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02-03-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
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Death in the City
Lens: SMC-DA 18-55 ALII Camera: K20D Photo Location: Winston Salem ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/150s Aperture: F5 

I was doing some city shots one day and noticed this scene. In the PPing, I'm trying to draw the eyes to the bird, while not making it look too obvious (though the higlighting may still be just a bit too much). How does the treatment work so far, and are there some other things I could try? Original shot followed by the PP'd one:





02-03-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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the edited photo is defiantly better than the original. It manages to draw my eye to the bird. The biggest thing I find distracting is that the gradation between the blurred sidewalk and the sharp sidewalk. Not sure how to do it better though.
02-04-2011, 05:35 AM   #3
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I think the one leaf coming to right into the frame is taking too much attention... could you burn it to make it a little darker to match the rest of the plant's leaves?

And I don't think you need such a selective focus, when the spot of light will do it... it will make the grad of focus smoother...
02-04-2011, 06:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kswier Quote
the edited photo is defiantly better than the original. It manages to draw my eye to the bird. The biggest thing I find distracting is that the gradation between the blurred sidewalk and the sharp sidewalk. Not sure how to do it better though.
QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
I think the one leaf coming to right into the frame is taking too much attention... could you burn it to make it a little darker to match the rest of the plant's leaves?

And I don't think you need such a selective focus, when the spot of light will do it... it will make the grad of focus smoother...

Thanks for the suggestions. I went back and redid the processing with some of the extra burn-in (also attenuated the bright spot a bit). Here's two more attempts, the first with no extra selective focus, the second with just a touch, a larger gradation of it, and also larger area of focus. Side-by-side (I hope) for easier comparison, so the images are a little smaller overall.

With the initial composition when I shot it, I thought that F5 on the kit lens would blur the background a bit more than it did, especially since I focussed on the bird and then shifted for the composition. So, here we go with take 2:



02-04-2011, 07:29 AM   #5
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the highlights are less obvious... but now I feel the whole image is a touch dark... perhaps it is my screen (likely) or else I would think everything needs a +2/3 EV bump
02-04-2011, 07:42 AM   #6
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It's not your monitor. It did come out a little darker this time as I burned in things (probably overdid it a little near the cars and some of the plant leaves), and I think I toned down the contrast, but it could have a little more. Will have another go at it, but which focus scheme seems better?
02-04-2011, 07:45 AM   #7
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2 perhaps... not huge difference in my eyes...
02-04-2011, 07:59 AM   #8
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Here we go, I think this one has it.


02-04-2011, 08:28 AM   #9
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well it is a dead bird on a sidewalk... but if that was ever an interesting photo... i think you have it... as a quick quick note... did the details on the face blow out with the last bump?
02-04-2011, 08:41 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
well it is a dead bird on a sidewalk... but if that was ever an interesting photo... i think you have it... as a quick quick note... did the details on the face blow out with the last bump?
I imagine the contrast bump did do it, so I'll probably go back and try to keep it burned in. When I saw the bird just lying there it struck me that most people passing by probably wouldn't even notice it or care, yet, the same can be said in how desensitized people have gotten over crime and violence throughout the world. The fact that there was also the disposable razor blade protector and a cigarette butt, a few dead leaves and then the bright purplish flowers (which obviously don't come thru with a B/W conversion) just seemed to make a commentary on modern life to me.
02-04-2011, 01:24 PM   #11
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Yuk John!
But for a kit lens wonder this shot is reasonably well rendered.
And you performed the PP aptly - but avoid making the 'spotlighting' effect on the dead bird too sharply demarcated. Consider increasing the size of the brush to dodge the area and perhaps even burn some of the other distracting parts of the scene, including the leaf debris around the footpath - I notice those elements though find them drawing me away from the subject, probably because they're more pleasant to look at than a dead bird!
02-04-2011, 09:32 PM   #12
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Thanks all for the suggestions. I think I finally have it where I want it. No dodging at the bird so I could keep the details, but the burning in around it multiple times with a low opacity made highlighted enough to be subtle IMO. I did burn in some of the leaves Ash, but part of the "commentary" of the photo is that the bird is just some more refuse, like the blade protector, cig, and dead leaves. So, I didn't want to make them completely unnoticed.

02-04-2011, 11:46 PM   #13
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halo is too much on the earlier versions. sometimes just a little is a lot. drop it to like 10 percent. the last photo above me is to stark for my tastes.
02-05-2011, 04:53 PM   #14
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Your original shot along with your title are enough to draw the attention to your intended subject. I can appreciate the efforts you've made in your B&W versions but only the one that shows the crop of the bird itself do the job of immediately drawing my attention.

02-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #15
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I will agree with your cropping, colors don't fit with the theme and are distracting.
I agree the last picture posted is the best, the only thing I don't like is the plastic blade protector, for some reason i would prefer that area to be emptier (but like the dead leaves).
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