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Archive 2013 · backlit swingset advice
  
 
smallrewards
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · backlit swingset advice


Hey guys and gals, looking to submit this for the assignment, and am wondering how you would recommend editing it. I will post a few of my favorite edits below, but let me know what you think and why!

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Jan 21, 2013 at 03:21 AM
smallrewards
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · backlit swingset advice


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Jan 21, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Skarkowtsky
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · backlit swingset advice


B+W

The shadows are already deep and pushing them to black simplifies the information for the viewer. It also sets a graphic tone to the composition that works because the sky is a beautifully simple gradient, and the foreground consists of stark shapes.

Color is just an additional, distracting element that doesn't suit this image.

Just remove the three lens flares.



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:54 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · backlit swingset advice


Maybe a different crop ...







Jan 21, 2013 at 04:33 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · backlit swingset advice


To the extent it has a problem it's because the implied action is the girl looking like she's flying up to the upper right, but then the contrast of the sun pulls the eye down into the lower right corner. It would have been more effective with the sun in the upper right so the eye continued to move in that direction.

RustyBug's crop eliminates the distraction of the sun but also removes the space for her to fly into making the composition look more static and cramped.

If your PS chops are up to it I'd suggest adding a new layer on top filled with the tone of the sky on the left then with a mask knock the girl and everything to the right out of it, eliminating the sun and the branch. That will provide the space for her to fly but eliminate the distraction of the branch and sun. You might also try adding a cut/paste copy of the sun into the upper right corner after creating the plain sky.



Jan 21, 2013 at 04:51 AM
smallrewards
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · backlit swingset advice


thank you gentlemen, you gave given me a lot to think about. I did remove the flakes in some, but felt they added something in the bw versions, just me? I only have Lightroom, so I am not sure how much of this editing I can accomplish. I actually intended to form a diagonal pointing to her with the branches, intending to imply motion inline with her arch, and then hoped the swing, and I later felt the flakes, would create a second diagonal running down and drawing the eye through her to the sun as a destination of sorts, and leaving her in the intersection (at least I felt it would work well in a moderate sized print) .

I do have some other shots, and will revisit them given your input. Originally I wanted her arched directly over the sun, but did not have space to do that with the trees unless I gave up the sense of height and added a nasty chain link fence in the lost portion, plus other elements. At least as far as I could see, I only had a 28mm fdn lens on me, and actually laid in the dirt beneath the swing in pursuit of capturing the full jump.

I will do what I can with your suggestions though, and see how it looks.
more are always welcome.



Jan 21, 2013 at 06:34 AM
smallrewards
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · backlit swingset advice


on the crop rusty first, thank you as always for your advice (all three of you), but I feel too close a crop kind of reduces the sense of height-which I feel is aided by the tree tops, and the rebound from the swing, which with the space in the original also aided in a sense of motion. Any thoughts on that?


Jan 21, 2013 at 06:48 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · backlit swingset advice


No worries, and you are welcome.

As to the crop, it is obviously tighter and might seem to be "closing" her in by reducing the space in the frame that is shown in the scene. But, similar to implied lines, I think this one offers implied space (rather than defined space). Neither is necessarily better, nor worse regarding the soaring into space aspect, although implied (anything) lines or space do require a slightly more cognizant viewer.

But, what it does do is change the weighting / balance between the girl vs the tree branches. In the original image, the amount of image space / weighting allocated to the girl and the branches is roughly the same. In the portrait orientation crop, the portion to the girl is about 3 or 4 times as much as the branches. So while the crop did tend to some of the sun issue, it has other impact as well.

I realize that the crop is a rather tight change. A different crop can yield a different balance of the elements as one moves from portrait orientation to square to landscape as well. Where you wind up with your crop is certainly part of the S&P to taste regarding your message. Just offered as something to think about as I found the original crop to be be almost a "ping-pong" or 3-panel effect with the swing & pines at left, and the sun & treetops at the right, with the girl in the middle. I wasn't fully sold on the portrait crop, but hadn't put enough thought to it yet to figure out what I'd do differently, thus it serves as a springboard catalyst.

At present (subject to change like leaves blowing in the wind ), I think the landscape crop below is my fav, with just a hint of the sun and a bit more of the space/motion you've mentioned that the horizontal format harmonizes to the linear motion involved. In my first (portrait) crop, the lines involved are pushing us more downward, whereas the last crop changes the lines to pushing us more right & up ... which is better congruous with the message of the image ... or so I'm inclined to think atm. Although, I do kinda dig the somewhat stronger "blasted by the sun" vibe of the square crop.

However you decide to go, the exercise of determining your crop relative to the message you want to convey to your viewer is just as integral as deciding where to focus. It is but another element to help "draw the eye" of your viewer to where you want them to go.

GL with the MA, HTH.




