Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?

Started Aug 20, 2013 | Polls
Britney Elvis Veteran Member • Posts: 5,235
I think you need your monitor calibrated...
2

No offence intended,  but yours is just brutally overcooked.   I can imagine that if yours looks good on your monitor, the original must be somewhere near dark grey...

But to each their own.

gus

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Draek
Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?
2

His, easily. Yes, it's somewhat bland to me, but even leaving aside the context that suggests the image's value and judgement was purely on technical and illustrative terms rather than high art, my first reaction to your photo was "oh, God, my eyes!", which as far as first impressions go it ranks near the absolute bottom.

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OP Mikhail Tal Regular Member • Posts: 281
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?

santamonica812 wrote:

First version: Low saturation, and to my eye, a realistic representation of what the photographer was looking at. Not a terribly interesting image, but unobjectionable.

Your first attempt: Simply dreadful. An above poster used the word 'cartoonish,' and that probably fits better than anything I could come up with. The horrific overcooking was a poor processing decision . . . it's one of the worst-looking images I've seen in recent memory. (I'd never give this sort of feedback sua sponte, but you did specifically ask for our reactions.) The later, toned-down versions were much much better.

Honestly, when I first looked at your first attempt, I thought you were joking, and that you were poking fun at people who don't know how to use any restraint in their post-processing. I feel a bit bad, and a bit ashamed, now that I know you were making a good-faith effort to make the original photo better. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I guess it's a good thing that what appeals to one person will repel another.

Don't let my feedback (or any of the other negative feedback) discourage you. We were all beginners at one point. And once you have a few months of photographer, and of post-processing, under your belt, you'll never make this sort of mistake again. We were all there once . . . and luckily for those of us with a few years under out belt, our train-wrecks of early experiments were done in private, and were well before the widespread nature of the internet. I'd hate for anyone to see my work that I did during my first photography class.

So, keep it up! Your work will certainly get a lot better over time, as it did for all of us.

I am glad that you have supplied a candid reaction. I actually think that the credibility of my first edit is validated by the fact that it evoked a much more powerful response from you than the original. The original was unobjectionable but uninteresting. The second was objectionable, ergo interesting. Controversial, if you will. It polarizes opinion as much as it polarizes the color gamut. One of the worst-looking images you've seen in recent memory? That's an amazing accomplishment that few could ever hope to achieve! ANYONE can make an unobjectionable, uninteresting, image, but few can make one that is unforgettable.

I like bright, bombastic, brilliant things that amplify reality rather than mask or dilute it. A glance at my posting history will reveal that my modus operandi in discussions about phtoography is to shatter the proverbial echo chamber of the DSLR-centric paradigm that relentlessly persists and challenge the dogma of its staunchest defenders. I enjoy still scenes that scream toward you at a hundred miles an hour with reckless abandon and complete disregard for human life. I saw no such thing in the original image and so I injected it with a mother lode of optical power.

quadrox Senior Member • Posts: 1,239
Right direction, but way too far

I agree with your assertion that the original does not look very good and could easily use some improvement. I also fully agree with the direction you have taken you version (making it brighter and increasing the contrast), but I think that you have gone too far with your version. Your version is barely recognizable as a photograph any more, and therefore I am forced to vote that the original is the better photo.

If you could produce a version that is somewhere in between the two, I would happily vote for your version.

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papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
I strongly suspect...
11

that Carsten Krieger's subtlety is lost on you, a clash of styles. Having looked at his images I like his subtle and clever compositions, they make a change from a lot of the garish landscapes that are in vogue these days, and as he makes a living from it, I'm guessing I'm not alone on that one. That you don't see it is fine but don't make it your mission to "educate" everyone else to feel the same, not unless you're prepared to put your own work alongside his and show us why yours is better (and I mean your own, not his edited by you).

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MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 4,650
I dislike both...
2

Your edit is massively overcooked for me but the original is both bland and IMHO poorly processed/taken with a clear darkening of the upper parts of the house from either filter use or sloppy use of layers afterwards

Ulric Veteran Member • Posts: 4,558
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?
1

DenWil wrote:

The first is flat, lifeless and murky. The second is ...well, I didn't know there was an Adobe LSD plug in.

Good summary.

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Doug J Forum Pro • Posts: 10,108
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?
4

Carsten captured & presented what he saw, although somewhat dreary, it's what he saw. You converted it to a garish, over saturated and otherwise overcooked image that does not depict reality. Your style may work for you, and for many others, but it lacks reality IMO.

Doug J Forum Pro • Posts: 10,108
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?
1

DenWil wrote:

Both weak. The first is flat, lifeless and murky. The second is ...well, I didn't know there was an Adobe LSD plug in. The wide lens aperture and processing combines for a video game 3D effect. Great if you are writing the next version of Myst, bad otherwise.

By chance is there an Adobe Alice B. Toklas brownie plug in that splits the difference between gloomy and hyper realism?

Well said.

RobertSigmund
RobertSigmund Forum Pro • Posts: 10,750
To be fair

Mikhail did not have the original file to work with. While I would not have gone as far as him, I would have tried to enhance contrast and structure of the building relics in Carsten's place, albeit in a subtle way.

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 31,149
His...

