Footbridge... Beginner C&C appreciated! :)

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by Senor Hound, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Here's a photo of a footbridge I took. I'm a novice so please make your critique generalized (next time try...). I know its straight in the middle, but I did that for balance. Also, the background is blown out, but I don't know how to make it so that isn't so. And I know the subject is uninteresting to most, but I'll be honest and admit I'm forcing subjects in order to keep learning (and I think that's okay considering this photo is for educational purposes and not show, right?). Lastly, how did I do on the contrast? I think its better than most of my photos with the way the shadows fall, but I would like some more advanced opinions.

    [​IMG]


    Once again, please make your comments as general as possible so I can hopefully get this :) Thank you very much!!! BTW, my reasons don't make me right, I'm just trying to show you where I'm coming from. Please correct me if I'm making any incorrect assumptions.
     
  2. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    Footbridge:
    Composition: - straight is okay. It's the damn utilitarian park fence and glarish balaustrades that spoil it...
    What's behind you - the view the oher way? Any better..??
    Overexposed: not just the background, also the wooden bridge steps and the stones in the foreground and those glaring balaustrades...
    The bridge is interesting - the doggy view spoils it... try shooting from chest height or eye level - or get higher...
    Exposure / Contrast...
    The whole is overexposed.
    Where did you meter?? - Looks like the dark (tonal) bridgeposts... Your meter has increased the exposure. See how the bridgeposts are now a middish grey... dark areas are not dark... light areas are all too light... shadows light grey...
    Shoot early in the day or late afternoon - capture the shadows, avoid the harsh daytime sunlight... Watch your metering...
    You know...
    I can't understand why you posted this and described yourself as a novice, state that you don't know how to correct your exposure, ask for "advanced" opinions on contrast and shadow, ask responders to make our comments as general as possible so you can "get this" - and yet at the same time (today, and plenty in the past) prefer comments and critique with an air of authority and expertise as if you know all there is to know about photographic science and art:
    Today: 6.07pm
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127612
    Quote[It is very well done. I would post something more critical to help you improve, but I'm really at a loss.] With the questions you are posting on this post - what "something more critical" are you able to suggest to the OP that would help him to improve...?
    Today: 6.01pm
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127568
    Quote [IMO the vastness of the crowd isn't conveyed as well as it could be. But in those sorts of environments you take what you can get. Considering you're using no props, no lighting, etc., I'd say the photo is great. But if you ever get the chance to go back, try getting the shot from a bit higher perspective, so the mass of people walking along can be seen better. Right now, each one is kind of hidden behind the one in front of him/her.]
    I'm stunned that you feel confident to offer other photographers such words of wisdom - yet seem to lack this wisdom for yourself and your own images... But (to quote you): in (these) sorts of environments you take what you can get - eh...
    Kindly tell people you are a novice the next time you offer them comment and critique. Thankyou
    Jedo
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The composition theory is good in this one; the parallel lines of the handrails and hte actual footpart part of the bridge guid the eye to the very centre of the image; a text-book example of how it should be done. This is a case of where the rule of thirds need not apply. The ownly downfall is the lack of anything for the eye to focus on when it gets to the centre of the image, but as you've said, this is a learning tool.
    With respect to the issue of the blown centre background, there's not much you can do. Blown is blown is blown is gone. However, there is detail in the grass and some of the leaves, so all is not lost. If this was shot in RAW, reprocess the RAW file and drop down the highlights right off the bat, also perhaps add a little fill light to the left. You can also create a PS adjustment layer and reduce the brightness, and last, but not least, this would be an ideal candidate for an HDR merge.
    Judicious application of a GND filter on the right half of the image would also have helped to even out the exposure a little.
    Hope that helps.
    ~John
     
  4. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Try, if you can repeat the shot, using a flash.....Just a thought!
     
  5. Jedo_03

    Jedo_03 TPF Noob!

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    shooting in RAW and post-adusting exposure is all very well... and pp-ing in PS with adjustment layers is also a solution... HDR is also a consideration... as is applying GND filter...
    But - Gadzooks..! Is PREVENTION better than CURE...?
    Might as well PAINT a pic of a footbridge...
    Mister Hound's image presents fundamental deficits that can be corrected in-camera, pre-exposure, with a sound knowledge of the fundamentals of exposure and the scope/limitations of his camera...
    Let's not get to the level of "shoot and repair..."
    The 'art' of photography implies a knowledge of the 'science' of photography - you can't have one without the other...
    Are we 'Photographers' - or 'Photoshoppers'...?
    Artis Gratis
    Jedo
     
  6. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    You present a very correct point, however pping is available here and now and should be used as necessary. Specifically if the shot can not be repeated......:wink:
     
  7. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I'm sorry you feel this way, however I don't think that my words imply any skill level. I merely typed my opinion. I thought my critiques were rather reserved and simple. Telling someone to shoot from a higher standpoint does not make me sound like an expert, and as you pointed out in my first reply, I did not having anything to say so I didn't. I was pointing out that most people want to know what's wrong with their photos, but at my level I didn't feel comfortable telling him something was wrong when I didn't think there was.

