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Dallas skyline composite
  
 
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #1 · Dallas skyline composite


Hey all,

This is my first time posting in this subforum, but I have an image that definitely fits here, so I wanted to share it with you all.

My wife and I have lived in Dallas for about a year now, but we've been so busy that, until last weekend, we hadn't had a chance to shoot the downtown skyline.

The 7 image pano that I created looked really good, but it was lacking the "pop" that I was hoping for. Unfortunately, we don't ever get really impressive nighttime skies. However, a simple image search revealed a rocky mountain starfield image, courtesy of Jeff Wallace (Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wherezjeff/), which I just completed masking into the image.

This is my first time going to such lengths for an image like this. This is also the first time I've ever used a portion of another image as a composite for something I'm working on. I'd love some feedback from those who shoot these kinds of images all the time.

Thanks!







Jan 07, 2014 at 08:38 AM
P Alesse
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p.1 #2 · Dallas skyline composite


Stitching, cloning, color correction, HDR... although it has been stretched, still winds up being fair game in creating a piece of photographic art. However, I feel borrowing an image from another photographer, whether given permission or not breaks the rules and crosses the lines of acceptance.

Once we start doing that, why not just borrow the top half like you did and the bottom half from another photographer and never leave your house? I know lots of photographers will fake and "borrow". Even the Dallas nightscape appears in some sites with fake water and reflection. I just think there has to be a line. I know this is probably harsh and I may be in the minority in this thinking, but I'd much rather see a complete original photograph even if it winds up being something less than spectacular.



Jan 08, 2014 at 01:27 AM
Chris Tylko
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p.1 #3 · Dallas skyline composite


Agree with Paul completely. IMHO the challenge in photography as a hobby should be to render a pleasing/beautiful/competent image based on what exists. Of course, for commercial work, I think you should be able to do whatever the client wants.

But for personal stuff you have to live the adventure, get up at ungodly hours, wait patiently for that perfect moment, freeze to death in the wilderness, trek for miles and miles...and do it all over again because the light was terrible or (as in my case) it was raining.

...and I felt bad for slightly increasing the size of the moon in one of my images

I kind of hope this sparks a lively debate.



Jan 08, 2014 at 02:00 AM
JWilsonphoto
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p.1 #4 · Dallas skyline composite


James that is an unusual image, and a striking one. I personally see nothing wrong with you creating something that you had a vision for. You outlined your technique, it's not like you were trying to fool anyone. There is so much manipulation in photography these days, it is what it is. Ad agencies have been doing what you did for years, even before digital with a technique known as emulsion stripping.The purists can be purists, and you can create what you would like to create, for the time being this is still a free country.

I dare say you could bang out some big prints of your creation and sell them without much trouble. Your creative vision might not be the next persons, but it's yours, and you have the right to do it all day long. Don't let anyone throw cold water on it.



Jan 08, 2014 at 02:00 AM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #5 · Dallas skyline composite


Thanks, Jim! I am really pleased with how it turned out.

As for the other posters, if it were possible to capture a sky like that "all natural" then I absolutely would have done so. It's not.

The sky in DFW simply doesn't look like that, and my vision required a sky that does. Contrary to your statement, nothing I did breaks any rules, or even the creative spirit of our industry as I have clearly credited Jeff and didn't try to pass off his (outstanding) work as my own.

Also Jim, as the starfield image is presented under a Creative Commons license, I don't have any commercial reprint rights. But, that doesn't mean I can't print this huge and put it in my office.



Jan 08, 2014 at 04:58 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.1 #6 · Dallas skyline composite


Go for it James! You'll be turning down offers the moment you hang it.


Jan 08, 2014 at 08:54 PM
Zane Adams
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p.1 #7 · Dallas skyline composite


It is a striking image

My only real problem with the photo is the mountains visible in the background. Dallas is not Denver.

Technically speaking its a cool composition.

It's not something I would have done even if I could. I guess I'm a bit of a purist. I photograph what is really there to the best of my ability...sure I color correct, highlight, sharpen, crop, etc...even clone out the occasional ugliness...but it's all in the photo not added to...I have not even ventured in to HDR...just because. But then I'm not making bank on my pics either...hmmm
Of course my first camera was a film camera...and in the 'old' days one had real hard to get the shot right the first time. lol



Jan 08, 2014 at 09:12 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #8 · Dallas skyline composite


Zane, the mountains were bugging me too, so I pulled them out. As for being a purist...I say to each their own. I grew up in a digital world, and all I care about is the final image. If the viewer has an experience, that's a win to me.

Here's the final updated version.




Jan 09, 2014 at 07:18 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #9 · Dallas skyline composite


JWilsonphoto wrote:
Go for it James! You'll be turning down offers the moment you hang it.


Well, seeing as how you're about 15 minutes down the road from me, you're more than welcome to a copy if you'd like one.

I'd love to meet you anyway, regardless. Your aerial images are really impressive.



Jan 09, 2014 at 07:21 PM
slobodan
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p.1 #10 · Dallas skyline composite


I just find the whole idea of using someone else's photograph for compositing rather uncomfortable, no matter how spectacular the result is and regardless of the legality of it.


