A Dragon's View


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ping

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#1


Larger version here.

I've recently started going on mini photowalks by myself to improve myself and to get to know my equipment better. This shot was from one of my walks and was taken at Dou Tiang Gong Temple 斗天宫 (map) near the junction of Jalan Bahar and Jurong West Avenue 4.

The temple is very vibrantly coloured and I wanted to capture some of that.

Let me be my first critic: I should have taken the photo earlier in the morning (instead of mid-afternoon). On top of losing a nice blue sky as background, the afternoon sun washed out some of the colours (to compensate for that, I had to adjust the tone curve). The photo is admittedly also rather cliche, but I've got to start somewhere. :)

Any feedback and suggestion is very welcomed. And my thanks in advance for taking the time to critique.
 

nigel84

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#2
as title states that its "a dragon's view" i supposed its better to focus more on the face of the dragon statue instead. This would bring the life from it out. Perhaps you could had shifted yourself to another angle showing the entire body of the dragon as the pheonix at the rear seems rather distracting. "thats for me though :)" And i do agree with your comment on taking the pic earlier in the morning instead of mid afternoon. the light is kinda harsh on the subjects and its pretty difficult to show anything from it.
 

schon

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#3
the frame might be a little too cluttered, but what works for me is that it's shot during dull weather - a bright blue background with clouds or not might make the dragon stand out less, making it less... colourful? i like how the saturated colours of the dragon contrast against the white bg.

vignetting may be considered a technical imperfection to some regarding a lens, but i think it aids in the composition here, pushing the viewer's attention to the dragon and his funky house.

title-wise, a dragon's view should (at least to me) imply what the dragon sees; a view through the dragon's eyes. this is more of a view of the dragon.
 

ping

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#4
I really should go back another day and see how it will turn out in the morning sky.

I forgot to add that the vignetting was added during post-processing, to draw the viewer's eye to subject. The original was a little too stark for my liking due to the white background. A good point about the clutter. I included the phoenix roof sort of as a counter-balance, but I guess it was a little too much.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to feedback. It's much appreciated. :)
 

espion

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#5
a good subject for HDR treatment I think.
 

lkkang

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do you consider a Black and White for this shot ? I can see that there are good lines, curves and tone involved. Color here can be very distracting.. personal opinion. try to get good aperture setting so that the tone of the dragon comes out.. then it will look very mood..
 

ping

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Thanks for all the feedback.

@espion: HDR is an interesting area but not something I'm familiar/comfortable with yet.

@lkkhang: Never thought to do a black-and-white because it was the colours that drew me in the first place. I don't quite get what you mean by "get good aperture setting so that the tone of the dragon comes out" though. Can you explain?

Here's a B/W conversion for what it's worth. :)


Larger version
 

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#8
the pointed part of the roof is kinda distracting in the pic.
focus more of the pic on the dragon.
tones are good, just a little under i think.
i wun worry abt the sky, looks good by itself.

dun really like the b&w version, the temple looks nice and vibrant.
dun kill the effect of it.
 

lkkang

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#9
hi Ping, I am also a new member to CS. I find that the picture is quite distracting, birds underneath the dragon that is cropped, the sun is also cropped. There is a RED ball at the bottom right of the picture, all these are very distracting to me.

The first look at the picture, I do not know to focus on which item , I do not know what you are trying to tell the viewer.. dragon? or the triangle like thing at the right hand side ( without looking at the title of the shot ).

I therefore, suggest that to turn the shot to black n white, and then expose the dragon correctly. Tone down the rest of the objects..so that the eye will lead to the SOI ( subject of interest ).

This is just my personal opinion, you may have your preference... please feel free to write back to me, most welcome.

If I am were to be a little bit more extreme, I will mask away the triangle , birds, sun etc on the right hand side of the picture. The entire picture will be only the dragon and a white background. little drak edges on the corners of the shot is fine.


 

ping

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#10
Hi lkkang:

Thanks for taking the time and effort to give your comments. I think I understand what you're driving at. I do prefer it in colour though, but I agree the excess elements distract from the subject.

If I remember correctly, I was a little constrained by the height and angle to get an uncluttered background, and decided to work in the background elements as best as I could. I think this is a good candidate for a reshoot with all your feedback in mind.

Thanks!
 

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