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Author Topic: Staircase to Heaven  (Read 2445 times)
EduPerez
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« on: March 10, 2011, 04:15:27 PM »
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As always, C&C appreciated.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 04:55:09 PM »
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I'm with Fred.  Really nice image, but the sun is overdone and blows out too much of the top.

Mike.
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Andres Bonilla
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 07:16:32 PM »
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I love the mood of the photo, even when the dark shadoes I still like it.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 02:30:26 AM »
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Ed

This is a very nice moody composition. But as others have said, I think the sunburst area at the top needs to be burned-in a long way, because at present it prevents the viewer from seeing the image as a whole - rather like looking into sun-glare in real life. The camera is squinting, and so are we. Then however, you will have to think hard about re-balancing the picture, and how to map the tones. You will need to place a highlight somewhere else to re-focus attention and produce a balancing nearly-white accent, and I would suggest that the handrail might work if that was dodged upwards in value.

It would be well worth spending a bit more time on this one.

John
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 03:05:09 AM »
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I really like the mood, composition and tones - except that as Fred said, the sun deserves better than a large burnt blotch.
A second much darker capture (aperture well closed), and a bit of blending one way or another, might have done it...
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RSL
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 07:41:08 AM »
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Edu, As everyone knows I usually go along with the crowd, but in this case I'm not sure I agree. I think it's generally understood that Heaven is so bright that you simply can't look at it directly; ergo, your portrayal is right on the money. If the general understanding is correct there's a lot of glare up there.
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 07:55:32 AM »
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Edu, As everyone knows I usually go along with the crowd, but in this case I'm not sure I agree. I think it's generally understood that Heaven is so bright that you simply can't look at it directly; ergo, your portrayal is right on the money. If the general understanding is correct there's a lot of glare up there.

+1

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 12:10:18 PM »
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Edu, As everyone knows I usually go along with the crowd, but in this case I'm not sure I agree. I think it's generally understood that Heaven is so bright that you simply can't look at it directly; ergo, your portrayal is right on the money. If the general understanding is correct there's a lot of glare up there.
Yup
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Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 04:28:02 PM »
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I believe I would want to leave heaven right where it is, but build a serpetine entry via the staircase with some carefully thought out dodging.Just enough so that the beautiful composition is not overwhelmed by heaven. I think I see enough info in the stairs to let this really build on the mood your title  suggests

« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 07:28:22 PM by Patricia Sheley » Logged

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AndrewKulin
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2011, 10:41:39 AM »
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I like it as is and do not agree that the brightness of the sun hurts the photo.  If the title were different maybe I would feel differently, but you hear those stories of people who have had near death experiences about seeing a bright light at the end of a tunnel, and so this captures that essence in my mind.

Regards,
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RSL
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2011, 12:17:00 PM »
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...so that the beautiful composition is not overwhelmed by heaven.

Patricia, I should think that any composition would be overwhelmed by heaven.
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Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2011, 02:06:43 PM »
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Patricia, I should think that any composition would be overwhelmed by heaven.
Russ..you have no idea how much I needed that!!! Been fighting corporate filing issues all morning .... I know there must be a heaven, otherwise how could this day feel like such a personal hell. Then a moment like this comes along, and all is lightened! Thanks...
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EduPerez
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 03:32:53 AM »
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Well, the fact is that I increased the contrast intentionally, during the post-process: in the original, neither the staircase is so dark, nor the sun is such a blob; but probably I went too far, thanks for your opinions! Will follow your advice, and work on it some more; will be back again soon.

And about the title... I must confess I never take titles too seriously, as I am of the opinion that photographs must speak for themselves, and not need a title. I just used this because it sounded funny and appropriate.
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EduPerez
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2011, 05:17:29 PM »
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I have re-edited the image... I will stick to my guns and keep the over/underexposed areas, I think they are intrinsic to the message.
But I liked the idea of "re-balancing the image", and added some light on the lower part of the staircase; the image looks much better now, at least to me.

Many thanks for the advice.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 04:00:40 AM »
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Ed

I really like that so much better. Re-balanced it is, indeed. It's interesting that you have not really changed the sunburst much, if at all, but the lightening of the steps makes it seem as if you had. A very nice piece of tone-mapping, and the picture is now worthy of a place in your excellent web gallery.

John
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EduPerez
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 02:59:04 PM »
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Ed

I really like that so much better. Re-balanced it is, indeed. It's interesting that you have not really changed the sunburst much, if at all, but the lightening of the steps makes it seem as if you had. A very nice piece of tone-mapping, and the picture is now worthy of a place in your excellent web gallery.

John

Thanks, both for the lesson and for your kind words.
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Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2011, 04:36:53 PM »
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I have re-edited the image... I will stick to my guns and keep the over/underexposed areas, I think they are intrinsic to the message.
But I liked the idea of "re-balancing the image", and added some light on the lower part of the staircase; the image looks much better now, at least to me.

Many thanks for the advice.
Glad to see you stayed with it Edu...It's has a very quietly seductive quality to it. Now please don't punch me...but one more request...you are on the right track, having chosen to retain heaven's light as captured, to work at giving footing to carry it, but...

when you have a chance, put your original and edited version up on screen and look carefully at HOW and Where the light actually flows onto the "pathway to heaven".  You have identified the need for it there, but the somewhat heavy handed dodging dropped in place has stopped the flow that appears in your original..."caught in the headlights" brought to a stop now instead of wandering heavenward...  If you could study the original path of light and the why of its flow upwards, and bring up your illumination retaining that same path you will have gone a long way to holding on to the image's almost softly euphoric  draw to heavens call...


I did try not to quibble but see that you cared enough to give it a go, and just couldn't help myself...
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 04:39:59 PM by Patricia Sheley » Logged

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2011, 11:01:40 PM »
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I agree that the new version is much improved.

I also feel that following Patricia's suggestions might make it even better. It's worth the extra effort, IMHO.

Eric
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EduPerez
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2011, 02:50:37 AM »
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Glad to see you stayed with it Edu...It's has a very quietly seductive quality to it. Now please don't punch me...but one more request...you are on the right track, having chosen to retain heaven's light as captured, to work at giving footing to carry it, but...

when you have a chance, put your original and edited version up on screen and look carefully at HOW and Where the light actually flows onto the "pathway to heaven".  You have identified the need for it there, but the somewhat heavy handed dodging dropped in place has stopped the flow that appears in your original..."caught in the headlights" brought to a stop now instead of wandering heavenward...  If you could study the original path of light and the why of its flow upwards, and bring up your illumination retaining that same path you will have gone a long way to holding on to the image's almost softly euphoric  draw to heavens call...


I did try not to quibble but see that you cared enough to give it a go, and just couldn't help myself...

Perhaps I should change the title to "The First Steps in the Staircase to Heaven"... or maybe "Entering the Staircase to Heaven"!

Now, seriously. I agree with your comments, the fact is that I tried to lighten all the path up to the top: the fist section was easy, and the result pleasant; but I could not get the second section to look good. Then I tried to focus on a small area around the fist steps, and liked how the symmetry between that zone and the sunburst balanced the image (there are even some rays that seem to be pointing to the area, so the effect is almost credible).

But your words are encouraging, so I will give it another try (harder this time!); let's see what I can get out.
Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it; this kind of feedback is why I like posting in this forum.
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