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Archive 2013 · Mistwraiths
  
 
Lee Wiren
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Mistwraiths


This shot was one that I thought was mildly fun but would be boo'd out of the forum or extremely ignored... it seems to me that I am having better responses with this shot than my other; "Sparks Lake Pano"

I have been playing around with it and keep coming around to the same/similar processing... what if anything would you do different, or is it good the way it is?









Jul 08, 2013 at 03:55 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Mistwraiths


Perhaps a different aspect ratio, a gamma boost to darken the mood, a hint more vignette and cleaning up the too bright bits around the trees?







Jul 08, 2013 at 05:14 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Mistwraiths


I like this image a lot and there is little that I would want to see changed. I prefer the original aspect ratio.

I do agree that the white spots around the trees are distracting and have the look of processing artifacts.



Jul 08, 2013 at 11:05 AM
jeremy raffer
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Mistwraiths


I like it too just wish it wasn't so hot over the mountain



Jul 08, 2013 at 12:03 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Mistwraiths


+1 @ white spots @ trees and hot above mountain.

Think about your lighting for the day. Was it a clear blue sky, direct sunlight or grey overcast that was illuminating above/behind your clouds? As is, you've got your sky set to around 245 (which is pretty bright). I'm thinking that the atmospheric conditions that are present for this kind of scene to exist likely don't include such a bright sky as you currently have.

Natural light can be incredibly variable, so we can get away with just about anything ... as long as it is congruous and plausible. Who else was actually there to say differently? When I look at images (mine or others) for processing, I try to make sure I understand the quality (specular/diffuse), color (warm/cool), quantity (dark/light) and direction of the light source(s). Then I think, well if a soft, warm, bright light was placed "here" (emulating atmospheric conditions), my shadows/falloff/tonal values/etc. ... what would they be.

This can serve either as a purpose to enhance what the camera didn't deliver sooc, or as a "cross-check" to my creative play with an image. While creative play can be @ artistic liberty unlimited, I tend to believe that the more that liberty aligns with the plausibility of lighting, the more credibility it gives our image making.

I'm not saying it has to be a mere recording of "as seen", but that when/if we begin making changes, we should be careful to watch for the "tells". In this case the white spots behind the trees and the hot spot get compared to how we may have seen this in person ... and our minds can't resolve how you'd get both of those components in the scene under natural conditions. In this regard, it becomes incongruous to the viewer.

The smaller, forward most, bright face of snow on the mountain suggest an orientation that the source of illumination is above and to the right. As such, the trees aren't likely tot be backlit such that we see bright spots through the branches and the mountain be backlit with rim lighting simultaneously.

Note also, how your reflections don't reveal the same bright spots @ the trees. And why would the reflections of the trees be brighter than the trees themselves.

Nice scene and I'm diggin' the vibe of it, so don't think I'm being overly harsh/critical. I offer it up as being semi-educational. BTW, you're in very good company in two regards. I took my daughter to an Ansel Adams exhibit and we spent the day looking for his "tells". It took dad about three images and she began to see the tells also. Of course, that doesn't change the greatness of his images, particularly when we recognize that Ansel didn't have an "undo" button or opacity layers to work with.

AA was a technician to be certain ... but, in being a technician, many will present that his talent was in his ability to present the atmospheric conditions in a way that you "felt" them. This of course first required a study and understanding of them. Something like the bright spots behind the trees in a real time darkroom print would be something that is very understandable ... but, in today's "undo" button world, the "criticality" bar gets moved a bit. I figure if AA could spend the years advancing his critical perspectives as a technician to bring us his vision, we can too.

Not likely that any of us will ever supplant Adams place in history, but the two main things I took away from repeatedly studying his prints were the concept of understanding @ maximizing atmospheric conditions and minimizing tells with congruity. Certainly there is more to Adams work than these two things ... but, they are a couple of nuggets that I try to carry with me.

As to changes, I'd reverse the tonal values of the trees and their reflection so the reflection is darker and the trees are slightly lighter. Also, I'd decide if I want to present my lighting as backlit or oblique lit and then make a tonal value change(s) to either the sky behind the mountain or the brightest snow face to resolve them. It might help to review the ooc first though, so you can see what the lighting actually was before you make that decision.

