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01-27-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
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Another Shot, still learning!
Lens: 28mm Camera: K20d ISO: 160 Shutter Speed: 1/90s Aperture: F16 

Here's another shot of mine that I'm looking to see what I can learn from. It was taken over the holidays down in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

I like the way the Gulls parallel the breaking waves and I like the overall tones of the scene, but obviously I'm biased because it is my own work. I'd love to hear some more of your constructive criticism

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01-27-2009, 07:17 PM   #2
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Composition is perfect IMHO. I also like how the birds are lined up! My only small gripe is that the highlight perhaps is too dominant; a bit of detail in particular in the water would have been nice. I allways bracket in a case like this, and if need be sandwich (or clone) two shots together to lower the highlights.
01-27-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
Damn Brit

I agree totally with Ole on the composition but I think it would have been better with a slightly different perspective. More to the left and lower down. To the left a bit would have reduced the bright area and allowed more detail in the water. Lower down would make the line of birds flow from one to the next more fluidly and also help with the bright area and detail.
01-28-2009, 03:29 AM   #4
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I agree with Damn Brit, composition would have been better as positionning a bit on the left and closer to the ground / water.

In PP, I would also have increased a bit contrast and saturation (not much) to get a more dramatic effect.

A good shot averall.

Best regards,

01-28-2009, 06:22 AM   #5
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definately blown out highlights..pity
01-28-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments on composition. The blown out highlights I found to be completely unavoidable during this shoot because I was shooting directly into the sun for the majority of the shots. I see how it could have been minimized by positioning myself lower down to the right to avoid having the sun so prominent in the frame and give the birds a little bit more presence.

If anyone has suggestions for shooting situations like this where I can minimize the blown highlights while still maintaining some detail in the foreground I'd love to hear it. This definitely wasn't a situation where I would have been using HDR as the birds weren't holding remotely still and I had no tripod.
01-28-2009, 02:11 PM   #7
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Haven't got anything to add that hasn't been pointed out already other than use RAW, underexpose and use a graduated filter in pp?

Quick and dirty attempt to show what I meant. Hope you're ok with this.
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01-28-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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I don't mind people fiddling with my posts. I definitely did shoot in raw for this and all of my shots. I've been doing some more with it in lightroom and have gotten some different results but really nothing that I would consider definitely better. There is pretty much no data around the sun so there is nothing that can be done to bring it back. But I still like the picture a lot so I don't really mind.

01-28-2009, 05:31 PM   #9
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I like the shot. Working with the small jpeg here I used the LR 2 ND filter and adjusted it this way. The small Jpeg will have issues of course that you can avoid with the Raw file. With the raw version you should easily be able to recover some of the sky. As for the sun and the blow out area. Who cares? It's the way this scene would look to your eyes. I agree with Ole, that braketing the shot might have helped some but the dynamic range variances would be tough to compensate for even with a Grad ND filter attached to the camera.Name:  _IGP7092-1.jpg
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02-01-2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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I understand the discussion of highlights but I like the look of the orig image. Sometimes the feel of a shot is more important than a well balanced exposure.

If I was to suggest anything it is that the horizon seems to incline up from left to right. A tweak there would make the angles perfect.

02-01-2009, 07:53 PM   #11
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I agree with the other comments. Question: Was this shot taken close to dusk or was the sun pretty high in the sky? I'm wondering how low the sun might've dropped if you'd waited 10-15 minutes. Then you might've had a much more dramatic sky to go along with a very well-composed shot.
02-02-2009, 02:23 PM   #12
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Overall I think the image is quite good. However, it could use some cropping. I would crop out the over exposed area with the sun's glare, and lift the horizon a tad, while still preserving the lovely formation of the birds.

In addition, I would play with the curves to bring out some detail in the shadows and highlights, I would add a tad more contrast, and I would alter the hues slightly to reflect a slightly more dramatic scene.

Here is what I had in mind:

02-02-2009, 04:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by joelovotti Quote
...Sometimes the feel of a shot is more important than a well balanced exposure...
Seconded. The first image has most definately got that, but sometimes another 1% pushes it into 'other' territory. No harm in trying to squeeze just a little more
02-02-2009, 07:41 PM   #14
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I like the composition, the strong diagonal lines created by the bird formation and shore creates a lot of depth. There is a nice airy feeling no doubt coming from the bright sun light. If you cannot recover detail from RAW, you can try to draw attention away from the blown out area and redirect it mid ground.

Here is my attempt.
1) Radial gradient filters to suppress the sunlight and its reflection
2) Level with Pin Light blend to soften the gradient filters

02-05-2009, 06:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by FA5 Quote
To my (untrained) eye, this one looks the best.

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