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Thread: Yet another MBS cityscape

  1. #21

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by AwfulChoc View Post
    i was expecting something better with all the expensive gears that you have. keke
    That's not exactly a constructive criticism dude.

    Anyway yrh0413(daniel i presume?),

    I see you really took those advices seriously - nice.

    I feel the "mood" that you mentioned was better in the first than the second. The composition however, while uncommon, is not unique - and it's really hard to balance those 3 elements "bridge" "MBS" "*Flower". - that is to say the composition doesn't quite work for me. While i don't have any suggestion as to how you would correct this particular composition, may I suggest a wider (think panoramic) view, giving more breathing space as u did for the 2nd photo.

    Yeah keep it up, better equipment don't mean better pictures indeed. But a learnable spirit is commendable - this is one hostile subforum that I haven't posted nor critiqued for a long while but i like your attitude.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Hi Jonathan, thanks for your kind words and advices.

    One thing I learnt (the hard way, long story) is to accept critiques and comments with an open mind and never ever be self-defensive. Anyone with a camera can take photographs, but not everyone captures the same photograph from the same angle/ perspective or with the same technique. At times I even ask myself why I never tried something different I admire the works of others.

    Personally I find my composition is OK (not a great angle) but what's missing is the perfect balance of ambience and lights... Need to try redo this shot in early morning.
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  3. #23

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by AwfulChoc View Post
    i was expecting something better with all the expensive gears that you have. keke
    I was expecting a more constructive feedback than snide remark equating to bitterness and jealousy that others can afford it. Quality of equipment is measured by spending power, not skill. Of course those with the skill, we tend to see them with the better equipment. If you can afford the equipment, who's stopping u from getting it?

    Moron's snide remark aside, I think the seond shot suffers from the overly blue feel. Its just too blue and dull. Suggest u stick to one technique, now that u explored a few, and retake the same shot over and over. From bef the sun begin to set till slightly aft the sky darkens.
    Last edited by The Moving Chair; 26th February 2012 at 10:53 AM.
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  4. #24
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by The Moving Chair View Post
    I was expecting a more constructive feedback than snide remark equating to bitterness and jealousy that others can afford it. Quality of equipment is measured by spending power, not skill. Of course those with the skill, we tend to see them with the better equipment. If you can afford the equipment, who's stopping u from getting it?

    Moron's snide remark aside, I think the seond shot suffers from the overly blue feel. Its just too blue and dull. Suggest u stick to one technique, now that u explored a few, and retake the same shot over and over. From bef the sun begin to set till slightly aft the sky darkens.
    winner!

    anyways, TS, check out some of the works edutilos have done before with the same scene. for me, i'll pick a better time, around 6, to be there already.

    also, check out black card techniques. they might help u with the lotus

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    I think all the references to equipment etc... are all uncalled for. People can buy what they want to buy. Some can afford, some cannot. But it is their choice.

    It already takes some guts to post photos up for critique. And in doing so, TS is already taking the first step in the right direction. Cut them some slack.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    check out some of the works edutilos have done before with the same scene
    thanks for the direction, truly remarkable work.

    Thread subscribed.
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  7. #27

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by yrh0413 View Post
    nothing fancy, just a bunch of tools. Better equipments doesn't equates to better pictures as there are other important aspects that contributes to a successful photograph.

    Cheers.
    'Better' photographic equipement is one of few foundation keys to better picture, provided its' user is expertly using it properly and appropriately with the one objective in mind - the picture he/she really wants and probably and possibly that is accepted by the professional few.

    Well then of cause, this is not an equipment discussion thread, unless but possibly if technique is a concern which is partially but generically related to equipement use.

    My personal experience tells me that I took better pictures with my film cameras than the much newer and more advanced digital cameras; with the abundance storage available and the ability to preview then shoot then delete then re-shoot is sort of making me less serious is taking each picture already. Disabling the camera preview and limiting the memory cards with me is two of my way to making me more discipline and serious.
    Last edited by Rafael; 27th February 2012 at 04:48 PM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    The lotus is usually the problem. It is (in my memory) always brighter than the lights on MBS, so what I always do is shoot to expose for everything else in the frame, and then shoot a shorter exposure just for the lotus, before blending in Photoshop. There's just not much choice to this.

