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Thread: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

  1. #1

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    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Due to health reasons, me and my camera have been gathering dust recently. So it was with a great sense of relief and liberation I was once more able to emerge into the sunshine again.

    Saint Bertrand de Comminges, is a little way from where I live in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is a medieval walled town with an 11th century Cathedral, built on top of the Roman city of Lugdunam Covenarum, which had a population of 30.000 at its peak. The region is littered with historical and cultural treasures.

    I took a whole bunch of photos of the Cathedral (except the interior which was not allowed on the day that I went there), and its surroundings and here are a few of them.

    I wanted to share some images of this lovely and interesting place with you and also would welcome some C&C, as this is my first attempt at photographing something other than things around the house and garden.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    1.
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    2.
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    3.
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    4.
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    5.
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    6.
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 9th September 2011 at 06:46 PM. Reason: added numbers for images

  2. #2
    lizzy310's Avatar
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    I really like the archway as a frame. The lighting is very nice. I am an amateur so don't know all the important things, but I want to learn to take pictures like that.

  3. #3

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Thank you for the kind comment Liz (one of my daughters name also ).

    I have to admit to being a humble amateur myself, only bought a proper camera a few months ago, so its all a big mystery still for me too

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Mike

    Great to see you back in action again.

    What a wonderful part of the world. You lucky guy.

    I really like the composition on the first one, but it seems a bit flat. Obviously taken at a very bright time of day. I wonder if a good dose of Local Contrast Enhancement, just to make it 'pop' a bit more, would help?

  5. #5

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Good to be back Donald Thanks for the comment.

    Yes, you're right about it being a bit flat. It was only about half an hour or so past dawn and the mist had just cleared this hill but was still lying everywhere in the valleys which I think diffused the image.

    Unfortunately I don't have Photoshop only Lightroom 3, and I'm not sure how I could do Local Contrast Enhancement using that, but I'll have another shot at pepping it up a bit.

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandrion View Post
    Unfortunately I don't have Photoshop only Lightroom 3, and I'm not sure how I could do Local Contrast Enhancement using that, but I'll have another shot at pepping it up a bit.
    Mike

    I use the GIMP, so I don't know the language of Photoshop/Lightroom. But what you want is the same tool as you use for sharpening. What you normally do for sharpening is have 'Amount' at a higher figure and 'Radius' at a lower figure. Well reverse those. Crank up the radius and keep the amount low. You need to experiment. But try it and look at what happens.

    There will be soemthing out there somewhere (someone on here will definitely know) that tells you what sort of area you should set the numbers at in the Adobe products. The GIMP works on different scales so the numbers would not be comparable.

  7. #7

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    It must feel great to be back out after an illness. I like the 'interior' shots. Pity you weren't on location just that bit earlier.
    I expect you're using 'clarity' in Lightroom as that will sharpen a photo for you but you can use the tools Donald's mentioned..Amount-Radius-Detail -Masking under the heading 'Detail'. I think this LCE that is often referred to on here is much the same.

  8. #8

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Donald

    Using Lightroom 3 and your suggestion as a basis, I think that I've managed to 'lift' the cathedral up a bit. Or is it too much?
    What do you think?

    Before
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    After
    Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Brilliant. Well done.

    Now the only decision you have to make is if my suggestion (and your execution) better represents the picture that you 'saw' in your head at the time you pressed the shutter.

    As the one who was not there and doesn't know what it looked like to be there, I think your re-work really 'pops' and is the better image. But, ultimately, you can be the only true judge of that.

  10. #10

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Thank you for the nudge in the right direction.

    The second image is definitely closer to the way I felt about the scene at the time. That it was a statement about man's effort to dominate the world around him.
    In the eleventh century it was all about building the biggest cathedral, today it would be a mega shopping mall. To each his gods.

  11. #11
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Lovely images to start with and Donald's timely advice and your editing has lifted them to a whole new level.

  12. #12

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Thank you Keith for that encouraging comment, its the sort of place where the pictures almost take themselves

  13. #13
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Hi Mike, I like the detail and sense of exploration adventure in #4 & #5. I realize the #6 is really #4 but from closer to the door but for some reason, #4 appeals to me more. Not sure why.

  14. #14
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    I really like the 4th shot for some reason though your edit on the first turned out quite well.

  15. #15

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Thanks John, it certainly was good to get out and about again.
    I was up very early that day and before entering the town I spent nearly an hour photographing the rising sun pushing through the mist in the surrounding forests and fields.

    After much trial and error I think that I'm beginning to get a handle on Lightroom. Long way to go, but it is becoming more intuitive when I use it.

    Cheers,
    Mike.

  16. #16

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Thank you Frank and Scott,

    Have to admit that I was pleased with the way #4 turned out. I had a lot of trouble keeping the detail in both shadow and sunlit areas but I think I got it in the end.

  17. #17
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Hi Mike,

    I think this is quite an impresive series, consistently good exposures (highlights and shadows), white balance and compositions. The series also gives a very good feel for where it is and what it overlooks, in addition to the interior shots.

    I think #2 might benefit from a bit of what you did to #1.

    For #6. I think I would have moved the camera just a tad further left to separate the tree from the broken end of the stone arch.

    Well done (and welcome back),

  18. #18
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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    I just will tell you my favourite; all of them. The only contribution I can make is use a perspective tool.

  19. #19

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for the encouragement and the comments.

    I can see now and agree with both the points you made, especially that tree, it looks d****d awful. How come I missed seeing it?
    I suppose catching things like that when one is shooting comes with experience. Hopefully when the technicalities become more instinctive I'll be able to look at the scene a little more critically before I press the button

  20. #20

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    Re: Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges

    That's very kind Steve, thanks.

    And now, trying to hide my embarrassment, what is a perspective tool?

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