B + W Images of Krakow

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Dave Spencer, 30 Nov 2007.

  1. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    First off, I have to say that these photos in no way represent what the beautiful old city of Krakow really looks like. I like to give my pictures a gloomy look. You may also notice that I like to shoot straight in to the sun as well. :lol:

    Walking down Grodzka:
    Kr021pscropaint.jpg

    Church of Bernardyna (I think):
    Kr009pspaint.jpg

    The park that totally surrounds the old city. It is actually a filled in moat:
    Kr005psabpaint.jpg

    Some old building:
    Kr001pspaint.jpg

    The next few photos are of Kazimierz, an area of Krakow outside the old city. It was a Jewish ghetto during WW2 and featured quite a bit in the film Schindler`s List, and was the birthplace of Helena Rubinstein.

    Jewish symbology:
    Kr116pspaint.jpg

    Two pictures of the only remaining section of the wall built by the SS to keep the Jewish people in the ghetto. It was built from grave headstone shaped sections, possibly as a warning of the ultimate fate of the inhabitants:
    Kr135pspaint.jpg

    Kr131pspaint.jpg

    Cheers, Dave.
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
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    Good stuff Dave! I' guess it was intentional but you've lost a lot of detail in the shadows on some of the shots where you're shooting into sunlight, especially on that first shot. A graduated neutral density filter would allow you to shoot into the sun and still get gloom but to bring out any interesting details from the shadow areas. 8)

    It's all art and opinion right? Not slamming the effort or anything but I reckon the technique works brilliantly in the third shot with the solitary figure coming/going down the pavement. There are plenty of silhouettes but enough detail to keep interest deep into the frame with the pavement and buildings on the right and left. The first two shots though seem a bit overwhelming because too much of the frame has zero information. I like the dynamic elements of the Grodzka shot, the dramatic sky and waving flags, but for me, B&W is all about texture and it seems you whipped out the gloom hammer and bashed me over the head with it... :lol:

    I love the first wall shot, again, because all the elements have texture, the wall, the sky and the repeating pattern of the snow on top of the wall. That's my favorite. I think photoshop can straighten the wall with the "lens distortion" tool (it's falling away in the distance).

    Cheers,
     
  3. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Thanks for the feedback, Clive.

    You are spot on about the close up of the wall, which is a favourite of mine. I just need the time to have a go on Photoshop to learn how to get rid of barrel distortion. It will certainly help a lot of my building pics along, and with getting tank edges vertical.

    As for the street scene, I wasn`t sure which picture to post, so being me, I went for the darkest I had. I only took two shots as we were on the hoof on the way to get something to eat, and there was no stopping Alison. :lol:

    This was the other shot I managed to get off, but with a bit too much flare. Sorry to depress you, Clive. I think you are going to need a winter holiday in the Sun by the time I have finished posting my pics.
    Kr020pspaint.jpg

    Dave.
     
  4. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Especially like the first one, the washing looks like you added it in photoshop.

    Sam
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Boy, that's for sure Dave :p You had me reaching for the Prozac capsules I was so bummed out. I guess I won't be going to Krakow for that holiday.

    Hey, when you do get some time, definitely play with Photoshop because the results are worth the effort. Check this out; That wall picture isn't suffering from barrel distortion at all (Nikon would have a heart attack). That's a distortion which happens to geometric structures as a result of the lens face not being parallel with the surface of the structures. The effect is more pronounce the further away the object is from the lens face. That's why the end of the wall falls away more than the face nearest the lens. The same thing happens when you take a picture of a tall building - in order to get the top of the building into the frame we normally tilt the camera so that the lens face is no longer parallel to the vertical line of the building.

    This is referred to as Perspective. It can easily be fixed in Photoshop but you will lose some of the data.

    Here is how you access the feature in Photoshop. Select Filter | Distort | Lens Correction...
    [​IMG]

    Photoshop then places the image on a perfect grid pattern so that you can see the lines of the image versus the grid. Over to the right are your controls. The set of controls on the bottom "Transform" are the ones you want.

    Vertical Perspective - If your picture is of a direct frontal view so that the top of the building falls away from you. Use this slider to rotate the building back towards you. The rotational axis is the horizontal lines on the grid.
    Horizontal Perspective - If the distortion is in the horizontal so that horizontal lines fall away or converge, use this control to rotate aroun the vertical lines.
    Angle - This is your case. It is not a head on frontal shot but vertical lines fall away. Imagine a line drawn from your eyes going into the frame (Z axis). Rotate vertical lines around this axis with "Angle". You can grab the wheel or just type in an angle from "=" to "359.99" In this case I played with both and got something like 356.98 degrees.
    [​IMG]


    You normally lose data from the four edges of the frame resulting in white grid patterns where image data used to be. The more you correct the more data you lose. In the end I just cropped out the blanked data and this was the result.
    [​IMG]

    The far wall is still not perfectly vertical but one more degree of correction lost an unacceptable amount of image. If you are aware that this perspective loss occurs with this type of shot you can plan the shot better, perhaps with a wider angle, knowing that there will be some data loss and resulting cropping. This is one of the things that is so cool about digital. It took me less than 5 minutes to do it (and an hour to explain it).

    Hope it makes sense :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
     
  6. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Can we have a photoshop tutorial section?!

    :)
     
  7. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Cheers for the tutorial, Clive. What version of Photoshop are you using? I am using 7, and the menu is a little different.

    I found it in: EDIT - TRANSFORM - SKEW.

    Kr135psskewpaint.jpg

    A series of tutorials is a good idea, Beeky, but there are a lot of different versions out there. I could write one or two basic tutorials, but they would be Photoshop 7 specific.

    Dave.
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Dave,
    Sorry about that. I use CS3. I think that the menu structure and features for CS, CS2 and CS3 are fairly similar whereas the pre-CS versions are similar to each other, Hope you didn't have too much head scratching :oops:

    I like the idea of the tutorials. I think BigDanne did one. You could draft one up on your version 7 and I could see what differences there are on the post-CS versions. I figure folks would appreciate getting a handle on the functions even if they have to hunt around a bit. I know I found it very intimidating in the beginning, but liberating after I had a clue.

    Sounds like a nice project (maybe after Christmas) We can just build a list of most common tasks and work on each slowly.

    Cheers,
     

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