April 2009 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Remove excessive quoted portion

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    This bridge looks a great subject Dan, especially the chance to frame the far arch inside the near one as in the 3rd shot. If it were possible to shoot from a touch right and lower without being run over, it would get the framing perfect. As a former architect I have no problems with symmetry (apart from spelling it) and think there is a place for ignoring all the photographic off-centre theory of composition.

    I have no ideas on the night photography technicalities, but you seem to be doing well from results. As Bill says, it would be nice to reduce the impact of the light in no 3. No idea what PP software you have to hand, but if it includes potential to work on a selected area only made by a soft brush, you can tone lights down a lot by (a) reducing contrast and/or brightness (b) semi-opaque painting rather than near impossible clone. Easier to do if light can be positioned either right on or right off masonry. Similar soft selected area to remove areas of green (or other unwanted tinting), possibly colour temperature rather than white balance and best done in PP rather than on the camera asuming you are shooting RAW.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Hi Dan,

    Nice shots.
    For my money, given where the flares occur in #1 and #2, I'd be tempted to carefully clone them out in PP.

    Chris and William have pretty much got everything else covered.
    A lens hood is only going to prevent flare from lamps that are out of shot, not those in shot, so how effective it will be will depend upon whether there are any bright lamps just out of shot (which we obviously can't see).

    Hope that helps,

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    This bridge looks a great subject Dan, especially the chance to frame the far arch inside the near one as in the 3rd shot. If it were possible to shoot from a touch right and lower without being run over, it would get the framing perfect. As a former architect I have no problems with symmetry (apart from spelling it) and think there is a place for ignoring all the photographic off-centre theory of composition.

    I have no ideas on the night photography technicalities, but you seem to be doing well from results. As Bill says, it would be nice to reduce the impact of the light in no 3. No idea what PP software you have to hand, but if it includes potential to work on a selected area only made by a soft brush, you can tone lights down a lot by (a) reducing contrast and/or brightness (b) semi-opaque painting rather than near impossible clone. Easier to do if light can be positioned either right on or right off masonry. Similar soft selected area to remove areas of green (or other unwanted tinting), possibly colour temperature rather than white balance and best done in PP rather than on the camera asuming you are shooting RAW.
    Hi Chris,

    I'll be popping out there tonight to attempt again with the criticisms mentioned in these posts (unless it rains ). I could've gone a bit further right. I have to agree with the lower thing - I was at the maximum of my focal length on this photo though, so I may have to get out the 70-300 and give that one a go for this photo, with the tripod slightly lower (although it was at around 80cm above the ground). I could probably go to 40cm or so.

    One of my mates actually just showed me some of the advanced features of aperture so I've actually got a few more photos that I didn't post before (because their horizons weren't completely horizontal). When I straighten these, I'll post these up too, along with the ones I take tonight.

    I might fiddle around with the colour temperature on some of these pics to see if I can remove some of the green. I'm shooting RAW + JPEG, as per Bill's recommendations.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Dan,

    Nice shots.
    For my money, given where the flares occur in #1 and #2, I'd be tempted to carefully clone them out in PP.

    Chris and William have pretty much got everything else covered.
    A lens hood is only going to prevent flare from lamps that are out of shot, not those in shot, so how effective it will be will depend upon whether there are any bright lamps just out of shot (which we obviously can't see).

    Hope that helps,
    Hi Dave,

    The cloning would probably work as most of the flare is on the black areas so it should be fairly easy for me to do.

    Quick question... Are kit AND zoom lenses more susceptible to lens flare than say a (non kit version) ultra wide zoom, prime, or L series? I know the kit zoom lenses are cheap and nasty most of the time (although the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS seems to handle good for what it's worth)... but I guess my question is that if I purchased a more expensive lens that isn't supplied with a kit, would it improve the images by not creating not as much flare, or would this only be noticeable on say an L series lens? If it's only L series that seem to stop flare effectively, I'll be waiting a while as funds don't permit it lol

    Thanks for the comments/advice.

    When I post up some of the photos tonight, I'll aim to try and clone out the flare and repost the images in this post and see how they look with the flare gone.

  8. #8
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    I've heard that lens hoods tend to avoid flare... would this be the case and would it benefit in such a situation above?
    As Dave said: for the light shining toward the camera, but out of the frame.

    There is a light source camera right, which is illuminating the pink rectangular areas (1 & 2).

    It seems to me there is Veiling Flare which is most likely from that light source I have indicated in the area by the thick pink ellipse. The texture of the stonework seems compromised in that area.

