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Archive 2012 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)
  
 
zquaratella
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


Hi guys! This is my first post in the landscape forum. I just took a little trip over to the Natural Bridge in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and it was absolutely beautiful. Just thought I'd share a few pictures from my adventure. C+C appreciated. These have no post processing, so I would especially appreciate pointers on how you would process these. Thanks!!





An interesting tree :)

  Canon EOS 60D    17mm    f/4.0    1/1250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  







The Bridge itself (keep in mind it's taller than the Niagara Falls)

  Canon EOS 60D    29mm    f/4.0    1/1000s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS 60D    70mm    f/4.0    1/160s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 04, 2012 at 06:35 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


Hey Zack,

Welcome to the Landscape forum! I am thinking that you need to be posting in here more often.

This is a very nice series of shots from Shenandoah. We don't see many from there. All 3 are very nice, good work.

Jim



Apr 04, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Henga
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


Hi Zack,

Nice set. I especially like the first shot.
I think #3 is a nice spot. These waterfalls and pink flowers can offer a lot of photographic possibilities. You should try different framing and shutter speed to add dynamism and give a different mood to the photo.

Maybe you could enhance the contrast and depth with some curves adjustment.


Arnaud



Apr 04, 2012 at 07:51 PM
zquaratella
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


Arnaud, I'm going to do some editing on that last shot in PS tonight and see what I can do with it. The falls were so scenic and I'd like to try to do them some documentary (and maybe artistic) justice.

Jim, since I'm based in Virginia most of the year, I plan on getting some more for this area. Thanks for the warm welcome.

Zack



Apr 04, 2012 at 08:42 PM
stanparker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


I like the waterfall shot, too, look forward to seeing the edit job. We were in that area last Sept, camped at the nearby Jellystone (or was it KOA?). Didn't go into Natural Bridge, since we were there many years ago. Had a very enjoyable day at Lexington (fan of Stonewall Jackson) and went to Panther Falls. Nice area you live in.


Apr 04, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


I also like the 3rd image best. It does seem to need to have the horizon line adjusted. Seems to slant a bit downward on the right side. I would also suggest making adjustments with fill light or other techniques to pull out some more light and detail in the shadows. Then look at adding a bit of color saturation to bring out the purples and greens.


Apr 04, 2012 at 09:49 PM
 

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astv99
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


Your pics seem to lack some sharpness, not sure why especially since you have really fast shutter speeds on them. And other than the first pic, none of them really need to be at f/4 - the latter two would probably have benefitted from being shot somewhere between f/8-f/11.

The "Bridge" pic seems like one that could've used bracketing and waiting for the people to get out of it. Good pic, though I personally would think that would've been better closer-up at a wider-angle focal length.

The waterfall pic is the kind that typically benefits from a slow shutter speed - a polarizer can help with that, along with cutting glare & reflections. I'd suggest shooting waterfalls from a different angle, so the water flows from left to right or vice versa, instead of from directly back to directly front, as there's a visual lack of depth.

I too agree with the contrast & curves suggestion. Also saturation and/or hue.



Apr 04, 2012 at 09:53 PM
zquaratella
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


I think they're a little less sharp because I was shooting at f4. Next time I'm out I'll watch for that. I've heard that some lenses tend to be a bit blurry when they're wide open. I was trying earlier in the day to get some slower shutter speed shots but I didn't have a tripod so they mostly came out poorly, unfortunately. It's a good lesson though, to always have one while landscape shooting!

Here's an updated edit of the falls picture. Is there any way to sharpen the flowers on the right side? Please feel free to help me out with this one as well. You guys have already been so helpful! Thanks!




  Canon EOS 60D    70mm    f/4.0    1/160s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 04, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Henga
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


The edited version looks better IMO. Colors are more pop.

zquaratella wrote:
I've heard that some lenses tend to be a bit blurry when they're wide open.

Yes, most lenses are less sharp wide open and you usually need to stop down the aperture of about 2-3 stops to reach the peak of sharpness and it starts getting soft again from f11 onwards due to diffraction.
That said, the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field and the longer the focal length, the smaller the depth of field. So you have to find the settings that best fit what you want to achieve. Hyperfocal distance can be very useful when you want to have the maximum depth of field regarding the aperture.

zquaratella wrote:
Is there any way to sharpen the flowers on the right side?

Unfortunately, there isn't. When it's blurry, it's blurry…
A smaller aperture would have helped getting the foliage on the right in focus.

Arnaud



Apr 05, 2012 at 08:29 AM
ScaryFox
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


I think you have a good eye for composition, and that is an important start.
To improve these better light is essential.
Water likes water, so try shooting these on a rainy day and you will be surprised how much more saturated all the colours will be.
I also think that a tripod is essential so that you can use longer speeds and smaller apertures to get better depth of field.
Every lens has a "sweet spot" where it is sharpest. Find out where the optimal area is for yours and experiment with that.
And most importantly, keep posting. This is a great place to learn!
Ute



Apr 05, 2012 at 04:58 PM
katahdin
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


Nice pictures, but where is the photo of George Washingtons initials that are carved in the wall?


Apr 05, 2012 at 05:34 PM
zquaratella
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Natural Bridge (Virginia)


Thanks again for all the really helpful posts! I really appreciate the critique as I want to improve with every photograph I take. I will continue to explore my lenses to find the "sweet spot" and I will definitely be posting more in the future. I have found that with only a couple comments, I already know the direction I need to go!

I didn't know about the initials!!! DARN! (It was pretty hokey down there, though!)



Apr 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM





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