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Complete amateur...

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Mike
So I am just beginning my learning here, figured I would throw caution to the wind and ask my betters how to improve.
Please bear in mind my ignorance is staggering so use small words and explain for dummies ok?

#1 Rugged rocks
#2 Columns
 

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M38A1

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Rugged Rocks
One thing that bugs me is a tilted horizon and this has one. Image appears to be a tad bit underexposed (dark) and could possibly use some post work in the shadows to bring out that detail. Those are the technical things I see.

From a composition perspective, the tire tracks can either hurt or help. Are they part of the story - leading to nowhere, leading to the rock. Or are they just there 'cause you were lazy to walk out and take the picture? :lol2: I do like the big old rock and black sands, but I'm wanting more.

Columns and Sky
I like what you were trying to do here with the leading lines. Yet the right side sort of falls off for me. It's empty. I think it would work if there were more on the right side or less, but this seems to be in no-mans-land. I like the colors and exposure from a technical perspective.


What I try to do when I cull/submit is ask myself would I want to print that 20x30 and hang it on a wall? If the answer is no, then it's in the snapshot bucket in my head. But if I do want to print it and hang it, then I'll look for opinions much like you are asking. Does that help?

Edit To Add:
If you can, try to source a free on-line host of your images and link them back to here. Looking as small attachments isn't the same as looking at a good sized version of the image lime most of us do in this little corner of TWT. Freebies include Flickr and Photobucket. Paid for places would include SmugMug, Zenfolio.

.
 
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Joined
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Rugged Rocks
One thing that bugs me is a tilted horizon and this has one. Image appears to be a tad bit underexposed (dark) and could possibly use some post work in the shadows to bring out that detail. Those are the technical things I see.

From a composition perspective, the tire tracks can either hurt or help. Are they part of the story - leading to nowhere, leading to the rock. Or are they just there 'cause you were lazy to walk out and take the picture? :lol2: I do like the big old rock and black sands, but I'm wanting more.

Columns and Sky
I like what you were trying to do here with the leading lines. Yet the right side sort of falls off for me. It's empty. I think it would work if there were more on the right side or less, but this seems to be in no-mans-land. I like the colors and exposure from a technical perspective.


What I try to do when I cull/submit is ask myself would I want to print that 20x30 and hang it on a wall? If the answer is no, then it's in the snapshot bucket in my head. But if I do want to print it and hang it, then I'll look for opinions much like you are asking. Does that help?

Edit To Add:
If you can, try to source a free on-line host of your images and link them back to here. Looking as small attachments isn't the same as looking at a good sized version of the image lime most of us do in this little corner of TWT. Freebies include Flickr and Photobucket. Paid for places would include SmugMug, Zenfolio.

.
Rocks;
Not exactly sure what to do with the horizon so more advice welcomed here.
I will try adjusting exposure and repost on PB or similar (thanks for that tip)

The tire tracks spoke to me of missed adventure and actually lead to the base of the rock and into the river (not seen). Made me wish I had left the tracks myself. I feel I may have over cropped this shot, leaving it a bit 'square'. I do have a little wider version somewhere, PB too.

Columns and sky, I see your point on the right, cropping issue again. I have a love of the sea and the color is amazing here but might distract from the architecture feature.
I would actually like to frame this shot, just need better skills to work out the right version to frame.
Thanks for the advice, let me work on it and go for round 2?
 

M38A1

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The horizon would be tough to get right. I was looking at the sand line at the base of the hill as my frame of reference. In the little image, I got the feeling it was higher on the right than left.

WOWZER on #2. Now THAT is on the right track (for me at least) VERY creative in using the structure as the window frame, having some objects in the foreground and background of the wall to give it it depth. And a nice balance of colors. :clap:
 
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+1 on picture number 2! :clap: Now that's a PHOTO. Lots of us are ametuers in the photo game. So, take that for whatever it's worth. One man's great picture is another man's "why in the heck did you take a picture of that?" The important thing is to frame your pictures in a way that speaks to you. I rarely do any post work on my stuff. My "secret" is to take a ton of pictures until I get a good photo.

DSC_1127.jpg
 
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Great shot of the redhead there Brotha J!
It's all about the attitude!

Thanks for the praise on #2 guys. I really like that shot myself, but wanted some feedback on it.

Any comments on the changes to the first and third shots?
I re-cropped the first on the right side, too much?
Rocks- too 'artsy' and lost the point???
 
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Great shot of the redhead there Brotha J!
It's all about the attitude!

Thanks for the praise on #2 guys. I really like that shot myself, but wanted some feedback on it.

Any comments on the changes to the first and third shots?
I re-cropped the first on the right side, too much?
Rocks- too 'artsy' and lost the point???
Thanks! She's a great subject to photo.

Back to business.

#3 is MUCH better. Now we can see some good detail. My only beef is that there doesn't seem to be a focus point; making the whole thing seem slightly out of focus up close. But, stand back a bit and I can see myself there. If it weren't for those pesky humans in the background, it's a definite wall hanger.