    The Blue Ellipse encompasses the Lens Flare from the light, under the arch, which is in the image frame. This Lens Flare is easily seen against the dark sky.

    The fact that the Lens Flare (Blue Ellipse) and my (assumption of) Veiling Flare (Pink Ellipse) follow somewhat a parallel flare line in the lens; and the Light Source of the Pink Illumination seems to be about the same height, as the light which is in frame, leads me to conclude that a lens hood, or a shield from your hand or Black Cardboard, might have been useful in this case – to get more definition on the stonework area inside the Pink Ellipse.

    It is difficult to say for sure, because of the small image size.


    bridge.jpg


    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    I’ve heard Image Stabilisation should be turned off when using a tripod, would you agree with this?
    Yes, almost in all circumstances. There are some exceptions, shooting this bridge is not one of them.

    So I now conclude you have: Canon DSLR and the EF-S 17 to 55 F/3.5 to F/5.6 IS



    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    Are higher ISO/lower shutter speeds the way to go when trying to avoid the veiling flare?
    Not per se.

    However, if you are thinking: “I’ll bump the ISO so I can use a smaller aperture”, or “I’ll Lower the shutter speed so I can use a smaller aperture” . . .

    Then I like your thinking On your 17 to 55, about F7 to F11 is very nice – Diffraction is your enemy beyond F11



    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    You must be living in Sydney to know that it was overcast last night, right?
    Ah! If my picture had only attached . . .



    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    How do you avoid the green in the photos?
    In your image: Difficult.

    It has to be in Post Production. Follow Crisscross’s advice as a start. I am not expert in that aspect.

    I would most likely would have spent another three hours attempting to get a shot without that light affecting it.

    Also note, that likely had I not mentioned it, it would not have bugged you – it is not that bad – it is the way the light is – and please note that my eye is quite biased to detail to the point of nit-picking and annoyance to many.



    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    Can this be fixed using WB or is there something else that I need to do to fix it/avoid it reoccurring?
    No. Mixed Lighting cannot be adequately fixed with White Balance in camera.

    IMO, mixed lighting cannot be adequately and / or easily fixed in Post Production. (This statement is not me hanging an hook out as a topic for argument, RE - Crisscoss’s comments, please note my qualifying adverbs).

    Mixed lighting is one perennial problem with (amongst other pursuits) Interior Architecture and Wedding Photographers.

    In controlled situations mixed lighting is addressed by gelling one or many light sources to a standard CT (colour temperature).

    As a simple example I have an old Church with many incandecent lights. It is a late Wedding, 1830hrs. I am shooting Flash Fill, the Wedding Party at the Altar. I will Gel my Flash heads to match about the 2800K of the Church Lights.

    Another scenario: at the Altar area there are three Tungsten Floods - I will gel my Flash heads to about 3200K / 3400K.

    *** . . .

    You needed to climb up the light pole and gel the Street light to match the warm lights under the Bridge, better still just cut the power to that light, or cut the pole down would be even better. (Just Joking)



    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    I think you forgot to attach a photo to your last post.
    Yeah something went screwy. I think it is there now?


    WW
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    Last edited by William W; 4th April 2009 at 03:21 AM. Reason: Grammar corrections

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    Are kit AND zoom lenses more susceptible to lens flare than say a (non kit version) ultra wide zoom, prime, or L series?

    Generally:

    . Kit lenses more than others, yes.

    . Zooms more than Primes, yes.

    . Wides more than Telephotos, yes.

    . Older lenses more than newer design, yes.

    Have a look at your previous thread: I think I mentioned something there.


    ***


    Cloning out the Flare, against the dark sky is a good idea, IMO.


    WW

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    I have no problems with symmetry, . . . and think there is a place for ignoring all the photographic off-centre theory of composition.
    I agree 100%.

    WW

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    I have not had the pleasure of discussion with you (mostly) two Dan & Bill.

    I should make it clear that I am a heretic using Nikon Capture in preference to PS and doubly so as a mac owner preferring DxO to Aperture on rare departures for preliminary work.

    One of the really cunning things Nikon have is a 'selection control point' which at first seems a very blunt variation of 'magic wand' selection. However it is thought out and when you select a point where the main light source is, it also stretches the selection into the whole area where the effect of that light is shown by its colour tint with opacity in inverse proportion. Placed at the centre of one of those lights with starburst it would pick up the star shape and there would be a low opacity further spread. The latter can however be wiped out using a minus brush. The same would go for a selection control point placed at the centre of a green or otherwise tinged area.

