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06-03-2015, 02:56 AM   #1
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Some input please
Lens: Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM Camera: K3 Photo Location: Netherlands 

I'm developing more off an interest for cityscape/architecture/landmark photography but just can't get it right. Shots never come out as the mental picture and having a hard time with composing, framing and lighting the subjects. I know it's not learned in a short period off time for I think it's an art in itself but really need some advice on how to improve. I included some off my efforts and would be grateful for all the help I can get.

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06-03-2015, 04:00 AM   #2
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In the ever so helpful words of my wife, in the same way she tells me whenever I have something off in my photos, "There's something not quite right, but I'm not sure what."

I'm not very good with this type of photography, so it's hard to say exactly what is needed on most of these. However, with the final shot I feel like a good crop is necessary. First, there isn't a lot in that photo, but I am pretty sure you didn't want the tree to be your main focal point. But that is where my eye goes. If it were me, I'd probably crop this down so it is more like a vertical shot. Have the left side end right through the middle of the tree, and the right side end equal distance from the light post. It seems this would still give you the ambiance you want, but focus the eyes in just one location and even out the visual weight. The top photo could also use a good crop to get rid of extra visual noise and balance it out.

I think that may be the problem, and I'd love for someone else to step in as well, but just focus on making sure that visually the photo is balanced. Make sure you don't have too many distractions or other subjects in the photo that will pop out, and make it hard to focus where you want the viewer to look when they see it. You don't want too little in the photo so as to lose interest, but you don't want too much in the photo which can make a viewer feel a little overwhelmed or lost. It's definitely a lot harder to put into practice than say, and it's something I am still working on myself, but from my limited photography experience, but years of artistic experience and learning, I think that is a good place to start.
06-03-2015, 04:29 AM   #3
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The tree/bushes in all them are a little distracting and in the middle two the diagonals take the eye away from what is the main interest. The problem with having rivers/streams or roads in a picture is that it is natural to look where they go and in the middle two they go out of the picture.
06-03-2015, 07:18 AM   #4
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I see what you saying, to much distraction in objects and leading lines. I have a tendency to want to capture it all, in landscape photography that can ad depth I begin to understand that in this case it distracts. thank you for your advice.

06-03-2015, 08:43 AM   #5
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The shots all feel a little underexposed for me. I think given how much of your compositions are in shade, it'd be interesting to see what happened if you exposed for the darker areas, even if that made the parts of the buildings in sunlight pop.
06-03-2015, 04:39 PM   #6
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I agree that the images are a little on the dark side and a boost in levels and contrast would help. I also agree about the trees. In the top image there is not much you could do apart from clone out the twigs dropping in from the top. Perhaps a better vantage point may have been better but then that is not always an option.

Second image has too much tree in my opinion. OK to use the trees to frame the shot but that one on the left is taking over. A nice crop to reduce some left tree, sky and the tree on the right may be worth considering. The leading lines on the second image could be used to advantage to highlight the second buildind but it is partially obscured. A slight change in position would work wonders. It has been said that the position in which you first spot an interesting scene is almost always the wrong one. Take a walk around, not far, a few feet either way and almost certainly you will find a better position.

One thing to note is what you see with your eves is not the same angle of wiew the camera sees. Without realising it, one often changes stance slightly and this can affect the framing of the shot. Another issue is that one often concentrates on the main subject without seeing the distractions.

On processing, I find Topaz Clarity to be very useful in bringing out subtle details in images. It is available as a plug in for Lightroom and photoshop and other programs.
06-04-2015, 02:39 AM   #7
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I love love love the last shot! The way you've rendered it really gives the shot a sort of post-apocalyptic feel, and the way it's composed really draws me in.

The other shots are nice, but not really catching, I don't really find any particular point of interest.
06-04-2015, 07:12 AM   #8
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A fellow beginner here, so take this with a grain of salt, but one thing you might consider is using a longer focal length in portrait orientation and stitching a panorama instead of relying on the wide angle to "fit" everything inside one frame. That might let you emphasize those "objects of interest" that Zoe B. mentions, e.g. the ring of bicycles chained up along the fence in the first image. (FWIW, I will concur with her evaluation of the last image, though!.)


Otherwise, I think any landscape photographer is at the mercy of light--at a different time of day (or season of the year), with different atmospheric conditions, the first and third captures especially might really pop. As good a reason as any to keep your camera near at hand, I suppose!

