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Author Topic: Suggestions for cropping?  (Read 3097 times)
kikashi
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2012, 08:10:14 PM »
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Reminds me of what one of my granddaughters said long ago when she was little and we were playing a game. I said, "Whitney, you're cheating." She gave me a level look and said, "So?"

Russ, you've reminded me of a sentence, I think by Kurt Vonnegut: I shall never forget my mother's cry of horror and my father's look of pride when for the first time I said "those aren't the cards I dealt you, Dad".

Jeremy
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kaelaria
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« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2012, 08:50:50 PM »
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Man that's a sweet shot...what a sky!
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bdosserman
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2012, 08:57:36 PM »
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You and I, Alan, would appear to be in a minority of two. Not that that's a problem, of course.

A minority of three. I like the color in the image. I'm very much a novice at this, but I think I'd crop like this.

Brian
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Mjollnir
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« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2012, 12:32:37 PM »
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Thanks, everyone, for the comments, especially about the color palette.

It's something I have to worry about a lot, because I (out of sheer indolence, I assure you) STILL haven't color-calibrated the monitor I use at home and I'm always getting whacky blue/green banding, much darker colors, etc....  I usually have to upload a PPed shot, view it on Flickr from my wife's monitor, then go back and adjust.

Gotta find that CC software and attachment.  It's under something around here, somewhere.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2012, 07:36:39 PM »
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Sorry for the delay in responding to OP's request for more details about my b&w conversion. I am now happy to oblige, with a caveat: you can't get just details, without enduring my philosophizing about why, not just how, I chose them. Wink

Let me start by saying that the OP photo, in its color, original version, is rather fine as-is. It appears realistic and documentary. It could have appeared in a local newspaper as an illustration how the sky looked that day. Nothing wrong with that. In such a case, the dirt road on the left would not bother anyone, and some might even recognize the area thanks to it.

There are certain scenes and events in nature that speak for themselves, with little or no intervention needed by the photographer. The thing is, however, that the scene like this could have been taken just as well by an "accidental tourist," with his iPhone, had he happened to stand next to the OP on that day. And again, nothing wrong with that.

However, if we, as photographers, want to leave our mark, if we want to interpret the scene in accordance how we felt while there, post-processing becomes important and integral part of the image.

It is important to note that my conversion reflects my own feelings about the scene. There is no way I could guess the OP's intention or reaction to the scene. Thus my post-processing might appear overdone to some. And, as I mentioned many times in the past, it actually might appear overdone even to me, after a while. It is thus important for whomever attempts to recreate my steps to take into account his own feelings, interpretation, and taste while processing it. It is especially important to do so if one doesn't want to convert it to b&w, as color usually can not withstand as strong a manipulation as b&w.

Cropping

I could have cropped the upper 10%, but I chose not to. First of all, I know there is an anti-cropping police patrolling these forums, and frankly, knowing that Russ has both guns AND military training, I chickened out Wink

But in all seriousness, cropping, done with the purpose of getting rid of unwanted elements, as much as I personally do not hesitate to resort to it, often changes the overall balance of elements in the picture. In the case of the OP image, as I mentioned in my previous post, the top 10% is the brightest part of the image, and, together with the shape of the clouds, which appear to point up and out, tends to attract an immediate viewer's attention and lead the eye out of the image way too soon. The same goes for the "unnecessary" foreground elements and the dirt road. It could be cropped out, but the balance of the whole image would suffer. I put "unnecessary" in parentheses, as I think it is actually quite necessary, as it provides a sense of depth and perspective in the image.  I chose strong overall vignetting and an additional Graduated Filter, with -2 f/stops, in the top 10% instead. Such a solution preserves the overall image balance, hides visually the unwanted elements, and creates a frame that concentrates viewer's attention to the center of the image.

Global Adjustments

I am attaching a screen shot with my global attachments. As you can see, there aren't that many. It goes with my philosophy that most adjustments should be local, for the same reason I advise against automated, overall HDR techniques: if everything is accentuated, nothing really is.

Local Adjustments

The most important local adjustments is reserved for, arguably, the most important part of the image, the part we want to bring to viewers' attention the most: the mountain range. It is a local Adjustment Brush, with specifics as in the attached file "Mountain."

The second local adjustment is in the left corner, bringing some detail back, via an adjustment brush with +100 shadows (see the attached file for the area covered). This adjustment basically corrects previously introduced strong vignetting, with an idea to create a lighter stepping stone that would lead the eye from left to right (as we read in the Western world) toward the mountains.

Other local adjustments use graduated filters. One, with the center line just above the mountain range, reduces the sky brightness by half a stop, and has a negative clarity of -50. I do not like my sky too crunchy, you know. Given that the overall clarity was initially set at +20, the resulting sky now has an effective clarity of -30. You can vary that to your taste, of course.

Thanks for enduring my philosophizing thus far. Smiley
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Slobodan

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Mjollnir
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« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2012, 11:27:28 PM »
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Ha!  Thanks so much for that detailed reply.

I just got home from some family stuff, so I'm going to take a day or so to read everything more carefully, and I'll post back as to how what you did compares to how I might usually PP something.

Your treatment, frankly, now has me going through some of my back catalog thinking to myself, "Hmmmm.... what would be better in B&W?"

Slobodan, thanks again.  That's likely the most detailed commentary I've ever received on anything I've ever done, and I appreciate that greatly.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2012, 11:54:01 PM »
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Hi,

I'm impressed by Slobodan's suggestions.

Regarding cropping I would crop as shown below.

Best regards
Erik
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2012, 04:47:23 AM »
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Cropping

I could have cropped the upper 10%, but I chose not to. First of all, I know there is an anti-cropping police patrolling these forums, and frankly, knowing that Russ has both guns AND military training, I chickened out Wink

I would not advocate cropping... just use your Wide-angle as a paper-weight (or for arch in narrow streets) and use long lenses (as first choice) for landscapes!

For this picture I would use a 150 or 200 (perhaps using portrait stitching) on the horizon in the right third of the picture... but the sky is nice.
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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2012, 05:18:04 AM »
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Hi,

In this kind of picture I find the vegetation in the foreground interesting.

In my view every type of lens is useful for landscape, from 12 mm up 500 and probably past.

Best regards
Erik



I would not advocate cropping... just use your Wide-angle as a paper-weight (or for arch in narrow streets) and use long lenses (as first choice) for landscapes!

For this picture I would use a 150 or 200 (perhaps using portrait stitching) on the horizon in the right third of the picture... but the sky is nice.
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