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Thread: North Rustico Lighthouse

  1. #1
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    North Rustico Lighthouse

    North Rustico, on Prince Edward Island, Canada is a small fishing village located on the north coast of the island. The lighthouse marks the entrance to the harbour. The run-down nearby buildings just added to the character of the image.

    It was a grey, overcast day, so I isolated the sea and sky and reworked it a bit to give it a bit more life.


    North Rustico Lighthouse
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 15th June 2013 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Fixed serious editing error in image

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    Manfred i think you've done rather well with fairly ordinary weather conditions to bring this scene to life. The clouds provide a dramatic background for these interesting buildings. Nicely done.

    Dave

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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    Grumpy Manfred:

    That has to be the shortest lighthouse I have ever seen? Is it still used as a lighthouse--or has it been replaced with a lightbulb, a pole and a battery pack?

    I love the angles of the buildings. The one the right is almost square with the camera and the other draw the eye across the scene away from it. Nice in Black and White too!

    Gretchen

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    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    It works for me, Manfred. I think you've made the most out of what you had to work with.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    Thanks for the comments Dave, Getchen and Ken.

    As a point of interest; this is the image I started with.

    North Rustico Lighthouse

    I think I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that B&W is one way to rescue images that have boring skies. The other lesson learned is that sometimes the power lines / telephone lines can be used as a compositional element. I ususally try to remove these, but in this instance, the lines strung between the buildings help pull the various pieces together.

    The other lesson is that the RAW image contains details of the sky that can be extracted, even if one can't see it in the original image.

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    That's a remakable transformation Manfred.

    Dave

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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    That's a remarkable transformation Manfred.
    Ditto to that! It's not just the sky that is transformed; everything in the image is transformed.

    This is one of the few situations that the electrical wires complement if not add to the image by connecting the various subjects.

    I'm in the process of reading a book by Vincent Versace about making monochrome images and I'm sure he would agree that this is an amazing transformation. However, one of his comments is that you can't make a great monochrome image from a capture that isn't great. I think this pair of images demonstrates that in the sense that it's a really good image though not a really great one that is made from an image that at best is very ho-hum.

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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    I'm not a B/W fan and I agree that it is far superior in this case. Not only the sky but the way the B/W enhances the textures. Nice job.

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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    Manfred it is a great B&W conversion with the tonal range and saturation to make it a great B&W image.
    I do not like cutting buildings in half – still believe it is better avoided.

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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    Not only a good conversion Manfred but a good example of how mono can add depth by using tonality instead of colour. Have to agree with Andre about cutting the building in half but it's still a very good image.

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: North Rustico Lighthouse

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I guess I should start with where I am coming from with some of the postings I have made recently. Much of my photography happens when I am off traveling somewhere and am on a schedule. Unfortunately, there are time pressures and one is often (always?) at a place where the lighting is not ideal and the weather is not behaving. I am trying to develop a “toolkit” I can use under these types of shooting situations, in order to be able to preserve my memories with compelling images. I asked a question on another thread here on CiC about how others identify what I refer to as “diamonds in the rough”; images that are quite ordinary at first glance, but can be turned into something rather compelling with a bit of work in post.

    I’m not by nature someone who loves B&W; when I first started in photography back in high school, I shot B&W film, because that was all I could afford. Once I could afford to shoot colour, that’s generally where I stayed. Now that I am reasonably competent in digital, I’m spending a bit of time exploring B&W again.

    John, Andre
    – I used to think the same way about cutting buildings in half; and in fact had much the same view when it came to head shots. I’ve changed my mind on this one; while there is something to be said for this; it has to be put in context. I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained if cutting off a building adds to the composition. In this case, I did so on purpose for two reasons:

    1. I was attempting to use both the white building on the left and the dark building on the right to constrain the viewer’s eyes and use it to lead them to the main subject, the lighthouse; and

    2. Balance the image – the building on the right is dark and drives a bit of a hole into the image. That is balanced off by the two lighter coloured buildings on the left. Putting in the whole building would have skewed the viewer to the left and have resulted in an unbalanced image.

    Mike – what I think Versace is likely saying is that a monochrome conversion will not necessarily give you a great image. You need great composition regardless of whether it is in colour or B&W. In my experience most images look best in one or the other; it is a fairly rare image that works well as either B&W and in colour.

    Gretchen
    - So far as I understand it, there are still a few traditional lighthouses around, but they are either being automated or being replaced by modern technology when the incumbent lighthouse keeper leaves. I’ve certainly run into active lighthouse on the Pacific coast of Canada. I suspect this one may have been retired; there is a Coast Guard plaque on the active ones, and I did not see one on this structure.

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