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Author Topic: Rain Forest  (Read 2767 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« on: March 05, 2012, 06:08:21 AM »
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From NZ SI last year and what a truly beautiful and stunning place that is, horrendous flight times to get there with 34 hours flying from the UK with two stops, but worth every single bit of effort.

Dave
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shutterpup
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 07:45:25 AM »
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This really shows the rich variety and texture of the rainforest. Good shot!
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 09:35:16 AM »
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Beautiful.  Looks like both HDR and focus blending?  Tough to tell at screen res.

Again, whatever the technique, beautiful.
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RSL
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 10:09:45 AM »
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Fabulous tapestry, Dave. Very good.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 01:28:49 PM »
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It looks positively magical.

Eric
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MattNQ
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 07:17:41 PM »
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For a shot with so much detail in it, it is surprisingly relaxing to gaze at.
I love the look & feel of this. Well done.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 10:22:05 AM »
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Beautiful.  Looks like both HDR and focus blending?

Hi Peter, no this has been made from a single shot at f22 with something like a 1/8 second exposure and definitely no HDR, blending or stacking, but I did work on the image for quite some time with a combination of masking and channel selections to bring out the details in the shadows without blowing the highlights. However I must admit that I did also bracket some shots, as the forest was quite dark and I wasn't sure I could capture all the dynamic range in one take, but as it turned out the first shot had all the information I needed within it and also the subsequent brackets weren't any good as they took too long and all the leaves kept moving from the constantly dripping water, but for this single shot I was able to wait for everything to stop moving just long enough for me to capture it.

And thanks everyone for all your positive feedback, it is very much appreciated.

Dave
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 10:16:16 PM »
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Thanks for the detailed info, Dave.  A superb image and well worth the work you put into it both on location and in post.  I lived in a rain forest for years (British Columbia) and I've never been able to capture the subtleties that you've managed.
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 10:27:56 AM »
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I like the the structure of the shot: great triangle and arrangement that allows us to peer inside. This kind of vegetation is hard to make a story out of, and this composition succeeds.

Other aspects of this just don't work for me. Some of the variation in light strikes me as unnatural, for example the ferns hanging from the trunk are brighter than those on the floor. Why are their tips so bright? Why is there so much variation in colour, sometimes even on the same tree (sapling lower left)? Both issues would be resolved if there was clear directionality in the light that accounted for the variation, but to my eye the variation has been introduced during processing as opposed to captured in the field. Clearly this is a matter of taste.

Thanks for posting this, I enjoyed thinking about it.

Scott
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 04:45:43 PM »
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Hi Scott, thanks for the reply and I am glad you like the composition etc and let me see if I can give you some answers to your observations, not by way of disagreeing with you, but more of an explanation of the circumstances of the shot as it were:

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for example the ferns hanging from the trunk are brighter than those on the floor

I was standing on a well used tourist path near the side of the rain forest and looking into the edge of the forest, the ferns hanging from the trunk are near to me and lit by the light coming down through the more open canopy where I am stood, the darker ferns on the floor are actually several feet further into the forest and not lit by the same level of light, I was using a medium zoom lens and so even though it appears that the darker ferns are directly below, they were not and it is more likely to be the foreshortening effect of the zoom lens I am using.

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Why are their tips so bright?

Not really sure, but I can only guess that they are the newer growth areas of the ferns hanging from the tree, they may well be thinner and therefore more transparent to the light behind them, or just brighter green because it was fresh growth, but I certainly don't have the skill to add the same amount of light to each tip of each fern selectively.

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Why is there so much variation in colour, sometimes even on the same tree (sapling lower left)?

Could this also be new growth and its subsequent colour variation? Or just the rays of the sun breaking through the variously toned upper leaves of the canopy to highlight some parts of the scene and not others? Again I admit I am pretty good with PS, but I am still not able to selectively lighten or change the colour/tonality of some leaves within a scene and not others to this accuracy.

