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Author Topic: Liberty Pigeon  (Read 6720 times)
OnyimBob
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« on: February 19, 2006, 04:53:58 AM »
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I took this last august on a hot smog filled day in lower Manhattan and only revisited it recently. I have attached the original and a heavily cropped version in which I tried to emulate Michael's technique in his recent photo of the yellow jacket in the woods by keeping only the blue lamp in colour (only colour in the picture really).

[attachment=260:attachment][attachment=259:attachment]

What I'd like is comments on the cropping and the colour manipulation. Does it work?
Also, can anyone explain the slight lightening around the post & pigeon in the cropped version? Obviously something I've done in processing, but what?
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2006, 09:26:14 AM »
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Bob -

I think the cropping is the best you can get from that image, but would have preferred an image with the statue positioned differently relative to the pigeon than it is, more upward and to the right.  The post/pigeon and statue feel a little cramped, too close to each other.  On the other hand, I imagine you can't really tell the pigeon, "Hold that pose for a minute while I move over here..."

To be honest, I didn't notice the photo was using Michael's technique until I reread your words.  I just thought it was a very gray, low-color lighting condition.  Oops.  On the other hand, that's an indication that you must have applied the technique very well, since it was so natural-looking.

I've seen the broad light halos like the one you mention on occasion in my work too.  Not sure exactly what causes it (since I've never investigated it in detail).  Do you use local contrast enhancement?  That would be my first guess.  Second guess would be sharpening techniques.

Lisa
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jule
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2006, 05:25:48 PM »
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Bob, I am not very technically proficient so cannot really comment on your processing, but I think your crop works better without the Statue of Liberty in the background. I just put a grey piece of paper up to block out the statue.

It's purpose seems to me to only cognitively identify the geographical location. Your crop, colouring and compositional strength of the post, I think, work much better without the clutter in the background.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2006, 06:43:31 PM »
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IHNJH,IJLS "The Man Who Shot Liberty Pidgeon."
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OnyimBob
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2006, 05:07:30 AM »
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Okay, Mr Penguin, I give up! What the heck does IHNJH,IJLS stand for?
You're right Lisa, the pigeon was a very uncooperative subject!
Jule, you may be right about the statue. Thanks for the replies.
Bob.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2006, 09:34:20 AM »
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I have no joke here, I just like saying.

(It is an old usenet thing from talk.bizarre.)
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2006, 10:36:55 AM »
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IHNJH,IJLS "The Man Who Shot Liberty Pidgeon."

 

Lisa
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JRandallNichols
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2006, 10:47:48 AM »
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I think the cropping is the best you can get from that image, but would have preferred an image with the statue positioned differently relative to the pigeon than it is, more upward and to the right.  The post/pigeon and statue feel a little cramped, too close to each other.  On the other hand, I imagine you can't really tell the pigeon, "Hold that pose for a minute while I move over here..."
Lisa
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58532\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Oh, I think we could talk to both the pigeon and Liberty if we didn't mind taking a few liberties (sorry about that) in Photoshop.  I don't have time to try it right now, but how about moving Liberty and island up and right, and then perhaps cropping out some of the left arm of the lamppost to get a better synergy of shape between the dominant image and the ghost of Liberty in the background?  Since the background is gray and misty a judicious use of the clone stamp ought to clean up the move so that it looked pretty natural.

I myself wouldn't want to lose Liberty, as Jule suggested.  The juxtaposition of the two gives the image a narrative interest, reflected also in the composition, that it would otherwise lack.
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Randy
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2006, 05:46:26 PM »
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Bob -

I've seen the broad light halos like the one you mention on occasion in my work too.  Not sure exactly what causes it (since I've never investigated it in detail).  Do you use local contrast enhancement?  That would be my first guess.  Second guess would be sharpening techniques.

Lisa
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58532\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I was playing around in PS and I stumbled across this effect. When I saw it, I remembered this post, but I couldn't remember which forum it was one. I was able to duplicate the halos by over using the shadow/highlight function. Is there any chance you may have used this?

