ScotlandTheScared's 52 - Week 12 - Poverty (delayed due to man flu!)

OK - I have toned this down a wee bit - and fixed a portion of moving car that I'd accidentally left in the image. Hope you like it better now...

I much prefer the 2nd image, you can tell straight away it's HDR and that's what you intended.

I purchased Photomatix the other week and I'm really loving HDR processing, it's so exciting when you press Tone Mapping button! I do use it more to bring out the detail in the shadows rather than producing the HDR full effect images though.
Simon - I prefer the second also - bringing it back to reality a bit. Its obviously still heavily processed, but it is more comfortable on the eyes. Its more cinematic too - moodier - a bit more 'grim up north' and in keeping with the industrial heritage of the area...

Yup - I am happy with no.2 :)

And am loving the way doing a 52 is making me think about photos more. I am still sticking with what I am more comfortable with though - i.e. not people! Perhaps I will push that envelope if the theme allows...
Blue cast in the first image is was too much of an attack on the senses. In 2nd the tones are much more subtle and palatable. Took me ages to find the sign. Good interpretation of the theme (y)
This is really cool - it just shows how inspiration is all around, provided we keep our eyes open. Well done for spotting it - and converting it into an excellent take on the theme. :clap:

I quite liked the first version on the basis that not all photographs have to be serious and you were aiming for a 'cartoony' style. I know a very successful artist who has a quirky cartoon style of doing local scenes and I could identify this with her work. But #2 is heaps better on every front, imho. The gritty northern mood comes over very well indeed. Success :):)

Thanks Jean! Am happy with it myself - especially given it wasnt planned and I had no tripod...

Now - on to 'Opposites' - my brain cant cope with having to come up with original stuff every week! However, will attempt to stay away from cliched takes on the topic and continue out of box thinking if possible...
Really like the second image and reflects what I remember of the area. Isn't it great how photography makes you notice or remember things that others just walk by without seeing. :D

Also, the Learning shot reminds me of when I worked at NBS and I definitely needed a drink after all the scripts/essays/projects (and sometimes after the lectures :beer: when I felt like this :runaway:
OK - was struggling with 'Opposites'. I was thinking of north pole vs. south pole (I'm research glaciers in Antarctica) but there was no realistic way of achieving that! So I stuck with 'poles' and thought about electricity. Hence this weeks photo is probably the most boring one you will ever see - sorry! Faffed around with my close-up lenses again in a poor attempt at a close-up still life type thing. Never really tried still-life so dont know what I should have been aiming for. However, I felt the photo with a small depth of field worked better than the one with large depth of field... so here you go - be kind :D

I like your thinking on the theme. Polar opposites are polar opposites whether they're Arctic/Antarctic or +/-.

I've struggled with dof this week, too, but imo, you were right to aim for a shallow dof. As for composition - it's fine. The eye flows through the picture very comfortably. B&w was a good choice and the backdrop has a nice texture to contrast with the shiny, smooth batteries. So - definitely not boring at all. :clap::clap:

Thanks Jean,
DoF on this was tricky - maybe due to the close-up lenses - DoF was exaggerated so much more than I am used to. Was the first time I have used live-view to get the focus right - turns out to be a very useful feature I must say!
Catch up tieme :

: Second is easier on the eyeballs than the first :) (and I'm an HDR fan :)) and that message must have been a surprise! Where were you to get that vantage point?

Like to see a non HDR version to compare at some stage :)

A brilliantly composed and thought out shot! I really really like that! Also liking the solid shiny batteries against the dull soft cloth!

Thats a cracking image :D
the surprise image is taken from Byker Bridge in Newcastle looking south over the area where the Ouse burn meets the river Tyne... I dont have a decent non-hdr version because the contrast on that day was so extreme. Its really dark in the bottom of the ouse burn valley and the sun was really bright that day. Need to go pack when the dark clouds are in or when the sun is at a better angle...

Thanks for your comments :) - I'm surprised my opposites image came out that well given batteries are rather dull objects...
arghh, this is what I was going to do... I have no other ideas at the moment so it may still be... I think you've done a good job conveying the theme, really well composed and taken.
Good take on it (y), I initially thought of poles but thought of magnets not batteries, but
a) couldn't find any.
b) didn't know how I would of been able to work them into a picture.
Like the idea, I hadn't thought of north/south plus/minus.

