Martin Newland, QPSA  

Sorrento, Italy by Martin Newland, QPSA

September 2023 - Sorrento, Italy

September 2023 - Martin Newland, QPSA


About the Image(s)

This was the first image I took when we arrived at the open air restaurant in Sorrento, Italy.
The extraordinary light begged for photos to be taken.

The sun's reflection on the five boatsheds and the green boat was stunning. The moment I took this image, I knew it needed a dark monochrome sky to make the image "pop."

Post Production:
Cropped out Mount Vesuvius in the background, and a general crop to remove anything that didn't add to the image. De-saturated the sky down to monochrome, then darkened it. Moved the flying seagull away from the roof line of the shed to give it more space.

Camera: Canon 5d Mark iv, 1/320sec. f/13, ISO 100
Lens: Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 105mm

8 comments posted

Terri Adcock
I can see why you were drawn to the take this shot, the light is perfect

I might be tempted to darken the rocks just a little. They are as bright as the sheds and do draw my eye

The monochrome sky does look a little out of place.. I wonder if there is a compromise between the monochrome and the light blue sky? Possible a darker blue?   Posted: 09/02/2023 04:13:07

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Welcome to the group Terri and thank you for your comments.

The monochrome sky seems to be the current fashion at our camera club at the moment, but I take your point and agree that it might look a little better with a tinge of blue in it.
I put this image in a club competition a few weeks ago and the judge was concerned about the brightness of the walls of the boat sheds. I have toned those down a little but I will now work on the brightness of the rocks and see how that looks.
Many of my images here are a "works in progress," and sometimes after making the changes suggested by this group they go on to greater heights.

  Posted: 09/02/2023 08:03:36

Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Another stellar image, Martin! This lighting is superb. I really like the original before all the editing. I hear what you say regarding the current fashion, however, your entire image is made up of warm colors so adding the gray sky makes it look out of place to my eye. I would tend more towards a little darker blue and maybe add some magenta if you want it to look closer to dusk. But because the light is so bright on the rocks and the boat sheds, I would not go too dark. Only after you settle on the darkness of the sky should you adjust the lighting on the sheds and stones. But after all, the reason this area caused you to want to photograph it was the wonderful lighting on those areas, so you must keep that in mind. If I go back to your original, I would crop at the orange boat on the right and maybe only an inch or so on the left to give the pier a bit of space and perspective. I like how you moved the seagull back away from the roof line. What an interesting image to edit many different ways depending on your mood.   Posted: 09/02/2023 11:03:27

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Your journey from original to final is fascinating and challenging in an educational way. I think that having darkened the sky that much, the bright lighting of the scene throughout becomes less believable, making the case for some partial but carefully placed exposure reduction with a circular feathered brush (rocks etc.).   Posted: 09/02/2023 14:49:15

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
I have put a solid dark blue colour behind the image and used the overlay blend mode. Also I have masked out the bits of blue that effected the whiteness of the boatsheds. The overlay blend mode also darkened the lower corners slightly, which effectively did what Piers suggested.
Thank you all.   Posted: 09/02/2023 18:04:51
Comment Image

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
Martin, I like the essence of the scene but am conflicted about your treatment of the sky. Looking at the orginal image, it does not appear that an ominous storm is approaching, so I'm curious as to what prompted you to go so dark and foreboding (other than the current trend within your club). The boathouses (interestingly lashed down to the dock), the rocks and the green boat are the essence of the image. You edited the dark sky, but i feel it doesn't add to your image if is stays as-is. If dark sky is your goal, I feel that if the light (fluffy) portions of the clouds were lightened/highlighted and accented, that your dark sky would become an added element to the overall image.
Another part of me would like to have kept Mt. Vesuvius in the image for a sense of location and scale.
PS - Looks pretty windy. I hope your food didn't blow away!   Posted: 09/03/2023 12:18:12

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Thank you all for your comments
The idea of using a black, ominous sky was to try and reflect the contrast in the light that I noticed when I came across this scene.
From your comments, I have clearly gone too far with this concept.
The image is not doing as well as I had hoped in competitions, so I will take your comments onboard and, begin again with the sky, this time leaving it blue and less ominous and threatening.
Thank you all once again
  Posted: 09/07/2023 01:18:45

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
So you can move mountains?! Getting in this game a little late to say anything that hasn't already been said. Karen always gives a great analysis, and I like her thinking. I do like your crop because it brings the boat sheds to us. When you start changing the sky, you have to take into consideration all the effects of the light (or lack) from the new sky. I think with your dark sky, it does feel like a storm is approaching, and I feel the sun is in the foreground about to be covered. I like the effect.   Posted: 09/07/2023 15:38:59


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