Opinions wanted: Did I ruin this shot? (1 pic)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cutsman, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. cutsman macrumors regular

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    Jun 1, 2006
    #1
    So I was just playing around with some shots I took last week and came across this one. After I got home last week, I went through my photos and rejected this one based on the fact that the people seem to be over exposed, despite personally liking the composition in this photo. But after looking at it more closely and doing the B&W conversion, it doesn't seem so bad.

    What do you guys think about this photo? Should it be a keeper or is it crap? Do the overexposed people in this photo ruin the shot? Anything I can do to make it better? Thanks for the help!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #2
    I like it. That tree is awesome.

    The only thing that seems not to good is the fact that the people distracts you from seeing the tree, but the tree also distracts you from seeing the people.

    Do you understand what I want to say?
    I would suggest giving more emphasis to either the people or the tree.

    But I am not a professional.
     
  3. A Pittarelli macrumors 6502

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    Jun 1, 2007
    #3
    i would leave it. the contrast creates a focus point on the tree and really completes the picture. perfect
     
  4. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #4
    Assuming you can't underexpose the people, I'd try overexposing them more (not the tree, etc--it's exposed perfectly), giving it an artistic feel.
     
  5. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

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    #5
    Did you shoot in RAW? If so, you might be able to take the RAW file into PS and drag down the exposure, lasso them out of the photo and overlay them onto the B&W converted photo. That should give you some detail back w/ a decent exposure.

    I tried it but keep in mind I did it in ~2 minutes and I only had the JPG you hosted to work on.

    I'm not saying it has to be fixed. I'm just using what you thought and tried to correct it. Consider what others have said, too. (about exposing them more, etc)

    Here is my shot:

    [​IMG]

    Edit: I just checked the EXIF. I see you have a D50. I'm assuming you shot in RAW, then?
     
  6. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #6
    That fix is haunting and makes the step from photo to art.
     
  7. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

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    #7
    The OP or mine? I know, I'd like to try my hand at fixing the NEF (Now that I know he has a Nikon) file, though. This is when RAW can help.
     
  8. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    as soon as I see those people I think Andy Warhol... maybe I'm completely off-base, but that's what I think

    good job, Aperture
     
  9. cutsman thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Unfortunately, it wasn't shot in RAW. Being the newbie I am, I'm still shooting jpg's. But I thought that even with RAW, if a shot is overexposed, nothing further can be done to recover the lost details in the blown highlights since the sensor never recorded these details in the first place? Am I wrong about this (I've yet to actually shoot in RAW.. so really I don't know)?
     
  10. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #10
    The fix by aperature has emotional impact. The people don't stand out, but give the picture a feeling of timelessness which fits with the powerful old tree.
     
  11. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

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    #11
    Thanks

    I was confused thinking the overexposure happened in the B&W conversion. You are right, it would be tough to bring back details in blown highlights.

    Thanks :)
     
  12. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    Seattle, WA
    #12
    Cut them off the bottom of the pic. Wouldn't look bad to to me, however I am not a pro, not even an amateur.
     
  13. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    Brooklyn
    #13
    my previous photo prof would give you some trouble (a lot) about the contrast. We weren't allowed to have ANY 'paper white' (or in digital, pure white) in the photos we printed. If that were my shot, I would have had to burn the people in to bring out some detail in their clothes.
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #14
    Forgive me if I'm too blatant in my thoughts but if it were my shot, I'd probably use the clone tool to remove the people.

    The only other way that it can be repaired is to do a lot of detailed colouring to bring out the details in the people and they're clothes. I wouldn't have the patience to do that, though.
     
  15. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #15
    I was thinking the same thing, except leave a single seated person...as it adds some weight and sense of scale to the work.
     
  16. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    If they looked good, it would be different but it needs substantial work to leave even just one of them there. If there was another photo with the two people in good exposure and everything else problematic, a mixture of the two could be done.
     
  17. ToastMaster macrumors regular

    ToastMaster

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    #17
    I like the original photo better. I think that making the people grey takes out the nice contrast between the bright people and the darker colors and textures of the tree.
     
  18. AceWilfong macrumors regular

    AceWilfong

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    #18
    Burning in the shadows slightly would have achieved that, I think.
     
  19. Evangelion macrumors 68040

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    Jan 10, 2005
    #19
    Maybe it's just me, but I would hesitate doing that. I don't like the idea of adding or removing things from the picture, since it would then make the picture represent something that did not exist. I'm fine with boosting saturation, cropping, making things B&W etc. etc.... but adding and removing things from the picture? I don't like that.

    I think one of the important things in photography is the subject-matter, the time and the place. If we start adding and removing things from the picture, then we basically go around all that and start making things up. It might be art, but it aint photography as such, IMO.
     
  20. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #20
    I like the tree.

    I might crop the picture so that the people are removed. Since the original doesn't have the whole trunk, I don't think you would be missing much -- at least of the tree.
     
  21. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #21
    I don't like it, either, but in that condition treating it as if it was my own work, I would either delete the file or remove the people.
     
  22. cutsman thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 1, 2006
    #22
    Thanks for all the input everyone! Based on your suggestions, here are 2 versions of the same photo. Let me know what you guys think.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #23
    No! You wouldn't ever...

    hehe I have every picture I've ever taken on my D70
     
  24. apearlman macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2007
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    Red Hook, NY
    #25
    Keeper, not crap

    Your original question was whether it's a "keeper or crap". Storage is cheap, why not just keep it?

    You also haven't told us what you'd be keeping it for. I think on a small print, the blown whites wouldn't matter much. On a big print, it would be more of a problem. I think the solution to make the people grey is worse than the original. I do like the exposure in your second fix, with the one figure. Though I prefer the composition with both figures.

    So: keep it, sure. But what's the image for?

    Andrew
     

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