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Author Topic: Crawl to the top  (Read 1982 times)
MattNQ
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« on: May 17, 2012, 12:21:19 AM »
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Interested to know your thoughts on this one. Does it have enough to hold one's interest?

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opgr
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 12:31:33 AM »
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Interested to know your thoughts on this one. Does it have enough to hold one's interest?

No! And it aint even close...
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Oscar Rysdyk
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MattNQ
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 12:36:09 AM »
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Thanks. Appreciate your honesty.
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kikashi
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 02:56:19 AM »
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No! And it aint even close...
I have to agree. Without the title, I'd wonder why you took it. The sky looks wildly over-processed and the body of the image, which I assume is supposed to show the tree reaching upwards, has far too much detail and looks confused. You might be able to improve it by cropping it at the top, so only a little sky remains visible, and lightening the central part of what is left. Just a thought.

Jeremy
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 03:24:02 AM »
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It might have been better in colour - I feel there's too much common tonality throughout and that things which could be interesting if distinct are lost in the general tone. Also, the white around the central lump of cloud looks like bad, wet print, burning-in.

I have no idea of your experience level and so criticism isn't a pleasant thing to offer, but I do think you show an appreciation of dramatic perspective, just that you might not have understood that black/white photography is something very else. To give an easy-to-grasp example: were you doing a fashion shot and chose to shoot a mid-tone red dress against a mid-tone blue background, whereas in colour they are perfectly separated, in b/w they'd turn into pretty much the same lump of mid-grey. The same holds true in nature.

So really, when shooting an image, you should ideally be certain, when you set it up, about whether you are thinking colour or black/white. You can be lucky, but mostly you have to plan ahead.

Rob C
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MattNQ
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 09:48:34 AM »
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Thanks for the feedback. Criticism is often not fun, but I always like to know why something doesn't work. Experience-wise I have had a DSLR for about 18 months, so I nail some stuff, but still totally bomb other stuff Grin So I'm happy to take any criticism on the chin & learn from it.

This one was a concept that I was toying with when out playing with a new lens, so probably didn't really put enough thought into it.
No burning in at all, but probably overdid the tone-mapping I think Smiley

I know what you mean about thinking in black and white. I do have better monos where I was thinking in black & white at the time.

As an example, I find it easy to think in black & white in a cemetery (as below - this one was always going to be mono in my head) , but still very much learning when a mono will work best in a landscape.

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RSL
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 10:24:42 AM »
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...but probably overdid the tone-mapping I think Smiley

Yep. Way.
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amolitor
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 10:36:20 AM »
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My rule of thumb is that if you can easily tell that it's processed, and what the processing is, you've gone too far. Tone-mapping is almost always terrible, but people love it because it lends a strong visual POP to an image, which is all that matters in slums like flickr. It won't save a bad image (although it WILL grab the eye long enough for someone to give you some terrible award, or type "Great HDR!", which is what people seem to want) but it will completely obscure a good image.

The problem is that you see the tone-mapping, not the image. Look at the comments on flickr, it's always "Great HDR!" not "Great cemetery!" isn't it? In this, let me just say, Great HDR!

The cross in the cemetery is a pretty good image. A bit cliche, but at worst it's a good and appealing example of the cliche. Alas, all I see is the hideous tone mapping and its even more hideous halos of yuck. I can't see for the loud sound of the visuals going POP!
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 11:57:40 AM »
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Yep. Way.


Tone mapping: what the hell is that?

Is it another name for the use of Curves? Is it yet another way of 'automatic-ing' the use of Curves and Layers? It's been associated with pictures similar to the one above of the cemetery and all I am able to make of such images is that they always looks like poor, clumsy wet-darkroom manipulation. I am seriously asking the question as I have no idea what mapping is. All I can offer is that it doesn't strike me that I'm actually missing anything.

Rob C
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 05:12:59 AM »
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Interested to know your thoughts on this one. Does it have enough to hold one's interest?

Matt, this image asks questions if you like but it doesn't give any answers.
One is left vaguely puzzled.

Tone mapping: what the hell is that?

Rob, tone mapping is classically done with High Dynamic Range Image editing.
To avoid a long explanation a quick search via Google will provide an explanation.

Regards

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 05:14:38 AM by Tony Jay » Logged
EduPerez
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 02:18:10 AM »
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Tone mapping: what the hell is that?

Is it another name for the use of Curves? Is it yet another way of 'automatic-ing' the use of Curves and Layers? It's been associated with pictures similar to the one above of the cemetery and all I am able to make of such images is that they always looks like poor, clumsy wet-darkroom manipulation. I am seriously asking the question as I have no idea what mapping is. All I can offer is that it doesn't strike me that I'm actually missing anything.

