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Archive 2012 · Practice shot.
  
 
ben egbert
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p.1 #1 · Practice shot.


You can go out at golden hour to the best landscape locations on earth and still fail to get the drama it takes to have a really stand out image from that location. Sometimes I am just scouting for location and many times a good place is seen during the drive home or mid day. You only have a couple hours a day for golden light and even these seldom produce dramatic clouds or colorful skies.

I often take the shot if the scene itself looks promising. I can figure out focal length and composition even if I am not going to get a keeper. In some cases, I take a shot of a place that will never be great because it has elements I need to work on. Water shots are one example, or shooting into the sun.

I was on my way home and stopped for lunch in a shady canyon camp site. When I rolled down my car windows I heard a stream and investigated. Too brushy for a great shot, but I cleared out what I could reach and took this image.

My thought was that I wanted the full sweep of the stream left to right which dictated 24mm. I figured on a 16/9 crop to eliminate some of the light and junk above the stream. It does leave some less interesting waterflow at the lower left.

I prefer fast water at around 1/10 second; the creamy look is something I did years ago and no longer find appealing. The light was shady enough to get my shutter speed at f8 without adding filters. F8 is optimum for this lens and my preferred aperture. Some locations are just fine mid day in terms of light.

Other than just passing this location by, what would you have done different in terms of comp or post processing? Any other suggestions welcome.





Practice shot of a stream

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/10s    100 ISO    -2.3 EV  




Aug 12, 2012 at 03:01 PM
sadja
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p.1 #2 · Practice shot.


Hard question to answer w/o knowing what's outside the frame.

Wonder if getting down on the FG rocks might add interest?

I would swing the camera around to R a bit to move the big rock closer to edge, de-centering the comp.

Looks like a nice place for lunch.



Aug 12, 2012 at 03:37 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #3 · Practice shot.


Thanks Sadja. You are right about me not supplying enough info for an informed reply. Short of taking a reference shot from further back, I am not sure how to do that. Maybe next time I could do that.

I was pretty low for this shot, maybe 2-1/2 feet. But a wide angle lens tends to make stuff small and seem further away than they are. I could get lower in theory however. The camera can but I can't. Need to figure out a way to get comp and focus when lower than I can bend.

It was a nice place for lunch. It was mid 70's here but closer to 100 at home which was less than an hour drive.



Aug 12, 2012 at 03:46 PM
sadja
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p.1 #4 · Practice shot.


Hmm, the POV looks like it's seen from a river bank. I was thinking maybe you could step down on the rocks. Decentering the big rock would make the comp more interesting.


Aug 12, 2012 at 03:58 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · Practice shot.


As I recall, there was something I wanted to exclude at the right. The uncropped version had the white water near the lower 1/3 point. Cropping it of course centered it and the rock vertically. There was some blown out light and messy stuff which forced the crop.

I was planning to crop as I composed, but failed to see what the final outcome would be in terms of centering. I guess I saw the white water as the primary subject not the rock, but I could also crop some of the left and more of the top to change that. I sort of like those lower left side rocks though.



Aug 12, 2012 at 04:06 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · Practice shot.


+1 @ methodology, I've posted a bevy of "test shots" myself

I'm kinda diggin' the llc rocks as well. Any chance that there are more of them to play with as the subject by going vertical (or square) and use the stream as environmental context backdrop?



Aug 12, 2012 at 04:22 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #7 · Practice shot.


Hi Rusty:

There might be a few more but as I recall not many. If I featured them especially from a low angle I would eventually block the stream drop with the large rock. Also a square crop would probably need a longer focal length to avoid more of the bad stuff above the stream. I need to post the uncropped version for reference.



Aug 12, 2012 at 04:29 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #8 · Practice shot.


Uncropped raw to play with. Looks like cropping is the next step and about all we can do with this. Next time Out I will do more variations.




  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/10s    100 ISO    -2.3 EV  




Aug 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #9 · Practice shot.


I kinda like it as is (despite the "central" rock) ... maybe some judicious cropping, but not much ... I couldn't find anything I liked much better than "as is".







Aug 12, 2012 at 11:05 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #10 · Practice shot.


RustyBug wrote:
I kinda like it as is (despite the "central" rock) ... maybe some judicious cropping, but not much ... I couldn't find anything I liked much better than "as is".


