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Thread: From Florence - part 1

  1. #1
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    From Florence - part 1

    I was in Florence (Tuscan Italy) last weekend so it was (another) the big opportunity. This time I was totally ready to take the pro-like pictures so I got everything with me: my Canon 60D with my beloved 24-105, a 50 f1.4 prime for the low light situation (never used it), my small travel Benro tripod (my girlfriend didn't like that), my 430 flash, cleaning clothes, my Circular Polarizer (VERY important), a fully charged battery, two memory cards and there we go. I also brought my -always have it with you- compact (little use, just two pictures).

    The most important thing however were all the knowledge I have gathered during the last 14 months (since the historic moment I bought my first dSLR) through books, video tutorials, the internet (CiC of course) and lot (not enough though) of practice.

    So a fantastic place to be + time to spend shooting + being confidence I can make some great pictures like those posted by the photo masters here in CiC.

    The results were -of course- a bit disappointing since it's about a 10% of the photos I shoot I am happy with. Obviously there is still a huge road ahead.

    I'll present you few images in separate posts asking for your severe critique and useful comments. Of course an "I like your image" kind comments is always beneficial for the photographers ego but I hope to get something more.

    My subjects and shooting style vary from clichés hoping to improve my technical skills to photo stories, abstracts and those -I know you don't like it but I do- images.

    Ok enough with the introduction. Here is my first Florence image post:

    #1
    From Florence - part 1
    Canon EOS 60D, Focal length: 24 mm, 1/40 at f/8 in Aperture priority, ISO 100, Exposure bias:+1/3 EV, CPL on a tripod.

    Please click on the image to view in large size.

    It's funny but what I tried to capture at first was this "light pool" on the right. I then focused on the water reflections.

    My thoughts for this image:
    I know it is a cliché, just a standard river view of the city but it's a wonderful city.

    What I like in the image:
    - The sharpness (* see the comment in the PS)
    - The vivid colors

    What I don't like:
    - This stupid crane in front of the towers. I can remove it but I don't like to interfere that much to the image.
    - The clouds. They look oversharpened but I didn't sharpen them at all. I protected them with layer masks during all sharpening steps.

    The questions:
    1) Any suggestion about the clouds?
    2) Is it an interesting composition?
    3) So you think there is something wrong with the post-processing?
    4) Do you think I should further enhance the contrast?
    5) Do you like the white border?
    6) I tried different crops but I chose this one. What do you think?

    PS. Few months ago I could not imagine how important it is to correctly sharpen an image, both regular sharpen and LCE (Local Contrast Enhancement). The SOOC file can be really be improved if exposed correctlly. There is no problem with my camera after all . Thank you Colin!

    Thank you for reading my huge post. Hope to get some nice comments and suggestions.

    The whole set can be found in my site.

    There is another river image in post #14.

    Part 2 - The Duomo
    Part 3 - Love Padlocks
    Part 4 - The Haze
    Part 5 - Pigeons
    Part 6 - Shadows
    Part 7 - Abstracts
    Part 8 - Black&Whites

    .
    Last edited by MilT0s; 9th December 2012 at 02:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by MilT0s View Post
    I was in Florence (Tuscan Italy)
    Oh, you lucky person. What a glorious city. It is over 20 years since I have been there.

    1) Any suggestion about the clouds?
    Leave them as they are. They look natural. that is how they should be.

    2) Is it an interesting composition?
    Yes. I think you have composed so that the far bank and the buildings along it, run at the perfect angle through the frame from the front left hand side into the back ground at the right hand side. If you had moved further left, then the line of the buildings would have been at a steeper angle in the frame and would not, I suggest, have been as pleasing to the eye.

    I think your placement of the tall steeple is good. It does not strictly accord with the 'rule-of-thirds', but it does not have to. I think what you have composed is a well balanced image

    3) So you see anything bad about the post-processing?
    No, I think you have done an excellent job. You have a achieved a wonderful clarity in this picture. Your camera work has obviously been primarily responsible for that, but but your post-processing has complemented that perfectly to produce a very fine image.