Square Crop






Landscape Crop




Jan 21, 2013 at 12:36 PM
smallrewards
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · backlit swingset advice


after considering everything you have said, and looking at the above crops, I spend the past hour or so looking through various shots taken, and trying different crops. Ultimately I like the landscape crop above the most, with the same crop in 4X5 a close second-does seem to loose some of the feel of her falling off into the edge with that extra bit, and the branches do become more distracting and change the sense of motion. But, I would ultimately print at 8X10...for budget reasons, particularly this close to 8X10, so I guess for my personal image that will have to win out.

I kind of like this image below too-which I will follow with two other shots, just incase I have missed some amazing perspective of editing magic, lol. Probably needed to try a much farther away shot, slightly down the hill with the 100mm I did have in my bag, but did not bring it out. Might have allowed me to capture her and the sun without all the extra fluff in the image, but I did not think about that while I was lying in the mud Not convinced it would have worked either, but I should have tried.

These are two alternate shots, I am really just sharing this for the sake of conversation at is point, unless something incredible jumps out at you.

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Show more Here you can see the beginnings of a fence in the bottom.

And an edit from the above 1

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and off to the right, kind of like the sun blasting on this one, makes me wish I had worked harder to get the branches out of the image, instead of just trying to "use them" as I did.

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and the two I am going with, unless something changes-for the comp and for an 8X10 print, based on your feedback and your crop cg:

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(of course I will eliminate the slickpic site, but it is the only site I have found that allows me to upload without paying and maintain full exif data for the comp, so I am giving them their props here.)



Jan 22, 2013 at 04:55 AM
 

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smallrewards
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · backlit swingset advice


Just wanted to update, decided to go with the 5X4 crop, but to add in two sun rays. I feel they really help to use the branches to draw ones eyes to the rays, which then redirect the motion back towards the sun in a subtle but effective way. Or maybe its my imagination . Not 100% sure they are the right thickness and brightness, but without a properly calibrated monitor (the exact angle of position relative to my laptop makes drastic changes in contrast) I will have to make modifications after printing anyway, so I will deal with it then Thanks for your help guys.

http://cdn1.share.slickpic.com/u/smallrewards/_201301212325/org/fred-24/web.jpg



Jan 23, 2013 at 06:08 AM
JHut
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · backlit swingset advice


I like her pose in this shot... Here is my shot at processing. The blending could be better if I had more time.

http://www.littlepawsontheprairie.com/fred-miranda/swing altered.jpg

And this version retains some blue in the sky

http://www.littlepawsontheprairie.com/fred-miranda/swing.jpg



Jan 23, 2013 at 07:41 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · backlit swingset advice


This edit which is what I suggested earlier took all of about 5 min.

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

I copied the photo and pasted it twice into a new PS file then flipped the top copy vertically to get the sun at the top rather than the bottom with a mask to isolate it and blend it in. Then I added a blank new layer in between the two photo layers and painted in gray with a brush to hide the sun in the corner on the bottom of the original.

A bit of a crop inward on the left and now it appears she's soaring skyward like Icarus, ignoring her fathers warning not to fly to close to the sun



Jan 23, 2013 at 09:17 PM
smallrewards
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · backlit swingset advice


I am not sure how to do all that with Lightroom, if possible, and I am just learning. I tried several ways to clone out or reduce branches or even to move the sun, but they all looked like crap and took way more than 5 min, all while bogging down my comp...with what I know how to do (no ps). I will reread your description though and see if it is possible to do this well without full ps.


Jan 24, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Eyeball
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · backlit swingset advice


FWIW, I think the first B&W you posted is a pretty amazing image. The flare spots don't even bother me that much, although it wouldn't hurt to take them out either.

I really like the way the bush and tree limbs are reaching out to her and the way she appears to be basking in the sun rays.

It may be imperfect in some areas (like the imperfect silhouette) but this is a case for me where the imperfections add to the image.



Jan 24, 2013 at 01:33 AM
smallrewards
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · backlit swingset advice


well thank you eyeball...I am very indecisive about such matters and have a hard time after reviewing my decisions. I originally loved the set up and arranged everything in the shot for a reason-though I was also dealing with limitations. I liked how it turned out a lot, but after reflection and the advice above, started to change my mind.

Either way, it has taught me more about framing and decision making, and has given me an understanding of what, at least, appear to be the limitations of lightroom :P



Jan 26, 2013 at 05:25 PM
eeneryma
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · backlit swingset advice



To CGardner:
As usual, your analysis is so insightful. One quibble: I would get rid of the branches as it looks like she's flying into them.



Jan 28, 2013 at 06:58 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · backlit swingset advice


Yup, JHut's version without the branches is visually more coherent and stronger, visually.


Jan 29, 2013 at 02:11 AM





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