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Thread: Red Beach Chairs

  1. #1
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Red Beach Chairs

    It's embarrassing to post my photos on here with such amazing photographers, but I am going to swallow my pride and do it anyway! I took these 2 pictures in Portugal and like the idea of the red chairs all by themselves, and wrong exposures and no post processing aside...( I didn't really know about that when I was there)...I don't know enough about Elements to do much with it yet, so I just want to start with what I do know. I know they both need to be cropped and would like to know which would be a better bet, and how to crop them. Like I have said, I am an amateur and want to learn, so teach me Obi Juans.
    (Actually I think these were taken on auto because the first is ISO 80, F4 and 1/1600
    #2 is ISO 80, F4 and 1/1250 I wouldn't pick that shutter speed on my own.)

    Red Beach Chairs

    Red Beach Chairs

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzy310 View Post
    It's embarrassing to post my photos on here
    Please, please, please don't think or feel that. It's wonderful. Well done. The first ones are always the hardest. So, don't stop now.

    I've just addressed one point from what you have written - the question of cropping to assist with the composition. And I've just used your first image for that purpose, because I think it is the more powerful image to work with.

    Before I got into that though, both of these need to be rotated to even up the horizon. You can see that in your copies, the horizon slopes down to the left.

    So - what options do we have? There are many ways to skin a cat, as they say. And in the end it boils down to your preference. Or maybe more precisely, it boils down to the vision you had in your head of what the final image would look like when you pressed the shutter.

    Here are three variations on your original. The first is a 7 x 5 ratio crop. The second is a 1:1 (square). And the third is a 16:9.

    I'd suggest you assess each of these against what you wanted for this image. Do any of them work better than your original? Which, if any, makes a more powerful image than the others? Why?

    If you place a rule-of-thirds grid over each one, you'll see that key areas fall on a cross-point in that grid or on one or other thirds line.

    Click on the first one to view in the lightroom and them press next or previous to alternate between them

    Red Beach Chairs


    Red Beach Chairs


    Red Beach Chairs
    Last edited by Donald; 8th September 2011 at 06:09 PM.

  3. #3
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Thank you so much Donald. I sort of like the one with the cliff best, but wondered if that draws the eye away. There are always many suggestions that have that in mind on people's photos. I like the straight little stream in #2 as well. I was pretty amazed to be at such a beautiful beach on the Atlantic coast in June and have it be so deserted. I have heard of the rule of thirds, but am not really sure about it. I will read about it. Is the grid an actual grid tool you can use, or is it something you just know and can imagine? All my photos I have to post are a bit older. I got my camera book out again last night and realized that I haven't been using it to full advantage up to now. It really is a gem...with so many bells and whistles for a P&S.
    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Please, please, please don't think or feel that. It's wonderful. Well done. The first ones are always the hardest. So, don't stop now.

    I've just addressed one point from what you have written - the question of cropping to assist with the composition. And I've just used your first image for that purpose, because I think it is the more powerful image to work with.

    Before I got into that though, both of these need to be rotated to even up the horizon. You can see that in your copies, the horizon slopes down to the left.

    So - what options do we have? There are many ways to skin a cat, as they say. And in the end it boils down to your preference. Or maybe more precisely, it boils down to the vision you had in your head of what the final image would look like when you pressed the shutter.

    Here are three variations on your original. The first is a 7 x 5 ratio crop. The second is a 1:1 (square). And the third is a 16:9.

    I'd suggest you assess each of these against what you wanted for this image. Do any of them work better than your original? Which, if any, makes a more powerful image than the others? Why?

    If you place a rule-of-thirds grid over each one, you'll see that key areas fall on a cross-point in that grid or on one or other thirds line.

    Red Beach Chairs


    Red Beach Chairs


    Red Beach Chairs
    Last edited by Donald; 8th September 2011 at 05:12 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Your pictures are great Liz.

    Personally I like the last one where the red chairs seem to be watching the dark rock on the left side. Gives the photo a stronger composition.

    And we will both learn from Donald's excellent and clear bit of tuition.

