<<< o >>>no. 16 34 comments + add yours

I originally intended that this would be a full-colour shot but the colours in the remainder of the image detracted from the bouy – the intended focal point of the shot. So, given that the black and while version didn't work out either, I went for a selectively colourised version instead.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
2.56pm on 18/11/05
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
184mm (294mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + piers [Fleetwood] + fylde coast
comment by ps at 05:13 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

quite nice contrast between orange bouy and coloured sea, but I not sure about these colors. Maybe i'm too demanding... or i'm just wrong :-)

comment by ps at 05:16 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

I think I know why... :P because i'm using white theme... in black it looks much better ;-)

comment by djn1 at 05:33 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

ps: when I work on an image in Photoshop I normally work full-screen, with the black background, and I use chromasia's black background as my default. Which probably means that most shots will look better with that theme than any other.

comment by shanec at 05:38 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Yes, the black theme is much better. I like the composition.

comment by Magnus von Koeller at 05:39 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Well, I do like the selective coloring but I find the shot to be very unbalanced. For one, there is too much unsharp sea at the bottom. Also, I find it to be unbalanced left/right. I would say you would either have to get a complete symmetry in the shot (disturbed only by the buoy) or crop more on the right to make the unsymmetry more pronounced. Just my humble opinion... :)

I love the buoy though. :) The contrast to the sea works really well.

comment by djn1 at 05:42 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Magnus: I guess it's a matter of opinion as to whether it works or not, but I wanted the shot to be unbalanced; i.e. I wanted some tension rather than balance in the shot – the lack of clarity in the foreground, and the central beam of the pier offset to the right.

Or, put another way, I didn't want it to be too easy to look at ... if that makes sense.

comment by flying cow at 05:48 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Fantastic beyond fantastic

I love it.

comment by Enike at 06:24 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Definitely two different pics when viewed on the white versus the black!

comment by Justin Gaynor at 06:46 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

It's quite interesting the way that the shot changes when viewed on the black background versus the white. I love the way that some of the edges just seem to fade away when viewed on black. This is a very nice composition.

comment by Joe Lencioni at 07:18 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Generally speaking, I find selectively colourized images entirely unpalatable. However, I think that because you used a blueish hue instead of a straight gray, this image isn't quite as bad. I do like the slight vignetting and the geomety of the subject.

comment by Anil at 07:22 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

I'm not sure whether I agree with you when you say black is the best theme for the photos here...this shot yes...the black theme is perfect for it but I think most of the times white or even grey works best beacuse there is a clear demarcation between the photo and the surrounding space, thereby letting it stand out better. Hope you understand what I'm saying. Just my humble opnion though, don't want to provoke an argument the first time I comment here!

comment by lel at 08:37 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

This is an example of a photo where I would be very interested to see the original file to have some further insight/discussion into the decision to completely remove all colors other than the orange in the bouy. It seems it was a decision you mulled over a bit. I would not normally be one to criticize that you overprocess...in this photoblog context if it makes a better image it is fine by me. But since you often discuss your decision making process for the heavy changes you make, it would be even more interesting to view these comments alongside before/after comparision.

I have only just started my own blog and must admit I am not sure that I would be so comfortable posting the originals of my files. Posting the unaltered file does give away some of the mystery but since the discussion is often already on the table with your pics, I wonder what you and others think about this idea. It seems that most of us are blogging to learn more about our own and others image-making processes and opening things up even more from start to finish could be useful.

comment by tobias at 09:10 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Yes, the selective colouring is well chosen. Really gives the image a great zing. Reminds me of the "ING" finance ad...

comment by Leo at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

I like the color treatment. Composition works well, solid shot. I would also love to see the original.

comment by Geoff at 10:31 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Nice shot Dave. I think the composition is very strong. It's impossible to comment without having access to the original, and even then of course we wouldn't all agree, but I was wondering if a selectively desaturated image would have worked better than this one? Just a thought. But as far as your artistic all goes, I think the blue toning works really well in this context, and the buoy is certainly striking. Chromasia back to its best I'd say.

comment by JD at 10:40 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Nice shot,

I agree with most comments on the unsharpness (was this there pre processing/photo shop???).

On the white VS black theme note: I will most definitally be using black as default to try and gain a better idea of what you want the image to look like.
Have you thought about setting the black background as the default for us all??????

comment by JD at 10:43 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

I wish I could think of a better word than nice to describe this image

"Nice" is over used on this site.
I think it and many others deserve a better comment than nice!!!!!

