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Thread: Query : Landscape Photography

  1. #1

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    Query : Landscape Photography

    Hello Forum,

    My lens can go up to F22 but I have heard that it is not necessary to narrow the aperture so much for landscape photography ; it can in turn make the shot softer in look.

    Is it true and what is the ideal aperture value for landscape photography ?

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    f8 & f11

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Too small of an aperture opening and you'll introduce diffraction issues. If you have the chance, do some practice shots on the same scenery and play around with your camera's aperture values. You'll find its sharpest setting to be very near the middle range of the available aperture values. If you are using a wide angle lens your depth of field is longer (or should I say deeper) compared to the normal and telephoto ones so even at f/8 or f/11 you can still get sharp images. If you really want more keepers (very good and sharp images) do whatever it takes to prevent camera shake like using a tripod, mirror lock up, remote shutter release, delayed timer, etc... Hope this helps, Kaushik.

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    It surely help Willie. I will take some shots of the same landscape at F8 to F16.

    One thing that is burning in my mind from sometime and I thought to share with you and seek your views.

    I am trying to learn photography, all sharp pictures , blur background etc . But it looks to me that most of the things can be possible in Photoshop. I can take a shot with point and shot camera and then do the post processing in Photoshop to achieve similar effect . So, where actual photographic skills has advantage over Photoshop ?

  5. #5
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kaushikalex5 View Post
    It surely help Willie. I will take some shots of the same landscape at F8 to F16.

    One thing that is burning in my mind from sometime and I thought to share with you and seek your views.

    I am trying to learn photography, all sharp pictures , blur background etc . But it looks to me that most of the things can be possible in Photoshop. I can take a shot with point and shot camera and then do the post processing in Photoshop to achieve similar effect . So, where actual photographic skills has advantage over Photoshop ?
    A tricky question but really an essential one.

    Let's take your statement as an example.
    I am trying to learn photography, all sharp pictures , blur background etc . But it looks to me that most of the things can be possible in Photoshop.
    Let's say you took the shot and the image turned out blurred though it was not your definite intention to do so. The question is "Can you bring back the necessary part of the image to make it really sharp on the areas that needs to be using Photoshop?" My answer would be a definite no. However, you can do the reverse on the post processing - you can blur the image if the original state of the shot is sharp.

    Second statement:
    I can take a shot with point and shot camera and then do the post processing in Photoshop to achieve similar effect .
    I thought the same thing before when I own a Sony P&S digital camera. It's a 7 megapixel camera with zoom. I take lots of pictures with it and am happy with the results. However, I noticed that most of my people shots does not seem to have that edge or impact when I compare it to some images taken by good photographers. The thing that is lacking is the "decisive moment" or the story behind the images. What I did learn is that my Sony P&S camera has too much of a time lag (the time difference between the time you press the shutter release button and the time the camera actually takes the shot) causing my shots to miss the moments that I was actually trying to capture. Fast forward to the present day that I was able to own a used Nikon D70. This camera almost has no time lag so I can concentrate more on the shot before I press the shutter button. Did it make a difference? Yes, I get more keepers. Did it help me realize my vision and transfer it to the image that I am taking? - Definitely. My point is - "You can't make a guy look naturally happy using Photoshop if you missed the moment."

    The ART in photography for me is when you and your camera has no boundary anymore and works as one. When the moment is right in front of you, you don't have the time to think "What's my aperture opening?" or "Will my shutter speed be enough to prevent blur?" or "Do I have to use fill flash or raise up my ISO to go for a more realistic mood here?" IF YOU THINK before you take the shot YOU WILL LOSE THE MOMENT and you can only prevent this to happen if you have honed your photographic skills by practicing a lot. There are no shortcuts to skills, Kaushik whether we talk about photography or other matters. It takes time and effort to become skilled on something, even in Photoshop.

    My suggestion is - invest on a decent DSLR (it does not matter whether it is brand new or used) and start understanding the triune elements of photography, namely ISO - SHUTTER SPEED - and APERTURE. Practice composition, color harmony, leading lines, juxtaposition, primary and secondary subject interaction, creative use of depth of field and blurring. Once you have done this, you would surely notice that you're taking less time manipulating your images to come exactly to your vision in Photoshop and more time shooting more worthy images.

    Hope my thoughts makes sense to you. Kind regards.

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kaushikalex5 View Post
    It surely help Willie. I will take some shots of the same landscape at F8 to F16.

    One thing that is burning in my mind from sometime and I thought to share with you and seek your views.

