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Living with a Distracting Background

Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2020

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Distracting Background Acceptance (unless you have a better idea?)

DSC03225-3.jpg

Uzbek Cruisers, Samarkand, Uzbekistan - Sony a7riii, Sony GM 24-70 f2.8 lens.

(f/6.3, 70mm, ISO500, 1/2000sec)

 

Uzbekistan must be one of the least visited countries. Of course, I don't actually know, and it does have a tourism industry, but I don't know many who've gone there...do you? I snapped this photo in the City of Samarkand. It wasn't my favorite city in the country, as it is probably the most replete with tourists. I prefer regions where people are just living, rather than putting on a show for capitalism. I can recommend many others in this lovely country I prefer more. In my experience, Uzbeks are wont to invite foreigners to stay with them, often on their farm. Upon exchanging money the first time, try not to laugh as $20USD buys wads of their currency. I felt like Scarface, counting out so many bills every time I purchased a bottle of water. Travel is cheap in Uzbekistan, even for a broke guy like me. Unfortunately, English-speakers can be a bit hard to find. Russian is the second language and many locals only speak Uzbek. My Russian is entry-level -- I get by. This man and I didn't try to speak verbally; rather, we smiled at each other, immediately relaxed. He knew I was harmless to him. You can tell that his son was less quick to trust a foreign stranger with a giant camera. Fair.

 

This photo brings me a lot of stress. It has nothing to do with the child's gaze, nor the memory of the day. Rather, it's the background. I hate it. That lamppost is crooked and in too much of the shot, I don't like the woman's bright fuchsia jacket, and I wish the group of teenagers would pass by already. Even the ground behind them is crooked. None of these elements adds to the photo, yet I love the man and his son, and I nailed focus as well. It's bittersweet, as often photos are. I could go in with Photoshop and change it all, but it's not my style. I must forgive myself since it comes with the territory of being a street-style photographer. So much good here, and so much that hurts my eyes. It is what it is. Perhaps you can make it better?

 

DSC03225.jpg

Original image (SOOC)

 

Crop

  • I brought it in a lot. I wish I could show more of the bike tire, but the people and the rest of the background kills me. Tempted to just show the man and kid and handlebars. Of course, it doesn't work that way either. Unwilling to ever do an unusual crop, I'm stuck. Ugh. Help.

 

Raise Clarity/Sharpening

  • Adding Sharpening (+74) and Clarity (+22) just feels right. I really stuck that focus, and it's a wizened man and a child, so I have more liberty.

 

Lift Exposure/Shadows/Whites; Drop Black

  • Lifted Exposure(+40) / Shadows(+93) / Whites(+10) to reveal more of the image that the RAW captured. For example, the man's jacket was quite dull in the original. Although the detail doesn't really matter too much, it tells more of the story of the main characters, about whom we care. I want also to separate these characters from the background. You know how I feel about the background here.

·          Dropped black quite a bit (-65) to counter the lifted shadows.

 

Raise Vibrance, Dehaze

  • I want to make the sky less white, but too much Vibrance brings out the man's backpack, which isn't important to me. I could go in and make some other changes to fix that, but I won't. Good enough. Vibrance (+24), Dehaze (+15).

 

Add Vignette

  • I used to add so much Vignette, my photos looked like bruised bananas. A friend had to intervene, "It's not a blunt weapon." I still struggle. Just a little added here, feathered, highlights lifted a little so as to not to ruin the sky. Best case, people think it's a cheap lens; worst case, the photo looks abused. Really, most people won't notice either way, but I will if you over-vignette. Easy does-it, as with any editing.

 

May all your spontaneous backgrounds work for you.

 
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Living with a Distracting Background

Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2020

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Distracting Background Acceptance (unless you have a better idea?)

DSC03225-3.jpg

Uzbek Cruisers, Samarkand, Uzbekistan - Sony a7riii, Sony GM 24-70 f2.8 lens.

(f/6.3, 70mm, ISO500, 1/2000sec)

 

Uzbekistan must be one of the least visited countries. Of course, I don't actually know, and it does have a tourism industry, but I don't know many who've gone there...do you? I snapped this photo in the City of Samarkand. It wasn't my favorite city in the country, as it is probably the most replete with tourists. I prefer regions where people are just living, rather than putting on a show for capitalism. I can recommend many others in this lovely country I prefer more. In my experience, Uzbeks are wont to invite foreigners to stay with them, often on their farm. Upon exchanging money the first time, try not to laugh as $20USD buys wads of their currency. I felt like Scarface, counting out so many bills every time I purchased a bottle of water. Travel is cheap in Uzbekistan, even for a broke guy like me. Unfortunately, English-speakers can be a bit hard to find. Russian is the second language and many locals only speak Uzbek. My Russian is entry-level -- I get by. This man and I didn't try to speak verbally; rather, we smiled at each other, immediately relaxed. He knew I was harmless to him. You can tell that his son was less quick to trust a foreign stranger with a giant camera. Fair.

