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Author Topic: City  (Read 4079 times)
Jeremy Payne
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« on: June 26, 2009, 10:46:55 PM »
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Which of these do you like better, the color or B&W?





A couple more ...



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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2009, 11:32:36 PM »
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I sure hope you got lots of detail with this capture, because it's a real winner and will really stun viewers if printed large.  The B/W makes it look metallic and magical.  I especially like the way the details in the wet rocks contrast the blur of the waterfall.  

Your composition is perfect- there's no wasted space here.  You've created a "Z" with your framing of the rocks.  This structure, combined with the downward motion of the waterfall brings the eye from top left, to top right, to bottom left, to bottom right.  From there, the foreground water takes over, leisurely bringing the eye back to the bottom left.  

Overall, your composition has killed two birds with one stone- it takes the viewer on a ride, and in so doing, allows that viewer to absorb all of the photo's detail.

Please, print it big on something like metallic paper or supergloss.  5/5 stars!

John
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 11:47:09 PM »
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Quote from: button
I sure hope you got lots of detail with this capture, because it's a real winner and will really stun viewers if printed large.  The B/W makes it look metallic and magical.  I especially like the way the details in the wet rocks contrast the blur of the waterfall.
Thanks for the high praise!  I like this one very much.

There is a lot of detail in there ... the file is 4000 x 4000 as I shot it as a mosaic with the 70-200 at 105mm.

Here's a snapshot of a 100% view:
[attachment=14870:detail.JPG]
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 01:44:19 AM »
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I like the last one.  I think the first one has some potential but I don't like the semi-saturated 'grunge' look for this image, and I don't think there's enough in the B&W version as presented to make it interesting.

Mike.

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kikashi
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 02:46:55 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
I like the last one.  I think the first one has some potential but I don't like the semi-saturated 'grunge' look for this image, and I don't think there's enough in the B&W version as presented to make it interesting.

Mike.
For once, we disagree! To me, the last one looks artificial and unnatural. What post-processing have you applied to it?

The B&W that button has praised, however, I agree is wonderful.

Jeremy
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 07:44:34 AM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Thanks for the high praise!  I like this one very much.

There is a lot of detail in there ... the file is 4000 x 4000 as I shot it as a mosaic with the 70-200 at 105mm.

Here's a snapshot of a 100% view:
[attachment=14870:detail.JPG]

I was hoping you did that (or used large format film)- it's gonna look really good on paper   .    Watch your sharpening, though, as that snapshot looks pretty crunchy.  Printing, especially large printing, will tone that down a bit, but I'd be very careful if I wanted to add more.  

For creative sharpening purposes, I like to duplicate the image and convert it to a smart filter.  Then, I decide which parts of the image need sharpening, and I play around with sharpening controls until I get what I want (using the smart filter allows me to refine the parameters later if I so desire).  Make sure you are viewing at 100% or larger to really see what's going on.  I then apply a mask to that layer, invert it (hiding the sharpening) and then paint it back in with a fairly hard edged brush just where I want it.  

You can do this to the base layer as many times as you want, to achieve different types of sharpening for different parts of the image.  This way, you avoid "sharpening overload" and use the effect to help direct the eye in a manner befitting the photo.  I think of this as dodging/burning with sharpening.

You may already know this trick, but maybe there are others reading this thread who don't and can benefit from it.

John
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 07:45:40 AM by button » Logged
Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 07:55:14 AM »
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Quote from: kikashi
What post-processing have you applied to it?

All are high-resolution mosaics stitched either in AutoPano Pro or CS4.

Images #1 and #3 were also multi-exposure HDRs processed with Details Enhancement in Photomatix before stitching.

I'm not 100% satisfied with 1 and 3, but 2 is a keeper.
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cmi
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 10:20:12 AM »
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I like #3. Very atmospheric. Although it works perfectly as it is Im also curious how a color version would look like. Im sure it could be great, too.

#1 and #2 dont speak to me because of the perspective, also they appear overdone with the look. Thats the case too with #4, here I imagine I might like a more normal variant.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 07:02:18 PM by Christian Miersch » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 12:52:53 PM »
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Jeremy, There's some good stuff here, though I was disappointed not to see some people in these "city" shots. But give us a break on file size. I checked the first one and it's about 1.3 megabytes. Anything beyond about 500K includes a lot of wasted bytes that'll never make any difference on a 72ppi monitor, but the extra beef means unnecessarily long download times.
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2009, 02:12:44 PM »
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#2 is definitely the winner of the bunch, but like John says, watch your sharpening.  I'm not big on HDR, so the fact that #1 & 3 look unnatural to my eye was kind of a deal breaker for me.  I do like the composition of #1 and think it works better as a color image.  There's just not enough tonal separation in the B&W version to capture the mood of the shot.
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2009, 02:48:21 PM »
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Jeremy, What Jason said.
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Jeremy Payne
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2009, 05:17:47 PM »
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Thanks, everyone!  Good comments.

