Punggol Beach


NormanSelvaraju

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2012
894
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Singapore
1.in what area is critique to be sought?

In all areas :

Technique / Composition / Processing

Info:

Canon 6D. 24-70mm at 24mm f/14 with B+W 10 stop filter
2 shot manual exposure blend in photoshop after colour correction. (91 sec and 60 sec)

Processing : Blended the exposures of the two images. tweaked the hues and saturation. Removed some of the debris in the water that disrupted the visual flow
Accentuated the blues (on the right of the image and yellows on the left of the image)


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

I wanted to capture the pretty colours of the sunset along with the stillness of the water. I was hoping to get more of a fog-like effect. But I don't think I achieved that too well (Inspiration from Stefan's works that I remember seeing some years back on Clubsnap)
No deep thoughts/inspiration. I just wanted to make a nice photo that I can print out for my wall.

3.under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)

No deep thoughts/inspiration. I just wanted to make a nice photo that I can print out for my wall.


4.what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture

Strengths :
Colours. sharpness. The presences of two colour tones.
First time doing more than just colour correction for landscape photos and manipulating it more than usual in Photoshop.

Areas for Improvement:
The cloud shape isn't so nice. I should fill up the gap on the top left. Make it a whole cloud.
The band of bright orange is a little unsettling.
I could have processed the blue hues more and made it richer. I think I held back too much, for fear of overdoing it.


Thanks and cheers!

 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
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Hi Norman, ask yourself if you are a graphic artist or photographer. If it's the latter than go back to punggol beach and try again.It's like wooing a girl, you have got to have persistance and who knows mother nature may just show you her best side. :) Hope this helps.
 

NormanSelvaraju

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2012
894
9
18
Singapore
Hi OEJ,

Thanks for dropping by to comment!

But could you elaborate?
 

NormanSelvaraju

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2012
894
9
18
Singapore
Elaborate on the returning back to shoot and the purpose.

Not the wooing of the girl.
 

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
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Hi Norman, the scene looks rather underexposed and bland. Perhaps you saw more beautiful light and colours then, but it’s not captured well in the photo. If you like I can PM an edited version of your image for discussion. Cheers.
 

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one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
998
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28
Elaborate on the returning back to shoot and the purpose.

Not the wooing of the girl.
What I mean is you can do fantastic things with photoshop but that's not the way a photographer create a photo in so far as adding elements that are already in the scene,for instance you can paste in a completely different sky from another photo to spice it up.

As far as landscape photographer go they will usually go back and shoot hoping the conditions might be better than the last outing.Sometimes there is an element of luck or they know at certain times the same scene can be stunning..a case of perseverance?
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,425
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4.what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture

Strengths :
Colours. sharpness. The presences of two colour tones.
First time doing more than just colour correction for landscape photos and manipulating it more than usual in Photoshop.

Areas for Improvement:
The cloud shape isn't so nice. I should fill up the gap on the top left. Make it a whole cloud.
The band of bright orange is a little unsettling.
I could have processed the blue hues more and made it richer. I think I held back too much, for fear of overdoing it.


Thanks and cheers!
Nicely taken and rather naturally processed image.

I agree that the top blown cloud area is distracting. I took the liberty to edit your photograph a bit, let me know to take it down if you prefer.


I cropped off the top and right, and brightened the shadows a bit. The foreground rocks looks underexposed here, but when I looked at your bigger version on flickr actually it looks ok. Probabaly because of the small size here it's harder to discern the details in the rocks. You don't really have to stick to the rule of thirds strictly if the composition allows for it.

If I want to nitpick I would say I feel like looking to the left a bit more because the colours in the sky there looks nicer. So maybe positioning more to the right and turning your camera a bit more to the left, with the rocks and shoreline leading to the sunset colours, would help. I'm guessing you took this towards the end of the year, so the sun position is more southwards (leftwards for this photograph). So you might need to adjust your composition a bit depending on the time of the year and how you want to use the foreground rocks to your advantage.

