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Thread: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

  1. #1

    Default Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    1. In what area is critique to be sought?
    Composition : Framing, Cropping alignment etc
    Technique and post-processing

    2. What one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?

    I wanted to capture the scene at the Harbour, with the boats anchored with the sun rising from behind them. It was quite a pretty scene an I wanted to capture it. I knew I could get still waters and with the patchy clouds moving fast, I knew the sky would turn out to be rather streaky and nice.

    3. Under what circumstance is the picture taken?

    Sunrise @ The Reflections at Keppel Harbour. approx 7am
    2 image HDI Blend
    Canon 6D, Tamron 24-70 @24mm, ND400 Hoya HD, ISO 50, f8.
    For the sky and water - 126s
    For the boats - ISO 200, 1/100s

    The sun was coming up fast and I knew I had to get shots off quickly as the light kept changing. And given that my shots were long exposure shots, I was left with even less time. Snapped a few. And manually blended these two after selecting them from a pool.


    4. What the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture.

    I love it. Especially when it was tiny and on the LCD of my camera. I thought it had lotsa potential. But I knew at once some form of DRI was necessary. After seeing a lot of members here in CS take beautiful photos of boats, I wanted to do the same too. Manually blending the parts together is quite a challenge and I appreciate the efforts put in by the others when they do manual blending.

    As always, I am looking to hear from members as to how this photo can be improved. Looking for ward to hearing your opinions and advice to help me grow.

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2

    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    Do you know in Taiwan purist photographic circles, digital manipulation is frowned upon and not
    even considered as true photography.If you submit pic for competition I suspect it will not make
    the shortlist.Why? Because it looks run of the mill.Composition wise there are too many distracting
    elements, which are the boats and which are the buildings,where is the isolation or emphasis? As it's human nature you really need to capture the attention of audience by giving it a different twist as per usual from different perpectives or angles,low or high.I know you will say,"You are not there and don't know what my obstacles are, so on and so forth." True but that's your job,you're the pro and artist.Show me.Your photographic skills is there but what about the eye,the seeing that separates those with just a camera and those that can paint with it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by one eye jack View Post
    Do you know in Taiwan purist photographic circles, digital manipulation is frowned upon and not
    even considered as true photography.If you submit pic for competition I suspect it will not make
    the shortlist.Why? Because it looks run of the mill.Composition wise there are too many distracting
    elements, which are the boats and which are the buildings,where is the isolation or emphasis? As it's human nature you really need to capture the attention of audience by giving it a different twist as per usual from different perpectives or angles,low or high.I know you will say,"You are not there and don't know what my obstacles are, so on and so forth." True but that's your job,you're the pro and artist.Show me.Your photographic skills is there but what about the eye,the seeing that separates those with just a camera and those that can paint with it.

    Hi there oneeyejack,

    Thanks for dropping by with the comments.

    -Digital manipulation : Do you mean in teams of exposure blending? Or in terms of other post-processing such as pushing contrast, saturation adjusting colour balance and so on?
    If the issue is with the digital manipulation, then I really don't know how to take a single shot of a scene like this with a dynamic range that is larger than what my camera can handle. Cos if I expose correctly for one, thee other goes too dark or too bright. Or is there some other way or technique that I am missing? Please advise.
    As for other aspects of digital manipulation, I shoot in Faithful scene mode (0,0,0,0,0) So everything is as is. I return home to push the sliders a little bit to increase the sharpness and contrast and saturation a little more to bring out the colours.

    As for the compostion:
    I have to agree that there are many pieces of distractions. The buildings and the bride on the right. I was assuming that if I brightened up the main area of focus (the boats) then I could draw the viewer's eyes to the boat more than to the other regions of distractions. But from your response, I figure that that did not work for you. Is that right?

    If you were me, would you attempt a tighter cropping to keep the focus on the main subjects? Or would you abandon this angle and look for a totally different one? Do share!

    Thanks for the thought-provoking insights. It has set me thinking.

    Hope to hear from you and others as well!

    Cheers!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanSelvaraju View Post
    Hi there oneeyejack,

    Thanks for dropping by with the comments.

