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Author Topic: Kansas Storm Chase 5-26-08  (Read 2789 times)
boblybill
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« on: March 26, 2009, 10:14:07 AM »
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Here's was a shot from a storm chase last year. How can I improve this shot?

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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 12:59:02 PM »
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There's a lot I like about this shot.  placement of the road in the composition leads eyes into the scene.  The clouds are amazing!  Great blues in there.  If I were to offer any suggestions, it would be to lighten the highway in the area where it meets the horizon.  It's a little dark, but I prefer it dark.  It adds to the emotional impact of the storm.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 08:53:55 PM »
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Do you recall the sky and clouds when you were there?  Was is that blue?  Just curious.
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EasyEd
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 08:54:22 PM »
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Hey All,

This photo is AWESOME! I love how the clouds for a building or tep at the end of the highway.

I'd crop on each side - more on the left than the right. The bright distracts a bit.

Great Shot! -Ed-
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 01:29:10 AM »
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Quote from: jasonrandolph
There's a lot I like about this shot.  placement of the road in the composition leads eyes into the scene.  The clouds are amazing!  Great blues in there.  If I were to offer any suggestions, it would be to lighten the highway in the area where it meets the horizon.  It's a little dark, but I prefer it dark.  It adds to the emotional impact of the storm.

That was my thought exactly.  I like that it's dark as it gives the sense of an impending storm, but I think it's a little TOO dark to really hold interest.

Mike.
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boblybill
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2009, 11:07:47 AM »
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Quote from: jasonrandolph
There's a lot I like about this shot.  placement of the road in the composition leads eyes into the scene.  The clouds are amazing!  Great blues in there.  If I were to offer any suggestions, it would be to lighten the highway in the area where it meets the horizon.  It's a little dark, but I prefer it dark.  It adds to the emotional impact of the storm.

Thanks for the suggestion I'll give that a go.

Quote from: dalethorn
Do you recall the sky and clouds when you were there?  Was is that blue?  Just curious.

To be honest, I don't think it was that blue when I was there... To really have a go at this I'll have to look at the original RAW files when I get home.


Quote from: EasyEd
Hey All,

This photo is AWESOME! I love how the clouds for a building or tep at the end of the highway.

I'd crop on each side - more on the left than the right. The bright distracts a bit.

Great Shot! -Ed-

I agree... When I edited this shot to bring down the blues I cropped it some and I like it better.
Quote from: wolfnowl
That was my thought exactly.  I like that it's dark as it gives the sense of an impending storm, but I think it's a little TOO dark to really hold interest.

Mike.


Thanks Mike. I did go ahead and cropped, messed with the color (I'll do a better job of that at home with the RAW files), and bumped up the levels a bit. Any improvement?

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shothunter
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2009, 04:03:13 PM »
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What a dramatic shot! I actually don't see anything wrong with the blues being in the clouds, IMHO the colours do not need to represent the scene the way you saw it unless you're documenting it - whatever improves the image, appeals to your and your viewers eye - even if it's a colour cast, I'd leave it that way.

I agree with the cropping, helps a lot to focus attention to where the action is, what I would do is maybe slightly increase the contrast with curves in order to get even more drama - again, this is a great shot, thanks for sharing.

ed
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 01:21:13 AM »
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Quote from: boblybill
Thanks for the suggestion I'll give that a go.



To be honest, I don't think it was that blue when I was there... To really have a go at this I'll have to look at the original RAW files when I get home.




I agree... When I edited this shot to bring down the blues I cropped it some and I like it better.



Thanks Mike. I did go ahead and cropped, messed with the color (I'll do a better job of that at home with the RAW files), and bumped up the levels a bit. Any improvement?

I like the second one MUCH better!!

Mike.
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HickersonJasonC
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 08:44:16 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
I like the second one MUCH better!!

Mike.


The first version you posted is seriously oversaturated and oversharpened. I agree it's a bit too dark overall.