    Once again, thank you for the comments, and I apologise if you took my comments incorrectly. But I assure you I am not trying to be anything I'm not.

    As far as exposure, this was with my camera at -1EV. It has some issues with this, but I will learn from my mistakes. Thank you.
     
  8. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Blown is blown.......My try.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    I like the shadows on the bridge personally, but the simplest remedy is that perhaps the shot would have been better at a different time of day to eliminate the brightness in the background and you could also counter the darker morning/evening light with a flash if needed? Alternatively, a different angle so as to reduce the amount of bright area in the shot might work - this would also take care of your centering issue, if you think it's a problem, which I don't.

    I agree with Jedo that the fence in the back is unattractive...maybe shoot from the other side instead?

    Your subject is not "uninteresting," as you suggest, though, it's rather serene and calming.
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Oooo, a photo-rumble... :D can I join in? (could be fun if it doesn't get personal!) [the rule I have to remember for myself is not to use the word "you" in any sentence and it can't get personal, erm, I hope!]


    True, true.


    And about 60% to 80% of the "awesome" shots posted here at TPF are just that. Especially but certainly not limited to, the color ones. Many of the great shots I see here are simply impossible to achieve in-camera alone. Relating it to another medium it's almost as if the camera is little more than a clay vendor. Sure good clay is required but it's the shaping and manipulation of it which forms fine pottery. I joined TPF because after reading about 100 gallery threads first, I noticed no one in all of those threads were mentioning software tools in an idealistic manner as was all too common (and terrible) at other sites. PS and other software tools here seemed to be considered only part of the photographers toolbox.


    Maybe.


    We already are. It's called digital. ;) Anyone who's not "shooting and repairing" is either not producing the top-shelf images consistently, is only posting the occasional lucky shot out of hundreds or thousands of failures, or is a photography god. Photography gods do exist but they are few and far between. I guess there is less than or about one person on TPF who qualifies as such. Ansel Adams who I had the pleasure of meeting is a great example! He would spend hours and hours AND HOURS in the dark room dodging, burning, trying different solution mixtures and times. The ratio for his artistic works was 20 a day or so in camera getting the shot and only one or maybe two shots per day printing them (so one day shooting and a month "editing" them). I strongly believe he would have been in his own personal paradise with a modern digital camera and a copy of photoshop - along with some nice HDR tools. He seemed very much the precocious tinkering type who would even have written or attempted to write, his own tools and plug-ins.


    While the first part of that sentence is abstract and not qualifiable by any means I have at my disposal; the later part of that sentence is of course untrue and such malediction intended or not, is usually a strong contributer to the discouragement of beginning and intermediate photographers.


    In this digital era, we should strive to be both. One without the other is always the lesser of the three - even if only provable mathematically.
     
  11. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Also I guess it's not completely blown out. I've see worse to be sure.




    [​IMG]
    Senor Hound's Original.





    [​IMG]
    Senor Hound's Original with B&C + Levels adjustment.



    .
    No good? I think he did a pretty good job myself! Just needed a little adjustment.
     
  12. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    And one final comment on a topic that is bothering me a bit in this thread. The talent and ability to critique the works of others is entirely separate and apart from the talents and abilities needed to be what others might consider "a good photographer". The only advantage "being a good photographer" offers one who is attempting to critique a photograph is that it may provide an added set of language skills (terms and usage) in which to communicate. Additionally it may also offer the critic a tried and tested solution to offer the artist being critiqued.

    Certainly no one needs to ever have even owned or operated a camera to notice that there is too much saturation, not enough contrast, or detect a general blue cast to the image and make those remarks. A second set of eyes is or should be always welcomed no matter how much or how little "experience" they have operating a camera. In fact, to me personally, the total noob's opinion is slightly more valuable or at least a VERY welcomed addition, as it's often not cluttered with the operational processes, jargon, and common technical points a photographer might be locked into a little too much.
     

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