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Thread: What would you do?

  1. #1
    orlcam88's Avatar
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    What would you do?

    I thought this shot was interesting enough to get some votes in the competition but sadly only 2 others besides myself voted it. I didn't expect to win, but would have liked more votes as it's a multiple vote selection.
    What I like about it was the way the light hit it (naturally, not on purpose) and the shadows. Unfortunately, the bird on the far side cut in half is how I shot it. I probably should had cloned it out.

    So, I bring it up to the C&C folks. What would you do to improve this?

    What would you do?

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    Re: What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by orlcam88 View Post
    I thought this shot was interesting enough to get some votes in the competition but sadly only 2 others besides myself voted it. I didn't expect to win, but would have liked more votes as it's a multiple vote selection.
    What I like about it was the way the light hit it (naturally, not on purpose) and the shadows. Unfortunately, the bird on the far side cut in half is how I shot it. I probably should had cloned it out.

    So, I bring it up to the C&C folks. What would you do to improve this?

    What would you do?

    The sea gull, is an interesting enough subject, but that is only part of what it takes for a really good photo. You got a good exposure and the light is nice. What you don't have is composition , composition, composition.

    The bird in the back is cut in half........there is a line from the concrete running through your subjects head.........a very bright triangle in the top left corner , which is a distraction.....the subject is facing to the right and positioned to the right side of the frame.


    Learn to look for the areas, and the subjects , that offer a clean background and good compositions. Don't waste your time with areas or subjects that don't. Even if the light is great, you won't get a great photo, without composition.
    Last edited by Steve S; 13th September 2012 at 08:08 PM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    Orlando - I'd urge you not to try and interpret too much into the number of votes cast for any image in the Mini Comps. We know that an awful lot of people do not even realise that they are multiple choice polls.

    As for this image .......

    You have nailed the main subject bird beautifully and as you suggest, the lighting on it is superb. I think what doesn't help the image are all the other elements in it. And an image is everything in the frame, not just the primary subject.

    I think those other two birds are a significant distraction. The edge of the pathway is cutting through the subject's head. At the top left you have a very strong delineation between light and shade resulting in that harsh line running at an angle across the top of the frame. There 's a dark object or mark on the grass creeping in to the edge of the image on the right hand side, just below the kerbstone. I think the grass is very dull and good be lifted by a bit of dodging or by lifting with a curve (but you would need to use a mask to protect the bits you didn't want to affect).

    So, I think that when you analyse an image (or better still when you are composing it and before you hit the shutter), you have to look at everything in it and ask yourself if it all works together to make a complete image. In this one, I think you have an outstanding main subject, but I feel the rest of the image doesn't work with it or support it.

    I hope this helps you own analysis. And I hope others will comment of they disagree with my assessment.

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    orlcam88's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    Thank you Steve and Donald. Here's an update using photoshop. I'm just a beginner with this so this is the best I can do. Spent a couple of hours. Sometimes it's easier to see other peoples flaws but not your own. I cropped in a bit and left out all of the birds. Replaced all background with grass using a combination of clone and content aware. Then blurred the background. mostly to cover up my bad cloning!
    What would you do?

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    Re: What would you do?

    Not bad PP at all Orlando, and a big improvement over the original!

    When cloning large areas such as you have had to here, it is fairly difficult to avoid the repeating patterns. This can be fixed in most cases by identifying the repeating patterns and using different random sources to overlay only those locations.

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    Re: What would you do?

    Much better orlando!! Just for future reference, it's always better to do these things 'in camera' as opposed to doing it in an editing program.

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    Hi, Orlando;

    I think you've done a great job is post processing this image. Removing the background distractions, as Donald suggested, really brings the viewer's attention to the strong points of the image - that you've nailed the focus on the bird's eye (not always an easy thing to do!) and that you have captured a great catch light in the bird's eye. Those points really accentuate the great lighting that you have captured in this image.

    I've had images that I thought were really good come in last in mini competitions; and one image I submitted that maybe I wouldn't even have voted for myself (given the other submissions) actually came in first! So, you never know what people are going to choose; but I am use to seeing that - often, back in the days of film, I would show people the prints from a roll I had taken only to have them pick out as 'the best' one which I wouldn't have even considered choosing myself. My own personal favorites (sometimes for technical reasons) were often overlooked by others; so I learned long ago that individual taste is a matter of personal choice!

    The final and most important thing is that the images you take are ones that you yourself are happy with. That's a learning process, and I think you've taken a big step forward with the way that you've re-edited this image.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by orlcam88 View Post
    What would you do?
    What a difference. Now we can really appreciate how good a shot that is of that bird.

  9. #9
    orlcam88's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    It's funny how I get so emotionally attached to a photo. At the time, I was changing lens and she came up and looked towards me. Moving around a bit here and there. Then she hit the light and stood there. It was perfect, love at first sight. I have to marry her. So I slowly took my camera and took the shot. After I took this shot, I knew it was in a bad angle, half-bird here, pathway etc. (I had cropped out other parts not shown in the first photo!) But I thought, wow this is a really nice sharp photo, people will ignore the flaws. How can anyone complain. She's perfect, I love her!
    Knowing that I can't be judgemental on my own photo's, I figure I'd get some help. And help I got. Thanks everyone!