 

This photo brings me a lot of stress. It has nothing to do with the child's gaze, nor the memory of the day. Rather, it's the background. I hate it. That lamppost is crooked and in too much of the shot, I don't like the woman's bright fuchsia jacket, and I wish the group of teenagers would pass by already. Even the ground behind them is crooked. None of these elements adds to the photo, yet I love the man and his son, and I nailed focus as well. It's bittersweet, as often photos are. I could go in with Photoshop and change it all, but it's not my style. I must forgive myself since it comes with the territory of being a street-style photographer. So much good here, and so much that hurts my eyes. It is what it is. Perhaps you can make it better?

 

DSC03225.jpg

Original image (SOOC)

 

Crop

  • I brought it in a lot. I wish I could show more of the bike tire, but the people and the rest of the background kills me. Tempted to just show the man and kid and handlebars. Of course, it doesn't work that way either. Unwilling to ever do an unusual crop, I'm stuck. Ugh. Help.

 

Raise Clarity/Sharpening

  • Adding Sharpening (+74) and Clarity (+22) just feels right. I really stuck that focus, and it's a wizened man and a child, so I have more liberty.

 

Lift Exposure/Shadows/Whites; Drop Black

  • Lifted Exposure(+40) / Shadows(+93) / Whites(+10) to reveal more of the image that the RAW captured. For example, the man's jacket was quite dull in the original. Although the detail doesn't really matter too much, it tells more of the story of the main characters, about whom we care. I want also to separate these characters from the background. You know how I feel about the background here.

·          Dropped black quite a bit (-65) to counter the lifted shadows.

 

Raise Vibrance, Dehaze

  • I want to make the sky less white, but too much Vibrance brings out the man's backpack, which isn't important to me. I could go in and make some other changes to fix that, but I won't. Good enough. Vibrance (+24), Dehaze (+15).

 

Add Vignette

  • I used to add so much Vignette, my photos looked like bruised bananas. A friend had to intervene, "It's not a blunt weapon." I still struggle. Just a little added here, feathered, highlights lifted a little so as to not to ruin the sky. Best case, people think it's a cheap lens; worst case, the photo looks abused. Really, most people won't notice either way, but I will if you over-vignette. Easy does-it, as with any editing.

 

May all your spontaneous backgrounds work for you.

 
TOPICS
How to, Mac, Make It, Problem or error, Windows

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Nov 15, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2020

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Yes, I am well aware of the Clone feature (and others like it) and use it/them often. The lamp post might go easily, but the rest of my complaints would not. My point is that I like this photo, even though I can't fix what bothers me about it. They'll never be perfect.

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Nov 15, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 23, 2020

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DSC03225-3a.jpg

i like your image... each to their own but if i did edit it then I would just replace the background wholesale

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Nov 23, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 25, 2020

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I'm a little late to this party, but I did it this way, mostly with the content-aware fill. Just a quick job, didn't have much time to do anything with those young men. But I don't think it's that bad to show that they're in a bustling city, maybe. This is a low--resolution version, FYI:

UZBEK-DSC03225-3.jpg

 

https://www.murrayslawannex.com/ https://www.behance.net/lesliemurray

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Nov 25, 2020 1
Guide ,
Nov 27, 2020

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Put in so much other stuff that viewers cannot help themselves BUT focus on the main súbject(s). 😜

 

manbikechild04.jpg

Sorry, I was in a silly mood and went completely and utterly overboard with this. Please take this with a fairly humongous grain of salt.

 

That said, there is a grain of truth too in my words. As the OP himself stated, the original just has an overall bad composition and can't really be saved in my opinion - not without extensive post work. The empty spaces in the sky are dead space, for example. The people in the background throw the overall weight off.  And other issues.

But the subjects are quite interesting.

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Nov 27, 2020 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 27, 2020

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its a photo of life... if you want plane, bland and boring get into product photography where everything is the same white background and the same amount of shadow X distance from the camera... yuck!

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Nov 27, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 28, 2020

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Hi orinjones,


well so far I see a good job.

 

The cropping was very useful. It made the little bunch of people at the lower middle of the pic look like a larger crowd while you get more focus on the major part of the image. The guy on the bike with the kid is this part but as they are slightly centred to the left so you have that larger part of green of the right.

In general I agree with the things you changed there.

 

Just adding Selective Color Correction to the layers with magenta tones with them lowered to 0% will make the woman at the right side less distracting. There is no need to remove her completely, so you can keep the image mostly the same as the original.

Lowering the saturation of some parts in the picture using a layer mask for some spots might enhance the focus on the bright gentle guy and the child he obviously takes care of.


There is a small part in the picture that distracts me a lot.
The magenta like part right at the handlebar on the right side (left hand of the man).
This looks odd to me, like a fail of the camera.
What may has caused that in your opinion?

I hope I could help you a bit keeping the true origing of that photo.

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Nov 28, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 28, 2020

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he has tattoos so its ink and not the camera mate

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Nov 28, 2020 0
PS-D. LATEST
Community Beginner ,
6 hours ago

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Thank you, my fault!
I meant "The magenta like part next to the handlebar on the right side (and next to left hand of the man)."

Any chance you can spot this now? It overlays the head of the woman there but the major part is in the tree above.

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6 hours ago 0