    Just to highlight, the compositions in the first and second shot aren't quite the same. For one, in the first photograph the angle on the Helix bridge itself is much more dramatic, which is why I prefer the first photograph. Note that the buildings on the right are also a lot less distracting for the first photograph than the second. Lastly, there is a relative sense of balance in the first - while the bridge and the MBS would seem at first glance to render the composition left-heavy, this is actually balanced out with the whole and complete reflection of the lotus and of course, the lotus itself.

    This could explain why a lot of people are expressing preference for the first. My suggestion is to shoot the intermediate lighting between what is presented in the first and second picture.. Which is probably between the sun setting and the sky turning wholly black. As Kit has already said, you really have to just keep shooting sometimes, because our eyes really aren't as sensitive to lighting changes as the camera. An alternative is to blend, but I find it more satisfying to just get a good lighting condition in-camera.

    Lastly, I thought I'd just echo the sentiments that it's silly to expect good photos from good equipment. That's like saying that handing a toddler a Ferrari means that the toddler will be able to drive well. All it just means is that the toddler has a Ferrari - posession of a good tool does not equate to good results. Cheers.

  9. #29
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael View Post

    My personal experience tells me that I took better pictures with my film cameras than the much newer and more advanced digital cameras; with the abundance storage available and the ability to preview then shoot then delete then re-shoot is sort of making me less serious is taking each picture already. Disabling the camera preview and limiting the memory cards with me is two of my way to making me more discipline and serious.
    This is going slightly off track but I'd maintain that any differences are inherently psychological. It's really up to the person whether they wish to enforce that discipline on themselves. For example, I tend to take film less seriously because I lack a certain degree of customization and control over the fine, fine adjustments that one can do much more easily in Photoshop. It's really a matter of perspective, and any discipline imposed depends on the user, not the gear. Certainly an unthinking, unmoving piece of equipment cannot quite compel anyone to do anything!

  10. #30

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by Expat yorkshire View Post
    So how would you deal with the vertical issue when taking this shot ?
    I also would like to know, but am afraid there won't be an answer...

  11. #31
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by Expat yorkshire View Post
    So how would you deal with the vertical issue when taking this shot ?
    The most correct way is to use a spirit level.

    In absence of that, one can always use the grid present in the OVF. Do note that all verticals have to be straight, not just one part of the image. One can zoom in and out (if a zoom lens is used) to gain better sight of different parts of the picture, with greater accuracy and precision. Alternatively, most modern implementations of Live View allow zooming in to check the vertical throughout.

    Failing that, then the last resort is to correct this in PP. If too much vertical perpsective distortion (or keystone effect) is present, then you may lose a significant amount of pixels/resolution.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    The most correct way is to use a spirit level.

    In absence of that, one can always use the grid present in the OVF. Do note that all verticals have to be straight, not just one part of the image. One can zoom in and out (if a zoom lens is used) to gain better sight of different parts of the picture, with greater accuracy and precision. Alternatively, most modern implementations of Live View allow zooming in to check the vertical throughout.

    Failing that, then the last resort is to correct this in PP. If too much vertical perpsective distortion (or keystone effect) is present, then you may lose a significant amount of pixels/resolution.
    Actually, I've always felt that the spirit level is an inaccurate measuring device. I still do use it in conjunction with live view though; that is the closest thing I can do. I'm not sure but my guess is the in-camera digital leveller is more accurate. Sadly mine doesn't have it haha.

    -About the vertical issue in the first shot. I would have selectively masked/underexposed/pp-ed the right buildings out. Since it is an extremely small portion of the shot that shows tell-tale signs of keystone distortion. The MBS and flower and bridge itself are pretty much organic in form and I *personally* feel do not any vertical correction - from this angle anyway.

  13. #33
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Ang View Post
    Actually, I've always felt that the spirit level is an inaccurate measuring device. I still do use it in conjunction with live view though; that is the closest thing I can do. I'm not sure but my guess is the in-camera digital leveller is more accurate. Sadly mine doesn't have it haha.

    -About the vertical issue in the first shot. I would have selectively masked/underexposed/pp-ed the right buildings out. Since it is an extremely small portion of the shot that shows tell-tale signs of keystone distortion. The MBS and flower and bridge itself are pretty much organic in form and I *personally* feel do not any vertical correction - from this angle anyway.
    A proper one is going to be accurate... Of course some of the China made ones that I've used are totally off...

