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Author Topic: Some Antarctic shots  (Read 8428 times)
Antarctic Mat
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« on: May 09, 2007, 08:25:45 AM »
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Hello.
I've not yet sorted out a decent place to host my images (any recommendations appreciated) so these are pretty aweful low res images but hopefully you will get the idea. I'm after constructive critisism on composition and developing my techniques. All picture are taken on 20d using 17-40 F4L or 28-135 F3.5-5.6.









Thanks for taking the time to have a look.
Mat
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usathyan
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 08:53:14 AM »
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The first image - is that split toned or full color? is that how it looked?
The first 3 pictures are GREAT!
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Umesh Bhatt
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Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2007, 09:03:58 AM »
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The first image - is that split toned or full color? is that how it looked?
The first 3 pictures are GREAT!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116556\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi
Thanks for your comments, I've no idea what split toned or full colour means to be honest, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to computers, all my pictures are taken in RAW and opened in CS2 as they are, I occasionally crop but that's it, they are all as they where taken, I have tried in the past to alter or improve by moving sliders and things but they always look terrible, so now they are what they are and that's that.
Thanks again for looking and commenting.
Cheers.
Mat.
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Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2007, 09:20:59 AM »
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Sorry, I get what you mean now, that first picture is exactly how it looked, the second too, just taken as full colour pictures. The light here is incredible, the first picture below was taken last year and I swear it is exactly as it looked colour wise with no alterations at all, it's just the way the light is here when the sun is going. The second picture here is the only time I have changed anything in PS, it was a 30 second exposure to capture the Aurora, when it was opened in camera raw it over exposed it massively so I dropped the exposure back to what it was when I took it. The Aurora pic was taken last week in -45 temps, could only get 10 shots before the battery died!



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usathyan
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2007, 10:58:02 AM »
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Both new pix looks amazing...gotta plan that antartica trip!
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Umesh Bhatt
http://www.8thcross.com/blog/
David Anderson
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2007, 11:06:26 AM »
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Very Cool...

And the pics look great as well, the northern lights being my favorite..
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Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2007, 11:09:33 AM »
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Very Cool...

And the pics look great as well, the northern lights being my favorite..
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116586\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks guys, much appreciate the comments.

David, these are the Southern lights, Aurora Australis, the Northern are obviously up north, Aurora Borealis!
Cheers.
Mat
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howiesmith
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2007, 12:15:07 PM »
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A common problem with images of the moon like yours is the moon is grossly overexposed.

On the aurora image, there are several white spots that you should remove.

The second of the first three images, it apears the mountains in the center are overexposed.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 12:20:24 PM by howiesmith » Logged
Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2007, 12:41:37 PM »
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A common problem with images of the moon like yours is the moon is grossly overexposed.

On the aurora image, there are several white spots that you should remove.

The second of the first three images, it apears the mountains in the center are overexposed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116600\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi howiesmith

Thanks for the comments, you are right, the moon is over exposed, I don't have the skills photoshop wise to alter just that part of the image, that said, the original didn't look quite as bad.
The white bits in the Aurora pic would be the stars then! I quite like them to be honest, I suppose I could remove them quite easily, I'll see what it looks like.
You are again right with the mountains, it's the inherent problem when there is such a massive contrast between the snow on the mountains and the dark of the storm clouds, that's the reason I'm here though, to try and learn how to work around these things.
Any comments you'd like to make on what would have been a better way to take these shots would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers
Mat
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howiesmith
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2007, 01:50:24 PM »
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The white bits in the Aurora pic would be the stars then! I quite like them to be honest, I suppose I could remove them quite easily, I'll see what it looks like.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116608\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If the white specks are stars, I would question the exposure was 30 seconds.  Stars usually move much farther in 30 seconds, unless being so far south changes that.  They just look like white spots to me, and not stars.
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Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2007, 02:05:35 PM »
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If the white specks are stars, I would question the exposure was 30 seconds.  Stars usually move much farther in 30 seconds, unless being so far south changes that.  They just look like white spots to me, and not stars.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116623\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ok howie, just blown up the original and as far as I can see they are stars, lots of them, can't imagine what else they could be, I know it was a 30 second exposure because that's what I set, it confirms it on the Camera Data section. To be honest I have never taken pictures of stars, always thought you needed a much longer exposure to see movement. Anyway, stars or ufo, do you have any tips on how I can go about avoiding the mistakes I have made with these shots and so improve?
Thanks
Mat
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howiesmith
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2007, 02:20:47 PM »
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Ok howie, just blown up the original and as far as I can see they are stars, lots of them, can't imagine what else they could be, I know it was a 30 second exposure because that's what I set, it confirms it on the Camera Data section. To be honest I have never taken pictures of stars, always thought you needed a much longer exposure to see movement. Anyway, stars or ufo, do you have any tips on how I can go about avoiding the mistakes I have made with these shots and so improve?
Thanks
Mat
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116624\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

OK,they are stars.  Usually however, stars show a streak with longer exposures and may show up colored instaed of just white.  Some stars are red and show as redish unless overexposed to white.

