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Thread: An exercise in composition

  1. #1
    Tony M's Avatar
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    An exercise in composition

    Hi all,

    Yesterday afternoon I was on the roof terrace of the Círculo de las Bellas Artes (Fine Art Circle, because of its shape) in Madrid, where there are impressive views of the city. There are many typical photos that one sees from there of Gran Vía (a major street), and I also reproduced them. But one view I hadn't seen before is shown below. The first photo shows the subjects in their context, which gives you an idea of the view. It's unprocessed.

    The others are different shots of the statues, and I'm interested to know what you think of their composition, exposure, PP etc. I'm mostly interested in their composition and what impression they gave.

    #1. Here's the subject in its surroundings.
    An exercise in composition
    1/100s at f/11, ISO 100, 85mm (136mm effective)

    #2. I tried a close-up of on of the statues. I think it's interesting because we see it elevated above the city, and there is part of the dome to the right to hint at its location above a building. It deliberately doesn't show why it's so high up; perhaps it loses impact because of it.

    An exercise in composition
    1/500s at f5.6, ISO 400, 300mm (480mm effective)

    #3. After sunset, I tried another view, zooming out to include more of the dome at the right, and the base of the statue. The location of the statue is now more obvious.

    An exercise in composition
    1.6s at f/5.6, ISO 400, 280mm (448mm effective)

    The yellow lights in the sky look like reflections of the lights on the ground, below.

    #4. I panned to the left and zoomed out slightly to include both statues. I think that including the dome and steeple of the building behind them shows more of the context and the elevation of the statues.

    An exercise in composition
    1.6s at f/5.6, ISO 400, 235mm (376mm effective)

    Thanks for viewing.

    Tony

  2. #2
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Hi Tony.

    #2 is a great shot although I might try cloning out the dome and spire since they are now out of context.

    #3 is a nice experiment, but the lights in the sky are distracting. In this image, the dome is more acceptable because of the background lighting, which indicates this is a statue. I would trim a slight bit off right side to get rid of the bright building and lights to the right of the dome.

    #4 has too many objects in it for my taste.

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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Tony, # 2 and #4 are interesting images. I wonder what they would have looked like if you had crouched down more so you could eliminate the horizon but still keep the hooves of the horses. You would then also lose the top of the dome and spire that are a bit distracting. A vantage point/crop like that would look as if the statue was climbing the mountain (particularly in #2). I do like the lighting in #4 .

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Very nice, I like the first and second for the simplicity of the subject.

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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Tony,

    I really liked #4, but it does have a lot of stuff. I did some quick cloning to simplify it. No other changes. I'll take it down if you'd rather.

    An exercise in composition

  6. #6
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Curtis View Post
    Hi Tony.

    #2 is a great shot although I might try cloning out the dome and spire since they are now out of context.

    #3 is a nice experiment, but the lights in the sky are distracting. In this image, the dome is more acceptable because of the background lighting, which indicates this is a statue. I would trim a slight bit off right side to get rid of the bright building and lights to the right of the dome.

    #4 has too many objects in it for my taste.
    Thanks for your comments, Ken.

    In #2, the dome and spire could well go and wouldn't be missed. My initial thoughts were that they served as pointers to the location of the statues, which could easily be thought to be in a park on a hill. I'm still anchored to the reality of the location, but I'll remove them as an experiment.

    In #3, the lights are distracting and should go. I should have done that when I edited the photo, but it wasn't until I was writing this post that I realised what they were; I was going to ask if anyone had some theory for their existence (UFOs, flare...). I'll trim as you suggest and see how it looks.

    Tony

  7. #7
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Tony, # 2 and #4 are interesting images. I wonder what they would have looked like if you had crouched down more so you could eliminate the horizon but still keep the hooves of the horses. You would then also lose the top of the dome and spire that are a bit distracting. A vantage point/crop like that would look as if the statue was climbing the mountain (particularly in #2). I do like the lighting in #4 .
    Thanks Shane. I couldn't crouch any lower. There was a wall on the terrace and my options were limited. I'd love to find another viewpoint of them along the lines you describe, but I'm not hopeful.

    Tony

  8. #8
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Very nice, I like the first and second for the simplicity of the subject.
    Thanks John. I also like the simplicity. I could crop a bit off the bottom and the riht of #3 to simplify it further, which I'll try.

    Tony

  9. #9
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    Tony,

    I really liked #4, but it does have a lot of stuff. I did some quick cloning to simplify it. No other changes. I'll take it down if you'd rather.

    An exercise in composition
    I don't mind your editing the photo at all, and thanks for taking the time to show me what you were thinking. It definitely looks cleaner. I have mixed feelings about removing the dome and spire (or probably lightning rod): they form a significant part of the cityscape and it's too much of a departure for me. But there is no doubt that it makes the main subject more appealing. Removing the air-conditioning units below is in my opinion less controversial and something that I would do too, as well as removing the reflected lights in the sky.

    Tony

  10. #10
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Kevin,

    If you see this post, can you tell me how you removed the "thing" at the bottom, in front of the dome? I tried doing it with Photoshop Elements 10 and gave up. The content-aware healing tool didn't work for me. That leaves the cloning I guess. Well, I tried a bit and gave up.

    Tony

  11. #11
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Hi, Tony

    Yes, I did it almost exclusively with cloning- just looked for similar shades and structures and borrowed and blended them. Then cleaned it up with thecontent aware healing brush.

  12. #12
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: An exercise in composition

    Thanks Kevin. Now I can try the same knowing that it's possible.

    Tony

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