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Thread: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    The city is not my thing. I'm much more interested in the high rises and wildlife of nature than that found in large cities but we got talked into a trip with friends to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. If nothing else, it provided an opportunity to learn new things.

    Here are some night shots taken from our hotel room balcony. I've not done many night shots before but I think these came out pretty good. I did not take bracketed shots so I'm not able to do HDR.

    #1 This is my favorite. We arrived at the hotel just as the sun was starting down so I quickly unpacked the tripod and set up. I like the reflections of the colors in the building.

    This was cropped for a wider aspect ratio. I considered cropping out more of the bottom to get rid of most of the parking lot but it seemed chopped off to me. I decided it was ok to leave it as this is a normal thing in cities even though I don't find it attractive. What do y'all think?

    #2 Again, I like the reflective colors. But I'm not sure there is a clear subject here - other than a skyline. This is not cropped. What would you do with this to make it better?

    #3 I like the composition on this one but I really wish I'd done a bracketed shot here so I could have gotten more color in the sky. But I'm fairly happy with it. Do the colors look believable? (this one was also cropped for a wider aspect ratio)

    Out of my element - The Big City at Night


    Out of my element - The Big City at Night


    Out of my element - The Big City at Night

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Terri, good to have you back on line. I like the idea that you have moved out of your comfort zone for a bit. I think your photos are quite nice for a first try at cities at night. I actually like the second photo. Just for fun do an 8.5 x 11 crop and in the process remove the big building on the left. I think you might find that the sunset reflection in the building at the right will grab your eye and then you will move from right to left across the scene. There is a lot to see in this photo. On the other hand my idea may be totally bogus. Either way, thanks for sharing.

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    I like the first one best and don't mind the parking lot. It's part of the story, as are the cranes.

    Do you by any chance have a photo of the building on the far right in the second one? I love the reflection of the other buildings and the sunset in that building.

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Terri

    I think your own critique is excellent. You have already identified all the key points that need to be identified.

    In answer to your question re #2, I think your own comment that there isn't really a main focal point indicates that maybe this is not one for the archive.

    I like the sky as it is in the third one. Okay, I don't know what it looked like at the time and what you wanted to convey. But I don't think the sky detracts in any way.
    Last edited by Donald; 15th December 2012 at 08:20 AM.

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Teton Chuck View Post
    ...Just for fun do an 8.5 x 11 crop and in the process remove the big building on the left. I think you might find that the sunset reflection in the building at the right will grab your eye and then you will move from right to left across the scene. There is a lot to see in this photo....
    Thanks, Chuck. I tried your idea on the crop and here's what I came up with. I also added a square crop which I like better than the original but not as good as your 8.5x11. The square just doesn't seem to fit with the tall buildings and it also exagerates the camera distortion. (I have another set of photos that I'll be posting later for a camera distortion discussion ) Thanks for the suggestion!

    Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Out of my element - The Big City at Night

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I like the first one best and don't mind the parking lot. It's part of the story, as are the cranes.

    Do you by any chance have a photo of the building on the far right in the second one? I love the reflection of the other buildings and the sunset in that building.
    Thanks, Mike. Unfortunately I do not have other pictures that concentrated on that building. This is one of those examples of my inexperience not really seeing all the possibilities. I was enamored with the sky and trying to capture those colors amongst the lights of the City. Maybe my preference for nature photography had me honing in on the natural features and kept me from recognizing the beauty of the buildings. Who knows.

    By they way, in answer to your question on your thread - I didn't lose any money. You have to play to win or lose and I'm not a gambler. Crazy, huh? A trip to Vegas with no intent to gamble!!

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Terri

    I like the sky as it is in the third one. Okay, I don't know what it looked like at the time and what you wanted to convey. But I don't think the sky detracts in any way.
    Thanks, Donald for your comments. It's good to know that maybe I am able to do a decent critique. Now if I could just see how it's going to be and critique ahead of time...

    I agree with what you've said about the third picture. As I said in my response to Mike, I think I'm concentrating on the natural elements and those are taking a back seat to the city buildings so it's bugging me. I think in moving out of my element, maybe I lost the first step of defining the subject and showcasing that. I'm stuck in the city and I'm trying to take a picture of the city with the mountains and sky as the subject.

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Did you do any hiking when you were in Vegas, such as in Red Rock Canyon?

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Did you do any hiking when you were in Vegas, such as in Red Rock Canyon?
    No, we didn't have time to take a drive out to the canyon. We did, however, do a LOT of hiking on the strip. A city block in Vegas is much bigger than other cities! My husband had never been there before so we enjoyed the different attractions the casinos offered and the company of our friends. But not likely a trip that we'll ever repeat.

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Hi Terri. I like all three of the images. If you want to crop #2, I think there is a better way.

    Out of my element - The Big City at Night

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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Me again. I think #3 works well too without having to bring out more color in the sky. I like the lighter colored sky and the purple mountain against the darker buildings. The vertical purple light strips are perfect complement with the color of the mountain. I might crop it slightly to remove the sky on the left and take a tiny bit off the right. My two cents...

    Out of my element - The Big City at Night

  12. #12
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    Re: Out of my element - The Big City at Night

    Thanks, Ken for taking time to work the crops.

    I like what you've done with #3. That makes sense to cut out that sky on the left, causing the buildings to be a frame for the middle sky and also to separate the lettering on that building on the right. I'm still not sure about #2. I'm thinking if I left it landscape that I'd want to get that whole building on the left out - which come to think of it may have been what Chuck was suggesting to begin with rather than a switch to portrait orientation. Thanks so much for pointing out some options.

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