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Thread: Ballons in Citta di Castello

  1. #1

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    Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Hi everybody,

    this shot was done in Italy during my summer vacation. It was market day in Citta di Castello (Umbira) and I took the chance for some pictures. This ballon shop was eye catching with his colorful ballons.

    For as beginner open C&C is highly appreciated!

    Cheers,

    Marcus

    P.S.: The EXIFs are 24mm, 1/160 s, f/8, ISO 200

    ballons-citta-di-castello_3-0610.jpg
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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Marcus

    I think this is the first of your images that I have seen on CiC. So, well done. I hope there will be many more.

    This sort fo street scene has great possibilities for photographers. Good that you got out to make the shots.

    There are a couple of things I'd say about this one that you might wish to consider.

    First - Is this how the scene looked to your eye when you took the photograph or did the balloons look brighter; more colourful; more vibrant? I ask because I think the look a little dull in the picture and could be made much mroe colourful in post-processing.

    You say you are a beginner, so you might not yet have much experience in post-processing your photographs.

    The second thing I would refer to is the line running across the street between the buildings just at the top of the balloons. Because of its position:

    • cutting across the top of the balloons and,
    • cutting just underneath the roofline of the building on the left and,
    • cutting into the right hand side building just at the point where a strong vertical line meets a strong horizontal line (on the building)

    the line, in my opinion, cuts the picture in two.

    I would wish to clone it out. Now, I acknowledge that 'cloning' is a post-processing skill that you may not have learned yet. If not, then I would suggest you save this picture for the future. And once you are able to clone objects out of pictures, you can come back to it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Marcus

    I think this is the first of your images that I have seen on CiC. So, well done. I hope there will be many more.

    This sort fo street scene has great possibilities for photographers. Good that you got out to make the shots.

    There are a couple of things I'd say about this one that you might wish to consider.

    First - Is this how the scene looked to your eye when you took the photograph or did the balloons look brighter; more colourful; more vibrant? I ask because I think the look a little dull in the picture and could be made much mroe colourful in post-processing.

    You say you are a beginner, so you might not yet have much experience in post-processing your photographs.

    The second thing I would refer to is the line running across the street between the buildings just at the top of the balloons. Because of its position:

    • cutting across the top of the balloons and,
    • cutting just underneath the roofline of the building on the left and,
    • cutting into the right hand side building just at the point where a strong vertical line meets a strong horizontal line (on the building)

    the line, in my opinion, cuts the picture in two.

    I would wish to clone it out. Now, I acknowledge that 'cloning' is a post-processing skill that you may not have learned yet. If not, then I would suggest you save this picture for the future. And once you are able to clone objects out of pictures, you can come back to it.
    Hi Donald,

    thanks for your feedback - yes indeed the colors of the balloons looked much more colorful. Obviously I need to spent more time with post-processing

    Is there anything I could have done during shooting to improve the colors ie. spot metering?

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Once again, my thoughts are the same as Donald.

    It is a pity about that line which connects the buildings but it won't be an easy job to alter and you could end up spoiling the whole scene trying to remove it.

    I would like to add a little extra brightness although watch out for the sky. It is that area, which is approaching over exposure, that has caused your camera to set an exposure which makes the rest of the scene a little dark. I would probably use a mask to exclude that area while adjusting the brightness; but it would need to be done carefully.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Quote Originally Posted by another Marcus View Post
    thanks for your feedback - yes indeed the colors of the balloons looked much more colorful. Obviously I need to spent more time with post-processing
    Marcus

    Post-processing is just another part of the set of skills that we attempt to learn as part of our journey towards being a photographer. Like learning to use the camera and capture images well, it is something that must be learned one-step-at-a-time. Pressing the shutter is the end of the first part of making an image. The second part starts when you begin processing in the darkroom (if you're shooting film) or on computer (if you're shooting digitally).

    I hope you do not mind, but I have made a version of your image to illustrate the sort of thing that is possible and which reflects my first comments above. I hope you find this helpful.

    I used the curves tool to introduce a bit more contrast. Only slightly use the Saturation tool for colour and, finally, cloned out that line across the road.
    Ballons in Citta di Castello


    Last edited by Donald; 10th October 2011 at 05:04 PM.

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post


    I hope you do not mind, but I have made a version of your image to illustrate the sort of thing that is possible and which reflects my first comments above. I hope you find this helpful.
    Donald,

    many thanks for that help. I really do appreciate that!
    It definitely improves the picture as you and Geoff already suggested.

    So I will spent some time during winter practicing CS5...

