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Archive 2013 · American River Landscape (newbie)
  
 
dpbingham
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · American River Landscape (newbie)


I just started DSLR photography less than a year ago. I discovered this site and its forums, and am learning a ton from everyone here. I'd appreciate some feedback on this landscape shot - taken at dusk. Thoughts?



dpbingham 2013

American River, Folsom CA

  NIKON D5100    50.0 mm f/1.8 lens    50mm    f/16.0    13s    100 ISO    -5.0 EV  




Mar 19, 2013 at 08:26 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · American River Landscape (newbie)


Welcome aboard, Dan.
Pretty scene and I like the reflections, stillness of the water, whether smoothed by long exposure or natural, and the sharpness and detail beyond.
Some technical issues and questions here. First, there seems to be a purplish hue in much of the image. Did you play with white balance or selective saturation? Second, there is significant purple fringing seen in the trees. Most likely related to lens issues. Why di you stop down all the way to f16? You would have plenty of depth at f 8 on most lenses and you are working on sharpness of the distance, blurring the foreground, so focusing near doesnt even matter. Fro the smoothness of the water I imagine you'd be pretty good at a few seconds, although I really dont know what the surface looked like.

A major challenge of landscapes is finding, ideally, foreground, mid-ground and far ground interests and some focal point(s) for the overall image. Otherwise you end up closer to documentary style images. While valuable, many folks aspire to more than technical document where they have been.

You have some pretty foreground reflections and I would reduce the purples in them. The far ground, so to speak, is the main subject and my eye gets drawn to the exposed rocky surfaces. They offer some nice textural contrast to the water, but not much more interest.

Most would suggest some crop from the bottom to place the shoreline or outcroppings closer to the top third rather than middle of the image. You lose some water but gain some richness and guide the eye in better.

Scott



Mar 19, 2013 at 09:23 PM
dpbingham
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · American River Landscape (newbie)


Great suggestions. I had not thought about f/16 vs. f/8. I have been challenged to get sharp images in scenes like this. I've read that it's best to focus 1/3 of the way up to get the optimal DOF focus. It sounds like i didn't need to go as far as f16. As for the exposure length, this photo was taken at dusk (low light) in Shutter priority mode, and i experimented with shutter speeds. I'm learning that it's ok to underexpose a bit and bring out some of the details later in post processing.

I really appreciate any tips the forum can provide.



Mar 19, 2013 at 09:30 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · American River Landscape (newbie)


Dead sky. Uninteresting light. Power lines scar the sky. Long exposure and wind blurred the treetop. What is the focus of visual interest?

What would move this beyond a simple record shot of a now particularly interesting scene?



Mar 19, 2013 at 09:38 PM
BenV
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · American River Landscape (newbie)


I'd actually crop out the entire sky, and use the right half of the photo.


Mar 19, 2013 at 09:54 PM
dpbingham
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · American River Landscape (newbie)


Ben, do you mean a horizontal crop or a vertical crop? I tried both.












Mar 19, 2013 at 10:29 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · American River Landscape (newbie)


Welcome to FM and PC Forum.

It looks like you got some pretty strong purple/blue fringe going on in the tree line, but that can be dealt with in post. As mentioned the power lines are a bummer, but they too can be cloned out to at least help minimize much of them.

Took a stab at some possible tweaks and a possible crop for consideration, with others possible as well. Many times it can be challenging to portray the image in the same manner as what we were drawn to a scene to begin with (I'm assuming the reflected colors). We don't always see things the same way the camera records them, so a little judicious S&P can help to flavor them too.







Mar 20, 2013 at 03:41 AM
dakel
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · American River Landscape (newbie)


I'll tell you what I like. I like that you are shooting your local area. Many many landscape photographers neglect to do this. My advice to you is to try to work out what it is you want your pictures to say. For many, me included, it's that we live in an extraordinary, beautiful world. Once you know what you want to say, then try to understand what techniques you need to employ to help you say what you want to say. For landscape photography, one of the most powerful techniques is "extraordinary light". As you are probably aware this most often occurs during the early hours of the morning and evening when weather conditions are favourable. For me, the latter usually means nice clouds in sky. Other powerful techniques are compositional. Think foreground, midground, background. Think lines and shapes. These are some of the ways to get the viewer engaged in your photograph. Lastly, and I'm sure you already do this, and it really should be first, enjoy being out there. Good luck.

As an aside, I know the area well and have photographed the American river many times. I'm just too slammed with work to get out lately.



Mar 21, 2013 at 08:05 AM
dpbingham
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · American River Landscape (newbie)


Rusty - thanks for the edit.

Can you tell me what you did (besides the crop)?



Mar 22, 2013 at 10:44 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · American River Landscape (newbie)


Basically I did some clone & healing for the power lines, some selective desaturation in the blue range, to reduce the fringe, and some selective saturation to the reflection, plus a slight USM tweak.

I tried to imagine what it might have been like to be there such that I would have been compelled to want to photograph it to show others, or been enjoying seeing in person myself. My answer was the reflections, so I tried to play to that aspect of the image.



Mar 23, 2013 at 04:58 AM
Beabs
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · American River Landscape (newbie)


I would also like to add, don't be afraid to show that it is dusk.


Mar 23, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · American River Landscape (newbie)


I have found one thing that seems to help,and thats try and keep images as simple as possible. Don't try and get too much into an image, because each subject in the image will fight and compete for attention. Sounds easy, but in land and seascapes theres usually a lot going on, and I've put a few images here for opinions as well.
Finding a central focal point sometimes is difficult as well, but I suppose that comes with practice.
I do like the cropped images better,especially the vertical one.



Mar 25, 2013 at 06:48 PM





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