    4) Do you think I should further enhance the contrast?
    No. That would then start to move it away from the calm, relaxed mood and atmosphere you have conveyed in this image.

    5) Do you like the white border?
    I think if you are going to have a border, then it needs to be slightly bigger

    That is a very, very good image, in my opinion. Well done.

  3. #3

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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Dear MilTOs,

    Comments are always personal and you do not have to agree with it, but this what I think of it.
    Overall it is a nice photo and I like looking at it. Pity there was some wind, otherwise the reflection in the water of the buildings would be better. The photo seems to be a little overexposed, it seems the colors of the buildings are not vived ot warm enough to my liking. Did you use a polariser? The horizon seeems to be in the middle of the photo, is it an idea to cut off a bit of the top to get more to the rule of thirds? I used a piece of paper and to me it improved with it.
    But apart of these comments it is a nice photo. Congrats!

  4. #4
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    I think that bank on the right should be cropped out and a slight crop across the bottom would be an improvement. It just makes it seem like a cleaner shot.

    Overall, I am jealous and wish it was mine.

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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    I agree completely with Donald's responses to you questions and have only a couple of ideas to add.

    I applaud your judicious use of the polarizer. You eliminated the glare while retaining the natural look of the sky and its reflection, which I often make too dark.

    Quote Originally Posted by MilT0s View Post
    1) Any suggestion about the clouds?
    You mentioned that you think they are overly sharp. I disagree, but if it is important to try changing them, apply either a small amount of Gaussian Glur or Noise Reduction to them. A very small amount.

    6) I tried different crops but I chose this one. What do you think?
    I like it a lot. There are a lot of crops that would work very well with the image, depending on what you want to emphasize. This one tells a great story as would others.

  6. #6
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Cliche or not (it can't be that cliche as I have never seen this view) it is well done. I second much of the above. I think you did well with the processing. And the crop suits me fine ; I happen to like the curve of the river, the rippled water and if you lose the far bank you also lose some of the waterfront buildings going off into the distance. I feel you choose well.

  7. #7

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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    I like it. Bit cooler than Florence looks but since it is late November that is fine.

  8. #8
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Oh, you lucky person. What a glorious city. It is over 20 years since I have been there.
    Glorious indeed Donald. It's a city that combines history and beauty. I think it still has the feeling it had when it was the most powerful city in the world.

    Thank you for all of your comments.

    Now you mentioned it I see that many people choose big white borders for their images. I will do a comparative study to evaluate the effect.

  9. #9
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by easternlight View Post
    Dear MilTOs,

    Comments are always personal and you do not have to agree with it, but this what I think of it.
    Overall it is a nice photo and I like looking at it. Pity there was some wind, otherwise the reflection in the water of the buildings would be better. The photo seems to be a little overexposed, it seems the colors of the buildings are not vived ot warm enough to my liking. Did you use a polariser? The horizon seeems to be in the middle of the photo, is it an idea to cut off a bit of the top to get more to the rule of thirds? I used a piece of paper and to me it improved with it.
    But apart of these comments it is a nice photo. Congrats!
    Thank you very much for your comments and thought Koos. Glad you like it.

    Reflections - I agree I would prefer a totally calm river but unfortunately that almost never happened during my stay. I have a nice reflections image to show you however.

    Overexposed - Funny you mentioned that, I have the tendency to underexpose my images. In this case I pushed myself to just read the histogram.

    Colors - I see many people in CiC that love the oversaturated and vivid colors but I am not one of them. When I further increased the saturation there was a "fake" feeling I didn't like.

    CPL - Yes I did use a polarizer for maximum reflections

    Crop - This was my big issue with this image. Where to crop. I chose a no-rule-of-third composition to emphasize the symmetry of the reflections but without placing the horizon at the exact middle. It was not an easy decision having in mind exactly what you said.

