The forgotten coal wagon
A leftover from early last century
The neglect of long ago at my most favourite place.
Michael’s composition here is one of those classic photography studies – the old, rusty and decaying set against a backdrop of natural beauty.
Compositionally, it is a good photo. Thinking initially of the rule of thirds, it tends to follow the rule to a point, then Michael breaks the rule – something that was suggested on the explanation of the rule of thirds page. Sometimes the rule just has to be broken!
Also good from a compositional point of view is the diagonals caused by the sweep of the beach.
So are there any improvements to this photo? I like the juxtaposition of subjects – the rusty wheel and the beach. It’s classic beauty and the beast. I think there should be more made of the wheel though. It seems just a little out of place.
I think it would have made a stronger composition if the camera had moved to the left a little, placing the wheel to the left of the photo, not in the middle where it currently is.
I would also suggest some post processing here. The colours could do with a lift, but not all of them.
Here’s what I would do – open the photo for editing, and add a ‘saturation’ layer. In the box that pops up, select the channel you want to saturate (the default in most software is ‘master’ or sometimes called ‘all channels’. Next to this there will be an option to select individual channels (in Photoshop it is the drop-down arrow next to the ‘master’ box)
Click on this, and then select greens – then boost (saturate) the greens a bit. Then choose yellows, and do the same; try magenta too but avoid blue and cyan – these will push the sky and sea too far and those areas of the image will begin to break up.
By doing this selective saturation you can make the rusty wheel stand out a bit more, and the sandy beach will also get a lift.
Nonetheless, I like the photo, thanks Michael for the submission,
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Return to Digital photography tutorials - submissions, February 2008.