The second version is severely posterized (the green grass is now yellow in blotches).

Overall, it's an interesting sky but where is the subject?
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2009, 03:24:24 PM »
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Quote from: boblybill
Here's was a shot from a storm chase last year. How can I improve this shot?

Just my two cents-
I actually like asymmetric composition, and the diagonal line of the road pulling the viewer into the frame. I also like the small group of trees off to the left. I'd crop tighter only on the right, to make the diagonal pull of the road more obvious and to elminate the uninteresting patch of clear sky on the right. To me the single group of trees on the left provide a bit of balance to the composition.
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boblybill
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2009, 02:17:38 PM »
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Quote from: HickersonJasonC
The first version you posted is seriously oversaturated and oversharpened. I agree it's a bit too dark overall.

The second version is severely posterized (the green grass is now yellow in blotches).

Overall, it's an interesting sky but where is the subject?

To be honest, the second edit was an attempt to save the original. When I first edited this shot last year, I did so on a non-calibrated machine and the result was what you saw at first. I do all my pano's manually so I knew that I couldn't get the same exact look from the first since the cloud changes so quickly and I use some of one picture and some of another so evertime I restitch it, it looks different.

Quote from: Geoff Wittig
Just my two cents-
I actually like asymmetric composition, and the diagonal line of the road pulling the viewer into the frame. I also like the small group of trees off to the left. I'd crop tighter only on the right, to make the diagonal pull of the road more obvious and to elminate the uninteresting patch of clear sky on the right. To me the single group of trees on the left provide a bit of balance to the composition.

Here's this shot redone completely from the original raw files. The cloud looks a little different because I layered the pano pics a little differently than I did last time. I took out the terrible color cast, since I assigned each picture to a 6300K color temp and added no color correction in Photoshop. Is this, even more of an improvement? The first has the most post-production (a little contrast, saturation, levels, and dodging and burning), the middle is a conservitive pp (a little contrast, saturation, and levels), and the third is the RAW files stitched and nothing else.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 02:19:57 PM by boblybill » Logged
ProPhotoInsights
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2009, 04:48:47 PM »
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Storm chasing is on my to do list !
I love skies and have  a large collection for comping into various images.
Love this shot especially the first of the last 3 you have posted.
Personally I love the contrast in the earlier skies but felt they where over saturated on the green verges.
Loved to have been there !
Simon
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John R
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2009, 05:03:04 PM »
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Quote from: boblybill
To be honest, the second edit was an attempt to save the original. When I first edited this shot last year, I did so on a non-calibrated machine and the result was what you saw at first. I do all my pano's manually so I knew that I couldn't get the same exact look from the first since the cloud changes so quickly and I use some of one picture and some of another so evertime I restitch it, it looks different.



Here's this shot redone completely from the original raw files. The cloud looks a little different because I layered the pano pics a little differently than I did last time. I took out the terrible color cast, since I assigned each picture to a 6300K color temp and added no color correction in Photoshop. Is this, even more of an improvement? The first has the most post-production (a little contrast, saturation, levels, and dodging and burning), the middle is a conservitive pp (a little contrast, saturation, and levels), and the third is the RAW files stitched and nothing else.

I don't see much difference between the three images. It is still a great image. They are obviously less saturated than the first set you posted. But IMO it's up to you what the colours should look like or whether they accurately represent the scene if that is what you want. One can alter images nine ways to Sunday and still come up with reasonably acceptable images. One point: if you have a wonderful glow in the sky- as you seem to have- sharpening can destroy this quality. Try to isolate the foreground portions and sharpen that section only, leaving the sky untouched, if that is what you desire.

JMR
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 08:43:57 PM by John R » Logged
shothunter
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2009, 02:27:51 PM »
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Quote from: boblybill
To be honest, the second edit was an attempt to save the original. When I first edited this shot last year, I did so on a non-calibrated machine and the result was what you saw at first. I do all my pano's manually so I knew that I couldn't get the same exact look from the first since the cloud changes so quickly and I use some of one picture and some of another so evertime I restitch it, it looks different.



