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Old Feb 27, 2012, 1:44 PM   #1
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Default My attempt at processing

Up until now I mainly just fired away at stuff and let the pictures slowly fill up my hard drive. I realized that I want to be more selective in my shots, and maybe even clean them up a little, pick out the best ones, and cull the worst ones.

After walking 2 miles past the gated entrance, I spent this morning's sunrise at an old lighthouse. No worries, it's not off limits but they just keep the vehicle traffic out to limit kids from trashing it in the evening.

Here is the original shot straight from the memory card:

Cedar Swamp Sunrise (unprocessed) by Quadna71, on Flickr


And here's the same shot after my attempt at cleaning it up:

Cedar Swamp Sunrise (processed) by Quadna71, on Flickr


I lightened some shadows, tried removing a red gate in the back left, some of the yellow warning signs in the boarded up windows, and then tried to sharpen it overall. I even messed around with trying to straighten the pincushioning, but it only seemed to mess it up further so I returned that to how it was. It seems a little more pleasing to my eye, but what does everyone else think? Feel free to be as harsh as needed as I'm truly starting out with this.
Thanks!
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 3:40 PM   #2
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My main suggestion is that you should have shot vertical, as the structure on the right is a major distraction. Vertically, you could have moved even closer and gotten more detail in the main subject. Second, the tree shadows are also a distraction and could only be minimized by losing some contrast. I would have moved around to the left to capture another side.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 4:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback, Walter. I wholeheartedly agree that my composition skills need a little work. I went through my pictures and indeed found a vertical variation, but it was taken from the same perspective and is plagued by the same shadows. Definitely something for me to keep in mind - thanks!
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 3:35 PM   #4
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Maybe a low angle shooting up, so all you have is the decaying lighthouse against the sky. I would wait for a cloudy day. Position yourself where the tree cannot be seen....
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 3:45 PM   #5
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I think that the only way to position myself to where the tree cannot be seen is to do a low angle shot like you're saying. And even then it would have to be very close as that tree is significantly wider than the lighthouse. And if I drift to the left much further then there's a crooked pine tree on the other side that makes itself known. A cloudy day I can probably do, but I don't get up that way all too often. I got up, hit the road for the 40 mile drive, parked outside the gated drive, humped it in with my gear for 2 miles, and then got in position to take shots as the sun was rising. All told, I was in place and sipping a coffee by 6:35am - and was back in my Jeep by around 8am. Maybe on another day I'll be in that area on a cloudy day and can give it a shot since I normally keep my camera bag with me when out and about.

Thank you for the advice everyone - feedback like this can only make me better!!!
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 8:02 PM   #6
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Be selective in your culling, but fire away when you're out in the field. Better to take too many and toss some later. The old rule of thumb was one keeper per roll of film and you're doing really well.
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