Newbie Shot at Zhong Shan Park


Jan 26, 2014
135
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Singapore
#1
Hey guys, I'm really new to photography; only a couple of months old haha. Really hope to get some comments and critiques from you about this photo. I tried learning about Lightroom 5 on Youtube and have given it a try on my photos. This photo was taken at Zhong Shan Park (at Balestier) at night. I was walking back home after work hoping to grab a nice shot of the streets when I came across the park and felt that the light atmosphere was really nice. I just wanted to bring that out in the photo.

I really hope you guys can help me out on the following:
1. How is the composition? (I'm really struggling with this as I don't usually find myself an intuitive person when it comes to creation. I usually try to follow the rules, but in this case, I went with my gut feel and not sure if that turned out alright)
2. Did I overdo it on Lightroom?
3. What else could I do to make it better?



Cheers guys!

BTW, I can take harsh criticisms, so shoot away if necessary :cool:
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
844
18
18
#2
Welcome.

I'm not familiar with this place so I can't give any constructive comments in terms of visual elements for composition.You can ask yourself what do you want the audience to see in this picture.Do you think the lines,shapes,edges form a pleasing picture? Most people see with their left or logical brain but are not taught
to see with their right brain which is the artistic side.You can learn to "see" in this book: Photography - The art of composition Bert Krages.

http://www.amazon.com/Photography-The-Composition-Bert-Krages/dp/1581154097

I just feel there are too may details and don't know where to focus my eyes on.The book should help you much
and there are excercises to do and train your right brain to see.Psst,psst can find pdf?
 

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shiosaki

Senior Member
May 16, 2012
834
33
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#3
i see no subject in the photo. i dont know what i should look at. simply put, there is no composition
this shot may be categorised more as a snap shot kind of photo, to me
and, i think if you are serious about taking night shots, maybe a tripod could be useful

processing is a secondary skill, to me. its like learning how to cycle a bike, learn it once, you can cycle anywhere on any kind of roads. get used to cycling and it becomes a breeze. but composition is what a photo essentially is. so, i would say put down the processing bit first, and start thinking of what you really want to show in your photos.

just what i think, and i hope it helps.
 

Jan 26, 2014
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33
Singapore
#5
Thanks people. Yes, I think I see a common point of view from everyone, which is also the topic I find the hardest to come to terms with or to understand: composition. My intention was to simply capture the light atmosphere of this place and it was the whole place I wanted to capture. In this situation, could you advise me on how I could better compose this shot? Should I capture the whole place by focusing on one main building in the pic? Please advise~ :)
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#6
a photo is just like a story book, your photo need to have a clear topic, nobody will want to read a book has not story.

so what is the story of this photo?
you need to decide what elements to emphasis, and following by removng all the distraction elements, you doing so by using composition.
put your subject at the prominent placement, either bigger, or using leading lines, or colors, or in highlight, or on golden intersections etc. not to include any distracting elements into the frames.
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
844
18
18
#8
Thanks people. Yes, I think I see a common point of view from everyone, which is also the topic I find the hardest to come to terms with or to understand: composition. My intention was to simply capture the light atmosphere of this place and it was the whole place I wanted to capture. In this situation, could you advise me on how I could better compose this shot? Should I capture the whole place by focusing on one main building in the pic? Please advise~ :)
This is a landscaped park in an urban setting so not much natural scenery apart from the plants
and trees.A better way to present such a picture is to show people enjoying the park or the activity
going on like what people are doing inside or outside the building.It depends on what feature you want to highlight, example the reflecting pool,plants and rocks,texture of wooden floor etc.If you shoot from street side (far end ) you won't see the water,maybe a higher angle/overhead/bird's eye view?

