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

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
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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!

 

66217

Guest
Jan 30, 2006
1,608
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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.
 

A Pittarelli

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2007
378
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i would leave it. the contrast creates a focus point on the tree and really completes the picture. perfect
 

termina3

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2007
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TX
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.
 

Aperture

macrumors 68000
Mar 19, 2006
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PA
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:



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

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
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)?
 

megfilmworks

macrumors 68020
Jul 1, 2007
2,049
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Sherman Oaks
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.
 

Aperture

macrumors 68000
Mar 19, 2006
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good job, Aperture
Thanks

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)?
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.

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.
Thanks :)
 

seenew

macrumors 68000
Dec 1, 2005
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Brooklyn
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.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
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.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
I was thinking the same thing, except leave a single seated person...as it adds some weight and sense of scale to the work.
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.
 

ToastMaster

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2005
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Tacoma, WA
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.
 

Evangelion

macrumors 68040
Jan 10, 2005
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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.
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.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,631
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キャンプスワ&#
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.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
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.
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.
 

cutsman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 1, 2006
202
0
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.



 

apearlman

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2007
187
0
Red Hook, NY
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