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Author Topic: Grand Canyon  (Read 5374 times)
shutterpup
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« on: June 25, 2009, 12:03:25 PM »
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I like this shot because it shows a close-up of a weathered rock structure and then it has good detail of the strata of the canyon itself in the background.
[attachment=14840:Lorraine...hoto_142.jpg]

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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 01:57:32 PM »
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This is, IMHO, the best image you've submitted so far!  There's a clear theme, the composition is pretty good, and DOF is well chosen.  I find myself wanting to see a little more foreground, but you've effectively placed your subject in the proper area of the backdrop.  Nice job.
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 02:24:20 PM »
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Good composition, but try shooting this at dawn or dusk and you will get a much better result.

Ed
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RSL
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 02:34:37 PM »
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Pup, I agree with Jason. It's by far the best thing you've posted. Depth of field is exactly what you need for a shot like this and your composition couldn't be better. As you know, I'm not a lover of landscape, but this is very good landscape. Ed's got a point too, though I wouldn't say you'll get a "better" result. You'll get a "different" result. Morning and evening light gives you sidelight drama but you also lose detail in the deep shadows. In the light in this picture, everything's there.
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 03:26:30 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Ed's got a point too, though I wouldn't say you'll get a "better" result. You'll get a "different" result. Morning and evening light gives you sidelight drama but you also lose detail in the deep shadows. In the light in this picture, everything's there.

Russ

Oh pish and bosh to your relativism.  Midday light is just bad, unless you are in the ultra latitudes.
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RSL
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 04:03:19 PM »
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Quote from: Ed B
Russ

Oh pish and bosh to your relativism.  Midday light is just bad, unless you are in the ultra latitudes.

Okay, Ed, I hear your pish, and a faint posh, but I still say "different." You also get "different" light in fog, and at night. In any case I think Pup's landscape is one of the best I've seen posted on User Critiques. I'd love to see even better ones, but I'm not sitting here holding my breath. I will admit that midday light usually is less than optimal, though.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 04:34:19 PM »
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An unusually good balance of foreground and background.
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oldcsar
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 09:55:22 PM »
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In my opinion, this photo is just about perfect. The composition is tight, with well chosen corners and the primary focal object (the rocky outcropping in the foreground) is in an ideal place. What I like most about the rocky prominence in the foreground is that it is positioned so as not to obstruct the rocky peaks on the horizon. Overall, the composition of this shot has an intelligence that is lacking in some of your other shots. Nicely done!

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shutterpup
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 06:16:38 AM »
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I thank everyone for their comments.

I started posting photos here with more than a little trepidation. You know how other sites are; an atta boy and meaningless nonsense passing for critique. I appreciate the candor of this site. I can feel myself growing as a photographer with the feedback I've gotten here so far. I find myself looking at my "good" photos and asking myself "What was I thinking" as I study the metadata and the resulting photo.

I had gotten drawn into the "crop and crop again" mentality of cropping a bad photo into abstraction, and thinking it was a good result. My thinking about this is changing dramatically. Yes, I am growing as I read comments not only about my photos but others as well.

About the time of day to shoot. I realize that sunrise and sunset have their own special uniqueness in the quality of light. And I have been able to take advantage of that light. But that leaves the rest of the day. If I'm traveling through an area, should I not photograph an interesting scene because the light is not optimal? If I can't return at a more favorable time, then I think it only right to get the shot. For crying out loud, even Ansel Adams shot in the middle of the day; I think here of "Boards and Thistles-San Francisco, California c. 1932" and "Silverton-Colorado 1951."
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PeterAit
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2009, 07:10:34 AM »
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Quote from: shutterpup
I like this shot because it shows a close-up of a weathered rock structure and then it has good detail of the strata of the canyon itself in the background.
[attachment=14840:Lorraine...hoto_142.jpg]

Nice! Man, I'd like to get out that way again.

I have 2 suggestions. I am a bit troubled by the placement of the foreground rock in relation to the horizon. It seems that it should either extend above the horizon more, or not at all. Also, the colors in the distant walls seem a bit muted - I wonder if the Lab color trick would help - convert to Lab color and increase the slope of the a and b curves a bit (this is from Dan Margulis's book).

Peter
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Peter
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RSL
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2009, 09:24:47 AM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
Nice! Man, I'd like to get out that way again.

I have 2 suggestions. I am a bit troubled by the placement of the foreground rock in relation to the horizon. It seems that it should either extend above the horizon more, or not at all. Also, the colors in the distant walls seem a bit muted - I wonder if the Lab color trick would help - convert to Lab color and increase the slope of the a and b curves a bit (this is from Dan Margulis's book).

Peter

What is this urge to take a perfectly good photograph and "fix" it? The foreground rock is right where it belongs. This isn't a stage set. The colors in the distant walls are muted because they're distant. By the way, the Lab a and b channel color trick is archaic compared with Camera Raw's Vibrance feature. It's time for everyone to get off the post-processing compulsion and concentrate on learning to look.
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shutterpup
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 09:48:44 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
What is this urge to take a perfectly good photograph and "fix" it? The foreground rock is right where it belongs. This isn't a stage set. The colors in the distant walls are muted because they're distant. By the way, the Lab a and b channel color trick is archaic compared with Camera Raw's Vibrance feature. It's time for everyone to get off the post-processing compulsion and concentrate on learning to look.

