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Author Topic: Ord - the wider view as requested by Slobodan (Updated)  (Read 4121 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« on: September 27, 2012, 06:10:17 AM »
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Hi Slobodan, you mentioned about a previous image I posted of 'Ord', that how you would like to see more of the wider scene, so here is a stitched pano shot from the other night showing you more of the area from left to right.

Ord is where I find myself going back to time and time again, it is nearby and easy for me to get to, but is definitely not an easy place to shoot successfully, yet every time I go back there it seems different and challenging in new ways.

I suppose you could say I have become Ord-dicted to it Cheesy

Dave

See updated version below - I have toned down the foreground highlights as per your suggestions, is this better?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 03:15:41 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 06:33:46 AM »
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A beautiful viewpoint & nicely captured. For me though, that foreground is a tad too light.
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 10:46:39 AM »
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What an interesting image.

Something about the content makes it hard to tell just how wide it IS. It's a pretty normal looking aspect ratio, and the rocks and so on are basically fractal -- so viewed big/wide or tight/close they look pretty much the same. The main cue, for me, about how wide the shot is is the sun. This creates a very other-world effect for me, this could be a normal viewing angle on a planet where the sun is much much smaller than on our own.

This might be a new market for you, science-fiction landscapes!
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 11:05:02 AM »
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A fine shot, Dave. One of your best. Bravo!
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kikashi
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 01:29:02 PM »
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A beautiful viewpoint & nicely captured. For me though, that foreground is a tad too light.

I agree. It's a lovely place but the brightness of the foreground makes it look unnatural and unbalanced.

Jeremy
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 04:03:35 PM »
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What an interesting image.

Something about the content makes it hard to tell just how wide it IS. It's a pretty normal looking aspect ratio, and the rocks and so on are basically fractal -- so viewed big/wide or tight/close they look pretty much the same. The main cue, for me, about how wide the shot is is the sun. This creates a very other-world effect for me, this could be a normal viewing angle on a planet where the sun is much much smaller than on our own.

This might be a new market for you, science-fiction landscapes!


This shot is comprised of 5 verticals, I would guesstimate the angle of view from the top of the rock I am stood on (left to right) to be about 140 degrees. I like the wide yet close up effect that I can get when using this method, it gives a view that you cannot normally see.

We have just had a huge storm pass over the UK, with much flooding and high winds etc, even though it totally missed us again on the IoS (I kid you not Bill). So the clouds that can be seen here, must be from the far outer edge of the cyclonic effect - hence weird and Sci-Fi looking. I was at quite a wide angle for this series of shot, to capture the foreground and so that has made the sun look far away. Also there were no clouds over my head, so the foreground immediately in front of me was quite bright and I have actually already toned it down quite a bit, but as always, I am more than happy to take your advice and tone it down some more.

A fine shot, Dave. One of your best. Bravo!

Thank you Russ, you are very generous  Smiley

Dave
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 08:38:22 PM »
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Hi Slobodan, you mentioned about a previous image I posted of 'Ord', that how you would like to see more of the wider scene, so here is a stitched pano shot from the other night showing you more of the area from left to right.

Ord is where I find myself going back to time and time again, it is nearby and easy for me to get to, but is definitely not an easy place to shoot successfully, yet every time I go back there it seems different and challenging in new ways...

Yes, that is the problem (and virtue) of landscape photography: never the same! I remember the vertical shot of the same place you posted some time ago. That was a lovely dusk color, helped with the refection in the foreground.

This time, the sky is different, the foreground is different, and there is much more of both. The blessing and the curse, at the same time. We have more of the foreground and the middle ground, but both are of a less attractive nature. Perhaps you have to be local to really admire... dried seaweed and ankle-spraining rocks Wink. The foreground is too busy, and the middle ground too boring.

We have also more of the sky, but the sky is muted and devoid of either drama or lovely dusk color. But, we, photographers, got to work with the hand (of nature) we are dealt with. Enter post-processing.

