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Old Apr 18, 2006, 7:36 PM   #1
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Hi all!

I had thought whether or not I should post this in this section (critiques and techniques) or not (or rather the landscape). Especially since there has (again!) been some rather hot debating goin' on in here... :blah:

In the endI bit the bullet and decided to post here and ask for your opinions. I have been away for about a week (Easter break) and just returned home this evening. On my way home (through central Romania) I visited an old fortress site (on a hill) and captured many photos, which I liked.

Amongst them was this photo of a tree on the brow of the hill, backgrounded (is this a word?) by a simple sky backdrop. To me I found the composition quite powerful (balance of colours, and imho I did quite well to try to control blowing the highlights in the clouds yet capturing the details of the tree, bricks, grass, etc).

So I'd like your thoughts? Am I seeing something in this photo that isn't there, and thus being annoying posting a silly snapshot here and wasting your time and the 200kb of upload space, OR is there really something any of you see that captures your interest. I admit it's a very simple composition, but I've been told that often k-i-s-s-ing ("keeping-it-simple,-stupid"ing) is good!

Looking forward to your comments and feedback, and hope you all had a blessed, safe and good Easter (for those who might have celebrated it or had a break!)

Paul

PS photographed with my humble Canon 350D / XT and its kit lens
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 7:52 PM   #2
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It is indeed a simple sweet image. It is a very nice landscape. The sky and clouds are very pretty, perhaps a touch of usm there. The tree and fortress seem a bit faded though. The compromise between background and fore is quite tricky and you did very well. I might do a touch of shadows and highlights there. A bit of touch up to make it brighter and you have a nice wall hanging or desktop.
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 8:01 PM   #3
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i like it, it's a good looker
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 8:08 PM   #4
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I like the use of the wide-angle on this shot
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 8:21 PM   #5
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JunixRose, Thanks for your thoughtful comments and insight. Actually I had done some USM before I resized it for posting here, and after relooking at it, I realised I had lost some of the sharpness (and I remember some other folk mentioning that). So I tried again, also played a bit with the shadows / highlight tool (thanks for the tip!) and here is the result.. Your words were very helpful! Do you like this better? :?

Markstring, Glad you like it... Appreciate you looking and giving your opinion!

Boily, I'm happy you liked the use of the wide-angle... Yeah I thank the brain cell that worked when I saw the scene and made me decide wide-angle perspective! :-)

Again, thanks all for looking... more comments (also on the comparison between this posted / updated version) are most welcome!!

So please feedback as you will!!!!

Paul
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 9:21 PM   #6
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excuse me for being so dense... but what is USM? still somewhat new too the sight and havent learned all the shorthand
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 2:28 AM   #7
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Hi Log,

"USM" stands for "unsharp mask" which is a tool in post processing applications (e.g. Photoshop) to actually SHARPEN an image. (don't get confused as the name might suggest making it NOT sharp, but the opposite is the effect).

Digital cameras (especially digital SLR's / DSLRs) generally opt to take a "slightly soft" photo without artifacts (false pixels) so that the user can sharpen it in a program later. Users of DSLRs are expected to apply some USM / "unsharp mask" to their photos for best results, especially of landscapes which generally require more sharpness. Some portraits (people photos) might look better not too sharp and therefore only require a little bit of USM applied.

USM is also a bit of a confusing abbreviation as many lenses produced by Canon have a focussing mechanism called: "Ultrasonic motor" (also sometimes abbreviated as USM). :roll:

Hope this helps. If not do a google search for USM or maybe better "unsharp mask" and you'll find places to read more.

So.... do you like these photos...? :blah:

Paul
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 3:07 AM   #8
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I quite like it, but to me the attraction is in the composition and I'm not so keen on the greyish grass in the foreground. The wall too looks a bit dull, and of course the tree isn't very colourful, so ....


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Old Apr 19, 2006, 3:56 AM   #9
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Dear, Paul. I overenjoyed seeing you again kissing another beautiful piece of lanscape :-). Btw, I also appreciate your introducing another definition of the phrase 'kiss'!!
Yes, sharpening usually enhances the image, but the amount of it requires simple care,or else the whole effort may end up full of undesired image artifacts which is worse than a soft image and I hate this to happen to me so often:G
So, I try compansating the extra sharpening which is required, by adjusting the contrast values and the levels.
As for your capture, sharpening surely has made the elemens more significant, hopefully keeping away from the dangerous waters. And for the composition, I'd prefer if you allowed the tree to be more free standing by not permitting its branches touching the right side border of the frame.
I see the trouble here is caused by other trees which are ready to infest the frame from the right. So, take your saw and axe, then, clone them out!!
Here you'll also find my edit. IMHO, by leaving the rest of the cloud be completed by the eye, we'd do more justice to the fortress and the tree. But of course this would not be the final edit, according to some earlier experiences here thanks to the rule of thirds!!:-)
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 4:52 AM   #10
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this is an excellent shot. i love these simple shots tht truely come to life. I ike the colour and i also like the way the shot is composed with plenty of tht beautiful blue sky in sight.

Umm only thing tht springs to mind is maybe clonning out some of those extra excess trees along the horizon line to simplify the shot further. i think this would draw more attention to the subject if its a nice clean horizon with the tree poking out. I do like your first take on the image



great work

ken


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