Artistic and creative liberty rules all @ subjective preferences. So if you like it a given way, or that's what you want to present to your viewers, go for it however you want as either an artisan or technician ... Adams did both.

BTW, curious @ ooc and colors (which can help tell about time of day/atmospheric).









Jul 08, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Lee Wiren
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Mistwraiths


RustyBug wrote:
Think about your lighting for the day. Was it a clear blue sky, direct sunlight or grey overcast that was illuminating above/behind your clouds? As is, you've got your sky set to around 245 (which is pretty bright). I'm thinking that the atmospheric conditions that are present for this kind of scene to exist likely don't include such a bright sky as you currently have.


Rusty, the lighting was the rising sun... on the horizon and of course to the right of the frame....

RustyBug wrote:
Natural light can be incredibly variable, so we can get away with just about anything ... as long as it is congruous and plausible. Who else was actually there to say differently? When I look at images (mine or others) for processing, I try to make sure I understand the quality (specular/diffuse), color (warm/cool), quantity (dark/light) and direction of the light source(s). Then I think, well if a soft, warm, bright light was placed "here" (emulating atmospheric conditions), my shadows/falloff/tonal values/etc. ... what would they be.


Got it.... "keep it simple stupid"... point taken, thank you for the reminder.

RustyBug wrote:
Nice scene and I'm diggin' the vibe of it, so don't think I'm being overly harsh/critical.


I appreciate your view and the way you are expressing it... no offense being taken - I appreciate your time and opinion.

RustyBug wrote:
BTW, you're in very good company in two regards. I took my daughter to an Ansel Adams exhibit and we spent the day looking for his "tells".


What? Thanks... but in no way would I ever compare myself to AA.... but you make a good point about tells... I will have to go back through his images and look at them again... been a few years since i've done that.


RustyBug wrote:
BTW, curious @ ooc and colors (which can help tell about time of day/atmospheric).



Ok... here is SOOC...... and then the latest, simplistic adjusted shot with minimal processing.....Thank you everybody for your time and Rusty for your welcome critique.





straight out of camera






latest processing




Jul 08, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Mistwraiths


Wow, now I am really conflicted. I like the touch of pink and the original SOOC.


Jul 08, 2013 at 02:42 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Mistwraiths


I'm kinda diggin' the color.

See how the warm light on the snow faces shows us the time of day and direction of the sunlight vs. the skylight. I got fooled a bit in the mono version. The sun looks to be oblique and low, which now better explains why were are seeing things as we were. And the soft blue sky illuminating everything else sets a mood of tranquility.

Now that you know where your direct sunlight was vs. your skylight, you might go back and raise your tonal values on those two snow faces, so they are brighter than your sky behind the mountain to show us the sunlight reflecting off the snow. I can also better understand now why your trees are darker than their reflections @ lake = skylight/no sunlight vs. tree = no skylight/no sunlight vs. snow face = sunlight/little skylight.

I can see now that this was probably one of those (as so many are) that was more wonderful in person than we can readily capture in camera ... so we do some "painting" to try and better share the experience with our viewers. It might take some deft/judicious processing, but that color version may have more goodness in it than you can squeeze out of the mono. Either way, can render much goodness, but I'm really diggin' the low oblique light catching the tips/faces ... special stuff, imo.

Edited on Jul 08, 2013 at 02:52 PM · View previous versions



Jul 08, 2013 at 02:43 PM
 

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Camperjim
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Mistwraiths


I like the soft, misty feel. I decided to try a harsher version with more contrast just to see the comparison.







Jul 08, 2013 at 02:49 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Mistwraiths


Nice contrast switch on the rework Jim, with tones overriding detail, i.e. different vibe. I looked at that too when I was tweaking on a mask. Lots of ways you can go with this one ... much goodness @ capture.

