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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 15 Jul 2010 (Thursday) 19:17
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HMS Bounty - Clouds or No Clouds?

 
Walczak ­ Photo
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Jul 15, 2010 19:17 |  #1

Hey Ya'll,
Ok...this is sort of, more or less and unofficial continuation of my Tall Ships C&C thread. For those following that thread, obviously I'm still working out some issues but I did spend some time today playing around with another shot of the HMS Bounty. For those who don't know, this was taken last week at Cleveland's Tall Ships Festival. You can read all the gory details in the other thread but basically I had some really bad issues with most of the pics I shot...some due to my own errors and some simply due to perspective and possibly even the heat.

Anyways...here's two versions of the same shot. This one's for all you folks out there who can't seem to handle typing more than one sentence at a time...which do you like better, the shot with clouds or without? You may of course feel free to add any other C&C you wish but that's the primary thing I'm looking for with this post.


IMAGE: http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/2760/img1667yk.jpg



IMAGE: http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/6895/img1667a.jpg

Essentially I'm thinking of doing one of these as a bit larger than my usual 8x10...I may even go with a 16x20 on this, so I'm trying to decide if I should put any more effort in to the clouds version or just keep working on the original.

Again feel free to add all the C&C you like but basically I'm looking for "with" or "without". As always, thanks!

Jim

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Mike787
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Jul 15, 2010 20:12 |  #2

I like it without.


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ecub
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Jul 16, 2010 00:04 |  #3

Without also


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blakeG!
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Jul 16, 2010 02:12 |  #4

in my opinion i like it without the clouds. they seem to distract you from the sails. i find myself looking at the cloud patterns more than the details of the sail.


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Walczak ­ Photo
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Jul 16, 2010 09:02 |  #5

Hmmm...that's about what my wife said as well. Also something about the lighting on the ship which would indicate "sun" versus all the clouds in the sky. Ok, here's another version where I've backed off the clouds quite a bit to try and make things look more natural...


IMAGE: http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/719/img1667b.jpg


I really just hate the blah, bland sky...it really feels like it needs something but my color treatment didn't work well on this shot as it did with some of the others.

Thoughts?


Thanks,
Jim

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Flo
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Jul 16, 2010 11:07 as a reply to  @ Walczak Photo's post |  #6

Truthfully, will this print out large and keep any details Jim? At this size the clarity is not the best? Just wondering.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 16, 2010 11:28 |  #7

gail, I assume that this image is a severly reduced jpeg from a much larger file.. so we can't judge what details are there in the print version looking at a 700 pixel tall reduction.

that said, IMHO the hull does look soft/out of focus based on this jpeg.. I assumed too little DOF, but it is f/9 ?


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Jul 16, 2010 11:40 |  #8

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #10548161 (external link)
gail, I assume that this image is a severly reduced jpeg from a much larger file.. so we can't judge what details are there in the print version looking at a 700 pixel tall reduction.

that said, IMHO the hull does look soft/out of focus based on this jpeg.. I assumed too little DOF, but it is f/9 ?

Yes, I realize that it is probably compressed, but from the other thread Jim had with all the Tall Ships, I was wondering about how much detail there was left in the photos?He was working with unfavorable conditions to be sure.

Jim, how about some wispy clouds as opposed to the billowing ones?


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rjc1
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Jul 16, 2010 12:36 |  #9

It could be just my interpretation, but it looks like the light on the clouds in coming from the opposite direction. Still nice photo.


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Scottdog129
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Jul 16, 2010 13:51 |  #10

Without, for sure.


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Walczak ­ Photo
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Jul 16, 2010 17:25 |  #11

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #10548161 (external link)
gail, I assume that this image is a severly reduced jpeg from a much larger file.. so we can't judge what details are there in the print version looking at a 700 pixel tall reduction.

that said, IMHO the hull does look soft/out of focus based on this jpeg.. I assumed too little DOF, but it is f/9 ?


Well, you and Flo are both right. I have reduced the crap out of the picture to post it here but as Gail had commented, there were/are A LOT of issues with these shots to begin with. There is certainly a degree of softness that's mostly due to the amount of noise reduction I've had to do...there was certainly an exposure issue here but I'm pretty convinced at this point that a great deal of the noise was due to the heat that day more than anything else. Also, the light that say was just terrible...or at least it was from the only perspective I really had (which was the edge of Voinavich Park in downtown Cleveland). If I could have gotten out on that break wall or even out on a boat, I could have gotten much better shots I'm sure. All the way around it was just a very bad day for shooting so if anything, I'm happy that I got the stuff I did.

Flo...
Interestingly enough, I'm not really worried too much about the softness in the haul if I blow it up...I'm more worried about the definition in the lines/ropes. I can "pop" the haul a bit more now that I'm finally getting the contrast and color up a bit but those lines...at this point I may end up going down to about the 2 or 3 pixel range to isolate -all- of them...and that's not going to be fun, even for me. Either way, I obviously do still have -a lot- more work to do on this shot before I even print it as an 8x10 but the purpose of this particular post was just to get some idea on the clouds issue before I did the additional work. Basically my wife likes it without the clouds but I really feel that blah sky needed/needs something to spice it up a bit.

That said, if I do the blow up I -know- it's not going to be "perfect" by any means. More than anything else, I just think this would be a nice shot to hang on the wall here at home. -If- it comes out decent enough, I may slip it in to my portfolio...or at least an exhibition but otherwise, I just think it's a pretty shot more than anything else...rather classic "pose" really. A nice framed 16x20 version of it on the wall up here in the office would be kinda nice :-).

rjc1 wrote in post #10548543 (external link)
It could be just my interpretation, but it looks like the light on the clouds in coming from the opposite direction. Still nice photo.


