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Niagara's Horseshoe Falls
Niagara's Horseshoe Falls

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2014-11 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
Location: Niagra Falls, Canada side
Date: Nov 11, 2014
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/640
Date Uploaded: Nov 11, 2014

The dark streaks in the sky are mist. The water crashes at the base of the falls, becomes a mist that goes hundreds of feet in the air and finally falls back down like rain on all the cold, wet tourists.

Gradient on sky: Exposure -.50

Levels: 23, 1.0, 235
Exposure: +.03, +.0653, +.88
Hue/Sat: Red Sat +34, Yell Sat +37
Vibrance: +17
Dodge and burn layers
Topaz Denoise
Resize/Sharpen x3

Place: 91 out of 164
Avg (all users): 5.7471
Avg (commenters): 8.2500
Avg (participants): 5.6765
Avg (non-participants): 6.0000
Views since voting: 315
Views during voting: 139
Votes: 87
Comments: 10
Favorites: 0

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08/31/2015 12:52:42 PM
*Hello from Sid and the Critique Club*

A popular scene that adds a good contribution to the open challenge.

I am amazed at how much critical feedback you have received here, I assume you have asked for these contributions. Anyway, they make some interesting observations but one in particular is, I feel, unduly brutal. I will try and give you my independent honest opinion regardless of your other commenters.

My initial reaction is that I don't see a great deal wrong with this per se. Given the lens you have used you have a more restricted view than a wider angle lens would have given you and so you are a little more limited in your options. I get a feel of the power of the water and can imagine the sound and the damp from the mist. That has to be the most important element of such an image and for me, it succeeds, so well done. Perhaps tilting the camera down a little to include more water instead of sky is a possibility?

I like the detail in the building and again given your viewpoint and lens you either include it exactly as you have, or you crop it out, in which case you would also crop the top of the cliff edge over which the water is roaring, definitely not desirable, so well done again. For me the building adds interest, it looks as though it may well be a hydro power station?

The colours and detail are good throughout, there are no blown highlights which would have been easy with this sort of exposure. The autumnal colours tell us the season, the colour and detail of the water is excellent. I wonder if your denoise was necessary given your low ISO? I like the generally muted colours as opposed to HDR overkill that is so often seen here.

Its unfortunate it didn't score higher, I gave it a 7 at the time and would still give it the same score. Apologies for the late critique, but as they say, better late than never, Sid
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/09/2014 01:04:01 AM
Originally posted by ubique:

(and many others) would resent my feedback

Yes, I mostly resent it. It goes against the friendly competitive spirit of DPC and hurts the most enthusiastic photographers unnecessarily. I see your feedback as a BIG ego trip.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2014 08:58:02 PM
I scored it 4 . Not for any of the mild quibbles raised about composition or focus, etc. but because it is simply a boring picture. So for me, the only way to make the photograph better is to not take it at all.

That's harsh, if your intention with this picture is solely to practice the technical aspects of photography. But even if your intent was limited to that, why point the camera at something of which there are already fifty thousand photos taken every hour? Especially from the same angle, at the same time, and same point of view? It's going to be a cliche and boring, no matter who takes the picture and with what.

I can anticipate that you (and many others) would resent my feedback, and say ''But I'm just trying to learn to be a better photographer'. But the point of owning a camera is not to be a photographer, it's to take pictures. And if the pictures are standard views of standard subjects, they simply can't be interesting. And if a picture isn't interesting, nothing else matters.

Of course I'm not much of a photographer, by popular acclaim.. But it wasn't what was popular you asked about, it was what (about your picture) was unpopular. And that's my view.

If it's any consolation, some of the most popular and successful photographers at DPC seem to take nothing but boring pictures, presumably having become afraid to do anything different.

Don't do that. Let curiosity be your guide.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2014 08:00:38 PM
When viewing this, a scene which has billions of images made of it, I noticed that the colour & contrast invokes a successfully flat & nostalgic 2D post card quality -
appropriate for the image, as I see that sentiment.
The colour work is very good, but the sharpen and contrast is too strong. Voted 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2014 03:11:52 PM
I agree with some of the other comments. It does look a bit flat and out of focus, especially the rock outcrop on the right and cloud definition, perhaps due to the heavy mist. The colors of the foliage in the background do not stand out. Could the topaz denoise had an effect on that? I do like the framing and subject matter.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2014 02:28:26 PM
The composition does not quite work for me. The building distracts and the drama of the water is not sufficiently emphasized. The colors look a bit too green. It is also a common problem that you know the context of the location well and see more in the photo than a casual observer.

Disclaimer - this is a reply to your request for more feedback and meant to be an attempt to understand the DPC score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/07/2014 12:14:12 PM
Nicely done - seeing the sharp details in the water is cool, it's well composed and the sky is interesting, and you captured the mist well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2014 10:02:51 PM
That building adds a lot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2014 03:03:20 AM

Just voted...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2014 04:56:33 AM
I love the matte finish, gorgeous!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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