    NX2 can be used on tifs derived from any camera or converter same as PS. More on it in PP & printing threads & a pbase intro gallery.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by dan88 View Post
    Quick question... Are kit AND zoom lenses more susceptible to lens flare than say a (non kit version) ultra wide zoom, prime, or L series? I know the kit zoom lenses are cheap and nasty most of the time (although the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS seems to handle good for what it's worth)... but I guess my question is that if I purchased a more expensive lens that isn't supplied with a kit, would it improve the images by not creating not as much flare, or would this only be noticeable on say an L series lens? If it's only L series that seem to stop flare effectively, I'll be waiting a while as funds don't permit it lol
    Hi Dan,

    William has answered this well in post #9.
    Further, not being a Canon shooter myself and hence with no experience of the L series, I'll defer to someone that may have one of each in a similar zoom range. I'd be fairly surprised if the extra bucks for an L series didn't give better flare performance, as long as you compare apples with apples; i.e. not compare an L series WA zoom with non L telephoto zoom. Clarifying that is what makes William's answer so good.

    The typical 3x zoom 'kit' lenses are designed and built down to a retail price difference of usually less than than a hundred dollars/euros/pounds - sadly for me, there's little difference these days!
    Basically, you get what you pay for, so when I move up to a DSLR myself shortly, I know I should avoid the kit lens, buy body only, and splash a bigger percentage of my budget on 'standard glass', I may be tempted by a wider zoom range, ideally closer to the 10x I have now.

    For a given budget, received wisdom is that I should go for an older, cheaper body and better glass, but darn it, some of those new features look so tempting - which may force a kit lens on me!

    I wonder if I'll remember that when it comes to the crunch?

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 4th April 2009 at 09:04 AM. Reason: correct grandma

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    I should make it clear that I am a heretic using Nikon Capture in preference to PS and doubly so as a mac owner preferring DxO to Aperture on rare departures for preliminary work.
    Mate: heretic or not, I'll defer to those who know Post Production, I am a sponge for information about it . . .

    I think I mentioned somewhere here recently . . . I am no heretic, just "peculiar": my aim is to master JPEGS, straight out of the box.

    Nice meeting you.

    BTW, do Nikon make cameras, too?

    WW

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    William has answered (above) . . .

    I'd be fairly surprised if the extra bucks for an L series didn't give better flare performance, as long as you compare apples with apples; i.e. not compare an L series WA zoom with non L telephoto zoom.

    Clarifying that is (important)

    Yes: always compare apples with apples: that was my thought and my intention, thanks for emphasising that point.

    Yes: one of the points noted with L lenses is the better Flare Resistance.

    But as I wrote earlier somewhere, it is all about knowing the limitations and addressing those limitations of the individual lens one is using . . .

    For example, with some lenses I know intimately:

    In the night street scene I posted above, (can you all see it now?) in this thread:

    1. I would not have been able to as easily control the Flare from the street light, had I left the UV filter on. Because I used an L lens, made no difference to that fact.

    2. And, at a experienced guess, if I had used my EF 35F/2 to take that shot, I think that I could have attained a similar effect and controlled the light's Flare though the lens, even though it is not an L lens - the reason is the 35F/2 is very short and the elements are close together, and provided I kept the lens square to the street light I think the results would have been similar.

    3. But, taking the same scene and using a 20D or a 400D and the EF-S 17 to 55 kit set at around 21mm, I think I would have had great difficulty with controlling the Flare to get a similar effect as above. I think this, because of the number of elements in that zoom lens and how at 21mm it has extended somewhat, making a nice tube for all that light to bounce around.

    Does all that make sense?

    WW

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the input. I have taken all this into consideration when shooting the following photos. Does anyone care to shed some light/share their opinions about these? And also if someone has any opinions about which ones look best.

    William - you can click on the links in my above post as they actually point to the flickr website (goes straight to the photo) and then view the full one (as I noticed you said I didn't post it in a very large size). I have taken your advice in the following photos (except for the first), except I didn't have it on manual as I'm still learning how much exposure photos need. I had it on aperture priority and took a whole sequence of photos with different ISO ratings, while also using AEB to see what the best outcome may be in the particular scenarios.