Hhhmmmmmmmm..... I'll have to look closer at that. I -know- it's not exactly the "opposite" direction but it was more or less at about a 45'ish degree angle to the original shot. In the shot original shot there, Bounty was on her way back in roughly from the East and I shot the pics of the clouds yesterday in the Southeast (roughly same time of day). I've been hoping to get a nice day with some "pretty little fluffy clouds" so I could go up to the lake and re-shoot from the proper perspective but Mother Nature just hasn't been cooperating with me. Either way, thank you for the comment...I will certainly take a closer look at those clouds in regards to the lighting direction.

Thanks all,
Jim


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Jul 16, 2010 17:45 as a reply to  @ Walczak Photo's post |  #12

Between the two photos - without looks better to me.

Am I the only one left that leaves photos alone? If there were clouds, then there were clouds. If not, then no clouds.

Daniel


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Walczak ­ Photo
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Jul 17, 2010 09:46 |  #13

pleb1024 wrote in post #10550266 (external link)
Between the two photos - without looks better to me.

Am I the only one left that leaves photos alone? If there were clouds, then there were clouds. If not, then no clouds.

Daniel


Well, here's the way I see it. To me, it's not about what I take with the camera, it's about the final print. The truth of the matter is that many, if not most good photographers have "altered" their own images for years. Long before programs such as Photoshop, many people used to do "comps" in the dark room...and there's nothing wrong with that at all. In this day and age, it's really no different with Photoshop accept that it's just easier, faster and less messy.

In my opinion, there are two approaches to photography once you get past the snap shot...that of the "photojournalist" and that of the "artist". The job of a photojournalist is to "represent the truth of the event" and to portray it in a factual way. Now please understand, I -do- have a very deep respect for photojournalism...my father worked as a printer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer for over 40 years of his life. It's something I grew up with. That said however, I'm an artist. To me it's not about trying to document something as accurately as possible with a camera, it's about the "art" that comes out at the end. As such, I do whatever I feel I need to do and I use whatever tools I have available to create the work that I do.

To me it's not about who can capture the most accurate image with a camera and it's not about who can output their work the fastest...it's about how I (and hopefully others) feel about my final prints. To better illustrate my point, here's a couple of shots of mine...


IMAGE: http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/1560/dsc00033ahk8.jpg

Now I took this shot of this beautiful guy at a Smoky Mountains Exhibition at a local nature center a few years back. The Coyote was of course in a cage and from my window perspective there was simply NO WAY to avoid getting the cage in the shot. To me however, the cage looked nasty and very unnatural...it most certainly did NOT add anything to an otherwise nice image of a Coyote. In this case, the brush in the background was taken of a bush in my own back yard....I had about 4 or 5 hours worth of work in to this one. Now for some folks it wouldn't be worth it but to me, I -know- I'll never get a shot of a Coyote in the wild that's this good, so absolutely it was worth it.

Consider this...I have this shot displayed at an exhibition and the general public is looking at it, generally speaking they're aren't sitting there saying "oh...it sucks because he must have Photoshoped that picture...". People see this shot framed and hanging on a wall and they either like it or they don't (and since I've sold a few copies of it, I'm guessing that at least some people like it). They don't care how I took it, they don't care what camera or lens I used, they don't care what I may or may not have done to the image afterward, they just know whether they think it's a pretty shot or not...and in the end, that's the -only- thing that counts. The same thing goes for this next shot...

IMAGE: http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/4867/004ru.jpg

This is a shot of my folks Golden Retriever, "Lady". In the original shot, she was actually sitting in front of my Dad's minivan and had a big silver bumper growing out the sides of her head. I had taken SEVERAL other pictures that day...without the bumper...but this was the pose that my parents liked. Since I was doing this for them as a Xmas present, I wanted the image to be as nice as possible...and the van bumper really didn't add anything at all to the pic. This shot is of course framed and hanging on my parents living room wall...they don't care what I did to this image or how I did it, they just know that they love this shot!

Now clearly if I were "documenting a fire" or some other new event that were to be published in a magazine or new paper or something, I would -NOT- do what I do, the way I do it...again that is a very different type of photography. However that's simply NOT what I do and as such, there's absolutely no reason for me to limit myself in that way at all. Why should one so completely limit one's creativity like that? The image I create is still mine...the initial picture was taken by me, the work was done by me...why is that a problem?

Some people seem to think that editing, adjusting or even creating your images in Photoshop is some how "cheating" and it's not. Again photographers and artist have been "creating" images in darkrooms for years using many of the same methods used today in programs such as Photoshop. Hell...the late, great Ansel Adams invented half the techniques we use in Photoshop today...would you really consider Adams "a cheater"? Further, I grew up with film photography and most of what I do in Photoshop I -can- do in a dark room...again here the difference is that it's faster, easier and much less messy. It's not cheating, it's simply a matter of using the tools that are available to you and Photoshop is a wonderful and very powerful tool.

Think of it this way...a carpenter -can- build something using a basic hand saw and basic tools but isn't it MUCH easier to use a good, modern power saw? Unless you're Amish, what's the point in doing things the hard way when you really don't need to at all?

You seem to take pride in that your images are "the way they came off the camera"...and that's fine. To me however, I use whatever tools I have at my disposal to create the best images that I can...nothing more and nothing less. Again, it's not about what I take with the camera, it's about what I print...and I try to print the best images that I possibly can. That said, please don't look down your nose at people who choose to do more and be more creative than simply using their camera...the camera is simply -one- of the tools that some of us use to create our art.

Peace,
Jim

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HMS Bounty - Clouds or No Clouds?
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