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Thread: I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

  1. #1

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    I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    Basically a follow up to the 'Many different ways to good images' thread.

    I always found that I learn't more from my many failures than from my few successes.

    Here is a typical example from a couple of days ago. A friend asked me to photograph the launching of his boat. OK, the rain had eased to drizzle and I was struggling with the poor light. After the boat was afloat I noticed what could be an interesting image with the trailer driver just clear of the water and the boat's engine throwing up a nice bit of smoke (environmentalists look away). But I didn't have much 'thinking time' 1/200 F8 ISO 400. The photo has been cropped to save space; which was always my intention with this image.

    I managed to get the masts nice and straight but didn't notice the horizon/water line in the distance was well askew. So, in the real world, the masts must have been at an angle.

    I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    OK, I can still salvage something if I rotate and crop to landscape orientation with a 5 x 4 ratio and lose the top of the masts.

    So does anybody else wish to confess to doing something stupid recently!

  2. #2

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    Re: I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    Geoff, I think that you got this right here. If you rotate the image the guy on the boat will look like he's heaving over the side. The edge of water doesn't have to look horizontal in an image, think looking along a river from a bridge - the edge of the water goes almost vertically in the shot.

    So stop beating yourself up.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    Hi Geoff,

    I am inclined to agree with Jonathan, I think it would look 'wrong' if the water at the back was horizontal and masts leaning so far to left; unless the photo was to be used as evidence to sue Mr. Winter's for sinking the boat He didn't, did he?

    I might take the exposure down a bit in PP though, that's what struck me when I first viewed it

    It's a classic composition perfectly caught and a nicely turned out boat, shame about the trailer and the (unavoidably) cluttered background.

    Cheers,

  4. #4

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    Re: I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    This original image is straight from the camera so I have been playing around with it to try to get a slightly improved version.

    Having gone back and checked the other originals I see that the boat is definitely leaning to starboard on the trailer.

    While the 'water horizon' can accommodate a bit of variation, especially allowing for a bit of distance distortion I still consider that image to be too excessive; which is making the water flow uphill.

    Eventually I settled for a comprimise and rotated half the distance towards level which just enables me to keep the important parts on the right side and I think I can get away with this.

    I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    I have had a go at correcting for the exposure but I'm not certain this is the best that I can manage. In my opinion, the simple solutions weren't working well so what I eventually did was create a duplicate layer and set the merge mode to Soft Light at 40% opacity then added a 'bell shapped' curve to the layer in order to brighten and strengthen the midtones. Finally used a tiny tweak with Curves and Saturation on the whole photo.

    ps. Unlevel horizons have been a nightmare for me when shooting from a moving boat in choppy seas. Now I have 'created' a little voice in my head which shouts 'check the horizon' every time I am about to press the shutter. But it doesn't always work when I am standing on a level quayside.

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    I think you have got it right with the angle now Geoff; the sky and smoke puff are rather over-exposed and I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more downward correction. Boaty scene full of interesting features, anyones guess when interest starts to become clutter

  6. #6

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    Re: I made a right 'pigs ear' of this didn't I

    Yes I think that crop has reduced a bit of the 'clutter' on the right side. When I metered the sky and smoke I got readings in the 240's which isn't exactly blown but as you say, a bit darker would be better.

    The sky, I fear, is going to be a bit time consuming to alter without spoiling other white areas but the smoke will probably be fixable quite easily on another layer.

    With have a play around when I get a bit of time. If only he had waited another day before launching, when the weather was more realistic for photography.

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