Adams reworked his captures many times over the years as his technical skills and alternative/exploratory techniques advanced to where he could refine his vision to invoke his experience of being there unto us via the image. That, and with subsequent revisions he would learn more about the interplay of elements, which often times sent him back for another rework. We have it so much easier than he did, but the process of revision and refinement remains as crucial to great work today as it was for Adams.

One moment in time ... multiple ways to present it, much to be learned from it.

One thing I'd like to point out here ... Lee ... you've got a good eye and make some really nice captures from seeing the few that you've shared with us. DO NOT let them get away from you if you are ever feeling like they aren't worth saving just because you didn't get them where you wanted them. Your ability to envision the shot and get it is in you ...

Often times, AA had much time pass (i.e. months/years/decades) between capture and the processing of final versions as he revised and reworked and learned ever more about processing techniques and presentation. We live in a world today of "quick" processing and too many things get abandoned because we don't readily or easily achieve our goals (shame on us). I think this is where AA was kinda referring to when he said that twelve a year was a good crop. You have some good seed and they warrant tending to with care to produce a good crop as they mature.

Suffice to say ... I've quickly become a fan of your vision. When your understanding, command & control of processing catches up with your vision @ capture ... even more goodness.


Edited on Jul 08, 2013 at 05:23 PM · View previous versions



Jul 08, 2013 at 03:04 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Mistwraiths


Lee Wiren wrote:
What? Thanks... but in no way would I ever compare myself to AA.... but you make a good point about tells... I will have to go back through his images and look at them again... been a few years since i've done that.



+1 @ not comparing you, me or anyone to AA, that would be sacrilege.

I just meant that I have applied the same critical analysis to AA's work, and I've shared that analysis with my daughter (i.e. good company X 2). BUT, he was a man who had a learning curve and was a relentless, perpetual student of observation. In that regard, we can be just like him ... if we want to be.

Also, AA produced images with "imperfections", but even while he had them, the greatness of his images overpowered them. When we have imperfections that steal from the power of our imagery, we owe it to ourselves to don our student hat and learn how we can better minimize those imperfections, incongruities and/or strengthen the power of our image.

Once I realized these things ... I've come to think that AA was but a photographer like so many of us (more sacrilege, I know), but one with a relentless tenacity and passion that was not to be denied. Meanwhile in the digital age, so many of us (the masses) today give up when things start to get too challenging or too critical and we don't get high praise for our "pretty pics" sooc (not talking about you).

Imo, far too many folks get discouraged too easily when they have such goodness that deserves revision, refinement, rework, study, revision, refinement, rework ... rinse & repeat to bring it to its full wondrous potential. OTOH, there are far too many folks who think they have something worthy of such when they really don't (self included). That and the zillions of people that toss creative processing on top of mediocrity that is akin to painting over rust ... and for some reason, people like it.

Anyway, comparative philosophy aside, I think you've got a good eye ... and I wanted to share my opinion of that with you in case you thought I was being overly critical.




Jul 08, 2013 at 03:38 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Mistwraiths


I like the B & W version, but the color version has excellent potential and many possible color interpretations!







Jul 08, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Lee Wiren
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Mistwraiths


I had started out with the b/w version as I didn't much feel there was any use trying to over process for color.... but I do like the lick of red on the mountain.... I appreciate everybody's generous critique and interest in this shot... I must admit, I am still surprised that this shot is more popular than the pano....

Here is the latest rework... trying to keep mostly to a muted b/w with highlight of the red on the mountain that reflects in the water as well..... added contrast and another mask on the top half via LR Grad Filter...

I hope this one conveys my opinion of the best between b/w and color while keeping to the mysteriousness that I first saw when taking the shot.... Thanks again for all the wonderful critique, suggestions and help.

Cheers - Lee




Sparks Lake and South Sister




Jul 10, 2013 at 07:18 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Mistwraiths


Subtile color is good!


Jul 10, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Mistwraiths


Your final rework is my favorite! The color version is best to me, only nit is there are still some bright spots behind the trees that shouldnt be there. I did initially like the original BW version, but Kent and Camperjim's reworks have a little more pop (for lack of a better word).

Jo



Jul 19, 2013 at 07:40 PM





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