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Archive 2013 · Red barn - suggestions?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Red barn - suggestions?

So I posted this same set of photos below in the landscape photographers forum (here), but got no responses, so I thought I'd try it here. I don't mean to be spamming, and if this sort of practice is frowned upon, let me know - but I'd like to get some feedback on making these better:

So I drove out past Boulder, CO on sunday afternoon on a photography hike and scouting for future cross country skiing opportunities. I lucked out on timing for this barn, as I didn't even know it was there before I went out.

I'd like some suggestions on how to make the barn and aspens stand out simultaneously, in addition to any general comments. I think #1 probably does this the best. I also have a soft spot for wide panoramas, so I like #3 as well. I tried a wide panorama of the whole valley, but it seemed pretty boring.

I would really like #2 to be better, but I'm not sure how to make the trail, the aspens, and the barn balanced against each other. The barn seems a little dark to me.

All with Canon 5D and 24-105. Editing in Lightroom 3, with some work done to white balance, exposure, clarity/vibrance, noise reduction, and lens corrections. HDR attempt was done with LuminanceHDR.


#2 Two shot HDR attempt

(a single shot of the same view is here

#3 Two shot panorama

Mar 17, 2013 at 12:45 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Red barn - suggestions?

First, welcome to Critique.
Second, cross-posting is OK. At least I hope so, since I often get help on Critique to tweak, toss, or finalize an image that I then post elsewhere. And sometimes I go elsewhere first, get no responses, and learn something is wrong.
Third, the images.
I think you are trying to do too much. I think you are trying to figure out how to get everything in the shot, including foreground leading lines, a good idea, wide views, and still make a small distant barn grab attention. A tough order. I think the last panoramic image succeeds the best with a balanced feel. There is a bit of competition from that neat sunburst, but to me it adds a second, balancing point of interest.
In the first the aspens help frame the image, show the setting, and provide a bit of leading line or wedge by their shape and associated shadow. But they are just not vibrant or interesting on their own.
Below is a LR rework of this image with a tighter crop. Using the brush tool I selectively darkened the pines. Using the TAT tool set to luminance I increased the brightness of the reds in the barn and some oranges in the aspens. I like the zigzag effect created by the aspens, shadows
The second image can be improved by using the brush tool to brighten the exposure of the barn. While I like your capture of the trails in the snow, they really dont lead the eye toward the barn so much as somewhere into the scene.

Mar 17, 2013 at 01:09 AM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Red barn - suggestions?

And again, welcome!

I'll trust Scott's as well as others' judgements on the images - I have always had difficulty communicating 'being' there in landscapes.

I generally like #3 but the sun-burst competes with the barn for attention and both are far removed from the center of the image - not to require the subject at the center but the eye must make a concerted effort moving form one to the other...if that makes any sense.

My 2


Mar 17, 2013 at 01:39 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Red barn - suggestions?

Welcome to the PC forum. No worries @ double/cross posting into this forum. As Scott mentions, it is a tool to use. Fred even recommends people consult PC prior to posting images in the Weekly Assignment forums.

Scott & Bob have hit the high points pretty good.

While I'm diggin' the starburst and the barn, Bob's point @ them being at different ends of the image draw attention away from each other competitively. Could be one where the "divide & conquer" approach could be viable.

Mar 17, 2013 at 04:21 AM

Search in Used Dept. 

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Red barn - suggestions?

Regarding #2, I'm a fan of foreshortening and leading lines, but as mentioned, these lines don't lead us to the prize of the barn, and the foreshortening of the snow path give it scale prominence over the diminutive barn.

Mar 17, 2013 at 05:10 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Red barn - suggestions?

Bob and Rusty - thanks for the comments on #3. I did intentionally put the sun behind the tree to make it less bright and overwhelming. I also have one of the barn that was the "divide and conquer" as you say. I personally don't think the sun on it's own does that much for me.

#4 - Only the barn

Scott, thanks for the ideas on #1. I definitely do like that tighter crop. I guess I'm going to need to try out that TAT tool. So far, I've mostly tried global effects, with a little bit of the adjustment brush.

Mar 17, 2013 at 02:44 PM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Red barn - suggestions?

Photography is about subject and light. In general it's hard to make an interesting image in uninteresting light. Bright daylight is, for the most part, uninteresting light. From an hour before sunrise to an hour after is more likely to be interesting light. Similarly, An hour before until an hour after sunset is more likely to be interesting light. Put a good scene in good light and your odds of making a good image go up drastically. The first in the red light of dawn would have been more appealing. The third a little after the sun had set would have probably made s better image. No guarantees, but betting on better light is playing the odds.

As for the second image, I've seen some good snow images with a single track. Can't recall any strong images with busy well-trod paths in snow. I suspect it's because densely travelled foot paths become visually busy and distracting.

Mar 18, 2013 at 11:39 PM

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