I don't like the HDR processing on 1 & 3 myself after letting it soak for a day, so I'm gonna re-do these as straight mosaics.  I also think I'm sold on #1 as a color image.

On #2 - is it really over-crunchy?  I thought I had this just about right, but I'll go back and try again ... where to stop has always been a bit of a mystery to me ...

I'm on a bit of a mission to document the waterfalls of NYC this summer - I'll probably make a 'limited edition' Blurb book out of it.


Robert ... your comment about people is well-taken ... the 70-200VR + D700 just arouses too much attention and that's reason #1 I need something smaller - and something to take underwater.

Here's a gallery from a recent kindergarten graduation ceremony I did as a volunteer ... so you can see some faces ...

http://flickr.com/gp/jeremypayne/UnW94m



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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2009, 06:15:40 PM »
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Quote from: Jeremy Payne
On #2 - is it really over-crunchy?  I thought I had this just about right, but I'll go back and try again ... where to stop has always been a bit of a mystery to me ...

I can't say for sure, because sharpening is a bit of a black box for me as well, but the crop just seems a bit course to my eye.  I try to use the "3 step" approach, as advocated by Bruce Fraisure, Jeff Schewe, etc.  I'l tell you this- I just recently used ACR as my output sharpening device for a really large pano, and I think it worked out really well.  Here's how I did it:

1) Get your image to the final softproof stage and flattened.  Keep it ProPhoto (or whatever large gamut space that ACR supports).

2) This is key- size the image for final print output, and save as separate file.

3) Open this resized image in camera raw, keeping photoshop open with the original flattened image displayed.  Now, set the dpi in ACR to your output size, and choose your sharpening amount and paper type.  Open this image in PS as a new doc.

4) Drag the new, output sharpened layer onto the original image, and align the layers- sharpened on top, unsharpened on bottom.  Now, just toggle between the layers to see the difference, and make sure there are no unexpected changes.  

5) Flatten, convert to profile, and print!

John
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2009, 10:10:05 AM »
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B+W.  In the color version the greenery seems to be competing with the waterfall as the subject.
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DavidStephen
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2009, 12:47:10 PM »
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With HDR it's easy to loose control.  Photomatix is a power tool, one I enjoy and find amazing.  However, like driving a 911 Turbo on suburban streets it's important to respect environmental limits, or you risk loosing control, crashing, and making yourself look like a teenager in your fathers car.  I've done it, I know.

You may consider revisiting the HRD images with a lighter, softer hand, then converting them to black & white in CS4. (Desaturation in Photomatix is severe and not appropriate for all images, especially a woodland atmosphere).  The compositional, exposure integrity of your images will come through and I think you'll have a much more pleasing result - like strolling through the woods, over a beautiful bridge.

The trick with technology, I think, is to integrate it into your work seamlessly, so no one knows it's there.  Otherwise  technology will get all the attention, leaving the emotion of the shot in the cold.  This will rob your images of lasting, essential beauty.  

I think this is a huge issue, particularly now that technology is so readily available.  It's very easy to make something look cool - but cool is easily supplanted by the next cool thing - like contemporary architecture, or heavy soled, stub-nose boots.  Photography isn't about fashion, or, if it is, it's only about decoration, and not Art.

Becoming a great photographer may be harder than ever, simply because it's so easy to create good looking pictures right out of the box.  Anyone can do it now.  Being great will require something truly innovative, and everything we do, with every shot we produce, should push us in a deeply personal photographic direction.  If not, well, we can expect to make good pictures like everyone else, and there's nothing wrong with that, if that what we want.

Know your HDR environment.  When you find an "open road" - a derelict building, urban blight - roadside trash - high contrast machinery - push it, hard.  The results will be appropriately great.

DS

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RSL
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2009, 01:49:55 PM »
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Quote from: DavidStephen
With HDR it's easy to loose control.  Photomatix is a power tool, one I enjoy and find amazing.  However, like driving a 911 Turbo on suburban streets it's important to respect environmental limits, or you risk loosing control, crashing, and making yourself look like a teenager in your fathers car.  I've done it, I know.

