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Thread: Kyoto Evening

  1. #1

    Default Kyoto Evening

    Hi all! This is my first posting at clubsnap, please give me your comments.

    Shot is taken of a temple around 1 hour before sunset.

    Temple was taken as a dark silhouette so as to contrast with the sun that was hidden behind the clouds, and also to hide the chaotic crowd that was at the temple, giving back the calm, quiet feeling.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    There's a few problems about the picture.
    1. There are no clues regarding its location. Your silhouette is so well done it tells nothing other than a black shape. Include a part of the structure that would give distinct information on what it is.

    2. Boost saturation on the sunset. It looks really dull and not happening right now.

    3. I think you shouldn't restrict yourself by trying to portray something that isn't. Example, it wasn't calm at the temple grounds, it was hectic. So either shoot it as hectic or find a "calm" angle / shoot v.early morning. Going for a silhouette just to hide the crowd is a pretty drastic move which isn't worth it. Only you know what's this photo is about.

    I think it's disappointing too that I'm the only person in 6 days to offer any words. Nonetheless keep shooting and keep posting.

  3. #3
    Member rajahchindian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Singapore, Jurong West

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    well i am not a pro and don't really qualify for a full blown critic.
    either ways this just my 2 cents worth:

    the temple doesn't seem to be your subject matter here.
    it looks as though you were more interested in the clouds.
    maybe you can do a tighter crop to make the temple stand out
    this way we can simply identify which is the main focus in the photograph.

    you can follow the rules of thirds
    in this case: 2-third sky; 1-third land
    i think there's too much sky in this photo.
    maybe you can show more land.

    also maybe you can do some post processing on the sky to make it look like a sunset
    this way the silhouette will stand out as your main subject.

    countinue shooting!
    EOS 7D | EOS 50D | EF50f/1.4 | Flickr |

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    Image is very flat. Have you leveled and applied curves?

    If this was taken in RAW, you could recover some of the details in the silhouette to given a little more context to your photo.

    Also, the sky should be much more dramatic and hinted by the orange tinge and swirling clouds around it.

    Looking at it again, it seems a little tilted to the right to me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    Use PP to boost staturation. If you have raw even better. May be if you can isolate red channel and increase that to have more red.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    Foxtwo: Thank you very much for your first comment, really appreciated it. Ya i guess i shouldn't have tried to fake the calm and quietness when its not. ha

    rajahchindian: You can really read my mind. Yup my main interest was actually the sky. I saw the sun just behind the clouds and i thought it will be a nice shot with the temple main hall in the back as a silhouette, turned out to be quite a disaster, now to think of it. Not enough colours or interesting features.

    aspenx and aryanto: I didn't take the image as a raw. Because i still don't know how to process a raw into jpg. Hmm but i did try to take a few more shots with different exposures in case the exposure was off. I haven't really read much on PS so dont really know how to do levelling and curves yet. But i did tried to use another photo and did some tuning(i did it in Picassa) to make it seem more red.

    From your comments, i think i should have waited a while more for the sun to set further and get a more red and saturated sky, and also should have chosen another more identifiable building instead. And i will think i will go and learn to convert pictures from RAW to other formats.

    Thanks again everybody for giving me your feedback!

    Heres another photo i taken, a landscape with more sky and with temple slightly. I tried to use picassa to make it more red, what do you guys think?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    1) silhouettes work best with good , distinct shape and form. ask yourself, is this achieved here? i only see a mass of buildings with 2 things sticking out. think of how it would be, if instead, you had a distinct shape of a temple, the form will be there, is the shot more interesting?

    2) have you thought about composition here?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    I see what you mean... When i took the shot, i had thought the unique shape of the temple roof would be quite identifiable. Add on to the fact that i already knew it was a temple so maybe that why i thought the silhouette would work. I will look for a better more distinct shape for silhouette next time.

    As for composition, frankly speaking i still can't really do much about that. Most of the time, when i see a certain view i feel it might make a good picture. I usually will be struggling to get the exposure right and not get my photos blur. Can give a few tips for a good composition or recommend some books. Currently I am reading up Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book 1.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    I prefer the 2nd image than the 1st one, because of the better composition.

    As much as I find that both images are bad (it's a critique, so I'll put it bluntly), I have to say that it's not really because of your photography skills, but also because of the weather. Do note that it plays an important aspect in outdoor photography as it determines the lighting and the background (in this case, clouds!). Sans processing via Photoshop or other programmes, the only way you can manage this photograph during the shot is either to overexpose it till the temple becomes well lit (and your sky is just plain white) or do as what you did (skies seen and the temple's just a silhouette).

    The silhouette doesn't look good simply because its outline from this angle isn't interesting. You can improve on this shot by shooting the temple at another angle (I'm thinking of a lower one, so that the edges of the roof is more prominent). Next time spend some time to walk around the subject and see if there's a good angle that works out.

    I'll be honest with you, no one can really teach you composition. It's all about how to perceive things and how you 'arrange' your subjects into the frame to achieve an effect. Certainly things like rule of thirds and etc. can help, but it depends on whether you know when to apply them. All I say is, just practice, and ask what others think of your best shots.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    Thanks Elgaris for the frank answer. I have to admit the image was quite hastily taken and without much thought, so i shouldn't expect too much from it. Now i really like going out to take some pictures, and see if i learnt anything.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    I feel that the clouds were not nice at that time, it would be best if you can take it with nicer clouds and at the time of sunset whereby the sky is orange, right now the sky is little blue and mix with orange which causes a mixed mood and doesn't portray out any feeling. Its like half here, half there, but don't know where.
    If you want to bring out the silhouette, have a little details on the black building structure to create a sense of 'wanting to view more' kinda feeling. And as mentioned above, the composition of the silhouette is too diagonal.

    Ask yourself, which item are you trying to capture viewers' eye? Clouds? Silhouette building?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    I recognise the structure. It's Kiyomizu temple.

    Don't be discouraged. Practice makes perfect! Take more pictures. I miss Kyoto!
    D3 D800 RX-1 X100 E-M5 My flickr

  13. #13

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    Thanks Umeiko! I will go take more pictures!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Kyoto Evening

    too much sky with not much color and too little subject and a bit dark....


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