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Archive 2013 · Underworld
  
 
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Underworld


Congratulations to Mark Metternich for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 31 votes - View Previous Winners


"Underworld" (remote SW)

Techie stuff for those techie: this image was both exposure bracketed for dynamic range (+ and - 2 stops - for each shot) as well as focus bracketed for depth of field (8 shots from the foreground to the background). The basic approach was to take one of the images (24 total) and complete it in Adobe Camera Raw. Then apply the exact same settings to all the images. At this point 8 (the normal exposures) will look pretty good (with maybe some blow out and a little plugging) 8 will look blown out (the bright exposures) and 8 will look too dark.. Next step is to adjust the exposure of the groups of 8 that are too bright and too dark, so the the dark group is just right for the highlights and the really bright images are taken down to be just right for clean detailed shadows.

Bring all 24 images into PS CS6.

Next, simply start with the first 3 images and blend them together using my powerful/easy "Blend If" technique for dynamic range. Then do this to each of the 8 sets of 3 exposures. This may sound like a lot of work, but "Blend If" used wisely allows me to do this in less than maybe 3-5 minutes. All 8 sets get individually flattened. So, now I have 8 images (instead of 24) with great global contrast but also the complete dynamic range in tact.

Next, load all 8 images as a single file as layers, select them all and run "Auto Align" and then "Auto Blend." There may be a little bit of clean up required after running these. Also, DON'T capture sharpen these at the raw stage or it will confuse the computers blending algorithm.

Lastly, flatten the file into a single file and finish up your typical protocol of color correction or fine tuning in PS.

It is truly amazing how much detail these images can hold even as humongous enlargements. I have had the privilege of regularly making these up to 70 inches and beyond (larger at other aspect ratios) as FujiFlex acrylic mount prints that look amazing!

Lastly, I have just had too much on my plate the last few months (moving, workshops, travel...) to get to finishing the "blend if" article. I will finish it! It is about 1/2 done. I am very sorry about the delay.

Canon 5D Mark2
Canon 14mm L2
f/5.6 (sharpest f/stop)
100 ISO

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Mar 30, 2013 at 08:14 PM
roguecoolman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Underworld


Mark,

Thanks for the write up, I always appreciate that! This is a fantastic photo and the composition is fantastic.


Jason



Mar 30, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Underworld


Definitely one of the BEST images posted here. Stunning.


Mar 31, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Underworld


Beautiful work Mark. just beautiful


Mar 31, 2013 at 12:48 AM
alatoo60
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Underworld


Mark, the light is sweet and the image is simply perfect. Thank you for posting and the write-up.

Sasha.



Mar 31, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Kee Woo Rhee
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Underworld


Mark, you did it again. Thanks for the detailed processing flow. Gorgeous photo you have here!

Kee



Mar 31, 2013 at 01:00 AM
AndrewThomas
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Underworld


Another great image Mark..always look forward to your posts
cheers Andrew



Mar 31, 2013 at 01:02 AM
JimFox
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Underworld


Hey Mark,

That's a cool location you found. Very different. The composition looks great. All that focal blending though... man that would drive me crazy... anyway a TSE lens would eliminate that?

Jim



Mar 31, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Bjadelberg
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Underworld


Nice comp love the textures in the foreground! Well done


Mar 31, 2013 at 04:58 AM
ScaryFox
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Underworld


This is really incredible! Thanks for the info.
Ute



Mar 31, 2013 at 05:19 AM
 

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Mark Metternich
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Underworld


JimFox wrote:
Hey Mark,

That's a cool location you found. Very different. The composition looks great. All that focal blending though... man that would drive me crazy... anyway a TSE lens would eliminate that?

Jim


Thanks Jim for your feedback here. Personally, I am very fond of the unique perspective of the 14mm (or the 16mm wide angel for that matter). I know a lot of people are using the TSE lenses these days and I have used all of them too, but I still tend toward the latter by far (and strongly encourage them on my tours). Your question is a great question. Can a person do in 3 bracketed shots (9 total) with a TSE (like the 17mm TSE) what can be done in 5-8 bracketed shots (15-24) with an ultra wide? Maybe someone else with TSE and focus bracketing experience can answer that definitively? I think yes and no. Yes you can sew together the area, but the perspectives would be different. And if you are going to sew together 3 bracketed shots, why not 5 and blend (I mentioned above that this only takes me about 3-5 minutes max)? So, my feelings are that what ever produces the look you are after is the answer. I would not say one or the other, but they both are legitimate approaches. I often like that the 14mm (or 16mm) sometimes gets it all in one shot.



Mar 31, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Underworld


I really like the 14mm L II and its my go to lens for interiors. I use it often at f11 and its stunningly sharp. I was surprised to read that you used it at f5.6. Did you try the shot at f11?


Mar 31, 2013 at 08:37 AM
thw2
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Underworld


The addition of the foreground makes so much sense. Great photo!


Mar 31, 2013 at 09:29 AM
nikon65
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Underworld


This image is AWESOME !!! Thank you for explaining how you did this.

Todd



Mar 31, 2013 at 11:23 AM
CW100
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Underworld


beautiful !


Mar 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM
harshaj1
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Underworld


Incredible shot Mark.
Harsha



Mar 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Justin Grimm
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Underworld


Great shot Mark! Wicked looking location and composition. What is that on the ground?

JimFox wrote:
Hey Mark,

That's a cool location you found. Very different. The composition looks great. All that focal blending though... man that would drive me crazy... anyway a TSE lens would eliminate that?

Jim


Jim, focus bracketing isn't as hard as you would think. I do it all the time for live macro subjects so it needs to be done a lot faster then for stationary landscapes. A tilt-shift would not help for this specific scene though (one of the few cases it wouldn't), mainly because there are rocks above and below you need to get in focus. Tilting the lens only really helps when you have a relatively flat horizon line.



Mar 31, 2013 at 01:44 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Underworld


Excellent shot Mark!

So, I guess you would not take one step further because of damage to the fragile curled mud? Because I wouldn't. Fortunately, I'm assuming it's your own secret spot where others never tread?



Mar 31, 2013 at 02:43 PM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Underworld


Wow, beautiful shot. I'm road tripping down to the southwest this May and I could only dream of capturing something like this.

Flawless work Mark.


Andy



Mar 31, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Scott Kroeker
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Underworld


Another great photo Mark. Love the perspective. Thanks for sharing.


Mar 31, 2013 at 04:06 PM
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