• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

The Woodlands Waterway at Night

Duke

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,637
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
C&C Will only help to make me better. Thanks.

Nikon D90, Tokina 11-17mm f/2.8
f/22, 30sec, iso 100.

1192655031_upumD-L-1.jpg
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,273
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
Muy-bueno...

I like the way the two tunnels on the top right sort of pull you into them. And the color saturation is nice. Can't beat small f/stops for that 'starburst' effect too.

The only think that's a tad distracting is the ghost flare on the top left rim of the building. Any idea what caused that? Cloud?

:thumb:
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
573
Location
Houston
Pretty good! :clap:

I agree with M38A1 on the ghost flare though. I would suggest shooting at night to bump up the ISO, in this case for D90 to about 800. Bring down the F stop to about f/8-f/12 and use the meter for exposure time. You would loose some DOF but the focus of the shot should be the tunnels, the pinks and the sparkly lights and not the action on the left. My eye is drawn to the people on the left and the fact that they moved causing blurriness. Of course I'm being pretty critical and 99% of the world wouldn't notice that. But pointing these things out is how you get better.

Photography is extremely hard to learn. Its one the few hobbies that combine technical savvy with art.

You have a great eye and that was a good find. Have you tried cropping it and a little more PP?

Do you mind if I try? I see a lot of potential in that shot.

Well done.:clap:
 

Tracker

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
11,399
Location
somewhere between NC and TX
First Name
Gary
crisp, well composed and I have to disagree on the iso/exposure time/blur. The story it tells to me is altough it's calm on the water, there's life happening at the goose's acre.

I suspect the flare above the building left might be a light breeze blowing dust off the top of the building and resulting reflected light off it, but that's a wag.
 

Janet

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
3,396
Location
Midlothian, TX
First Name
Janet
I tend to disagree also. The DOF achieved in this shot is great. The slight movement to the left is not distracting to me. I am drawn directly to the tunnels. Maybe slightly more focused there would be nice, but then you would lose clarity on the near left.
I would like to see it with that cloud brushed out.
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,273
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
The more I look, the more the lines of the bank (left) and rail (right) just naturally lead me to the tunnel, then top and bottom reflection of the pink light. I'm really digging how those two components draw you in.:sun:
 

Duke

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,637
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
Wow thanks everyone.

GaryHaris said:
You have a great eye and that was a good find. Have you tried cropping it and a little more PP?

Do you mind if I try? I see a lot of potential in that shot.
Thank you for the feed back, and I don't mind at all. I will also play with a couple of different crops and maybe get a bit more aggressive on the PP.

M38A1 said:
Blur over building...
I didn't even notice that blur during PP. It was fairly breezy out last night. My suspect it was the smoke coming from the Gooses kitchen. It will be easy to patch out though.
 

WoodButcher

Admin
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
12,239
Location
Austin, TX
First Name
Rusty
Last Name
Myers
I like it. The only thing I would change is to crop the right side in a little to lose the curb/concrete edge. That will give the illusion that the river is wider than it really is. I did a little test just to make sure if would work and it still leaves all the tunnels and your eye is still drawn to them.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
561
Location
Austin,Tx.
First Name
Tom
Last Name
Grant
Great shot. Just two things.
1] Try exposing earlier and get a little tone in the sky. Start shooting right after sunset when there is still some color in the sky.
2] Shoot more.
TexTom
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
1,628
Location
Fate, TX
First Name
j
Last Name
m
I've noticed that a couple of folks here prefer 'accurate' and 'technical' photos. Personally, I don't have a use in the world for those. They simply show something instead of evoking emotions and drawing you into the moment. I find this picture particularly nice. And further, lens flare is an art in itself; it says where the shot came from; it lends a technical spot to something that might be confused as overprocessed muzak.

Gets the bravo from me!
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
439
Location
Willis, TX
Very well composed...you pulled a lot of good lines together, and the two tunnels with the three lampposts above really weight that side of the picture well against the "heavier" left side.

I too think not only the ghost pulls away, but also there seems to be too much star effect from the lamp lights. If those were toned down, and more color or depth from the sky it would be an amazing shot.

