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Archive 2012 · Green Dream
  
 
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Green Dream


Green Dream – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Notes below image.







Edited on Aug 05, 2012 at 03:24 AM · View previous versions



Aug 04, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Green Dream


After 3 attempts over the last 2 years I finally got what I was after here. My goal was the very peak of spring green, a lot of water flowing and a very dark, gloomy rainy morning to lower foliage contrast and exaggerate the green as much as possible. We showed up in the dark (AM) to take advantage of the lower contrast lighting. As far as compositions go, anyone who has spent much time here knows there are very little great compositional variations because of a variety of obstructions you have to deal with. Focusing much more on shooting for my print market these days I did not want to go vertical as they sell a lot less than horizontals. After spending three separate days here (about 3-6 hours each scouting countless different possibilities) this was my favorite composition.

Logistics:

It was raining during this shot and although I wanted that (to produce the most “dreamy” quality I could get) the foliage was moving all over the place! So, what I did was get my composition as best as I could, and then with maximum polarization and an umbrella on hand, I would lift the umbrella and shoot off a series of shots and then lower the umbrella. Next I would wipe off the polarizer very carefully and wait for another moment of relative calm (never getting real calm). I did this over and over and over, acquiring too many shots.

Post Production:

In ACR 7.1 (CS6) I worked one image to as best as I could get it there, and then applied the same settings to 15 images in total. On the 15 images luminosities were off a little, so I used point sample to read all images in one same area, and then adjusted the luminosities to match each other as close as possible.

I saved all 15 images as 16 bit TIFF in ACR, then went to Bridge where they were saved and selected them all bringing them into PS CS6 as layers (I love that function!) using tools/Photoshop/load files into Photoshop layers. Then I highlighted all the images and ran the Edit/Auto Align Layers/Auto. Next, I ran Edit/ Auto Blend/Stack images. This did a tremendous job of choosing only the tact sharp foliage with no blur! I use this function all the time these days (for DOF bracketing/blending) but this image was the biggest challenge I have ever had with blurred foliage everywhere in every image (so DOF was the least challenging of the issues). With the exception of a little clean up and haloing in a few small areas, the software did an astounding job! I shot this with the Canon 16-35L2 @ 17mm at its sharpest f/stop of 5.6. DOF bracketing helped not only for DOF but all those extra exposures blended so well I think I have found another use for that PS Blending function! To resolve foliage blur during waterfall shots. After flattening the 15 image blend I took that master file and re pasted it into the stack and did a little clean up in a couple of small areas, as well as chose my favorite water texture (on one layer) and masked (erased) that in. I then flattened the master file. The raw files I brought in, I purposely kept them quite flat needing more contrast and under saturated because of a technique I have been playing with lately with some green foliage shots (I will explain in short here). After a slight crop (after all the blending/clean up was done and the file was flat) I duplicated the layer and Gaussian blurred it by about 30. I then thumbed through the layer blending options (layers pallet) and loved how Multiply looked! I was after a very slight dreamy quality here (to counter, or as opposed to the overly forced flat raw files I brought in) and all though Multiply was doing it, it was WAY too strong of an effect. I simply went to my favorite blending masking tool in all of PS the “Blend If” sliders (Layer/Layer Style/Blending Options) and I split out the highlights all the way across to black (splitting the left side of the white slider, holding down alt, and dragging it all the way to black). Then on the lower layer “blend if” slider I split out the blacks (right side of the black slider) to about 128. This produced the very look I wanted (in terms of a dreamy quality) but the overall effect was still quite too strong. Since this was all on a duplicated LAYER I simply reduced the opacity down until it was where I felt it fixed the overly flat raw files and created just the touch of dreamy quality I wanted. I did not want an image too flat and I did not want it too fantasy. After scrutinizing the opacity of the effect for a couple days (setting it aside and coming back to it) I settled on this. Lastly a global “Color Balance” color correction adjustment was done in color mode (so contrast would not change) and a last levels adjustment in luminosity mode (so colors wouldn’t change). That is about it.

Hope it help’s someone.

Edited on Aug 04, 2012 at 08:54 PM · View previous versions



Aug 04, 2012 at 07:58 PM
CarlG
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Green Dream


Wow!! I actually understood every word! That's what I love most about your posts - you are SO willing to share the smallest of details especially since most pros are so guarded about releasing their secrets. I realize these are really no secrets, but rather just more advanced PS techniques that anyone can pull off with a good understanding and PS foundation.

As for the image - Wow!! One of your recent bests!! All of your hard work paid off!!

Is this Ruckel Creek? I'll be out there for two weeks in later September and have already added that area to my list.