    -Digital manipulation : Do you mean in teams of exposure blending? Or in terms of other post-processing such as pushing contrast, saturation adjusting colour balance and so on?
    If the issue is with the digital manipulation, then I really don't know how to take a single shot of a scene like this with a dynamic range that is larger than what my camera can handle. Cos if I expose correctly for one, thee other goes too dark or too bright. Or is there some other way or technique that I am missing? Please advise.
    As for other aspects of digital manipulation, I shoot in Faithful scene mode (0,0,0,0,0) So everything is as is. I return home to push the sliders a little bit to increase the sharpness and contrast and saturation a little more to bring out the colours.
    Yes exposure blending.I was only saying in passing however if you are more familiar with this method
    I would suggest carrying on because it's become intuitive for you. Then again the Taiwanese prefer
    the macho way of Black card photography for high dynamic range. Just waving a black card in front of lens.

    http://hanjies.blogspot.sg/2009/10/b...hy-part-i.html

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anthony...7104/comments/

    Or use HDR software. These are free but Photomatix or some other NIK are pioneers.
    Method: take 3 or more frames with bracketing from minus(underexpose),normal(correct exposure by meter) and plus(overexpose) by one stop to two.Can have fractional stop which mean more frames.

    PS You can try the HDR mode provided in your camera. But output will be jpeg whereas
    with HDR software you process in raw and can redo as many times as you wish with various settings if you don't like the results.

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...r-software.htm

    As for the compostion:
    I have to agree that there are many pieces of distractions. The buildings and the bridge on the right. I was assuming that if I brightened up the main area of focus (the boats) then I could draw the viewer's eyes to the boat more than to the other regions of distractions. But from your response, I figure that that did not work for you. Is that right?
    Yes.

    If you were me, would you attempt a tighter cropping to keep the focus on the main subjects? Or would you abandon this angle and look for a totally different one? Do share!

    Thanks for the thought-provoking insights. It has set me thinking.

    Hope to hear from you and others as well!

    Cheers!
    I would look for a better or an interesting angle.
    Last edited by one eye jack; 27th March 2014 at 01:03 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    can try jazzing up the colours for a "sunset" shot...
    you can buy better gear but you can't buy a better eye

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by one eye jack View Post

    Yes exposure blending.I was only saying in passing however if you are more familiar with this method
    I would suggest carrying on because it's become intuitive for you. Then again the Taiwanese prefer
    the macho way of Black card photography for high dynamic range. Just waving a black card in front of lens.

    http://hanjies.blogspot.sg/2009/10/b...hy-part-i.html

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anthony...7104/comments/

    Or use HDR software. These are free but Photomatix or some other NIK are pioneers.
    Method: take 3 or more frames with bracketing from minus(underexpose),normal(correct exposure by meter) and plus(overexpose) by one stop to two.Can have fractional stop which mean more frames.

    PS You can try the HDR mode provided in your camera. But output will be jpeg whereas
    with HDR software you process in raw and can redo as many times as you wish with various settings if you don't like the results.

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...r-software.htm

    Yes.

    I would look for a better or an interesting angle.
    Hi again one eye jack.

    Thank you so much for replying and furnishing me with the links.

    I have read up on the black card technique and I shall use it in one of my future shoots. Especially if the horizon line is clear and not interrupted by my foreground objects. I feel that using the black card in the above situation would result in part of the boats being underexposed as well. But then again, I haven't tried it and I shall comment after doing so.

    Oh yeah, I have Photomatix. I prefer it a lot more than the in camera HDR cos I have more control. But I'm very new at it and it'll take me some more time to explore.

    You are right about the different perspective. I shall keep that in mind when I revisit the site another day

    Thanks again for putting in so much effort in the replies.

    I appreciate it!

    Cheers!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zaren View Post
    can try jazzing up the colours for a "sunset" shot...
    Hi Zaren. Always a pleasure seeing your version of the shots. Pushing up the colours does make the image more vibrant and energetic!

    I was actually torn between doing that and trying to preserve as much as possible what I actually saw.

    Nice take Zaren. Appreciate the interpretation.

    Cheers!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by one eye jack View Post
    Yes exposure blending.I was only saying in passing however if you are more familiar with this method
    I would suggest carrying on because it's become intuitive for you. Then again the Taiwanese prefer
    the macho way of Black card photography for high dynamic range. Just waving a black card in front of lens.

    http://hanjies.blogspot.sg/2009/10/b...hy-part-i.html

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anthony...7104/comments/

    Or use HDR software. These are free but Photomatix or some other NIK are pioneers.
    Method: take 3 or more frames with bracketing from minus(underexpose),normal(correct exposure by meter) and plus(overexpose) by one stop to two.Can have fractional stop which mean more frames.

    PS You can try the HDR mode provided in your camera. But output will be jpeg whereas
    with HDR software you process in raw and can redo as many times as you wish with various settings if you don't like the results.

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...r-software.htm



    Yes.