Here's this shot redone completely from the original raw files. The cloud looks a little different because I layered the pano pics a little differently than I did last time. I took out the terrible color cast, since I assigned each picture to a 6300K color temp and added no color correction in Photoshop. Is this, even more of an improvement? The first has the most post-production (a little contrast, saturation, levels, and dodging and burning), the middle is a conservitive pp (a little contrast, saturation, and levels), and the third is the RAW files stitched and nothing else.

The detail in the clouds makes the first one a winner for me...
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HickersonJasonC
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2009, 04:09:37 PM »
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Here's this shot redone completely from the original raw files. The cloud looks a little different because I layered the pano pics a little differently than I did last time. I took out the terrible color cast, since I assigned each picture to a 6300K color temp and added no color correction in Photoshop. Is this, even more of an improvement? The first has the most post-production (a little contrast, saturation, levels, and dodging and burning), the middle is a conservitive pp (a little contrast, saturation, and levels), and the third is the RAW files stitched and nothing else.
[/quote]


These are a definite improvement, especially the middle image. The main problems I see are

1) The white balance is way off— use the eye dropper tool to set grey balance on the white stripe on the road in PS or LR. If you want that green/gold color shift back that you lost in setting white balance, it is easily achievable using the Channel Mixer... in PS (keep overall percentages for RGB close to 100%) or the Split Toning feature in LR;

2) No part of any of these images comes close to pure white or pure black. Correct this by using Levels... in PS, hold down Alt and drag the rightmost slider to the left until some part of the image shows white, then hold Alt and drag the leftmost slider to the right until something in the image shows black. Drag the center slider to normalize brightness.

This should give you a good starting point for further tweaking. I still feel that the image is missing a subject, though. Any chance one of the images you used to blend this shows the car a bit larger in the frame?
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boblybill
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2009, 12:15:15 PM »
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Quote from: HickersonJasonC
Here's this shot redone completely from the original raw files. The cloud looks a little different because I layered the pano pics a little differently than I did last time. I took out the terrible color cast, since I assigned each picture to a 6300K color temp and added no color correction in Photoshop. Is this, even more of an improvement? The first has the most post-production (a little contrast, saturation, levels, and dodging and burning), the middle is a conservitive pp (a little contrast, saturation, and levels), and the third is the RAW files stitched and nothing else.



These are a definite improvement, especially the middle image. The main problems I see are

1) The white balance is way off— use the eye dropper tool to set grey balance on the white stripe on the road in PS or LR. If you want that green/gold color shift back that you lost in setting white balance, it is easily achievable using the Channel Mixer... in PS (keep overall percentages for RGB close to 100%) or the Split Toning feature in LR;

2) No part of any of these images comes close to pure white or pure black. Correct this by using Levels... in PS, hold down Alt and drag the rightmost slider to the left until some part of the image shows white, then hold Alt and drag the leftmost slider to the right until something in the image shows black. Drag the center slider to normalize brightness.

This should give you a good starting point for further tweaking. I still feel that the image is missing a subject, though. Any chance one of the images you used to blend this shows the car a bit larger in the frame?

1) I would have to respectfully disagree with this critique. The white balance is not off. This is very close to the colors that were present when I was there. In a storm that is producing hail (almost 3" in this particular storm), it is very common to have this color of green in the storm. Also, dust in the air messes with the overall color a lot. If you were there, you would have been rained on plus had dust blown into your eye. In top of that, you would have had leaves and debris falling on your head.

Honestly... I'm not going out to shoot cars, roads, or cattle. I'm out to shoot the storm structure. If that's what your eye is drawn to then I've done my job. The subject is the storm structure and hopefully the small little detail within the storm (i.e. the small lowering on the right side, the dark rain, if there were a tornado of course that would be the subject). I really didn't want the cars to be the subject. I left them in to hopefully give you some scale on the size of this little storm.
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