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Thread: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

  1. #1
    katja's Avatar
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    HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    HI! I would like to get comments on this photo. I feel that something is missing. May be I should make it B&W or make a crop? Thank you!

    HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"
    Last edited by katja; 24th February 2012 at 06:56 PM.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    I would certainly crop tighter to the top of the lamp post, Katja. And also try to reduce the highlights a bit.

    But, to me, there are three competing elements here. That substantial door, with writing on the top glass pane; the lamp post and the people.

    I suspect that once the background becomes less bright things will come together better. I have considered cropping tighter to the couple beside the railings, but I don't really want to lose the top of that interesting lamp post.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    I'd consider seriously cropping it, to landscape format, making the couple the feature of the image.
    The lamp post will overpower the couple unless you crop the top off unfortunately.
    The person wide left is also a distraction.
    RE: B&W...try de-saturising it a bit rather than coverting to B&W,
    Like Geoff says there are too many competing elements.

    Good luck Katja.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    The bottom I think definitely needs a crop as it doesn't add anthing to the photo but I think the main issue is that bright lighting on the building. It's s difficult task but if you can reduce that bright light it would make a world of difference to what you've captured.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Hi Katja

    I agree with Geoff. For me the couple is too far away in the scene to be considered the main subject. A tighter crop would help. I hope you don't mind, but I did a quick crop of your photo and tried to reduce the brightness a little, although there is a large portion of blown out pixels. Unfortunately the sun was hitting to hard on the building.

    If you decide to crop tighter, then you may clone out the remains of the door on the left side of the picture.

    Toņo

    HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Thank you all guys, especially Geoff, first of all, for explanation of the problem!
    You are right there are three competing elements, and making crop really helps to improve the photo as shown by Tono. I know it is difficult task to get a very good photo here, because of many reasons (different “dimensions” of couple and lamp, couple is too far), but I really want to get as much as possible. I like city photography very much , I mean, to catch interesting moments on the streets, which let you “transmit” the spirit of a town. The photo was made in Saint Petersburg, which is a very romantic city, so this couple, in some sense, characterizes the its atmosphere…..Well, with your comments you have made me work and I guess we have got maximal result:
    HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    out of this original image:
    HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Katja,
    Your last picture shows us that you led us all astray with your first image, as the original photo does not have any blown highlights while your first attempt has both blown highlights and too much contrast in the couple which is your main point of interest. What you need to do is to go back to the original and open up the shadows without blowing the highlights. Which tool you should use depends on whether the original is available as a raw file, or of it is a jpeg.

    Lennart Elg

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    3 competing elements or 3 points of interest? Many would say 3 points of interest it the goal, lol. This is an interesting study.
    From the original image, there are exactly two things I don't like, the person on the far left that doesn't belong there, and the way the lamp post line coincides with the edge of the large window behind it.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    hi, Lennart! For editing I have used "B&W focus" in Picasa to make more contrast and, in particular, I liked this combination of purple and yellow.
    You are right, in the first edited file the contrast was too much, so I reduced it in the last edition. Could you, please, explain, what "open up the shadows" means? The original file in JPG. Thank you!

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    3 competing elements or 3 points of interest? Many would say 3 points of interest it the goal, lol. This is an interesting study.
    From the original image, there are exactly two things I don't like, the person on the far left that doesn't belong there, and the way the lamp post line coincides with the edge of the large window behind it.
    hi, Brian! well, I don't like this person too, and I can fix it only with crop, but I can't do anything with the lamp. I know the imag is far from perfect, but I would like to get as much as possible from it.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    I did a 2 minute edit with some freeware and this is what I got. The lamp post still just kind of dominates the scene, not sure how to get around that without a much different perspective or crop.

    HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    I think the lamp post dominates the photo a bit because it's in line with the bright spot just above the couple's head.

    Katja - Picasa is very limited with regards to photo editing capabilities. I'd suggest using Piknik (linked to Picasa free from memory) or Gimp which is another free editor. If you can, you should try and shoot in Raw as well to capture more light information - you'll have an easier time editing your photos later on.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    I did a 2 minute edit with some freeware and this is what I got. The lamp post still just kind of dominates the scene, not sure how to get around that without a much different perspective or crop.

    HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"
    Thank you, Brian! Reducing sharpness of background really improves the photo! What program have you used?

  14. #14
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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldcoastgolfer View Post
    I think the lamp post dominates the photo a bit because it's in line with the bright spot just above the couple's head.

    Katja - Picasa is very limited with regards to photo editing capabilities. I'd suggest using Piknik (linked to Picasa free from memory) or Gimp which is another free editor. If you can, you should try and shoot in Raw as well to capture more light information - you'll have an easier time editing your photos later on.
    Yes, I know, Mal, about Picasa. That is why recently I started to study GIMP 2, but now I can do only few simple things in this program. Good idea about Piknik! I should look it. I hope it is less complicated than GIMP

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Katja, I work with the aforementioned 'complicated GIMP'.
    I understand that it isn't terribly easy to learn, but if you watch a few youtube tutorials you might be surprised what you can do without much study. Or you can always go with the tried and true Adobe products, which I've been told have pretty good training videos provided by Adobe.
    I started with some "meet the gimp" podcasts on iTunes. There is also a meetthegimp.org website.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Katja, I work with the aforementioned 'complicated GIMP'.
    I understand that it isn't terribly easy to learn, but if you watch a few youtube tutorials you might be surprised what you can do without much study. Or you can always go with the tried and true Adobe products, which I've been told have pretty good training videos provided by Adobe.
    I started with some "meet the gimp" podcasts on iTunes. There is also a meetthegimp.org website.
    Thank you for an advice! I will watch youtube tutorials. All tutorials (written), I found about GIMP, are just lists of "algorithms" to obtain certain effects on photo, without explanations of functions which are used.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Katja

    As well as Brian's suggestion, I would very much recommend www.meetthegimp.org as the best possible resource for learning the GIMP.

    Rolf Steinort is a teacher in Germany and he has developed this series of video tutorials over the last 4 years. Please do read the home page. But once you have done that go to this page, which is specially for new users of the GIMP. It lists all the older tutorials.

    Rolf recommends that to get a very good basic understanding of the GIMP, you should study the tutorials in the following order:
    001
    066
    037
    025
    003
    004
    005
    009
    010
    Last edited by Donald; 27th February 2012 at 06:18 PM.

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    Re: HELP: improve my photo and some advices on making pictures "on the streets"

    Thank you, Donald! I will do it for sure!

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