Scott
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jule
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2006, 07:21:10 PM »
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Oh, I think we could talk to both the pigeon and Liberty if we didn't mind taking a few liberties (sorry about that) in Photoshop.  I don't have time to try it right now, but how about moving Liberty and island up and right, and then perhaps cropping out some of the left arm of the lamppost to get a better synergy of shape between the dominant image and the ghost of Liberty in the background?  Since the background is gray and misty a judicious use of the clone stamp ought to clean up the move so that it looked pretty natural.

I myself wouldn't want to lose Liberty, as Jule suggested.  The juxtaposition of the two gives the image a narrative interest, reflected also in the composition, that it would otherwise lack.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58610\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not too sure how you mean to move the island up and right??? How does that work with the horizon water line?  Although the statue does provide a narrative element,  I still don't think it is visually strong enough to really contribute to the image, and it's placement at present I don't think works. I think the composition of pigeon, post and lamp colour is still enough without needing a narrative element.
I am still open to be persuaded otherwise, if you can do a quickie move of island and statue to show what you envisage.
Julie
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Ray
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2006, 09:53:39 PM »
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Something like this, perhaps   .

[attachment=265:attachment]
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jule
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2006, 11:03:37 PM »
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Something like this, perhaps   .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58672\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You're a clever bloke Ray! I think you had fun doing that. How did you move the pole?
JRandallNichols, I must admit, the narrative plays a much bigger role in what you visualised. I think my vision was limited by my photoshop inabilities.
Now I see the pigeon thinking.."How on earth am I going to fly all that way over there to be with my mates?"
Thanks Ray
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Ray
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2006, 11:56:47 PM »
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I think you had fun doing that. How did you move the pole?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=58678\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Jule,
I selected the pole and pigeon with a few clicks of the magic Wand and copied the selection to the clipboard. I then used the Healing Brush Tool in 'replace' mode to cover the post with sea and sky. The healing brush has the remarkable property of being able to replicate the texture, shade and lighting of surrounding areas.

I 'saved' the finished background sans post, then pasted the previously copied selection of the post onto the new background and positioned accordingly.

If any Photoshop gurus are reading this and know of a better, more accurate way of doing this, please tell me   .
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2006, 10:42:44 AM »
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Wow.  I like Ray's version.  That's sort of what I was trying to describe in my original critique of it.

Besides, when I look at that version, the narrative that occurs to me is that the pigeon is symbolic of immigrants from across the ocean, since the Statue of Liberty has always been symbolically closely tied to arriving immigrants, and the pigeon is across the water...  (Too bad it had to be a pigeon, though, and not a more noble bird  )

Lisa
« Last Edit: February 21, 2006, 10:43:56 AM by nniko » Logged

OnyimBob
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2006, 06:21:23 PM »
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Phew!
I wasn't all that keen on this pic just wanted a bit of feedback on cropping etc. Got it in spades too!
Scott, I think you may be right about shadow/highlight. I'm never really happy with its results but haven't yet got the skills to improve on it. Unfortunately I don't always pick up that a shot might need bracketing. Does anyone have comments on The Light Machine??
Jule, Ray, Niko, JRN thanks to you all. Ray's reworking was interesting.
The "narrative element" raises an interesting thought (for me). At the time I was obviously visiting New York and had cruised past the statue the day before meditating on the symbolism of it and the millions of immigrants for whom it represented freedom and a new life. Then I saw the pigeon and the statue and just grabbed it, but I think there was probably an unconscious recognition of some sort of narrative, as you put it JRN.
Not a great photo (not even a good one) but I like what it's stirred up!
Thanks to you all again.
Bob.
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JRandallNichols
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2006, 11:10:28 PM »
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Dear All,

I think this particular post has been great fun and illustrative of what this forum is about at its best!  Ray, you did exactly what I had in mind with Photoshop but didn't have time for--many thanks.  I increasingly believe the "narrative" aspect of an image--whatever we may take that to mean--is a vital aspect of its character and impact.  I am not a photojournalistic photographer, but as I reflect on powerful photographs from that realm it is almost always the narrative dimension--the way the image leads me into some form of story--that is memorable.  And to Bob, thank you for offering something that struck your vision, and never mind the technical details we have all had such fun with.

Thanks everyone.l
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Randy
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