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Author Topic: Coastalscape of Monterey Bay and Carmel  (Read 4371 times)
AdrianT
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« on: July 24, 2009, 01:20:48 PM »
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I seriously started getting into landscape and coastal scape photography a little less than a year ago. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who shared a lot of tips and tricks when shooting long exposures. I shot a few of these when I visited the USA last May and this is one of my favorites in the set. Would appreciate any critiques in the composition, post-processing, etc. Thanks


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cmi
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 02:12:31 PM »
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Quote from: AdrianT
I seriously started getting into landscape and coastal scape photography a little less than a year ago. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who shared a lot of tips and tricks when shooting long exposures. I shot a few of these when I visited the USA last May and this is one of my favorites in the set. Would appreciate any critiques in the composition, post-processing, etc. Thanks

I like the postprocessing, the mood, and the colors, also the sun shining through the clouds in the distant. If this is your start, congratulations, not bad at all! The composition however doesn't convince me, I can't look for long at it. It leads downwards and ends there. I guess you could easily make two images out of this, one focusing more at the nice things in the upper half, one focusing more at the area of the crack in the foreground. As if you where trying to capture too much. But Im struggling too with composition so take these tips with a grain of salt

By the way, many screens like mine are still 1280x1024, so if you would choose more like 900px height, that would be better to view, because of the browser windows, etc.

Christian
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 02:13:28 PM by Christian Miersch » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2009, 02:34:56 PM »
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Adrian, It looks like HDR to me.
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2009, 02:44:36 PM »
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Adrian, It looks like HDR to me.

I have to agree- it comes across as a bit flat.  I think that if you burned the rocks on the inside of the channel while maintaining their saturation (right 1/3) and perhaps the sand at the end of the waterflow (bottom right), you would strengthen the image.  I like the composition, though.

John
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AdrianT
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2009, 02:59:28 PM »
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Thanks for the honest inputs Christian, RSL and John. Very much appreciated.

@Christian
Sorry bout that, will post a smaller size pic next time.

@RSL & John
Thanks for the inputs in post-processing. HDR is not my intention at all for this photo and I didn't use any HDR software. Most of the processing I did was some sharpening techniques and color curves. I did do a  bit of dodging and burning to bring out some details in the dark areas, but I guess I may have overdone it. I wanna go back and review my raw file and maybe even re process it tonight once I get home. Thanks again.



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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2009, 03:08:36 PM »
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Quote from: AdrianT
Thanks for the honest inputs Christian, RSL and John. Very much appreciated.

@Christian
Sorry bout that, will post a smaller size pic next time.

@RSL & John
Thanks for the inputs in post-processing. HDR is not my intention at all for this photo and I didn't use any HDR software. Most of the processing I did was some sharpening techniques and color curves. I did do a  bit of dodging and burning to bring out some details in the dark areas, but I guess I may have overdone it. I wanna go back and review my raw file and maybe even re process it tonight once I get home. Thanks again.

Happy to be of service!  I'd love to see a repost showing whatever adjustments you make.

John
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John R
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2009, 06:13:02 PM »
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It looks pretty good to me and better than most of the photos I have seen on this forum. This is the kind of shot almost any photostock agency would have picked up in the film days, and they were usually slides where you had no opportunity to alter the image. Not much different than Meunch and others, a very good photo IMHO. The big difference is, the pros produced such images consistently and that is why the agencies signed them up.

JMR
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 06:14:41 PM by John R » Logged
JeffKohn
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2009, 06:43:45 PM »
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I agree with Russ that it has that HDR look, or may that "too strong grad filter look" since I've seen plenty of film shots that looked equally unrealistic. The sky is just way too dark given how bright the foreground is. I also think I might prefer a 5:4 crop, taking off from both the top and bottom.

There's a lot to like here though: dramatic clouds, with just a hint of sun-rays poking through in the distance; and plenty of texture in the rock, which contrasts with the smoothed out water (which still has enough detail in it to imply motion). I also like the lines created by the "passage" as well as the way it splits the foreground while at the same time connecting the foreground to the distant water and horizon in an interesting way that the eye can follow.
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cmi
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2009, 06:49:20 PM »
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Quote from: AdrianT
Thanks for the honest inputs Christian, RSL and John. Very much appreciated.

@Christian
Sorry bout that, will post a smaller size pic next time.

