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Gavin Greig [userpic]

Cranes at Sunrise

October 24th, 2015 (10:03 am)
current location: KY16 8SX

The BBC used a photo of mine as one of “Your pictures of Scotland” this week. It was taken from the bus stop in Dundee on my way to work on Tuesday (sometime around 08:15), and is looking over the V&A construction site and across the Tay towards Fife. Here’s my approximation of the BBC’s crop (it was easier to reproduce it than try to steal my own picture from the BBC page):

Cranes at Sunrise (Approximation of the BBC crop)

Here’s the original:

Cranes at Sunrise (Original)

The crop gets rid of the crane on the left, which certainly makes for a better composition, but in going portrait I feel the breadth of the sunrise becomes a bit constrained.

Last time I submitted a photo to the BBC (some years ago) they just published photos “as is”, so it’s interesting to see how things have changed, and how a professional would choose to present my picture.

I generally leave my own photos untouched, unless they badly need something done or I need them for a specific purpose; they’re my memories more than art to me – and I’m not an artist, and have dodgy colour vision. Best leave well alone! However, if I were cropping it myself I would probably have gone for something like this:

Cranes at Sunrise (My own crop)

The BBC version is probably still better, because it focuses on the features of interest centre stage – I think my cropping choice suffers slightly from the additional street lights to left and right. If they weren’t there, I might prefer my version, but as it is they’re a slight distraction. Losing some of the hoarding around the V&A construction site also reduces the contrast in the photo and makes it appear a bit more washed out. I could easily have kept that by changing the proportions slightly, but I preferred to keep the original aspect ratio.

The crop is the only change made between these three versions of the picture.

I’d be interested to know which others prefer. For me, it’s probably the order in which they appear in this article, but it’s a slightly reluctant choice – I’m attached to my original with its flaws!


Posted by: Andrew Ducker (andrewducker)
Posted at: October 24th, 2015 10:24 am (UTC)

I like your original, but then I like sunsets a lot. I find that the light overwhelms everything in the crop they've taken.

I did my own version:

Which focusses more on "here is some amazing sunlight, as seen through a forest of lights and cranes" rather than "Here are some cranes, with a nice light behind them".

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: October 24th, 2015 11:49 am (UTC)

Ooh, I like your version - better than the BBC one. I'm naturally very resistant to cutting across features like the cranes, but this shows why that can be a good thing to do. I've saved a copy as "Andrew Ducker remix.png" :-)

Posted by: Andrew Ducker (andrewducker)
Posted at: October 24th, 2015 04:13 pm (UTC)

*blush* - Glad you liked it!

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