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Thread: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

  1. #1
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    I started treating photography seriously as a hobby only a few months ago, and so my principal goal is to maintain the momentum. So, given the time I have to dedicate to a hobby, posting a photo once a week will be a challenge in itself.

    I'm currently interested in landscape photography, and my main goal over Winter and Spring is to photograph the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains and its forests, which are near Madrid. (I'll admit now that I have a book - "La Sierra de Guadarrama" by Javier Sánchez Martínez - which I'll use for "inspiration". I did an autum photography course given my him last October, and he has become something of a mentor for me. I promise I'll try to add something of my own to the photos...)

    I also will photograph buildings and places. Spain has too many beautiful towns and villages to ignore. And if I come across occasions to photograph people and animals, they'll also appear here - anything to meet my quota of 1 per week

    As I am discovering, post-processing plays an important role in producing good photos. So I want to learn to do that effectively, using Lightroom 3.6 and Photoshop Elements 10.

    I only discovered the Project 52 theme a couple of days ago, and have been debating whether to participate, as I wasn't (and am still not) sure if I could keep up the momentum. I already am a week behind - not a good start!

    Thanks,

    Tony

    (Oh boy, here goes, I'm going to press the "Submit" button...)

  2. #2
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    Go on Tony i caught up in a couple of hours! go for it

  3. #3
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    Photo #1:
    I took it on 31-Dec-11 when I went to Alcalá de Henares (near Madrid) to celebrate New Year's Eve at a Parador Hotel. The town has a lot of churches and monasteries, and so has many steeples and ornaments on the buildings. And you'll see a stork atop every one - a remarkable sight.

    The only PP I did was to increase the saturation of the sky (blue +36), and of the building (orange +26) using Lightroom. I didn't have a bigger zoom lens with me so was restricted to this maximum zoom. Could I do more? Is there a better composition?

    There's a gargoyle for you
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    1/1000s at f/9, ISO 400, 85mm (136mm actual). Canon EF/S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens.
    Last edited by McQ; 26th March 2014 at 05:18 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    Nice capture tony. I think my only comment would b to clone out the bird flying in on the left as it's a little distracting relative to your subject.

  5. #5
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    I agree with Malcolm ditch the bird. nice colours and the lines work well leading the eye around the image

  6. #6
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    For me that bird is the story; it flies into the scene and lands on the free gargoyle. But I can see that it can be a distraction; perhaps that version is for my sightseeing collection...

    Thanks for the comments.

  7. #7
    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    I am not sure the bird is a distraction if you are not removing all 3 birds. If birds are the reason you took the photo lave it, if not clone out all 3 birds. Just my thoughts.

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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    The flying bird with its mouth full is just luck with the timing. Had you taken the shot a second earlier or later it certainly would not have been there. For my tastes I would have centered the shot more to the right just to catch the tower and down a bit. Your photo has a full 1/3 of it's area as flat same hue blue. The building is much more interesting. The combination of the vertical and diagonal lines and the texture of the building is what makes it for me. Looks like a great place for some architectural shooting.

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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    Hi Tony. The diagonal lines and fascinating detail in the brickwork, crowned by white on the top of the tower really make this image stand out. It does appear to be tipped slightly to the left but that may just be an optical delusion. LOL!

    As the image is really sharp and the bird in flight is not, I think I would be tempted to try it without the birds as they really aren't contributing to the main theme of the image. If you like the birds, see how it looks to you cropped in a little closer so that the birds become more prominent in the composition.

  10. #10
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    Interesting comments; thanks to you all. Andrew, my 15 year-old daughter said much the same thing as you, about lowering the camera and taking in more of the building. This was one of those times where my attention was drawn to the storks - they were atop every building - and I was snapping away at them due to their novelty. There is indeed a lot of beautiful architecture in the town and it's worth another visit.

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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #1

    For me, Tony, there are a couple of points here.

    Ideally, I would have liked to see the incoming bird just the merest fraction further towards the right and slightly lower, looking as though it is definitely coming in to land on the spare gargoyle. It probably wouldn't be too difficult to give it a 'little push' forwards.

    But I also think that there are really two shots here. One to show the building in greater detail and a closer crop which concentrates on the birds. Somehow I feel this attempt at a compromise doesn't fully do justice to either option.

    But the exposure and focus are perfect.

  12. #12
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #2

    Week 2: Photograph the Moon
    I've been eagerly waiting for a few months for the full moon to rise just before the sun sets. From where I live, it rises next to the Four Towers in Madrid, and is quite an impressive sight. I set up the tripod and took many photos. But they seem less impressive than the real thing. Perhaps PP will help. For now, I have posted three photos that are unprocessed. Over the next few days I'll try to develop them a bit. But I need your help.

    In the first one, power lines crossed the image. I thought it spoiled it, and my wife loves it.
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    I then jumped in the car and raced a few hundred metres down the road and got the moon on the left of the buildings, with the power lines lower in the frame.
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    I stayed there and took a lot more photos, as the moon rose from left to right across the frame.
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    Stay tuned for the PP versions.

  13. #13
    kezmal's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    Tony they are amazing photos. I do feel that the power lines across the moon are a bit distracting in the first photo as you said.
    But the second and third are fantastic. Possibly in the third the sunset rays on the third building could be toned down somewhat??? Well done though, wonderful photos.

  14. #14
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    Go for it...a worthy goal. The learning will never stop but it looks like you are willing to hit the ground running and it should pay off. Knowledge builds on knowledge so no learning is wasted.

    Chuck

  15. #15
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #3

    I've been too busy the last week to spend any time post-processing the photos I took last week; I'll have to make that a project for another week.

    Last Sunday I went to the mountains outside Madrid (Sierra de Guadarrama) and spent a few hours photographing ice formations on a stream. Here are a selection of them; no time to spend post-processing.

    Frozen leaves suspended over the stream
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    "Jaws"
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    Frozen grass
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    Hanging on
    Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M)

    Comments appreciated. Was it worth the trip? Yes, because I love the outdoors

    Tony

  16. #16
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #3

    Had to look at these a couple of time The 2nd and the 4th ones are the ones I enjoy the most They have some very powerful lines and shapes - the triangles which pull me in. I think the 4th one is a little underexposed - a little bit more exposure might highlight more detail.

  17. #17
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    Re: Project 52 by Tony Marshall (Tony M) #3

    Hi Tony, I really enjoy #4, the composition of the branch on the diagonal with the icicles point downwards is terrfic, nice DOF, thanks for shareing

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