Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. He gives his appraisal of Jama Masjid Mosque by Tony Beane and offers advice on how it might be improved.

Photo: Jama Masjid Mosque

Taken by: Tony Beane

Canon EOS 5D, 28-135mm, 1/200sec at f/7.1, ISO 320

Before: The contrast was increased and exposure darkened in the original image

Before: The contrast was increased and exposure darkened in the original image

Tony saw Abhilash Surendran’s picture of the Jama Masjid Mosque in our 9 January issue and sent in some images of his own from a visit he made to this magnificent building in Delhi, India. Abhilash photographed the whole façade of the building, with pigeons taking flight in the foreground, but Tony has moved in closer to find something of the life that goes on in the nooks and crannies of the building.

I really like this shot of two gentlemen having a chat, with the wonderful stonework and archway framing them so well. The colour of the stone is fantastic, and the soft light picks the action out well, showing the depth of the scene without plunging anything into deep shadow – well, except the face of the man on the steps.

Exposing this scene would have been quite tricky, as we want to maintain detail both in the faces as well as in the white robes of the reclining man. This is where raw files come into their own.

After: The addition of more of the building on the right of the image has restored the visual symmetry

After: The addition of more of the building on the right of the image has restored the visual symmetry

Tony tells me he increased the contrast of his original and darkened the exposure. I think he needed to reduce the contrast and increase the exposure very slightly. Reducing contrast lifts shadows and reduces highlights, while a little midtone curve can give us the separation we need to make things stand out.

It’s a shame that in a shot that demands symmetry there is more mosque on the left of the men than on the right. That imbalance distracts me and takes my concentration away from what I should be looking at. I’ve added a bit more to the right to show what the picture may have looked like had Tony squared it up at the time. It is a lovely shot either way.