Water Demon

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by awe, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. awe

    awe TPF Noob!

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    Hi folks,

    After finally buying my camera yesterday, here's one of the pictures I took today. I have to say that I had to do some editing on Photoshop, mostly because there wasn't enough contrast in it.
    So, ladies and gentleman, what do you say? The one thing that's really annoying me is that the image tends to get darker toward the top of the image, while the bottom seems to be a little too bright. I was thinking about adding a Brightness/Contrast-Layer with a gradient as a mask, but that didn't really work.

    [​IMG]

    Bigger version here: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/176/412817093_c3cfb88971_o.jpg
     
  2. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I love it! Nice comp, great colors, and overall well done. Keep it up.
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I like it as it is, too!
    And it is exactly that gradient from light to dark from bottom to top that appealed to me instantly, and I thought it was THAT you had so wanted to achieve in your pp work, so I was surprised when I read you are unhappy about the effect.

    Nice motif, too, and congratulations on getting your new camera.
    My Hamburg friend also proudly told me yesterday night that she got herself her first DSLR ... maybe I can persuade her to join TPF after all (but she is so extremely busy all the time, she says she can't add another forum to her doings... :().
     
  4. awe

    awe TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to the both of you!

    You were right, LaFoto, after I edited the picture, it appeared objectively correct, but something was missing. But unfortunately, I'm not that experienced to produce such an effect on purpose, but thanks for the assumption :)

    I've got a couple more questions: While I think that most images need a border, I'm not completely satisfied with this one. Any suggestions, or are there even specific "rules"?
    Also, is it normal that I have to edit most of my pictures to make them more "artistic"? I mean things such as color corrections and contrast. I'm asking because Bryan Peterson (with whose book I'm learning) says that one should make it point not to edit pictures. But really, without some editing my pictures would probably look like better Point'n'Shoot pictures...

    Oh, and greetings to Germany, I'm from Switzerland.
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Of course you should try to get as much right "in camera" as is possible for you in the moment of taking the photo.
    And you will find out that a photo that doesn't hold much to begin with won't necessarily look any more "artistic" after some (or even some EXTENISVE) pp treatment.
    Therefore I am sure that Bryan Peterson is right in saying: work hard so you get your composition, exposure etc. as right as possible in your camera already. (Is he talking about film photography or about digital photography?)

    However: your camera is only a tool.
    And a person/company has built that tool and has given it parameters that someone thought would be right. But how could that person know that Awe in Switzerland will actually WANT precisely these parameters?
    Maybe Awe in Switzerland does not like the way the camera produces its photos and he would want them to look somewhat different from the initial outcome?

    If Awe in Switzerland developed his films on his own and made his own prints (just assuming), his pre and post manipulation would already begin with the film he buys to put into the camera for a certain shoot, and could possibly (film photogs, this is thin ice for me, I don't really know what I am saying, come help me!) apply another little means of pp work by the chemicals used to develop his film, the temperature of those chemicals and the duration he uses for the development of his film.

    That done and his film come out as he wanted, his pp work would continue in the production of his prints. He would choose his paper according to his wishes, plan the crop and exposure of said paper according to his wishes, then maybe manipulate exposure further by selectively dodging certain areas or burning certain others, and he can further influence the outcome of his print by once more factors such as chemicals, their temperature, and the length of time he gives the print to develop.

    (Film people, there may be things I am telling wrong, if this is so, come and help me out!)

    So there are many, many possible steps before and AFTER the moment the shutter of your camera clicked.

    Why deny all these decisions and processes to yourself when you photograph digitally? Why not give yourself the same rights ... more so now that you so EASILY can give yourself the same rights to CREATE your photo, while before most of us (me included) would a) buy their standard rolls of film and b) hand over all the processes I described with regards to the development and printing to a lab station? Which has also once more been installed and set up by another human who had to give the machine the chance to produce average mass prints, but not exactly THE print that Awe from Switzerland had in mind when he clicked the shutter.

    I am happy about the amount of control I am having with my digital photography. As someone with no access to any sort of darkroom, not even one for black and white photography, I quite enjoy the chance to bring about the photos that I want to have and not those a machine thinks are about right. (Though I was happy enough with my prints for years, all of them machine-made).
     
  6. awe

    awe TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the answer, LaFoto. But please, for the love of God, call me "Alex" (my real name), as "awe" (a compound of my first and last name) sounds...well... aw(e)ful :mrgreen:
    I fully understand and agree with what you said. As a conclusion, this leads to the following question: What could have I done better with the camera? Like I said in my first post, the original had much less contrast and the colors appeared "washed out" and not as saturated as now. How could I have changed all that with my camera? Wait for different/better light?
    Also, what do you think about the border?
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Alex it is then.
    Only I didn't know earlier today :greenpbl:
    How many Alexes and Chrises does the board have by now, I wonder? Hard to follow, but well... ;)

    As to what to do in-camera... there may be settings that you can change (my camera has some, so I can tell it, for example, to always produce deeply saturated or very contrasted photos) ... but all in all by default I have found each and every photo that comes directly out of my camera is too little contrasted for my liking, so actually I touch each and every pic, and if only to push the slider in the Levels up by five points in the shadows, and maybe the slider on the highlights side by 10 points. No more. That alone can make all the difference I want.

    Black border is nice, helps colours to stand out more. It is simple, not too overpowering ... just making the colours pop a little more.
     

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