Catching some of the ducks wouldn't hurt either, as the right side is also too sterile compared to the human activity on the left.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
1,628
Location
Fate, TX
First Name
j
Last Name
m
...I too think not only the ghost pulls away, but also there seems to be too much star effect from the lamp lights. If those were toned down, and more color or depth from the sky it would be an amazing shot.

Catching some of the ducks wouldn't hurt either, as the right side is also too sterile compared to the human activity on the left.
I absolutely disagree. That isn't a Gospeed81 bash, and I only mention it because it truly illustrates how subjective this is.


The long note:

Speaking as an ex-graphic artist, were I looking to present this against the same photo with ducks in the 'sterile' area, it would be impossible (or very difficult) to use in any commercial application.

The lens flare issue... I find it interesting that artists using paint, and artists using computer graphics will actually ADD lens flare to enhance their images. If you play GT5 on any PS version, you'll see lens flare added. Ditto with star effects (your eyes will also do this, so it is a natural occurrence, though it happens for very different reasons).

BUT, I have always found it interesting that the photos that I love and are drawn to are quite often not the ones that are universally liked, and quite often the ones I find barely so-so are quickly adopted by non-photographing folk. I found the same thing with artwork; the true 'art' is often dismissed (at least initially) in favor of bland, lousy composition, ultra-safe artwork you find adorning office building lobbies.

The short note:

Keep shooting the way you like to shoot, and shoot what appeals to you. Your particular style has a niche somewhere.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
439
Location
Willis, TX
And I'll add a note to illustrate just how differently things can appear at a second glance.

This morning the "star effect" looks much better...and I do have to wonder if the lack of activity in the "sterile" area isn't what makes the other side as interesting and keeps it from looking like another pamphlet photo.

So please don't take my criticism as any kind of dislike. I liked the photo from the beginning and like it even more now. I walk this waterway almost every weekend with the wife, and don't think I could have ever found as good a shot. It simply appeared at first glance that the large expanse of water and sky were both void and detracted. Looking again they appear almost parallel and do an excellent job of "framing" the points of interest in the photo. The water has some great features in the reflections...and wildlife would disturb those. Likewise, while I first agreed that the sky needed feature as well, stars or even clouds would diminish the intense and rich effect of the artificial lighting you capture as a sliver that grows into a crowd of activity by the waterfront.

You could almost say it's deep and representative of light and life people bring to the scene. I hate to use the term "nightlife" as it really debases the energy and beauty of it...but you obviously capture something powerful and alive against what would otherwise be devoid of such, regardless of the lines and effects.

My first comment was how I really felt, and the consecutive stuff was what little I could pull together for improvements, because as a writer I usually tend to dismiss any comments that are only flattering and can't find any fault. Even I can't make those suggestions stick in my own mind on a second appraisal...so it really must be a good shot...and I mean that.
 

Janet

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
3,396
Location
Midlothian, TX
First Name
Janet
I love the starkness of the sky and water in contrast to the rest of the shot. I believe that to me, the stark contrast is what makes the photo pop. It is funny that people can have so many different interpretations of the same photo.
 

Duke

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,637
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
I've noticed that a couple of folks here prefer 'accurate' and 'technical' photos. Personally, I don't have a use in the world for those. They simply show something instead of evoking emotions and drawing you into the moment. I find this picture particularly nice. And further, lens flare is an art in itself; it says where the shot came from; it lends a technical spot to something that might be confused as overprocessed muzak.

Gets the bravo from me!
Thanks, I appreciate the comments. And now for something completely different.... "GT5" Has ruined my picture taking... thanks a lot man! :chug:

Very well composed...you pulled a lot of good lines together, and the two tunnels with the three lampposts above really weight that side of the picture well against the "heavier" left side.

I too think not only the ghost pulls away, but also there seems to be too much star effect from the lamp lights. If those were toned down, and more color or depth from the sky it would be an amazing shot.

Catching some of the ducks wouldn't hurt either, as the right side is also too sterile compared to the human activity on the left.
Thanks for taking the time to critique the photo. I really do try to pull in the comments from all of you to try and make my photos better.

