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Old 31st of May 2008 (Sat)   #1
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default First call for c&c

Hi folks,

I've shared my questionable opinions more than a few times in the months I've been a member but this is my first image post for c&c. I was motivated to rework a favorite image from a trip to Shanghai this winter after attending a Kelby Seminar with Ben Willmore in Nashville recently. Please have at it. BTW, let me restate the obvious and say this forum is an incredible resource.

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Old 1st of June 2008 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: First call for c&c

it's a nice panoramic picture, but everything seems a bit grainy, especially the boat in the foreground...but maybe that's just due to web compression or maybe you had to use high ISO? as for composition, it'd've been better if you didn't cut the tips off the building in the middle and on the far right, though you could just crop the far right side off. also, there seems to be a little bit of CA around the outlines of most buildings. nice picture overall, i'm just trying to find things to critique.
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Old 1st of June 2008 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: First call for c&c

Except for the sky and sun your picture's entire range of tonality lies between 10 and 100 on the histogram. With such a limited range of tonal values for the real subject (the cityscape), it is relatively drab and lifeless. That could have been changed entirely by concentrating on the cityscape and ignoring the sky, but that has problems as well.

The most significant cause for this situation is that it is shot directly into the sun. That puts everthing in the picture at a disadvantage for two reasons - 1) there is always some degree of glare or forward scatter when shooting into the sun, which reduces contrast by veiling, and 2) the main subject is essentially silhouetted.

Perhaps you are going to suggest that the primary objective here was to get the best possible PP on this image, accepting that you start with 2 strikes against you, and my answer to that is that you are to be commended for a good job of PP, but the image is still suffering from a lack of vitality.

You may also be thinking that you really like the veiled, soft shadowy look that it has, and you are quite entitled to be of that opinion. It does have a certain quality about it that is appealing.

So, I think that in the final analysis there will be a rather wide diversity of opinion about the shot, overall, rather than the unbridled enthusiasm that you were probably hoping for. Personally, I think there is something in the image for everyone, but I do think you will get mixed reviews.
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Last edited by Robert_Lay : 1st of June 2008 (Sun) at 10:56.
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Old 1st of June 2008 (Sun)   #4
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default Re: First call for c&c

Thanks for the comments. First, let me assure you I was not looking for unbridled enthusiasm. If I want smoke blown up my patootie I woudln't come here . Your observations are on target. The four days I spent in Shanghai were charactarized by an isolated hump in the middle of every histogram. This was an attempt to acknowledge that atmospheric toxicity and coax some visual interest out of it. I originally had this posted in the pp section and it was moved. I posted there because I was in fact looking for criticism on how I used my new found curves chops. I should have made that clearer in my post. Your remarks are on target and appreciated.
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Old 1st of June 2008 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: First call for c&c

I agree with Bob about shooting into the sun, which creates a lot of shadows and loss of detail in your foregound. If you use Photoshop, I suggest a levels adjustment and perhaps some work on the shadows. Working on the shadows is like using a fill flash and will provide more detail there without blowing out the highlights in the sky. I would also suggest an exposure mask to tweak down the sun just a little bit, because it's blown out. With all of that said, I also agree with Bob that you may get a wide range of opinions here, so take mine with a healthy grain of salt.
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Old 2nd of June 2008 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: First call for c&c

OK, I've digested your input, done some more work with curves, saturation and masks and came out with this. (The first try follows) Thanks for your input.

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Old 2nd of June 2008 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: First call for c&c

this almost looks looks like an HDR that didn't go quite right, and what i mean by that is it looks like a screen shot from Grand Theft Auto rather than a photograph of a cityscape. it's really weird, and thats why i like it!
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