Another one from the archives this week. Partly because I was so busy last week I hardly left my desk never mind the apartment, but also because it was so windy, hot, humid and dusty all weekend that there was no opportunity to go out and take new photographs – I tried last night but the wind meant even a tripod was blowing all over the place.

Anyway that is just a good opportunity to take a look at an old photograph of the castle in Almeria, with some ‘improvements’ from the very modern Photoshop. I am starting to pick up some confidence with Photoshop and am really enjoying going through my archives with a different eye.

Not quite as good as taking new photographs of course, it is very impressive how it is possible (in my opinion) to turn a ‘snap’ into a photograph.

A bit of straightening and cropping, then fiddled around with the curve a little, before applying part of a Landscape action.

Am pretty happy with the result, so as ever go ahead and let me have your thoughts.

Original Photograph

Castle Wall Original.jpg


11 thoughts on “Castle

  1. Gary

    Hi Chris – that’s a pretty good result from what started out as, as you put it, a snap. The rotation and cropping has worked pretty well and I like the final level of colour saturation. And, of course, you’ve got that old diagonal eye-line composition thang going on.

    There’s only one thing I would “complain” about (you knew there had to be something, didn’t you? 😈 ) and that goes back to the original composition. Looking at this, I want to know what lies down the hill on the lower left corner – I can see the top of a tower and I want to see to what it’s joined…

    Maybe, when you get that 8mm Sigma lens you’ve got your eye on now, you could return and reshoot. I suspect that a slightly more square-on shot might work to crop out the lower tower – and give more of the hillside and ramparts. Or, alternatively, take the wider view and “answer my question” about what’s below… 🙂

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    Cheers – at least you have answered my question about the 8mm. Mac had started to get me thinking that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea as may lead to distortion?

    Good point about the bottom of the corner, it is actually Almeria the town, which would be a good project in itself.

  3. Gary

    I would expect to see more distortion with the 8mm. Fish-eye lenses have a certain look. It’s possible to get this corrected, at least to a degree, in software: the DxO app I’ve mentioned a couple of times does this, with supported lenses (they have a page on their site listing all the supported body/lens combinations).

    Frankly, I’d be a little wary of going for the 8mm when the 10-20mm I’ve got comes pretty darn close and is IMHO much more versatile. Far be it from me to say don’t buy a new toy, but what’s your rationale for going for the 8mm lens? Have you had a chance to use one? Have you seen many samples from one? I’m afraid it strikes me as a specialised a lens.

    If I get the chance later on, I’ll see if I can find an example of distortion at 10mm, along with the DxO correction, for sake of comparison. I’ll email it to you if I can find anything suitable.

    You might find it interesting to look at the demo DxO app. With the latest release, it can act as a plugin to Lightroom and substitute as the RAW convertor. (And, no, I’m not in cahoots with them. I’m just a fairly happy customer.) Warning. If you do decide to take a look, there is a bit of a learning curve involved as soon as you go beyond Auto mode. It will take a bit of tinkering, but it could be worth it in the end.

  4. Chris Marshall Post author

    I probably need someone to stop me buying the ‘latest thing’ for the sake of it!!!

    The main reason for the 8mm was that you said you had a 10mm and the Nikon I was looking at didn’t got that low, so when I looked at the Sigma that was the smallest they did – simple as that really!!!

    I am extremely open as to what would be the ‘best’ or ‘good enough’, so please feel free to make any specific suggestions. I am also happy to buy second hand – especially of ‘friends’ who may be about ready to upgrade their own stuff.

    I assume this is the 10mm you are referring to:

    Ideally I want to stay away from having to get involved in learning any other software as well – have enough on the list at the moment 🙂

  5. Gary

    > I probably need someone to stop me buying the ‘latest thing’ for the sake of it!!!

    Eh? Surely that’s the primary job of your good lady? Okay – if she won’t do it, I will. Forget the 8mm. Seriously.

    If you’re wanting wide angle, the Sigma 10-20mm would do you great. As mentioned, I’m really pretty happy with mine. Yes, that Amazon link appears to be the same lens. (Wow! That’s pretty good feedback it has there.)

    The only possible fly in the appointment would be whether or not it’s suitable for your Nikon D80. I’m unfamiliar with the Nikon range – is this a full frame sensor model? If so, it might be that this lens won’t fit. The “entry level” DSLR models use a smaller sensor and can therefore use smaller, cheaper lenses that the more up-market models with their “full-frame” sensors can’t. If so, I guess the nearest in the Sigma range would be their 12-24mm model.

    Sigma distinguish between the two styles of lenses by naming them DC and DG. Maybe that will help you.

    Aha – the “supported body/lens combinations” link in my previous comment lists the 10-20 against your D80, so that looks as if it would be fine.

    Let me know if you have any more questions about the Sigma 10-20mm… It may not be the “best”, but it’s certainly more than “good enough”!

  6. Chris Marshall Post author

    Sands sees her role more as stopping me spending any money!!! Th e’green light’ on this is dependent on new funds maybe from some paying photo work here, or even more blogging!!!!

    I need my mates to help me only buy the stuff that I would actually use!!!!

    Will aim for that one then……….thanks!!!

  7. Gary

    > Sands sees her role more as stopping me spending any money!!!

    I suppose that’s a safe approach for someone who’s not technical. 🙂

  8. Chris Marshall Post author

    To say she was non technical would be a little harsh 🙂

    She is right really – I spend way too much on these hobies as it is, I will continue to do so just not at the pace that I have done.

    I also need to be more practicle about what will do the job as opposed to having the best.

  9. Gary

    > To say she was non technical would be a little harsh

    Sorry Sands!! 🙂

  10. Mac Sokulski

    It is actually a good thing. Can you imagine both of you sitting down at the table with all the latest gadgets and eating plain pasta and water? That’s why I love my wife 🙂

  11. Chris Marshall Post author

    But we do eat plain pasta and drink water!!! Especially with all the training I am doing.

    Hmm ……… siesta and an evaluation I think 🙂

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