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Thread: Forth Bridge #3

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Forth Bridge #3

    I was allowed out to play today.

    So, it was up at 5:30 to be ready for the 20 minute drive down the motorway, across the Forth Road Bridge and down to South Queensferry in time for sunrise at 6:45am (I had checked the Photographer's Ephemeris to confirm the time and to check that, as it came up, the sun was going to hit square-on to the rail bridge).

    Great. Except ............... despite Network Rail (the bridge owners) complaining about the cost of lighting the bridge in response to public demand, the guy in charge of the on/off switch this morning, somewhere in the UK, didn't switch off the flood lighting until 7:30am. I was getting completely blown lights all over the place.

    But it worked out okay. The time wasn't wasted. I was able to just enjoy the peace and quiet ........ and watch the rats scurrying on the foreshore. Also, the light on the bridge improved and was at its best, I think, between 7:30 and about 7:50am. I've got 3 or 4 I'm working on from the shoot.

    Folks who like their B & Ws to have a lot of contrast and to have rich blacks as well as good whites will maybe find this not to their taste. There are no blacks or whites and the global contrast has been lowered, although I have cranked up the Silver Efex Pro2 'Soft Contrast' slider.

    Anyway, any thoughts or comments are always welcome.


    Forth Bridge #3
    Canon 40D, EF 24-70 f2.8 L @ 32mm. ISO100. 15s @f22. Singh Ray Vari ND
    Last edited by Donald; 15th September 2012 at 08:59 PM.

  2. #2
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Donald, I am nowhere near at a level where I could critique your work. But to try to stay away from the canned "Wow, I love it" and to improve my own thought process on viewing, I will try to say WHY I love it, although it's difficult for me to do.

    I like the scale of the bridge and the angle it travels across the picture. I like the detail that shows of its construction which I guess is a result of you getting there for the right light. And I love the smoothness of the water and the contrast of the bridge against the sky. Another of your joining of nature and manmade - well done.

  3. #3

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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    A breathtaking view of the bridge, Donald. The angle catches the expanse so very well.

    Your B&W rendering in my opinion is perfect. I'm no expert but I know that I like it. I really need to learn how to do B&W conversion.

    Thanks for sharing a great image.

    Serge

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    I like the detail that shows of its construction which I guess is a result of you getting there for the right light.
    Thank you, Terri. That's very much what I wanted to try and achieve by getting there when the sun would just be coming up and hitting it from the right as we look at it. I knew it would give me some good light and shade with good sharp lines that would give definition and bring out the details of the structure.

    Thank you, Serge. Trying to show the 'grandeur' of the bridge was my intention with this 16:9 aspect ratio. I'm glad it has worked.

  5. #5
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Wonderfully done Donald. A superb image all the way around.

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    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Great angle of view Donald. Also like the smooth water (nice job Vari ND) and I think the low contrast works here were.

    What I don't like is the other bridge on the back. Can you demolish it?

  7. #7
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Great shot Donald. I think the composition works extremely well, as does the B&W treatment.

    Dave

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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Once again, an excellent image, donald. The architecture of the bridge is most impressive. Not your normal square crop, but a fitting one. Very well done, an image you should be proud of!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    I think you posted one a while back, similar composition, where the bridge was disappearing into the fog. I loved that image and I love this one too. The clarity on this is superb. I am always in awe of the sharpness of your images, Donald, and this is no exception.

    Class.

  10. #10
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    lovely shot

  11. #11
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Thank you all for your positive and helpful comments.

    Tommy - Posted one some time back from almost the same location. I had really pushed the 'Amplify Whites' and 'Amplify Blacks' in Silver Efex Pro2 and this highlighted an issue with it in terms of iots interaction with my RAW processor, DxO Optics. I was starting to get concentric circles into the shot. I contacted DxO support and they were very helpful and took the issue on board as a fix required in subsequent editions

    Quote Originally Posted by MilT0s View Post
    What I don't like is the other bridge on the back. Can you demolish it?
    That's okay - It's falling down itself. What is happening is that one-by-one, the many thousands of wires that makes up the cables from which the bridge is suspended, are snapping. It's okay for quite a few years yet, but this scene is now changing on a day-to-day basis. In 2016 a second road bridge will open just beyond that other (1964 built) one. So, If I was to take this shot in 2016, you'd see two road bridges.

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    I am always in awe of the sharpness of your images,
    Thanks, Tommy.

