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Thread: Leaf

  1. #1
    cthermans's Avatar
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    Leaf

    This is a picture that I took in May 2011. It was a lonely leaf left over from fall and I loved its colour. It is cropped. The question is the picture better cropped or not? Any comments are welcome

    Leaf

    This next picture is without cropping
    Leaf
    Nikon D5000, F 5.6, Shutter 1/400

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Leaf

    Cheri

    It's a nice leaf study, but there are several problems here.

    I would try to get your composition right in camera. Your D5000 has 12 MP but serious cropping on some images will lead to fall-off in image quality. Had I shot this with my camera (21MP) I could have done the same crop, but still be left with a 12MP image.

    Your lens has a max aperture of f/4. I would have tried using it at that setting to get the background more blurred.

    The histogram for the shot shows serious under-exposure. On a shot such as this where there are not many extremes of contrast you should have a more balanced exposure.

    Leaf

    I did a quick edit to increase the exposure using Photoshop levels, and I did the crop slightly more aggressively.

    Leaf

  3. #3
    cthermans's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf

    Thank you for your comments. I am going to make use of my histogram in the camera before I take a picture to get more balance. So what I am looking for is more balance in my histogram, more evenly spread in the histogram. Today I am going to go out and work with getting my pictures more balanced.

  4. #4
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    Re: Leaf

    Hi Cheri,

    The crop was better for sure. I even cropped it some more, to lose some more of the death space at the top.

    What do you think of my version:

    Leaf

    I did some contrast adaptions with a curves adjustment layer and some appropriate sharpening, but the most effective adjustment is a black and white layer with blending mode set to luminosity (Thanks to Willy/Jiro for this technique).

  5. #5

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    Re: Leaf

    When I first saw this image, my thoughts were the same as Rob's crop. I would have done exactly the same.

  6. #6
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Leaf

    Cheri, if you may allow me, this is how I would probably crop and process the image based on the uncropped version:

    Leaf

  7. #7
    rob marshall

    Re: Leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by cthermans View Post
    Thank you for your comments. I am going to make use of my histogram in the camera before I take a picture to get more balance. So what I am looking for is more balance in my histogram, more evenly spread in the histogram. Today I am going to go out and work with getting my pictures more balanced.
    You should not assume that all shots should have a good clean, 'pyramid shaped' histogram. It also depends upon the type of effect you are looking for, the overall lighting, the type of shot it is, and many other things. The histogram is very useful, but you have to look at it and think about the type of shot you have taken, and what effect you are looking for. After all, you wouuldn't expect a high-key shot, or one with lot's of white in to have an histogram anything other than this...

    Leaf

    A shot that looks to have a fairly even balance of contrast across a range, and with not too many extremes, you would expect to look like this...

    Leaf

    But where you are going for something more extreme, you wouldn't expect that nice pyramid shape. Instead you would expect spikes at specific ends of the range, and less in the centre. Those few white spikes on the right of the histogram are the 'vue' sign, and the bit of white building on the right. The dark spikes are the black slab of the building above the sign. But that is what I wanted.

    Leaf

  8. #8
    cthermans's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf

    I do like the changes that JK6065 has made and the changes actually are what I was looking for in the original picture. The leaf looks great and I like the rich tones.

    For sure I will be trying the black and white layer with blending mode set to luminosity. All of your comments are great and will help me improve my photo taking and post processing.

    Some comments that I have received from family and friends are that I should not have to do any post processing. This forum is great and I am learning lots from everyone's photos and from the tutorials regarding taking photos and post processing. Thanks to everyone!

  9. #9
    cthermans's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf

    Thank you Rob for the explanation on histograms and for the examples provided. Very easy to understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    You should not assume that all shots should have a good clean, 'pyramid shaped' histogram. It also depends upon the type of effect you are looking for, the overall lighting, the type of shot it is, and many other things. The histogram is very useful, but you have to look at it and think about the type of shot you have taken, and what effect you are looking for. After all, you wouuldn't expect a high-key shot, or one with lot's of white in to have an histogram anything other than this...

    Leaf

    A shot that looks to have a fairly even balance of contrast across a range, and with not too many extremes, you would expect to look like this...

    Leaf


    But where you are going for something more extreme, you wouldn't expect that nice pyramid shape. Instead you would expect spikes at specific ends of the range, and less in the centre. Those few white spikes on the right of the histogram are the 'vue' sign, and the bit of white building on the right. The dark spikes are the black slab of the building above the sign. But that is what I wanted.

    Leaf

  10. #10
    rob marshall

    Re: Leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by cthermans View Post
    Some comments that I have received from family and friends are that I should not have to do any post processing
    Cheri

    Well, let's see their shots.

  11. #11
    cthermans's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf

    good point from now on I am not going to avoid post processing but will try not to over process.

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by cthermans View Post
    Some comments that I have received from family and friends are that I should not have to do any post processing. This forum is great and I am learning lots from everyone's photos and from the tutorials regarding taking photos and post processing.
    Hmmm, I suspect these are people that have a point and shoot and just don't have any experience beyond the in camera jpg.

    That's a great post above for demoing pics and histos, Rob - thanks.

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