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For Critique Hard to process ocean shot.....

Discussion in 'Photo Critique' started by lattiboy, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. lattiboy

    lattiboy Regular

    Mar 6, 2011
    I was out with my DP1 yesterday and got (what I think) is a great capture. Now, processing this thing is going to be the death of me.

    I'm going to post the two versions I've done so far. The first is the uncropped shot with just color and tone adjustments. The second is a one-shot HDR from CS5 after burning out the sky to add contrast. The torture the DP1 shots can take is astonishing!


    Ocean view by lattiboy, on Flickr


    Ocean View (redo) by lattiboy, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Tough image but I think that the original is more dynamic with the elements. There is more visual tension. If you look at the hood, the placement creates a very strong eye movement. It draws you right to it. In the cropped version, it still does but other things start to take over and complicate the eye travel. The image tone or color as you color folks call it is off in both. I think it's in between the 2. The second seems to magenta without being warm.... I hope that makes sense.
  3. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL

    I really feel the first one. While the sky is over exposed a bit, When I study this picture, I feel like I am walking up to the person on a nice, sunny, warm day. The second picture feels cold to me.
  4. Mayank

    Mayank Veteran

    Jul 16, 2010
    Nice image!

    I like the first crop, more space helps in better representation of the place, imho. I agree, both images have a magenta cast (the second one has a heavier cast).
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Agreed on the first one being the best in the sense of space and movement, as Don wrote about - the visual tension, etc. Keep working on that white balance, Latti because it is a really good image.
  6. Briar

    Briar Hall of Famer

    Oct 27, 2010
    Just now I want to turn everything black and white with silver efex so no point asking me about colour. I prefer both the crop and the detail you pick up in the sky more in the second picture. I'd crop it further though, to just before the shadows of the log and the person in the picture. Nice image though, just don't let it be the death of you! Have fun with it.
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm on board with the others on the first version. The second one makes the sky far more interesting, but pulls too much attention away from the beach, the person, the log, etc. And to me, those elements are the key to the shot, so anything that pulls the eye away from them hurt the shot.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think the lower two thirds of the image are your friend, so to speak. After a quick mess-around in photoshop it confirmed my original thought that me there is more to be gained by emphasising the figure, the shadows, and the incredible texture of the sand and rocks. The sky isn't the hero here IMO, and by placing the emphasis on the sky texture it weakens the lower portion of the image. B&W seems to suit the image too.
  9. lattiboy

    lattiboy Regular

    Mar 6, 2011
    Thanks folks!

    I took another run at it in B&W. Much closer crop, TORTURED this poor file to it's limits in Lightroom:
    • Like Like x 2
  10. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Latti, although I like this in black and white - I'm still drawn much more to your color versions where I feel I the three dimension so much more. From my point of view the colors and the light add to the image's beauty. I miss this aspect in the black and white, but that's just me. The scene is beautiful, the colors add to the beauty and the seated, hooded figure's clothes play into the colors around and in front of her.

    Forgive me for asking, probably again, but what software are you using?

    What do you think about all of these, Lattiboy - are you content? You are, after all, the man with the vision.

    P.S. As they all appear, your first remains my favorite.
  11. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Of all of these alternatives I feel the first one is the best. To me the single figure on the driftwood suggests isolation, even lonliness. The first uncropped image intensifies this sense by including much more sky and shore.

    The close crop in the B&W version doesn't work for me. Partly because it diminishes this sense of isolation and partly because it loses too many of the structural elements on the left of the image that draw the viewer into the central figure. The driftwood coming in from the left of the frame and that little stick in the bottom left corner create a strong triangle with the woman at the apex.

    I like the strength of the sky and the sea here. The blown section of the sea doesn't take away from the image for me. I can also see Nic's point about the texture in the sand. Depending on what software you use you could selectively enhance the mid tone contrast in this section to bring that out.

    Regarding the colour balance it does need some work - trial and error usually works best for me. On a general point, unless you are printing it's not worth spending too much time worrying about this. It just needs to be good enough. This is because you have no control over how your image will look on other people's computers unless they are using a colour managed browser and a colour balanced monitor.

    Here's a version that aims to accentuate the foreground shore while slightly reducing the background sky. While the foreground texture is interesting I think it is too strong and distracts from the woman who is the key element of the image.

    • Like Like x 2
  12. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Compositionally I love this shot. It has some very powerful elements.

    I have to agree with Briar. I look at it and hanker for B+W - especially via Silver Efex. Your Lightroom monochrome still looks a little flat, but I think in Efex if you used control points to selective dodge some of the highlights and adding some structure, added some filtering and toning, and....Wait up just an idea....if you're willing how's about taking up on Will's idea and sending a link to the TIFF and seeing what comes back from other folks? I don't mean to be pushy and you have the democratic right to say "No bugger you buddy!", but it might be helpful to see what other's would do with such a challenging 'negative'. Because I have to agree with Don it's a curly one....

    P.S. Sorry guys, just read Will's thread and discovered that it had originally been pared off from this one. :blush: Ummm....still sounds like a good idea.....I think
    • Like Like x 1
  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    It is a good idea.

    Now we'll have to see who comes across first, Will or Lattiboy. Actually, I think we need to fine tune the process over there.
  14. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    I still love the original. The only thing I would have done a little different, which really can't be fixed PP, is to push the subject a little farther right into the frame, but not much. Other than that, the first one still speaks to me the best.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. BruPri

    BruPri Top Veteran

    May 11, 2011
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Bruce J. Pritchard
    I like the second HDR shot, nice, also, I'm certain its not the ocean but perhaps Puget Sound? Golden Gardens beach perhaps?
  16. chromatin64

    chromatin64 Veteran

    Apr 26, 2011
    A Leekist in York, UK
    The most striking for me in the second pic is that the sky looks like a sunrise/sunset sky with the warm tones, but it is obvious that the sun is nowhere near the horizon judging by the highlit sea.

    Compositionally, I prefer the first shot for the reasons given above.

    I am a Lightroom user and I'd be using the graduated filter tool on that sky to underexpose it a bit/a lot.

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