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Author Topic: Sunset at the farm  (Read 4022 times)
Justan
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« on: August 02, 2011, 12:26:11 PM »
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« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 09:14:54 AM by Justan » Logged

Cannes
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2011, 02:07:03 AM »
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the cloud and its color is great!
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stamper
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2011, 03:01:52 AM »
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At first glance a very nice image but the more you look at it then the question that pops into your mind is why is the front of the building so light considering that it is backlit by the sunset? Is it two images combined or is the foreground over processed? I am afraid it is too "realistic".  Undecided
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Justan
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2011, 04:55:49 PM »
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Interesting comments, Stamper. Thanks for taking the time to study it.

The image is a composite of 10 frames, taken about 30 minutes before sunset.

You are saying that the buildings should be a little darker? On the print the buildings are a tad too dark.
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John R
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011, 05:36:53 PM »
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Yes, the image looks like HDR. And despite the great sunset, the image looks somewhat flat and static, lacking even in soft shadows. Surely there must have been some soft shadows. I just tried duplicating and overlapping your image and then reducing the opacity and it makes the colours and densities in the image look more realistic. I also think the leading lines, the fence and road, leads the eye to the centre and where it is trapped and has no natural of way travelling throughout the image. Placing the buildings slightly more to the right, IMO, would help remedy this. Just some thoughts.
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louoates
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 06:44:36 PM »
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Very nicely balanced composition. The slightly HDR-ish look doesn't bother me a bit. It still gives that feeling of muted colors that time of day in the shade.
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Justan
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2011, 11:25:00 AM »
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Justan
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2011, 11:25:37 AM »
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Very nicely balanced composition. The slightly HDR-ish look doesn't bother me a bit. It still gives that feeling of muted colors that time of day in the shade.

Thanks!
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 03:00:05 PM »
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I like the clouds and the farm, but personally I would have set the composition to exclude the road on the right.  On one hand it does balance with the fence on the left side to create an envelope, but I think it's too strong an element on its own and distracts from the rest of the image.  My eye wanders up and down the road, wondering where it's going at either end and takes my focus away from being 'here' 'now' at the farm.

Mike.
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stamper
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2011, 02:50:38 AM »
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Thanks!

Justan imo Louoates gave you the least informative reply of all, yet you thanked him. I hope you benefited from all of the others? Smiley
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Justan
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2011, 12:32:23 PM »
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I like the clouds and the farm, but personally I would have set the composition to exclude the road on the right.  On one hand it does balance with the fence on the left side to create an envelope, but I think it's too strong an element on its own and distracts from the rest of the image.  My eye wanders up and down the road, wondering where it's going at either end and takes my focus away from being 'here' 'now' at the farm.

Mike.

Thank you, Mike.

Interesting you should mention the visual strength of the roadway. I typically do everything I can to avoid showing roadways in much of my work, but this time it was integral to the composition, if I wanted to capture the symmetry of the sky. Do you think making it old road-grey would reduce the impact or does just having an asphalt road distract from the pastoral nature of the scene for you?
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Justan
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2011, 12:43:38 PM »
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...I hope you benefited from all of the others? Smiley

Absolutely. A goal of this kind of interaction is the opportunity to learn. The sensibilities others contribute can help to polish the end result. On another level, a thoughtful comment can become part of the tools used in the development process.
 
Typically all gain something from this kind of exchange.
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John R
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2011, 09:07:09 AM »
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John, I always appreciate your critiques.


>And despite the great sunset, the image looks somewhat flat and static, lacking even in soft shadows. ...

Hmmm. The buildings are totally in shadow. The only notable shadow detail remaining is the dark to blacks in the stable area left of the barn.

What I've done is to add some color to the barn (below).

> I also think the leading lines, the fence and road, leads the eye to the centre and where it is trapped and has no natural of way travelling throughout the image. Placing the buildings slightly more to the right, IMO, would help remedy this. Just some thoughts.

