Rising above all


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Cowripper

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Jul 4, 2005
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#1
Hi guys! Just a couple of days ago, as i was getting out of the house and walking to the lift, I noticed how brightly the sun was shining. The tower of one of the condominiums close to my house was lit up very brightly compared to those at my estate, which were quite shadowed. The scene looked very nice at that point because the tower really stood out. I couldn't help but rush back to my house to get my camera. I took about four shots and this was the best one out of the lot:



I'm new into photography and haven't got my hands on a DSLR yet. But I have been reading up. And I wanna see if its paying off. Okay... The main focus of this picture is of course the tallest standing building. The picture was composed like that because I thought that the building structures at both the left, right and bottom extremes could be used for framing, and also to make the building stand out more from the contrast in lighting. That was why I had to zoom out wide to include those structures, which in turn caused the tower to take up very little percentage in the whole picture. It was also a pity the clouds weren't exactly nicely formed up that day. A little bit of PP was done to adjust colour balance and to crop out the empty skies above.

I'm using a Lumix FX520. Picture was taken in manual mode. Aperture was set at F/8 and exposure time of 1/250.

My main points of concern are:

1) The building in focus is taking up too little space in the picture. Which i feel makes it look small. But the thing is, i had to zoom out to include the structures. How would you guys suggest getting about this?

2) I felt that the horizon was abit off and tried PP-ing it. Photoshop was used to tilt it back a little bit using the tower as the point of reference. It still does look a little off to me, but thats as far as I can tilt before the rest of the structures start to look like the leaning tower of Pisa. What do you guys think?

3) The picture still lacks impact. I feel that something is still amiss with it, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Any suggestions?

And lastly, thanks in advance for any input.

Cheers,
Evans
 

Jul 14, 2007
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#2
1- The building in focus is taking up too little space in the picture.
You know this fact, and in fact it doesnt help to relate being the title "Rising above all" - cos u have used the building where you stand, as part of the framing; which from my eyes, may look even taller than the building in focus. I was thinking / expecting a composition of the Singapore skyline or something similar, cos its comparing diferent heights of buildings.

2- the rest of the structures start to look like the leaning tower of Pisa.
There's a term to it, some "optical something" due to wide angle used. I still havent got the hang of the photography lingo used hehehe... maybe someone can help explain further.

3- The picture still lacks impact. I feel that something is still amiss with it, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
Cluttering, perhaps... the windows in the foreground got my attention more than the pale bright building you're referring to.

lets wait up for more replies. I've answered the best I could, based on my limited knowledge, but frank opinions.
 

calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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#3
The reason why the other buildings are still not completely vertical is due to perspective distortion. This happens when your image sensor is not parallel to all the verticals in the frame, something which sometimes is just impossible to do.

Ideally, to get all the buildings correctly vertical, you will have to either shoot the image with the sensor completely parallel to all verticals in the frame, or employ tilt-shift/perspective control lenses.
 

Cowripper

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Jul 4, 2005
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#4
Hey there... Thanks Cheguthamrin and calebk for the valuable comments.
and yeah... now that you've mentioned it... I do find the windows in the foreground abit distracting... :(

Lesson learnt... thanks...:thumbsup:
 

donut88

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Nov 14, 2008
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#5
how's the noise level for this cam? bearable or obvious?
 

denniskee

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Oct 26, 2003
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#7
may i suggest, since ur tittle is rising above all is about the tall hdb, why not head on down to chinatown (hdb around the chinatown complex).;)
 

kritikosN1

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Nov 6, 2008
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#8
The contrast of the bright front building to the back dark building is indeed interesting.

Although it is arguable that you could have gone higher for a better shot, but not too high as the clouds might not be on the same level anymore. But just high enough to subpress the back darker and shorter building.

The two dark side fo the building at the corner also helps to guide the viewer sight towards the center.

Aspect ratio looks wrong.

4/10
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#9
Aspect ratio looks wrong.
pray explain - what is a "wrong aspect ratio"?

thredstarter - this is an attempt at doing "frame within a frame". the two buildings at the side "frame" the centre ones, and it should work by drawing the viewer closer into the picture.

why does it fail though? the keystone effect here (or vertical perspective problem, is another name) is extremely horrible in terms of how it makes the buildings look. the thing in the "frame in the frame" is also not particularly photogenic, it is a mass of shapes, and the clouds are so numerous that they compete for attention. in short - too many elements.
 

kritikosN1

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Nov 6, 2008
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#10
pray explain - what is a "wrong aspect ratio"?

thredstarter - this is an attempt at doing "frame within a frame". the two buildings at the side "frame" the centre ones, and it should work by drawing the viewer closer into the picture.

why does it fail though? the keystone effect here (or vertical perspective problem, is another name) is extremely horrible in terms of how it makes the buildings look. the thing in the "frame in the frame" is also not particularly photogenic, it is a mass of shapes, and the clouds are so numerous that they compete for attention. in short - too many elements.
I have a feeling it is not 3:2, just download the picture and it was a 3:1.74

The elements of this pictures are well controlled. Keystone effect should not be a fault as it requires a tilt shift to properly correct the problem.
 

night86mare

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#11
I have a feeling it is not 3:2, just download the picture and it was a 3:1.74

The elements of this pictures are well controlled. Keystone effect should not be a fault as it requires a tilt shift to properly correct the problem.
just because the aspect ratio is not conventional doesn't mean that it is wrong.

putting everything in an overly negative light doesn't serve any purpose, it just stinks of someone having to prove something to himself. what that is, i have no idea.

keystone effect should not be at fault as it requires a tilt shift?

what of moving yourself to make sure that you don't even get a keystone effect, or correcting it post process?

so much for being overly critical.. threadstarter, if you wish to learn how to correct keystone effect post process, please read this.
 

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zaren

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Oct 27, 2003
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#12
the most interesting subject of the photo is the cloud formation, so would suggest simplifying and de-cluttering the framing of the photo to just the bare minimum, focusing on the clouds, sky and the well-exposed buildings in the background for a more effective composition. would also suggest reducing gamma and saturation to give the clouds a more 3-D feel.

e.g.
 

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Cowripper

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Jul 4, 2005
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#13
Wow~!!! I thought this thread died sometime ago. But it has come back to life.
Thanks for the additional input guys...

Zaren: Cool! You made a completely different picture out of it. And I actually like how it turned out. Looks much "cleaner" now, and more focus on the subject.

night86mare
: Hey~! your guide is quite comprehensive. Thanks for the link. Actually I tried doing some PP to correct the tilting at that time... but I didn't exactly know how to do it properly then, and the picture just got worse. I'm going to try PP-ing it again using your methods to see how it works out.

kritikosN1: Yeap. The aspect ratio is not in the conventional 3:2. As a matter of fact, I did not pay attention to to aspect ratio when I was cropping the original picture. All I was focused on was to crop to get a nice framing.

donut88
: It works fine in good light. But noise is a very big problem even in slightly poorer light.
 

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