    Thanks

    img_1316.jpg
    20mm focal length, f/7.1, 1s @ ISO-200 (shutter priority), -2/3 EV

    img_1384.jpg
    75mm focal length, f/6.3 (aperture priority), 4/5s @ ISO-800, -2/3 EV

    img_1392.jpg
    75mm focal length, f/10 (aperture priority), 2s @ ISO-800, 0 EV

    img_1393.jpg
    75mm focal length, f/10 (aperture priority), 1.3s @ ISO-800, -2/3 EV
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    You guys down under are made robust, so honest opinion seems best:

    Oh dear, apart from no 3, you seem to have lost the spontaniety and sparkle of the 1st series and even there the cropping has taken the contrast of light and dark out of the composition. BTW the detail on the masonry is fairly weak and debased neo-gothic so the usual idea of going in close for detail not advised here; you only have the shape and contrasts to work with.

    It says Nikon on my neck band and...er...yes on front of flash, and the nameplate at the bottom, so I guess they have made a camera. Or maybe two.

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    I agree with crisscross about going in close on the front elevation – image #4 is the best, but it is cropped too close, IMO, and not as good as the original two days ago.

    And I like crisscross's comment about the architecture - I didn’t know the technical bit, and the names but I did see the bit about the big shape and how it really does look nicer framed with a bit of black sky, from a distance. (I guess crisscross meant #3 of the three the same – I think we are saying the same thing).

    I guess going in close might have been my fault, emphasising that bloody street light . . . and then trying to get rid of it.

    I actually do like #1 (looking up): and that is taking my suggestion to try it, out of the equation.

    I think it is a tad underexposed (about 2/3 to 1 stop) and I think it might work well in Black and White.

    ***

    As I type... I am thinking more about the front on view: it might be worth a go even closer, but with a wider lens such that the arch closer to the camera forms a tight frame around the arch on the other side.

    A closer viewpoint and wider lens would be necessary to get some expanse of background, especially on the sides . . . how much road you get will be the problem, perhaps.


    There is no right or wrong, this is all opinion . . .


    This is a very good exercise, I really cannot emphasise that enough. I am enjoying being part of it, thank you.


    ***


    I assume crisscross knows my “Nikon” comment was meant as humour.


    WW

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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Thanks for the further comments!

    I guess I've got to cut my losses and try and remove the lens flares and maybe bring the street light's brightness down a bit using software. I myself thought the images looked a tad dull the second time, but I thought I would post it anyhow and see what others thought. I've got other exposures -/+2/3 and a few others but the ones I posted seemed to have the best balance without washing out the stonework, or not capturing enough detail on the bridge so that's why I posted them.

    I cropped the image to try and frame the second arch (as per crisscross's comments) and have posted this below. I think it really lacks the black border of the sky around the edges (as you mentioned William). To take the photo with a wider lens as you mentioned, I would get stuck with aluminium construction fencing and blue tarp as part of the surrounding background, so it probably wouldn't be the best idea. Maybe in 6 mo or something though.

    Here it is.
    img_1393.jpg

    Oh yeah, I also whacked on photo #3 from the original post, and attempted to remove the flare. See below:
    img_1178.jpg

    Thanks guys.

    Every little exercise seems to help me learn just that little bit more :-)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by dan88; 6th April 2009 at 08:49 AM.

  19. #19
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    I think Bill & I are saying similar things in different words. Also the latest addition makes it easier to see what has been happening on the composition side. The original no 3 is 'doubly framed' - the black sky frames the whole bridge and the near arch frames the far arch. Once you lose the outer black frame of the sky, it is the tarmac and white line that tend to become the picture main subject by the resultant framing. Will leave the technical stuff to Will (Ha, H )

    I am sure you can get a really fine pic by a little PP work on the original no 3. If you are struggling you could always post a nearer-original version somewhere for others to play with. I do this myself using the free web-space that my ISP provides as part of its package - I expect yours provides it too. Or just attach to email, but that often limits attachment size more. I PM my email address to members once they have shown they are staying with the forum, as i am sure you will now.

  20. #20
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    Re: Long Gully Bridge, Northbridge, NSW

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    the latest addition makes it easier to see what has been happening on the composition side. The original no 3 is 'doubly framed' - the black sky frames the whole bridge and the near arch frames the far arch. Once you lose the outer black frame of the sky, it is the tarmac and white line that tend to become the picture main subject by the resultant framing.
    I agree. I think the only way around that is closer with a wider lens, as I mentioned: but as I also mentioned I was scared that the road will still dominate, as you mention. Yes we are saying the same things . . . You, (dan88), IMO, do not want a big slab of road like in my picture above, that will just spoil the whole bridge thing you have going on.


    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    I am sure you can get a really fine pic by a little PP work on the original no 3.
    Short of chopping down that light pole, I think this is correct.

    ***

    BTW I researched that Architectural Technical stuff you mentioned - very interesting, thanks.

    WW

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