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzy310 View Post
    Thank you so much Donald. I sort of like the one with the cliff best, but wondered if that draws the eye away. There are always many suggestions that have that in mind on people's photos. I like the straight little stream in #2 as well. I was pretty amazed to be at such a beautiful beach on the Atlantic coast in June and have it be so deserted. I have heard of the rule of thirds, but am not really sure about it. I will read about it. Is the grid an actual grid tool you can use, or is it something you just know and can imagine? All my photos I have to post are a bit older. I got my camera book out again last night and realized that I haven't been using it to full advantage up to now. It really is a gem...with so many bells and whistles for a P&S.
    Liz

    The joy about photography is that there will as many opinions about what works best as there are people who will reply. Which is why, at the end of the day, the best (the only) real judge of the image you want to make is ...You!

    As you may have seen from some of my stuff, I'm into square images at the moment. I keep saying that it's a phase that might pass. But, for the moment, I'm enjoying it. So, if this was my image, I'd like the square one. But that's just me.

    Once you get into post-processing, the software package that you use will probably have a tool that allows you to lay a rule of thirds grid over your image to assist with cropping. You do, after a while, train yourself to 'see' a rule of thirds grid, even when there isn't one there. But remember, the rule of thirds is NOT a rule. It's a guide. A suggestion. It's a very sound one and I think everybody should know and understand it and use it. Once you are competent at using it, then you can start experimenting and deviating from it. Many powerful images result from the main subject being dead centre, for example. But the important thing is being creative from an informed stand point. Having a key point of the image not on a rule of thirds intersection because you've never heard of the 'rule of thirds' is a very different thing than not having it there because you've made a conscious artistic decision.
    Last edited by Donald; 8th September 2011 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Liz,

    As Donald said, don't be embarrassed in the least! Your image is beautiful in comparison to some of the hopeless dreck I've posted up..LOL. Perhaps you have also failed to consider that you still had the vision to see the potential in that shot! You captured the moment, and the rest is simply "refinements".

    My preference is the first image, as cropped, with the only change being that I might have cloned out that additional red object on the next sandbar out. Adding in the cliff brought in another element that took my attention away from the peaceful solitude of the red chairs sitting all alone with just the Sun and surf.

    I see you're in Idaho, and have no doubt that by about about mid-January you'll be thinking that beach would be a wonderful spot to spend a few days at..

  7. #7

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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    No suggestions. Just wanted to say that the I really like the simplicity.

  8. #8
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    My friend does photoshop fairly well, so I will ask her about cloning. I thought about the little red object too, but don't know enough to take it out yet. Part of photos for me is capturing where we have been, and the artistic part is fairly new. Artistically I agree that the lonely chairs are better, but for the memory of the trip, I like the cliff. I think I will keep both!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Liz,

    As Donald said, don't be embarrassed in the least! Your image is beautiful in comparison to some of the hopeless dreck I've posted up..LOL. Perhaps you have also failed to consider that you still had the vision to see the potential in that shot! You captured the moment, and the rest is simply "refinements".

    My preference is the first image, as cropped, with the only change being that I might have cloned out that additional red object on the next sandbar out. Adding in the cliff brought in another element that took my attention away from the peaceful solitude of the red chairs sitting all alone with just the Sun and surf.

    I see you're in Idaho, and have no doubt that by about about mid-January you'll be thinking that beach would be a wonderful spot to spend a few days at..

  9. #9
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Hi Liz,

    I just installed a copy of Lightroom 3 a week ago, and have been slowly learning it's functions; it is really quite an intuitive program. A bit daunting at first, but I have no doubt you will have an easy time of learning whatever processing program you choose.

    Here is your image with the cliff included, and the other red object removed:

    6127652528_fda9227433_b-2.jpg

  10. #10
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Thanks Dizzy...I sent the photos to my Photoshop friend and she went to town. She removed the red object, moved the cloud, added rows of beach chairs. She even stuck a picture of me in it in a beach chair. Once she gets going on something she just gets sillier and sillier. I guess you can do anything with Photoshop. I am excited to learn...even though it's just Elements.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Hi Liz,

    I just installed a copy of Lightroom 3 a week ago, and have been slowly learning it's functions; it is really quite an intuitive program. A bit daunting at first, but I have no doubt you will have an easy time of learning whatever processing program you choose.

    Here is your image with the cliff included, and the other red object removed:

    6127652528_fda9227433_b-2.jpg

  11. #11
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    I read the tutorial on Rule of Thirds..To truly follow this rule, I should have moved the chairs down a bit, although they seem to be ok on the right side. The horizon is maybe too much in the exact center. Just looking at the bottom photo with the cliff in it. Do I have the idea right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Please, please, please don't think or feel that. It's wonderful. Well done. The first ones are always the hardest. So, don't stop now.