Dont be sorry for that, its really only a remark. If you kept posting this size I wouldnt have any problems. Its just a small detail.
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RSL
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2009, 09:03:40 PM »
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I agree with Russ that it has that HDR look, or may that "too strong grad filter look" since I've seen plenty of film shots that looked equally unrealistic. The sky is just way too dark given how bright the foreground is. I also think I might prefer a 5:4 crop, taking off from both the top and bottom.

There's a lot to like here though: dramatic clouds, with just a hint of sun-rays poking through in the distance; and plenty of texture in the rock, which contrasts with the smoothed out water (which still has enough detail in it to imply motion). I also like the lines created by the "passage" as well as the way it splits the foreground while at the same time connecting the foreground to the distant water and horizon in an interesting way that the eye can follow.

Adrian, I should add that I agree with Jeff that there's a lot to like in that picture. My only beef is with the tone mapping, and that's a minor beef. It would be interesting to see the untouched original so I could get an idea of what kind of post-processing you did. I now know you didn't do this with an HDR merge, but the intense local contrast and amount of detail in the lower part of the rocks looks like HDR to me. Here's one that is an HDR. It's quite different but I see similarities in the tone mapping -- especially in the bark on the cypress closest to the camera.

[attachment=15669:Palatlak..._Morning.jpg]
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2009, 11:54:38 PM »
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I also thought it was HDR when I saw it, and I'm not generally a big fan of that look.  There's a lot to like in this image, but I agree with Christian that there are almost two images here:
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The composition however doesn't convince me, I can't look for long at it. It leads downwards and ends there. I guess you could easily make two images out of this, one focusing more at the nice things in the upper half, one focusing more at the area of the crack in the foreground. As if you where trying to capture too much.

Mike.
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AdrianT
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 12:38:07 PM »
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Thank you for all the helpful comments and critiques. I tried to re post process the image, using only some sharpening techniques and color curves to make the color of the raw file "pop". I didn't do any masking or dodging and burning on this new image. Do you guys think it's better? Or does it still look like HDR? Thanks

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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 12:48:27 PM »
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Quote from: AdrianT
Thank you for all the helpful comments and critiques. I tried to re post process the image, using only some sharpening techniques and color curves to make the color of the raw file "pop". I didn't do any masking or dodging and burning on this new image. Do you guys think it's better? Or does it still look like HDR? Thanks

Immensley better.  The original looks like a cartoon compared to this.  Personally, I'd bump up the saturation just a bit and bring down the brightness of the bottom left rocks just smidge, but that's jut me

John
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 02:09:01 PM »
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Immensley better.  The original looks like a cartoon compared to this.  Personally, I'd bump up the saturation just a bit and bring down the brightness of the bottom left rocks just smidge, but that's jut me  

John

Agreed. I also might be tempted to do a little bit of local contrast enhancement, but only a little. Make sure the result is much closer to this version than to the one you first posted.


One more thought: You might want to try flipping it right-to-left, so that the passage leads into the picture from the left rather than out of the picture to the right. Since most of us read from left to right, that might take care of Christian's objection.

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cmi
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2009, 02:19:57 PM »
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Yes, flipping it, for me the image works better. (Im still not fully satisfied about it, but hey...)

The new look is also good, but I liked also something about the old one. But the old one was also a bit more stressful to look at, because of the contrast. So it maybe comes down to a question of balancing. This is something I find to be of uttermost importance for (some of) my own post work: Its always very easy to overdo an effect. Subtlety is the key. Sometimes I take back effects by 50, sometimes by 90%, thats not uncommon. So maybe you could selectively mix the two versions.
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AdrianT
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2009, 12:04:55 PM »
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Thanks again for the inputs. I did some of the suggestions and came up with this image. How do you guys feel about it?



Personally, I would burn the horizon with the sun rays a bit to emphasize the light. But i'll get inputs first before touching that.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2009, 12:13:57 PM »
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Quote from: AdrianT
Personally, I would burn the horizon with the sun rays a bit to emphasize the light. But i'll get inputs first before touching that.

I agree.  Also, dodge the shadows as they are a little dark.  Here's what I came up with:



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Alain Briot
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Colorwave
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2009, 03:36:28 PM »
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I love the last one, Adrian, but think you may have oversaturated the colors in the sky.  I prefer the foreground of the last one with the more subtle sky of the one before it, which just seems more natural to me.  Great shot, and no single right answer as to how to process is.
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