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Thread: Lighthouse

  1. #1
    BongoBob's Avatar
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    Lighthouse

    Hello,

    I've been enjoying this forum for a while now - there is a great wealth of knowledge collected here, and it is extremely helpful to a beginner like myself. I'd love to get some C&C on some of my own shots; this is a lighthouse in Victoria, PEI. It was taken with my Canon T1i, 18-55 kit lens, f/11, 1/30, ISO400.

    Lighthouse

  2. #2
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Nick:

    From the number of views and no replies, it might be that most are reluctant to wade into this one. I'll be brave and take a shot.

    From the horizon line downwards (bushes, railings, snow with tracks) it might be honestly described as a bit messy. There's a lot of 'stuff' but nothing stands out (because it's in shade). IMO none of the foreground or midground adds to the image, yet if it's cropped, their is nothing left.

    I'm not sure which one this is (perhaps Fisgard), so it's local so you can go back and reshoot. You might try to eliminate the non-essential parts, but include enough to put in into a setting. As it is, it's obviously a lighthouse, yet there is no context that shows where it is (where is the ocean? where is the shore that it's warning ships to be aware of?) In this respect, Ogden Point is easier to shoot as the water is all around it, and boats/ships pass by frequently.

    The sky is nice (and there haven't been many good ones lately - even though it was sunny all day today, the sunset died in the cloud bank over the Strait of Juan da Fuca - again). Interestingly, Google Map calls it the Salish Sea.

    Glenn

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    Re: Lighthouse

    Nick

    Glenn has provided a good C & C on your image. So, in this post, I'll just confine myself to welcoming you to CiC. Glad to see someone pitching straight in on their first post with an image and inviting C & C.

    If you haven't already done so, please make sure that you read this post HERE which will help you get started. Also our Code of Conduct in the FAQ HERE

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    Re: Lighthouse

    Glenn,

    Thanks for the input; I see what you mean about lack of context. I've cropped the photo tighter to the lighthouse and I think the result is a stronger image, although the yellow house at the base is a much larger distraction - I might try cloning it out. Lighthouse

    I have another shot from that evening that includes a little more of a setting, but when I got home and started picking through the images I found the tree in this shot to take away from the scene. Unfortunately this is the only one that I have that has any water in it. It's not very far away, so I'm definitely going to try reshooting to include more of a setting.
    Lighthouse

    I see that your location is Victoria, BC - this shot was taken in Victoria "By the Sea", a small village in Prince Edward Island. This is probably the reason you don't recognize the lighthouse!

    Donald - Thank you for the kind welcome.

  5. #5
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Hi Nick - I'm new on the forum and while I don't have a lot of "technical" expertise, um, I have my two cents. . I think the crop was a good decision and made it a stronger image. I didnt even notice the yellow house at the base until I read your comment. I think the crop also helped to highlight the pink skyline. The image was pleasing to me.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Hi Nick and welcome to the CiC forums from me too.

    I see one problem in all three images, the shadows are almost black holes and I wonder how well you LCD or CRT monitor is set up?

    You migth want to check out the Shadow Detail block in this tutorial Monitor calibration for Photography to ascertain if your monitor is stretching shadow levels - or it could be a s simple as ensuring a rigorous perpendicular viewing angle if your monitor is a laptop LCD screen - slight deviations above and below can wildly affect what you see.

    Or maybe you have used Picasa's automatics only?

    In all three, I like the sky tone and colours, but everything else is often a bit too dark, you should see the shadow problems with the histogram function if Picasa has it.

    EDIT, I just downloaded the first and last and the histograms aren't too bad, but better PP software from a RAW, not jpg, capture, would undoubtedly help - particularly on first and second, the addition of some 'Fill Light' a control available in Adobe Camera RAW which comes in Elements. Lightroom or Photoshop CS3/4/5 could work wonders.

    Hope that helps,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 18th December 2010 at 03:10 PM.

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    BongoBob's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Hi Dave,

    I took your advice and adjusted the calibration of my monitor. Once you mentioned it, the problem with the shadows was quite apparant - I've done a little bit of dodging around the bushes, as well as boosted the overall brightness a bit, as you suggested.

