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Thread: Lost on how to handle mist

  1. #1
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Lost on how to handle mist

    Day three of learning to do landscapes

    Around 6am, sea mist rolling in over the common. I didn't realise for ages that my lens was fogged up, which probably explained most of my problems. But I'd be very grateful for any clues about how to improve these shots in any way.

    Lost on how to handle mist


    Lost on how to handle mist


    Lost on how to handle mist

    In this one the sky was very pale, if not blown. Would I have to use a GND filter to avoid that?

    Lost on how to handle mist

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Seri, all of these are beautiful. The sky on the last one is blown as you say, and I'm not sure what you use for PP, but in LR there is a graduated filter that can be applied that will in some cases bring it back a bit. If it were my shot I might also try cropping to put the farthest rocks on thirds.

    Generally speaking when I am processing fog or mist shots, I lower the contrast as much as possible to emphasize the fog and then play around with the black point and brightness and shadows. When shooting overexpose as much as possible without blowing highlights, again to emphasize the fogginess. I find there are so many ways to play up a fog shot it is really a matter of personal preference and what kind of mood you are trying to achieve. I think with the third shot if you lowered the contrast and then played with the black point you might get something quite interesting.

    Also, I think all 4 of these would look great in B&W if you wanted to go in that direction.

    I hope someone with more experience will show up and give you some better suggestions, which I will also be most interested in hearing.

    Nice work
    Wendy

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I hope someone with more experience will show up and give you some better suggestions, which I will also be most interested in hearing.
    Wendy - Others may have something to add, but so far as I am concerned you have said all that needs to be said ... and said it well. And this includes your comment on the quality of Seri's images

    Seri - as well as Wendy's very sound words, I would strongly recommend Sean's tutorial that covers the subject, which I think is the best you will find.
    Last edited by Donald; 17th July 2011 at 07:41 PM.

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Hi Seri

    I can't provide any expert comment but I can provide a humble opinion. I think these shots are beautiful, particularly the first three. I love the colours of the sky and you have captured the mist sufficiently to add a sense of peace and tranquility.

    I think I would stick with colour on these however that's just a personal opinion. It would be interesting to compare colour and B&W.

    Dave

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Misty conditions can be difficult, Seri.

    Often, a misty day which looks fine to the human eye just seems poorly focused when photographed.

    Sometimes, getting part of the foreground in sharp focus can help, particularly when it is a case of mist patches in a valley or between trees etc. But general all over low visibility mist is always a problem.

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    I like these a lot especially the first three as they are full of atmosphere which I feel the last lacks a little, perhaps it is the overblown sky that is the problem there or just it is lacking in clouds. What is it that you think is a problem with these?

    What are the oblong structures in number 2?

    Andrew-Bede

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    I actually like the last one, and GND filters do work.

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Hello Wendy

    Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Seri, all of these are beautiful. The sky on the last one is blown as you say, and I'm not sure what you use for PP, but in LR there is a graduated filter that can be applied that will in some cases bring it back a bit. If it were my shot I might also try cropping to put the farthest rocks on thirds.
    I have CS5 but am teaching myself LR3 first. I tried the graduated filter, but I think I was asking too much of it as the sky looked very false. I'll try the crop on the rocks. Cropping always produced a bewilderment of choices for me, so I always appreciate advice

    Generally speaking when I am processing fog or mist shots, I lower the contrast as much as possible to emphasize the fog and then play around with the black point and brightness and shadows.
    Thanks for that advice. Exactly what I need.

    When shooting overexpose as much as possible without blowing highlights, again to emphasize the fogginess.
    I will definitely try that the next time I'm out in the mist. Fortunately we're about as lucky that way as they are in San Francisco, and the sound of foghorns always reminds me of home

    I find there are so many ways to play up a fog shot it is really a matter of personal preference and what kind of mood you are trying to achieve. I think with the third shot if you lowered the contrast and then played with the black point you might get something quite interesting.
    Will do

    Also, I think all 4 of these would look great in B&W if you wanted to go in that direction.
    I love B&W with a passion, but it's so difficult to get right. Real life has been rather insistent these last few days, but I will soon have some peace to enjoy trying out B&W versions of these.

    Thanks again for all the help, Wendy. Very much appreciated.

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Wendy - Others may have something to add, but so far as I am concerned you have said all that needs to be said ... and said it well. And this includes your comment on the quality of Seri's images

    Seri - as well as Wendy's very sound words, I would strongly recommend Sean's tutorial that covers the subject, which I think is the best you will find.
    Donald, I read that tutorial the night before, but when I was out in the mist all the advice just got all tangled up inside my head! That tutorial is fantastic, but at this stage there's so much that I don't know, and too much to fit inside my mind without overspill during the excitement of being out there with my camera. And with mist and sunrise, it's all so fleeting, so I rush and make mistakes.

    Sean's mist and night shots are beyond superb and I will eventually calm down enough to take it all in and learn from his tutorials as I should

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Hi Seri

    I can't provide any expert comment but I can provide a humble opinion. I think these shots are beautiful, particularly the first three. I love the colours of the sky and you have captured the mist sufficiently to add a sense of peace and tranquility.

    I think I would stick with colour on these however that's just a personal opinion. It would be interesting to compare colour and B&W.

    Dave
    Thank you, Dave,

    If I can do a fair job on the B&W I'll post them in a day or two.

