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Author Topic: Untiltled  (Read 1535 times)
Riaan van Wyk
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« on: December 21, 2011, 01:38:00 PM »
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Thoughts please?
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RSL
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 02:45:11 PM »
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It's striking, Riaan. Good shooting.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2011, 03:03:40 PM »
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The problem when shooting digital into the sun is a harsh transition from blown highlights. For sun this big, film would be the king. Given that is not an easy option, waiting for the sun to get a bit lower and weaker would be an option. Also, shooting with a lens stopped well down would render more of a sun-star effect (I know, I know, the dreaded diffraction... but, hey, life is full of choices and trade-offs Wink).
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Slobodan

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kikashi
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2011, 03:18:38 PM »
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Excellent depth of field and a memorable shot, Riaan. I think I agree with Slobodan that waiting for the sun to descend a little would have improved it; did you stay?

Jeremy
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2011, 03:41:22 PM »
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I don't think waiting for the sun to sink further was an option as it would have eliminated the directional light on the sand and the edges of the trunk. Instead, I would play with an adjustment layer with a radial gradient mask to try and make the sun more subtle.

However, I'm not convinced that it would be worth the effort. The image is nice, mind you, but the main subject is not very interesting in this light. It has a great shape, but that shape is not enhanced by the back lighting. In fact, the entire front of the subject is in shadow and, when combined with the dark sand, makes a large, muddy amorphic shape. Also, the second stump is a bit too close to the primary subject, making them appear as one big thing.

I might think differently if the lower 1/3 were opened up a bit. I'm sure I would.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2011, 03:54:29 PM »
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Love the 3-dimensionality of this scene. Great setting and very good composition decisions.

The sun does pose a problem, but not insurmountable. I'm not a big fan of HDR because of its over-use and too-obvious results when used improperly. However, this seem to be one of those times when HDR would solve the problem of dynamic range greater than the sensor's ability to record it properly.

A slower shutter speed would also give the water a more ethereal look.

Lastly, try bringing up the shadow areas of the foreground driftwood using for example, the Fill Light adjustment in Lightroom. Increasing the Blacks then increasing the Fill Light can give brighter mid-tones and livelier shadows.

Just some thoughts on what I would do if it were my image.
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 04:30:30 PM »
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Riaan

Hate to stick an opinion about other's framing ideas, but for what it's worth and since I'm just about to go to bed, I'd chop off the sky at the bottom of where the bluish triangle of sky is... the light sky doesn't really add much drama in this shot, so why bother with it?

I'd probably darken the base of the shot a bit - not too concerned about showing huge detail; it's the overall sense of menace in a warm situation that appeals to me.

No, I don't eat cheese at night - can't even during the day, unfortunately, removing one of the previous delights of French touring.

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 05:04:21 PM »
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... the entire front of the subject is in shadow and, when combined with the dark sand, makes a large, muddy amorphic shape...

This is a good reminder to carry a collapsable reflector to landscape outings, and not just portrait sessions.
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Slobodan

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 06:06:24 PM »
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How I would post-processed it:

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Slobodan

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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 06:25:00 PM »
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Riian, Everybody has a right to an opinion, and when I first saw the picture I got the same reaction Chuck got to the darkness of the facing side of the stump, and of course Slobodan's right about the difficulty of shooting into the sun. But when I look at it again and again I'm convinced your original interpretation is the right one. Slobodan's tone mapping results in the same problem it did when he modified my Mississippi Dawn: instead of dawn, or in this case, sundown, we end up with midday in December in northern Canada, except that the part of the stump facing away from the sun and toward the viewer is far too bright. At first I agreed with Chuck's "opened up a bit," with "a bit" as the operative phrase, but after looking again I think the tone of the stump face needs to be as dark as it is in your original. Terry's shutter speed admonition is correct, but you can't very well go back and shoot the same picture. Rob's recommendations to cut out the sky and darken the base of the stump run exactly counter to the other recommendations. I think it's interesting that a simple beachscape could result in so many different opinions.

Critiques of this picture show that hindsight isn't always twenty-twenty.
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2011, 10:51:18 AM »
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Glad to know Slobodan also thinks cropping the sky in roughly the same place a good idea. You see, Slobodan - we can agree a second time on landscape!

;-)

Rob C
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2011, 01:08:44 PM »
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I think it's interesting that a simple beachscape could result in so many different opinions.

... and be so helpful.
Scott
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2011, 03:17:42 PM »
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... and be so helpful.
Scott




That has yet to be proven.

Rob C
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2011, 04:11:31 PM »
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HI,

Riaan,

I prefer the first untouched version I think, rather than the HDR version (sorry Slobodan). I also think it might have been possible to get around the overly bright blown out sun effect by using the best hard edged grad filter ever invented, why is it the best? Because you always have it with you that's why and it is your hand - let me explain.

If you have a very bright scene, i.e., one with the sun in it and no grad and you don't want to go down the HDR route, then use your hand as a grad filter whereby you set up the shot as normal and meter for the foreground etc, then completely block the top brighter part of the scene with your hand, then wait a while until the sun drops behind a cloud or just below the horizon and take a second shot, with the same settings and blend them together. Obviously you cannot move the tripod or the camera between shots and the shots have to be done as close together as possible for seascapes, or the sea has gone out etc. But with a bit of practice and at a push when all else fails, this hand grad technique can really work quite well.

You will all be out photographing your hands now won't you?

Dave
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Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2011, 02:18:25 AM »
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Thank you for all the replies!

Jeremy, I usually leave in darkness when out and about so yes I did wait. Having recently moved out of the rural areas to here, a busy industrial harbour, I've noticed very little of the lovely pastel/ pink colours that the clouds show once the sun has set, something I've sort of come to expect having been in the countryside for the last six years. Must be all the smog from the factories. It sort of forces one to get on with it while the sun is still in the sky and composing away from it will have lovely backgrounds of oiltankers, cargo ships, cranes etc. A catch 22 situation I guess.

SB, thanks for the stop down advice for the sun, I had forgotten all about it! And I've been meaning to try out the reflector idea for ages, it will make processing much less complicated.

 
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Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2011, 02:25:38 AM »
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HI,

Riaan,

I prefer the first untouched version I think, rather than the HDR version (sorry Slobodan). I also think it might have been possible to get around the overly bright blown out sun effect by using the best hard edged grad filter ever invented, why is it the best? Because you always have it with you that's why and it is your hand - let me explain.
You will all be out photographing your hands now won't you?

Dave



Or thumbs? Out of interest, the photo is a blend of three frames. Exposed for foreground, sky and sun.
 
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