    The only sharpening on this is 'capture sharpening' done at the RAW processing stage with DxO and then 'output sharpening' when I re-sized it down for publication on here. There was no 'content sharpening' done at all. I couldn't see any part of the image that needed it.
    Last edited by Donald; 16th September 2012 at 10:39 AM.

  12. #12
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Folks who like their B & Ws to have a lot of contrast and to have rich blacks as well as good whites will maybe find this not to their taste.
    Canon 40D, EF 24-70 f2.8 L @ 32mm. ISO100. 15s @f22. Singh Ray Vari ND
    Like you, Donald, I can't stand feedback on the fact that black and whites should be just that.

    How are you supposed to illustrate calmness and serenity in a scene like this with a high contrast image?

    Beautifully shot.

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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... you know what I mean.

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Like you, Donald, I can't stand feedback on the fact that black and whites should be just that.

    How are you supposed to illustrate calmness and serenity in a scene like this with a high contrast image?

    Beautifully shot.
    Thanks, Phil. It is, as I think you suggest, all about the interpretation and consideration of what it is you're a) shooting and, b) trying to convey in the image. For example, your At the Track series that you've posted up today would look pretty awful if presented in the way I've presented this image. So, it's about what's right for each image, in terms of how that is visualised by the person making the image.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... you know what I mean.
    Thanks, Bobo!

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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    It's hard to tell from the small size of the image that we are limited to on the Internet, but I had the impression that you either didn't use the ND filter or that you used it ever so slightly and that you left some texture in the water. Whatever the method, and I would like to know what it is, it definitely works for me.

    Despite that there are no true blacks or whites, this image has plenty of contrast to my eyes. Contrast can be overrated.

    With regard to other aspects, I hope to remember to come back to this image to determine if my second impression is different from my first impression. For whatever reason it doesn't move me like so many of your other images. Perhaps I am so intrigued by the interesting shape in the curved part of the bridge that I wish that part of it weren't so distant. I also wonder if it isn't just a tad overly sharpened, not to the point of creating halos, of course, but maybe just a little bit unnatural to my eyes. Looking forward to a second visit!

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    It's hard to tell from the small size of the image that we are limited to on the Internet, but I had the impression that you either didn't use the ND filter or that you used it ever so slightly and that you left some texture in the water.
    ......... I also wonder if it isn't just a tad overly sharpened, not to the point of creating halos, of course, but maybe just a little bit unnatural to my eyes. Looking forward to a second visit!
    Mike

    I did have the Vari ND Filter on. That's what allowed me to get a 15 second exposure. I think it was just at about 5/6 stops. The water was quite choppy, so even at 15 seconds and with the definition contributed by the shadows of the piers and the bridge itself, we see soem structure in the water.

    As I wrote above (Post #11), the only sharpening was capture sharpening and output sharpening. What I did do on the piers was apply Silver Efex Pro 2's 'Fine Structure tool.

    When you say the small size have you clicked on it and then gone to maximum size in the lightbox? Does it still look over-sharpened at that size?

  17. #17

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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    Yes, even at the largest size displayed in the Lightbox, I get the same impression. Perhaps too crisp rather than overly sharpened is a more accurate description. I wonder if it's the aggressive use of Soft Contrast slider that takes it a little over the top for me.

    If you and others see this aspect as a strength of the image, your best bet is to ignore my thinking about it.

  18. #18
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    As usual, great work. A magnificent shot of the Forth Bridge. Your B&W work is spectacular and as I have said previously you have reawakened my interest in monotone and motivated me to pursue it. You just keep getting better with each post, Mr Donald. However I have to agree with some of the above comments. When opened in lightbox I feel that you have really pushed the sharpening to the limits, especially as viewed in the brick pylons on the LHS of the shot. But this is nitpicking by me, whom by comparison finds it "easy to say but never could do." ( Hey Donald. If this is just the Forth Bridge, I can't wait to see what you can do with the Fifth Bridge! )

  19. #19
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    I sure all our learned colleagues on here will not have missed the key fact that the two commentators on here who feel the sharpening has gone a bit far have a bit of a sheep obsession. If you need reminding, just look here and here.

    Could the overdosing on, or indeed the lack of, lamb and mutton be causing the same alertness in visual acuity? Not for me to say, but it seems a bit of a coincidence......!

    I'll be interested in what folks feel about another couple I'm working on and will post up later.

  20. #20

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    Re: Forth Bridge #3

    I sheepishly confess to that, Donald.

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