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10-07-2019, 06:37 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Old Cedar Ave. Bridge
Lens: S-M-C 17mm Fisheye Takumar Camera: K-3 Photo Location: Bloomington, MN ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/45s Aperture: F11 

Interested in people's thoughts on this image I took a couple of months back. I have my own ideas on it but want to hear what other think.


10-07-2019, 06:51 AM   #2
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Is that road open? Brave move. I don't know that I'd bother standing in the middle of a bridge to get a picture, especially in your neck of the woods. I'm not in any position to be giving you much feedback on your photos - you're way more advanced than I am already!
10-07-2019, 07:22 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reality_Check Quote
Is that road open? Brave move. I don't know that I'd bother standing in the middle of a bridge to get a picture, especially in your neck of the woods. I'm not in any position to be giving you much feedback on your photos - you're way more advanced than I am already!
It was converted to a biking/walking path several years ago and on nice evenings like the one this was taken on it usually has a fair number of people. If one is patient you can usually get a shot of it empty like this. the bridge is also a nice spot to shoot images of wildlife in the backwaters of the Minnesota river. There is a road in the county that I want to go stand in the middle of once it is open again after construction and get a picture of but road construction this year seems to never end.
10-07-2019, 09:01 AM   #4
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Let's talk about the image as such. Had I taken it, it would get a three-stars-out-of-four rating. (Why not a maximum of five? Well, that's a personal thing: I'm just reluctant to award any of my own images absolute-killer status, even if I really love them. Even in other realms of creative endeavour, I tend to be at least as interested in shortlists than in actual winners. Three stars, for myself, is the threshold for caring to share with others.)

Technically, this seems to be - I can't pixel-peep - a flawless image. Sharpness is no issue at all. The light might not be spectacular but I would be perfectly happy with it. Colours and contrast leave little to be desired; I particularly like that your processing lends the image a certain pop without drawing too much attention to itself.

At face value, your composition looks quite okay too. You opted to put the vanishing point right in the centre, presumably to make the fisheye effect a little less obtrusive, your horizon is level, the yellow stripe acts as a visual stepping stone into the image - so, what is there not to like? Or, rather, what is missing that would likely take the image from okay (or even good) to awesome? I think it would actually be some sort of compositional punctuation point. Someone walking or riding on and over the bridge. Or, alternatively, someone moving towards the photographer, about to leave the frame. I reckon it wouldn't even matter if that person were recognizable, sharp or blurred - they would merely act as a compositional device and would breathe a little more life into an otherwise nice image.

To illustrate my point, I attach a shot of Millennium Bridge in London where I faced a similar composition problem (full-res JPEG, moiré-free, here: https://needacreate.smugmug.com/London-2016/i-fN5cp8R/A):

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Last edited by Madaboutpix; 10-07-2019 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Link added
10-07-2019, 09:12 AM   #5
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Could I suggest trying it in black & white? Sometimes architectural images can get more punch with monochrome, and a strong casting sky and clouds makes a good frame. By this I don't mean I don't like the original, just throwing in some ideas.
10-07-2019, 10:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Let's talk about the image as such. Had I taken it, it would get a three-stars-out-of-four rating. (Why not a maximum of five? Well, that's a personal thing: I'm just reluctant to award any of my own images absolute-killer status, even if I really love them. Even in other realms of creative endeavour, I tend to be at least as interested in shortlists than in actual winners. Three stars, for myself, is the threshold for caring to share with others.)

Technically, this seems to be - I can't pixel-peep - a flawless image. Sharpness is no issue at all. The light might not be spectacular but I would be perfectly happy with it. Colours and contrast leave little to be desired; I particularly like that your processing lends the image a certain pop without drawing too much attention to itself.

At face value, your composition looks quite okay too. You opted to put the vanishing point right in the centre, presumably to make the fisheye effect a little less obtrusive, your horizon is level, the yellow stripe acts as a visual stepping stone into the image - so, what is there not to like? Or, rather, what is missing that would likely take the image from okay (or even good) to awesome? I think it would actually be some sort of compositional punctuation point. Someone walking or riding on and over the bridge. Or, alternatively, someone moving towards the photographer, about to leave the frame. I reckon it wouldn't even matter if that person were recognizable, sharp or blurred - they would merely act as a compositional device and would breathe a little more life into an otherwise nice image.

To illustrate my point, I attach a shot of Millennium Bridge in London where I faced a similar composition problem (full-res JPEG, moiré-free, here: London 2016 - Marc):
Thanks for the detailed reply . I actually didn't want the vanishing point in the middle it kind of ended up there withe the framing to get the bridge in. I do want to go back some time that isn't mid afternoon when there is better light and would change the framing moving the vanishing point. I was thinking of getting closer and going lower trying to get the girders into the lower corners but having the top of the bridge near the top of the frame. When I do go and try this image again I will probably take a shot with people in it just to see if I like it. It is about as sharp at that lens can do and I was very cognizant of keeping the horizon level and the bridge squared nicely in the frame as things can get looking really weird quickly if you don't with a fisheye.
10-07-2019, 10:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin Quote
Could I suggest trying it in black & white? Sometimes architectural images can get more punch with monochrome, and a strong casting sky and clouds makes a good frame. By this I don't mean I don't like the original, just throwing in some ideas.
I did try a B&W conversion on it and didn't really like it. the paint is fairly fresh and to me there just isn't enough texture in the image to really get something to pop. Add in that the scene is fairly low contrast and just kind of became really boring. I will frequently try a B&W conversion on images just to see if I like them or not and the more I do the more I learn. I still haven't figure out what images really work but find that ones with some good texture seem to work well.

10-07-2019, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Nice image!

The PROs:
-- nice vanishing point
-- nice alignment of clouds with road
-- nice balance of metal, landscape, and sky
-- nice DoF
-- nice exposure

My personal quibbles:
-- the bridge top is a bit close to the edge of the frame
-- the foreground black road is distracting
-- there's slightly more left railing than right railing
-- there's no drunk on a bicycle to prove Pentax AF sucks
10-07-2019, 11:20 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
the bridge top is a bit close to the edge of the frame
I actually like this but after seeing the image after taking it I want the girders at a similarly low potion in the frame to better balance things out. This would also change the vanishing point and play a bit more with the perspective distortion from the fisheye lens which I think would work with this scene. This would have also removed one of the issues you mention that I also don't like.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
the foreground black road is distracting
This was one of my big issues with the image and was wondering if someone else would mention it.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
there's no drunk on a bicycle to prove Pentax AF sucks
With the setup I was using there isn't any AF so it must really suck. Just set the hyperfocal and let it rip. Infinity mark at f/5.6 with the lens at f/11.
10-08-2019, 12:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
Interested in people's thoughts on this image I took a couple of months back. I have my own ideas on it but want to hear what other think.
I scrolled the image down so that the asphalt foreground was cropped out. I thought it looked much less distracting then.
10-08-2019, 12:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Geodude Quote
I thought it looked much less distracting then
I agree and that is one of the reasons I want to go and reshoot it some time. Maybe when fall colors get going there, likely next week.
10-08-2019, 12:55 PM   #12
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I also think you left a little too much foreground (while cropping you can also adjust, the bridge beeing not dead centre, as mentioned).
The colors are a little more saturated then I would have done them, but I think it works very well for your picture.

QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Someone walking or riding on and over the bridge. Or, alternatively, someone moving towards the photographer, about to leave the frame.

While including persons in the frame can help a composition, I am not a big fan of people standing/going at the edge of the frame when using a fisheye because of the occuring distortions.
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