Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Photo Critique | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2012 · Just a pretty scene
  
 
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Just a pretty scene


I hiked to Scout Falls in the Wasatch mountains and found an uninteresting waterfall because of low flow. But turning my back to the waterfalls revealed a scene that I thought a compelling if not world class landscape.

The lush green forest, the sweep of mountains and the great clouds against a blue sky is what drew my attention.

I think this image is an accurate representation of what I saw. The sun was at my back at mid morning, which while a tad harsh, is also required to get some light in the valleys. Exposure was easy. I used a polarizer here, which matches the way I see landscapes because I normally wear polarized glasses. I had to repair a bit of uneven sky however because I was a bit wide for a polarizer. But those clouds just cried out for one.

But perhaps this is pedestrian scene. Too common. I don't know. Later I will show a surprise version taken by my 15 year old grand daughter who got a much nicer version simply by her decision about where to stand.

But for now, I would like your comment on this version.

I guess my philosophy is that the job of the photographer is primarily about where to stand, where/when to point and what to include/exclude. That plus technique which renders the chosen scene accurately followed by good processing is all that can be done if nature is to be the primary artist.

That still leaves a lot to the photographer. Comments welcome on all aspects, but I am most interested in the choice of scene and composition here.





  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens    34mm    f/8.0    1/60s    100 ISO    +1.0 EV  




Jul 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Camperjim
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Just a pretty scene


This is a beautiful scene that makes me wish I had been there. There are nice clouds, great shapes and interesting complexity to the scene.

The processing seems to have way more pop than most of what I have seen you do recently. Have you used a dose of Topaz or something else? I do like the contrast which brings out lots of details. Colors look good but more saturated that most of your work.

I know you are spending more time with compositions and as I said I like the shapes in this image. However, the red mountain tops draw my eye due to the color and I find it disappointing that they are cut off by the left frame of the image. I suspect this would have been better if you had included a bit more to the left. Of course I am just guessing and have no idea what was there.






Jul 28, 2012 at 06:02 PM
sbeme
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Just a pretty scene


No apologies.
Beautiful scene with loads of interest, detail, color, contrast. I'd be very happy with this.
As far as tweaks? As is, there is a strong vertical leading line formed by the clump of foreground trees 40% from the left, then ridgetops, then the largest cloud. With the bright clouds and this line, my eye first goes along it to the sky. While the sky is beautiful, it competes with the rich landscape.
Suggestion? I'd go more pano, cropping from the top to around the "fish mouth" shape of the large cloud. You then end up with a blue sky diagonal rising to the left that helps with the "round trip" upper left, lower center, back over to the colored mountains. You could consider taking more from the right as well as an additional variation.
Scott



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:27 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Just a pretty scene


Camperjim wrote:
This is a beautiful scene that makes me wish I had been there. There are nice clouds, great shapes and interesting complexity to the scene.

The processing seems to have way more pop than most of what I have seen you do recently. Have you used a dose of Topaz or something else? I do like the contrast which brings out lots of details. Colors look good but more saturated that most of your work.

I know you are spending more time with compositions and as I said I like the shapes in this image. However, the red mountain tops draw my
...Show more

Hi Jim. I just recently upgraded to CS6 and find I can do sharpening, exposure, shadow recovery, saturation and vibrance in ACR. I do add a curve and a Topaz Pop action in final and fade to taste. This particular image is much cleaner in a color aware browser and a wide gamut monitor. The blues are over the top when viewed in Chrome and my WG monitor. I have no clue what an sRGB monitor reveals.

Until my new calibration system arrives, and I get some feedback like yours, I will be fishing around a bit. I could post a Topaz and non Topaz version too. In fact I have started saving the image prior to the Topaz step so retain both versions. The light here was super clear and with a polarizer it really popped.

On composition, I really wanted to hear this comment. I feel my biggest weakness is composition and hope to hear other remarks like yours.





Jul 28, 2012 at 06:28 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Just a pretty scene


sbeme wrote:
No apologies.
Beautiful scene with loads of interest, detail, color, contrast. I'd be very happy with this.
As far as tweaks? As is, there is a strong vertical leading line formed by the clump of foreground trees 40% from the left, then ridgetops, then the largest cloud. With the bright clouds and this line, my eye first goes along it to the sky. While the sky is beautiful, it competes with the rich landscape.
Suggestion? I'd go more pano, cropping from the top to around the "fish mouth" shape of the large cloud. You then end up with a blue sky diagonal rising
...Show more

Thanks Scott, I had these same thoughts myself and was expecting just this suggestion. Jim's comp suggestion surprised me but is quite true. I had a zoom lens here and could have gotten as wide as 17 or as tight as 40, but I had a cutoff on the left side. But your crop is a very doable and good suggestion.