Jan 09, 2014 at 08:18 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



JWilsonphoto
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p.1 #11 · Dallas skyline composite


That's very nice of you James! Where are you located? We'll get together for lunch soon.


Jan 09, 2014 at 08:23 PM
james.d53
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p.1 #12 · Dallas skyline composite


Jamesbjenkins wrote:
Hey all,

This is my first time posting in this subforum, but I have an image that definitely fits here, so I wanted to share it with you all.

My wife and I have lived in Dallas for about a year now, but we've been so busy that, until last weekend, we hadn't had a chance to shoot the downtown skyline.

The 7 image pano that I created looked really good, but it was lacking the "pop" that I was hoping for. Unfortunately, we don't ever get really impressive nighttime skies. However, a simple image search revealed a rocky mountain starfield image, courtesy
...Show more

This looks great, but did and do you have written permission to use his image? I also don't think that it will fetch much of anything since it is not your original work. JMO.

James



Jan 09, 2014 at 08:55 PM
BostonGreg
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p.1 #13 · Dallas skyline composite


I actually like the first one best. Incredible shot, thanks for sharing!


Jan 10, 2014 at 01:27 AM
JWilsonphoto
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p.1 #14 · Dallas skyline composite


james.d53 wrote:
This looks great, but did and do you have written permission to use his image? I also don't think that it will fetch much of anything since it is not your original work. JMO.

James


As the one of the original photographers to recognize the sales potential of the Dallas skyline in the late 70's, I can tell you that individually they don't sell for a lot, but I've never sold one for less than 100 buck profit and I've sold hundreds and hundreds of them over the years, plus stock sales, billboards, and nightly news backdrops. If I had to guess, the great majority of those buyers didn't give a hoot about where the components came from. It's not like a Dallas skyline, no matter how good it is, is going to turn into an iconic appreciating artwork. If it's a good composition, and people like it, they'll buy it, frame it and hang it, and if it's really good, a percentage of the people who pass through through the office/boardroom, wherever, will ask where they got it, and want a copy for themselves. There's always a market for a cool image of a vibrant city.

This is all a moot point because you created it for yourself, it's unique in composition, and collaboration. You mentioned at the outset that you obtained permission to utilize the sky, the right and honorable course of action. Enjoy your creation, other folks will too.

JW



Jan 10, 2014 at 02:39 AM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #15 · Dallas skyline composite


james.d53 wrote:
This looks great, but did and do you have written permission to use his image? I also don't think that it will fetch much of anything since it is not your original work. JMO.

James


You guys are acting like you're not familiar with a Creative Commons License. Attribution is all that's necessary for private use. As I've previously stated, I have no commercial plans for the image.



Jan 10, 2014 at 08:53 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #16 · Dallas skyline composite


JWilsonphoto wrote:
You mentioned at the outset that you obtained permission to utilize the sky, the right and honorable course of action. Enjoy your creation, other folks will too.

JW


To be clear, I have never communicated directly with Jeff Wallace. I have simply complied with his request under the terms of the posting of his portion of the composite image to his Flickr page. When an image is posted under a Creative Commons License, the only action necessary is proper attribution.

For God's sake folks, I heavily modified the original portion of the starfield image that was borrowed. I put 5 hours into editing the 7 images into a pano, masking in the portions of the sky I wanted and heavily editing for the final image posted. If I had realized there were so many "purists" here who would have such a high-browed condemnation of this piece of art, I would have kept it to myself.

Enjoy it, have a hearty conversation, or find the door.



Jan 10, 2014 at 08:59 PM
JWilsonphoto
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p.1 #17 · Dallas skyline composite


Dear James,

I'll bet you have been rethinking your request for feedback I personally, am happy that you shared your image. I can't remember if you mentioned what the finished size of that file is. Don't you wish we had a sky that looked like that on a clear night? You have to pretty much drive to Amarillo before you start seeing stuff like that.

I have found a new vantage point for a skyline that one of my clients owns. In preparation to shoot from there I ordered all the pano components from Really Right Stuff. When I have the right conditions, and the time, I'm going to do a multi-exposure pano with my Nikon D800. That'll be one whopping file when I'm done I'm sure.



Jan 10, 2014 at 09:01 PM
Trevorma
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p.1 #18 · Dallas skyline composite


Just to be clear..... Creative commons still means that the other photographer has to give you permission, which I assume you recieved?

You can't just use an image and say "Image Courtesy of Joe Blow" and that makes it creative commons......



Jan 10, 2014 at 09:11 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #19 · Dallas skyline composite


Trevorma wrote:
Just to be clear..... Creative commons still means that the other photographer has to give you permission, which I assume you recieved?

You can't just use an image and say "Image Courtesy of Joe Blow" and that makes it creative commons......


Trevor, I'd love to simply tell you, "you're wrong", but that wouldn't solve anything.

So how about I show you instead?

The specific sub-class of CCL selected for the image in question by Mr. Jeff Wallace: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The definition and variations of the CCL (you know, for those who make incorrect statements about it.): http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/



Jan 10, 2014 at 09:51 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #20 · Dallas skyline composite


JWilsonphoto wrote:
I can't remember if you mentioned what the finished size of that file is.


14,400px W by 3,600px H. Designed to be a 48" x 12" print at 300 PPI.



Jan 10, 2014 at 09:54 PM
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