    I would look for a better or an interesting angle.

    dont understand how you can suggest purist mindsets like "digital manipulation is frowned upon" but,

    firstly you failed to recognise that this is singapore, and not taiwan,
    secondly black carded does not equal NO post processing involved (you might be shocked to see in cam results of black carding w/o editing)
    thirdly digital retouch is NOT digital manipulation (where people add dinosaurs and godzillas into the photo)
    and lastly HDR software is a much lousier option that requires zero understanding of light for usage, and i cannot comprehend how it can be better

    if you want to give advices, then maybe its best to point people to the right direction, instead of making people more confused.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks Shiosaki for dropping by with the clarifications! Appreciate it.
    Last edited by NormanSelvaraju; 27th March 2014 at 04:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator nitewalk's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shiosaki View Post
    dont understand how you can suggest purist mindsets like "digital manipulation is frowned upon" but, firstly you failed to recognise that this is singapore, and not taiwan, secondly black carded does not equal NO post processing involved (you might be shocked to see in cam results of black carding w/o editing) thirdly digital retouch is NOT digital manipulation (where people add dinosaurs and godzillas into the photo) and lastly HDR software is a much lousier option that requires zero understanding of light for usage, and i cannot comprehend how it can be better if you want to give advices, then maybe its best to point people to the right direction, instead of making people more confused.
    Lol at the contradiction.

  11. #11
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    In the end, only the image matters.

    For photo competitions, just enter the photos that are allowable by the rules.

    I do not see anything wrong with using manual blending. HDR is blending as well. If photo manipulation is not allowed, I doubt multiple image HDR is allowed as well.

    As for the image critique, Norman, boats in harbor is one of the hardest to shoot, because you need to deal with a lot of elements in the picture and it can get really busy. Your effort is a good one. I would suggest moving around more to find a composition that is more favorable.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 28th March 2014 at 10:53 PM.

  12. #12

    Default

    Thanks Daredevil123 for the clarifications on the HDR and blended images.

    And more importantly, thanks for re-affirming my efforts. It means a lot coming from you. Shall certainly look around for different angles that will provide a more meaningful interpretation.

    Thanks for dropping by with the comments!

  13. #13
    Senior Member alwaysjerricky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    Composition wise I think this picture is great but maybe a little too tight
    Do not agree with one eye jack that we shouldn't use "digital manipulation" or somewhere along the lines of it. PP is part of photography as well.

    Btw, I think the boats are shaking that's why you can't take a single raw exposure if not the boats will appear shaky right? Did you take a pic for the boats and another for the water so you can blend them? If that's the case I think you deserve commendation because the blending part seems tedious.

    As of the colours, Zaren's version is awesome as well but yours can be said as the "subtle" version. Both are nice, just up to personal preferences.

    And maybe you can share a bigger picture next time on CS? Cos it seems a little small only when I click the picture and the larger Flickr version came out then it was more pleasing to the eye

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysjerricky View Post
    Composition wise I think this picture is great but maybe a little too tight
    Do not agree with one eye jack that we shouldn't use "digital manipulation" or somewhere along the lines of it. PP is part of photography as well.

    Btw, I think the boats are shaking that's why you can't take a single raw exposure if not the boats will appear shaky right? Did you take a pic for the boats and another for the water so you can blend them? If that's the case I think you deserve commendation because the blending part seems tedious.

    As of the colours, Zaren's version is awesome as well but yours can be said as the "subtle" version. Both are nice, just up to personal preferences.

    And maybe you can share a bigger picture next time on CS? Cos it seems a little small only when I click the picture and the larger Flickr version came out then it was more pleasing to the eye
    Hi jerrick, thanks for dropping by.
    Composition is quite a big struggle for me. It takes me a little longer to usually see or visualize the frame. I'm glad that this perspective works for you.

    Yup. I too have been wondering how else this photo could have been produced wo digital manipulation but I can't seem to find the answer. For the moment I am happy with digital blending for increased dynamic range.

    Yeah, you are right. I took shot of the boats(1/100) and another of the water and sky at 126s. Needless to say, the boats had ghosting during the long exposure. I needed to rectify that during the blending. Not only that, I wanted to execute two shots cos I wanted to increase the dynamic range of the photo so that the boats can be brighter than when using a single long exposure shot metered for the sky and the waters.

    The blending part was quite tedious especially the alignment. That was quite a struggle as I knew I had to along the two images as closely as possible or I would get parts of the boats severely misaligned since they kept moving throughout the shot.

