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Archive 2013 · Monochrome Vista House
  
 
Lee Wiren
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p.1 #1 · Monochrome Vista House


I am planning on doing a 7 print limited run - 40x70 on this print. Would love some C&C on the processing of it - if there is something you don't like, please tell me what you would change and why.

Lee




Vista House - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon




May 27, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #2 · Monochrome Vista House


Oh yes, love the rich, softness of the image.

Might tone back the overly bright portion at the left of the cliff face. Hard to tell from the size, but perhaps a little less sky?

The 'Gorge' is a marvelous place - such a feeling of open space and freedom. Imagine how the pioneers felt!

Regards,

Bob




May 27, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · Monochrome Vista House


I would add a bit of contrast and remove a few of the small distracting features. Also be sure to print some proofs before doing large prints. I have frequently been disappoint with B&W prints.







May 28, 2013 at 12:49 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · Monochrome Vista House


It is a very nice image, and I'm somewhat thinking I should just and say not much else. But, since you are going to be heavily invested into this image ... I'd have a few questions @ what do you want for your focal point/intent/mood/etc. What is the message you are trying to convey to your viewer? What is it you want them to see/feel/think? The answers to these will then determine what changes (or none) I might suggest. But, without any other input, a few things come to mind.

+1 @ too much sky drawing us upward too far, taking away from the height of the gorge. I'd look to crop down and rebalance to re-weight the mass of the cliff.

The buoys would be a candidate for cloning. I realize they are "really there", but a camera position of slight variance would have blocked them from view, so cloning them out is no biggie for me.

The contrast for the scene seems fairly low (which is fine for mood), but the house seems to be more stark in contrast ... kind of incongruous/unnatural looking a smidgeon.

I've got some other thoughts, but without better knowing your intended direction for the piece, I'll hold them back in case they are a direction counter to your goals.

Edited on May 28, 2013 at 02:48 AM · View previous versions



May 28, 2013 at 01:11 AM
karmaportrait
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p.1 #5 · Monochrome Vista House


i had a couple things typed but they've been covered already above.

great shot! hope the prints come out well.



May 28, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Lee Wiren
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p.1 #6 · Monochrome Vista House


RustyBug wrote:
It is a very nice image, and I'm somewhat thinking I should just and say not much else. But, since you are going to be heavily invested into this image ... I'd have a few questions @ what do you want for your focal point/intent/mood/etc. What is the message you are trying to convey to your viewer? What is it you want them to see/feel/think? The answers to these will then determine what changes (or none) I might suggest. But, without any other input, a few things come to mind.


I guess I am just trying to convey to my viewers the largeness of the Gorge.... and the historic quality of the house....

+1 @ too much sky drawing us upward too far, taking away from the height of the gorge. I'd look to crop down and rebalance to re-weight the mass of the cliff.

I was not only trying to convey the height of the gorge, but the long expanse of the waterway.... I see the point about it making the gorge walls look smaller than they are... but the Columbia River is an extremely long river and the 4th largest in the US....so by adding more upstream water... I was trying to convey not only the house, but the river its overlooks.....I guess that's trying to convey too much and since i'm trying to primarily lead the focus to the VH, I should leave it at that. My original crop used the rule of 3rds and placed the top of the house to the upper right 3rd connecting points of the image.... I guess I can try an alternative crop pushing the house further up and leaving less sky......

The buoys would be a candidate for cloning. I realize they are "really there", but a camera position of slight variance would have blocked them from view, so cloning them out is no biggie for me.

From this vantage point... I think you'd have a hard time getting rid of all the buoys you see... I left them in because they were there and I wanted the authenticity of the image to remain... but as I think about it, it will be the very rare individual who may notice and ever fewer that would nitpick the issue..... I can agree that cloning these out is not a crime....

The contrast for the scene seems fairly low (which is fine for mood), but the house seems to be more stark in contrast ... kind of incongruous/unnatural looking a smidgeon.

As others have mentioned, it could use a bit more contrast.... I was worried that using too much would make the shadows look too dark.... I have added it in to this new example as shown above and will see how I like it. I will print large paper proofs with both contrast settings to see which comes out better.... the contrast of the house being incongruous in the image I think is because of the bg of it being on the river from this pov.... you have the extremely clear cut defined image of the brick in the house set against a stark image of the river.....

I've got some other thoughts, but without better knowing your intended direction for the piece, I'll hold them back in case they are a direction counter to your goals.

I would love to hear your other thoughts.... lay them on me, I appreciate your time, gives me a lot to think about before I make the huge investment and I want it to be perfect.... here is a new edit that I did in a 4x6 to decrease the amount of sky and leave the whole of the gorge plinth and trees.... added contrast to the upper portion of the hills (Washington side) and also more contrast to the image overall and tried to tame that bright spot on the left of the cliff a bit.....












May 28, 2013 at 05:14 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #7 · Monochrome Vista House


Check this image with levels in Photoshop. You are still quite a way from having any true blacks (or true whites). I think this will look less flat with some true blacks, but if you make that adjustment you will also need to add overall brightness to the image or it will become too dark. I would not change the Levels on the whites as that can give a blown out appearance and might take away some of the moodiness.

If you are looking to show the expanse of the Columbia river, I think you need to rethink this image. This image started out as about 60% foliage and rock. You have emphasized the foreground, not the gorge. Cropping out sky only further emphasizes the foreground. If you wanted to emphasize the Gorge, you should have shot with a landscape orientation and a wide aspect ratio. The "story" this image tells is about the heigth of the Vista House above the Gorge.