Processing wise it is a personal choice. You could process more, and make a dull sunset spectacular, which may be justified if you have the tools and have no chance to go back again. Or you can do it more naturally, such that when viewers see it, they won't think that you did much processing

Thanks for sharing :)
 

NormanSelvaraju

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2012
894
9
18
Singapore
Hi Norman, the scene looks rather underexposed and bland. Perhaps you saw more beautiful light and colours then, but it’s not captured well in the photo. If you like I can PM an edited version of your image for discussion. Cheers.
Hi Zaren!

Thanks for the comments. Sure do let me know your interpretation! You can post it here too so more of us can pick up pointers!
 

NormanSelvaraju

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2012
894
9
18
Singapore
Nicely taken and rather naturally processed image.

I agree that the top blown cloud area is distracting. I took the liberty to edit your photograph a bit, let me know to take it down if you prefer.


I cropped off the top and right, and brightened the shadows a bit. The foreground rocks looks underexposed here, but when I looked at your bigger version on flickr actually it looks ok. Probabaly because of the small size here it's harder to discern the details in the rocks. You don't really have to stick to the rule of thirds strictly if the composition allows for it.

If I want to nitpick I would say I feel like looking to the left a bit more because the colours in the sky there looks nicer. So maybe positioning more to the right and turning your camera a bit more to the left, with the rocks and shoreline leading to the sunset colours, would help. I'm guessing you took this towards the end of the year, so the sun position is more southwards (leftwards for this photograph). So you might need to adjust your composition a bit depending on the time of the year and how you want to use the foreground rocks to your advantage.

Processing wise it is a personal choice. You could process more, and make a dull sunset spectacular, which may be justified if you have the tools and have no chance to go back again. Or you can do it more naturally, such that when viewers see it, they won't think that you did much processing

Thanks for sharing :)
Thanks thoongeng...

This was as far left as I could go. Cs anymore and I'd include the jogging path on the left and the workers dorm? in the far left corner.

But I do understand your recommendation to shift the view to the left.

As this was a manual merge of 2 images including one of a nicely exposed foreground, I could have increased the exposure greatly. But I was trying to find a balance between the pulling more details from the shadows and also leaving it a little dark. I see your interpretation and the value there is in pulling more detail from the shadows. I should have explored it a little more. Thanks man!
 

NormanSelvaraju

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2012
894
9
18
Singapore
What I mean is you can do fantastic things with photoshop but that's not the way a photographer create a photo in so far as adding elements that are already in the scene,for instance you can paste in a completely different sky from another photo to spice it up.

As far as landscape photographer go they will usually go back and shoot hoping the conditions might be better than the last outing.Sometimes there is an element of luck or they know at certain times the same scene can be stunning..a case of perseverance?
Ah.. I see Thanks for the clarification. Well, I'm not so picky on preserving the natural look. I'm more interested in getting/making a good-looking photo as the final product. To achieve that, I tend to process the photos to result in an image to my liking, even if it is vastly different from what my eye captures or even if I have to clone in/out parts. So I guess by your definition, I'm not a real landscape photographer.

So yeah, do let me know if you have any other suggestions on making this image nicer, from your point of view.

Cheers!
 

zaren

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
11,034
42
48
Hi Zaren!

Thanks for the comments. Sure do let me know your interpretation! You can post it here too so more of us can pick up pointers!
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,425
50
48
Thanks thoongeng...

This was as far left as I could go. Cs anymore and I'd include the jogging path on the left and the workers dorm? in the far left corner.

But I do understand your recommendation to shift the view to the left.

As this was a manual merge of 2 images including one of a nicely exposed foreground, I could have increased the exposure greatly. But I was trying to find a balance between the pulling more details from the shadows and also leaving it a little dark. I see your interpretation and the value there is in pulling more detail from the shadows. I should have explored it a little more. Thanks man!
Understand. Though it was quite some time ago I last shot at this area, I remember the sun was too much to the left when I shot it at the end of the year that time. So the suggestion to revisit again when the sun sets more northwards so that you can avoid the clutter on the left side. You can use the various smartphone apps or this (app.photoephemeris.com) to find out the sun position.