A disclaimer here: anything I say are just musings of a fellow photographer, not meant to prove something or somebody right or wrong. These are obviously just my opinions, reflecting my taste, style and preferences. I do not claim the exclusivity on being right either, nor am I absolutely certain in my own stance all the time. I often wrestle with my own opinions, and I am perfectly happy to change it, should further observation, or someone's comments, warrant it. I am also attaching three images, containing certain pointers and diagrams, as well as the my own final version. For those concerned with the ethics of playing with someone else's photographs, I made sure I got Dave's blessing first.

So, without further ado, my thoughts.

As someone already mentioned, the foreground appears a bit too bright. I noticed that you posted a second, darker version, however, my comments are based on the first. My first impression of the whole image was that there is a hint of HDR in it. The shadows appear to be uniformly opened a bit too much, which also affected the sky, making it look a bit washed out. You have nice crepuscular rays, but they are somehow lost in that sky.

By opening the foreground so much, and uniformly so, you make every detail in it equally important (thus nothing really important), and competing for attention with the rest of the image. The major role of a foreground is to lead into the rest of the image, preferably toward the center of interest. You will see that I prefer partial and selective brightening instead.

There is another problem with the sky/water area: the reflections appear slanted (as you can see in the first attachment, the red arrows). I am not sure if that is the consequence of stitching or ultra-wide angle lens distortion, but I've never seen reflections that are not vertical (I might be wrong, of course).

Now, the other arrows in the first attachment, the blue and yellow ones: they indicate areas that should be treated differently in post. The blue arrows indicate areas that I think should be left in the shadow (vertical surfaces), and the yellow ones areas that should be dodged (lightened up -horizontal surfaces). The reason behind it?

The image has two sources of light in it: direct (sun) and indirect (sky). The sun is very low on the horizon, but still strong enough to cast direct light on the horizontal surfaces. Those surfaces are at the same time illuminated with the diffused light coming from the sky. Vertical surfaces, however, can only receive the indirect, diffuse lighting from the sky, but less so that the horizontal ones. In the attachment #2 you can see those areas where I used an adjustment brush in LR4 for dodging. Differentiating between surfaces by dodging/burning and different white balance helps create the (illusion of) 3D effect at the same time.

Things in the shade can not have the same contrast and white balance as the ones in the highlights. Shades are typically less contrasty and cooler. Hence I used a brush for dodging that had a slight warm cast. Sometimes the shadows require further cooling, but warming them up might work just as well (worth experimenting). I also reduced contrast and clarity in the shades.

If I went too far, it more because I wanted to illustrate the effect and because I worked on a small jpeg. Under normal circumstances, I would do the editing, leave it to rest, return to it a couple of days later, re-do, re-evaluate, etc., until I arrive to a reasonable final version.

The attachment #3 is my own interpretation.
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WalterEG
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2012, 10:05:31 PM »
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Excellent processing Slobodan.  There was always an image lurking there but you have found it and placed it there for all to see.

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kikashi
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 02:45:02 AM »
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I think your second try is better than your first, Dave, but Slobodan's version rebalances the shot, transforming it into something really beautiful. The only gripe I have with it is that I think he's overdone the sky: it now looks almost threatening, which isn't in keeping with the tranquil mood.

Jeremy
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 08:29:14 AM »
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Me too.
SB has pushed it just a bit too far, but it's sometimes good to go a bit too far and then pull back a little.
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2012, 09:46:14 AM »
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I think your second try is better than your first, Dave, but Slobodan's version rebalances the shot, transforming it into something really beautiful. The only gripe I have with it is that I think he's overdone the sky: it now looks almost threatening, which isn't in keeping with the tranquil mood.

