C&C What would you do with this image?

susannemcom

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I've come a long way with my photography - not necessarily that I'm so much better at it but that I'm ready for comments and critique! But that's another story. This is an image I took when we first had moved over to Ireland, I loved the "pose" of the "mother and child". But I don't like the image and I can't say why. What would you do with it?
I don't have the original RAW file but I have access to all tools in Adobe CC.

2019-04-11-cows-ballymacshoneen-6.jpeg
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To me, the background is distracting. Especially the house and powerlines. Unfortunately that is probably too much to clone out. Therefore, I would look to using a crop. Maybe even a square crop with the cattle in the center.

Then I would probably pull down the exposure and/or highlights. They seem a bit blown out. I would add to contrast and/or clarity to bring out more detail on the animals.

While it's hard to gauge, I would see what a couple B&W treatments looked like. While I might or might not go B&W for the final image, converting to monochrome can be useful for seeing highlights and shadows and how they might need adjusted.
 

Bushboy

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Background is excellent . Subject is excellent.
The problem is the washed out sky. I don’t know how to fix it.
 

Bushboy

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Composition is not that great. Work the angles more next time.
Loose some of the foreground , include more of the stone walls, village houses, ie. the setting, and get less of that Irish bleak sky in the frame. work on the composition of the pic more. I fail in this so often, because I’m lazy and in to much of a hurry.
 

Bushboy

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Have you tried exposure bracketing and blending the pics? HDR?
This is almost always worth a crack. Not the in camera version, but the shoot in RAW and merge in computer software like Affinity or photoshop. I know it’s a pain in the butt, but I always do this now, because the results are worth it. I think this pic would of been greatly improved with this technique. But, I could be wrong, it’s been known....
 

Panolyman

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I'd just do this:
Cow mod.jpg
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But then I'm a complete amateur at PP.
I hope you don't mind me doing that, but you did ask. :eek:
I use Affinity and in five minutes (you can tell :rolleyes: ) I used haze removal tool, cropped, boosted contrast, cloned out the poles and wires, increased vibrance and clarity and finally sharpened it bit.

There you go, how to possibly ruin a good photo. ;)
Apart from it not raining it looks like a typical rural Irish scene to me. :drinks:
 

susannemcom

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@Bushboy I wasn't that unhappy with the composition or angle, mainly the boring sky and something with the colours. As you say - it's not really a blown out sky but rather a boring bleak Irish sky. The background doesn't bother me either. As @TNcasual suggested I tried pulling back the highlights and adding some clarity and vibrance (making it monochrome didn't make me any happier). The letterbox crop from @ex machina was a good idea and I cropped out the sky and fixed the lack of white space above the cattle heads in PS. Now I quite like the image - the sky was probably my main problem with it but I couldn't see how I could fix it. Getting rid of the sky made a big difference to me.

2019-04-11-cows-ballymacshoneen-lr-3.jpg
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I may be lazy, but when it comes to something that requires merging multiple shots in Photoshop, it will probably never happen. But HDR is something I will probably look at, and also focus stacking.
 

Stanga

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The comments from previous posters are all valid, but there are perhaps a few things that have been left out of them.
Looking at the image it is clear that you are blending two points of views into one. It's the same thing that we now see with many selfies, so I am not blaming you for getting into the same spirit of things. The two images I see are that of the subjects ( the cows), and the landscape. Both of them make a powerful statement in their own right, and that is producing a distraction away from each of them. If you ever get a similar chance again, throw the background out of focus and make the cows (OK, cow and calf) look bigger in the frame. And then try another shot with the background in focus, under exposing by at least 1 stop to get some detail in the sky, and with the cows far smaller. Maybe even take that landscape shot with the cow gracing and the calf feeding.
Just my two cents...
 

susannemcom

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I hope you don't mind me doing that, but you did ask. :eek:
I use Affinity and in five minutes (you can tell :rolleyes: ) I used haze removal tool, cropped, boosted contrast, cloned out the poles and wires, increased vibrance and clarity and finally sharpened it bit.

I don't mind that at all! That's what I'm here for.
I quite like the added contrast, it brings out some nice things in the backgrounds a bit.
I didn't think if the dehaze function, may try that actually, also didn't try the vignette as TNcasual suggested.

That is a nice crop.
If only you could go back and maybe decrease that aperture a bit. That would give a little more depth to the shot.

@TNcasual and @Stanga I totally agree about the aperture! If only I could go back in time... but considering my location, I'm sure I'll run into beautiful cows (hopefully with calves) again. Thanks for your input.
 
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Quick edit on the phone using Google Photos app.
I tried giving it a little more contrast and warmth
2019-04-11-cows-ballymacshoneen-6.jpeg~2.jpg
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DickB

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My attempt: cropped, cloned, some detail to the sky, and warmed a little.

2019-04-11-cows-ballymacshoneen-7.jpg
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Bushboy

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Grey sky like that, I avoid it at all costs. It kills photos dead.
And Brian, I know you’ve read that book... :)
 

MonikaO

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I gave it a bit more punch ^ ^

2019-04-11-cows-ballymacshoneen-6.jpeg
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Sawdust

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I like your image, and your composition. Very Nice. Would make a good print to hang on the wall.

It is difficult to edit a copy of an image from a website. Having said that, I used PS Sky Replacement, fooled around with the settings to get a sky I kinda like, then put the image into ACR, and messed around with it.

I always enjoy your photos.

2019-04-11-cows-ballymacshoneen-6_edit.jpg
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susannemcom

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I like your image, and your composition. Very Nice. Would make a good print to hang on the wall.

It is difficult to edit a copy of an image from a website. Having said that, I used PS Sky Replacement, fooled around with the settings to get a sky I kinda like, then put the image into ACR, and messed around with it.

I always enjoy your photos.

Thank you! I'm glad to hear that!
I'm not a fan of sky replacements, although they could be handy for this sort of photos taken with a boring sky included. I've tried it with a few photos but never found one that looked natural (to the type of light/weather conditions etc). But I like the added contrast you (and others) added - and on the final version I've added more contrast and some dehaze, compared to the second image above.
Cows are such wonderful animals to photograph and I'm so glad to live in a farming area.
I may be stupid or living on another planet, but what is ACR?
 

amp

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I really like the image. I also like the way the cow and calf are looking at you. I would, as others have already suggested, just crop a bit and do something with the warmth and contrast of the photo. Ask yourself what you were thinking or feeling as you snapped this photo. Your answer might lead you to your post processing destination.
Again, well done.
 

Mountain_Man_79

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I like your edit quite a bit Susanne. Only thing I’d change from your second go around may be playing with the black level a little or slightly bumping the contrast for a hair more pop, although just a mild amount. Otherwise I quite like it! Good job!
 
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