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Camera Angle Or Clone?

The original image as presented for feedback.


Our Anonymous Photographer has visited the United Kingdom and I seem to remember something about this art instalation on TV! But I'm showing my age because no one watches TV anymore! I like the camera angle, using the diagonals of the wall to cross the motion of the flowers. And although a great record shot, the camera angle remains challenging even though I think the photographer has gone to great efforts to obtain a clear angle. Zooming or walking into position, we have a good view of the flowers and the castle wall, but unfortunately, there are some compositional intrusions!



At the edges of the frame are little bits of castle wall that impinge on the image. The left could be easily cropped off, but the stonework in the foreground overlaps the flowers. A slightly higher vantage point may have solved this issue, but perhaps the photographer didn't have a ladder? And moving left or right could have introduced other obstacles. There's also a yellow crane or frame in the background that stands out and grabs the eye. What to do?



While my retouching here has been inexpertly done, you can see what the clone tool can do, removing the foreground stonework. Done with care, the result can look completely natural to the eye, but it will take time. That's why it's best to get the angle right in camera, but if you can't post-production can sometimes help. The edge of the wall on the left has also been cloned out with extra grass, but it could as easily have been cropped out.



On my screen, the wall is a little light, so I have darkened it and the town down, bringing the emphasis back onto the grass and flowers.



Next I have desaturated the yellow frame work in the background. It's just a small point, but in competitions and exhibition work, small details are incredibly important.



Finally, I have darkened the background hills just a little more. At this stage, I have kept the overall tonality the same as presented, but I wonder what it would look like if I lightened the whole image?



Personally, I think the lighter version is more satisfactory, although I wonder now if I should re-darken the wall... 


Our e-book on How To Win Photo Competitions isn't just for making better competition entries, it's full of great advice on improving all your photos - you can find it here.


Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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