Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Photo Critique | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2012 · C & C welcome.
  
 
Gregstx
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · C & C welcome.


I entered a slightly reworked version of this original in a WA recently (Trashed and Grunge). My rework received 0 votes so I obviously missed the boat somewhere. I didn't expect to win because I thought SBEME's entry was better. But I thought it might get some votes. Show me the error of my ways, please.







Jan 03, 2012 at 12:40 AM
sbeme
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · C & C welcome.


Greg,
First, thanks for the compliment!
Second, competition tends to be high with many strong images in the WA's and MA's.
Third, I think your subject is quite good. But needs more aggressive processing for the grunge look.
Not sure what program you use.
Here I used LR, then Nik Color Efex. But most of the effect was in LR.
In LR, used alot of highlight and shadow recovery, pushed clarity to the max for an overly detailed, textured, grunge look, applied some curves, reduced saturation, rough perspective correction. Sharpened your small jpeg with high detail, low radius, low strength.
In Color Efex I further boosted mid and highlight contrast for more detail, masked the effect over the foreground floor where it got just too crunchy/busy, reduced saturation a bit more.

Scott







Jan 03, 2012 at 01:20 AM
sbeme
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · C & C welcome.


in looking at the rework now, I'd be tempted to be more aggressive still, and probably do more curves to lighten the gray tones.

Scott



Jan 03, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Bob Jarman
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · C & C welcome.


Not sure about the rules for composites in WA and MA, but here is a version using CEPro2 bleach bypass as a starting point, numerous other S&P to taste tweaks, composite with a rust/grunge image. I have no idea of this is what you might have been looking for or not - for me the grunge process is iterative and pretty much spontaneous, i.e. not using a formulaic approach.

Hope this helps,

Bob







Jan 03, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Gregstx
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · C & C welcome.


Thanks for the input Scott and Bob. I see I have a lot to learn. For my photo reworks I have PS CS5 but I have only a very basic knowledge in how to use it. For my WA entry pic, I converted it to BW, did a slight crop and tried to bring out the very faded lettering on the wall in the center of the photo. I think Scott's rework did a better job on the lettering than I achieved. I find it interesting that neither of you went the BW route. My first thoughts when I looked at Bob's rework was "fire". Very interesting.

I believe this will sound like a rookie question, but..... What method do you use to resize your photos so it can fit on this site? I thought my resized image seemed to lose a lot more detail than what I think I see in other photogs pics. First, I did my resize in CS5 but the FM site said it was still too large. So I resized it in AutoImager and it worked. So that is what I went with.



Jan 03, 2012 at 05:04 AM
sbeme
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · C & C welcome.


Took my rework and converted to BW in Nik Silver Efex Pro. Increased structure (similar to Clarity in LR/PS), played with yellow and red sliders moving them in opposite directions, added a small amount of grain. Re-imported to LR, did a bit of curves work with a slight S curve to increase contrast and chose points to provide a bit more tonal separation. Used the adjustment brush to do a bit of dodging and burning to bring out more of the stains along the wall and separate adjacent tones.
You can do all of this easily in PS.
I am fairly limited in PS skills. If you arent familiar with it, you might look at a Scott Kelby book first for cookbook-like instructions. Also, lynda.com has an enormous library of tutorials at every level and by a range of instructors with different teaching styles to choose among. Adobe also has a number of free tutorials and listening to a few sample tutorials by "Photoshop Evangelist" Julieanne Kost has been helpful to me.
Many more free resources to google, and stay tuned to this Board where Chuck and Karen routinely illustrate their PS workflow.
Scott







Jan 03, 2012 at 07:57 AM
Bob Jarman
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · C & C welcome.


In addition to Scott's very helpful comments re BW, since you have CS5, and I assume neither LR nor SilverEfexPro, you can achieve the same results many ways. I think the most direct is to edit/convert in Adobe Capture Raw (same engine as LR without the nice UI and content management tools). There are a number of extensive tutorials on YouTube (search for ACR BW conversion of something similar).

In Bridge, assuming the image is a jpg, rt-click on the thumbnail and select open in ACR. If a raw image, by default it should be opened in ACR with a simple click. All of the essential tools are there in ACR sans the niceties of SEPro re presets etc. plus the process is non-destructive wrt the underlying image.

As for resizing, I use the File->Save for Web & Other Device selection from the CS5 top menu. You will see options for resizing ( 800 on the long side is good, 1024 if you prefer), quality, etc. - not a whole lot of decisions necessary. The result is a jpg. Like you I often generated a mess until I discovered this selection.

