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Thread: Christmas Shoppers

  1. #1

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    Christmas Shoppers

    It is a hot dsay here so this is really out of season.

    I remember standing by the market place pretending to be taking the stalls and waiting till somebody crossed the lateral focus point. (50mm lens 1.320 5.6. I would have prefered multiple shots but didn't want to startle them out of their wits and have to explain myself). As it happened, they did not appear to notice anything at all.

    Decided to try Lens Blur and tone down the colours in the background but I haven't used lens blur for so long I have forgotten the finer points. Hope it look OK.

    christmas-shoppers.jpg
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    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 19th May 2010 at 07:15 PM. Reason: add image inline

  2. #2

    Re: Christmas Shoppers

    An interesting street shot. I like the colours and the general 'feel' of it. Pity about her left hand dragging the strap over her shoulder. It's a strange shot, but I don't quite know why. On balance, I think it's very good.

  3. #3

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    Re: Christmas Shoppers

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    An interesting street shot. I like the colours and the general 'feel' of it. Pity about her left hand dragging the strap over her shoulder. It's a strange shot, but I don't quite know why. On balance, I think it's very good.
    Rob, I am very interested to know why it looks strange. It doesn't to me, but then I took it.It is crop and I wouldn't have thought there is much distortion ( I checked the original and actually they are in the centre, not to one side) and I don't like square formats though in this case I didn't have much option.

    What have I missed??

    John

  4. #4

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    Re: Christmas Shoppers

    Hi, John;

    I think what does look a little strange to me is the noise on top of the lens blur. I'm sure it happens, since you can set high ISO with open aperture, but I don't usually see the two together.

    Cheers;
    Rick

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Christmas Shoppers

    Hi John,

    That noise really is quite bad for 500 iso.

    One thing I know Colin is always keen to advise: it is best to stick to whole stops of iso, by which I mean only use 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, etc. the 1/3 stops in between are achieved through elctronic tomfoolery and give almost as much noise as the next full stop, i.e. this is 800 iso's worth of noise.

    I don't know what you are using for PP and RAW conversion, but if you use Elements, Lightroom 2 or Photoshop CS3, 4, 5, try the noise controls on the Details tab in ACR, they should fix this for free.

    Beyond that, I always recommend Neat Image (but there are others) to deal with noise.

    btw, always deal with noise before any sharpening, this looks bad mainly because sharpening may have 'amplified' it. If you can't deal with it, when sharpening, always use a threshold of say, 5 - 10.

    The background blur looks OK to me - it's not perfectly natural, but then without a lot of effort, no PP blur will be.

    A series would possibly have allowed you to select a shot that didn't have 'Mum' re-arranging the shoulder strap, but you're probably right to be cautious when that close.

    It's quite fine as a street shot, but they are looking in different directions, which isn't ideal.

    Hope that helps,

  6. #6

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    Re: Christmas Shoppers

    This is very interesting and raises all sorts of issues.

    1. ISO. Last December I was not active on this list and I do now restrict ISO to Colin's reccomendations though I am not entirely convinced.

    2. I have CS3 and Adobe are not updating the RAW coverter to take account of 7D's RAW format. Canon's DPP converts to Tiff when asked to open in CS3 but I suppose i could try DNG.

    3. At 400% the background noise is shocking, now you point it out but I'm happy with the women. In the original there is uniform nose everywhere, but not excessive for 500 ISO.

    So, it is something I did. It is a litany of bad practice.

    1. I made the crop soon after the photo and masked the women before blurring the background, apparently with Lens Blur. Apparently, because Lens Blur lets you add noise and boy, did I (apparently) add some. Don't ask me why, probably forgot to disable it. So bad practice 1, use tools properly and carefully.

    2. That was the crop I posted, but I had forgotten what I had done first time and blurred it some more. Bad practice 2, review previously manipulated images at 100%+ size before doing anything else.

    3. Bad practice 3: I am so used to having slightly sub standard vision I am apt to forget younger eyes will see things I don't - unless I take special precautions.

    So thank you both Rob and Dave, quite a lesson.

    John


    John

  7. #7

    Re: Christmas Shoppers

    Quote Originally Posted by ANSORB View Post
    Rob, I am very interested to know why it looks strange. It doesn't to me, but then I took it.It is crop and I wouldn't have thought there is much distortion ( I checked the original and actually they are in the centre, not to one side) and I don't like square formats though in this case I didn't have much option.

    What have I missed??

    John
    By strange, I didn't mean the quality of the shot. I meant the 'look' of it. I think it's because they are both looking quite intently at something out of view. They both look sad as well. They look like mother and daughter? I do like it - I just don't know why. Was it shot in Cambridge? How I miss Cambridge!

  8. #8

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    Re: Christmas Shoppers

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    By strange, I didn't mean the quality of the shot. I meant the 'look' of it. I think it's because they are both looking quite intently at something out of view. They both look sad as well. They look like mother and daughter? I do like it - I just don't know why. Was it shot in Cambridge? How I miss Cambridge!
    It is indeed Cambridge. They do look as if they could have something on their minds and it makes the shot enigmatic, which appeals to me. I'm glad you like it despite the defects Dave and Rick pointed out. I don't think a shot has to be technically perfect to be worthwhile but I am mortified by the careless mistakes in this one. Grrr.

    John

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