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Author Topic: Beginner to landscapes...  (Read 2542 times)
George F
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« on: February 03, 2009, 03:40:22 AM »
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Hi everyone,

Love the forum and have been lurking for a while...  

My first post, so I thought I'd throw myself in at the deep end and get some constructive criticism, hopefully...

This is one of my first attempts at this game.

I love landscapes and simply I wish I had more time to get out there and get my boots dirty.

Canon 50D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17mm, f/11, 1/5 sec, ISO 100.  Tweaked in Elements 6 using Levels only.  I'm just getting into RAW, as we speak.

Thanks in advance.


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John R
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 08:13:36 AM »
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Quote from: George F
Hi everyone,

Love the forum and have been lurking for a while...  

My first post, so I thought I'd throw myself in at the deep end and get some constructive criticism, hopefully...

This is one of my first attempts at this game.

I love landscapes and simply I wish I had more time to get out there and get my boots dirty.

Canon 50D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17mm, f/11, 1/5 sec, ISO 100.  Tweaked in Elements 6 using Levels only.  I'm just getting into RAW, as we speak.

Thanks in advance.

Of course you have wonderful colours in the sky. But the foreground is a little dark (common problem with sunset/sunrise shots) and the stone fence appears to compete with the rest of the scene. A crop just above the left side stone fence will leave a simple elegant rural scene agaisnt a wonderful sky anchored by the tree. If you want to include the fence, my suggestion would be to move back and diminish its size and include more grass so the it more compliments the rest of the scene. One other thing, if you have a split-neutral density filter use it in your sunset/sunrise shots to more equalize the exposure value difference between earth and sky, so that the foreground will not be too dark if you expose for the sky. The filter essentially darkens the sky area (abt 1/3 to 1/2) and leaves the rest of the scene as is. It does not alter the colour of the scene. BTW, I also use Elements 6 and find Photoshop C way too big for my liking.

I have included crop with a little contrast and sharpening. Just one suggested crop.

JMR
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 08:15:56 AM by John R » Logged
button
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 07:14:58 PM »
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Quote from: George F
Hi everyone,

Love the forum and have been lurking for a while...  

My first post, so I thought I'd throw myself in at the deep end and get some constructive criticism, hopefully...

This is one of my first attempts at this game.

I love landscapes and simply I wish I had more time to get out there and get my boots dirty.

Canon 50D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 17mm, f/11, 1/5 sec, ISO 100.  Tweaked in Elements 6 using Levels only.  I'm just getting into RAW, as we speak.

Thanks in advance.


I'll agree with John on these points:  the foreground is too dark, and your sky colors are striking.  However, I like the stone fence- it creates a horizontal linear counterpoint to the radial lines in the sky, which really makes the shot for me.  I would brighten up the foreground, but make sure that its shadows stay at or near black, for some engaging, snappy contrast.  I think that you should crop out the tree on the right, and I'm not quite sure what I think about the grass on the left- its lines complement the sky, but its color and texture take away from the wall.  Perhaps the camera should have been positioned more to the right, and aimed a bit more left, thus removing the tree and grass while strengthening the line of the fence by making it appear more vertical.  Ask yourself this question before you push the shutter:  does every single thing in the frame matter to this shot?  One last thing- the horizon seems a bit concave: lens distortion?  I'd flatten that a bit.

Overall, a strong effort.  "Jumping right in" shows strength- a willingness to take a punch.

John
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 09:59:32 AM by button » Logged
George F
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 11:52:08 PM »
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Excellent!  Just the kind of comments I was hoping for.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to give me your feedback.

I wanted to include the wall as foreground interest, and as suggested the lines work - for me.  I like the tree too.

I agree on the grass - a needless distraction.

I have some Cokin P HD 4 and 8 grads coming so hopefully will be able to hold back the sky and retain details in the foreground in future exposures.

Thanks again!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 11:54:05 PM by George F » Logged
new_haven
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 01:42:34 AM »
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There's still quite a bit of detail contained in the foreground.

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pegelli
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 03:36:39 AM »
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Quote from: new_haven
There's still quite a bit of detail contained in the foreground.


Agree. Did you shoot this in raw: if yes and using LR 2 you can do gradient exposure correction, so you might be able to bring out a lot more foreground detail that way (but maybe also noise, you'll have to see if it works for this one).

I very much like the striking colors in the sky !
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pieter, aka pegelli
George F
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2009, 02:20:12 PM »
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Now that's what I'm talking about!!  Thanks.

How did you do that?
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 04:15:36 PM »
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I'm going the other way here. I didn't find the dark foreground all that objectionable. The reworked examples, though, made the foreground so distracting as to hurt the scene. I actually found the tree on the far right more interesting than the fence, at least in this composition, so perhaps cropping off the bottom 1/4th of the frame would create something even more powerful: stark tree against glowing sunset.

A word of caution, though, when working on sunsets. It's evident that many of those colors are going to be out of gamut for almost any printer, so you may be disappointed with resulting prints. Bright reds and deep blues can be real problem areas, so those need to be carefully watched.

Chuck
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
WWW.CHUCKKIMMERLE.COM
new_haven
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2009, 08:28:09 PM »
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Hi George,

I did a couple of things. In adobe camera raw, I used the graduated filter tool on the sky to increase saturation and on the bottom to bring out details in the rock. I may have boosted the sky colors a little, but couldn't really improve on your original.

In addition to the graduated filter over the rocks, I copied the background layer (your original plus graduated filter changes) and increased the exposure (may have used the shadow highlights tool) revealing more detail in the rocks. Since I just wanted to brighten the rocks on certain faces, I masked the overexposed layer with black, and used the brush tool to allow some of the overexposed rocks to show through. This seems to have minimized the graduated filter look.

If you're just getting started, take a look at www.lynda.com and
www.goodlight.us/writing/tutorials.html

Rgds, R
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