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Archive 2011 · Hwy 58
  
 
WCMTWS
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Hwy 58


Whats up? New around here and my photos are not really up to par with what's posted here. But here is a photo I took while driving. (I wasn't driving.....)











Dec 05, 2011 at 01:03 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Hwy 58


First welcome.
Second, what a great scene! You've got to take a shot of something like this, no matter who's driving! The POV is excellent. I wonder about variations, closer to the surface of the road. Where you in a rig or on the top of a rise?
You might want to include the EXIF.
To me the image is a bit dark overall and I might pull up some mid-tones. Good job controlling the exposure in the sky.
Scott



Dec 05, 2011 at 01:16 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Hwy 58


Like the shot but think it looks even better with a full dynamic range from specular glare off the road to deep blacks in the shadows...







Done with levels adjustments and adjustment layers.



Dec 05, 2011 at 01:34 AM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Hwy 58


I like it. Maybe could use a little more contrast as suggested above. I'm also curious how converting the RGB channels differently would look.


Dec 06, 2011 at 12:20 PM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Hwy 58


I like it. Maybe could use a little more contrast as suggested above. I'm also curious how converting the RGB channels differently would look.


Dec 06, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Hwy 58


I really like the shot and the composition, also agree that it needs more dynamic range. Chuck's modification takes it a bit too far IMHO and makes it too bright. Removes some of the moody, mysterious nature of the shot. Somewhere between the two extremes would be good.


Dec 07, 2011 at 05:05 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Hwy 58


I quite like the mood captured in this one. Should you you alter the density/contrast, try to avoid density banding in the sky. Working from the original helps, especially is the original was a raw file.


Dec 07, 2011 at 09:31 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Hwy 58


WELCOME TO FM !!!
Excellent first post, I'm diggin' it ... many more to come I'm sure.

A little late to the party, but I had to soak this one in for a while before I took a stab at giving it my vibe.

I imagine this is one of those pics that is darn near impossible to capture what it was like in person ... but ya just gotta try.

Good eye ... just chocked full of excellent lines, tonal values and negative space. Sweet eye candy to play with. A person could probably spend a month of Sundays tweaking on it to get it just how they want it, but this'll do for now.

Reminds me of Bob Seger's Turn the Page ... ''East of Omaha".




On a Long and Lonesome Highway ...




Dec 09, 2011 at 04:58 AM
 

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cgardner
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Hwy 58


A photo is said to be worth "1,000 words" but the storyline unfolds in the mind of the viewer based largely on their individual personal experience and memories. Some photos trigger personal memories, others don't, leading different viewers to have different emotional reaction to the content.

But then that's one of the intriguing aspects of still photography. On a primitive perceptual level the composition and contrast clues will create rather predictable responses. For example the decision to render the snow and ice gray vs. white changes the mood of the scene predictably. What varies more individually is the emotional reaction to what is seen the storyline created in the mind of the view from the clues.

I've been in a location / conditions like that personally on a winter day and was an etherial uplifting experience reminding me of how people describe near-death experiences; walking down a tunnel towards the light of heaven not a dark gloomy long and lonesome road to Hell.

My emotional reaction /edit was based on memory of similar scenes, not the way the scene was presented in the photo as dark and gloomy. What I felt was missing in the original to convey my impression seeing similar scenes in person was an absence of any clean sparking white tones. It is after all a snow covered scene facing directly into the sun (struggling to get through the mist) which is creating specular glare off the ice on the road.

I'm always curious when my reaction and C&C differs from others. As in this photo it's usually due to the fact that I have a literal approach to my own photography, seeking to capture the tonal range of the scene as perceived, not trying to manipulate beyond overcoming the limitations of the recording medium.







Dec 09, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Charles Loy
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Hwy 58


WCMTWS, welcome to the forum.
Great photo, yours and the others tweeks of your photo



Dec 09, 2011 at 02:21 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Hwy 58


Interesting ... I saw it as NOT snow, but rather a heavy early morning dew/overnight rain slicked road that the light was glinting off, with the foothills shrouded by a fog above the valley floor. Whereas my wife said, "it almost looks like snow". Meanwhile, Chuck's looks like 'frost' to me ... as always, S&P to taste.


Dec 09, 2011 at 02:23 PM
WCMTWS
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Hwy 58


Thanks everyone, Rustybug I like that alot the other edit is just a little over the top for me. Yeah I struggled with tones in this. I like a darker image but at the same time I dont.
Cgardner, I agree. I am not real big on post processing images. More of a what you see is what you get. Yeah it was actully a thick fog, kinda weird because it was about 2pm at the times this was shot. Further up the road there was alot of snow though. It was a really neat place, could spend so much time just looking around there. We saw maybe one or two other cars and it was just desolate, very cool.

hahah yeah Rusty I agree about the Bob Seger. Just heard him for the first time a month or so ago and am hooked!

Here is a retry of the image, a little darker maybe to much..






Little high in the blacks but more just about showing what the place was like..







Dec 14, 2011 at 05:45 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Hwy 58


WCMTWS wrote:
Cgardner, I agree. I am not real big on post processing images. More of a what you see is what you get.


Then I suspect your monitor brightness is set too high because your images "by the numbers" are underexposed rendering things like specular highlights seen as 100% reflectance and frost / snow which reflects 95-98% of the light much too dark in the images you are posting.

Here's your second shot opened in Levels:






The gap on the right indicates at capture you underexposed the file by about 1-1/2 stops below nominal / normal with highlights pegged at their correct reflective values. Specular highlights in photos should be at 255 (clipping), solid whites like snow in highlights at 245-254, and snow in shade in the 230-245 range in the file to reproduce what is seen in person by eye.