    I am trying to learn photography, all sharp pictures , blur background etc . But it looks to me that most of the things can be possible in Photoshop. I can take a shot with point and shot camera and then do the post processing in Photoshop to achieve similar effect . So, where actual photographic skills has advantage over Photoshop ?
    I think the best images come from good technique with your camera combined with good PP.

  7. #7

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Very thoughtful view Willie. I am all set with what DSLR can do and Photoshop can't.

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    I think that getting the image right in the camera is most important. Don't rely on correcting your 'errors' in Photoshop, get it right first time! With slide film, you HAD to get it right in the camera, you had around 1/2 stop to play with and no 'post production' was available in those days. I started off in the early '50s with B&W and learned processing in a darkroom but if film is badly overexposed there is nothing you can do to recover it and it's the same with digital.

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Too small of an aperture opening and you'll introduce diffraction issues.
    In theory yes, but in reality it's really just not a significant issue in my opinion. The effect of any diffraction is essentially "sampled out" when an image is down-sampled for online display, and in reality, a good sharpening workflow will have a far greater impact on the final appearance of the image. My suggestion is to simply "use whatever aperture one needs to" - if that's F11 so be it - if it's F32 so be it.

    @ Kaushik: Keep in mind that the wider the aperture (lower F-Stop number) the shorter the amount of time the shutter is open - and that in turn has a far bigger effect on such things as intentional cloud motion and smoothing of water.

    How different would this shot have looked at F8 instead of F16? Water wouldn't have been anywhere nearly as smooth, and there would only have been 1/4 the motion of the clouds.

    Query : Landscape Photography

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    How different would this shot have looked at F8 instead of F16? Water wouldn't have been anywhere nearly as smooth, and there would only have been 1/4 the motion of the clouds.

    Query : Landscape Photography
    With ND filters? Not much different.

    I personally barely go beyond f/16 but that's just me.

    The aperture size would indeed be negligible if your processing for online display but its quite a different matter when you print anywhere between 12" x 18" to 20" x 30". You can process your way out of that spot but it would add a lot of time into your workflow, making thing a bit more tedious. Almost takes the fun out of it.


    cheers

  11. #11

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Thanks for sharing the information Colin

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    Regarding Post processing

    Here are my views on PP...

    First - it is absolutely necessary to post process in order to to get the ultimate image. Judicious sharpening is just part of the workflow in digital imaging. Without it, the DSLR images just don't look good. You can introduce sharpening when you shoot, especially when shooting in JPEG but, IMO the best choice is post processing sharpening usually in two phases - the aquisition (or preliminary sharpening) and then the final sharpening which will be diferent depending on your final product. Colin has been very generous in providing tutoring in sharpening techniques.

    Cropping, contrast control and color balancing are just some of the techniques that are used to enhance images.

    Second - "ENHANCE" is the operative term! I frankly think that, although you can do all sorts of magic in post processing with a fully capable image processing program... You are best off if you can obtain the very best image possible in the camera and use your post processing to tweak those images. Photoshop type programs are great but the cannot make up for all the mistakes made by a photographer.

    On the other hand, you can sometimes have fun with images and produce very decent imagery from mundane originals. I did not like this image of a Turkoman Dancer in Beijing's Temple of Heavenly Peace Garden because the background was too busy. I had to shoot from too close (because of the crowd surrounding the dancer) to use a longer focal length. Shooting with a shorter focal length did not allow me to blur the background (which was very busy and quite close to the dancer). Cutting out the dancer's image and overlaying it on an image of the actual temple provides a nicer (IMO) image. I am sure that someone with better Photoshop techniques could have done a better job than I did.

    Query : Landscape Photography

  13. #13

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    Re: Query : Landscape Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by knifebox View Post
    With ND filters? Not much different.
    An ND Filter was used with it - around 8 stops (the max of the Vari-ND) (it was a 4 minute exposure) - hence the reason I couldn't use less than F16.

    The aperture size would indeed be negligible if your processing for online display but its quite a different matter when you print anywhere between 12" x 18" to 20" x 30". You can process your way out of that spot but it would add a lot of time into your workflow, making thing a bit more tedious. Almost takes the fun out of it.
    I print 22" x 33" and 22" x 44" all the time, and it still doesn't make any difference, nor does it add any additional steps to the PP workflow (it's basically corrected to an acceptable level at the capture sharpening stage). The diffraction is really no worse than a "double-strength anti-aliasing filter". In my opinion many worry about it far too much; poor sharpening & low-quality optics introduce far more of a degradation.

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