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Both issues would be resolved if there was clear directionality in the light that accounted for the variation

It was taken in a rain forest, yet the light still has to break through the canopy sometimes to allow the ground plants to survive, therefore it is dappled beams of light that change and move throughout the day. Also as can be observed, there is a larger light source much further back into the scene, which I assume is from a larger hole deeper in the canopy, throwing more light into some of the back areas of the scene - when taking a picture in any dense wood or forest in bright daylight, the light is sort of sprinkled around where it breaks through or shines through the upper leaves to give variations in that light.

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but to my eye the variation has been introduced during processing as opposed to captured in the field. Clearly this is a matter of taste.

I can only work with what was there at the time, and yes I freely admit I have worked on the image to enhance and bring out as much detail, colour and tonality as I could to represent what I was seeing while I was there, as I am sure we all do, but for this image I have only enhanced what was already in there and not added anything that was not.

Scott, I would also like to say thanks to you for posting your reply, I have really enjoyed thinking about my answers and mentally revisiting the scene and wish I was there again right now.

Dave
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 04:49:46 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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jhemp
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 09:21:47 PM »
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I'm not sure what to even think when I see this image?  Magical, mysterious, or fake?   That would be the only negative.  Other than that, the shot looks wonderful.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2012, 10:25:05 AM »
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..the variation in light strikes me as unnatural,

Magical, mysterious, or fake?

Hi all,

Yes you have all discovered my ploy and have me bang to rights, the shot is a complete fake from start to finish.

I set up the shot in my back bedroom using some plastic plants and a few sodium lights I bought from the local hardware store for a couple of pounds. The fake tree was quite difficult to squeeze into the bedroom without scratching the paint on the door frame I can tell you, as was spreading around all the fake soil and rotting vegetation without damaging the carpet. But after only a short while and when everything was randomly in place, I sprayed some tap water around, turned up the central heating thermostat for half an hour to get some of that steamy atmosphere effect going. I then set up my very old camera phone and fired off a single shot before the battery died.

Tomorrow I am going to have a go at creating the iconic view of sunrise at the Taj Mahal in the back of my garage, using only the polystyrene packaging I retained from the box my new monitor came in and some chewing gum. Then I might have a go at earthrise from the surface of the moon, using only a box of spent matches, a bent nail and....

 Roll Eyes

Dave
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 04:16:12 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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RSL
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2012, 10:54:33 AM »
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Splendid work, Dave. I hope you're keeping that back bedroom as-is so your next visitors can enjoy it. Best of luck with the Taj.
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popnfresh
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2012, 11:31:30 AM »
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Fabulous tapestry, Dave. Very good.

And no "hand of man" anywhere to be seen. Fancy that.   Wink
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RSL
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2012, 12:32:29 PM »
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What are you talking about, Pop? Dave just explained that that whole thing was put up by the hand of man, and probably by his feet too when he was spreading around the wet soil.
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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 03:46:15 PM »
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Trouble is, it'll only encourage more chewing gum vandals.

Rob C
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popnfresh
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012, 07:31:05 PM »
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I can't wait to see the polystyrene Taj Mahal.
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ivan muller
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 06:30:26 AM »
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Great shot! I image it looks even better printed really really BIG...have you tried that and how large can you go...?
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 04:13:20 PM »
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Great shot! I image it looks even better printed really really BIG...have you tried that and how large can you go...?

Hi Ivan,

No I haven't had it printed yet, but I definitely intend to do so in my next batch of work. I am currently putting all my gallery work onto 24x16 or 30x20 or 36x24 mirror edged, stretched and matt lacquered canvas, but I have also gone above these sizes without a problem and the detail is always tack sharp, in fact one of the things that amazes people, is just how minutely detailed my prints are.

I will probably go for 30x20 with this particular image and sell for 150 ($200 US).

Dave
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 05:27:01 PM »
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Beautiful image.

I must confess that I am fascinated with rainforests - no shortage of subject matter where I live - but have yet to shoot what I consider an iconic image of the rainforest.
Congratulations on what you have captured with this image.

Kind Regards

Tony Jay
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