    I've just addressed one point from what you have written - the question of cropping to assist with the composition. And I've just used your first image for that purpose, because I think it is the more powerful image to work with.

    Before I got into that though, both of these need to be rotated to even up the horizon. You can see that in your copies, the horizon slopes down to the left.

    So - what options do we have? There are many ways to skin a cat, as they say. And in the end it boils down to your preference. Or maybe more precisely, it boils down to the vision you had in your head of what the final image would look like when you pressed the shutter.

    Here are three variations on your original. The first is a 7 x 5 ratio crop. The second is a 1:1 (square). And the third is a 16:9.

    I'd suggest you assess each of these against what you wanted for this image. Do any of them work better than your original? Which, if any, makes a more powerful image than the others? Why?

    If you place a rule-of-thirds grid over each one, you'll see that key areas fall on a cross-point in that grid or on one or other thirds line.

    Click on the first one to view in the lightroom and them press next or previous to alternate between them

    Red Beach Chairs


    Red Beach Chairs


    Red Beach Chairs

  12. #12
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzy310 View Post
    Thanks Dizzy...I sent the photos to my Photoshop friend and she went to town. She removed the red object, moved the cloud, added rows of beach chairs. She even stuck a picture of me in it in a beach chair. Once she gets going on something she just gets sillier and sillier. I guess you can do anything with Photoshop. I am excited to learn...even though it's just Elements.
    Glad your friend has fun with it, and it sounds as if you'll have easy access to a superb tutor!

    BTW, from what I have heard from the members here, Elements is a highly capable program,
    so don't doubt it's potential.

    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 8th September 2011 at 08:13 PM.

  13. #13
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzy310 View Post
    I read the tutorial on Rule of Thirds..To truly follow this rule, I should have moved the chairs down a bit, although they seem to be ok on the right side. The horizon is maybe too much in the exact center. Just looking at the bottom photo with the cliff in it. Do I have the idea right?
    Now you're learning. Brilliant!

    See, it's easy, isn't it?

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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Most of the time people think their own work isn't that good, but I actually like your shots quite a lot, aperture, ISO and all that can all still be learnt but by the looks of it you already have a good basis to work from and never feel bad about posting your pictures, in my opinion there are no bad pictures, something will always appeal to someone and the only way to improve is to learn about what to change, so post away and your pictures will only improve, I can personally say that since I joined this forum my pictures have only gotten better

    So good luck with the learning and happy shooting

  15. #15
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Thanks for all the advice and comments everyone. I someone is the Obi Juan of Photography would they be called Phobi Juan?

  16. #16

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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    I think it's a very good photo. A moment in time, I really like it. If you want to feel better then just look at my photo 1 in Hartland which I've just posted and it will also make you feel better to know that I tried to but couldn't delete it. Dave (H) may be on soon to tell you that your the horizon isn't straight- he spots then every time..it's sloping down a bit, left to right. I now have a spirit level on mine on the screen and that first one of mine still doesn't look quite straight TobyMac is right and I'm always beating myself up over my photos.

  17. #17
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    I liked the original images as well. Donald's suggestions are always good. Normally, a smallish distraction on the edge of a shot can be distracting but I also like the third shot with the cliff in the distance.

  18. #18
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    All are nice! Great Job!!

  19. #19
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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    ~ Dave (H) may be on soon to tell you that your the horizon isn't straight- he spots then every time..it's sloping down a bit, left to right. I now have a spirit level on mine on the screen and that first one of mine still doesn't look quite straight
    I judge it (here) by scrolling horizon against the top edge of browser.

    Here's how I fix them (in Elements/CS5)

    Cheers,

  20. #20

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    Re: Red Beach Chairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I judge it (here) by scrolling horizon against the top edge of browser.

    Here's how I fix them (in Elements/CS5)

    Cheers,
    I have Lightroom 3,Dave and with the crop tool there's a spirit level. I've just started using the numbers scale rather than the level which needs careful operation as it 'jumps' beyond what is required. I'll try your PS method but I have to take it from LR into PS and that takes about 30 seconds then it returns as a Tiff file from DNG.(I import as DNG) If you have a minute take a look at my second photo the horizon seems to dip in the middle-strange but either end seems ok.

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