Just offering my opinion per your question, but ignoring the subject matter and the composition and simply comparing the original photo with your processed version, I much prefer the original.

While my personal style would likely be a bit more saturated, and I probably wouldn't have shot that subject that way, I also tend to be more a fan of realistic photos, and actually prefer contrast, shadows, etc to be captured as they might have been seen by the naked eye.  Tone mapped, overboosted shadows and superbright saturation just aren't my preferred style for most pics.

I also LIKE to photograph in less than perfect light sometimes - capturing a grey, dull, overcast day can be as interesting to me sometimes as capturing a beautiful sunset-glow landscape - it is after all one of the many variations of light and atmosphere that mother nature provides us, and as a photographer I prefer to capture the many looks and feels that we experience in the world.

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David Rosser
David Rosser Veteran Member • Posts: 3,475
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?

I dislike Krieger's version but then I feel pictures like this work best in monochrome.

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
His image has horrible HDR looks, yours the same but more like a cartoon
2

Mikhail Tal wrote:

DPR published an article showing some images taken by Carsten Krieger in bad weather that they deemed "great photography." I say the photographs were generally terrible because they looked exactly like any other amateur snapshots taken in bad weather: underexposed, poorly lit, and sorely lacking in contrast and saturation. Here is an example from the article, including Krieger's own caption:

Digital technology has made capturing good images in bad weather much easier. To the naked eye the sky in this scene was a bland grey. Using the HDR technique and applying a digital tonal contrast filter brought out detail and colour.Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 24mm TS-E, F14, 1/13 sec, HDR (+/- 3 stops), tripod.

Notice how out of touch with reality this guy is. He's acting like this is some great image when in fact it is terribly bland regardless of what he did to it. He used about $5k worth of gear and claimed to use fancy processing, yet he's still produced something that looks like an amateur snap. All he had to do was look at the image histogram to see how poorly exposed it is, making a mockery of the term high dynamic range.

To back up my scathing criticism of his inferior work, I snagged the low-res image he posted in the article and spent about two minutes making some really simple edits in ACR to produce something that actually looks like a legitimate professional photograph:

What do you know, an image that actually has some legitimate dynamic range and color in it. Again, this isn't a brag by any means, it's a trivial adjustment that anybody with even a basic knowledge of ACR could have made. I am calling out Carsten Krieger - and DPR - because they have posted several articles by him and I find his photography to be grossly overrated for reasons such as what I have pointed out here. Just another overgeared rich guy who thinks his photos are professional just because he threw an HDR process on that he doesn't even know how to use correctly.

So please vote for whose image you prefer and explain why.

Frankly neither image appeals to me AT ALL.

The first image, which from what you say is deemed "great", looks way too HDR for my taste, transmitting, to my eye, nothing of what the actual scene may have felt like.  It also looks like he perhaps went quite a bit overboard on contrast and possibly saturation, making his image look almost like some computer-generated thing, but from cheap computers and software.  Yuk.

Your image is the same and now looks too bright and colourful and so, again to my eyes at least, is even closer to bad computer art.

If people are going to produce bad computer art, I don't see why they should even bother going in the field with a camera.

And if DPR deems such shots "great" then really it is, or at least has become, a community of gear-loving geeks but not photographers.  Real photogs are probably somewhere out there capturing great shots and not needed hours of HDR or other PP in a sad attempt to make them look perhaps a bit interesting...

Again:  tastes vary, this is just my opinion.

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gkreth Veteran Member • Posts: 3,122
Carsten Krieger's image is better

POLL RESULTS
Carsten Krieger's image is better 83.3% 30 votes
My image is better 16.7% 6 votes

Sonyshine
Sonyshine Veteran Member • Posts: 8,893
Re: Carsten Krieger's image is better

gkreth wrote:

POLL RESULTS
Carsten Krieger's image is better 83.3% 30 votes
My image is better 16.7% 6 votes

Inconclusive then.....  

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RobertSigmund
RobertSigmund Forum Pro • Posts: 10,750
Another problem with the picture

Too much shifting gives an unnatural impression.

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tarakanchik Contributing Member • Posts: 962
"Whose"* n/t
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Les Berkley
Les Berkley Senior Member • Posts: 1,638
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?

I will try to attach my take. I totally agree that HDR is NOT the way to go, but b/w is.

I hope this gives the idea of the 'bad weather' mentioned in the article. It is probably too OTT for this forum, but there it is...

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Neurad1
Neurad1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,495
Re: Since we're playing with edits...
1

Great Bustard wrote:

Mikhail Tal wrote:

Okay, you think that is overprocessed, I revised it to show that to something in between the two, so you can still see that it was taken in bad weather but more dynamic and punchy than his original. Again bear in mind that he claimed to do a bunch of fancy processing and all I had to do was move a few sliders around.

...here's my take on it:

As you can see, I'm not so much a fan of the punchy heavy tone curve look.

OK this one is better.

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Neurad1
Neurad1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,495
Re: Who's image is better, Carsten Krieger's or mine?

Les Berkley wrote:

I will try to attach my take. I totally agree that HDR is NOT the way to go, but b/w is.

I hope this gives the idea of the 'bad weather' mentioned in the article. It is probably too OTT for this forum, but there it is...

Well I like it. Almost evocative of a ship on roiling waves now.

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