#1 is not working for me. This is a good picture but, does not reach the level of photo for me. Nor am I a fan of the post work (coloring/exposure).

But hey, I have tons of pictures in my collections; not many photos by comparison.
 

M38A1

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With permission, here's what I came up with. I assumed since you used a crop of the original (and in a non-standard format) that a crop was acceptable. What I did was:

Using LR 2.2:
Standard 1:4 ratio on crop lends itself to what the eye likes and highlights horizontal
Warmed 5pt
Increased black 5pt to give some depth
Bumped contrast 27pt to set off colors from gray columns and sky
Increased clarity 30pt to make it 'pop'
Increased vibrance 20pt to make it 'pop'
Decreased shadows 17pt to get some column header detail
Decreased blue 5pt to kill off soooo much blue
Sharpened 20pt

Using Photoshop:
Removed the light pole

Observation:
The file you sent me didn't have the bird in it but I would have cloned that out too.

Thoughts? Better? Worse?

Your version:
Columnsandsky_zps1d8d8061.jpg



And this is 100% subjective. What MY preferences are, my lighting in the office etc. My version:
i-ZLkGK7b-XL.jpg


.
 
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Wow, what a difference, I like it.
Note to self, must learn photoshop....
Cropping was essential IMHO, thanks
I am curious about the right side now though, what made you leave it out there?

What program are you using for these other changes?

Much thanks for the education, as you can see I am in need of it! lol
All other comments welcomed.
 

M38A1

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Wow, what a difference, I like it.
Note to self, must learn photoshop....
Cropping was essential IMHO, thanks
I am curious about the right side now though, what made you leave it out there?

What program are you using for these other changes?

Much thanks for the education, as you can see I am in need of it! lol
All other comments welcomed.
Thanks.... maybe 10 minutes of work.

The majority of the changes were done using Lightroom (LR) and a really old version at that. I'm on 2.2 and they're up to 4.x now I think. The items above are what was done there. And the only thing I use Photoshop for is to clone out stuff and insert text when I want to put a copyright or text on an image.

As for the right side, I treated your shot like a person in that I really don't enjoy cutting off limbs. There was a finite end to the canopy, so instead of chopping it off, let it run it's course out. How far was just a question of what water/sky/fence was appropriate within the constraints of the 1:4 crop format. ie: as I move more out to the right, I get more either top or bottom. LR does all that for you (constrains ratios automatically).

Hope that helps...

.
 

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With Picassa (free), you could probably get to 70-80% of PP (post-processing) of what M38A1 did with Lightroom. LR still has the edge to take it to that next level in many cases for PP

When people ask me for tips about improving, this is the first place I always send them.
Kodak Top 10 Photo Tips
 
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Joined
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You could probably get to 70-80% of PP of what M38A1 did with Picassa (free). Lightroom still has the edge to take it to that next level in many cases.

When people ask me for tips about improving, this is the first place I always send them.
Kodak Top 10 Photo Tips
Thanks for that Tracker, I will look up the software and check it out.
Good link too
 

M38A1

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So I played around with RuggedRocks a bit. Again, not too terribly long.

Here's your source version:
i-S3Nrdzf-XL.jpg


And a reworked version:
i-QP7Fqjz-XL.jpg


The more I look at these, the more I see two elephants in the mountain. One in the middle fold looking about 45 degrees of profile, and one on the right at 90 degrees.

And my edits are totally subjective. You might not like 'em one bit. I wasn't there, so I don't really know what it looked like. How you got a shot without people, well.... my hat is off to you sir! :trust:
.
 
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So I played around with RuggedRocks a bit. Again, not too terribly long.

The more I look at these, the more I see two elephants in the mountain. One in the middle fold looking about 45 degrees of profile, and one on the right at 90 degrees.

.
Must be Manny....

If you like animals in rocks though, here is one called Lion Rock...
for fairly obvious reasons...

LionRock4_zpsc13d4bb1.jpg
 
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OK this one hit my eye differently to how the camera saw it, so any education here would be great.

The scene was kinda washed out and overcast evening light on a beach in Fiji, cane sugar fires smudge smoke across the horizon, and the people were just strolling along enjoying the evening...

NightBeach-001_zps9a4c6550.jpg
 

M38A1

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I would venture a guess the camera metered on the overcast brighter light of the water/air/backdrop. Since it was probably fairly bright, it underexposed the image to make it look right. In doing so, the darker areas in the foreground were already dark to begin with (shadows etc) so they became much darker due to the underexposure.

Just a wild guess....


.
 

M38A1

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Yeah, that's what I think happened....

Your original: (underexposed by the camera to make the majority look ok)
i-T7xmtkT-L.jpg


A simple +1.00EV correction and nothing else. Is this more what it looked like to your eye?
i-J3jDk3p-L.jpg


.
 
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Self critique using these

Principles

Elements
Great links thanks.
The scene as I saw it was both lighter and darker than what my version shows, which I realize sounds weird...
the lights on the trees seemed more 'golden' somehow especially under the branches of the tree and the sky a little more 'slate' than shown.

Perhaps the photo needs some rum? :trust::doh:
 
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