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Thread: How would YOU photograph these two better..

  1. #1
    salemslot's Avatar
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    How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Hello there here are two image's i took in December last year at a local European Christmas Market and i spotted one particular stall selling these little fella's i took these two (amongst others) and i think i have done a OK job of them, but, i am wondering how others might have taken the shots & how you would have worked on them in PP?

    How would YOU photograph these two better..

    How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Oh and here is one of my favourite's from this day...

    How would YOU photograph these two better..
    Last edited by salemslot; 14th February 2012 at 09:03 PM.

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    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Hi Paul, interesting shots. The first shot looks like you could have benefited from a deeper DOF as the Cages/lanterns? look sharp and the dolls get a little soft.

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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    With the first one, Paul, I suspect I probably would have just thought about a shot then walked on.

    There is just too much there to try to capture with one photo. However, I might have tried focusing much tighter. Just concentrating on two or three 'faces' which could become well focused as a little group.

    And I suspect that would make adjusting the brightness a little easier.

    With the last shot, I wonder about shooting from a lower angle which would have given more 'height' to the scene.

    As it is, I think I would try a crop of the foreground, and possibly part of the sky. Which will also tend to increase the height and concentrate more on the main area of interest. Perhaps end up with a 5 x 4 ratio crop.

    Maybe crop the foreground to the right edge of the flower border?
    Last edited by Geoff F; 17th February 2012 at 07:04 PM.

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Hi Paul,

    With the first two it might help if you let us know what it is that made you want to capture the scene that you did. As Geoff's mentioned, there's a lot there without anything really standing out to draw you into the photo.

    With the city scene, I would have stopped down the aperture as much as possible to try and even out the lighting and bring up the overall brightness of the scene. Cropping as Geoff's suggested but on the right, I'd probably crop out so that BMW X5 isn't in the photo.

  5. #5
    salemslot's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Hello Gents,

    The reason i took the first two was to try and capture a "little people" like the one that you see in a Bride of Chucky film but with a Christmas take on it, and i think if you took the BMW X5 out then it will take out most of the building on the right. Yes maybe it would have been better to stopped down the apeture a bit more in hind sight but it was a 'just one more shot' after a nights photography while my wife & daughter had been shopping for the day.

    Thank-you for the input i will take it on board, time i was off to work.

    Paul.

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Quote Originally Posted by salemslot View Post
    Hello Gents,

    The reason i took the first two was to try and capture a "little people" like the one that you see in a Bride of Chucky film but with a Christmas take on it, and i think if you took the BMW X5 out then it will take out most of the building on the right. Yes maybe it would have been better to stopped down the apeture a bit more in hind sight but it was a 'just one more shot' after a nights photography while my wife & daughter had been shopping for the day.

    Thank-you for the input i will take it on board, time i was off to work.

    Paul.
    Forgot to put the positives of the photo in, didn't I? That's what I get for trying to race through and catch up while I'm trying to work at the same time!

    Working back from the last photo, I do like the angle that you've captured the photo on. It shows depth and has a lot of interesting elements, especially the rather large Ferris wheel which is not something you often see framed within different buildings. It is also a very challenging scene to capture because of the lighting involved, and when it comes down to it, photography is often more about getting the light right rather than having an interesting subject.

    Capturing the light in the right way can often turn a boring subject or scene into a dazzling one. This scene looks like it has great light, but with the wider aperture it's also created hot spots from the lamps and other lights around the place. Turning up the brightness or increasing the exposure of the scene will not only brighten the buildings, but the existing lamps that are already quite bright and will generally cause a viewer's eye to be distracted from the rest of the scene.

    Which brings me to my next topic of conversation - where you want the eye to focus. One of the things I was guilty of when I first started taking photos was trying to cram in every bit of detail that I thought might hold interest for someone looking at a photo. The problem however, was that when someone looked at the photo, there was nothing for them (or perhaps too many things) to focus on. Their eyes would wander over the photo until they wandered straight off it.

    I've learnt since then to create an area of focus, either by having a subject that stands out or by using the lines and/or colours and textures in a scene to draw a viewers eye to where I want them to look. From there, the challenge is to lead their eye around the photo using the elements in the scene. In some cases, it's to hold it on the subject of interest. In other cases, it's to engross them in the detail of the rest of the scene without leading them out of the frame. However, before I learnt to do that (and to be perfectly truthful I'm still very much learning it), I've had to really simplify what my photos contain these days, and work really hard to exclude elements of a scene that I don't want people to look at - either by composing the photo better or by PP and cloning elements out. Simplifying the photo and taking out distracting elements which don't add to what I want someone to see is the easier of the two. As one gets better at photography, it becomes easier to add more elements to a photo while maintaining a viewer's interest in it.

