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Photo critique Here is where you can display your images and seek the comment, advice and, maybe, constructive critique of your work. Only post your images here if you are happy for frank feedback. If in doubt, use the beginners board instead. Only post your comments here if you feel you can make a constructive and polite contribution in response to what is, for some, a leap of faith in exposing their work to your critical comment.

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  #1  
Old 24-05-11
erikvlie erikvlie is offline
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Ship being towed to mooring place

This is my first ever image that I put up for criticism; I'm a shy person and don't think much of my 'skills' as a photographer, so fire at will. (I hope this is the way the image should be embedded in the post...).

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Old 24-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

It's OK, but I spotted one problem in the EXIF metadata - you shot this at f/19. This is well past the optimum aperture for a Sony Alpha A700. I would keep the aperture at f/8 or brighter in order to avoid the effects of diffraction softening - see:

http://dpnow.com/7644.html

Also, by using such a small aperture the shutter speed is reduced to 1/90th, which introduces the potential for motion blur.

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Old 24-05-11
erikvlie erikvlie is offline
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Thanks for the link to the article on diffraction limitation. I've been trying to buy myself a good book on photography if only for this type of problems, but it seems like there aren't any --it's all far more evolved.

The 1/90th was unavoidable: I had the sun almost straight ahead. You used to be able to go anywhere in the port of Antwerp but free movement for anyone without an access pass is very restricted these days with the 'war on terror'. I did use a tripod to avoid camera shake. The ship was moving at dead slow speed so I took my chances with that (I come from a family of deck officers and know well what dead slow means in terms of snail speed

I'll learn this by heart, though, as well as the theory on hyperfocal distance.
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Old 24-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Quote:
Originally Posted by erikvlie View Post
Thanks for the link to the article on diffraction limitation. I've been trying to buy myself a good book on photography if only for this type of problems, but it seems like there aren't any --it's all far more evolved.

The 1/90th was unavoidable: I had the sun almost straight ahead. You used to be able to go anywhere in the port of Antwerp but free movement for anyone without an access pass is very restricted these days with the 'war on terror'. I did use a tripod to avoid camera shake. The ship was moving at dead slow speed so I took my chances with that (I come from a family of deck officers and know well what dead slow means in terms of snail speed

I'll learn this by heart, though, as well as the theory on hyperfocal distance.
Ah! Did you see my article on hyperfocal distance?

http://dpnow.com/7641.html

Ian
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Old 24-05-11
erikvlie erikvlie is offline
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Yes, I did!
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Old 24-05-11
Fast Eddie Fast Eddie is offline
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Nice image, I would have liked some more space in front of the ships for them to sail into though.
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Old 25-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Hi there, its important to realise that you will gain more from negative critisism than positive, you may not like it but trust me I no it will make you better.
My first impression is that its been taken by a webcam on the mouth of a port somewhere, so not good really.
Next time post a little bigger so we can see some detail, lovely sky but the ships themselves are not that great, maybe your cam has a setting for increasing dynamic range which will bring out the shadows. You can fix this on the computer but will downgrade the quality of the picture.
If your camera allow's try and set it for grid display in the viewfinder, it will help you position subjects in your frame, ie, your ships are a bit central in the frame, look up rule of thirds in google.
Last thing, don't be scared to switch your cam to b&w mode and see what results you get, you will be amazed how different a frame looks.
Good look and I wan't to see some more pic's from you soon, don't dissapoint me Ive put some time into this post when I should be preparing for an event
Have fun

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Old 26-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Quote:
Originally Posted by ash View Post
Hi there, its important to realise that you will gain more from negative critisism than positive, you may not like it but trust me I no it will make you better.
My first impression is that its been taken by a webcam on the mouth of a port somewhere, so not good really.
Next time post a little bigger so we can see some detail, lovely sky but the ships themselves are not that great, maybe your cam has a setting for increasing dynamic range which will bring out the shadows. You can fix this on the computer but will downgrade the quality of the picture.
If your camera allow's try and set it for grid display in the viewfinder, it will help you position subjects in your frame, ie, your ships are a bit central in the frame, look up rule of thirds in google.
Last thing, don't be scared to switch your cam to b&w mode and see what results you get, you will be amazed how different a frame looks.
Good look and I wan't to see some more pic's from you soon, don't dissapoint me Ive put some time into this post when I should be preparing for an event
Have fun

Ash.
There is a larger version in the gallery but it's too large for Web display - 1600 pixels wide. I recommend 800-900 pixels wide for landscape and 700-800 pixels high for vertical format shots. You can get away with going wider for panoramas though.

Ian
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  #9  
Old 28-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Quote:
Originally Posted by erikvlie View Post
The 1/90th was unavoidable: I had the sun almost straight ahead. I did use a tripod to avoid camera shake.
I'm not sure what you mean by this, your focal length was 24mm so f5.6 would have been more than adequate for extended depth of field at this distance and would have also meant you would have had a shutter speed of at least 1/250sec and would not have needed the tripod.

Also if I may point out posting your image in the ProPhoto colour space is not advisable for the web and you may wish to convert the image to the more web friendly srgb colour space for posting images to the web in the future so people can see them how you intended.

Here is how you posted it


Here it is converted to the web friendly srgb colour space. And much the better for it as we can now see more shadow detail, but also the lens flair in the bottom left corner..
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Old 28-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Well spotted, Paul - I didn't realise it was in ProPhoto space.

Ian
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Old 29-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Well spotted, Paul - I didn't realise it was in ProPhoto space.