I appreciate the observation but don't agree on how the eye moves around the scene. However you appear to be implying that the low color saturation of the barn (compared to the sky) causes the eye to lose interest once it gets there.  On the print the endless details of the barn holds the interest. Perhaps that's the difference between the print vs screen resolution?

It is a very good image notwithstanding my initial comments. I really should take my own advice, which I just posted about another image. I often subjectively impose (I think most of us do this) what I think an image should look like in terms of format, which is probably a habit from shooting slides in 2x3 format for years.  For me Panos take a while getting used to and I should probably look at them in the cold and fresh light of morning. I pretty much made the same observation as Mike. I guess a cultural or visual bias. Your darkened or saturated version has the quality of a subject in shadow, as you have mentioned and looks more realistic to me. I do like it better than the lighter version which looks somewhat desatured on my screen. So, having little or no experience with printing, I assume you are right about preparing for the net vs printing.
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Justan
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2011, 11:30:13 AM »
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louoates
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2011, 02:43:00 PM »
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In the last example I wouldn't have lightened the sky. The sky looks too light and washed out on my monitor. I like how you lightened the rest.
I would vote to keep the road. I love the way it funnels the eye toward the barn, as does the fence. Without the road my first thought would be to crop off part of the right side.
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KevinA
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2011, 11:37:42 AM »
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It's subjects like this that have made me shoot some film again. I like the image.
Despite you stacking various images to control the DR of the scene we still have a harsh blown out highlight in the sky at the left and it looks like you have tried to control that, the picture has ended up with a strange balance between light and shade. If that is the effect you are trying to produce then ok, but I suspect you were trying to control the scene and get it to look natural. Seriously a roll of 120 Portra would of got it in one shot and kept the tones in their natural order.
Kevin.
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Kevin.
stamper
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2011, 02:54:14 AM »
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Blaming digital and suggesting film as an alternative isn't technically sound. There is less dynamic range in film, unless of course you were planning to scan the film and digitalize it? Wink I suspect the original could have been better processed with what he had. I even suggest a skilled user of Photoshop could have done it better with one raw image. What happened was one person's idea of a good image that others disagreed with and thought that it could have been improved. This isn't a reason to start a digital v film debate. Cool
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KevinA
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2011, 03:36:05 AM »
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Blaming digital and suggesting film as an alternative isn't technically sound. There is less dynamic range in film, unless of course you were planning to scan the film and digitalize it? Wink I suspect the original could have been better processed with what he had. I even suggest a skilled user of Photoshop could have done it better with one raw image. What happened was one person's idea of a good image that others disagreed with and thought that it could have been improved. This isn't a reason to start a digital v film debate. Cool
I'm not interested in a film v digital debate, I've had that with myself. If the shot was on Portra the DR is huge and yes I scan it, to say there is less DR in film is way off the mark. I don't think that blown out highlight could be improved by anyone with Photoshop short of actually painting from imagination into the space. Neither does shooting a multi series of exposures really do it either. I am still waiting to see a HDR shot that improves an image by keeping it look natural and not like a special effect. Shot on film the tones stay in the correct order and if you have something that goes beyond the DR it does not clip as violently as a shot on digital. One of my pet hates is the imagery sold at local craft shops, you can bet there will be a group of Sunsets in them and 9 times out of 10 the area around the Sun is plain ugly.
Here is someone that says it better, most of what he says is not applicable to shooting stills but the bit about someone walking with the Sun behind them and getting detail in the face is http://motion.kodak.com/motion/Products/Customer_Testimonials/Wally_Pfister/index.htm
It's not digital v film it's using the right tool for the job, clearly digital is the right tool for the job for some things and film is better for others, high contrast shots into the Sun work better in my opinion on film. Shooting a thousand images at a sports event digital wins, turning around a job quickly digital wins, if you want a file with  robust colour and huge DR a roll of Portra wins. 100% of what I shoot is digital for clients, they want it fast and on a budget. I have reasons other than quality for shooting film from a personal point of view, I like the simplicity  of using it, most of all though I like what it does.