    Actually, the dscussion on digital levellers that I've seem generally seem to indicate that they are also off...

  14. #34

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by Felizitas View Post
    I also would like to know, but am afraid there won't be an answer...
    from my reading correction on vertical perspective can be done via:
    1. post processing (Photoshop has built-in perspective correction tools under "filters" -> "lens correction" -> "custom"
    2. tilt-shift lens

    Keeping your camera leveled guarantees straight verticals but not all the time you can cover the entire frame at leveled angle. For tall buildings you will end up tilting your camera up thus distorting the verticals.
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  15. #35
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrh0413
    Hi Kit,

    Yes I did stay at the same spot from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, used a timer remote to shoot at 2 mins interval. The posted photo was blended with 3 shots to get proper exposure of the ArtScience Museum and to retain the blue skies. To me what seems to be lacking is the contrast between ambient light and artificial lights on my second attempt... the whole picture looks "blue", Helix bridge no longer serves as leading lines as it does not stands out as much as the first attempt.

    I might want to try this spot again, but this time early in early morning. Hopefully the lights stay on through the night.
    I will at times over expose the shot a little to extract more details in the buildings. Then pull back on the highlights when I edit the photos. I do feel that a little highlight clipping at times is fine but you have to make that call. You might not get it the first time round but where's the fun if it's too easy?

  16. #36
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Ang

    Actually, I've always felt that the spirit level is an inaccurate measuring device. I still do use it in conjunction with live view though; that is the closest thing I can do. I'm not sure but my guess is the in-camera digital leveller is more accurate. Sadly mine doesn't have it haha.

    -About the vertical issue in the first shot. I would have selectively masked/underexposed/pp-ed the right buildings out. Since it is an extremely small portion of the shot that shows tell-tale signs of keystone distortion. The MBS and flower and bridge itself are pretty much organic in form and I *personally* feel do not any vertical correction - from this angle anyway.
    I have 2 levellers which I trust a lot and use nothing else. Even so, I make it a point to do a few test shots and review them on the LCD or my iPad. Nothing beats a bit of eye balling around to make sure. I should also add that at times, what appears to be keystone effect could very well be curvilinear distortions. You get this when the straight lines are close to the edges. Curvilinear distortions are usually dealt with in post editing.

    The Helix, MBS and the museum presents issues in more than one way. Like what you rightfully said, keystone effect can be difficult to detect, especially so when it's too close to call. I trust my level lets in this instance.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrh0413

    from my reading correction on vertical perspective can be done via:
    1. post processing (Photoshop has built-in perspective correction tools under "filters" -> "lens correction" -> "custom"
    2. tilt-shift lens

    Keeping your camera leveled guarantees straight verticals but not all the time you can cover the entire frame at leveled angle. For tall buildings you will end up tilting your camera up thus distorting the verticals.
    A typical scene around the Marina Bay area can be quite easily leveled off since you have ample space (sky and water).

  18. #38

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    i'm quite a newbie, just giving my 2 cents...
    i also like the first picture more, think the different lights makes it nicer

    was trying to shoot our beautiful skyline too, but encoutered the same problems, the lotus is just too bright
    probably would need different exposures and blend it / do some HDR stuff as others have suggested
    was thinking that an alternative is that the lotus changes colour around 8pm (think that coincides with the laser show) so it is not so bright, maybe shooting at this time would be better (though I still have to underexpose the image so the highlights are not blown then correct the exposure later on with curves)

    got this link from somewhere else in this forum regarding levelling the horizon, article by dd123 himself
    Confessions of a Sensory Addict: Leveling horizon in complex compositions

    thanks daniel for sharing! and those who contributed, I learnt a lot just from reading =)

  19. #39

    Default Re: Yet another MBS cityscape

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Ang View Post
    Actually, I've always felt that the spirit level is an inaccurate measuring device. I still do use it in conjunction with live view though; that is the closest thing I can do. I'm not sure but my guess is the in-camera digital leveller is more accurate. Sadly mine doesn't have it haha.

    -About the vertical issue in the first shot. I would have selectively masked/underexposed/pp-ed the right buildings out. Since it is an extremely small portion of the shot that shows tell-tale signs of keystone distortion. The MBS and flower and bridge itself are pretty much organic in form and I *personally* feel do not any vertical correction - from this angle anyway.
    I tend to align the vertical edge of the frame with the vertical side of buildings.
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