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© @Kevin Fan

Gate to infinity



© @Kevin Fan

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Nice soft colors in the sky here and the title truly is appropriate. A "Gateway to Infinity" is what it indeed looks like to me.


However, I do have a couple of the more critical thoughts I'd like to share here, Kevin. Most people that know me are aware that I have no problems using colored filters when they can enhance a particular scene. (Though more and more I try to make the scene work without any nowadays). One problem I have encountered however, that I also recognized immediately here with this image, is that you used a split colored filter. Basically where the upper half of the filter is colored and the lower half has no colors at all. The other kind, which I find far more effective is when the entire filter is colored, but the lower portion is much softer or lighter in color. The only time I can use a split filter as you used here, successfully, is for landscapes with no water involved at all. Reflections such as with lakes or other pools of water are completely out of the question. You literally see the sky with color in the upper portion, but no colors in the sky in the reflection itself. They become dead images immediately, and I have unfortunately found this out the hard way. But even these non-reflection water images (as seen here) in my mind have problems. For one thing, anytime you have color in the sky -especially as much as we see here- you will always have a fair measure of that same color in the lower water portion itself, since the water always reflects some of those colors from the sky. Here, we see none in the water at all. Additionally, I can easily see the filter line on the pylons themselves, where they are clearly darker and have an addish red tint. Part of the water also has clearly defined color lines. While this scene itself does look nice Kevin, especially from a quick glance, professionally speaking this would probably not hold up very well at all due to these obvious issues. I would suggest instead using a graduated full-colored filter anytime heading to any body of water. Or, you can use two filters where one perhaps is like this adding another element to the sky only. Though this effect really takes experience in order to pull off effectively and convincingly. Poorly done, the image will be practically useless.


My only other suggestion would be to get just a little closer to to the pylons than we see here. The further we can get the viewer "into" the scene, the more effective I think this kind of image works. Though in this case it does look pretty good as you have it now. But in my honest opinion, a few important adjustments can make something like this possibility even better!

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I really appreciate of it that you took the time to share your thoughts with me on this photo. I am a newcomer and glad that someone like you who has years of professional photographic experience offer me some constructive advice on how to make my photo better. The filters I used were two neutral Graduate ND (soft and hard) filters and one full neutral ND (3-stop) filter as well as a polarizer filter. My intentions were first to hold down the cloudy sky (near sunset) and secondly slow the shutter speed so I can get smooth water motion. I shoot all my photos RAW and use Nikon capture to adjust contrast and color. I agree with you that the upper part of pylons were dark as a result of using these filters. The more colorful upper part of photo may also be the effect of these filters even though they are supposed to be neutral. I will try crop a bit closer to see how that looks. And next time I pull out my filters I will certainly be very careful and keep your advice and suggestion in my mind. I hope to hear from you more on my future postings. Again, Vincent, thank you! Kind regards, Kevin.
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