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Archive 2012 · Christmas in August
  
 
ben egbert
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Christmas in August


Yesterday my NEC cal sensor arrived along with an Xrite color checker and software. But the brand new 14MM f2.8 Samyang was the prize.

I immediately installed and calibrated my monitor, then made a camera profile for my camera. Did not see much difference at first, but now I am not needing to desaturate blues as much as before.

I took my new lens for a test drive at a local wheat field that allows me to figure out sharpest aperture and focus.

Got a pleasant sunset and the two images are the result. 14mm is a bit wide for sunsets, but this was a lens test.

Both images are 3 image blends to get the sky and wheat in balance. No filters are possible with this lens so blending is part of the game.

The first has some flare at f8. The wind and low light forced me to f5.6 ISO 200 to freeze the blowing wheat.

The colors in the sky induced me to rotate a bit for the second image to include the best color.

Comments on any and all aspects welcome.





f8 ISO100

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    1/80s    100 ISO    -0.7 EV  






f5.6 ISO200

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    1/160s    200 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Jul 31, 2012 at 05:04 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Christmas in August


Lovely photos. Color looks great. I am mad at you, though. I've been looking at the 14mm and your post is pushing me further in that direction.

I don't think it's too wide for sunsets. Also, I think your composition that "breaks the rules" works well here. I like that you gave the sky and the field equal weight by putting your horizon line in the middle of the frame. You're in good company, look at Sam Abell's photo here.



Jul 31, 2012 at 05:13 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Christmas in August


dmacmillan wrote:
Lovely photos. Color looks great. I am mad at you, though. I've been looking at the 14mm and your post is pushing me further in that direction.

I don't think it's too wide for sunsets. Also, I think your composition that "breaks the rules" works well here. I like that you gave the sky and the field equal weight by putting your horizon line in the middle of the frame. You're in good company, look at Sam Abell's photo here.


Yep in a standing position with a more or less level ground, the horizon is going to be near the middle. This is how I see it in person and thus how I want to show the image. I typically shoot at standing height and with a level camera. I use my shift lenses to get up or down if required.

I have done wheat before and I think you need to show some leading edge rather than to start it further into the field. This sort of dictates the placement of the foreground.

UWA often has either too much foreground or too much sky and makes a 16/9 crop a common choice of mine. The first image could benefit from such a crop taking all off the top. The second, how could I take any of the sky away?

For me content is a big factor in composition. Its more about including or excluding than about guiding the viewer.

The comment about 14 being too wide. A longer focal length emphasizes the color but when the entire sky lights up, WA works fine. .



Jul 31, 2012 at 05:33 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Christmas in August


congrats on the new toy(s)
I am envious.
These are gorgeous images. I agree about the placement of the sky. Love the light along the top of the wheat in the first image.
Apart from the sky, I would not have anticipated such strong images with so much wheat. Kudos for you for the processing, to you, your lens and camera for wonderful detail. Handheld?
Scott



Jul 31, 2012 at 07:25 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Christmas in August


sbeme wrote:
congrats on the new toy(s)
I am envious.
These are gorgeous images. I agree about the placement of the sky. Love the light along the top of the wheat in the first image.
Apart from the sky, I would not have anticipated such strong images with so much wheat. Kudos for you for the processing, to you, your lens and camera for wonderful detail. Handheld?
Scott



Thanks, and not handheld. The camera sets atop a heavy Gitzo aluminum tripod with an Acraswiss ballhead. I would not be able to blend handheld images. As it was, the wind blown wheat and fast changing clouds meant I had to rely mostly on one image for sky and one for foreground. The mid areas blended better.



Jul 31, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Christmas in August


Very nice. You do a great job with blending. I need to try that more often. Instead it seems I take the easy way with hdr processing and then fight to get a nature appearance without artifacts.


Jul 31, 2012 at 08:15 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Christmas in August


Oh of course tripod
Forgot you said these were blended
Well blended
Scott



Jul 31, 2012 at 09:17 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Christmas in August


Thanks Jim and Scott. For these I used a technique I got at another FM forum that is a bit long to post here. But it involves stacking the middle and dark image and doing a Gaussian blur on the dark image which I believe darkens without changing the detail. The bright image is then sandwiched between them.

I often then put a gradient on the bright image so that it only effects the foreground.

I also tried the new HDR on these but there was too much subject motion.

