First time posting an image for critique and am looking forward to learning from any advice/comments you feel to leave!
I set out looking to take sunset pictures further north of downtown, but lighting did not cooperate. I was inspired by some Chicago skyline pictures that a fellow nikonian had posted a couple of days ago so I got back in my car and headed south to Adler Planetarium. Once there I promptly ran into Dennis, the gentleman who had posted the earlier images and who was now out for another try. So, what started as a ruined sunset turned into two hours of great conversation, some fun pictures, and a random nikonian's meetup.
I'm posting the two below images because conditions changed quite a bit over those couple of hours. Initially, there was little wind and only a few clouds. The lake was much calmer than usual and made for some nice reflections. About 45 min before I headed home the wind picked up and heavier clouds rolled in with a little fog that accentuated the orange haze of the city.
I guess for the first picture I was going for a pretty standard skyline shot (and an excuse to try my new 16-35 f/4!). I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, except for some distortion that I couldn't quite seem to remove.
The second image I really like, but am not so sure of. A few things: 1) There is a plane taking off behind the Sears Tower and the long shutter time left a streak. I really like it, but was wondering if I should clone out?
2) The crop...I know the horizon is middle frame, but I liked it. Any thoughts?
3) No way to freeze the ice flow b/c of shutter speed, but I like how it frames the picture. Does the blur bother you?
4) I purposely over-exposed in post to punch up the haze and city lights. Too much?
Thanks for any replies, I've learned so much from these forums and it was great randomly meeting Dennis.
Nikon 16-35 f/4
1st) 28mm, ISO 100, f/11, 20 sec
2nd) 18mm, ISO 100, f/11, 30 sec
Both taken in live view (for mirror up) and IR remote trigger.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
#1. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 0helmdr Registered since 08th Nov 2012Sun 10-Mar-13 12:44 PM
I.ll let the experts do the critique, and will throw one up on another thread. I am still really suprised that standing out in subfreezing temperatures, that I would run into and meet a fellow nikonian. Great conversation and enjoyed meeting you Josh.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#2. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 0
#3. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 0
Greetings Joshua, welcome to Nikonians!
Of the two images I prefer the first. I find the second one overexposed and washed out. I also prefer the color in the first.
On the first one the composition is fair enough and I think the horizon line is just enough out of center to work especially since it has the reflection. It does however still seem to slope to the right. The buildings from center still lean right & left so there is still some keystoning/distortion going on like you stated. The image on this end seems to have a green cast and is making the image a little muddy or unclear. The detail in the shadows is very nice but feel the over all image lacks contrast or clarity. I worked with your image some in LR & Photoshop. I still think the color could use a little work, the image seems a little warm on this end and this would be much better done with the RAW. I think I was able to remove the green cast I noticed and straighten the perspective. In doing so I lost some of the image on the right. I finished with some localized sharpening on the buildings. Seeing it now I am pretty sure you could pull a stronger image out of the RAW file.
All these Chicago skyline images are making me want to get down there. Thanks for sharing.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
#5. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 3Sun 10-Mar-13 04:49 PM
Thanks very much for taking the time to comment and edit!
I had to laugh a little when I read your comment about the greenish tint. The color was accurate (unfortunately). Chicago tends to go a little crazy for St. Patrick's Day and some buildings have gotten a head start in putting out their green flood lights. Particularly the building to the right of the Sears Tower. It had a pretty bright flood on the antennas that spread throughout part of the frame.
I want to go back into lightroom and work on the raw some more. I really like what you did with the localized sharpening and distortion correction. I can handle the sharpening, but was hoping you wouldn't mind explaining what you did for distortion. I'm going to be shooting this lens wide pretty often and don't have a firm grasp on how to correct. Vignetting was easy to get out, but I really struggled with distortion. I have another image I want to post from this night and the distortion is even worse.
Fair enough about the 2nd image. I knew it was over-exposed but kind of liked the mood and wash out.
Thanks so much again!
#6. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 5Bump57 Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007Sun 10-Mar-13 06:39 PM
You are more then welcome. Using LR 4. Under Lens Corrections use these settings in manual.
Vertical = +6 This was the biggest adjustment.
Horizontal = -1
Rotate = -2
Once you start to use this tool often it becomes easier to correct most all lens. Each image will be different though, there is no magic bullet.
Scott Martin Sternberg
Scotts Fine Art
#8. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 7Mon 11-Mar-13 12:56 PM | edited Mon 11-Mar-13 12:57 PM by kidsthehall45
Thanks so much John! I think the consensus is that the first image is preferable. I still want to redo a bit of post per Scott's comments. I really liked the 2nd image, but that was very much personal taste. I normally don't like blown out/over-exposed, etc, but for some reason the 2nd picture captured something of what it felt to be there taking the pictures that night. So, pretty flawed technically, but somewhat accurate mood-wise. Thanks again for commenting. I have one more that I'm going to throw up from that night that I managed to get a little foreground into.
#9. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 8
#10. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 9Mon 11-Mar-13 01:16 PM
Thanks for the comment! The shots were taken from the lake front just north of Adler planetarium. Unless you go quite a bit further south, it's the best north-facing view of the skyline in the city. If you're ever back in town it's certainly worth checking out. If you come in the summer, Montrose Harbor is my favorite place and where I spend most of my time. Great pier and bird sanctuary. Thanks again!
#11. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 10Bob Chadwick Nikonian since 12th Jan 2006Mon 11-Mar-13 01:50 PM
Thanks Joshua. We went North toward the Navy Pier. Got a couple of good skyline shots from near the fountain in the park but we never got any further south. I'll keep that in mind for next time I come out there.
#12. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 0
#13. "RE: Chicago Skyline, Ice, and Haze" | In response to Reply # 12Mon 11-Mar-13 04:18 PM
Thanks Scottie. The calm lake isn't super rare, but the amount of stillness was pretty unusual. There are a couple of breaker closer to shore that take care of some of the waves further in, but my vantage from the photo is maybe 300 yards before the breakers. Usually pretty choppy where I was standing.