May 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · Monochrome Vista House


+1 @ Jim ... alignment of message. 60% foreground, becomes 70%-80% foreground adding emphasis to the cliff. I think the power of this particular image comes in the form of the height of the cliff ... so that's the way that I'd try to "go with it". Of course, if that's not your message, then something else is likely more appropriate. But, given your choice of portrait/vertical orientation, it would seem that that was the strongest part of your intended conveyance.

I've cropped down on the sky and also some from the right (to help retain height/power ratio).
As always, S&P to taste, but just food for thought @ message alignment. I leaned toward more foreground power, putting serene more toward the bg ... your message will likely be different/opposite that @ serene/expanse/view/etc..

BTW ... diggin' your crop. The reduction in sky pulls us down, and the "less vertical" format softens things a bit, which is also harmonious with your tonal range.



Here's something you might try as an exercise to aid your pp decisions ...
(Close your eyes, pretend/re-imagine) Grab your cell phone (satellite, of course) while you are standing there to take the picture. Call your very best friend and tell him/her:

"OMG, I wish you were here to see this." And then continue to describe in words the most amazing aspect(s) of it that you want them to see.

The view is breath taking. The height is dizzying, The scale is monumental. The mist is surreal. The river goes on forever. The house is beautiful. The cliff is rugged. It is such a powerful place. Or, it is such a serene place.

As you tell your friend these things (whatever they may be) that you wish they were there with you to experience ... two things typically happen. 1) You usually (not always) start of with the most powerful emotional attribute(s), and 2) you develop a list of attributes that you want to pay attention to how you address / bring out each one in your image in a sense of priority/relationship to each other.


If you had to choose one attribute (btw, breathtaking doesn't tell me anything) which would it be? I realize that it does take your breath away ... but WHAT is it that is taking your breath away. Also, I realize the desire to "share it all" with your viewer. But, imo when you try to give equal credence to everything ... it waters down the power of the image. Lead with the strength of your intended message (what you would tell your best friend), and let the others "adorn" it to complete the "breathtaking" aspect of it.

You get to choose your words to "paint the picture" on the phone. So, it is with your pp decisions that you get to choose how to "paint the picture" with tones. But, either way you have to first know what your "picture/message" is that you want to convey ... then you pick your words & tones to share with others.

Hopefully, that makes some sense.

HTH, GL ... will be watching to see where you take it ... whatever YOUR message may be. There is MUCH GOODNESS contained here. Take your time with it and convey the message that you want to convey to your friends who couldn't be there ... and the rest of us.



P.S. Rule of thirds ... if you don't have a message, it (rules in general) can be helpful in some instances.
Imo, pretty images follow someone else' rule ...

Meanwhile, great images focus on the message being conveyed to the viewer. Then others come along and try to figure out why an image is great, constructing rules that might emulate such great imagery. However, that is largely ignoring the fact that an image is great because it conveyed the message to the viewer, not because it followed a rule.







May 28, 2013 at 01:49 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #9 · Monochrome Vista House


You might try selecting the bluff and building portion of the image and to the selection apply the USM at 16, 60, 0. That would bump the mid-tone contrast for the selected area. You could apply the USM a second time to increase the effect. I find it's usually better than bumping the contrast. Alternately or additionally, a selection with a gamma boost may do the trick. Occasionally, selecting an area and smart sharpening bumps the detail contrast enough. If you refine the selection to feather the edge you can avoid the worst of the white edge sharpening artifacts.


May 28, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #10 · Monochrome Vista House


Lee - I really like your re-work, it adds just enough contrast without losing the misty ethereal quality of the original image. My feeling is that the others re-works have added too much contrast, but that's just my opinion.

Jo



May 29, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Lee Wiren
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p.1 #11 · Monochrome Vista House


AuntiPode wrote:
You might try selecting the bluff and building portion of the image and to the selection apply the USM at 16, 60, 0. That would bump the mid-tone contrast for the selected area. You could apply the USM a second time to increase the effect. I find it's usually better than bumping the contrast. Alternately or additionally, a selection with a gamma boost may do the trick. Occasionally, selecting an area and smart sharpening bumps the detail contrast enough. If you refine the selection to feather the edge you can avoid the worst of the white edge sharpening artifacts.


Thanks Pode... I do not work in PS, only LR so don't know what you are saying with your unsharp mask numbers.... I played with it last night... the version I worked out posts darker than LR screen shows... I backed a bit in my final contrast and ordered a sample paper print in metallic with a satin finish (closest result to what will show on the actual metal print/satin finish) and we'll see how it looked.

I appreciate all of your assistance with the image and the critique - it will give me much to think about in future shots and processing. Here is the way the final image for now looks, I will see what shows up on the sample print from Bay Photo and maybe adjust as needed from there.







To be seen on www.prismaticimagery.com




May 30, 2013 at 04:19 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · Monochrome Vista House


Lee,

Much Goodness. Diggin' the crop, mass, scale, tones and lines/implied lines guiding the eye.

One thing that hasn't been addressed yet is that white/lightened edge along the left side of the cliff. Not sure if this is due to sharpening artifacts that Karen is referring, but the tonal value is just bright enough to pull us there after all the other goodness draws us elsewhere.

If you're having trouble seeing it, reduce your screen/image size and it becomes a bit more readily apparent. I realize that you're printing large and this may seem counter to "what will be seen" ... but it can help you identify your tonal transitions ... "squint test" reveals it also.







May 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #13 · Monochrome Vista House


I confess that I have a copy of Lightroom installed on my MAC, but I've never actually used it. Using the unsharp mask to modify mid-tone contrast is one of the Photoshop methods I use frequently:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2007/08/how-to-improve-.html

http://masteringphoto.com/the-fine-art-of-digital-printing-using-unsharp-masking-to-improve-texture-and-tonality-in-your-prints/



May 30, 2013 at 09:25 PM





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