Forbidden City Watchtower - What would you have done?

Joined
May 1, 2005
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4,488
Location
Seattle WA, USA
I'd appreciate tips/comments/critiques of this image. What would you have done differently? The only thing I'm not satisfied with is the sky.

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Joined
May 1, 2005
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3,028
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Otaki Beach, New Zealand
Real Name
Philip Armitage
really nice composition and the fairly flat sky could do with a little treatment, however with the big reflection it could look weird if the fiddled sky and reflection did not match up. You could always post it upside down (grin) - I will watch what others suggest! -
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
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Fremont, CA, USA
Justin

A circular polarizer would have been wonderful to this shot, it would have pushed the sky.

Composition wise, I won't change a thing, it is as good as it gets.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
30
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Houston
Wouldn't change a thing. It's great as is - even the sky. Cloud formations, gradients, etc. would take away from the fascinating details in the architecture.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
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New York City
Justin,

I hope this doesn't come across too harsh or anything, but since you asked for critique... Honestly, for me, it's just an ok pic -- it doesn't really do anything for me.

First, I prefer more contrast in most images, and it sounds like a couple others would agree. Try adjusting curves or using some other dodge+burn technique to add contrast to the image. I would be tempted to try B&W myself, especially since the colors themselves don't work for me here. But yeah, the sky could use some interesting clouds or more interesting colors like during sunrise/sunset -- but there's not a whole lot you can do for that now. Also, it seems like the reflection is showing some sort of color banding effect.

Second, regarding composition, it's a bit too "perfect" looking to me. :D It just *feels* like you're "trying too hard" w/ the composition. I suspect the seemingly perfect lines and shapes of the various objects, etc. adds to that feeling for me.

Finally, maybe it's really just me, but I find the overall image a bit bland. IMHO, looks more like a typical, sanitized, concept art design image for the structure than a personally seen-and-made photograph of the real thing. The color palette seen here combined w/ lack of certain details (eg. people, clouds, etc.), the way objects and lines seem so perfect and the very deliberate composition all add up to that for me.

Honestly, I hope this post is not too harsh. I really don't know how else to put it w/out failing to say what I mean. Hope it's helpful to you. But remember, it's just one opinion out of many, and I ain't no pro photog nor some artist either, so please do take it w/ a big block of salt.

Very kind regards,

_Man_
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
4,488
Location
Seattle WA, USA
Also, this shot was taken about an hour after the sun rose. I'm not sure the polorizer would have had much of an effect. I suppose I should have stuck it on the lens and had a go anyway! Hindsight 20/20
 
J

jkamphof

Guest
Try cropping it vertically. The tower and the reflection make a good up-down (...or vertical) type of shot. Give it a go. Make sure if you crop you have the tower towards the left of the image, the flow of the wall falls right.

I love the green in the shot, while it is heavy it adds great flavour!!

Joel
 
K

Ken-L

Guest
It's a fine shot. Looks good as is. As was said by another, changing the sky might detract from the overall effect.

If you wanted to play with the sky, I have seen posts about creating a layer just for changing the sky area. I have never done this so I can't offer a how-to.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
104
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Originally Scotland - now Auckland, NZ
I'll side with Joel for this, try a vertical crop and use the tower as the bulk of the image.
Man also raises a good point - it's almost too good !
I would have tried to take more of an angle on it, using one of the walls for perspective and sight along that. Of course, I've got no idea what's outside of the shot, so this may be the only stance you could shoot from without getting scaffolding in the way :)

A circular polariser would have definately brought out the sky.
 
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