    Anyway, I hope that explains things a bit better with respect to the comments I made earlier as I did make them in haste without explanation. Keep posting your photos as you have an interesting eye, particularly with your city scenes and I'd love to see more of your work.

    On a side note, (and one last comment I guess), if you have a look at the vertical lines in the buildings of your last photo, you might notice they're not all actually vertical. An architectural scene looks more realistic if they're all straight up and down. This particular phenomena can be caused by either perspective distortion (the angle of the camera sensor relative to the scene you're taking), lens distortion (which wide angle lenses generally have a lot of), and sometimes both. However they can be corrected in a lot of PP programs which also be something that I would be inclined to do if I had taken that scene aswell.

    Cheers,

    Mal

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Hi Paul,

    At the risk of labouring the point - although I feel it is probably worth it if you want to make progress - is to heed Mal's words about simplicity.

    I believe it also applies to the Manchester street scene too, let's try to analyse what we have ...

    First I'll list them in a rough order of the amount of image area they take up (largest to smallest);
    Grass
    Sky
    Buildings on left and right
    Arndale Centre
    Tudor building
    Wet pavement
    Flower border
    Tree trunk
    Ferris wheel


    Now I'll list them in order of brightest to darkest; (I checked using selection areas for histogram)
    Street light on right
    Christmas angels on street lamp stands
    Lit windows various
    White ferris wheel pod frames
    Arndale sign
    Tudor building surface
    Building on right
    Wet pavement
    Sky
    Flower border
    Grass
    Dome and roofs
    Flower bed in grass
    Tree trunk


    Now let's look at structure, shapes and texture;
    Smooth; sky
    Rectangular and grid structured; some buildings and their windows, masonry, paving slabs
    Angles; gable end roofs, pavement, grass, spokes of ferris wheel, tudor beams,
    Curves; ferris wheel, dome, angels, wheels
    Random; trees, flowers, grass, stonework


    The sheer number of different elements is one thing, but also; they are in such a jumbled order, that nothing of interest jumps out as being 'the subject'.

    Yes - you can argue you have a "juxtaposition of shapes" (or ages of buildings), etc., here, but I do think there is just too much.

    The most striking images are very often the simplest, so try to look for simpler compositions.

    I hope that was helpful to you, I know I certainly found it informative writing it - it will make me think before taking another city scene

    Cheers,

  8. #8
    salemslot's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Thank-you Dave,
    For your input but 'the subject' is the scene as a whole not just say the Manchester Eye or the pubs in front of it (which were moved from there old site to there present site brick by brick... boy do i wish i had a camera then... ) ok not quite as i saw it with my eye, due to the light and what have you but hey when can you always get the "perfect shot". I don't seem to yet but then again who is perfect? Anyway practice, practice, practice as the saying goes which i will do next week when i am on a night shoot in Manchester.

    I will take your thoughts and comments on board Dave next time, and, try to apply them. But don't you think that sometimes a good or decent shot should be busy so that each time you look at it, you see something different?

    Once again thank-you for your comments but i was asking for advice on the first two, the third i threw in the post because it was taken on the same day/night and i just love it!!

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Quote Originally Posted by salemslot View Post
    Once again thank-you for your comments but i was asking for advice on the first two, the third i threw in the post because it was taken on the same day/night and i just love it!!
    Hi Paul,

    Well, there's me grabbing the end of the wrong stick, again

    Sure, as a record shot of the area it is fine, I didn't appreciate the 'history' of the buildings.

    I hope I haven't offended you by being so outspoken, especially on the picture you hadn't ask for it on.

    As I said, I found it constructive actually analysing in that much detail, so I do hope, as you were gracious enough to say, it has helped you too.

    Best regards,

  10. #10
    salemslot's Avatar
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    Re: How would YOU photograph these two better..

    Dave,

    don't be daft mate you did kind of rattle my cage a little when i read your post first time through, then i re read it and thought hang on the silly sod has got the wrong end of the stick, but i get what he means... and if it has helped you well then thats a double bonus

    But if you really want to make it up then i will have a bottle of Glenfiddich 25 year old single malt...

    Paul.

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