Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => User Critiques => Topic started by: PSA DC-9-30 on August 10, 2007, 01:10:36 AM

Title: A few from Russia
Post by: PSA DC-9-30 on August 10, 2007, 01:10:36 AM
These are a few shots from my recent trip to St. Petersburg Russia. I am not claiming these are high photographic art, but merely some tourist shots.

My wife and I took over 2400 photos combined and I am selecting my favorites to upload to Photobucket and to show in an on-screen show at work. (I will print some as well, but that will come later). I am interested in critiques of these, especially regarding technical aspects. Do you find them uniformly too dark / light, too contrasty, not sharp, etc.? These aren't even the more interesting ones really, just the first ones I've done, starting from the beginning of the trip.

I've only processed about a dozen of these so far and would like input on how they could be improved before I go any further and a do few hundred more.

Title: A few from Russia
Post by: kaelaria on August 10, 2007, 08:20:38 AM
Rule #1 - flat horizons!
Title: A few from Russia
Post by: mikeseb on August 10, 2007, 11:15:22 AM
Nice travelogue, Kevin. St. Petersburg is high on my list of places to visit.

A retirement and two college degrees to fund first, along with an expensive and persistent camera-gear jones to suppress....

Title: A few from Russia
Post by: sinc on September 19, 2007, 10:12:19 PM
These photos aren't great, but they're at the edge of being great (i.e., good art). You've got great perspective, but it's not quite perfected yet.

Don't feel like they're tourist shots. You're on to something. Keep shooting.

In the meanwhile, the photos look fine the way they are.
Title: A few from Russia
Post by: fike on September 20, 2007, 01:55:50 PM
Very nice shots.  

I would have to second the comment on leveling the horizon.  

One major problem with photographing tourist destinations is the hordes of people and tourism stuff (busses, vendors etc...).  You have a head cropped in half on one image.  Others have tourboats that are uninteresting.  

Your focus, exposures, contrast, and color are excellent. Technically, they are well executed.

Composition is made difficult by surroundings.  Try getting closer and taking shots that are more narrow to avoid undesirable clutter, or perhaps better yet, try to make the people an important subject of the shot.

In the first shot, there is way too much water and sky that are pretty uninteresting.

Saint Petersburg looks lovely.  Your photos make me want to visit the city, but as art, it is just a bit lacking.
Title: A few from Russia
Post by: HickersonJasonC on October 01, 2007, 08:54:07 PM
I find the third image both the best capture and the worst processing of the bunch. The image is very strong but you have half-heads populating the bottom edge. Crop these out and spend some time getting the lines straight by adjusting the Distort > Lens Correction . . . filter to remove distortion and crop along a straight line.

Hope you don't mind, I've attached my quick fix. You can do much better if you spend some time at it.
Title: A few from Russia
Post by: PSA DC-9-30 on October 01, 2007, 09:29:29 PM
Thanks for your comments everyone. Since beginning these, I have learned a great deal, and I have purchased monitor calibration software / colorimeter, and the NoiseNinja plugin. I have uploaded 180 (of around 500 total) of these to my Photobucket page, but now I feel that I've learned enough that I should just start over and do them all again. I haven't even printed any yet. That is a whole other project I hope to start soon. The Distort > Lens Correction . . . filter tip is very helpful.

The biggest problem I've noted after calibrating my monitor, is that portions of some photos look as if they were covered by a fog, as if all the contrast has been sucked out of these areas. In examining the problem more closely, I think it is worst in images in which I used the Adjustments / Highlight-Shadow feature. Since my monitor was too dark and contrasty prior to calibration, I think I may have overdone lightening the shadows.

Title: A few from Russia
Post by: PSA DC-9-30 on October 01, 2007, 09:53:53 PM
Here are some more.

Left to right:

- Interior: St. Isaac Cathedral (4th largest church in the world)

- Tchaikovsky's tomb at the Tikhvin Cemetary

- Hermitage, interior

- Kazan Cathedral

- Interior: Church on Spilled Blood (the bright, coloful church with the onion domes in the first post)
Title: A few from Russia
Post by: wolfnowl on October 02, 2007, 01:23:27 AM
Rule #1 - flat horizons!

What he said... there's some potential in these images, but almost all of them are on a tilt to one side or the other...