    Overall I'm much happier with this image than when I started with it:

    Lighthouse

  8. #8
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Nick:

    I keep forgetting that "Victoria" is a common name in Canada (and other Commonwealth countries too).

    I also see from your second image that this is a difficult subject to isolate from houses, etc. and think your last rendition is much improved. There is some visible detail in the railing and shrubbery which adds to the image (the red in the shrubbery ties it to the lighthouse - which helps, I think).

    Glad that Colin and Dave provided some technical assistance (my weakness).

    I wouldn't be averse to doing a bit of photoshopping on the lower right hand corner to remove the houses, but this may be difficult.

    Glenn

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Quote Originally Posted by BongoBob View Post
    Hi Dave,

    I took your advice and adjusted the calibration of my monitor. Once you mentioned it, the problem with the shadows was quite apparant - I've done a little bit of dodging around the bushes, as well as boosted the overall brightness a bit, as you suggested.

    Overall I'm much happier with this image than when I started with it:

    Lighthouse
    Good, yes that's looking better here too

  10. #10
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    Re: Lighthouse

    WOW. I need to do the same with my monitor as some pictures dont look the same here and on my monitor. Peter Ryan showed me that changing the colour space from ProRGB to sRGB can also make all the difference to colour in CIC.

    This is Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach northern beaches in Sydney Australia. C&C please.

    Nasseem

    Lighthouse

  11. #11
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    WOW. I need to do the same with my monitor as some pictures dont look the same here and on my monitor. Peter Ryan showed me that changing the colour space from ProRGB to sRGB can also make all the difference to colour in CIC.

    This is Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach northern beaches in Sydney Australia. C&C please.

    Nasseem

    Lighthouse
    Hi Nasseem,

    Overall the image seems to lack a distinct subject - to me it's not quite close enough for the lighthouse to be the subject and it's not quite wide enough for the landscape itself to be the subject... I also feel a little divided between the sky and the land; Perhaps cropping out either the top or bottom third of the image would give it a little more direction?

    I find the foreground to be a distraction - what looks like blown highlights coupled with the grass detracts from the image as a whole.

    From the hillside on up it seems to be captured beautifully, what were your shot settings? I also notice the photomatix watermark, is this an HDR composite? I'm not sure if B&W does justice to the scene, I'd love to see it in color!

  12. #12
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Dear Nick,

    I agree re the lack of defined subject and foreground distraction. I am sending you 2 more close pictures.

    Nasseem Lighthouse

  13. #13
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    Dear Nick,

    I agree re the lack of defined subject and foreground distraction. I am sending you 2 more close pictures. HDR 5 shots -2 -1 0 1 2 done in Photomatixs Pro. Just trying it out. Tell me what you think.

    Nasseem Lighthouse
    Lighthouse

  14. #14
    BongoBob's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Nasseem,

    The second B&W has much more clarity, but still seems to lack a distinct subject - my attention is torn between the beach, the texture of the hills, and the houses on top. I think a composition that really showcased just one of those three things would have much more impact than trying to have a little bit of everything all in one shot.

    I'm very much still learning, and personally, I find landscape composition to be particularly challenging. When you have a subject that is so vast, it can difficult to do the scene justice.

  15. #15
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Thanks Nick. That was my first try at HDR photography. As for subject matter may be Ill try and isolate the lighthouse and hills and see if that improves the overall composition. Which part of Canada do you live in Nick? I was there for a year of postdoctoral research back in 1983.

    Thanks

    Nasseem

  16. #16
    BongoBob's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    Thanks Nick. That was my first try at HDR photography. As for subject matter may be Ill try and isolate the lighthouse and hills and see if that improves the overall composition. Which part of Canada do you live in Nick? I was there for a year of postdoctoral research back in 1983.

    Thanks

    Nasseem
    Nasseem, I live in Prince Edward Island, a small province on the East Coast. Where was your research?

  17. #17
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse

    At Ottawa University. Spent most of my vacations in MOntreal and Quebec province. Loved the Canadians - sort of a cross between the layback Ozzy and the American. Never experienced cold like it.

    Nasseem

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