Putting it simply for composition there are three elements in a picture,foreground,main subject
and background.If you use the one third rule to divide these three elements your composition
will look pleasing most of the time. The eye and brain will tend to correlate this and make sense
of it aesthetically (beauty) but there is no hard and fast rules.:)

Try not to have a brown night sky, it looks dirty.The best time is just after sunset or when the sky is not yet dark/black so you see blue but then the lights may not be fully turned on so you need
to survey before shooting or unless you cheat by taking two shots.One exterior during the golden twilight hour and one when the interiors are fully lit and blend the two photos but this requires a tripod and good registration between the two pictures.
 

Jan 26, 2014
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Singapore
#9
Thanks guys for the comments. I will head back to the park one of these days when I'm not working and try again keeping your comments in mind. Thanks!
 

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
10,975
33
48
#10
too many things happening in the photo....perhaps it might work better as a postcard?
 

Jan 26, 2014
135
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33
Singapore
#11
Haha. At least it is not good for nothing. Anyways, I think I understand everyone's advice and appreciated and enjoyed the comments. Cheers! :)
 

paulboh87

New Member
Dec 23, 2012
107
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singapore
#12
i would use a tighter shot, walk around until you get a clear shot of just the water and the old looking building with that spire. skip the trees, bushes and the other building
 

Aug 14, 2012
435
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west coast
#14
I actually like the composition of the photograph.

I was attracted to the eiffel tower like structure at the background the moment i lay eyes on the photograph.

Every element in the photograph seems to lead to it.

The benches and the edge of the pond has straight lines leading to it.
The lamp in the foreground, the rectangle patch of hedge, the guy standing there and the lighted building all leading to the glowing tower in the background. (which incidentally is almost at the one third grid).
Even the sky leads down to it.
And finally the vegetations in the foreground and at the sides frame the scene.

The guy standing in the middle of all this lends an interesting feel to the scene. It felt like you were right there in the picture.

I would title it "Finding Eiffel".

Consider my feedback as an audience rather than a photographer.
 

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one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
844
18
18
#15
I actually like the composition of the photograph.

I was attracted to the eiffel tower like structure at the background the moment i lay eyes on the photograph.

Every element in the photograph seems to lead to it.

The benches and the edge of the pond has straight lines leading to it.
The lamp in the foreground, the rectangle patch of hedge, the guy standing there and the lighted building all leading to the glowing tower in the background. (which incidentally is almost at the one third grid).
Even the sky leads down to it.
And finally the vegetations in the foreground and at the sides frame the scene.

The guy standing in the middle of all this lends an interesting feel to the scene. It felt like you were right there in the picture.

I would title it "Finding Eiffel".

Consider my feedback as an audience rather than a photographer.
Yes you are right, angular lines lead the eye but this is an unintended effect. Photographer wanted to highlight the park but it seems to draw viewers away! Picture has 3D pop out because of sharp focus and contrast but the foreground is blurred. For landscape you try to get everything sharp.
Auto focus has locked on to the man or bushes in reflecting pool. Given the lighting one may need to up the ISO to get smaller aperture for greater depth of field ( DOF ) of foreground which also depends on how wide is the lens.Or he may try pre focus method ( hyper focal).
 

weewee98

New Member
May 15, 2012
43
0
0
#16
I agree all the above view. I think to make this photo better, I will crop the photo and take away the stone as show below. Thank you. :D

 

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one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
844
18
18
#17
I agree all the above view. I think to make this photo better, I will crop the photo and take away the stone as show below. Thank you. :D

Good work. Now the eye stay in the park proper. Notice the parts of the picture can be apportioned
into thirds of the frame? Can't go wrong with that.:)
 

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Amuffin

New Member
Apr 21, 2013
10
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0
Singapore
#19
Hm, this is my first time attempting a critique, so please do bear with any misjudgements which I made.

Since everyone already covered majority of the photo, maybe I will just point out that I noticed that your image isnt really clean, it looks like you have been using a high ISO, hence the very little dynamic range in the photo. Using a tripod will help a lot in this situation, and produce smoother tones and colors!
 

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