If there is interest, I will type it up and post it. Wish I could find the original post.



Jul 31, 2012 at 10:38 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Christmas in August


I prefer the wheat from the first and the sky from the second. Consider the sacrilege of cut and paste.




Jul 31, 2012 at 11:30 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Christmas in August


Hi AuntiPode. The sun highlights on the wheat are what make it, and I too prefer it. But the second is with the camera rotated maybe 15 degrees south and it nothing would line up.


Jul 31, 2012 at 11:47 PM
 

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ben egbert
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Christmas in August


Three image blend with Gaussian blur

Start with the middle image and place the dark image on top. Add a mask to the dark image layer.

On the background, ctrl A, crtl C.

Alt click the layer mask and then ctrl V. The layer turns grey.

Apply a Gaussian blur at radius 250 to the dark layer, the image turns fuzzy.

Click on the background and you will see a blended image that is mid way between the middle and dark image but with details from the middle image.

Copy and paste your lightest image into this. It should go right above the background and below the dark layer. It will automatically brighten up the entire image.

If you want, add a mask to the bright layer and use a gradient filter to reduce lightness in the sky. You can even use a brush to fine tune the transition.

The sky details will be from the middle image, the foreground from the bright image. This avoids motion issues.

The method also avoids halos.

It does not always work, but is a nice clean method when it does.



Aug 01, 2012 at 12:25 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Christmas in August


Nice captures. I prefer the first. I retains the slightly cool look in sky lit foreground at sunset. Looks like the lens is a keeper. Horizons (edge of wheat field/ treeline) appear off level a bit in both. May be due to slant of field (higher on right).

Could you post shots a the color checker with and without (neutral style) the camera profile applied for comparison? Curious to see how much differnence there is.




Aug 01, 2012 at 01:37 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Christmas in August


Yep, I had the camera leveled the field slopes.

Not sure about the other question. Do you want images of the color checker itself? Then use neutral in one version and the new profile in the other?




Aug 01, 2012 at 02:40 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Christmas in August


Nice x 2


Aug 01, 2012 at 05:17 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Christmas in August


ben egbert wrote:
Hi AuntiPode. The sun highlights on the wheat are what make it, and I too prefer it. But the second is with the camera rotated maybe 15 degrees south and it nothing would line up.


You just need a bigger hammer.













Aug 01, 2012 at 05:59 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Christmas in August


Good job. I never tried it because I wanted the sun in the first one and did not think I could get the 2nd sky to match. You worked on the flare I see. I always try to avoid it, or just live with it.

By the way, I tried your exp/vibrance/hue adjustments to the first image. Very subtle. It must take a very well trained eye to even consider such changes.



Aug 01, 2012 at 01:33 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Christmas in August


cgardner wrote:
Nice captures. I prefer the first. I retains the slightly cool look in sky lit foreground at sunset. Looks like the lens is a keeper. Horizons (edge of wheat field/ treeline) appear off level a bit in both. May be due to slant of field (higher on right).

Could you post shots a the color checker with and without (neutral style) the camera profile applied for comparison? Curious to see how much differnence there is.




here ya go, labled as I hope you intended.








Aug 01, 2012 at 07:17 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Christmas in August


ben egbert wrote:
Three image blend with Gaussian blur

Start with the middle image and place the dark image on top. Add a mask to the dark image layer.

On the background, ctrl A, crtl C.

Alt click the layer mask and then ctrl V. The layer turns grey.

Apply a Gaussian blur at radius 250 to the dark layer, the image turns fuzzy.

Click on the background and you will see a blended image that is mid way between the middle and dark image but with details from the middle image.

Copy and paste your lightest image into this. It should go right above the background
...Show more


thanks for including this, Ben
Scott



Aug 01, 2012 at 07:31 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Christmas in August


Yes, Ben, because the sun was down, the flare on the grass looked out of place and took a swipe of two of the clone stamp with a smallish brush - easily changed.


Aug 01, 2012 at 09:48 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Christmas in August


Hi AuntiPode:

I am still playing with the exp/vib/hue adjustments. I tried those changes on both images. I just did the second one and it sort of over exposed the sky. I assume you only applied it to the wheat?

I like the look you got, but until I saw yours, I was happy with mine. Good chance to learn some stuff here.




Aug 01, 2012 at 11:24 PM
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