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  1. #1
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Old Post

    Hi all, im getting more regular with my photos YAY! LOL. Anyways, i went for a walk around the property with my camera. And I always forget about this post that use to dived the property before my time(im not old, 25 turning 26) and when i saw it ok, thats a must. Took about 6 photos of it with different compositions. And this one is the better version. And it was one that called for B&W. So what you guys think??

    Old Post
    postBW by AllenLennon, on Flickr

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    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Allen,

    To be quite honest, it just isn't working for me. The main subject just doesn't stand out. The mix of sunlight and shade is confusing, there isn't strong separation between the post and the background (notice the dark bush/tree "sticking out" of the top of the post), and it isn't the first thing my eyes are drawn to in the photo (I find the black leaves or the bright tree stump in the background competing for my attention).

    I hope you don't take this as overly critical. I think you've got some potential in that subject, but you may need to revisit the scene a couple more times to find the best way to shoot it. Don't give up on this subject!

    - Bill

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Thank you bill, and comment s are welcome mate, i dont mind, lol. And i understand, but its the only position i can get the old barb wireinto the shot, ill be going back tomorrow and try again

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Hi Allen,

    Some ideas for the re-shoot ...

    Can you shoot with a much wider aperture?

    I can't see any EXIF data to know what you use, but assuming you have a DSLR (i.e. a camera with a reasonably sized sensor of say, 4/3 crop or greater - factor of 2 or 1.something), this should give a 'soft focus' background to provide some subject separation from the background.

    Or - can you take it when the sun light is on the post but not the background?
    Or use off camera flash?

    Or shoot from ground level looking up, at a wide angle, to (hopefully) put it against the sky, don't let the foreground grass spoil it though.

    Good luck,

  5. #5
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Or shoot from ground level looking up, at a wide angle, to (hopefully) put it against the sky, don't let the foreground grass spoil it though.
    After seeing this photo and posting my comment this morning, I've been mulling it over in my head all day, and this is one of the suggestions that I came up with as well. Try some low-perspective, wide-angle, close-focus (can I put any more hyphenated words into my suggestion?) treatment on this subject. I think it will help bring the barbed wire to the forefront and if you can get some nice clouds in the sky behind it, provide a nice background that shouldn't over-power (there's one!) your main subject.

    Now I'm (im)patiently awaiting the reshoot!

    - Bill

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    Re: Old Post

    Allen,

    Once you shoot the post again, I hope you'll post a larger file so we can click your image and review it in greater detail.

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Old Post Updated

    Hi all,

    I have taken on editing it again. I cropped it so the dark patch of leaves is gone, i did try to lighten it up, and also cloning it out with out success so cropped it so it was out. I also cropped part of the stump out, and burned the highlights at selected places, and on the stump to try to eliminate the brightness distraction. What do you guys think of this version??

    Old Post
    postBW2 by AllenLennon, on Flickr
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 14th July 2012 at 10:14 AM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post Updated

    Hi Allen,

    This is much better.

    There is more I (personally) would do if trying to extract an image from this, but we risk getting into a round of 'ever decreasing improvements'.

    When I look at it now, the post is the obvious subject, but my eyes are drawn to;
    a) the bit of wood lower left corner (I would darken it a bit more)
    b) the stumps top left corner
    c) the contrasty (and sharp) patterns formed by the sun on the trees in distance

    For b) and c), the most effective/realistic treatment would be to blur them in PP.
    I would do this by 'setting up' as follows; selection of a soft edged, circular blur brush, setting a 50% strength (so it takes 2 wipes over a given spot to achieve 100%), this allows additional feathering to that provided by the soft edged brush), set brush size (as below), repeatedly tapping (or hold) the left or right square brackets (to right of "P" on my keyboard) to decrease and increase the brush size.

