<<< o >>>Fe2O3 #3 34 comments + add yours

Here's the third and final image in this small series, and despite the rather 'cluttered' feel I think this may be my favourite of the three.

On another matter: if you've experienced any problems with chromasia over the last few days (500 Internal Server errors when posting comments, slow access times, and so on): I am aware of this and hope to get it resolved as soon as possible.

Update: I once had a discussion with another photoblogger who told me that he didn't have comments on his site because he wasn't interested in critique, his site was simply about what he wanted to say to his viewers, not vice versa. Anyway, I guess my view has always been that I need critique, that it's one way of moving forward. All of which is a long way of saying that I've re-edited this image following a number of the early comments (with which, on reflection, I agree). The original, if you're interested, is here:


Let me know how you think they compare. Oh, and I did try a reworked monochromatic version, but couldn't get it right.

12.24pm on 12/8/05

Canon 20D

EF 17-40 f/4L USM

17mm (27mm equiv.)



aperture priority






C1 Pro


focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter

3x2 + piers [St. Annes] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by Magnus von Koeller at 10:40 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

Hmmm. I don't really like this image, especially compared to the last one. I think the b&w-conversion somehow takes the life out of the shot. Additionally, I don't think the foreground is really interesting enough like this. But as everybody else seems to love this series of shots, it seems to be just a matter of taste.

comment by djn1 at 10:48 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

Magnus: I did try this one in colour too, but somehow I didn't feel as though it had the impact of this version. And you may not be in a minority. I like this one, but others may not.

comment by dJeyL at 10:49 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

I have to agree with Magnus. The lack of colours makes us miss an important part of information. As compared to the previous images, we can imagine, understand what you want us to see. But as a single shot, it's not that obvious, and some parts of the image don't help the eye (e.g. this big dark sky area).

comment by frans (the netherlands) at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

I like the shot, it's a bit diferent then the ones with color. With the colored ones the fore- and background comes more separated. What I like about this picture is the people is see in the middle it's gives the photo more depht. Also I think this picture has a better atmosphere. Keep up the good work!

comment by John [shots] at 11:14 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

Right Dave - finally, the chance to give some constructive critisism and seeing as you told me which one of my photos you don't like here is my chance to draw 1 -1 and boy am I going to take it as it won't come around that often.

But seriously, I feel that nature has conspired against you for once. As we all know in the western world we are tuned into to scanning information left to right and downwards.

So with that in mind in this photo the sky is dominating the picture because there is a massive dominant patch of Black followed by a large patch of white sky - this means that the subject is coming a poor third in the Rankings and is getting lost in the overall visual scale of things.

I reckon that you should rework this photo and take a lot of the contrast out of that sky and place the emphasis back onto that rust and wood and maybe even reduce some contrast in that as well.

I love the composition, I just think the foreground needs a lot more separation from the background.

Hooray I managed to get even. LOL

comment by owen b at 11:22 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

I'm with John on this one. I find myself looking at the clouds and being drawn to that patch of pale, exposed wood on the right, and when I look at the rusty metal it looks soft and not as detailed as it should be. I do like that black sky, and I love the clouds, but this shot is divided into quarters (sky, clouds, wood, rust, going clockwise) and the wrong ones are pulling my attention.

In fact, my favourite part is the line of buildings in the background, that I come to recognise now even though I don't think I've ever seen them in focus! :)

comment by Guilherme Pinto at 11:24 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

I like it... I love the texture and the tones. The warm B&W work really nicely here.

comment by Ioannis at 11:35 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

John - I think David appreciates _constructive_ criticisms from anyone - he says that the mission of this website is to help him improve and you don't need to be a guru or follow "an eye for an eye" to just give your opinion.

I am afraid I will agree that there is something I don't like about the picture. The sky is distracting - because of the deep black colour I think. Also, the vertical piece of wood on the left does not add to the image I think.

On the plus side, I like how the pier and the iron piece are lined up. I think y removing the black sky somehow, or tilting the camera to face a little more downwards, and by getting rid of this left patch, the shot would improve.

All of this of course comes with a lot of assumptions - about whether another positioning of the camera was feasible, whether the sky was indeed too dark, whether cropping the left bit ruins the composition in a way that I am now unable to speculate.