06-04-2015, 07:21 AM   #9
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Great tips and insides, thank you all. Framing has always been a bit off a problem for me, I have ADD and see things often a bit different and all at the same time so your help to make me more aware is very helpful. Will also try to adapt my post great tips there as well.
06-04-2015, 08:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Carpon Quote
see things often a bit different and all at the same time

That sounds like a great starting point for an artist in any genre! (Of course, since your audience can never be immersed in your mind and experience of life, the challenge is to elicit an analogous response to something you create--"real life" in any case will be just the starting point; art and "artifice" on your part will determine whether you succeed or fail in shaping our perception to match your intention.)
06-04-2015, 04:04 PM   #11
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I'm pleased to see that the verticals are as they should be... vertical.

Try to get different POVs like you have for the last image, the others IMHO are a bit "standard postcard" shots.

But keep up the good work, your well on the way.
06-04-2015, 04:10 PM   #12
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Wrong time of the Day. Use blue hours of the Day, or the early times when you have soft light. Architecture is a lot of character thing.
06-04-2015, 08:07 PM   #13
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Cropping, rotating, twig cloning...
Attachment 271237

Cropping, brightening.
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Cropping, rotating
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Cropping, contrast.
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Last edited by SpecialK; 12-29-2016 at 11:10 AM.
06-05-2015, 12:15 AM   #14
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so, now i have a bit more time for a bit longer version.

if i´m not mistaken there are some hdrs, you´re making - i´m not sure where your darkest point is - it is everything in focus and everything has almost same exposure - foreground is metered same as background and the picture becomes flat - but it´s a matter of taste of course.

PP your picture all the same, try to get out a style. on picture 3 is way to much contrast, it doesn´t fit and try to pp as less as you can.

Composition. what you´re doing now, is more landscape - you´re telling about location in what the building is standing, and not the buildnig itself.
i told you about character of the building - its like shooting portrait you´re looking for a point, which will define the building most perfectly. it doesn´t have to be the whole building with a wide angle.
try working on longer focal lengthes - 28-50mm. if smth. doesn´t fit in, well maybe it doesn´t need to be in the frame. if you need a landscape, then use technics which will fit it - hdr on water emmm... - try polarizers, try nd filter for long time exposure. if somth isn´t vertical, and you don´t intend to shoot it so, you don´t need to photoshop it afterwards - just be confiden´t in what you´re shooting.

btw, last photo was a good interpretation.)

some of my examples - IR, lobg time exposures

Last edited by Vitalii; 10-14-2015 at 06:01 AM.
06-05-2015, 02:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
That sounds like a great starting point for an artist in any genre! (Of course, since your audience can never be immersed in your mind and experience of life, the challenge is to elicit an analogous response to something you create--"real life" in any case will be just the starting point; art and "artifice" on your part will determine whether you succeed or fail in shaping our perception to match your intention.)
So true. For me it's finding a balance between adapting and staying true to my view on the world. I would however like my photo's to appeal to a broader audience, and for that I have to challenge myself to for example chance my pov, less shadow and less for other people distracting objects in the frame. Great to (with the help of my fellow Pentaxian's) evolve my photography

---------- Post added 06-05-15 at 09:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Vitalii Quote
so, now i have a bit more time for a bit longer version.

if i´m not mistaken there are some hdrs, you´re making - i´m not sure where your darkest point is - it is everything in focus and everything has almost same exposure - foreground is metered same as background and the picture becomes flat - but it´s a matter of taste of course.

PP your picture all the same, try to get out a style. on picture 3 is way to much contrast, it doesn´t fit and try to pp as less as you can.

Composition. what you´re doing now, is more landscape - you´re telling about location in what the building is standing, and not the buildnig itself.
i told you about character of the building - its like shooting portrait you´re looking for a point, which will define the building most perfectly. it doesn´t have to be the whole building with a wide angle.
try working on longer focal lengthes - 28-50mm. if smth. doesn´t fit in, well maybe it doesn´t need to be in the frame. if you need a landscape, then use technics which will fit it - hdr on water emmm... - try polarizers, try nd filter for long time exposure. if somth isn´t vertical, and you don´t intend to shoot it so, you don´t need to photoshop it afterwards - just be confiden´t in what you´re shooting.

btw, last photo was a good interpretation.)

some of my examples - IR, lobg time exposures
Thank you for providing me with the inside that I approach the subject in a landscape state off mind. I usually use ND filters on my landscape photography and will be experiment with them in my future attempts. Never would have came up with the idea to long expose in architecture, what a great forum this is
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