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Joe Svelnys's picture

Autumn Covered Bridge, Connecticut

Taken at a local park, this covered bridge is for a walking path that runs along side a small pond. This is my first Autumn with a camera and couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a picture of it.

[Edit: First image is the original, but for a few minor tweaks, straight from camera. Second image is a rework, using suggestions from the community. Replaced foreground, cropped, and tweaked color grading. Third image is for fun.]

Camera: Nikon d5500, 70~300mm Kit Lens. (f/6.3, 1/60s, iso 400, 70mm) Color Profile set to Normal, and While Balance set to "Cloudy". Hand Held Shot.

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Chris Jablonski's picture

Hi Joe! As you're posting here as well as in your portfolio, I assume you're looking for CC.

To my eye, there are the makings of a good image here, but one thing immediately gets literally in the way - those OOF foreground branches. OOF elements can add interest and depth to an image, but here they obscure what is more important, especially the bridge & reflections, rather than complement it. There may have been no vantage point without obscuring branches, but then you MAY be able to bend some out of the way. Of course, you wouldn't BREAK any... Or - try a different idea. Sometimes what we want just won't work, but may prompt creative thinking, and another idea.

Secondly, the image's tonal values are all very similar i.e. the elements are largely separated and identifiable by their colour, making the image a little more hard to "read" again. If you're doing some processing, this might be possible to remedy.

This edit, with some cloning and an "S" shape added in curves is an attempt to illustrate the above. I'm not sure my tonal changes help much, actually.

Joe Svelnys's picture

Chris, Thank you very much for taking the time for doing this! I only just started shooting a few months ago and having this type of feedback is most helpful.

I agree on all points you brought up. There was plenty of room to move over a few feet and exclude the oof foreground images; but I thought I'd add them when I was there. Doh! But I do agree, it makes the foreground very busy and excludes some of that really nice bridge reflection.

I only did some very minor edits in lightroom/photoshop on this image. I removed some blue spray-paint used to mark the trails; those stuck out like a sore thumb given the white balance of this image. The white balance the image was taken in was "Cloudy" which brought in these tones (it was cloudy out). I should probably leave the grading outside the camera. (heh)

I think I may play with it some more and see what I can do to make the bridge pop more. I can color correct the image, then perhaps bring up the red of the bridge further, then reintroduce back in just a little of the toning (just a little).

Thank you for the great reply and help, Chris.

Joe Svelnys's picture

Reworked the image using your suggestions as a guide. Reworked the foreground, color grade, and slight different crop... Here are two different images, one completely color corrected and the other still with the orange cast.

Chris Jablonski's picture

That's better to my eye, Joe. I think the colour in the second is much too cool to convey the autumn feel, though.

BTW as the original poster you can edit the body, not just the comments. So, you can put these images under your main one, so we can scroll between and see the effect. You can also change the text, although this can make some of the comments before that hard to understand for someone coming later.

Joe Svelnys's picture

Good to know, thanks for the heads up. I'm not at the desktop at the moment but once I am I'll add the images to the original post. I agree the color in the second image is far too cool for autumn, just thought I'd include a version without the warmer cast.

This was a good exercise as I normally just do minimal edits to a photo and not full foreground replacements. It came out good though; your suggestions helped a lot.