At normal standards, this photograph would be noteworthy. Following the pictures of 12/8, 8/8, 2/8, 22/7, however, chromasia is a bit too high on my expectations!

comment by Arthur at 11:50 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

Really sorry, but—unlike the two previous Fe2O3s—I’m not a fan of this one. The black sky is rather strange and without the colour feedback (and knowledge of where it is), it would be hard to say the figures are on a beach, and to explain the eroded wood and rusty iron. Perhaps that’s not important, but there’s a bit too much going on (as you say: ‘cluttered’) for it to really reach out and grab me.

Sorry to be negative, but hopefully that explains why!


comment by John [shots] at 11:52 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

Ioannis - It is just a personal joke between me and Dave - don't read too seriously into it.

comment by David at 11:57 PM (GMT) on 14 August, 2005

I too dislike this photograph.

First, it seems structurally stagnant, by which I mean when broken down to basics, all main elements seem to be rigidly vertical or rigidly horizontal, and add together to create a flaccid composition, despite very interesting non-linear details.

Second, since color is not a factor here, form takes precedent (as I see it). A close-in or macro on the wavy tree-ring pattern in the lower right or the flaky surface of the metal knob on left likely would be more conducive to a such a monochromatic image.

Keep up the great works.


comment by erik at 12:17 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

let me incredibly disagree with most of the above... this one surpasses most of the others. this is really SF photography in optima forma. there's hardly any reference left as to what's in the foreground - it IS, however, clearly the spot that our two heroes have set off from in their quest to the Distant City in order to save the (or any) Planet.

it's those out of focus persons that make it a great picture - they're unfocused yet the eye is drawn upon them. and it works.


comment by owen b at 12:49 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Oooh, Erik has a good imagination and you know what, I never really noticed them the first time...

I like this more now, but it's odd seeing something that isn't black & white, and isn't 'chromasia-colours' on the page! My eye doesn't feel bullied into or out of any particular area now. I love the detail of the wood bottom right. The shadow on the bottom left of this, under the rusted object,is quite dominating, and I'd like to the line of the buildings a bit higher, with some seperation between it and the rust...

You know, I only get this picky on shots that are so good. I'd be well chuffed with this, although yesterday's was definitely my favourite.

comment by djn1 at 12:56 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Having posted the second version I'm now not sure that I much like either of them so there may well be a version 3 at some point tomorrow. Then again, there might not ;-) What there will be though, at around 7pm BST, is a shot that I'm definitely happy with.

comment by Magnus von Koeller at 12:57 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Dave: What I referred to as being in the minority is mainly the discussion on the first of the three shots -- which I didn't like while most others seemed to like it a lot.
Now, when it comes to your edit, I indeed like it a lot better than the original. I still don't think it has quite the impact of yesterday's shot (which I liked best of the series) but the lighter sky definitely works better. All in all, good shot but not one of my favorites. :)
BTW: You got me questioning myself there for a second. When I went back to your site I saw the updated image with its slightly blue sky but otherwise mostly brown tones and asked myself whether I just made a total fool of myself by writing about a color image that I don't like the b&w conversion. ;)

comment by Magnus von Koeller at 12:58 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Oh, and I think it's great that you interact with your audience. In my opinion, it just gives that much more life to a site like yours and makes it much more fun to follow.

comment by Sharla at 01:30 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

I'm with John. His analysis is quite good.

This shot is more "pastel" than usual for Chromasia but I like it that way. The colors do allow better definition between the elements and reduces the business of the original.

I think you might have benefitted from a slightly different shooting angle, higher with more downtilt. Maybe. I really like your iron "frog" and would like to see him with some more personal space.

comment by nogger at 01:41 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Oh no! I've missed all the controversy again. :-)

Must admit, I don't particularly like either version but of the two I prefer the b&w. The colour one is far too washed out for me (assuming my monitor doesn't need calibrating again!).

And I'm not too keen on the composition - think it could do without the wood on the left (and on the right in the b&w). In fact, I'd be tempted to just crop it out. Yes. Crop it from the colour version and do the b&w thing on it. That would work for me.

Overall, I think your previous two were a lot better, with yesterday's being my favourite.

comment by Ioannis at 01:41 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Second version is a bit better, I think. The colour compensates on the sky, and the cropping works.