So I appologise for this ;)

comment by roy at 11:52 PM (GMT) on 20 November, 2005

Well, even from the thumbnail in my RSS reader I had doubts about this one. Apart from the selective colour, which I find a bit dubious at the best of times (reminds me too much of advertising campaigns I guess), I just find the whole balance of this picture leaves much to be desired.
Sorry to be a party-pooper on this occasion; an interesting experiment but not a picture that speaks to me in the same way as many of your others do.

comment by nuno f at 12:00 AM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

The color selection was the best choice. I'm not distracted by the water and the structure colors and I'm directly guided to the bouy. Excellent work as always. : )

comment by djn1 at 12:28 AM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

Anil: I take back my comment about most shots looking better with the black theme as that's not really what I meant (even though I did say it). I guess that what I meant, and this is only my take on this, is that many of the shots look more vibrant against the black theme. And this isn't necessarily a good thing. Oh I don't know, I guess, like a lot of things, it's just a question of taste ;-)

lel: I don't have time to put up the original – it's after midnight here – but when I will put up some before and after shots at some point.

JD: the foreground blur is in the original. And yes, I've thought about setting the default theme to black, but decided against it. Not sure why though. I'll give it some more thought.

roy: 'balance' is an interesting thing, and on occasion it's something I'm trying to avoid, but like any transgression of the 'rules' it's difficult to get right. I guess that what I'm aiming for in some of my shots is a tension in the composition that makes them less comfortable to view; where you have to do more work, and where the lack of balance makes you question the scene in a way that you wouldn't otherwise.

comment by dan culberson at 01:18 AM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

Love the tones. Thanks!

comment by Rob at 02:59 AM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

I think this is a very competent shot Dave. I don't mind the color, and I generally like the composition. Don't mind the buoy where it is, but I would have liked to shave just a hair off the left side - or add the solid pier edge to the right side. My sense is that the vertical pier line could have been centered, but that you would still get the unbalanced feel you were looking for as a result of the image being top heavy (intentionally of course) and the orange buoy being not quite in a 3rd (again a assume by design.) I understand what you were going for though, and it has me thinking it would be interesting to pass out the same photo to a bunch of photogs and see how each one crops it/composes it differently. More importantly, I love being back at the beach, by the way, since these have always been some of my favorites of yours ;-) and I, for one, could do without more grafitti!

comment by Simon C at 09:31 AM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

I'm with Joe when it comes to selective colour - it's invariably gimmicky and contrived.

This however, works for me. in fact, it wasn't 'til I actually read the comments that I twigged it was an example of selective colour. I think that because the colour you've selected is completely appropriate for a cold winter sea, I subconsciously accepted it.

Strong composition. I think the amount of out of focus foreground actually helps create a sense of depth and emphasises the buoy as the focal point.

Wish I could afford that lens!

comment by Rob at 11:01 AM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

Great composition and for me the selective colour works well here, great capture

comment by Tom at 12:07 PM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

I prefer judging color images against the grey background offered on your site. Monochromes seem best against the black.

I appreciate the thought processes you describe when deciding how to present your images. Without trying to open up the discussions of a few images ago, my feeling is that art is what the artist wants it to be. It's offered up to the world and that decision must be accompanied by the artist knowing that some will appreciate it, some will hate it, and some will be indifferent. If it's a popularity contest you're after, either enter a beauty contest or go into politics.

Thank you for all your efforts. I learn from your images and your descriptions.

comment by Eduardo Marquetti at 01:33 PM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

Impressive! You choose the best way (color) to show us this pic. Very nice!

comment by djn1 at 03:58 PM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

Thanks everyone.

comment by RustyJ at 08:28 PM (GMT) on 21 November, 2005

I love the contrast in the colour. I like the framing partially because it bugs me to no end not having things symmetric. Although my eyes are drawn to the bouy, I keep looking at what is not there on the right side of the picture. Question: Excuse my ignorance but you did take the picture colour and change everything but the Bouy right? What colour is it? Silverstone blue? ;-)

Thanks David.

comment by Phil at 12:19 AM (GMT) on 22 November, 2005

In some ways it doesnt feel like everything but the bouy is desaturated. Only on looking again today did i really see it. The sea is possibly too dark to be natural, but the beam etc look fine. It really stands out, like its lit up. I also like the blur, gives a sense of motion from the sea.

comment by prasoon at 06:03 PM (GMT) on 22 November, 2005

lovely balance..

comment by kit warren at 03:27 AM (GMT) on 23 November, 2005

i surely like your pictures. I linked to your site from my son's xanga site. your pictures stop me in my tracks and I sit and stare at them.

comment by Charlotte at 09:34 PM (GMT) on 23 November, 2005

I like the selective colour - it helps that they are complementary but that the tones are ver different.

I like the fact that it's difficult to look at - good work.

comment by Miki at 11:11 PM (GMT) on 23 November, 2005


WOW This photo have good cheer/climate.
I linked to your site from my site.

comment by david at 02:51 AM (GMT) on 24 November, 2005

I like the heavy beamwork at the top of the photo - imposing a confined feeling and downward pressure - contrasted against the "floating" freedom and colour of the bouy.