Do I have any tips for avoidinf such conditions?  Be aware of what your camera can do and don't expect more.  If you atr shooting with a camra that can yield a dynamic range of 10 stops, be careful when trying for 12 stops.  Be prepared to make some sacrifices at the end(s).

If stars look like white spots, condiser getting rid of them or making sure (somehow) they look like what tour audience thinks stars should look like.

Above all, look at your photos carefully and see what is noy right or could be better.  Surely you could see the moon, a white disc, is overexposed.  The moon is gray with details.

Not every scene can be photogra[hed.  Sometimes what you see is simply more than a camera can manage.  Learbn what can be done with your gear and limit your "for exhibition" prints to that.

The bird spreading it's wings is close.  It has white without detail and black without details, both where some detail might be good.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 02:22:58 PM by howiesmith » Logged
Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2007, 02:32:21 PM »
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OK,they are stars.  Usually however, stars show a streak with longer exposures and may show up colored instaed of just white.  Some stars are red and show as redish unless overexposed to white.

Do I have any tips for avoidinf such conditions?  Be aware of what your camera can do and don't expect more.  If you atr shooting with a camra that can yield a dynamic range of 10 stops, be careful when trying for 12 stops.  Be prepared to make some sacrifices at the end(s).

If stars look like white spots, condiser getting rid of them or making sure (somehow) they look like what tour audience thinks stars should look like.

Above all, look at your photos carefully and see what is noy right or could be better.  Surely you could see the moon, a white disc, is overexposed.  The moon is gray with details.

Not every scene can be photogra[hed.  Sometimes what you see is simply more than a camera can manage.  Learbn what can be done with your gear and limit your "for exhibition" prints to that.

The bird spreading it's wings is close.  It has white without detail and black without details, both where some detail might be good.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116628\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Excellent! That's what I was after, I understand what you mean about learning what the camera can actually cope with, just down to practice I suppose and being aware of what the conditions where like. Sometimes it's obvious what is wrong but turning that around and making something that works is why people are professionals and I am an amateur! Like with the moon, it was full and incredibly bright, that was taken at 2pm, I wanted the moon in to give it focus but could find no way of making it look anything other than a white blob! I try to concentrate on framing the image properly, I suppose I need to go back to technique and do some more work.
Thanks again for your responce, even things that others might find very basic are helpful.
Mat.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2007, 02:43:54 PM »
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One thing I do is look at pictures in books and magazines.  Pick out what I like and don't like.  I try to figure out how they did that (both what I like and don't like), or better yet, how I could do the same thing.  I don't have to be a Karsch wannabe to learn how he did it.

There are lots of processing tricks with photoshop to help you later.  But I would first learn what I can and can't do, then push the envelope from there.  Push from the inside instead of jumping into uncharted territory to figure things out.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 03:05:12 PM by howiesmith » Logged
Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2007, 03:08:35 PM »
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One thing I do is look at pictures in books and magazines.  Pick out what I like and don't like.  I try to figure out how they did that (both what I like and don't like), or better yet, how I could do the same thing.  I don't have to be a Karsch wannabe to learn how he did it.

There are lots of processing tricks with photoshop to help you later.  But I would first learn what I can and can't do, then push the envelope from there.  Push from the inside instead of jumping into uncharted territory to figure things out.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116634\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks howiesmith
Good advice, thanks for taking the time.
Have a good evening.
Mat.
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David Anderson
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2007, 05:09:30 PM »
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Thanks guys, much appreciate the comments.

David, these are the Southern lights, Aurora Australis, the Northern are obviously up north, Aurora Borealis!
Cheers.
Mat
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116587\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Whoops, very un-cool of me...    

You would think because of my Australis location I would know that....
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Andrew Teakle
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2007, 05:31:18 PM »
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Hi Mat,

Another welcome to the Luminous Landscape forum  . Congrats on some fabulous shots. For an admitted novice, your natural sense of composition and even the exposures are very good. In the first two shots where the iceberg and distant mountain are slightly overexposed (blown out white with little detail), I would be surprised if this couldn't be fixed in Camera Raw and Photoshop. It may require processing the photos twice - once to bring out detail in the highlights, and once for the rest of the shot - and then blended in Photoshop. Sounds much more complicated than it really is, and the great thing is that you'll always have these RAW files to work on as your photoshop skills improve. Check out this Tutorial found on this site. The important thing is to shoot without overexposing the highlights, esp. in Antarctica where there is so much white. When reviewing your shot with the 20D, you can press the INFO button to the left of the LCD screen until a histogram appears, as well as a tiny photo. Make sure there are no lines of the "bar graph" that is the histogram right up on the right hand edge, and that there are no blinking pixels on the small photo. This means that thes pixels are pure white with no detail left in them. Keep reducing the exposure until they go away, unless they are such small spots thet they are not important in the final photo. Here are a couple of tutorials on exposure - Understanding Exposure and Understanding Histograms. These are also freely available on this site, and provided by Michael Reichman. There are many sites that you can read through to get you through the long Antarctic winter.