Kevin.

www.treewithoutabird.com
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 03:41:34 AM by KevinA » Logged

Kevin.
stamper
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2011, 04:53:49 AM »
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Does Portra exceed 12 stops? Most quality DSLR'S can produce 12 stops. If it is that good then why scan it? The obvious answer is that you are trying to extend the DR? As to toning down the light area then that would be easy in Photoshop assuming a little skill and no imagination required. A layer set to multiply and the layer inverted would do it with a little masking. Better still a Viveza plug in. I don't know how Justan exposed the original but  a spot meter for the lightest area - exposure lock - and EV + 2 would have exposed that area better and the shadows would have been lightened as well. Most photographers have left film behind because digital can handle the issues with less hassle. The cost of a scanner and extra knowledge is a burden most photographers don't want to use. Smiley BTW the highlight doesn't look blown to me, just too light? I had a look at the link. It is for movie images and not stills so I don't see the relevance? The guy sounded knowledgeable but opinionated and smug. I would have to see some knowledgeable rebuttal before making up my mind. As to the sun looking ugly that is because the DR has been exceeded. No medium can capture it properly nor can filters tone it down but post Photoshop can tame it nicely, if you know how.  Smiley
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 05:07:49 AM by stamper » Logged

KevinA
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2011, 05:47:21 AM »
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Does Portra exceed 12 stops? Most quality DSLR'S can produce 12 stops. If it is that good then why scan it? The obvious answer is that you are trying to extend the DR? As to toning down the light area then that would be easy in Photoshop assuming a little skill and no imagination required. A layer set to multiply and the layer inverted would do it with a little masking. Better still a Viveza plug in. I don't know how Justan exposed the original but  a spot meter for the lightest area - exposure lock - and EV + 2 would have exposed that area better and the shadows would have been lightened as well. Most photographers have left film behind because digital can handle the issues with less hassle. The cost of a scanner and extra knowledge is a burden most photographers don't want to use. Smiley BTW the highlight doesn't look blown to me, just too light? I had a look at the link. It is for movie images and not stills so I don't see the relevance? The guy sounded knowledgeable but opinionated and smug. I would have to see some knowledgeable rebuttal before making up my mind. As to the sun looking ugly that is because the DR has been exceeded. No medium can capture it properly nor can filters tone it down but post Photoshop can tame it nicely, if you know how.  Smiley
Oh heavens yes way over 12 stops and your common DSLR is nearer 8-9 stops and what 12 bit?, less when you start upping the iso, even Phaseone only claim about 12.5. You scan because a digital file is more useful these days, the scanner cannot extend the DR it can only try and get the information out of the negative not put it in. Toning down the highlight by making it grey or a colour tint is not really an answer, you need detail in it or at least a smooth progression to no detail, even the surrounding areas of yellow sky are mostly blown out, there is no tone to the yellow, just blocks of yellow. That is not a special criticism of this image which I do like, but an example of what people now except in a picture, no plugin in the World can work with information which is not there. I would hate for anyone to just take my word for it. You can pick up a film camera for pennies, pay to have a roll processed and pay to get a decent scan of say one or two images, at least that way you could judge wether you think it's worth doing or not. If you can stretch to a half decent MF camera you would get a better idea. A MF would be more than pennies, something like a Yashica Mat or Mamiya C33 might be a hundred or two, but you would not lose much reselling after shooting a few rolls. What I would say is if you do try one just take that out with you and a tripod, leave everything else at home and get to grips with the reversed image, slow working pace etc these cameras force you to work at. There is a chance you might find it a more enjoyable way of working, if not sell it again.Nothing lost but an experience gained.
It is relevant what he says about walking in front of the Sun and retaining detail in the shadow side of the face, that applies to still photography as well, as for him being knowledgable well yeah did you read what he does and what his credits are for? Smug? he's given his opinion as to why he works a certain way when he has a budget that would let him work anyway he chooses.

Kevin.
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Kevin.
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