Helpful Posts: 0
30th December 2010, 11:39 AM
The recent suggestion of converting a bridge shot to BW eventually brought to mind this photo. I shot this a few weeks ago, but didn't really know what to do with it until it occurred to me that it practically begs to monochrome. It still needs more work, but I'd appreciate any advice and suggestions about how to blur the ground details, which are merely distracting. As you see below, I tried using the smudge tool, but I'm not entirely satisfied with the results so far. Is it just a matter of technique using the smudge tool?
C&C on any other aspect of the shot is also welcome, of course.
Canon 7D 135mm@f/8 1/80s ISO400
30th December 2010, 04:35 PM
After some more experimentation, I am getting better results using the Blur tool, instead of Smudge. I had tried Blur before, but I needed to set the Strength to 100%, and be really heavy-handed with it (the same area, over and over and over). I'll post an updated version later when I've finished PP.
30th December 2010, 05:30 PM
OK, this is much better, imo... at least as far as the ground appearance is concerned (though I still wish it could appear more natural). Basically, I used tons of overkill with the Blur tool, then cloned out the rough features until the ground appeared smooth, without distracting details.
What do you think?
I would appreciate some feedback concerning composition, etc... (Anyone? Anything? Please? If you think the shot is a complete waste of time, that is also useful feedback. Getting kind of lonely talking to myself here...)
(Meanwhile, I'm giving myself major points for asking a question to which no one in this crowd had an instant answer.)
Last edited by Snarkbyte; 30th December 2010 at 05:55 PM.
30th December 2010, 07:02 PM
I think it's good exercise in tone, shape and texture. It is more of an abstract image to my eyes. And to that end, I wondered if it was an exercise on your part. I'm not sure what role the thing with the vertical lines in the background has in the image. As a result, I'm not sure that it works with the curves of the primary object in the foreground.
I think what you've done on the second version does improve it in the sense of your treatment of the background. However, in doing so you have 'flattened' the primary object (I think my problem with the image is that I don't know what that is) and, thus, reduced contrast and lessened the 'pop' it had. You've moved it more in greys that the good, contrasty blacks that you had in the original.
As I say, whatever that thing is, I like the tone, shape and testure. If it had a compleetly blank background it would have more appeal. I think there's too much competing with it.
30th December 2010, 07:20 PM
To answer the question "What is that thing": It's an iron rebar structure that will be used as steel reinforcement for a concrete bridge piling, like the vertical concrete structure behind it. The concrete will be poured in a mold around it, so it will be completely embedded. The pilings are constructed in cylindrical sections, so this is the reinforcement for one section. The photo was taken under an overpass that is being expanded.
You're right about this being an abstract shot... I just love geometry. (What can I say? I'm a bit of a mathematician, so the circles, angles, and lines appealed to me.) I suppose you're also right about there being too much in the shot, especially if you're not a geometry nut. I could put some texture back into the foreground by removing the cloning used to smooth it out, but it's probably not worth the trouble. To me, the real interest of the shot is the combination of all these geometric figures, so anything on the ground is just a distraction.