HTH,

regards,

Bob



Jan 03, 2012 at 02:12 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · C & C welcome.


Curious as to what won that assignment and placed highly I searched for and found the winning photos. I recall Scott posting his winning entry of the old bike here.

Where your shot falls short for is me by comparison is the fact content-wise it's not very compelling compared to the others. Looking at the photo I have no clue what the space was in the past. it's just a boring empty room.

What made Scott's shot compelling wasn't just the fact there was an old bike in front of a broken down shack, but the fact it was upright as if it had been parked there on the kick stand yesterday. It quite literally "stood the test of time". The content in his image stimulates an imaginary story line, the intangible element that your shot is lacking. It appears to be an empty factory or warehouse space but there's no clue what was in the space in its heyday.

The other thing I noticed by comparison is that the top entries captured a scene of decay more or less accurately with a full "seen by eye" range of tone rather than attempting to exaggerate the grunge with PP as the edits in this thread are taking it. All that is needed to convey the grunge and decay here is a normal tonal range. The content tells the story and trying to exaggerate the decay with PP to make up for a lack of interesting content isn't an improvement for me.

Apart from the lack of interesting storytelling content a showstopper technique-wise for in the shot you posted above are the blown highlights in the windows and skylights. Dirty broken windows are part of the ambient that conveys decay and by blowing the highlight you lose and important story element here. Had you shot it on a tripod with HDR — what would be necessary to record the full range as seen by eye — it would have been a better shot technically but it still would have lacked any compelling story line with a compelling focal point "punchline".

I suspect if you had the mind-set of "what is the story here" when exploring that space you could have found some detail that revealed what it had been used for in the past. So next time you are in a similar situation find some focal point for the story you want to tell, then and built an interesting photo essay around it and you will wind up with a more compelling photo that will be more likely to win.



Jan 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Paul Roberts
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · C & C welcome.


+1 cgardner. Also, FWIW, the guidelines for WA include the following "Montage techniques are allowed but should be functional and kept to a minimum. Your entries for the weekly assignment should highlight your photographic skills, not your software knowledge."



Jan 03, 2012 at 05:33 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Bob Jarman
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · C & C welcome.


Great analysis Chuck, and thanks for the information Paul.

Bob



Jan 03, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Gregstx
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · C & C welcome.


Just so you will know, this was the back-story that I had included with the original entry.

"This crumbling hanger is located at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi, TX. Cabaniss Field was constructed in 1941 as a Primary and Advanced Carrier training field for naval aviators. Barely visible on the wall are the words “Students Check In” and “Training Office”. I can imagine the excitement that those young men felt; almost 70 years ago, when they first arrived for flight training and saw those freshly painted signs on the wall of the hanger. The words are almost faded from view as are the brave young men who saw them so long ago."

However, it never really occurred to me that the image didn't tell the story without the back-story. Obviously I knew what it was. Chuck makes a good point. BTW those are not skylights. The ceiling of the hanger is the pile of lumber lying on the floor. I guess it is a good story that I didn't tell very well with the photo. But it is all part of the learning process.

This was my focal point. But I couldn't display it very well and still leave a lot of the hanger in the shot since this was so feint. I didn't even see it the first time I shot in the hanger, but I accidentally captured it and found it while pixel peeping later.








Edited on Jan 04, 2012 at 01:53 AM · View previous versions



Jan 03, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Bob Jarman
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · C & C welcome.


Thanks for the back-story - I am fascinated by old structures such as this and imaginings of how lives were forever changed at such facilities. In a broader context, causes one to question whether we, as a species, are capable of learning from history.

I've taken the liberty of playing a bit, hope you do not mind (SEPro2)

Bob







Jan 04, 2012 at 01:07 AM
sbeme
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · C & C welcome.


Interesting backstory.
I really like Bob's last image. It pulls in what you considered the central aspect, frames it and processes it beautifully.

Scott



Jan 04, 2012 at 01:11 AM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · C & C welcome.


Hearing the backstory it seems like the type of complex narrative story that is best told with a series of photos in a cinematic sequence. Even with the shot of sign we have no clue it is a WWII era hanger or flight training facility.