Hi Rusty, thanks for the crop. This view has the rock a bit below center in the vertical direction, and leaving the back bank helps reduce the feeling of looking down.

I had a play of my own. This crop has the waterfall at the 1/3 but still keeps the rock centered, not sure how I could fix that with a crop. I also cloned out some brush and finally I flipped it. I will show both versions.




Crop and clone

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/10s    100 ISO    -2.3 EV  






crop clone and flip

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/8.0    1/10s    100 ISO    -2.3 EV  




Aug 13, 2012 at 12:24 AM
 

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oldrattler
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p.1 #11 · Practice shot.


Is the "Flipped image" for left handed photographers ??


Aug 13, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #12 · Practice shot.


ben egbert wrote:
Hi Rusty, thanks for the crop. This view has the rock a bit below center in the vertical direction, and leaving the back bank helps reduce the feeling of looking down.

I had a play of my own. This crop has the waterfall at the 1/3 but still keeps the rock centered, not sure how I could fix that with a crop. I also cloned out some brush and finally I flipped it. I will show both versions.


Ben,

For me, the stream directs the eye off-image in the first; conversely in the second, the rocks serve to hold one's view and return it to the image...just sort of makes me feel more comfortable looking at it.

Bob



Aug 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #13 · Practice shot.


Hi, The image is still full of junk. I would focus on the nuances of the water flow. I would get the camera over the stream at a lower position very close to the water surface and focus on the water flow on some little areas and include some rocks but not the whole stream.

The thing is most streams are not interesting enough to be shown in their entirety due to many factors but mainly three elements: Arrangement and size of rocks, plants (and moss) and water flow. All three elements work together to give each place a unique look. Some are wow, lots are good but most are bland and generic.

On the last image you posted (flipped) the flow and rocks on the left 1/3 of the image are the best.



Aug 13, 2012 at 01:17 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #14 · Practice shot.


oldrattler wrote:
Is the "Flipped image" for left handed photographers ??



Left eyed, or maybe left brain?:-)



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:00 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #15 · Practice shot.


Bob Jarman wrote:
Ben,

For me, the stream directs the eye off-image in the first; conversely in the second, the rocks serve to hold one's view and return it to the image...just sort of makes me feel more comfortable looking at it.

Bob


Thanks Bob, I assume you mean the flipped image works best. When I took this, I was not even considering that the rock would dominate the stream, it was just sort of background. But even I see that now. It really helps to have other eyes on it to get perspective.



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:02 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #16 · Practice shot.


Sneakyracer wrote:
Hi, The image is still full of junk. I would focus on the nuances of the water flow. I would get the camera over the stream at a lower position very close to the water surface and focus on the water flow on some little areas and include some rocks but not the whole stream.

The thing is most streams are not interesting enough to be shown in their entirety due to many factors but mainly three elements: Arrangement and size of rocks, plants (and moss) and water flow. All three elements work together to give each place a unique
...Show more

Thanks, I really appreciate an honest critique.

Ok, here is an even tighter crop and if I were not lazy, I would clone out more junk. The cloning looks ok at web size, but the water area clone is pretty obvious at 100%..

Your comment on the stream sort of answers one of my starting questions, I think you would pass it by. Were I shooting for a print, I would have as well. This is why I labeled it practice shot.




more crop




Aug 13, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #17 · Practice shot.


Yeah but its a great exercise to try to get a good or even great shot in a mediocre location. In fact, I get paid all the time to do exactly that. Getting a good shot at an amazing location is easy and almost any competent person can do it. But doing so in a bad location requires a good bit of though and just plain legwork, moving around and looking for a good shot and being open to anything from extreme wide angle down to macro. So dont rule out the details, the nuances in the water flow and rocks. It can be done!


Aug 13, 2012 at 04:55 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #18 · Practice shot.


Good advice



Aug 13, 2012 at 06:13 PM
sadja
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p.1 #19 · Practice shot.


Hi Ben, When you put up the raw, I tried a few crops but nothing (to my surprise) improved the image in my attempts. I still think a de-centered composition lends itslf to dynamic interest, but my efforts weren't leading towards proving my statement. Possibly a more radical hack'n slash, but thrn the spirit of the scene might vanish.


Aug 13, 2012 at 11:26 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #20 · Practice shot.


The scene is visually busy, making it difficult to find a vantage point with a clean composition.

Cropping it and taking a very different philosophical approach could yield:







Aug 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM
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