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Author Topic: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique  (Read 9721 times)

Offline Beaux Reflets

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Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« on: April 16, 2013, 04:48:52 PM »
Occasionally, it may be difficult post processing a photograph subjectively and objectively at the same time.

At other times, you may be trying to, speak, express a viewpoint or opinion with a photograph; And the only real way to determine the measure of success, is to find out what the response is from your audience.

Are you experimenting or trying a new technique in post processing?

Are you trying to improve your photography?

Tweaking a final edit for an important Exhibition and would like a second opinion?

Or simply, interested to know what other folk may think about your work?

Please note; towards Exclusivity Rights, some Photography Competition Rules may insist that entries have not been published anywhere else! So if you are seeking opinion for a competition entry, please check the rules for that competition first.


This thread is where you may like to post an image for constructive critique and feedback.

Comments should be helpful and kind in nature, constructive and supportive (bearing in mind, that quite often people photograph from the heart)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 10:31:24 AM by Beaux Reflets »


:beer: Andy

"Light anchors things in place and gives perspective meaning."

The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

http://beauxreflets.blogspot.com/

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2015, 09:32:14 AM »
There is regular critique, that the site does not provide enough critique. (Hope I make sense.)

I, for starters, am not really in a position to give constructive feedback, as my technical knowledge is virtually non existent, and I could not tell someone how to improve a shot. Apart from the obvious wonky horizon, that is. And I do not think, everyone would be happy with, unasked for, critique.

For those who want advice, there is this, sadly much under used, thread.

I have recently started to use RAW, and am slowly getting to grips with it.

Jpeg would not have given the same result in this case, I think.

It was taken in virtual darkness, handheld (no tripods allowed), with a very high ISO. To make it even more difficult, the actors were constantly moving.

I am very pleased with the result, but in the land of the blind ... (almost literally in this case!)

Any advice on what to think of next time, and how I could have improved the end result is very welcome.

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Offline DigiDiva

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 05:06:15 PM »
Let me shake your hand for achieving this handheld in dark with them moving. I failed miserably recently visiting caves and the rocks were still. I'm looking on my little cheap tablet and can't get true effect but it looks like an old painting. Apart from looking a little unbalanced re where actors are standing (just my opinion of course) I can't say anything negative. Lighting looks soft and fits the theme.
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Offline Graham

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 05:57:39 PM »
 The only thing I would do if it were mine would be to try a square crop. But only if it could be achieved without loosing the bottom of the dress or the top of the door frame.
 
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 06:18:15 PM »
To my mind it is a little bit too dark and the noise reduction has rather smeared a lot of the detail. I would first of all use the Topaz high pass noise reduction/sharpening technique to try to recover some of the detail from the noise, and then open the image in my editor, duplicate the base layer and change the blend mode to screen. You can then reduce the opacity as required to give the desired result, and/or mask off various areas to keep darker shadows where you want them.

Just my tuppence worth. And DD is right, hand held in that light with moving subjects is quite an achievement.
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Offline Reinardina

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 10:32:25 PM »
Thank you all.

I may have a go at the advised techniques, and see where it takes me.

Composition wise, there wasn't much I could do. The actors were performing in one of the galleries, with the public sitting in the window seats on the left. I stood at the 'top' (as close as possible), and apart from barging right through the scene, I could not do much to get an different perspective.

H, I've got Topaz denoise, but have not really used it, so I'm not familiar with it. Is this the same as the one you mentioned?

Graham I'll see if it can be cropped square while keeping the details.
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Offline ABERS

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2015, 10:40:59 PM »
Is this an exercise in hand held photography or an image that should be appreciated. The latter I think. Pin sharp is an often quoted attribute to an image, but what if it's not? Does that really matter as long as the feeling and atmosphere comes across?

I think perhaps a little judicious cropping would help, but then that's my take on it, and does that really matter. If every suggestion made is applied to the image what would we end up with? The old adage about a camel and a horse designed by a committee springs to mind.

It also raises the question of who is competent enough to say whether or no any image is of any worth and what would improve it apart from the blatantly obvious things. R's comment about wonky horizons a case in point.

And there's always the thickness of the author's skin to take into account. :legit:

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2015, 08:48:58 AM »
Alan is, of course correct.  Pin sharpness is not always necessary or desirable, it depends what you want to get across.  It's just a personal thing, but I find noise reduction smearing more unpleasant to look at than the noise it is trying to get rid of.

Re, the link goes to a tutorial on how to use a denoising high pass filter to ameliorate some of the denoising smear.  It'  bit long winded, and I only mention it on the off chance it might be of some small relevance.

Ultimately it's your picture,  does it convey what you want it to?

As for Alan's camel, why not see how it would look with all the suggesed tweaks done? It could be both amusing and instructive.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 08:51:46 AM by Hinfrance »
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2015, 10:26:32 AM »
Thank you all. Have been trying to get a clearer version with the clothes a bit more vibrant, but am struggling.
Giving up for the time being, it's taking too much time.

H, tried to follow the tutorial, but how do I get a high pass duplicate in E11? Or did I misunderstand something?