On the problems of it, I guess, is that this iron piece is now too much in the centre of the picture.

Also, the sky is all too blurry and not colourful. The colours of the iron bit are not vibrant, which is what yesterday's pic had as an advantage. Therefore although the colours help enhance the composition and make the picture easier to understand, they don't add to the picture per se.

It is a good picture, don't get me wrong. I like the out of focus people, and the clarity of the iron. Looking forward to tomorrow's picture.

comment by Geoff at 02:34 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

I don't really like it at all.
I think the composition is OK, but the subject is not dominant or striking in any way. The colours as well for me are too washed out, and the sky too bright and distracting. I didn't like the b/w version any better either. This one just doesn't do it for me.

comment by Viking054 at 03:14 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

There really seems to be a mixed opinion on this photo. I'm in the group that doesn't like it. The b&w is really awful for me... mostly because the sky is distractingly dark, but also because it makes it more difficult to tell what it's a picture of. The color version is a little better, but it's still not a very interesting photo. I don't know, maybe it's just not a very good subject.

Looking at all three now, I'd say the first in the series was my favorite. The second two lack some kind of personality. But the first one... maybe it's the rope... it seems to have more purpose.

comment by hiba at 04:24 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

one word:

comment by dJeyL at 05:33 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Indeed, it's almost perfect now. :) Hmm, maybe the sky is slightly too blue; why wouldn't you apply your magical Nightingale-sky thingies?

comment by Ed at 06:34 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

In comparison to the previous Fe2O3 photos, this one is fairly de-saturated, because of the I think I almost like the B&W version more. It's either high contrast or low colour...

comment by doreen at 07:25 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

i like the second version better. it does look a bit "washed out" but the picture looks better with some colour in it. and i like that it looks a bit sepia toned (if that's even the right way to put it)

comment by Hennie at 10:05 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Great shot - I really agree with your changes and much prefer the second version.

I've really enjoyed looking at your website for a few weeks now. I know that there are some talented individuals sharing their comments on this site - and am hesitant to show my complete lack of knowledge. But, having just bought my first digital camera (Nikon coolpix 8800) having had an SLR previously, I was wondering if I could ever hope to take shots as good as shown here. Obviously, there's alot of innate talent here (which I may, or may not, have) ... but I was wondering where I would start in terms of editing photo's and if you could recommend how I might begin improving my own work. I would be really grateful for your thoughts.

comment by frans (the netherlands) at 10:15 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

I liked the first version better, the second version has less tension. I think the second version also is a bit flat. I like it that you do something with al the critiques!

comment by Lu at 10:47 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

maybe it's a good moment to switch from seaside's views to urban lanscapes? will you show us some fine spots for a few lazy pints or a small cozy cafe near the prom?

i'm trying to retrieve from the memory the name of my favourite coffee shop, when i used to cherish sunday afternoons in blackpool, but it keeps on slipping away :)


comment by AJ at 11:56 AM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Sorry but this is just plain boring.

comment by djn1 at 04:30 PM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

Lol :-) Ok, so this isn't one of my most succesful shots, mostly I think because I was undecided (and still am) about how to process it.

Ioannis: I'm pretty sure John meant his comment to be taken lightheartedly ;-)

owen b: I do occasionaly produce some muted shots ;-)

Magnus: :-)

Sharla: I had a few shots from a higher angle but all of them minimised the impact of the ironworks. I'll try and reshoot it next time I'm there.

dJeyL: the 'Nightingale-sky thing' didn't work for this shot - I did try it ;-)

Hennie: without a shadow of a doubt the place to start is with the Curves tool. Here's a good intro'.

Lu: good idea, but I have another land/sea-scape for tomorrow and probably a couple of portraits after that.

comment by Brian at 05:58 PM (GMT) on 15 August, 2005

I've always had a thing for rust, so I like the current series :)

comment by Hennie at 04:03 PM (GMT) on 16 August, 2005

Thank you very much - I will plough through this!

comment by David at 11:34 PM (GMT) on 16 August, 2005

Wow. The "tint" style reworking is dead-on, and totally turns this snap into a success. Its new tonal balance eliminates the rigid horizontal/vertical I commented upon when the image was B&W. I love this photo now.

Excellent rework.


comment by frank Johnson at 11:02 AM (GMT) on 1 September, 2005

Good Service