    The one thing I learned is that no matter how much you love a shot, you need to detach your emotions from it and look at it from a strangers perspective.

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by orlcam88 View Post
    The one thing I learned is that no matter how much you love a shot, you need to detach your emotions from it and look at it from a strangers perspective.
    Not always! Some pictures just only appeal to the photographer because at that time there was this "Yes, I gotta take ths picture" emotion that is only relevant to the photographer.
    Strangers will neve feel the same emotion. The photographer was there - they weren't.
    Does that make sense?

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    Re: What would you do?

    I do like that you cropped the image. The problem I see is keeping the "nuanced" feel of the lighting on the bird. By removing the dark sidewalk, you removed contrast I found necessary to really get the feel of that lighting. I wish I had time to play with it today.

    Maybe darken the shadows in the grass?

    I really like this bird, don't give-up --it is a great shot.

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    Re: What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    Not always! Some pictures just only appeal to the photographer because at that time there was this "Yes, I gotta take ths picture" emotion that is only relevant to the photographer.
    Strangers will neve feel the same emotion. The photographer was there - they weren't.
    Does that make sense?
    Yes, I feel that way about a lot of landscapes. I feel so inspired when I take them and after I get home, I think --wow, ANOTHER postcard picture. . .. I even lose the feeling once I'm not there anymore LOL

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by orlcam88 View Post
    The one thing I learned is that no matter how much you love a shot, you need to detach your emotions from it and look at it from a strangers perspective.
    Like Kris says (or doesn't exactly) - Sort of. You need to do both.

    I am not a technically gifted photographer. There are loads of people on here who are much more technically minded, knowledgeable and gifted than me. I operate on emotion and feeling. And I know enough about the technical bits and the 'rules' to get me through. I know, too, that every image that I make gets 100% of my energy and emotion. That's why I shoot alone. I could never go out on a group shoot. It just wouldn't work for me. I need to be alone - Just me and what I'm shooting.

    So, I'd say the emotion has got to be there. You've got to feel a passion for the image that you're going to make, whether it's at the top of a mountain or in the middle of a rock concert. But .....................

    You've got to balance that with an objective analysis. You've got to question yourself - Is this right? Is the composition the one I want/need? Is what I want to see and what I am seeing the same thing?

    We've all been there - with the image that we really, really want to work and, deep down, know that it hasn't made it. But yet we process it just one more time ....... just in case it will work this time.

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    Re: What would you do?

    Orlando,

    Considering that you are new to post-processing, you did an absolutely remarkable job of replacing the background. It's not perfect as others have explained, but it's so good that it won't be difficult to take it to the next level. Consider returning to the exact same patch of grass and shooting it in similar light. Then use that image as the background for the bird.

    You mentioned that you like that the light is natural rather than controlled. Why do you care whether the light is natural, controlled or both so long as the results are pleasing?

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    John Morton's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by orlcam88 View Post

    The one thing I learned is that no matter how much you love a shot, you need to detach your emotions from it and look at it from a strangers perspective.
    Orlando, I think that you were right the first time: what you need to do as a photographer is to give other people the opportunity to appreciate how YOU feel about the images you capture! That requires a certain degree of technical knowledge and expertise, which you are well on your way to acquiring, so that you can bring out in your photos for others to see the qualities that you initially see and which cause you to take photographs in the first place.

    I don't think it is about ignoring your own sensibilities to favor those of others so much as it is about finding common threads we all share, and learning how to weave these through your images using the technical aspects of photography that make it an art of seeing. In this process, we all learn how to make these common threads we all share more visible to others through our photographs.

  16. #16
    orlcam88's Avatar
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    Re: What would you do?

    The emotion will always be there. I'm not going to detach that from taking a photo. I saw this on the frame and decision to take the photo regardless of the background. The focus was on the seagull and the way the light hit her. It's something I will always do. My thought at the end about emotion is based on a competition (not that it was a major one) but if I wanted to compete in one for a major one, what could make this photo more attractive to make it one that can win. At some point I will eventually but I needed suggestions on this photo so I'd know what to do when that time comes. So to judge a photo to be worthy of a competition I need to see it as if I was voting on one. And the only way to look at it is to remove my emotion of it and look at it as a stranger. To basically to look at the details of it. So if I was to vote on this photo on a professional level, would I pick this one out? It's a learning process for me. So I'd know what to do in the future. Would I take this photo again? most certainly I will. Would I enter it in a more meaningful competition? nope. I now know I need to be able to evaluate a photo unemotionally.

    @Mike, I mentioned the lighting because it wasn't something that I created. They way the light shined and the turn of the head, I just had to take the photo. It was an opportunity that I didn't think would present itself again if I'd waited or shifted around. I could had someone go around and shine a light on a bird but it wouldn't be the same. One is staged and the other spontaneously. If I was going to enter a contest then maybe I'd do that.

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