Alan, the picture is a bit dull, and I have not been able to get it right (yet?).

And the thickness of my skin varies. It all depends on the image in question (and how I 'feel' about it), who gives advice, and how it is given. And yes, sometimes it does not go down well, but when I ask for it, anything goes.

Been struggling so long, I haven't had breakfast yet, so that's now my first priority.
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Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2015, 11:04:28 AM »
Re, open your image as a background layer, duplicate that by either right clicking and selecting 'duplicate layer', or drag the background layer to the layers icon (looks like a square piece of paper with the edge folded over: in my copy of E11 it's at the top right hand side of the layers panel) to replicate it. The go to the filter menu, other, and choose high pass. Use enhance, convert to black and white to desaturate it.

I had to open my copy of E11 to work this out - I really hate the interface on that version  >:(

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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2015, 01:48:04 PM »
I rather like the general composition Reinardina. It describes the passage of Time to me, and I personally would not want to crop the image proportions. The lighting lends itself towards the feel gained in viewing old paintings and I think the lead in lines will really work well, if the image is adjusted to provide more appealing verticals on the lefthand side.

From the original I would approach it as follows;

Firstly, reducing digital noise levels locally, so the reduction is graduated to areas, figures, floor, walls (to maintain the textures you desire to keep).

Secondly, increasing vibrancy of the actor figures (perhaps adjusting their White Balance and Brightness as a separate entity, so as to afford any separate tweeking to atmosphere of the corridor).

Thirdly, adjust for vertical and horizontal balance, and finally add finishing touches with Dodge and Burn tools to carry the eye around the image and along the corridor, addressing any distracting elements; Bearing in mind that reducing the light level through the door into the garden may well have the effect of reducing the visual length of the corridor (just as dark colours painted on a wall shortens the room).

Taking a second look so to speak. As the righthand side of the shot sits comfortable to the eye; Dragging the bottom left corner out horizontally until the window jambs look vertical, and then the top left corner up a bit to adjust the doorway lintel, the lady to the left may appear less laid back within the scene (and the little bright spot top left may then be out of shot  :-\).

Just a further thought upon adjusting perspective more evenly. An alternative option is to rotate the image clockwise to even up the door lintel, and then adjust the vertical distortions left and right to sit comfortably to and within the frame of shot.

Hope this helps rather than confuses

Have fun as I feel sure the end result will be well worth the effort  :tup:
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 07:55:23 PM by Beaux Reflets »
:beer: Andy

"Light anchors things in place and gives perspective meaning."

The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

http://beauxreflets.blogspot.com/

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2015, 10:40:08 PM »
Getting a bit overwhelmed, but still trying.

Tried to sharpen it with a high pass filter, but I do not seem to have the 'smart sharpen' filter. Is that a Photoshop, rather than E11 thing, or am I getting too tired?

The colours are now more vibrant, and the shadows are purple. I did straighten the picture and played with blending modes.
This is how far I got, for the time being. Not sure whether I made it better or worse.

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Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
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Offline ABERS

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2015, 08:29:47 AM »
Overwhelmed or confused, or both?
If you've managed to put all suggestions into play it's obvious your "Double Dutch" has stood you in good stead! I can never remember doing anything as complicated as what has been suggested on various posts. :doh:

The image now looks much brighter but has been reduced to a run of the mill photoshopped image that appears every day, on here and other forums. It now appears as a record shot of the event rather than your individual take on it, lacking atmosphere and a peek at the past.

When you get an image like this and have worked on it for a few hours without achieving what you want, put it away for a couple of weeks and return with a fresh eye. It's amazing how you see things that have escaped you previously. After all there's no need to hurry things if you have no deadline to meet. The urge to show your work with immediacy is natural but is usually a sign that it hasn't been given too much thought.

That piece of advice was given to me years ago by a photographer of many years experience who's work I greatly admired. ;)

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2015, 08:43:47 AM »
Overwhelmed, confused and very tired. I cannot see subtle changes when using sliders, which makes it extra difficult.
I followed some of the advice, reading and working on it at the same time, as a lot of the advice was new to me.

The original version reminded me of an old painting, the new one probably looks like that painting when it was new; brash and bright, without the patina of centuries of smoke, dirt, dust and yellowing varnish.

I won't have time to go back to it today, and I may well shelve it for a while, or altogether, but I am learning new techniques, so it is a good exercise. I can always turn it into a monochrome of course.

Does anyone know how to edit/import RAW files in Topaz?
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Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Photo Feedback - Constructive Critique
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2015, 11:54:29 AM »
Looking at what you have done, I agree with Alan, it's far from subtle . .  but as you say you are learning new techniques. Unfortunately surface blur is not available in Elements 11, which completely negates the Topaz NR high pass detail recovery technique.

Does anyone know how to edit/import RAW files in Topaz?

Topaz does not support RAW files. As a plugin it needs a host editor. It does, however, support 16 bit images. The problem you have got is that PS Elements is effectively 8 bit only - you can open a background layer in 16 bit from the ACR interface, but then there is nothing much you can do with it.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

 

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