Cotteslo Sunset


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pwtil

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Mar 30, 2009
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#1


Good day to all fellow photographers. Above is a picture taken at Cottesloe Beach in Perth, WA. As I am very new to photography, I would like to seek professional criticism on this photograph.

In what area is critique to be sought?
  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • Exposure (Is it too underexposed?)
  • Post-Processing
What I hope to achieve with the piece of work?

Basically, I would like to know if I've managed to captivate viewers attention. Either for close scrutiny or just a second glance.

Under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)

This was shot in at around 6:30pm on a lovely spring/summer evening. Spending extended periods at the beach in Cottesloe, unlike Singapore, is a pleasant experience because the sea breeze doesn't cause your face to oil up and your hair to be dry and silty -perhaps due to the dry weather. This pleasurable experience, coupled with the simple serenity of the beach just made me feel calm and I bask in this picturesque utopian moment.

What the I personally thinks of the picture.

Personally, I love this picture but I still believe that there are still improvements to be made. One question I've been asking myself is if I should remove the silhouettes at the bottom of the picture. I brought down the exposure a tad in capture NX just to accentuate the setting sun.

Thanks! :)
 

nysheng

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Sep 11, 2006
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#2
the picture is pretty dull..or rather...flat.

have u tried shooting a HDR? it brings up the shadows as well as the sun.. that way u will have 'even' exposure. ur shot is rather over exposed actually..

i dun have the same feeling as u after seeing this shot unfortunately :( there's not much foreground or background interest
 

pwtil

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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#3
the picture is pretty dull..or rather...flat.

have u tried shooting a HDR? it brings up the shadows as well as the sun.. that way u will have 'even' exposure. ur shot is rather over exposed actually..

i dun have the same feeling as u after seeing this shot unfortunately :( there's not much foreground or background interest
Thank you for your comment! I should try that. Pardon the poor picture, I'm still learning as much as I can!

How would you suggest I PP this -if possible?
 

nysheng

New Member
Sep 11, 2006
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#4
Thank you for your comment! I should try that. Pardon the poor picture, I'm still learning as much as I can!

How would you suggest I PP this -if possible?
a HDR is basically combining 3 exposure into one. usually at -2, 0 and 2. this would give u the highlights without sacrificing the shadows. works best when there's a wide dynamic range such as sunset/sunrise.

it's quite hard to pp this actually..cause there isn't much detail to work with..and u should generally try to do as little pp as possible..:bsmilie:
if u really want to pp this, crop it. place the sun using rule of 3rd. less sky might be better..esp if it isn't interesting.
 

elavan

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Sep 19, 2009
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#5
are the 2 people intended to be in frame? If they are, in this picture they are too insignificant, however I feel they would make an interesting silhouette shot if the picture is framed about them.
 

pwtil

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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#6
are the 2 people intended to be in frame? If they are, in this picture they are too insignificant, however I feel they would make an interesting silhouette shot if the picture is framed about them.
actually they weren't supposed to be in the frame, I contemplated removing them but left them alone in the picture. Probably a better idea to remove them. Thanks for your comment!

Do you think the picture looks better without them?
 

pwtil

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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#7
a HDR is basically combining 3 exposure into one. usually at -2, 0 and 2. this would give u the highlights without sacrificing the shadows. works best when there's a wide dynamic range such as sunset/sunrise.

it's quite hard to pp this actually..cause there isn't much detail to work with..and u should generally try to do as little pp as possible..:bsmilie:
if u really want to pp this, crop it. place the sun using rule of 3rd. less sky might be better..esp if it isn't interesting.
thank you for your prompt reply, I guess I left bracketing out that day because I left my tripod in Singapore! =(

Will bring it along with me next time. *hopeless me.

Thanks mate!
 

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
10,976
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#8
hi, i like the 2 persons in the frame, they contrast nicely with the two ships on the horizon, and help to lead the viewer's gaze into the image. as for post-processing, i suggest warmer colours and less contrast between the sea and the sky so that the image has a more even colour tone. i would also suggest a slightly tighter framing/crop for a more balanced composition.

e.g.
 

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nysheng

New Member
Sep 11, 2006
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#9
hi, i like the 2 persons in the frame, they contrast nicely with the two ships on the horizon, and help to lead the viewer's gaze into the image. as for post-processing, i suggest warmer colours and less contrast between the sea and the sky so that the image has a more even colour tone. i would also suggest a slightly tighter framing/crop for a more balanced composition.
i like that the 2 people in the picture gives a sense of vastness of the ocean.. this is much better..
good job zaren:thumbsup:
 

pwtil

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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#10
hi, i like the 2 persons in the frame, they contrast nicely with the two ships on the horizon, and help to lead the viewer's gaze into the image. as for post-processing, i suggest warmer colours and less contrast between the sea and the sky so that the image has a more even colour tone. i would also suggest a slightly tighter framing/crop for a more balanced composition.

e.g.
Hi zaren, thank you very much for taking the time to edit the photo to show me what it should look like! Indeed it looks way better the way you PP it. It means much to me and I appreciate that!
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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#12
zaren has done a good job in showing what PP can be done to enhance a picture.

now, the problem here with the composition.. yes, i agree with zaren that 2 people --> 2 ships, and inclusion provides something better than just a plain boring sunrise photo.

the result is very graphic, something i like.

my question here is, do you think the space at the top works? if you notice, zaren has cropped off the top. why?

also, do you think the photograph is better with an entire shift down of frame from zaren's cropping, to include just slightly more of the humans? :)
 

#13
When I first see your photo, there are a few things that I think you should take note of.

