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Thread: Wild waves!

  1. #1
    PhilipM's Avatar
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    Wild waves!

    This is my first posting for c&c. I have entered a few comps to try and figure out where I fit in - I obviously have a lot to learn - so here goes. Please comment on any aspect of the photo, composition, cropping, etc.

    Wild waves!

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    Re: Wild waves!

    Wild waves!
    Hi Philip. This is my first time to do a c&c but here goes .......

    I have been looking at your stuff. I noticed you because I like the proverb you use as your signature. Overall I think you have something there but there is a learning process from point and shoot to real photography. Thankfully there is a lifetime of learning so we never 'get there' and have to go off and look for something else to do !

    I have had some painful learning curves, I just think im getting better when I realise I am only a small inkling further on. One thing I have had to learn is that 'nice' or even 'interesting' shots, just dont make the grade. There has to be so many different elements that accompany a good scene.

    I have made an attempt at making a few changes to your image to illustrate just one or two things.
    First I cropped it so that it was one third sky and two thirds land instead of dead centre horizon. I also cropped out some of the distracting elements top left and brought the lighthouse on the right in slightly.
    Then I added contrast to the picture, changed the colour teperature from that cold blue tone and did a bit of dodging and burning.
    Well as I said, its my first attempt at C&C.
    Then

  3. #3
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Wild waves!

    I'll go along with the crop, but otherwise prefer the original image which better conveys the fine mist that accompanies a heavy swell. Amanda's edit has also lost the detail in the jetty and rocks.

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    Re: Wild waves!

    Thanks Amanda. The learning curve does seem incredibly steep at times. Thanks so much for the C&C. Some definite improvements there. I will try a few things out with it myself.

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    Re: Wild waves!

    I wouldn't say there is a lot wrong with your photo, Philip.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't say it would be a competition winner either. You really need some extra special item for that. For example, some idiot walking along the breakwater!

    However, to return to your photo. Yes possibly try a slight crop from the left side and top. But I do mean slight. Perhaps a little extra selective sharpening, but not the sky which could become noisy. And perhaps a little extra saturation.

    Alternatively, you could try a little Local Contrast enhancement. Perhaps Unsharp Mask at something around 30 amount and 40 radius. I think I might do this on a duplicate layer, then add a Reveal All Mask. Use a low opacity 'black' brush to paint over and 'remove' any areas which may become over processed or noisy, like the sky. But take care and make sure that you 'feather' this brushing so that you can't see the join.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 13th March 2011 at 07:32 PM. Reason: correction

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    Re: Wild waves!

    I think it is absolutely fantastic: But better with a bit of tweaking.

    Wild waves!

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    Re: Wild waves!

    Thanks guys for the comments. Geoff, some of your suggestions are currently 'over my head', but I will read up on them and have a go. Next time I am in the area I will endeavour to find some idiot willing to stand on the breakwater before I take my shot.

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    Re: Wild waves!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    I'll go along with the crop, but otherwise prefer the original image which better conveys the fine mist that accompanies a heavy swell. Amanda's edit has also lost the detail in the jetty and rocks.
    Thanks for pointing that out about the rocks and jetty, you are right of course. I think though that there is a lack of contrast and the very 'blue' tone in the original would give me the impression that the image was taken in the middle of the day when the light lacks character.
    I am not however a landscape expert and I am only having a go here for my own learning too.

  9. #9
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    Re: Wild waves!

    I agree that some contrast adjustment needs to be made. It was taken at three in the afternoon.

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    Re: Wild waves!

    Quote Originally Posted by ABPhoto View Post
    Wild waves!
    Hi Philip. This is my first time to do a c&c but here goes .......

    I have been looking at your stuff. I noticed you because I like the proverb you use as your signature. Overall I think you have something there but there is a learning process from point and shoot to real photography. Thankfully there is a lifetime of learning so we never 'get there' and have to go off and look for something else to do !

    I have had some painful learning curves, I just think im getting better when I realise I am only a small inkling further on. One thing I have had to learn is that 'nice' or even 'interesting' shots, just dont make the grade. There has to be so many different elements that accompany a good scene.

