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  1. #1
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    Tastes boring. Add some flavour.

    Hey,

    I'm wondering what I can do to add more interest to this scene. It feels a little contrived and stale. I'd also appreciate any other fixes that might be necessary.

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
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    I'm crap at environments, but I'd say it's because the values are all clustered in the middle. Darker darks (even letting things go in the shadows), lighter lights...and the most brilliant light of all where you want the interest to go. Which I assume is that railcar thingie. This is, like, two minutes playing with dodge and burn:

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  5. #3
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    Yeah you can definitly play more with shadows. According to the lighting, the sun isn't strait at the top in the sky, it feel mire like it's an afternoon scene... So a large part of the left in the picture can be shadowed, same thing about the floor under the bridge... As Stoat already said, that will allow you to play with light to push some art as center of interest....

    Also, there is nothing moving except the moto-rail. But I can imagine with the trash here and there some wind would push paper or dust. You can definitly add some clouds of dirts and flying paper/trash. You can use the moto to create the source of the wind, I suppose it go very fast so it will definitly create a wave of wind behind...

    Anyway I like the abandonned city it looks

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  7. #4
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    Hey, I agree with everyone, you need to get a good sense of light and shadow in the piece. All your lights seems to be very similar and local, add some depth using peering lights in tandem with darker values. Here is a quick mockup using the soft brush which is great for lighting. Other then that, your environment has a good potential. I think if you really want to push this environment further, you should think deeper, in terms of the the time or day the piece is shown in, morning, afternoon, cloudy etc. They all have a different range of lights and values that are common, deciding on the typical weather or atmosphere should help give it flavor.

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  9. #5
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    Thank you for the helpful comments. It really made me notice how off the shadow values were and got me thinking about some lighting possibilities.

    Here's a small update with a rough idea of the lighting. I think it needs to be a little darker still but I'm worried about overdoing the contrast. I'm definitely going to add the flying trash and such later for a bit of added motion. (need to consider that the railcar isn't in contact with the streets so dust might not get swept up as much?)

    I'll be back later.

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  10. #6
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    The flying trash is a great idea. In dirty environments like this, there are all sorts of particulates in the air, variously shadowed or lit up by the sun. Here's James Gurney on the topic of "confetti."

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  12. #7
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    In my opinion, you can add all the shadows, lens flares, dust, sunspots, confetti, flying trash, and adjustment layers you want and it's still gonna be pretty damn boring and formulaic. If it were me, I'd make the monorail a LOT more prominent and more detailed (JPEG below of possible scale for the thing.) Monorails are, at least potentially, interesting; empty generic near-future urban landscapes are, in general, not.

    As always, just my two cents.

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  14. #8
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    Nice update, it's help to understand the lighting, and so the environment

    You should not be afraid about contrasts, they help a lot the understanding and point what you want to show or not... Plus do not forget what eyes can't see, imagination create it, shadows are great for storytelling because they add the mystery part in images, the "untell story" every viewer will create himself !

    Even if the moto isn't on a road, they are probably some dust on the rails themselves, and an object move air, no matter if it's flying or not so it will create an airflow. But as Stoat said, flying dirt/trash/birds can be pushed by another element (wind, static air, fan...) that will create a life illusion.

    The other problem may be that the moto is in the central aera of the picture. You can maybe to a quick test and place it more on the right side, maybe as an object currently going to the background instead of going to the foreground... That's just an idea, I'm not very good at composition but I hope it can give you an idea to solve your problem

    Ho and I wanted to add : even in a very monochromic landscape, light and shadow have colors, I tried bluish the shadow a little and push the saturation for the colored elements like the moto. Iused the shadow to hide elements that was distracting... Hope that can help you ?

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    Last edited by Griffonnage; January 27th, 2013 at 06:35 PM.
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  16. #9
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    I would suggest you get rid of those pillar or redesign them into more interesting shape, by far it's the weakest part of image and its killing the overall composition since it right on the middle and tangled with your main subject.

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  18. #10
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    I agree with the above, also, add stuff that overlaps each other to add more of an interest so it's not perfectly straight/ one point perspective.

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  20. #11
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    Thank you everyone. Your comments and suggestions are all highly appreciated.

    Here's another update.

    I got rid of the pillars since I couldn't come up with a design that looked like it would work without looking too sci-fi or taking up too much room. I tried to incorporate the other suggestions as well. Making the subject element bigger is definitely a good piece of advice and one that I often neglect in my images. It's given me some ideas for further images that I might turn into thumbnails. Thank you giacomo.

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  21. #12
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    Oh wow, rotating the image did a lot of good! I would up the contrast with the sky, the muddy greyish blue of it is not particularly punchy. Taking out the pillars worked well too.

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  22. #13
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    Odd choice, you've picked to show us the boring bit over the interesting bit (IMO)
    The multi layer monorail system looks more interesting to me, rather than the blank wall.
    Your perspective is off as well.

    Repeat items in your picture to help push the scale and imply distance.
    The thing is when you're using this type of view, you're actually guiding the viewers eye to a direct point (the point of focus) - so give us something to look at (even if its a bright light)
    If you want to sell the 'overgrown city' feel - put in some nature, you'll be surprised at how quickly plants will overrun streets & derelict buildings (check out pictures of Detroit)
    Here's how I would handle it, hope it helps you out somehow

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