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Old May 5, 2011, 08:54 AM   #1
Spacer
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C&C please of two helicopter pics

We went out last night and shut down away from base. Which of the two compositions do you like best, and why? I'm leaning towards the first, but I'd love to hear others thoughts on this. Thanks for your time!

Number one:



Number two:

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Old May 5, 2011, 11:01 AM   #2
flosseR
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sorry, neither appeal to me but on number 1 you have a rotor cut off which IMHO does not look vrey good. The second one looks more contrasty but to be honest the color palette does not work for me, they all blend into each other..

but then again, i can be wrong...
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Old May 5, 2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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The angle of the first with the composition a bit behind where it is on the second to give the chopper room to "move" forward would be the best IMO.

Paul
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Old May 5, 2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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I like the colour and tone of the first, it seems a bit more vibrant than the second.
Its ok but its boring :/

Maybe try a dramatic angle, it just doesn't stand out very much.
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Old May 5, 2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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That looks a lot like the Sea King chopper Prince William co-piloted to rescue a man working on a gas rig last year.
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Old May 5, 2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your thoughts. I'll keep trying. And rk: it may well be the same aircraft. They all swap round fairly regularly :-)
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Old May 5, 2011, 06:34 PM   #7
jammiefreerider
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Potential improvement recipe on photo 1:

Massively increase contrast
Desaturate by 40% ish
Hugely darken the sky
Sharpen Loads
Crop to 16x9 or 2x1
Full on Vignette

Obviously play with the settings but you should be able to go to town if you've shot in raw.
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Old May 6, 2011, 03:14 AM   #8
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Jammie: I did indeed shoot in raw. I'm just about to start another 24hr shift, but I'll have a go tomorrow and report back with the results. Thanks for the ideas :-)
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Old May 6, 2011, 03:27 AM   #9
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Cool job by the way. I love your occupation description.
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Old May 6, 2011, 04:27 AM   #10
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I prefer the angle of the first shot as you can see more of the side of the Helicopter when stationary, but would like to have more room for the helicopter to move into as Paul mentioned (which would also mean the rotor isn't cut off).
I would have positioned the helicopter more toward (but not fully at) the left of the frame rather than the right.

The lighting is good, it brings out the yellow well, especially in the first shot.
The difficulty is that the copter and scene are all quite yellow, but there is just enough vibrancy in the yellow paint to make it stand out.
A red copter would really pop in a scene like this, but I know there isn't much you can do about that
Keep at it

Last edited by TheReef; May 6, 2011 at 04:35 AM.
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Old May 6, 2011, 10:27 AM   #11
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IMO, composition is always the place to start. While I agree with those who like the angle of Number 1, the way the rotor blade is cut off tips the choice to Number 2.

I would crop tighter with the subject biased slightly to the left, thus giving the space in front that compuwar mentions. I'd have the subject lower in the image, giving better visual weight and an impression of stability. It also emphasizes the subject rather than giving so much image space to the grassy foreground.

Only after getting the composition right would I start manipulating saturation, curves etc. Capturing the image from your post isn't the ideal place to start for those adjustments, so I just lightened and sharpened it a bit, but the attached image will give you an idea what I mean by the composition comments.

Perhaps you'll get a chance to reshoot sometime so you can get the angle more like Number 1 and the composition similar to my cropping.

Thanks for serving.
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Old May 6, 2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Cheap and cheerful HDR...

Here's my 2 cents (or pence, as we're in the UK).
In Photoshop - duplicate the photo onto a new layer.
On this new layer, perform Image/Adjustments/Threshold, and accept the default.
Invert this layer (Image/Adjustments/Invert)
Set the layer mode to 'Overlay'
Gaussian blur the layer to radius 90 pixels.

Thats the pseudo HDR done - you can crop and vignette as desired then.

I also added a small version of how I might compose the shot - leave some space in front of the helicopter for it to move forward - it looks more natural.
I quickly butchered some extra background onto this, so it doesn't look great I know.

Obviously this is just my opinion and only one of many options.
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Old May 7, 2011, 06:51 AM   #13
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Jammie: Here's the go at number 1 again, although I appreciate that it would have been better to have a composition more like the second for it :-)

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Old May 7, 2011, 07:42 AM   #14
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Looks really good now

To tweek even further:

I would overall darken the sky to stop the clouds in top left being too bright that they pull your eye away from the helicopter.

Darken the blues and maybe increase the reds a bit more in the sky to make the sunset much more obvious. It will make more sense to the viewer as to why the image is so contrasty.

Change the crop. Your original composition was great as it told a story that said "this helicopter is going to save the day somewhere over there in the background". You could even crop in tighter to the nose to give more room for the background.

Also has the heli been a little over saturated? Does it actually look that orange? Being at sunset the colour will look warmer than at mid day but I think youve pushed it a tad too much

Last edited by jammiefreerider; May 7, 2011 at 07:58 AM.
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Old May 7, 2011, 09:21 AM   #15
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You might want to shut the door, you can't see what's inside anyway.
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Old May 10, 2011, 09:38 AM   #16
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What about changing the composition into something that brings the viewer into the picture instead of trying to "get it all in". There are times that trying to get the entire helicopter in the frame works but I agree with a few others that it doesn't work in this instance.

Here's a couple of examples of what I mean by changing the composition. They aren't great shots by any means but the idea is to show some different ideas for composition. I'm thinking you could get some really nice light on a high perch somewhere by the sea for a fantastic backdrop. Anyway that's my two pence worth.
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Old May 12, 2011, 11:56 PM   #17
legreve
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I actually like the composition of no.1 better, but the crop is off in my book. The entire wing should have been in the shot...
I would probably add enough to the right side to get it in and then add the same amount in the left side as to maintain the composition. Maybe chop a bit off at the bottom as well.

Edit:
Ok... extended the canvas to both sides equally, took some wing from the 2nd shot to finish off the cut blade. Filled the gaps in each side. Cropped top and bottom.
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Last edited by legreve; May 13, 2011 at 12:09 AM.
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Old May 13, 2011, 01:38 AM   #18
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You should crop closer. There's usually a better shot when you get closer.



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Old May 13, 2011, 02:01 AM   #19
legreve
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True if we were talking about a portrait.
I think the OPs photos are trying to communicate mood more than anything. The two shots you posted only tells me "look... a helicopter or... the the tail of a helicopter".
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Old Jun 1, 2011, 03:43 PM   #20
Spacer
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Its all a learning experience!
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 01:07 AM   #21
Prodo123
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The first pic is not good; the clipped rotor is throwing the entire photo off.

The second pic is better, but still not the best; the subject would have had more impact if it were not at the very center of the frame.
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