    I have made an attempt at making a few changes to your image to illustrate just one or two things.
    First I cropped it so that it was one third sky and two thirds land instead of dead centre horizon. I also cropped out some of the distracting elements top left and brought the lighthouse on the right in slightly.
    Then I added contrast to the picture, changed the colour teperature from that cold blue tone and did a bit of dodging and burning.
    Well as I said, its my first attempt at C&C.
    Then
    Hi,
    Less negative space,more colour,more dynamic,more texture in white areas to obtain an impressionistic effect
    Wild waves!

  11. #11
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    Re: Wild waves!

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipM View Post
    I agree that some contrast adjustment needs to be made. It was taken at three in the afternoon.
    A quick look at the histogram in the 'levels' adjustment shows a fairly balanced image but pushed to the top end of the dynamic range with no black or near blacks. By simply adjusting the sliders to introduce the blacks your image is much improved. You will find that the 'levels' adjustment is one of the best places to start when editing an image. Take a look HERE
    Have fun.

  12. #12
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    Re: Wild waves!

    The original image is by far the best, the edits in my opinion have ruined the otherwise perfect capture of the lighting conditions on the day. I would crop a little from the top to make the image 3:2 but otherwise leave it be.

    By the way take care with shots like this. The very last photographs my Nikon D200 ever took were these....

    Wild waves!

    ....the next second they crashed over me and my camera knocking us about six foot backwards and totalling the D200 + 18-70mm + MB-D200 Grip. It was insured and I got my D300s and 16-85mm as a replacement but got quite a scare - as a truly dedicated shooter I kept my finger on the button to the very end with the camera running flat out at 5FPS.

  13. #13
    PhilipM's Avatar
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    Re: Wild waves!

    Thanks everyone for the variety of opinions. All very much appreciated. Robin, that is one crazy wave you faced off with. Glad you survived.

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    Re: Wild waves!

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    ....the next second they crashed over me and my camera knocking us about six foot backwards and totalling the D200 + 18-70mm + MB-D200 Grip.
    Now, there's commitment ..... and then there's COMMITMENT. I'm glad you're still here to tell the tale.

  15. #15

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    Re: Wild waves!

    Thanks guys for the comments. Geoff, some of your suggestions are currently 'over my head', but I will read up on them and have a go.

    Philip, please forgive me if this appears a little bit harsh or insensitive, but if you are entering serious competitions (not like the simple CinC fun competitions) you definitely need to know about these things. Knowledge is what makes winners.

    With regard to learning better techniques. If after reading the CinC Tutorials you still want more sources, try this site http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/articles.htm it might not be easy to understand but there is a lot of extra information there.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 13th March 2011 at 07:33 PM. Reason: link added

  16. #16
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    Re: Wild waves!

    Geoff, thanks for the apology, but I assure you none was needed. I found your comments perfectly in order, neither harsh nor insensitive. In fact, they were extremely helpful. By 'over my head' I merely meant that I literally had not heard of some of the procedures you had mentioned. (My learning curve is precipitously steep at this point ) I have since done some reading and experimentation and been excited with what I am learning from everyone's input. My apologies if my comment caused you concern.

    I have no serious aspirations at this stage to enter major competitions, my aspirations are to learn how to take a good photograph. The CiC competitions are a fun exercise in that process. So, bring on the C&C. I welcome your comments, in fact, without constructive C&C the learning process is that much slower.

    Cheers.

    Philip

    P.S. Thanks for the website, I'll definitely look it up.

  17. #17
    PhilipM's Avatar
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    Re: Wild waves!

    I've made changes as per advice given. I've cropped some off the top and left hand side, adjusted the histogram to include some black, increasing the contrast. I've nudged the saturation up a tad and sharpened it some. For me the change makes the sea look angrier, which is what it was on the day. Too much change? Too little? Any comment on the outcome would be welcome.

    Original followed by the adjustment.

    Wild waves!

  18. #18

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    Re: Wild waves!

    That is certainly better, Philip.

    I've tried something very similar, but I have attempted to be a little more subtle by editing on layers with masks.

    Wild waves!

    Unfortunately some of the surf is a little over exposed so all I could do was to reduce the exposure. The fine details can't be recovered.

  19. #19
    PhilipM's Avatar
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    Re: Wild waves!

    Agreed. The surf in the foreground was too far gone. I like the result though. Many thanks again for your help. It has been an extremely worthwhile exercise.

  20. #20
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Wild waves!

    After all the ideas and suggestions made, I still prefer the original!

    For those of us that stood in such locations and seen this sort of thing, the original conveys the sense of what it really is like more than any of the other versions in the posts above.

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