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:32 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Just a pretty scene


Some suggested changes

I eliminated Topaz for this at Jims suggestion. I think I would perhaps darken the sky a bit but have left that for now.

I also cropped per Scotts suggestion. Is this what you had in mind?





  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens    34mm    f/8.0    1/60s    100 ISO    +1.0 EV  




Jul 28, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Camperjim
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Just a pretty scene


Ben, I did not mean to criticize using Topaz. I actually usually like the little extra pop that it gives. I suspect you had only used a low opacity on the Topaz layer. For a while I used a light dose of Topaz photo pop on almost all my images, but found that I had to many artifacts such as graininess and halos. I see none of that in either of your versions.

In this case I do think I prefer the revision. The red is in the left side mountains has ceased to be an issue for my eye.



Jul 28, 2012 at 07:48 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Just a pretty scene


Camperjim wrote:
Ben, I did not mean to criticize using Topaz. I actually usually like the little extra pop that it gives. I suspect you had only used a low opacity on the Topaz layer. For a while I used a light dose of Topaz photo pop on almost all my images, but found that I had to many artifacts such as graininess and halos. I see none of that in either of your versions.

In this case I do think I prefer the revision. The red is in the left side mountains has ceased to be an issue for my eye.



Hi Jim, I used to have all sorts of halo issues until I stopped using low amount high radius USM commonly known as fog buster. In ACR I put clarity to 20 (sort of serves the same purpose) and use some light sharpening that is just enough to fix the AA filter. If it is not sharp then, its because of poor focus or motion or maybe harsh light.

Topaz POP does not add halos to my images now. When I recently got a new computer, I had to reload Topaz from scratch and was not able to get adjust 4 (where photo pop was on the menu). Adjust 5 does not even have a menu so I had to copy the photo pop formula to Adjust 5. I am not sure it behaves the same.

I only bought Topaz in the first place to replace a plug-in I bought from the FM software store years ago to add saturation. The old program did not support 64bit and Topaz did. At the time I also looked at NIK, but it did not support 64 bit either so I went with Topaz.



Jul 28, 2012 at 08:14 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Just a pretty scene


Tessa’s image Tessa is my 15 YO grand daughter.

She has been going with me to take pictures for a couple years now. She also watches me process and her color/saturation judgment during post processing is much better than mine. She recently expressed an interest in taking her own photos so I lent her my 50D with a 35 f1.4L lens. This is a bit of overkill for a first timer, but all I had available.

I set the camera to manual, ISO400 (no extra tripod available) and f5.6 and had her start with figuring out just composition and exposure. She carried the camera on this hike and took the following image hand held.

To my eyes, it is a better composition than mine. She saw the meadow and the meandering stream and found a
place that included it. It also has more of that left side mountain as this was taken down the trail from mine.

It has too much noise and not enough pixels for a very large print, but otherwise I consider this a superior image to mine. I made her an 8-1/2x11 print to hang on her wall.





  Canon EOS 50D    EF35mm f/1.4L USM lens    35mm    f/5.6    1/800s    320 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jul 28, 2012 at 09:10 PM
AuntiPode
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Just a pretty scene


To my eye's Tessa's composition is excellent. In terms of presentation, looks to my eyes a bit to cyan and slightly duller than I'd expect a live scene in the mountains in full sunlight. Here are some PP suggestions to consider, rendered with PS CS5:














Jul 28, 2012 at 10:29 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Just a pretty scene


Hi Auntipod. That's a lot of pop there. I need to study your workflow here looks like a much better black point.

I am looking in a non color aware browser at the moment and a wide gamut monitor. This combo does strange things to colors. I have been purposely desaturating blue. Maybe I that's a mistake.

Ok, looks pretty good in Safari. Too blue in chrome and mine was too yellow.



Jul 29, 2012 at 12:18 AM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Just a pretty scene


Ok, I plugged your edit into Tessas image but I have CS6. It looked good until I did the shadow highlight. I think it was more like yours before that step. But the auto curves was slightly different than yours. Probably the cyan correction was the most valuable.

This is some good stuff though.




  Canon EOS 50D    EF35mm f/1.4L USM lens    35mm    f/5.6    1/800s    320 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jul 29, 2012 at 01:59 AM
AuntiPode
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Just a pretty scene


Haven't gotten CS6, yet. Could be a version difference. Getting a good calibrated monitor is pretty much a must for serious work. I save to sRGB color space (profile), so to see them accurately, be sure to use a color management aware/enabled browser. Safari is color management aware. So is Firefox. (Don't know if Firefox still requires you to enable color management - it used to need a config change). Not sure about other browsers.


