Jennifer Doerrie  

Cain House Bodie by Jennifer Doerrie

October 2020 - Cain House Bodie

About the Image(s)

Cain House - Bodie

100 ISO
1/125 sec. exposure
-0.3 exposure compensation
24 to 105 mm lens at 24 mm (perhaps I should have used my wide angle lens, but it tends to distort architecture a lot)

Bodie, California is an old mining town that was abandoned in the early 1900s after the mining boom ended, and is now a state historical park. It is an intriguing place to explore and photograph, although keeping other people out of the photos can be a challenge.

I'm wondering if I've got the sky too dark in this image, as well as whether I need to remove the utility wires on the right side or leave them as they are? (I'm not planning to use this image in photo travel, where I could not remove the wires or make other such alterations, as I don't think the place is sufficiently recognizable to those not familiar with Bodie.) Also, I'm wishing I would have left more space at the bottom of the image. I perhaps could add (clone) some extra dirt there. Would that help?

10 comments posted

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
This is a good shot of one of the Bodie houses--I feel like I have been there, after seeing dozens of images from there over the last ten years in our Digital Dialogues.
Contrast and sharpness are very good. I don't find the sky too dark. I think it differentiates very nicely with the tone it has (Diana would have made it darker). Yes, it would be nice to remove the wires. About the foreground, it would be a bit better to have a bit more, but I don't think you need bother.
One special comment. You tilted the camera up to get this, so there is some "lean-back" perspective to the house. I like to keep that in for tall buildings, like skyscrapers, to emphasize the soaring height, but for buildings of three stories or less, it sometimes helps to alter the perspective. In the attached sample, I did not quite completely straighter the vertical parallels, but left a slight hint of the vertical perspective. What do you think?   Posted: 10/08/2020 19:43:21
Comment Image
Jennifer Doerrie   Jennifer Doerrie
It's intriguing what we do and don't notice about our own work. I hadn't noticed the tilt until you pointed it out, but now wonder how I missed it. I do think your adjustment helped. Did you do that with the distort filter, then "vertical perspective", or something else? I know I've been told how to straighten buildings another way, but need to find my notes, as I tend to forget things I don't do regularly, and at this point in my life, even some of those I do!   Posted: 10/08/2020 23:13:57
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Oh, I just read Russ's comment about the bottles in the window--such a good observation--and talking about not noticing, I had not noticed them!
About the perspective, my PS Elements has several controls for stretching and pulling an image. The one most people might choose is "perspective," but I don't use it so much because it is left/right symmetric, which is fine if your image is perfectly centered and needs adjustment equally on both sides. I prefer to use "skew" which allows each side to be adjusted separately--more on the right in this image. "Skew" can be pulled up/down/left/right, but for this image I only pulled the left side to the left and the right side (a bit more) to the right.
Since your eye actually sees the same tilt as the camera--but your brain diminishes it--I left a hint of tilt in my suggested image, which I find more pleasing than complete straightening.
All such perspective changes are actually "distortions," not "corrections," since the camera image is optically as correct as your eye. Interestingly, your eye has no such trouble with perspective convergence to the left or right, like streets running off to a vanishing point--no one feels the need to "correct" that perspective. But oddly, we have trouble with vertical perspective.   Posted: 10/08/2020 23:49:49

Russ Butler   Russ Butler
I like this image, I think a little darker sky might add some interest. The bottles in the window adds some drama. The wires don't bother me as they are not not that noticeable. I am sure the place has lots of stories to tell. Your capture, composition is pleasing   Posted: 10/08/2020 20:24:49

Diana Magor   Diana Magor
You are right Steve, I probably would have taken the sky a bit darker. I agree, Jennifer, that a bit more space at the bottom would be good. I would clone out the wires as I found them obtrusive and I prefer Steve;s tilt correction. I'm like him -I don't like the perspective slider but I do use distort and skew frequently because they give more control over all sides of the photo.   Posted: 10/09/2020 06:15:10

Asbjørn M. Olsen   Asbjørn M. Olsen
The sky looks fine to me. But I quickly noticed the wires, they distracted me, so I would have removed them.
Stephen suggested the "skew" function to straighten the perspective a bit. Admittedly, I have never used this tool before, I normally choose "Lens correction". But the skew function seems to be easier, so I appreciate the suggestion. Will use it in the future as a good alternative.   Posted: 10/09/2020 08:21:30
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
"Lens correction," as far as I know adjusts for pincushion or barrel distortion that is truly a distortion artifact of the lens. It is most evident if there are a lot of parallel lines in an image, as in some building facades.
But the perspective tapering of tall buildings is best approached with "perspective" or "skew." Perspective is not a distortion--it is a valid property of your point of view, whether seeing it with your eye or with a lens.   Posted: 10/09/2020 10:17:01
Asbjørn M. Olsen   Asbjørn M. Olsen
"Lens correction" has several other options as well, if you look under "custom", but having had my first quick look at the "skew" function, it looks better suited for the topic in question.
Coincidentally, last week I was working on some images of a highway intersection, with roads crossing in several layers. I never really managed it well to correct perspectives or straighten lines (pillars). Now I look forward to trying the "skew" function. Thanks again.   Posted: 10/10/2020 06:31:32

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
We had gone to Bodie several years back and I do remember this landmark. Fascinating place. I find the wires to be distracting and would take them out. As far as using the skew function, it's so helpful to correct distortions but also so easy to get lost in the corrections. So many times I've overcorrected, and then the image starts to look strange. Trying to fix it, it gets worse. So my advice is to do as Stephan did - slight changes and leave a bit of tilt. As for forgetting things not done regularly, I'm so glad I'm not alone!   Posted: 10/10/2020 08:25:45

Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
The sky tone looks good to me. The wires did not bother me until I read Stephen's comments, and then agree that they should be removed. I was in Bode several years ago, and it is sure an interesting place. I do like what Stephen did with the image and also his explanation of how he did it. The bottles in the window caught my attention right away and the detail helps the image. I would not bother with adding anything to the bottom.   Posted: 10/12/2020 15:33:42


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