AP APPRAISAL

AP APPRAISAL

I LIKE this kind of picture, but I am not going to let that influence my judgement here-window shots are not everyonething.

After all, it seems crazy to shoot a dummy when the world is full of real people. However, their life in shop windows and their influence on society makes them fair and interesting game.

At night, these creatures are lit with spotlights and as a consequence tend to suffer from a lot of contrast, as can be seen here. Rex has made an excellent exposure, though, and has not allowed much of the head to burn out in the highlights.

The face is a little too dark-which is something that couldnbe fixed in-camera-and there is detail in the interior of the store that would benefit us if we were to bring it out. At the same time I would like a little more black, so some work in Levels has provided deeper shadows, darker midtones and some tone to the bumt-out areas of the image.

The result is a punchier image, but some of the darker detail has suffered. A neat way to lift these darker tones is to add a tonal layer to the image that creates a starting base, similar to pre-flashing contrasty darkroom paper. I used the Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color method and selected a warm orange tone to drop over the picture. This added a nice sepia-esque shade, while bringing back some detail.

I am rather fond of the end result and would have been proud to have taken it myself.

Blackpool Illuminations Ian Monk

Nikon D700,24-70mm, 6secs at f/18, ISO 200

THERE IS nothing like a bt of night-time photography. With the lights on and the sky in darkness the world seems a very different place, and with a tnpod beneath your camera you can capture that  otherworldliness  with exposures as long as you like and at your lowest ISO setting.

Ian Monk s picture of Blackpool Illuminations is an excellent example of what you can expect,

and it is a scene that you probably wouldn t look twice at during daylight hours, but one which works so well at night.

I am not the greatest fan of traffic trails, but I think that in this image Ian has used them extremely well to create additional interest in the shot. I like his upright composition and the way he has occupied the inevitable space at the bottom of the frame with that fantastic puddle. I am a great fan of puddles!

My only (moderate) concerns are that Ian s blacks are a bit hazy and his colours are a little cyan. To fix these issues I used a reasonably sharp curve to darken the dark tones and lighten the light, and then a hue shift to introduce a touch more red/ magenta warmth. That said, Ian s is a wonderful image, and he should be very pleased with it.

Lonely girl waiting for the tram

Jevgenijs Scolokovs

Canon EOS 5D, 24-105mm 1/6sec at f/4, ISO 800

I HAVE spent some time pnotographing people waiting for trams and buses, and I can confirm that they often make the most excellent subjects-distant, distracted, bored, in animated conversation, but most of all, not moving too much. However, I have never quite managed a picture as moody and as exciting as this one by Jevgenijs. In fact, I had to check it wasn t a statue. The rain and backlighting make an astonishing atmospheric base to place the semi-silhouetted form of the girl with the background of the buildings in the square. I love the light on the cobbles and the way it makes the umbrella glow.

My only issue is that the telegraph pole interferes with the umbrella, and instead of having a clean, clear outline and shape, its canopy blends with the pole and cabling, which appear to burst from its peak.

It is really a question of postioning, and of seeing the problem at the time of shooting, but in al that rain I think we can let him off.

I canremove that ensemble of telegraph pole, cables and lights entirely as it is an important element in the image. Instead, I ve done some crude cloning to part of the pole to demonstrate the difference its absence makes to the clarty of the shapes in the picture, and in distinguishing the subject from its background.

Even so, it is still a first-rate shot, and Jevgenijs wins my picture of the week award.

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