Jeremy

+1. I can tell you from personal experience that Slobodan really knows his landscape post-processing, though he does tend to get a bit carried away sometimes. But Eric's right. It helps to go too far and then back off. Until you go too far you can't be sure how far too far is. The revision is a serious improvement. Now back off on the sky a bit and it'll be as fine a landscape shot as any landscape shot can be.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 10:59:22 AM by RSL » Logged

kikashi
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2012, 05:07:21 PM »
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The revision is a serious improvement. Now back off on the sky a bit and it'll be as fine a landscape shot as any landscape shot can be.

There can be no doubt that Slobodan knows what he's doing: he's proved that often enough. I love your damningly faint praise, Russ: spoken like a true street shooter!

Jeremy
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2012, 05:29:39 PM »
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Okay Jeremy, you forced me to post a landscape.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2012, 06:19:16 PM »
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... The revision is a serious improvement. Now back off on the sky a bit and it'll be as fine a landscape shot as any landscape shot can be.
Translation: as fine a landscape shot as any landscape shot can be that doesn't have conspicuous evidence of the hand of man.    Grin
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2012, 05:05:15 PM »
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Yes, that is the problem (and virtue) of landscape photography: never the same! I remember the vertical shot of the same place you posted some time ago. That was a lovely dusk color, helped with the refection in the foreground.

This time, the sky is different, the foreground is different, and there is much more of both. The blessing and the curse, at the same time. We have more of the foreground and the middle ground, but both are of a less attractive nature. Perhaps you have to be local to really admire... dried seaweed and ankle-spraining rocks Wink. The foreground is too busy, and the middle ground too boring.

We have also more of the sky, but the sky is muted and devoid of either drama or lovely dusk color. But, we, photographers, got to work with the hand (of nature) we are dealt with. Enter post-processing.

A disclaimer here: anything I say are just musings of a fellow photographer, not meant to prove something or somebody right or wrong. These are obviously just my opinions, reflecting my taste, style and preferences. I do not claim the exclusivity on being right either, nor am I absolutely certain in my own stance all the time. I often wrestle with my own opinions, and I am perfectly happy to change it, should further observation, or someone's comments, warrant it. I am also attaching three images, containing certain pointers and diagrams, as well as the my own final version. For those concerned with the ethics of playing with someone else's photographs, I made sure I got Dave's blessing first.

So, without further ado, my thoughts.

As someone already mentioned, the foreground appears a bit too bright. I noticed that you posted a second, darker version, however, my comments are based on the first. My first impression of the whole image was that there is a hint of HDR in it. The shadows appear to be uniformly opened a bit too much, which also affected the sky, making it look a bit washed out. You have nice crepuscular rays, but they are somehow lost in that sky.

By opening the foreground so much, and uniformly so, you make every detail in it equally important (thus nothing really important), and competing for attention with the rest of the image. The major role of a foreground is to lead into the rest of the image, preferably toward the center of interest. You will see that I prefer partial and selective brightening instead.

There is another problem with the sky/water area: the reflections appear slanted (as you can see in the first attachment, the red arrows). I am not sure if that is the consequence of stitching or ultra-wide angle lens distortion, but I've never seen reflections that are not vertical (I might be wrong, of course).

Now, the other arrows in the first attachment, the blue and yellow ones: they indicate areas that should be treated differently in post. The blue arrows indicate areas that I think should be left in the shadow (vertical surfaces), and the yellow ones areas that should be dodged (lightened up -horizontal surfaces). The reason behind it?

The image has two sources of light in it: direct (sun) and indirect (sky). The sun is very low on the horizon, but still strong enough to cast direct light on the horizontal surfaces. Those surfaces are at the same time illuminated with the diffused light coming from the sky. Vertical surfaces, however, can only receive the indirect, diffuse lighting from the sky, but less so that the horizontal ones. In the attachment #2 you can see those areas where I used an adjustment brush in LR4 for dodging. Differentiating between surfaces by dodging/burning and different white balance helps create the (illusion of) 3D effect at the same time.

Things in the shade can not have the same contrast and white balance as the ones in the highlights. Shades are typically less contrasty and cooler. Hence I used a brush for dodging that had a slight warm cast. Sometimes the shadows require further cooling, but warming them up might work just as well (worth experimenting). I also reduced contrast and clarity in the shades.