    Thanks again for your help.

  10. #10
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rtbaum View Post
    I think that bank on the right should be cropped out and a slight crop across the bottom would be an improvement. It just makes it seem like a cleaner shot.
    Ahhh, the bank on the right. I spend half an hour thinking about that. I chose no to crop it so the eye can travel across the river curve while loosing some emphases on the buildings to the left.

    Thank you very much for your comment Randy!

  11. #11
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I agree completely with Donald's responses to you questions and have only a couple of ideas to add.
    Thank you very much for your comments Mike.

    I applaud your judicious use of the polarizer. You eliminated the glare while retaining the natural look of the sky and its reflection, which I often make too dark.
    I really LOVE the effect of polarizers!


    You mentioned that you think they are overly sharp. I disagree, but if it is important to try changing them, apply either a small amount of Gaussian Glur or Noise Reduction to them. A very small amount.
    I tried that but didn't like the results. Now I know you think there are ok I leave them as it is.


    I like it a lot. There are a lot of crops that would work very well with the image, depending on what you want to emphasize. This one tells a great story as would others.
    It is something very confusing to choose a crop since each crop is a different image.

    Thanks again Mike.

  12. #12
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Cliche or not (it can't be that cliche as I have never seen this view) it is well done. I second much of the above. I think you did well with the processing. And the crop suits me fine ; I happen to like the curve of the river, the rippled water and if you lose the far bank you also lose some of the waterfront buildings going off into the distance. I feel you choose well.
    Glad you like it Trevor.

    Thank you for your comment.

  13. #13
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    I like it. Bit cooler than Florence looks but since it is late November that is fine.

    A very interesting remark Bobo. You are absolutely right, almost every others photos is yellow tinted!

    Thank you for your comment.

  14. #14
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Since we are in the "part 1 - The river" section here is another one:

    #2
    From Florence - part 1
    Disclaimer: no Photoshop filters were used during the making of this image.
    Last edited by MilT0s; 2nd December 2012 at 10:10 AM.

  15. #15

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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Your second image is a keeper but it doesn't have many of the special qualities that are present in the first one.

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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Hi Miltos,

    A very fine picture IMHO. I don't see that anyone addressed your question about the crane. I wouldn't touch it, it is part of the cityscape and I think it would be difficult to remove it without leaving a trace, particularly in the reflections. Also if you took the crane out would you then be concerned about the television aerials?

    I had a look at your site and really enjoyed the pictures of the Duomo with the dark sky. I am not sure if the are a cliche but they certainly work for me.

    - Keith

  17. #17
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Your second image is a keeper but it doesn't have many of the special qualities that are present in the first one.
    Totally agree with you Mike, that's the reason it is not presented by its own.

  18. #18
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Hi Miltos,

    The cranes are not significant enough to worry about and the clouds look fine to me too.

    I'd answer 1 - 4 as Donald did.

    5. I'm not a fan of borders generally, I don't mind it being the size it is.

    6. The composition is fine and if I'd taken this, I'd definitely have it as my PC wallpaper - it is that good.

    I also had a look at the rest of the series (thanks for the link) - all very good - there's only one I'd crop differently; the one with sunlit hillside (too much dark foreground for me).

    Sadly it must be 35+ years since I was last there but Florence is certainly a lovely city. You certainly seemed to get to some good viewpoints.

    Cheers,

  19. #19
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Dave thank you very much for your kind comments.

  20. #20
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    Re: From Florence - part 1

    Hi Miltos,

    Excellent photo, great composition. I'd probably look at increasing the contrast a bit.

    I had a look at your complete set. They are very good. I particularly like these

    http://www.miltosphotography.com/flo...cfd4#h4dc3d0bc

    http://www.miltosphotography.com/flo...cfd4#h4dbbcfd4

    http://www.miltosphotography.com/flo...cfd4#h4db6bdf6

    Dave
    Last edited by dje; 2nd December 2012 at 09:08 PM.

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