The star effect, is just a product from using a really small aperture f/22 in this case. I used a small aperture to be able to use a long exposure time (shutter speed) of 30 sec or so. Here is another example from last year to illustrate.
D90 11mm f/22 @ 25 sec.
750613198_hErBo-S.jpg


Forgive me but the duck reference you made has gone over my head. Your comment implies that there were ducks there on the right side of the photo. I took the photo from the sidewalk on the residences side of the water way. The only thing there was a wide sidewalk and a retaining wall to the extreme right, that's it. With that said, I understand your comment though, as something else of interest to the right side of the image in the foreground would add an element of balance.

To change the subject yet again.... And just a FYI opportunity for you all.

I left the waterway and headed over to "Market Street" which is a nice area near the Mall not far from the Waterway to take more candid shots, while still capturing the lights of the entertainment areas. I had no more parked and got to the the green space in the middle of Market Street before I was challenged by security. I didn't even get my tripod unfolded before I was told the commercial photography has to have prior permission (or maybe permit?). I explained that I am just a hobbyist and this is a personal experiment to improve my night time photography. Long story short I left before It got heated and now know that if you have a tripod and a DSLR camera you are considered a pro. "don't get me going as I am better now than last weekend.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
573
Location
Houston
Thanks, I appreciate the comments. And now for something completely different.... "GT5" Has ruined my picture taking... thanks a lot man! :chug:



Thanks for taking the time to critique the photo. I really do try to pull in the comments from all of you to try and make my photos better.

The star effect, is just a product from using a really small aperture f/22 in this case. I used a small aperture to be able to use a long exposure time (shutter speed) of 30 sec or so. Here is another example from last year to illustrate.
D90 11mm f/22 @ 25 sec.
750613198_hErBo-S.jpg


Forgive me but the duck reference you made has gone over my head. Your comment implies that there were ducks there on the right side of the photo. I took the photo from the sidewalk on the residences side of the water way. The only thing there was a wide sidewalk and a retaining wall to the extreme right, that's it. With that said, I understand your comment though, as something else of interest to the right side of the image in the foreground would add an element of balance.

To change the subject yet again.... And just a FYI opportunity for you all.

I left the waterway and headed over to "Market Street" which is a nice area near the Mall not far from the Waterway to take more candid shots, while still capturing the lights of the entertainment areas. I had no more parked and got to the the green space in the middle of Market Street before I was challenged by security. I didn't even get my tripod unfolded before I was told the commercial photography has to have prior permission (or maybe permit?). I explained that I am just a hobbyist and this is a personal experiment to improve my night time photography. Long story short I left before It got heated and now know that if you have a tripod and a DSLR camera you are considered a pro. "don't get me going as I am better now than last weekend.
The Duck reference is an old joke with photogs. Seems most noobs look for Ducks to shoot because of the colors and the water, whatever... I think he shot across your bow with criticism rather than trying to help. And that's going to happen in this hobby as long as you ask for C&C.

Don't take it personal, but if it angers you a little, that's motivational and that's all good. You'll work harder. Like your football field. I think it's a much better shot, but let me ask you this.

What do YOU think?

What was your intention? What "Statement" were you trying to make? And did you capture all that?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
573
Location
Houston
Ill toss my CC in on the football field. I honestly think it's an excellent shot, but again I think you need to work on your PP skills. IMO, the shot is off center and shows too much sky above the field. The exposure and color is excellent, I just think it needs cropping.

And we may be being overcritical and it happens to all of us, that's how we learn. :doh:
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
439
Location
Willis, TX
There was nothing intended with the duck reference other than the fact they are one of our favorite features of the Waterway. They move around and obviously weren't where you were shooting at the time.

Those ducks caused the first embrace between my wife and I many years ago as we were walking there a little before Christmas when they have the trees wrapped with lights. A duck actually charged us at one point and my wife/girlfriend at the time just about lost it and jumped into my arms.

I tipped him afterwards...



It seems that there is a tendency on forum conversations to assume that any post is either directly disagreeing, or an attack. Instead please read my posts as if we were sitting in person and I'm simply trying to make a different point to add to the discourse.
 

Duke

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,637
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
Damon.... I assure you that I appreciate your comments and I never intended for my words in text to be perceived in any fashion but positive. I am enjoying the discourse.
 
Top