Light on North Brother

What do you think of this one? I very much like the light but am a bit conflicted on the composition.
It’s a stitched pano with the Pentax K10d and 70-300 lens.
The light disappeared about 20 seconds after this…
Considered cropping but couldn’t decide!


I like it. I find that the proportions of the illuminated area approximate the proportions of the image.

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Thanks! That’s a good point about the proportions. I hadn’t noticed that… at least not consciously.

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I like it too. Could you remove the two telephone/power posts?

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Beautiful photo, beautiful colors. I would try cutting from the bottom left corner to the pole and reducing the foreground while maintaining the proportions. Just a test.
Greetings. Roberto


I like the composition and light very much, but I find the lighter area on the top left (high cloud?) distracting. Have you tried lowering the brightness there? Or directly cloning some blue sky into it?

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I like the photo, too. The only thing that disturbs me a little, is the size of the relatively boring foreground.

might be worth a try.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone!

We call 'em power poles :slight_smile: I’ve always found it interesting that out here all the telephone network is underground. Kilometers upon kilometers, all underneath.
Anyway, as requested… I don’t mind them, but now I removed them I must admit it is rather neater.

Here you go. :slight_smile: Actually, I’ve cropped in from the lower right a little as well, as I felt it become slightly unbalanced when cropping just the left. What do you think?

Hmmm… now that one hadn’t occurred to me… it would probably help avoid distraction. I just tried a bit of cloning in GIMP, but wasn’t able to get a satisfactory result.

I exported the individual images from darktable, then stitched and exported as jpeg - I should possibly do it properly, and bring back into darktable as a 32bit TIFF so I could treat it as a whole image, and add a gradient on that bit. But I’m feeling a bit too lazy right now to do that… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

BTW, the ‘blue’ sky, while it is indeed blue is actually a dark cloud bank, possibly a thunderstorm, and the paler bits are nearer or lower cloud in front… one of those slightly deceptive bits of weather.

Yes, it’s certainly a point.

the “pano3” crop is certainly better balanced in the broad strokes than the OP, but the foreground in either case is a little lackluster, lacking interest in the detail. Not sure if there’s much you can do to fix it to be honest. Maybe masking off the bottom and adding some medium-range luma contrast with the contrast equaliser .

I would attack this in darktable - the colour zones module, possible with the help of some parametric masking, or pushing some colour into with a graduated filter should do the job. Cloning would be very difficult in this situation, you’ll never get the gradient right.

edit: I won’t post it because this isn’t a PlayRAW and I’d rather not tread on your toes, but if you’re in agreeance with some of my critiques I’ve had some joy with the tone equaliser, contrast equaliser and the graduated density modules in spicing the image up a tad. I think a tighter crop works too, but isn’t clearly “better” by any means.

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The lighting is nice. I hope the foreground is razor sharp since I can’t tell on the compressed file that is uploaded. I would clone out the telegraph poles. Below is my simple crop where I deliberately wanted to crop into the dark bushes on the left so that they contributed to the framing of the shot rather than being an object floating within the picture area.

Yes, darktable would be the way to go. I think I lost enthusiasm. :wink:

Hmmm… :thinking:

Thanks. I’m a little puzzled as to your issue with the uploaded file - it is around 6600x2000 and when I click on it in this thread it fills the screen with loads of detail. Some blocking in the sky due to compression, but not elsewhere. Maybe you have a browser issue?

Anyhow, no, the foreground is well and truly out of focus. :joy:

This brings me to a related point - I’m glad I posted this in the Critique section as it’s been a little bit eye opening for me to see (or rather read) how much this kind of image is open to interpretation.

For me, I want that lower foreground to be as invisible as possible - there’s no interest there and I don’t want there to be, as it just pulls my eye away from the low-key drama of the play of light on the gentle yet massive curves of the Brother.
So for me (and I stress this is just my view, not at all suggesting it’s the “correct” view) any attempt to add local contrast, or focusing on the foreground is undesirable.

Now, clearly my view is not universal - :wink: - and in any case I might be biased from having actually been there.
Any thoughts? I hope I don’t appear to be discounting the helpful suggestions that have been made - that’s not my intention! After all, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the image to start with - I very much appreciate all your input.


[cough] that’s a windbreak of Pinus radiata - about 20 metres tall.

I agree that the lower foreground doesn’t deserve to be a major point of interest in the frame, but the fact is in that composition its demanding attention. It weighs far too heavy in the frame for mine - if you want it to be invisible the best way would be to crop more of it out.

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I agree!

My bad, I saved the picture without expanding it first and this is what I got.

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I incorrectly used the word cloning, but the healing option in the retouch module would do a fine job. In all programs I default to the healing options and only sometimes do a true clone.

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I think your second version is nearly optimal.
Its a tranquil scene, and in this second version you have removed any object (clouds) that are cut off at the frames, which would otherwise create some (unwanted) tension.

However, I would reintroduce that rightmost pole. It balances the two patches of trees on the left, and creates imm that slight feeling of tension (“stone in the shoe”), but still fits with the calm and feeling of long lines (figuratively and literally).

Yes, there isn’t much of interest in the foreground, but I disagree that it demands much attention. Rather the top of the hill, with its much lighter area, catches my attention anyhow, and the foreground, uninteresting or not, (astonishingly …) adds depth.

EDIT: If the foreground is cropped too much, we’ll lose that feeling of sunlight only appearing in patches of the terrain, which I think is an important aspect of what the image is conveying. So, if one feel a need for reducing the impression of too much uninteresting foreground, I would rather try to darken it somewhat more, than to eliminate it.

Nice image. Thanks for showing.
(One day I may show you my similar winter image … :slight_smile: )

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That’s a very interesting idea - and a good one I think. Hadn’t thought of that, but definitely does balance it.

We think alike :wink: , although I’m not 100% convinced that it works yet.

Yes please!