You may consider revisiting the HRD images with a lighter, softer hand, then converting them to black & white in CS4. (Desaturation in Photomatix is severe and not appropriate for all images, especially a woodland atmosphere).  The compositional, exposure integrity of your images will come through and I think you'll have a much more pleasing result - like strolling through the woods, over a beautiful bridge.

The trick with technology, I think, is to integrate it into your work seamlessly, so no one knows it's there.  Otherwise  technology will get all the attention, leaving the emotion of the shot in the cold.  This will rob your images of lasting, essential beauty.  

I think this is a huge issue, particularly now that technology is so readily available.  It's very easy to make something look cool - but cool is easily supplanted by the next cool thing - like contemporary architecture, or heavy soled, stub-nose boots.  Photography isn't about fashion, or, if it is, it's only about decoration, and not Art.

Becoming a great photographer may be harder than ever, simply because it's so easy to create good looking pictures right out of the box.  Anyone can do it now.  Being great will require something truly innovative, and everything we do, with every shot we produce, should push us in a deeply personal photographic direction.  If not, well, we can expect to make good pictures like everyone else, and there's nothing wrong with that, if that what we want.

Know your HDR environment.  When you find an "open road" - a derelict building, urban blight - roadside trash - high contrast machinery - push it, hard.  The results will be appropriately great.

DS

Well said, David, but I can't see that it's any harder to become a great photographer now than ever before. When you say it's easy to create "good looking pictures" right out of the box, what you're talking about is the technical quality of the pictures. That's not what makes a great picture. I'd say about 90 to 95 percent of the pictures posted on User Critiques are "good looking pictures" in a technical sense, but I'd also say that certainly less than 5% and probably less than 1% are actually good art. HDR isn't different from any of the other technical advances in the past few years. They all help make photographing easier in a technical sense, but none of the advances have changed the underlying requirements that make a "good looking" picture a work of art. Those underlying requirements are, and always have been, very difficult to satisfy.
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Rob C
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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2009, 02:34:48 PM »
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Jeremy

As with the chap who killed his great window pics with too much information, your b/w stuff would have been excellent with no explanations required. Start telling tales about your m.o. and everybody instantly becomes an expert, a critic, latches onto something you´ve disclosed that he can put a handle on and loses sight of what´s right there in the shot.

Keep it a secret is more than the title of a song!

Rob C
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DavidStephen
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2009, 09:59:04 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
Well said, David, but I can't see that it's any harder to become a great photographer now than ever before. When you say it's easy to create "good looking pictures" right out of the box, what you're talking about is the technical quality of the pictures. That's not what makes a great picture. I'd say about 90 to 95 percent of the pictures posted on User Critiques are "good looking pictures" in a technical sense, but I'd also say that certainly less than 5% and probably less than 1% are actually good art. HDR isn't different from any of the other technical advances in the past few years. They all help make photographing easier in a technical sense, but none of the advances have changed the underlying requirements that make a "good looking" picture a work of art. Those underlying requirements are, and always have been, very difficult to satisfy.


I think we're in agreement.  There may be some fine-line-distinctions but overall yes, becoming a great photographer, or a great anything depends on satisfying the highest standards in aptitude, abilities, personal focus, imagination and, perhaps most critical, drive.  No amount of technology, regardless of skillful application can mask one's underlying creative disposition, however obscured by mouse-pen-wizardry.   All we need for proof is a cursory scan of current cinema, where almost anyone can muster enough money, equipment and willing players to qualify for a Sundance preview.    

The photographic playing field, although much enlarged by the availability of affordable, high quality, easy to use technology is as it has always been, level.  Education, particularly via Internet  is now greater, more accessible, and cheaper than any other time in history.  There is hardly any reason for formal education, although it's difficult to replace the benefit of mentor-ship and serial training.

So, yes, I agree, although the bar may seem to be higher it is only so in relation to technology, which make the bar the same as it has always been.

Having said that, I can recommend this site for Jeremy to review.  
www.danjurak.com    
Jurak calls on HRD in many of his images, some more obvious than others.  In many of his images, if you're not aware of HDR you'd never know it was being used.  In other images HRD is obvious, and, I think, detracts from his sensitivity to the landscape.  Still, they are beautiful.

DS



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pikeys
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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2009, 10:16:38 PM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
I like the last one.  I think the first one has some potential but I don't like the semi-saturated 'grunge' look for this image, and I don't think there's enough in the B&W version as presented to make it interesting.

Mike.

The last one,a beautiful image

Pikeys
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