The Brutal Truth About Churches

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by DennyCrane, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And that truth is... I have no idea what I'm doing when I take pictures of them. So, C&C away, please... and be brutal.
    This is the Our Lady Of Victory Basilica in western NY. The problem I have (aside from simply not having done much photography of buildings) is getting around the fact that there are power lines, stop lights, street lights, road signs and a million other things in front of every building I see. I never noticed it before, but it's all I see now.

    [​IMG]

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    The final, I shot in B&W with the sun behind the church:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  2. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Honestly... I find nothing special in these shots. Part of the reason why I'm responding and subscribing to this thread is that I have the exact same problem. I LOVE the aesthetic of the architecture of churches, but I can't shoot them worth a damn. When my wife went to Oaxaca, there were some incredibly beautiful OLD Spanish style churces and convents that I couldn't do squat with and it frustrated the heck out of me.
     
  3. Layspeed

    Layspeed TPF Noob!

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    Holy crap those pics are huge, I'm still waiting for them to load. :lol: You might consider resizing so more people will want to comment and help? The subject doesn't do it for me but I do like #3 if you cropped out the power line. I think in #2 maybe get rid of that tree?
     
  4. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I didn't know they'd be so big... Photobucket usually crops them down a lot more.
    #3 is a crop and there's part of the problem. If I cropped it more, it would look about the same as cutting off someone's chin. These lines are killing me.
    In #2, the tree on the far left, I presume? Yeah, I questioned that, too... be much better with leaves... but most trees around here now are ugly branched sticks.

    Edit: All resized
     
  5. namaste_lv

    namaste_lv TPF Noob!

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    The B&W seems to be the best of the bunch, but you are shooting an old structure. If you would have rotated around to the left some you could have made the light pole an easy crop.

    Also you can do some perspective correction in post that will take the lean out and make it much stronger. If you pull the top right corner out it looks much more like a photograph and less like a snap. (I'm assuming you don't have a tilt shift...me either, so photoshop will have to do)

    I struggle with these as well, and what has been most successful for me is to change your angle from the norm. Get close and lay on your back or something that will give you a view that the pedestrians walking down the street don't normally see. Anything that is different from how you normally would walk up to the place.

    Keep trying, like I said architecture is one of my struggles as well.

    Oh and wait for some better light if you can.
     
  6. Layspeed

    Layspeed TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the resize. I don't go to church so I won't even have this problem of photographing them properly :lol: I could see how it would be diffcult though with so much architecture going on. Maybe turn the camera and try some vertical shots without getting too much into the photo? Namaste gives some good ideas also.
     
  7. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    here is an edit of mines (your first image)

    perhaps too bright...
    [​IMG]

    atleast it gets rid of the lamp I suppose.

    I was going to fix the balance (uh straighten the image) however, it would crop some of the church off.
     
  8. joeywpc

    joeywpc TPF Noob!

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    In my opinion it's the lighting that kills the shots here. Could you have gone around the other side at all to get the sun and shadows so the image doesn't look so flat?

    The B&W also looks flat because there's not enough contrast.
     
  9. lvcrtrs

    lvcrtrs TPF Noob!

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    Stand back as far as you can from the building = less lean of your staright lines of the left and right walls. But also = more power lines etc.

    Become good friends with you clone tool in your editing program. And know up front removing lines sometimes can be tedious process once you are not in the areas of blue sky.

    As namaste said, Perspective correction or use of the SKEW function (in PSE7) can be very helpful in fixing to appreance that buildings are leaning in or back.

    I've taken an interest in church steeples and I usually decide to wait until I might be passing by when the light would be striking from the front or later in the day. (Must say don't really get back to many of them). So, I would say, get what you can get and if you like what you see out of the camera you can try to set up a trip to go back at a different time with different light. Most likely that's better than not getting it at all. If i waited for nice weather and good light I'd never shoot anything. The force is never with me there.
     
  10. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That edit's interesting... nice job losing the light pole! I'll take a closer look when I get home tonight and on a real monitor.

    As for the lighting, it was late afternoon, so the Sun was on the other side... a side with massively busy traffic, lots and lots of phone poles, and all kinds of other limitations. I might go by again in the morning when this side is lit. And there's very little wiggle room to move around there... but I'll give it another go.

    Thanks, all!
     
  11. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With architecture, I find that if you are doing a shot like the first one, it helps really bring out the detail of the structure and really make it pop to use some degree of tone mapping or HDR. I'm not talking about trashing it up w/ that cartoony effect, just enough to bring out the detail of the bricks and mortar to bring it out of the page a little. Also, correcting the barrell distortion and cloning out things like signs and street lights that detract that can be easily removed. Finally, you can generally take different elements of a structure and crop the pic down to focus just on the more intricate details as you did in 2/3 make for a nice subject.

    just my .02
     
  12. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    Your shots are good record pictures of the structure. For most old churches, the beauty is in the details. But, these days, you will get the modern interference. Take the picture, correct with your computer, then go into the church and thank God for PhotoShop.
     

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