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― Architecture CritiqueSculptures in Lincoln's Sunken Gardens on an Overcast Day

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Charles Haacker
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Sculptures in Lincoln's Sunken Gardens on an Overcast Day

Post by Charles Haacker » Thu May 31, 2018 7:36 pm

I don't know what possessed me to go in here on a fairly heavily overcast day. I knew I would have trouble with the light, but shooting these bronze sculptures seemed good because they tend to benefit from soft light.
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Dancing Nymph "Reveille" in the upper garden. To get this angle hiding in the hostas I was forced to get all the way down on the ground. I kinda don't do that much any more and was pleasantly surprised that I actually got back up. I got down in order to get better separation on the horn. The sky has been darkened a little using the HSL slider to get some texture.
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Dancing Nymph "Reveille" in the upper garden. Pulled back a little bit to get more of the overview. The challenge with this piece is finding separation between the horn and the background. Often the horn just disappears because it is so narrow. Pulled the Luminance slider down on the sky in this one as well.
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"Rebekah at the Well" fountain, upper garden. The water from her jar flows down to a pool below in a little stepped waterfall. Lincoln water comes from the limestone Aquifer so there is no way to prevent the lime building on her lower legs.
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"Rebekah at the Well" fountain, upper garden.
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Post by PietFrancke » Thu May 31, 2018 8:03 pm

LOL - I think overcast is great!! Beautiful shots. I like looking at the bronze and the blue highlights that still come from a sky that is not perhaps as blue as it might have been.

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Post by pop511 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:35 am

Charles;
You are right. Trying to photo a bronze figure in bright light will leave you with only two options. Expose for the sky or figure..hehe
ed davis

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Post by Duck » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:01 pm

Personally, I love the light from an overcast day. You just have to avoid using the sky as a backdrop. Of course you can always swap in a nicer sky in post... :D
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Post by minniev » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:10 pm

Well, your skies do have detail, so they are supportive but not distracting. An overcast day is often my favorite time for shooting items that have enough interest on their own without needing a dramatic sky, since there's not the harshness that a bright sunny day provides. Metallic surfaces are very hard to photograph on bright sunny days. Yours turned out very well here.

I'm often tempted to clone out the protective ropes/chains at such places. Do you ever do that? How do you feel about it?
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:15 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:03 pm
LOL - I think overcast is great!! Beautiful shots. I like looking at the bronze and the blue highlights that still come from a sky that is not perhaps as blue as it might have been.
Thanks Piet. I think that all we are doing when we use big umbrellas or a light tent or bounced light is trying to get the effect of overcast, light coming from everywhere. We know it's especially useful on shiny stuff because it spreads out the highlights and cuts the contrast so we can better see into the shadow. I've shot these in other light including full sun, and I think they're pretty good, but I like these better.
pop511 wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:35 am
Charles;
You are right. Trying to photo a bronze figure in bright light will leave you with only two options. Expose for the sky or figure..hehe
Thanks Ed. Absolutely right! See the one I added below...
Duck wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:01 pm
Personally, I love the light from an overcast day. You just have to avoid using the sky as a backdrop. Of course you can always swap in a nicer sky in post... :D
Thanks Duck. I'm considering that. I hoped that reducing the overall brightness of the overcast would bring out some texture, and it did, but I wouldn't mind seeing more.
minniev wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:10 pm
Well, your skies do have detail, so they are supportive but not distracting. An overcast day is often my favorite time for shooting items that have enough interest on their own without needing a dramatic sky, since there's not the harshness that a bright sunny day provides. Metallic surfaces are very hard to photograph on bright sunny days. Yours turned out very well here.

I'm often tempted to clone out the protective ropes/chains at such places. Do you ever do that? How do you feel about it?
Thanks Min. I have mixed feelings about those darned ropes and chains and signs. I have occasionally cloned them out but usually only when I feel they are a distraction, like the power lines in your terrific crane shot. The problem as you well know is that getting rid of them seamlessly is hard, but if you can see it's been done it's better to leave it. In this case I think it would be difficult to remove them seamlessly. (?)
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nymph in sun.jpg
Here's one of the dancing nymph in full sun from last summer, backlit (my fave) and you see how the horn just disappears into the shrubbery.
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Post by Duck » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:31 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:15 pm
[...] I have mixed feelings about those darned ropes and chains and signs. I have occasionally cloned them out but usually only when I feel they are a distraction, like the power lines in your terrific crane shot. The problem as you well know is that getting rid of them seamlessly is hard, but if you can see it's been done it's better to leave it. In this case I think it would be difficult to remove them seamlessly. (?)

An alternative to removing them would be to reduce their contrast. Right now the brightness makes them really stand out. Consider toning them down so they are less obvious.

Interestingly enough, I just watched a TED talk with Scott Kelby on "Why we retouch people in Photoshop" that touches on this subject quite nicely. Listen to the part about his trip to Tuscany for an understanding on a certain cognitive psychology effect of visual perception we are all victims of and how they can be addressed in post processing. This directly applies to your chains and signs issue here. :-)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDq-NiKBxi8
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:44 pm

Duck wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:31 pm
Charles Haacker wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:15 pm
[...] I have mixed feelings about those darned ropes and chains and signs. I have occasionally cloned them out but usually only when I feel they are a distraction, like the power lines in your terrific crane shot. The problem as you well know is that getting rid of them seamlessly is hard, but if you can see it's been done it's better to leave it. In this case I think it would be difficult to remove them seamlessly. (?)

An alternative to removing them would be to reduce their contrast. Right now the brightness makes them really stand out. Consider toning them down so they are less obvious.

Interestingly enough, I just watched a TED talk with Scott Kelby on "Why we retouch people in Photoshop" that touches on this subject quite nicely. Listen to the part about his trip to Tuscany for an understanding on a certain cognitive psychology effect of visual perception we are all victims of and how they can be addressed in post processing. This directly applies to your chains and signs issue here. :-)
Okay, okay, I went back and looked hard and decided y'all wuz right. I've removed all ropes and signs (the Content Aware spotting brush is a little miracle worker), plus I went ahead and replaced the skies in both pitchers. I also discovered that one of the originals wasn't as sharp as I usually like 'em so I switched to another. :D Haven't watched the TED talk yet but I will, and thanks.
Attachments
DSC03777-Edit.EMlr.jpg
Interesting. This one looks like there is some sun getting into it since I switched out the sky, but it's the same picture, same dun-colored light...
DSC03790-Edit-2.EMlr.jpg
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Post by St3v3M » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:27 am

I love places like these and will have to make it to The Getty again soon! Thank you for the inspiration! S-
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