What I mean by a cinematic approach is explained here: http://photo.nova.org/CinematicApproach/ In this case it might include a wide establishing shot (e.g. modern planes seen with old hanger in the background with a sign telling the viewer the location), a series of medium shots (view of the front door from outside, view of interior through the door, the sign) and close-ups of details. Even something as contrived as a model of a WWII fighter plane or a model in period costume would elevate the photos telling the story to a higher level.



Jan 04, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Bob Jarman
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · C & C welcome.


Chuck,

While I understand what you say but when limited to a single image for a WA submission in this case, the suggested cinematic approach likely does not fit the model - ya gotta go with what ya got. I believe Greg's second image evokes thought and leaves each to imagine a scenario.

I'm probably splitting hairs but don't think we should the limited ourselves to a few, albeit it tested and successful, techniques. Exploring and learning is half the (my) enjoyment.

My 2˘

Bob



Jan 04, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Gregstx
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · C & C welcome.


Bob, no problem on the rework. I am just trying to learn here. In case you did not see the actual entry into the WA here it is. Again C&C welcome.









Jan 04, 2012 at 02:08 AM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · C & C welcome.


Gregstx wrote:
Just so you will know, this was the back-story that I had included with the original entry.

"This crumbling hanger is located at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi, TX. Cabaniss Field was constructed in 1941 as a Primary and Advanced Carrier training field for naval aviators. Barely visible on the wall are the words “Students Check In” and “Training Office”. I can imagine the excitement that those young men felt; almost 70 years ago, when they first arrived for flight training and saw those freshly painted signs on the wall of the hanger. The words are almost faded from view as
...Show more

To me, the crop is a much more powerful image to represent the theme. The fact that it is readily identifiable of what "once was" and "no longer is" gives a stronger emotive of this place has been trashed from what it used to be.

In your original entry, the viewer is left 'wondering' what it might have been rather than "knowing" what it has gone from-to. Knowing that it was once a vibrant place filled with students suggests a "life" that once existed ... now, that life has obviously become extinct. This creates a stronger emtoive response than "hmmm, I wonder what it used to be".

Your point at you knowing the backstory better than the viewer is a very salient one. Sometimes you have to help your viewer much more than you might otherwise think is necessary. The crop is certainly one way to do that, D&B, selective focus, etc. all contribute to such endeavors as tools of choice that you can use to help guide the viewer to the point that you are trying to convey through your image.

Took a stab at the original.








Jan 04, 2012 at 04:46 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · C & C welcome.


Bob Jarman wrote:
While I understand what you say but when limited to a single image for a WA submission in this case, the suggested cinematic approach likely does not fit the model - ya gotta go with what ya got.


I don't disagree, but that's why this photo and any crops of it wouldn't win because it's not the type of situation that lends it self to a complete narrative in a single photo like the abandoned upright bike in front of and old collapsed building that one did so compellingly.

By way of analogy I find still photos work best when they are like a short "one-liner" joke without any complex lead in and a strong "punchline". For example something interesting large in the foreground with context seen behind it in the background smaller and slightly out of focus.

http://super.nova.org/EDITS/Hanger.jpg

That's the type of photo that is more likely to win a contest because strong focal points seen close up evoke stronger emotional reactions. That's why movie sequences usually start wide and pull the viewer closer. The difference in a movie being the ability to crop out the distracting context already seen previously. In a still photo need to have a focal point that is easy to find on the way in and compelling enough to coax the viewer back for a second look after they wander off to explore the rest of the frame.

It's not impossible but far more difficult to tell a more complex story in a still photo because out of necessity you wind up with multiple centers of interest you need to lead the viewer over for them to understand it the story. The difficulty becomes composing it in a way that will cause the viewer to put the cart before the horse instead of the other way around.

After using the cinematic approach for some time when I'm out shooting in a situation like that I find that in the process of shooting from different points of view it has trained my eye to see possibilities for stories I otherwise might have missed before in trying to find one shot that tells the complete story. More often than not that results in a photo where attention is pulled off the focal point by other less important content. The photo of the lobster pots on the dock recently posted is a good example of what I mean. The boat of on right was interesting and added context but at the expense, IMHO, of pulling focus off the pots.

When I shoot with that kind of storytelling mindset and am later forced to pick just one shot I have a number of good ones to chose from and the best choice is usually obvious by comparison with the others. Some will have too little context to tell the story effectively, others will have to much to the point the context overpowers the focal point. One of the "medium" shots with the center of interest in the foreground off center leading the viewer over the background context to find it is what I find to be the most effective.



Jan 04, 2012 at 05:55 PM





FM Forums | Photo Critique | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password