Thanks again for the detail - I've book marked this thread.

Carl



Aug 04, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Green Dream


CarlG wrote:
Wow!! I actually understood every word! That's what I love most about your posts - you are SO willing to share the smallest of details especially since most pros are so guarded about releasing their secrets. I realize these are really no secrets, but rather just more advanced PS techniques that anyone can pull off with a good understanding and PS foundation.

As for the image - Wow!! One of your recent bests!! All of your hard work paid off!!

Is this Ruckel Creek? I'll be out there for two weeks in later September and have already added that area to
...Show more

Thanks Carl. Yes, Ruckle. A little rough to get to for some but a little oasis. Those "Blend If" or blending sliders (as some call them) are some of the most under-exploited and not understood power sliders in all of PS! To fully understand them allows advanced blending to often be done quickly and easily. I teach and use them for nearly everything in PS. Dynamic Range, Dodging, Burning, controlling effects in certain tones, controlling tones... The Blurred Multiply layer much more often does NOT work but on some flat foliage/green waterfall shots it is something I just sort of stumbled on very recently experimenting and as long as you know how to get the effect OUT of certain tones and the opacity controlled, sometimes it works wonders. I know everyone has their idea of how much or little "dream" they want in an image. Often I use none, but some images that already have a natural dreamy quality to begin with, I like a little (but never though out the entire range of tones in an image). I think the market likes it. You can also dapple it out of areas you feel might be too strong...



Aug 04, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Garrick L
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Green Dream


I like the comp and the lush green but to me the larger splash pool looks a bit too hot IMHO.


Aug 04, 2012 at 11:15 PM
morris
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Green Dream


Congratulations it is beautiful Mark. All the attempts and work has paid off.

Morris



Aug 05, 2012 at 12:09 AM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Green Dream


Amazing presentation Mark and fantastic description of the process.
This image is so impressive in many ways. While the web can be deceiving, the picture looks large format sharp. The composition is solid in so many ways and the large fern the right really carries me into the picture nicely.

excellent!
bruce



Aug 05, 2012 at 12:51 AM
mamankyle
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Green Dream


Very nice. Incredible detail.
Greg



Aug 05, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Jred
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Green Dream


A wonderful job and it shows!

John



Aug 05, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Callisto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Green Dream


Mark,
This is so well done and thanks for letting us peek into the mind of a master. - RC



Aug 05, 2012 at 03:46 AM
 

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Mark Metternich
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Green Dream


OwlsEyes wrote:
Amazing presentation Mark and fantastic description of the process.
This image is so impressive in many ways. While the web can be deceiving, the picture looks large format sharp. The composition is solid in so many ways and the large fern the right really carries me into the picture nicely.

excellent!
bruce


Thanks very much Bruce.

Tonight I just so happened to be over at someone's home who purchased a 60 inch image (FujiFlex face mounted to Acrylic) that too was focus bracketed with the same lens. Sometimes, I sort of forget what these look like since I don't have the huge ones hanging on my home walls. Honestly, after not seeing it for about a year, I was quite shocked how great the detail looked. So, yes you can get incredible results for really big enlargements with a combination of DOF blending, good glass, good in the field work and especially masterful advanced sharpening/up sizing workflow (my vid coming out )



Aug 05, 2012 at 04:16 AM
JimFox
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Green Dream


Hey Mark,

What a very cool shot you got here. And like many others, thanks for sharing your workflow, that is very helpful indeed.

Jim



Aug 05, 2012 at 06:37 AM
Zaitz
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Green Dream


Wonderful photo!


Aug 05, 2012 at 07:04 AM
ckcarr
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Green Dream


Excellent shot Mark!
And the detail is amazing!

Thanks also for sharing the workflow. I'm going to try that.



Aug 05, 2012 at 02:38 PM
John Richter
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Green Dream


Beautiful shot! Congratulations on fulfilling your dream of photographing this wonderful place.

JBR



Aug 05, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Dave Reed
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Green Dream


Really nice image Mark. Hard work in acquisition and processing really paid off for this one. Thanks for sharing.
Dave



Aug 05, 2012 at 04:05 PM
mike.way
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Green Dream


Thanks for sharing both image and workflow. Inspiring.


Aug 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
boris342
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Green Dream


that's a great image. kudos to you!


Aug 06, 2012 at 01:23 PM
nburwell
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Green Dream


Another goregous image, Mark. You PP workflow explanation is very informative, as always.

-Nick



Aug 06, 2012 at 02:31 PM
awptimist
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Green Dream


Awesome and inspiring image! I love scenes like this.

Now if I only understood the processing aspect of it...

-Tim



Aug 06, 2012 at 04:49 PM
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