    To apply; choose a brush size that fits easily between any picture elements you want to remain sharp and do the large areas first while viewing the whole picture. Remember to apply with 100% strength at furthest distance and less (wipes over same spot) as you get closer to the camera, to replicate lens blur (remember my first idea?)
    Now you need to tackle the areas adjacent to the stump so we don't have a sharp background halo around it. Zoom the picture to 100% Ctrl+Alt+0 (zero) on Adobe products. Then reduce the brush size, with "[", and carefully go around the edges of the trunk, be careful; do not soften the edge of the trunk, so keep the edge of the brush clear of that.
    Now you'll have a bit left to do between the two softened areas, increase the brush size again as necessary and fill in the gaps. With all this close up (100%) work, you need to remember how close the background is to the camera and only apply the right amount of strength/passes so it matches the rest and looks natural.
    Work on a copy, you may make mistakes and want to start over, but it is a useful technique for people without the budget for f/2.8 (or faster) lenses to learn

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 14th July 2012 at 10:16 AM.

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    ok, i burned the wood to the bottem left, and done some background blurring, hope it helps. After this ill be shooting it again and start from scratch, taking my tipod next time to, so i can keep the same position and do diffrent settings, in hope to get it right of course, oh and for the fun of it Hows this edition??
    Old Post
    postBW2b by AllenLennon, on Flickr

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Bill, i will be doin a re-shoot hopefully tomorrow. And mike, to saze my limited internet usage i upload to flicker than copy the BBcode for the image directly into the dialoge box of the thread. Thats why when you click the image it dosnt get to big. For a bigger version you can check the photos on flikr. It sucks being on a wireless 8GB a month plan, its the best thing i can afford. When im at my parents it would be a diffrent story

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Hi Allen,

    I moved the other thread and my reply here.

    Looking at the result I would have applied several more passes in the distance, it isn't as soft as I envisgaed in my head, but probably not worth another iteration.

    Look forward to the re-shoot.

    Not sure I understood the ramifications of not posting larger version, since you uploaded that already.

    Experiment at linking an 800px tall version from Flickr;
    Old Post

    If the problem is that having a larger version here at CiC is that it eats into you 8GB bandwidth everytime you view and reply to the thread here, let me know and I'll remove this experiment.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 14th July 2012 at 10:25 AM.

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Dave, i agree, a few more passes at the distance would be a good idea, i did go over that a fair few times. Ill be doing a re-shoot of this tomorrow, if weather permits. I'll be going at about the same time as this because its the only time it would of decent lighting from the sun, due to the trees and the up hill slope will have shadows on it for the most part. i would use flash but i wont have aa long enough cable to do so to get it light like this. And i will be doing multiple shots for different settings and angles, i will be trying for a lower angle as well but i dont know how it will go due to all the tress. Part of living in the country.

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    Re: Old Post

    Screw a very dark ND filter onto the lens, set the camera on a tripod, wind down ISO to rock bottom and aperture to f/22 - or any combination that will lead to a leisurely exposure time of five minutes or so - and then paint the post with flashes from a handheld speedlight from whatever angles might best reveal its nature. Will it turn out well? Who can say? But it will make a radical departure from your usual methods, and something of interest may well come to light.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Old Post

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    Dave, i agree, a few more passes at the distance would be a good idea, i did go over that a fair few times. Ill be doing a re-shoot of this tomorrow, if weather permits. I'll be going at about the same time as this because its the only time it would of decent lighting from the sun, due to the trees and the up hill slope will have shadows on it for the most part. i would use flash but i wont have aa long enough cable to do so to get it light like this. And i will be doing multiple shots for different settings and angles, i will be trying for a lower angle as well but i dont know how it will go due to all the tress. Part of living in the country.
    Yes, I can certainly empathsize (sp?) the limited lighting aspects - a lot of my bird feeders in the garden are in shadow 90% of the day due to trees and buildings

    Cheers,

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    Re: Old Post

    It seems to me that each version got better. Despite the success of the series of revisions and the skills you learned from making them, I'm confident that you'll do much better by simply capturing the image in better light with a more appropriate aperture.

    By the way, when you do end up having to blur the background in post-processing, I have found that when the background recedes progressively away from the subject, it's easiest to use a gradient to apply the blur. Doing so simulates the increasing amount of blur that a large aperture produces.

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