Russ,
Thank you for saying so eloquently what I was too polite to say.
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2009, 10:39:19 AM »
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Well said Russ.  PP is the polish, not the paint.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2009, 10:52:30 AM »
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Russ I agree with some of what you say but take exception with this:

Quote
By the way, the Lab a and b channel color trick is archaic compared with Camera Raw's Vibrance feature.
Using the LAB curve as an adjustment layer gives you quite a bit more flexibility if you know what you're doing. The Vibrance control is crude in comparison.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2009, 11:00:05 AM »
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shutterpup I agree with much of what others have said. This is a fine image, and you did an excellent job of balancing the composition. The rock is placed just right, and you did a good job of emphasing the foreground and midground, while de-emphasizing the plain blue sky.

I don't think you need a dramatic sunrise/sunset with fiery colors in the sky to make a picture like this successful; however I do think that slightly more directional light could enhance this picture even more. Some shadows would bring out the contours in the canyon, and create more depth in the composition.

That said, I certainly understand the limitations of being on vacation and having a limited amount of time at a given location. Like you, I'm not going to stop shooting just because it's not the 'magic hour' anymore. I've found that shooting for B/W or infrared can greatly extend the number of hours of 'good light' in a day, although here you've got enough colors in the canyon that color works also.
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button
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2009, 04:30:36 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
What is this urge to take a perfectly good photograph and "fix" it? The foreground rock is right where it belongs. This isn't a stage set. The colors in the distant walls are muted because they're distant. By the way, the Lab a and b channel color trick is archaic compared with Camera Raw's Vibrance feature. It's time for everyone to get off the post-processing compulsion and concentrate on learning to look.

Russ, I respect your opinion, but I have to take issue with the word compulsion.  I see PP as happening the moment one decides to photograph something, because to me, PP refers to what one does to a mental image in order to convert it into a physical presentation.    It starts when we choose a camera, lens and medium (film/digital).  It may then proceed into the realm of dodging, burning, or more extreme manipulations.  Ergo, it moves along a continuum, a necessary part of the imaging chain: it has to happen.

Furthermore, in my opinion,  PP carries as much weight as composition and timing.  We can wield it like a scalpel, or like a hammer.  In the end, it comes down to one simple question: what am I trying to accomplish?  If a photo is "perfectly good", then the PP involved was also "perfectly good".


John
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RSL
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2009, 05:50:16 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Russ I agree with some of what you say but take exception with this:

Using the LAB curve as an adjustment layer gives you quite a bit more flexibility if you know what you're doing. The Vibrance control is crude in comparison.

Jeff, You may be right. It's been a while since I've used the Lab approach. My photographs, coming off the camera, are close enough to a final product that I don't need to use that extra flexibility. I almost never use Vibrance. I do use a smidgen of Clarity, and I sharpen. Sometimes I make a minor while balance adjustment if the light was difficult. If I have to go much beyond those adjustments I throw the file away. I'd much rather be back on the street shooting than in my office post-processing.

Here's an example of what I mean from a few days ago. It's a fairly routine street shot -- not a great picture, but it's technically the kind of quality I demand before I keep a shot. This picture doesn't need any post-processing. I feel no urge to "fix" it, or, as Button put it, to wield Photoshop as a scalpel to "improve" the shot. It is what it is right now. Yes, with landscape sometimes you need to do more, but you always should do the absolute minimum. The time to convert a mental image into a physical presentation is when you trip the shutter.

[attachment=14866:Jun_16_2009_04.jpg]
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 08:39:15 PM by RSL » Logged

button
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2009, 06:37:49 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Yes, with landscape sometimes you need to do more, but you always should do the absolute minimum. The time to convert a mental image into a physical presentation is when you trip the shutter.

Russ, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on these two points.  Your statement highlights a fundamental difference you and I have with respect to (at the risk of sounding pretentious) artistic vision.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but you want your images to look as close to the final product as possible as soon as you push the button, hence the notion that the physical presentation is more or less formed in camera.  In other words, your post processing (or image processing, as I like to think of it) involves choosing the right in camera settings or film and basically stops at capture.

I, on the other hand, believe that no matter how well I think out an idea (and trust me, I prefer to really contemplate a shot before I take it if possible), further processing might unlock potential within an image that I could never have anticipated.  This means additional cropping, local adjustments, and even extreme alterations that can actually metamorphose a picture, forcing me to reevaluate its entire concept.  To me, the ends justify the means.

In summary, I firmly adhere to the notion that we should try to control what we can, but remain open to unexpected creative possibilities.  To me, a great image is a great image, no matter how you get there.  

John
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2009, 07:09:47 PM »
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Nice backdrop for a really ugly rock.
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cmi
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2009, 07:28:49 PM »
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Gonna reply too.

Russ,

when you say "with landscape sometimes you need to do more, but you always should do the absolute minimum.": Always keep post at minimum, that is clearly no good general advice, we dont need to argue about that.

Had you instead said "Keep your post work always to a minimum when you are practicing getting familiar with photography" it would have been more clear. Because Im sure that was what you wanted to say. You didnt intend to say that you ALWAYS need to keep post work at a minimum. Im sure you just meant it in the context of learning photography. So, you left room for interpretation. Not that this is a bad thing on itself, but since at least I found you being picky in the thread I would have thought it would be good to be as picky in your own argumentation to avoid misunderstandings. Thats what I wanted to say. If I am picky, the others are getting picky too.

I hope I somehow made sense, and that my post is not considered inappropriate. Well in fact Im writing this because I like your expertise. And if anyone feels I got it wrong, or am misunderstanding something, please just point it out.

All the best,

Christian
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