Ian
No problem Ian, and with the exif viewer I use it's hard to miss as it gives a prominent warning if the colour space is not srgb or does not have a profile embedded.
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Old 29-05-11
erikvlie erikvlie is offline
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Thanks for the comments. I want to answer some of these --it's not a 'defense' because I don't feel attacked. It's also not a series of excuses, but some clarification. Having said that, I don't know if I'll ever improve...

Why do I use a tripod? Because I shake and can't tell at which stop it wouldn't be noticeable anymore. Also, because using a tripod is just a good idea, especially when you get to shoot photos every 6 weeks or so and not more often.

I don't see how you can deduct the shutter speed for the scene just by looking at the photo. Isn't that where the light meter comes into play? The camera's light meter gave me this reading and while I may be a lousy photographer (I know I am) I do take multiple shots with different settings. I did here as well, and in this case this shot came out as best. Perhaps I shouldn't have asked for criticism on this one --if you tell me that, you'd be right

The lens flare is clearly visible on the ProFotoRGB shot as well. I lost my lens cap a year ago and Sony still has to deliver me a new one -- I have tried buying one twice over the past year; their refusal to deliver is frustrating for my store as well as for me. It's probably one of the reasons why you don't see many pros carrying Sony's around

As for the ProfotoRGB to sRGB conversion: although I am a lousy photographer I do know a bit about colour management and as you may know too, conversion throws away colour data.

That's why I don't understand how you can see more in the shadow areas. What you are seeing in the sRGB version and what you call shadow detail is actually noise (see my attached screenshot of colour gamuts and note the bottom of the profile where the shadow areas are, and how fast the sRGB profile throw away data)?

If you look carefully, you'll even see sky colour banding in the sRGB. To criticize colours and shadow areas, I think it might be better if you download the image and view it within Photoshop or another capable image viewing environment.

As for the composition criticism: Rule of Thirds... Yes, I keep forgetting that. Not enough practice...

Webcam: it's clear you've never tried shooting in a port after 9/11 . Where I was standing, I was already trespassing and risking a fine. If you tell me the ships aren't very interesting, you're right. They looked interesting when I was there, with the sky and all. Once I saw the photo it looked a lot less spectacular. That's why I'm beginning to think I shouldn't have put this one up for criticism after all. On the other hand, your comments tell me that I have a sort of disconnect between what I see and the emotional weight that may carry which is personal) and what a photo of this looks like to people who don't have react emotionally to the topic because they have a different history or background. In short: this isn't a photo, it's a snapshot --right?

I disagree on the shadow part. I shoot RAW and so no dynamic range tools on the camera will bring out more detail than the camera already sees. I can 'open up' the shadow details without losing data or creating noise quite easily, but I din't see the point, because there's nothing there but dark muddled colours and black paint...

Rule of thirds: know it and honestly thought this one more or less obeys that rule. Checked this morning and it could be more dramatic but the tug is in the lower left with its center in the crosslines.

Unfortunately, my camera doesn't have a switch for colour to B&W. It has a histogram, though .

Given that I have to work 7/7 almost continuously, I can't promise that you'll see more and better of me soon. But as soon as I do and I think I have improved I'll upload!
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  #13  
Old 29-05-11
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

Quote:
Originally Posted by erikvlie View Post
Thanks for the comments.


As for the ProfotoRGB to sRGB conversion: although I am a lousy photographer I do know a bit about colour management and as you may know too, conversion throws away colour data.

That's why I don't understand how you can see more in the shadow areas. What you are seeing in the sRGB version and what you call shadow detail is actually noise (see my attached screenshot of colour gamuts and note the bottom of the profile where the shadow areas are, and how fast the sRGB profile throw away data)?

If you look carefully, you'll even see sky colour banding in the sRGB. To criticize colours and shadow areas, I think it might be better if you download the image and view it within Photoshop or another capable image viewing environment.
I'm sorry you have taken the comments in a way they were not intended.

I'll not get into the other subjects as they are Photography 101 and were not the points of my post but I will answer the ones directed at me.

Yes I do know about colour management and colour data and probably more than the average person.

Did you know that all none colour managed web browsers (used by 99% of people) will only display srgb images correctly, and to say that everyone should download the image and fire up photoshop to view it is naive to say the least.

If you are not willing to take advise about colour management on the web this will result in 99% of people viewing your Prophoto embedded images either here or other web sites/forums including your own and thinking the images are lacking when they are not!

The fact that I was the only one to pick up on this and the rest thought they were lacking in colour and shadow detail should reinforce this point.

As to me pointing out the flair, unless it was intentionally used for artistic effect then it was a fair point to make and the fact that you do not own a lens hood does not negate it.

I'm sure you will improve if like most things in life if you are willing to listen and learn and also practice.
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Last edited by OlyPaul; 29-05-11 at 10:53 PM.
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  #14  
Old 29-05-11
erikvlie erikvlie is offline
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Re: Ship being towed to mooring place

No, no, I haven't taken the comments in a way they were not intended. Perhaps I've not explained enough what I meant. I meant this forum is about criticism and if you're going to judge colours and shadow parts based on a sRGB file you can't do that properly because of the huge amount of data that gets thrown away.

Of course I'm not saying everyone should download the image and fire up photoshop to view. I'm saying that if you want to comment on colours and shadow parts here on this forum in my opinion, you should download the image and view it in PS.

As for the lens flare, I don't think I would have had trouble with it if I'd still had the hood.
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