Simple idea, executed effectively.
I almost did this idea for this week..phew:LOL:

I like the very shallow DOF, you pulled it off nicely..(y)

and a great B&W shot to boot..:clap:
Very good Stewart, polar opposites... I thought about trying this using magnets... I couldn't think of a way to do it though. That shows the theme really well and works well in B&W
Great idea and I think the DOF works well. B&W and composition all good - nice work Stewart, especially as you say this isn't really your "thing" :clap:
I'm really impressed with all the shots, but especially like the DOF in Opposites! nice one! (y) I must get myself a nifty fifty ;)

Also, the 2nd HDR shot looks really good. What program do you use?
jammy - thanks for the comments :)

I used photomatix for the HDR. In fact, I only have the evaluation copy which outputs 3 watermarks onto the image. At the moment I am unemployed, so cant afford to purchase the full license, so am using photoshop elements 7 to remove the watermarks. Thus the photos dont stand up to being blown up large! I tweak contrast, levels saturation etc in Photoshop once I have what I want from photomatix.

As soon as I get some income I will be upgrading to the full version of photomatix because it really is easy to use and I believe in supporting the developers.
Surprise I am not keen on. Compositionally it is quite interesting but the processing (while better in no.2) is too over the top for me. I also think the theme is not obvious from the picture.

Opposites however, I very much like. You've chosen the focus nicely for the depth of field, composed it nicely and lit it well. Great stuff.
I like your thinking on the theme. Polar opposites are polar opposites whether they're Arctic/Antarctic or +/-.

I've struggled with dof this week, too, but imo, you were right to aim for a shallow dof. As for composition - it's fine. The eye flows through the picture very comfortably. B&w was a good choice and the backdrop has a nice texture to contrast with the shiny, smooth batteries. So - definitely not boring at all. :clap::clap:

:agree: Nice one! :clap:
The Matt - I guess surprise theme is not supposed to be obvious immediately - thats the whole point of the image - there is a surprise in there which some people will see and some people wont. Those that see the message get a surprise :) Point taken on the processing though - its not everyones cup of tea. I deliberately wanted to make it cartoony though because doing this 52 is all about experimentation for me. My previous HDR (week 2) wasnt so over the top I hope!

Thanks all for comments on week 5 'Opposites' - now on to this week - 'Special' - will be difficult to avoid cliches on this one!
Hi Stewart, what a great interpretation for the Opposites submission. Great composition, fantastic Dof, and the contrast between soft and shiny. A cracking image :clap::clap:
OK - did not like this topic. Wanted to avoid cliche and continue thinking out of the box. Trouble was I had got absolutely nowhere with any of my ideas. However, when I was walking in to town this morning I took the camera because the sun was out. I looked up and saw this and the first thing that popped in to my head was 'Special Handshake'. Its not an exciting photo so I desaturated the red bricks and upped contrast a wee bit and hey presto - I actually quite like it. I hope you will too...

I like it, I'm not usually too keen on selective colouring, but in this case I think it works well. Another interestin interpretation on the theme.
I think it's worked well too, that wonderful blue sky background links nicely to the lettering, and desaturating the bricks I think highlights that. An interesting and different take on the theme, but it fits well.
Well nobody will say that's not thinking outside the box...:LOL:

I'm not big fan of things that are out for tilt...but you managed to convince me on this give it a edgy feel.

It works for me...excellent...(y)
There's nowt about this I don't like - great interpretation, all the way out of the box :)

Processing is lovely, angle is great, sky is wonderful :)

Top shot! :clap:
God I wish I could do that kind of processing on my pics(y)

I really like this and think that you were absolutely right to desaturate the bricks as I think the grey tones work beautifully against that vibrant sky.:clap::clap:

nice one(y)
I love the blue in this picture and a different way to interpret the theme (y)
Well this week I failed to think out of the box so I'm a bit disappointed with myself. No imagination! Anyway - was in Newcastle town centre today and liked the geometry of the paving pointing away down the street. I thought the paving provided a nice way to frame the crowds of people on their way home for the weekend. Its a pretty dull photo really but crowds wasnt a topic that inspired me (I like peace and quiet!). So - do your worst...