Moving right along, I also love the second set of shots you sent. The stars don't bother me in the slightest. They look very natural for a 30 second, wide angle photo, and just reinforce that it's night time. As for overexposing the moon, there is just no way you can keep detail in the moon without losing the gorgeous "Earth shadow" gradation from blue to pink. Again, the white disc doesn't bother me too much (and only a photographer would even notice it) but if you were wanting to publish it, you would take two shots and blend them in Photoshop. Tripods are a must! The only nit-picking criticism is that you have a berg chopped off on the left. Pointing the lens slightly to the right would have avoided that and centred the moon slightly - still keeping it well off-centre though. You could, of course, just crop it in ACR or Photoshop.

Keep up the great work from the deep south.  

Cheers,

Andrew
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Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2007, 02:39:01 AM »
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No worries David, it must be all the sun and good living in sunny Oz that's affected you!  

Thanks for your post Andrew, good of you to post the links too, I'll have a good look. It is a hobby but always good to feel that you can improve. I think it's time I got stuck into photoshop and found out what it can do, I have everything saved as DNG anyway so can't really do any lasting damage I suppose!
Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
Have a good day.
Mat.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2007, 11:54:11 AM »
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Don't get me wrong.  I have no problem if there images are as good as the photographer wants to make.  But by putting them up for comments by the world, I thought he might be interested in more.  Nor do I think I have given to most complete and comprensive critique.

Goint to photoshop for help is a good idea.  You will still need to learn what you and your equipment can do.  That will likely be more than now, but you still need to know the limits.

The images provided I would classify as mature subjects (even though made in an isolated and immature location) with an immature treatment.  There seems to be nothing special about the penquin image, for instance, to make exceptional.  There are numerous images available of penquins that are far more compelling.  The image could have been made in a zoo.

Same with the iceberg and moon.  Mature subject, especially the moon.  Maybe only a photographer would notice the moon is shown as a white disc, but I doubt it.  Most people I know recognize the moon is not a blank white disc.  And again, I thought the photographer was interested in making images even photographers would admire.

The image of the bird spreading its wings is an example of an image right at or slightly beyond the dynamic range of the "equipment."  This range might be enhanced by processing to help this image, but then there will be another image just beyond the equipment.  You just need to know what you can do.

Finally, learn to edit your images, including trash canning, and be your own best (worst?) critic.  Your images will get better, though usually fewer.  But who wouldn't trade quantity for quality?
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Antarctic Mat
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2007, 03:22:52 PM »
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Hey Howie
How was your day? Good I hope.
I'm guessing but I would say that Andrews comments where aimed at giving me some advice and pointing me in the direction of interesting articles on photoshop as I had said that I thought I should look into it more, I doubt very much they where intended as an attack on the advice you had given or indeed on your opinions, it's just his opinions are slightly different to yours, no less valid! I doubt you are arrogant enough to think that anyone who doesn't share your opinion is wrong in some way! I will say though that it was a very informative first post on this thread, it took quite a while for you to leave anything positive which is confusing as you obviously have a huge amount of knowledge to share.
Actually, the best advice I have been given from anyone is in your last post, you said in a round about way that I was not making anything different or unique with my images, that's something I'd not really thought about before. I look at things that look nice through the viewfinder and take the picture, I will try and look at how to get what I want in a more unique way in order to make the most of what I see down here, great advice.
I know it's difficult to gauge people on the internet, people can be what they want on here, I didn't really give any background about myself before so I will now. I'm 34, I have ran overland expeditions for 6 years before coming down here, I have travelled fairly extensively through almost 80 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. In those 6 years I have dragged around complete idiots to some of the most incredible places in the world, in the process I have been shot at on numerous occasions and stabbed once. I call a spade a spade, I don't suffer fools at all and I hate bull shit. I doubt that anybody is going to offend me with there comments so go for it, if you think my pictures are unoriginal then say so, it will give me an excellent base line to work from.
Like I said earlier, I value your advice greatly, please don't feel as though I don't, I take it all on board. I have taken 4300 images in the last 2 years here so have plenty to put up for more comments!
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to leave your comments, I hope you will leave more.
Cheers.
Mat.
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