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Archive 2013 · Above a Foggy Sunrise

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Above a Foggy Sunrise

Yesterday morning our town was covered in fog. I decided to drive up to a nearby mountain top with a clearing facing the east. I lucked out as the fog cleared at the top. I was treated to an amazing sunrise over a sea of fog with just a few mountain tops showing. I did my best to capture the moment. Here are the shots I ended up with.

You guys teach me so many things so please provide critique. Reworks are welcomed. Thanks!

1. A wide angle shot but I'm not sure I like the extreme slope of the hillside. It seems distracting to me.

2. On this shot I was trying to lead the eye from foreground to background. I lost a lot of fog though so...

3. Here I broke out the 70-200 to try and capture more of the details of the fog.

4. As I was leaving, I spotted this little building and I loved how the sun rays were shining through.

Feb 07, 2013 at 02:29 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Above a Foggy Sunrise

Eye motion / perception studies reveal eyes jump and dwell between what catches the attention in what are called saccades. In all but the last the bright spot of the sun in sky is the dominant perceptual focal point my eyes jump to. I'm aware of the context but don't dwell on it immediately until after reaching the sun in background.

In first it is the contrast of the hill that pulls me back for a second look but I find nothing interesting so like you my take away impression is it is a distraction. Try burning in and desaturating to make it less eye catching. Crop up from bottom to make hill smaller would have same effect. Splitting frame in half with horizon would work here to give it overall holistic visual balance because eye would tend to follow horizon back left smoothly vs big jump from sun<>hill.

In the second the pull back to the foreground is not as strong jerking of attention there as with hill to the interesting rock as secondary focal point. If it were my shot I would dodge the rock to make it lighter and easier to see detail to make it more interesting.

In third sun is higher in sky relative to fog and there is no strong contrasting second focal point like rock in #2 to pull me down and notice the fog. But if I crop out the sun the fog becomes the focal point. Since I already know the context overall from 1 and 2 that works better for me but wouldn't if I had not seen those first and cropped sun out.

In last the structure contrasts most. My eye goes to jutting end to roof where contrast in tone and sharpness is greatest then follow leading lines of post down. As with #2 dodging the lower right to reveal more detail will create more hang time and interest there.

Solid set. Viewed as series 1 and 2 are redundant. I'd edit out 1 and go with 2-3-4. Establish context in 2. Look up at fog in 3. Look down at foreground detail in 4. Together tell me the complete story of being there effectively.

Feb 07, 2013 at 07:31 AM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Above a Foggy Sunrise

Thanks, cgardner! I hope to have time to work on these a bit more this evening. I'll try to post some reworks based on your input.

Feb 07, 2013 at 02:13 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Above a Foggy Sunrise

+1 @ Chuck's points regarding how the eye follows tonal values and lines. Not everyone follows them exactly the same, but being aware of where and how strong your tonal values and lines are will aid you in deciding how to compose & PP to "draw the eye" of your viewer where you want them to go. This vs. simply taking a picture of something.

Dramatic natural lighting can be a tough gig to contend with the DR involved, but I think you've done a nice job of keeping these "in the ballpark" so that you can finish them off to your liking in post.

A few tweaks to illustrate how things can change the way we are drawn. Neither better, nor worse per se, just changes. You get to decide how much/where you want to push/pull the viewers attention.

You've got a nice set to work with here. Multiple ways you can take things, which takes me back to my mantra of "What's the point?" "What's the message that you want to convey to your viewer?" Answering those in your mind first helps give you a sense of direction for how you proceed with your pp/finishing.

Your story reminds me a bit of the PJ adage of "f8 and be there" ... nice job of "getting there".

To the victor go the spoils ... enjoy the fruits of your conquest, as I'm certain being there was quite magnificent.

Feb 07, 2013 at 03:17 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Above a Foggy Sunrise

Last is the winner for me. Interesting lighting captured well, good additional subject.
First does not offer enough context, foreground interest.
Second improves with lightening the foreground boulder as illustrated above.
Third is a bit lacking in much more than the sky/fog and its hard to make that a subject by itself despite a technically good capture. Playing on the lens flare and diagonals in the sky, here is a possible improvement (?). Crop, selective dodge/burn.


Feb 07, 2013 at 05:29 PM

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