If I went too far, it more because I wanted to illustrate the effect and because I worked on a small jpeg. Under normal circumstances, I would do the editing, leave it to rest, return to it a couple of days later, re-do, re-evaluate, etc., until I arrive to a reasonable final version.

The attachment #3 is my own interpretation.


Wow Slobodan, you have really spent some time on this image for me and I fully agree and accept that your final result is considerably more realistic, although I also have to agree with Eric that I would prefer the sky to remain a little less moody. But thanks for taking the time to do this in-depth analysis, as I have really enjoyed reading your very instructive conclusions  Smiley

I had noticed the odd splayed out angling effect of the reflections both to the left and right of centre, which is very noticeable on the large water cut gouge on the cliff side middle right as well as the sunís reflection in the water, but I was at a loss as what to do to rectify these anomalies, without having to seriously crop into the image by using - free transform - perspective, to straighten things out. The reason this misalignment of reflections has occurred (and is now a lesson I have learnt not to repeat), is because I had to have the lens pointing downwards, to get the horizon in the top third and to also include the rocks in the foreground where I was standing. Then to get the series of images to merge successfully (or not as the case may now be on further examination), I had to try all the various photomerge options in PS. I usually prefer 'Reposition' if I can get away with it and which seems to work for me most of the time, but for this image I had gone much wider than I would normally go. So after much experimenting, I ended up having to use the 'Cylindrical' photomerge option, which was the only option that would connect up the horizon edges without introducing several disjointed steps. But the cylindrical option along with the downward pointing lens, added together to create a really bowed image, which then required me to use the - warp - custom warp - negative arch, to rectify.

I really do not do HDR per se, even though Russ has advised me that I do something akin to tone mapping, but for this pano I definitley compressed the dynamic range of each exposure, before hand blending them back into a set of single images to merge into a pano.

But I fully agree with your 'Painting with shadows' in the foreground, which really works well. I will now copy your updated version and see if I can get PS to successfully perform a 'Match Color' to replicate what you have done for me on to the original file.

Thanks Slobodan, very informative and very educational, it is good to know someone of your obvious talents, is willing to look this hard at an image and critique it in such a deep and expert way.

Dave
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 05:17:59 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 01:49:30 PM »
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Dave et al.,

Thanks for the kind words! I am glad that some find my philosophizing (or blabbering) useful.

As for panorama shooting, I always shoot with the horizon centered. I know it is not the best thing composition-wise, but it solves bunch of problems in post, as you noticed. It makes sense to go a bit wider and then crop the final panorama, to improve it compositionally.

And for those of you drama-averse queens (sorry, couldn't resist Grin), here is a bit gentler-sky version:
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 03:58:20 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 02:11:55 PM »
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Slobodan I enjoyed and learned from your analysis as well.  In particular you have helped me to put a finger on the diffrences in temp and contrast in the shadowed and directly lit areas.  I have been noticing some problems in some of my attempts and I think you have illuminated some of those problems.  Thanks much.
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »
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And for those of you drama-averse queens (sorry, couldn't resist Grin), here is a bit gentler-sky version:

Slobodan, that's gorgeous. You and Dave could make a jolly good team  Wink

Jeremy
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 05:26:09 PM »
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Slobodan, that's gorgeous. You and Dave could make a jolly good team  Wink

If only I could afford a ticket to Scotland, I'll be on the next plane! Smiley
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2012, 07:14:59 AM »
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If only I could afford a ticket to Scotland, I'll be on the next plane! Smiley

Slobodan you are more then welcome to visit us anytime and it would be very nice to meet you in person, this also goes for everyone on the LuLa forums BTW.

We have guests/trainees in at the moment so I am out with them dawn to dusk (yes really) and so I haven't had time to process any of my work for the last week or so, but I think I have another one of Ord (and quite a few others) that you will all like - hopefully  Smiley

Dave
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