  7. #7

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I would like to add a little extra brightness although watch out for the sky. It is that area, which is approaching over exposure, that has caused your camera to set an exposure which makes the rest of the scene a little dark. I would probably use a mask to exclude that area while adjusting the brightness; but it would need to be done carefully.
    Geoff,

    many tanks for your helpful input!
    Besides correcting the exposure problem in the postprocessing, would a different exposure at shooting have been more wise and easier to handle in the post processing?

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    In difficult lighting scenes like this one, Marcus, you will always have a dilemma.

    The camera, when in full auto exposure mode (like Evaluative/Matrix metering etc) will recognise any potential areas of over exposure and select a setting to avoid this happening.

    In this case, exposing for the sky and allowing the rest of the scene to become a little dark.

    Any alternative which exposes for the street scene will cause over exposure of the sky. Sometimes it is worth losing details from an uninteresting sky to get the foreground better but each shot will require different 'thinking'.

    A little positive exposure compensation would be possible, or spot metering on the balloons; but as I said, that would be at the expense of the sky.

    In this particular case, I would probably have used the same settings as you and preferred to selectively increase the brightness during editing. You can brighten a dark scene quite effectively but blown highlights are gone forever.

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Geoff,

    thanks for your sharing your thoughts on that issue!
    So my latest investment into CS5 will pay off in future...just need to spend some money on a good CS5 tutorial

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Marcus

    I do not know what budget you might have available for learning CS5, but if you are able to afford it, I believe that the online training resource offered by Scott Kelby is highly regarded and considered one of the best that is available. I am not a Photoshop user so have no direct experience of the site.

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Hi Marcus,

    Is there anything I could have done during shooting to improve the colors ie. spot metering?
    It really doesn't matter which way you meter; spot, centre-weighted, average/matrix, you just need to get the exposure correct - easier said than done

    Whichever mode allows you to do that most reliably is the one you should use.

    Some photographers switch metering modes depeneding upon the scene they are photographing, but this is not something I'd recommend to anyone new to photography - far better they stick to one mode and get the hang of interpretting what exposure compensation they need to apply to a given scene depending upon the relative size of bright and dark areas in the image. Using the camera's histogram and blinkies is a great help (albeit after the event) at least you know whether to adjust and shoot again.

    Only when you're comfortable with all the other things you need to look out for at the time of shooting, should you, based on your own knowledge of "that would have been better if I had ...", start changing metering modes. How soon that will come depends what you're shooting, how much practice you've had, etc.

    I started with average, then went to centre-weighted, as my experience has grown, if the subject suits, I will sometimes use spot metering, but it isn't always appropriate for good results unless you're really concentrating and take your time - I shoot wildlife and that often isn't a luxury I have.

    My advice is don't rush into something like spot metering - just because someone else uses it and gets good results doesn't mean it is right for me or you (and certainly not all of the time).

    You can boil a cup of water with gas, electric, wood, microwaves, etc., but it is still 100 degrees when it is boiling - the result is the same! Many can cook with a gas hob or an electric hob, but what they're not familiar with always catches them out e.g. on a self catering holiday! Get used to exposing one way only, then diversify

    Hope that helps,

  12. #12

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Donald,
    thanks for the link - I will check it out! I'm sure I will post one or the other result in CIC

    Dave,
    that tip is well taken! So I will keep following the histogram...

    @ all
    I learned in that thread more than in the last 3 month - thanks a lot!

  13. #13
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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Quote Originally Posted by another Marcus View Post
    Geoff,

    thanks for your sharing your thoughts on that issue!
    So my latest investment into CS5 will pay off in future...just need to spend some money on a good CS5 tutorial
    Hi Marcus, there are a lot of good books and tutorials out there for PS. So far for photography, the one that had provided my with the best information is Layers by Matt Kloskowski and his free Photoshop Killer Tips at http://kelbytv.com/photoshopkillertips/feed/rss/.

    Another good source for free material from Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski and the rest of 'The Photoshop Guys' is available as a weekly tutorial at http://kelbytv.com/photoshopusertv/feed/rss/. There is so much free videos and tutorials out there for Photoshop that you might never have to purchase any training. The bigest advantage of the books is to have all the related subject matter in one place.

    Also, if you are looking for an answer to a specific issue in Photoshop, just click on the help menu. It'll take you to thousands of related photoshop resources.

  14. #14

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    I found Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers by Martin Evening to be particularly good value; it was well discounted.

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    Re: Ballons in Citta di Castello

    Frank and Geoff,

    thanks for your recommdendations!

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