Regarding the foreground details, I think also depends on the viewing medium. As your shot in flickr is bigger, I can still see the details, however here in small size it looks like it's just a mass of black. I think it's ok to leave them a bit dark so they are a secondary interest rather than the main focus which I assumed to be the sky. So sometimes I do a bit of further editing, if after exporting I find that the feel of the small size image is different.

And I wouldn't stick too much to definitions of what constitutes what kind of photographer. At the end of the day to me it's just a hobby, it's supposed to make me happy. If me (plus minus the intended audience) enjoy the output, I'm happy. So just enjoy... unless you're shooting for others then that's another matter ;)
 

NormanSelvaraju

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2012
894
9
18
Singapore
Understand. Though it was quite some time ago I last shot at this area, I remember the sun was too much to the left when I shot it at the end of the year that time. So the suggestion to revisit again when the sun sets more northwards so that you can avoid the clutter on the left side. You can use the various smartphone apps or this (app.photoephemeris.com) to find out the sun position.

Regarding the foreground details, I think also depends on the viewing medium. As your shot in flickr is bigger, I can still see the details, however here in small size it looks like it's just a mass of black. I think it's ok to leave them a bit dark so they are a secondary interest rather than the main focus which I assumed to be the sky. So sometimes I do a bit of further editing, if after exporting I find that the feel of the small size image is different.

And I wouldn't stick too much to definitions of what constitutes what kind of photographer. At the end of the day to me it's just a hobby, it's supposed to make me happy. If me (plus minus the intended audience) enjoy the output, I'm happy. So just enjoy... unless you're shooting for others then that's another matter ;)
Ah Yes. Must keep in mind that the sun's position changes throughout the year.

And sure, I don't have any issues with having or not having labels.More interested in exploring how the photos can look better.

Thanks again!
 

Mythmaker

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2011
1,161
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48
Singapore
The main problem with the image is that it lacks a vision or interpretation. When the only reason you process it this way is to "make a nice looking picture", it is pretty much set up for failure. The vision may not be there when you are shooting it, but it must be there before you start processing it.

Photographers are light painters, storytellers. What is the story you are trying to tell in this image? Is the rocks in the foreground the main lead? Or is the sky the main lead and the rocks are there as a witness? Or is it something as abstract as time? Once the lead and supporting cast is established, the processing of the brightness comes into play. Remember the human eye always focus on the brightest part of the photo first. Here, the composition blah blah blah matters alot (leading line, whatever) so make sure you do it right at the shooting phrase. Once you get your brightness down, you are halfway there. The result might not be natural (e.g rocks brighter than the sky) and breaks a few stupid rules (e.g reflection should never be brighter than the sky), but there will be a flow, a story.

The second half of the processing would test your color theory. Which colors merge well with which colors? Then adjust the hue and sat accordingly, resulting in a 2 tone image. Remove colors and distractions that are there; whatever is not helping your story is harming it.

Without a vision or a story, the best end state you can reach is just postcard images. There's plenty of those around, just download it from the web. What people are interested in seeing is how you see it.

If you are trying out to look like Stefen's, then you need to brighten your image, mute the colors (esp for the rocks; his rocks are almost always gray), and work on the sharpening skills.
 

Last edited:

denniskee

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Oct 26, 2003
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I feel there is lack of subject / focus in the composition. I see ur intention to smooth out the water. May i suggest :

crop away the farground of sky, land n ships. leaving only the water n rocks until like the image split diagonally across, like ying (water) n yang (rocks)
brighten the nearer rocks but not those further away.
maybe can try long exposure with wave splashing on the rocks.
 

kynoe

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Oct 23, 2006
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perhaps the angle can go a bit lower and exposure 60 sec is too long .... you could catch more wave action and the result could be more interesting