    Noted the suggestion about posting a bigger image. Shall keep it in mind. I fuss since I'm always logged onto CS via phone, I didn't really consider the PC users. Thanks for the pointer!

    Regards
    Norman.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    don't understand where the the whole taiwan photography purist yadayada came about.

    digital manipulation seemed too strong a word to be used on exposure blending, digital enhancement sounded more appropriate.

    and yes, automated HDR software usually gives out of the world results if the user does not know what he/she is dealing with.

    of cause when used correctly HDR software can provide decent output too.

    the more i read, the more confused i got.

  16. #16
    Senior Member alwaysjerricky's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanSelvaraju View Post
    Hi jerrick, thanks for dropping by. Composition is quite a big struggle for me. It takes me a little longer to usually see or visualize the frame. I'm glad that this perspective works for you. Yup. I too have been wondering how else this photo could have been produced wo digital manipulation but I can't seem to find the answer. For the moment I am happy with digital blending for increased dynamic range. Yeah, you are right. I took shot of the boats(1/100) and another of the water and sky at 126s. Needless to say, the boats had ghosting during the long exposure. I needed to rectify that during the blending. Not only that, I wanted to execute two shots cos I wanted to increase the dynamic range of the photo so that the boats can be brighter than when using a single long exposure shot metered for the sky and the waters. The blending part was quite tedious especially the alignment. That was quite a struggle as I knew I had to along the two images as closely as possible or I would get parts of the boats severely misaligned since they kept moving throughout the shot. Noted the suggestion about posting a bigger image. Shall keep it in mind. I fuss since I'm always logged onto CS via phone, I didn't really consider the PC users. Thanks for the pointer! Regards Norman.
    Wow the more you describe the more tedious it seems haha! Keep up the good work!

  17. #17

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    Tedious it may be, but certainly satisfying I must say!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Override2Zion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    In the end, only the image matters.

    For photo competitions, just enter the photos that are allowable by the rules.

    I do not see anything wrong with using manual blending. HDR is blending as well. If photo manipulation is not allowed, I doubt multiple image HDR is allowed as well.

    As for the image critique, Norman, boats in harbor is one of the hardest to shoot, because you need to deal with a lot of elements in the picture and it can get really busy. Your effort is a good one. I would suggest moving around more to find a composition that is more favorable.
    I agree with this. Nothing wrong with HDR or any form of digital manipulation. It really depends on the purpose. If its for competitions, probably not accepted. There is no such thing as a "pure" digital image. The fact that an image is derived from the bayer interpolation with the channels aligned to provide desired white balance, the image is already the result of some form of manipulation. Not to mention picture modes offered in-camera.

    As for the image, I prefer a wider view, including the whole of the suspension bridge in the background. Tone down a bit on the artificial bokeh that you added on the boats, the mast on top are a dead giveaway since the DOF doesn't match well. Nice shot though
    Nikon D200/D700/D800 User :)
    [www.PositiveStudioProductions.com]

  19. #19

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    Hi Override2zion


    Thanks for dropping by with the comments. After much thought and consideration, I too have come to a conclusion about the "extent" of acceptable post processing. Unless someone shoots in raw only and produces images that are strictly raw, there is some amount of processing done. Be it the in camera processing to convert to jpg or, like you said, the diff scene modes. All this is a result of post processing. So in a nutshell, I think it's fine to post process. And after much reflection I think the blending that I did here was necessary to achieve what I wanted. Thanks for sharing my views.

    As for the image, your opinion is valued. I'm struggling with the framing/composition of my shots. And I'll certainly pay heed to your suggestion to go wider and include the bridge. That is quite an interesting suggestion.

    As for the "artificial bokeh", that is the result of the blending of the two different exposures. The bottom part of the mast is from the faster shutter speed image that has the boats in a sharp and crisp manner. The top part of the mast is from the longer exposure shot. Since the boats move ever so slightly, the two shots when take slightly apart result in a shifting in position. I don't think it's be obvious. But now that you've mentioned it, I shall consider reworking the processing. (Though I'm really wonder how I can do that. )

    Thanks again. Your critique on the image has gotten me thinking.

    Cheers and thanks for stopping by.

  20. #20
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harbour @ Keppel Reflections

    Bro, like I always say, Post processing is part of the image making workflow. The issue here is where to strike the balance, because the tools available to us nowadays allow us to do too much. In the end, everyone has to find their own point of balance, and their own style. And that comes a lot with experience also, because as we mature more in our photography, our eye also changes, and what we deemed as acceptable or not also changes.

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