What can happen if your monitor it overly bright is you see correctly exposed files as being over and underexposed files as being correctly exposed. That results in you either capturing them underexposed so they look "normal" on the monitor, or taking correctly exposed files and making them underexposed in PP.

Evaluating the the file in Levels is the first thing I do when I suspect an exposure problem. With an out of camera file the width of the histogram represents sensor range which for most digital cameras is about 6-7 f/stops of scene brightness. That how based on the size of the gap I see I estimate 1 to 1-1/2 stops underexposure.

Scene ranges vary with lighting conditions. On a sunny day the limited range of the sensor results in loss of detail in shadow because sunny clear days have a range of 10-12 f/stops depending on the content and angle of the sun and shadows it casts on darker objects.

But on a foggy day the same scene will only have a range of 6-7 stops, nearly the same as the camera so theres really no reason not to exposed it to capture a full range of detail. That's done by exposing guided by the playback clipping warning and histogram. Raise exposure until you see the brightest areas in the photo (in this one the upper left corner) start to clip.

What I did in my edit of your first shot is mostly correct the underexposure at capture to render in the file the actual reflectance values that where there when you took the shot, anchoring the correctly on the specular refections on the road, which in a print would be reproduced with the white paper base and in a digital file get pegged at 255.

In Levels to find the point where clipping starts I hold down the alt/opt key and move the highlight slider left. The clipping starts to occur when the slider is moved to the point where the bars on the histogram have some amplitude.







Each bar on the graph represents 1/256th of the tonal range of the sensor. So if the sensor and record 7 stops between 0 black and 255 white every 36 units on the scale equals one stop of sensor range. I blocked the number with the arrow but its 200. That means if what you posted is the out of camera capture your highlights at capture where 55 units or 55/36 = 1.52 stops under exposed "by the numbers".

More significant in that shot, given the low contrast lighting conditions, is the fact that by underexposing the highlights by 1.5 stops you pushed the shadows in the scene below the point where the camera could record detail in them.

In Levels it is possible to bring out more detail in midtones and shadows where the camera recorded some detail above black by moving the middle slider left as I did above, with the results seen below...







But nothing can be done in PP to add detail into the shadows.

The lesson here? When possible always try to capture the full tonal range of the scene. First exposed the highlights per the clipping warning and take a shot. Look at the LEFT side of the histogram in that test shot. If the bars are high on the left and running off it indicated SCENE EXCEEDS SENSOR and loss of shadow detail. When that occurs the options are: 1) add flash fill to the foreground (if feasible); 2) Shoot on a tripod and bracket exposures, then blend in PP, or 2) recompose the scene so what is in the viewfinder doesn't exceed sensor range.

In those those lighting conditions had you exposed the highlights correctly there likely would have been a gap on the left indicating the scene not only fit the sensor it was even shorter, a rare occurrence outdoors except in heavy overcast and fog. You should of had no problem capturing detail everywhere from highlight to deepest shadow had you simply exposed the highlights nominally.

If you can capture the file with a full range of detail is is very easy to manipulate it in PP to get the desired result. It's not a perfect capture medium so its not realistic to expect the best results without some manipulation. Even Adams manipulated results. He started by recording a full range of tone as I'm suggesting here, but within the range between highlight and shadow detail he would use red filters at capture to alter contrast of the sky, green filters to make foliage brighter and dodge and burn prints to alter tonal values in much the same way I did in my edit.

Adams called the process "pre-visualization". Where you start with the baseline of what your eyes and brain perceive see as they scan from highlight to shadow, the add a creative twist like making the sky abnormally dark all based on understanding how to produce those desired result by manipulating the technical capture and printmaking processes. Pressing the shutter isn't the end of the creative process its just the starting line. Where you finish is only limited by your technical skills and your imagination

Here's your first shot revisited...

Here I adjusted Levels until with the opt key held down as I moved the slider I forced clipping in the reflections on the road. That resulted in the brighter sky getting washed out...







But then in Photoshop I layered the adjusted copy with the original and blended them with a mask on the original....







Here's the result of that few minutes of moving slider and erasing the mask...







That's probably closer to how it is perceived in person I've seen similar conditions in person but the camera can't record what the adaptive eye and brain perceive due to its shorter fixed range.

What you could have done at capture to get results similar to the edit is use a graduated ND filter over the lens to darken the sky, or shoot from a tripod and bracket exposures. Either would have been better than how you captured the image because there would be enough exposure in the shadows with either to record the shadow detail lost in yours and that can't be brought back in PP.






Dec 14, 2011 at 02:58 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Hwy 58


WCMTWS wrote:
I am not real big on post processing images. More of a what you see is what you get.


Philosophically ... I'm of the same persuasion. The only problem is that the photographic medium isn't always capable of reproducing "What you saw" ... so that's not really "What you get".

In that case, then you have to try & coax it into more of "What you saw" and PP is the means for doing so. I fought it for a long time, but have come to embrace it more than I ever thought I would ... i.e. purist, etc. ... realizing the goal is to provide to the viewer with what it is that I want them to see ... whether the camera captured it correctly or not.

+1 @ lost shadow detail.

HTH



Dec 14, 2011 at 06:11 PM
WCMTWS
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Hwy 58


Cgardner, even though I said I perfer what you see is what you get sometimes what you see is not all that great (or what you shoot). As far as using a tripod, metering etc..that could not be done because both of these were shot while driving. I like the darker image but agree that the loss in shadow detail is a little much. I'll post up some others with diffrent processing later today. Thanks for all your help though!


Dec 14, 2011 at 09:24 PM
BennyR
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Hwy 58


Wow, great explanation and illustrations cgardner.


Dec 20, 2011 at 04:17 PM





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