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Thread: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

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    Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    I thought that I would join in the fun and try to get a weekly image for review/comments. I like the reflections in this local lake and the feeling of calmness it brings.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

    Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    Great start, Gary. A nice serene image. It may just be my eyes but is the horizon level? It looks like it may be tilted slightly to the left.

    If you get a chance to reshoot, I'd try to get the overhead branches above the water by shooting from a lower position and maybe a bit more to the right.

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    Hi!

    Here's some thoughts. Or critique mostly, i'm afraid, but its all said in good will The shot is nicely sharp all the way. I think it might be a bit over exposed, because if the trees and branches are going to be that dark anyway, you could get the colors from the sky and the reflection from the water better with less exposure. I find the amount of branches a bit distracting, there's a bit much for my taste. Also a tiny bit of rotating could do good. If you took this in RAW, i think it has good potential with some post processing. Perhaps a natural looking HDR, perhaps some cropping? Or a some king of digital graduated neutral density filter.

    Reima

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    Welcome to Project 52 Gary and glad to have you as part of the group!

    I think Frank and Reima have covered off the key points for me. It's an image with a lot of potential but the bright sky and dark foreground means that you're losing out on detail. Did you do much post processing?

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    Thanks for all your replies, as ever very helpful comments. Now that you have mentioned it the horizon does look a bit off kilter! I was wondering about those overhead branches. I wanted the reflection of them but again now my attention has been drawn to them I can see your point.
    I mainly shoot in JPEG and not RAW and post processing is minimal. Basically, I sharpen and I might re-crop. I have to admit that at this stage I don't feel that confident about post processing. Especially RAW files. I use Linux as an operating system. I have been using Digikam as my main software. For RAW I found a program called Rawtherapee( which, at the moment I find a bit confusing). Results I have got from this have been unsatisfactory. I guess at the moment I am grappling with several areas. Trying to get composition/exposure correct and understanding what I need to do in post processing. But, I have to say it is great to get the positive critiques which come from the forum. I like to think that I have an open mind, willing to listen and learn!

    Cheers for now

    Gary

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    Perhaps one of your goals for Project 52 can be to improve your post processing skills as well. There's plenty of information on the benefits of shooting in raw and one thing I've learnt from being on CiC is that if you improve your PP skills, you can start taking photos with a specific vision in mind rather than what is just in front of you. Capturing the image simply becomes one step in your overall vision of creating the end result. And there's plenty of people here that can help you with learning how to get better at it.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    Maybe, Gary, a minute clockwise rotation could be made but if you compare the actual water level in the far distance, it is very little.

    I often think that branches showing from above spoil a scene; but in this case they do actually work fine.

    However, I wonder if they are perhaps just a little 'heavy' at present. And the right side is also a little dark. So I wonder about a very slight crop to reduce the right side and top. But it would really be slight.

    I suspect this might help to 'lighten the mood' a little.

    Raw Therapee is an excellent free converter now that version 3 is stable. Until getting CS5 I used it, although it had a few quirks then.

    Are there any user instructions now? I downloaded the manual from their previous version then tried to make a few adaptions to fit the newer methods.

    RT gives you quite a few finer adjustments than some of the free converters so I would certainly advise sticking with it and experimenting until everything makes sense.

    But I did find that I also needed something else for those fine adjustments that needed some layers and masking. RT however, was a lot better than the converter which came with the editing software which I was using at the time.

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    I think you might have hit the 'nail on the head' Geoff, it does have a bit of heavy feel overall which spoils the calm, tranquil effect of the water and reflections. I will certainly be paying some future visits and returning to this.

    I think as Mal (Goldcoastgolfer) has suggested as part of the project build on post processing skills.

    Gary

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 6 (My 2nd week)

    Hello,

    Its not been the best week to get out and about as it has been cold and icy. I took a few images of this windmill. I wasn't to happy with the full image. So, I decided to crop in fairly tightly. Not convinced about it myself and thats one of the reasons that I wanted to post this image this week. I invite any comments that you would like to make!

    Cheers for now

    Gary

    Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 6 (My 2nd week)

    Hi Gary, good to have you onboard.
    The image is sharp and in focus, not sure about the composition and the crop, do you have the shot with the full windmill in it, to me there is nothing to hold my interest, I like the serenity and the tones of your first image

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 6 (My 2nd week)

    Hello Wendy,

    I have attached the original (not much better!) that I cropped from. I have also posted an alternative image that I have cropped and saved in Portrait rather than landscape. Interested to hear thoughts on these.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

    This is the original....

    Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    This is one of the alternate shots I took.......

    Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 6 (My 2nd week)

    I think the first photo is just a bit flat - it lacks the depth that your alternative photo has to hold a viewer's interest. I think if you were to tighten the crop on the second photo to focus on the windmill and remove extra things such as the trees and shrubs at the bottom of your photo that don't really add to the story, and straighten the windmill relative to the frame, I think yo'll end up with a much more compelling photo.

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 6 (My 2nd week)

    Hello Mal,

    Thanks for your suggestions. I will take those thoughts and have a look at the image.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 6 (My 2nd week)

    To be honest, Gary, I've had a look at these photos, then gone away and returned. But I just can't find anything from these angles which would really interest me.

    The original shot of the sails, with a nice sunset behind it might work. And although the close crop shows the structure where the sails join into the main drive, which would possibly interest a windmill specialist, I can't really get excited about it. Maybe a square crop would help

    The final shot might have more interest but from that angle it will probably take more effort in editing than it is worth.

    I often find scenes like this, where I walk around searching for that perfect camera angle, take a few test shots, then keep on walking past.

    There may be a good angle there somewhere but, like many old barns that I try to photograph, I just couldn't find it on that particular day.

    As Wendy said, the basic camera work is fine; so it was worthwhile as an exercise in choosing the correct settings. Getting the white areas correct against that sky was certainly a challenge in itself.

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 6 (My 2nd week)

    I chose the close crop as in the 1st image, as I was thinking that if part of the image was there it would leave you thinking about what the rest of the image was like. The actual 'mill is sited nr a golf course and is next to the clubhouse and all the periphery that surrounds that. So, it is quite difficult to get the best angles. The main challenge I set myself was to try different distances and angles, set the camera manually and see what came from that. I believe that this particular 'mill is used as a church at the weekend so perhaps if the image reflected that it might add interest for the viewer? As I said in my initial post I wasn't sure about the image myself and I am pleased with the critique's that have been given that offer different opinions. That is one of the reasons for me anyway, for taking part in the project.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 7 (My 3rd week)

    Here's my offering for the week. Beautiful blues skies and some nice clouds as well. I wasn't sure about the trees at the bottom but at the moment I have left them in as it gives some context for the sky and clouds. Your thoughts are most welcome!

    Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary)

    Cheers for now

    Gary

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 7 (My 3rd week)

    Yes, Gary, for me those trees 'show which way up the sky is'.

    In fact I think you could have actually managed just a tiny bit more of the trees. But there may have been some limiting factor which we aren't aware of.

    And getting good well exposed sky photos is often more difficult than it seems.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 19th February 2012 at 08:16 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 7 (My 3rd week)

    I think I would have like to have seen more trees just to help balance out the sky and clouds a little I often take photos of clouds when I'm travelling and what I think looks interesting often turns out incredibly boring without any ground based subjects to add contrast to the overall photo.

    You've done a good job of the sky and as Geoff says, that's often a lot harder than people realise.

  19. #19

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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 7 (My 3rd week)

    Thanks for your thoughts and comments so far.

    I think for me anyway one of the fascinating aspects of clouds is being able to interpret different shapes, objects etc that you can see in them. This constantly changes and I guess that is the challenge. To get the compelling shot!

    The exposure aspect is down to getting to know the limits and capabilities of the Canon G2. I have been exclusively using the LCD to compose shots this last week. The screen is quite small so it can be quite difficult to make a judgement on the composition. But, I think I will persevere with it for now.

    I started to use RAW as the output format as well this last week. As you might have seen in another post it has been both fascinating and at times very frustrating!

    Cheers for now

    Gary

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52(late start!) by Gary (oldgreygary) Week 7 (My 3rd week)

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgreygary View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts and comments so far.

    I think for me anyway one of the fascinating aspects of clouds is being able to interpret different shapes, objects etc that you can see in them. This constantly changes and I guess that is the challenge. To get the compelling shot!

    The exposure aspect is down to getting to know the limits and capabilities of the Canon G2. I have been exclusively using the LCD to compose shots this last week. The screen is quite small so it can be quite difficult to make a judgement on the composition. But, I think I will persevere with it for now.

    I started to use RAW as the output format as well this last week. As you might have seen in another post it has been both fascinating and at times very frustrating!

    Cheers for now

    Gary
    I think one of the challenges of clouds is to make them look three dimensional on a two dimensional surface. What we see with our eyes because of our ability to see depth doesn't always translate very well to a photography. I think that's where having the surface can help add some of that depth. Alternatively, having the right light on the clouds can produce fantastic results too - but you might have to wait around for that.

    Then again, who doesn't enjoy just staring at the clouds

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