Rob C

Yes, tone-mapping is mostly just another name for curves; but applied locally, so each zone in the image gets its own curve, and it's done automatically.

You get outstanding textures, as each zone gets a curve that make it cover the entire range (like skies where the clouds always go from pure black to pure white). But you also get some nasty side effects, like halos (when the algorithm is not very good at separating the zones), inversions (when midtones in a dark zone get lighter than midtones in a light zone), or mostly flat images (when every part of the image covers the full range, and you do not have dark or light zones).
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2012, 04:12:38 AM »
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Tony, Eduardo -

Thanks for your replies; I imagined it was something like that, but as I hate the idea of giving up any little bit of personal control (freak?) over my pics, I shan't be using it. I do do quite a bit of local 'curving' on many images of mine - it improves on the shortcomings of a sensor, for a start (ducks!), and adds to the interest in working a picture. Of course, the problem is knowing when to stop in each and every case, other people's deserts included...

Actually, this concern about losing control is the main reason I don't go for af lenses when there are alternatives still available. Further, I tend to believe that mechanical intervention is never an easy or better way out of what is basically a human rôle in the production of any artwork. Sure, there will be situations such as sport where for the novice, af is faster and safer, but I don't believe great sports imagery began with af!

Rob C
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 04:42:19 AM »
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Rob, When I tonemap in the context of HDR there is nothing "automatic" - everything is done manually to my taste.
In fact the level of control is exquisite. This actually takes a lot of practice to do well.
Personally the mark of success in this endeavour is to show a good photographer an HDR image and for them not realize that it is an HDR image but nonetheless comment on the great detail and lovely tonal relationships.

Regards Tony Jay
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 04:51:10 AM by Tony Jay » Logged
amolitor
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2012, 01:22:44 PM »
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HDRs generally look either fake or bad, though, since the whole point is to cram a great deal of tonal range into the relatively narrow range of a monitor or a paper. The easy way to to simply flatten things out, and that looks, well, flat. The hard way is to employ local contrast to create the illusion of a greater tonal range than exists, to retain the sensation of looking at a scene with a very very long tonal range.

In reality, these tricks will only take you so far, if the range is too great, you will wind up with flatness, the appearance of bizarre light, or just an indescribable weird look, because you simply cannot fool the eye that far. I don't know any rules of thumb, but I don't think you can really get much more than a couple of "visual" stops on top of what your medium will render by itself without one or more of the strange side effects turning up.

Of course, the HDR "look" is now a thing, people expect it and like it. They recognize it immediately when it's overdone, and post lots of comments on it, encouraging further bad behavior.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 02:17:22 PM »
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I have no interest whatsover in "HDR", or any other of this ghastly crap that people seem to be substituting for talent and good taste these days.

I just said that because I felt like it, no offence intended . . .

John
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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2012, 02:48:45 PM »
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I have no interest whatsover in "HDR", or any other of this ghastly crap that people seem to be substituting for talent and good taste these days.

I just said that because I felt like it, no offence intended . . .

John





Have to do this:

+1

Rob C
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2012, 03:13:12 PM »
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I will only refer to my previous post.

Regards

Tony Jay
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amolitor
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2012, 05:07:16 PM »
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Despite my complaints about HDR and the terrible things it does, it's worth noting that Ansel Adams essentially did it. He, simply did it appropriately, and only to a degree that it was invisible to the naive viewer. You simply believe the appearance of a wider tonal range than is possible, unless you really start looking closely.
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RSL
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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2012, 05:12:11 PM »
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I have no interest whatsover in "HDR", or any other of this ghastly crap that people seem to be substituting for talent and good taste these days.

I just said that because I felt like it, no offence intended . . .

John

John, and Rob, It depends on how the photographer does it. The problem with HDR is that it becomes a toy that kids just can't keep from playing with. It's quite possible to do HDR in a way that simply encompasses the whole dynamic range of the scene without all the overdone and tasteless tone mapping. The result simply looks like a photograph, but captures a lot more latitude than a single frame can do. Here's an HDR of Thomas Edison's Florida lab that's actually a composite of 9 exposures.
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WalterEG
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« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2012, 05:39:58 PM »
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Exactly correct Russ,

I guess it is yet more proof of the difference between 'photographers' and people who own a camera (and computer).

The failed attempts, of which we see a pandemic, were simply baby steps on the steep learning curve of becoming a proficient photographer they might be excusable.  Sadly, I think the failed attempts are all too often was was actually strived for, which is very unfortunate.

Cheers,

W
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