- Why include the 2 human right at the bottom and "cut" their body?
- There are too much of the sky.

As you're new to photography, I think this is a good try. :thumbsup:
Keep it up, hope to see more photos from you. :D
 

pwtil

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
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#14
zaren has done a good job in showing what PP can be done to enhance a picture.

now, the problem here with the composition.. yes, i agree with zaren that 2 people --> 2 ships, and inclusion provides something better than just a plain boring sunrise photo.

the result is very graphic, something i like.

my question here is, do you think the space at the top works? if you notice, zaren has cropped off the top. why?

also, do you think the photograph is better with an entire shift down of frame from zaren's cropping, to include just slightly more of the humans? :)
Now that zaren has so kindly shown what could be done, I feel that maybe I shouldn't have had the humans as after thought. I was deciding how to frame this and I guess I went guns blazing into something I don't have the slightest clue about.

I think I've a lot to learn, especially framing the shot. I guess I put too much emphasis on the sky? Probably because I see the formation of the clouds and they are just not something I see everyday but coupled with my inexperience, I may have left too much space on the top. I apologise for that. Thanks for teaching me by asking!

When I first see your photo, there are a few things that I think you should take note of.

- Why include the 2 human right at the bottom and "cut" their body?
- There are too much of the sky.

As you're new to photography, I think this is a good try. :thumbsup:
Keep it up, hope to see more photos from you. :D
Hi there shaoken, for the humans, I didn't even think of them whilst framing the shot, when I saw them in my viewfinder, I was like "okay at least that gives the viewer the feeling of vastness" it wasn't a case where I went "okay I want people to see how vast the sea is" So... this, i have to learn.

I humbly agree that there's too much of sky. A point that has been highlighted and I've conveniently 'etched' this in one of the learning checkpoints. Thank you for your encouragement! I've never been an artistic person or had any form of inclination for artistic stuff. Your encouragement means a great deal to an "art idiot" like myself.

Thank you all for your honest critique! Any more would certainly be welcomed!:D
 

Andy Ang

Senior Member
Jan 10, 2006
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Dreamy Nikon Land
#15
For Exposure, what you can do, is just to wait another 15 minutes.
The Sun will be at the horizon, and naturally you will have great lightings. Furthermore, the Sun-over-horizon situation should by itself make a more thoughtful shot.

I believed you are sitting at the higher few level of the ridge taking this picture. Try going down a few level.

Also, can be interesting if you go to the street level and take the Sunset with the people walking alongside the top of the ridge.
Its going to be very very interesting when you see the Sun at the back almost the same size of the peoples' sillhoute.

And not a lot of place are you able to have that kinda situation. And one of it is Cottesloe Beach.
 

pwtil

New Member
Mar 30, 2009
17
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0
#16
For Exposure, what you can do, is just to wait another 15 minutes.
The Sun will be at the horizon, and naturally you will have great lightings. Furthermore, the Sun-over-horizon situation should by itself make a more thoughtful shot.

I believed you are sitting at the higher few level of the ridge taking this picture. Try going down a few level.

Also, can be interesting if you go to the street level and take the Sunset with the people walking alongside the top of the ridge.
Its going to be very very interesting when you see the Sun at the back almost the same size of the peoples' sillhoute.

And not a lot of place are you able to have that kinda situation. And one of it is Cottesloe Beach.
thanks for the reply! Say if I had waited 15mins should I still use the same ev on the picture? This original photo was taken at -0.3 ev

I took this sunset at the carpark facing the sun but wasn't at the beach. Will move down next time with a tripod. Cottesloe beach is one amazing beach.
 

Andy Ang

Senior Member
Jan 10, 2006
2,875
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Dreamy Nikon Land
#17
The Exposure will correct itself as the lighting condition changes. Don't Worry. At -0.3EV generally brings out the colour more. Since we can save an under-exposed photo then an over-exposed one.
 

dingzyangz

Senior Member
May 8, 2008
2,034
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#18
if your intention was to showcase a sunset taken in Perth... then you will have to put a lot more effort in composing. :)

right now, it doesnt show any hint that it was taken overseas.

browse around and shoot more! dont give up! :)
 

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