Jul 29, 2012 at 03:28 AM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Just a pretty scene


Other differences. You edited an sRGB 900 pixel jpg, I was editing a full size Prophoto 16 bit file.

My monitor is a NEC26090 with SperctraviewII hardware level cal. But my XRITE is an an old version that only works with WIN7 with a patch. I have a new NEC version in shipping. I also have the McBeth device coming so I can get a new camera profile.

I am going to work this some more. Like I said, the hue change made a big difference. I struggle with color accuracy when trusting my own eyes. This is why I need so much help from technology.

I use auto on the curve, and it just made a single curve. Your embedded view of the Photoshop window showed separate curves for each channel. I could just do that manually and try to get close to what you showed.

But no matter, mine looked similar to yours until I added shadow highlight which washed it out. The image seemed bright enough to me without SH.

I am always looking for new Photoshop stuff and I like that you show the exact steps graphically and that you offer subtle changes.

Now if only I could develop color judgement. That's why I quit oil painting, could never master the colors.

Edit:
Here is another cut. I did RGB manually in curves and used a SH setting of my own which is more conservative.






  Canon EOS 50D    EF35mm f/1.4L USM lens    35mm    f/5.6    1/800s    320 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jul 29, 2012 at 02:16 PM
newhaven
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Just a pretty scene


I like the color balance in the original, but it my edit I've made the clouds more neutral with more detail. Photobucket strips the color profile, but it's srgb.





The sky and clouds are really nice in this set -
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1132094



Jul 29, 2012 at 05:47 PM
RustyBug
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Just a pretty scene


Took a stab at it.

Another one of those ... "I'd rather be there" ... kinda scenes.

You were there and I wasn't ...

So when I (emphasis on I) process, I try to "take you there" becasue I know that you missed out on the splendor of what is what like to to be there yourself. The pic can never replace or even come close to what it is like to just stand there and bask in the immense beauty and serene spaciousness of such places.

The best I can hope for is to evoke an emotive response of "I wish I had been there too." Sometimes I get a little closer to that and other times, nowhere close. But that is (one of) my (philosophical) guiding principle for my processing efforts... not that I always achieve it as well as I desire.

BTW ... +1 @ the young ones eye for the comp.






Edited on Jul 29, 2012 at 08:19 PM · View previous versions



Jul 29, 2012 at 07:05 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Just a pretty scene


Thanks all for the presentations. For one thing, it is impossible to start appreciating this outside of a color aware browser.

Second, they all seem believable stand alone, but when viewed together, preferences stand out. My last is now looking too blue/green and dark.

Newhavens is very good but lighter and probably true. But then I was wearing tinted glasses that day and what I saw was darker. Rusty and Antipod have very good versions that are hard to tell apart after scrolling from one to the other.



Jul 29, 2012 at 07:36 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Just a pretty scene


Books on composition I've read suggest that finding geometric patterns in photos to make the the composition more dynamic and interesting: ^, Z, V, M, W, etc. The patterns can be formed by very obvious leading lines (roads, rivers, fences, fallen trees) or more subtly with differences in tone or color between scene elements.

What makes your shot appealing to me are the patterns shown with the lines below. A big wide V forming a bowl, filled with a collection of smaller chevrons ^:







You'll notice I cropped it a bit on top because I found that lone cloud to be a distraction. Here's a edit in which I tweeked the tonality a bit to coax the eye up the V to find the ^^^ pattern by slightly darkening the edges about . 2 stops and brightening the center by the same amount.








Jul 29, 2012 at 08:32 PM
ben egbert
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Just a pretty scene


Thanks for the explanation. I like the crop and processing compared to my original. I suspect some of the pop others have gotten from my grand daughters version is possible in this one. They were taken within minutes of each other.


Jul 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM
AuntiPode
Online
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Just a pretty scene


BTW, the SH adjustment I made was just a way to lower the contrast after the fact without compromising the highlights (by fiddling with the sliders). Had I worked from the original another method may have been better. In bright sun the contrast can be too high when rendered photographically because the human eye has such a large dynamic range by comparison and you can't very well compensate by flash filling the distant shadows.

FWIW, my monitor is an NEC LCD2690WUXi and I use Spectraview II with an old X-Rite DTP94. I try to remember to check the view option "proof colors" and set my "proof setup" to Internet Standard RGB (sRGB).



Jul 29, 2012 at 11:27 PM
1
       2       end




FM Forums | Photo Critique | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password