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Thread: Church in Silhouette

  1. #1
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Church in Silhouette

    Unplanned shot, while on a freeway noticed a dramatic sky and a church in the distance. Turned into a high speed chase of the light because I didn't know how to get to the church and I was afraid of losing the sky.

    I exposed it primarily to feature the sky, but originally had some detail in the church. I decided to go with full silhouette as the church detail seemed only to detract. I framed and cropped to include some of the large tree on the right because I thought the leafless branches added some drama and the volume of the tree helped balance the weight on the dark clouds in the left upper. Doing the conversion and then the silhouetting rendered some nasty haloing that I had to take out at the pixel level.

    I'm interested in your thoughts- does it work, any suggestions in processing, composition or cropping? Thanks for viewing.

    Church in Silhouette

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Kevin. I like the image. The trees or bushes that blend with the church on the right side bother me because I think it diminishes the churches silhouette.

    Karm

  3. #3
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Thanks for commenting, Karm. I understand what you are saying, and was aware of it, but those trees extend back behind the church and there was no way to get any separation between them and the church front. I couldn't think of any solution, and just hoped the distraction wouldn't be excessive.

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Hi Kevin. I like it a lot. Very nice idea and well executed, IMHO. The bushes pointed by Karm are really a constraint, but I still like it the way it is. Cheers...

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    I like this Kevin, but wonder if you have lost some of the impact of the great silhouettes by under-exposing to this extent. The sky is very powerful and still works well with an increased exposure which then brings those headstones, trees and church into play. (I had a little play in Silver Effex Pro)
    Certainly worth chasing the light for this one.

  6. #6
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Thanks, Otavio and Mike. I certainly will experiment with some exposure adjustments as you suggest, Mike. I'll likely do it on separate layers as I want to keep the church featureless.

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    I've been trying to figure out during several viewings why I'm not bowled over by this image because this is the type of image that would usually wow me. I finally figured it out: For me, the tonality of the dark clouds in the top left area is too similar to the tonality of the black silhouette. Try lightening those clouds to determine if that change works for you.

    About the trees: When you return, take a large chain saw with you.

  8. #8
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    About the trees: When you return, take a large chain saw with you.

    No way- their boss is one powerful dude!

    version 2
    Church in Silhouette

  9. #9

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Good point about the boss.

    I hadn't thought of that revision but it works really well for me.

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Great pic - and I like the trees on the right - adds a sense of foreboding

  11. #11
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Thanks, Peter. Glad you like it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Good capture Kevin. I like it, and you did good considering you were in a rush to capture the scene. Its times like this I wish we can say "freeze" and the clouds & light slows down to give us more time to figure out our shot!

    -I like version two better.
    -As far as the trees on the right side, I think if they were less dense, more like the other tree on the left side of the church, it would have balanced it out more and the Church would be more clearly defined on the right side. Nothing you could do about it. (unless you could ask the Boss to make it less dense?)
    -I wonder what a wider angle would have looked like? I really like the composition of the sky- just enough darkness in the left corner, and the rays flowing out. At the same time, I wonder if including more of the tree and headstones on the left would have added to the image? (Then the dark area in the sky might become too overpowering?)
    - The headstones are an interesting feature from the angle you took it from. Looks forebodding.

  13. #13
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Mike,
    thanks so much for your thoughtful critique. I'm including slightly different version that was slightly wider (maxed at 24 (36 effective) mm) You can see how rapidly the sky was changing. About 5 min. later, the sky was almost entirely clear.

    Church in Silhouette
    Last edited by kdoc856; 20th April 2013 at 02:40 PM.

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Kevin,

    I like that the dark clouds in this latest version are in the shape of an arrowhead that points to the church. I would be interested in seeing a monochrome version of it if you're so inclined.

  15. #15
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    I really enjoyed the last version posted. i find the first 2 very pleasing as well but the sky's color's amazing.

    It does steal the show from the church though...

  16. #16
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    These are very nice, all of them, but I like the first most. V1. and v.2 both have nice delineation of the headstones on the left, which add concept to the drama. I’m pretty novice, and notice in this post and its follow-ups couple of the principles that are emerging from my study and that I think about:
    1. Seeing what to shoot is a skill to develop for most of us, for some it seems a gift. This is a great example of seeing, then seizing an idea for an image.
    2. There are literally infinite potential solutions in post processing, as many as for a blank canvas, palette, and brush. How to preserve what is genuine in the original, how far to go with fabricating something new, and how to know when one is finished is still mysterious to me. The work done after image capture makes the most sense to me when it strives towards what was in the mind’s eye at the outset, and less so when it makes something new that was birthed by fooling with software.
    I am sure I would learn from the thoughts of others more experienced regarding this idea.
    In any case, I enjoyed these very much.

  17. #17
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Thanks for viewing and sharing your thoughts, Jimmy and Mark.

    Mark, your considerations are certainly thought provoking and to some degree universal, I think. Time, experience and "photographic maturation" lead each of us where they will according to our personal constitution and comfort with experimentation and our resolution of how much (if any) obligation we have to the original. Much depends on the circumstance of the shot, the audience, and whether the circumstance constrains the creativity of the shot. I agree with you that it is mysterious and that mystery breeds fascination.

  18. #18

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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    Time, experience and "photographic maturation" lead each of us where they will according to our personal constitution and comfort with experimentation and our resolution of how much (if any) obligation we have to the original. Much depends on the circumstance of the shot, the audience, and whether the circumstance constrains the creativity of the shot.
    I don't remember seeing those sentiments expressed so well.

  19. #19
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    WOW...That is a fantastic sky!!!! 1st part of the image that caught my eye..amazing!! i'm gonna go the other way and say i reckon those trees and branches are FANTASTIC!!!! I just wish the church wasnt so harsh..the sillouhette is awesome!! just wish there were some lights on to show some crossed windows...think that would tone down the church a little,is there a way to photoshop them in??
    i still think it is awesome...one of those...wish i took that picture

  20. #20
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Church in Silhouette

    Thanks again, Mike. Claudio: very interesting thought. I have another church shot that I have in mind where as I recall, the color temp and size of the windows might just work. I'll fiddle with it, and PM you if it turns into anything. Thanks for that idea.

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