    It was just around sunrise, and the red sun was tinting the mist in a magical way. And no one else around for miles, so it really was a scene of peace and tranquility. Best time of the day - well, between 2 and 7 in the morning. To have so much time to have the natural world to myself is something I never stop being thankful for

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Misty conditions can be difficult, Seri.
    You're so right. It just looks so good that it's worth persisting with though. I'm going to start looking at other photographers' mist shots to see how they captured that ephemeral quality without just ending up with frosted glass

    Often, a misty day which looks fine to the human eye just seems poorly focused when photographed.
    Absolutely. It was a nightmare trying to focus.

    Sometimes, getting part of the foreground in sharp focus can help, particularly when it is a case of mist patches in a valley or between trees etc. But general all over low visibility mist is always a problem.
    I can see the logic in that. The mist will look even better when contrasted against something in sharp focus. My main problem was no noticing that my lens had fogged up, so that even those things I tried to get into sharp focus came out blurred as well

    Thanks for the tip, Geoff,

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by Benedictine View Post
    I like these a lot especially the first three as they are full of atmosphere which I feel the last lacks a little, perhaps it is the overblown sky that is the problem there or just it is lacking in clouds. What is it that you think is a problem with these?
    Hello Andrew-Bede,

    I really don't know, I must admit. I just know there's something lacking so I posted them to get other opinions on them.

    Of the rock image, I think it's just that featureless sky, but basic composition in landscape art teaches that if the ground is busy the sky is best left simple, and vice versa, otherwise each competes for attention. The mist also bleached the sea quite a lot too.

    What are the oblong structures in number 2?
    They're headlands. One with a small fort on it. Very Arthurian and I'd like to capture them like that eventually on a stormy day

    Thanks for commenting,

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I actually like the last one, and GND filters do work.
    Steve, great to meet someone else who likes rocks I'm on a mission to learn how to make rock formations look good, and will be posting some from last week's cliff walks before long. They're incredibly hard to draw convincingly too, so I reckon I'm just not seeing them right yet.

    I'm going to have to buy some GND filters as the kind of shots I like to take are being ruined by overexposed skies. I did a lot of research on them, but still can't decide which are best. I'd rather wait and save up for something good instead of being impatient and getting cheap ones.

    Lee filters sound good, but finding a source has proved a bit difficult. Would you recommend those, or something else?

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    I'm not an expert on GND Seri; but Donald is

    But I find Warehouse Express to be reliable.
    http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-...r-set/p1010448

    You will have to ask Donald if Hard or Soft is best, but I use the cheaper Cokin type.

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    To be honest, 99% of the time, I find that mist shots just don't work very well. In essence, they lower the contrast ... and generally, shots that don't use a full tonal range just tend to look flat.

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Seri

    As Colin has written on here often, the less expensive filters (e.g. Cokin, which I also use) can impart a colour cast onto the image, just because the materials used are not up to the quality of such as Lee or, if you go to the very top of the tree, Singh-Ray.

    As you know, the vast majority of my work is in B&W, but even so I always want to make sure I eliminate any colour casts so that I can get a good conversion. I do that by always using a WhiBal, white balance card.

    Singh-Ray are very much top of the pile. Lee are very good quality. And Cokin to a fine job, but you need to remember to correct for any colour cast.

    As to hard or soft edge - it depends on what you're shooting. I have soft-edged as I tend to be more in inland areas where mountains and trees are cutting scross the area being graduated; i.e. I don't have a nice clean horizon line. But, in your case, you're going to do a lot on the shore, where the horizon is a straight line. That's what hard-edged hard made for.

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I'm not an expert on GND Seri; but Donald is

    But I find Warehouse Express to be reliable.
    http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-...r-set/p1010448

    You will have to ask Donald if Hard or Soft is best, but I use the cheaper Cokin type.
    Thanks a bunch, Steve. I've bookmarked them for future use

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    To be honest, 99% of the time, I find that mist shots just don't work very well. In essence, they lower the contrast ... and generally, shots that don't use a full tonal range just tend to look flat.
    That's just the kind of challenge I like

    If Sean can do what he does so brilliantly, then I can do the same..........in about twenty years' time, of course, but I'll get there in the end

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Seri

    As Colin has written on here often, the less expensive filters (e.g. Cokin, which I also use) can impart a colour cast onto the image, just because the materials used are not up to the quality of such as Lee or, if you go to the very top of the tree, Singh-Ray.

    As you know, the vast majority of my work is in B&W, but even so I always want to make sure I eliminate any colour casts so that I can get a good conversion. I do that by always using a WhiBal, white balance card.
    .
    Donald, thanks for the advice I'm very keen on exploring B&W too. Is it better to use a white balance card than to correct things later in a RAW converter?

    Singh-Ray are very much top of the pile. Lee are very good quality. And Cokin to a fine job, but you need to remember to correct for any colour cast.
    That parallels what I've read on the net. I'll wait until I can afford Singh-Ray.

    As to hard or soft edge - it depends on what you're shooting. I have soft-edged as I tend to be more in inland areas where mountains and trees are cutting scross the area being graduated; i.e. I don't have a nice clean horizon line. But, in your case, you're going to do a lot on the shore, where the horizon is a straight line. That's what hard-edged hard made for
    There's such a varied range of landscape around here that I'll probably be best off getting the most widely-used Singh-Ray filters in both hard and soft-edged forms to start off with.

    Thanks again for the help

    Seri

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    Re: Lost on how to handle mist

    Quote Originally Posted by Seriche View Post
    Donald, thanks for the advice I'm very keen on exploring B&W too. Is it better to use a white balance card than to correct things later in a RAW converter?
    In order to accurately correct later on, you need a white balance card. But the fact is that unless you use wrong settings (i.e. set the camera to Tungsten, or one of those other things, and then shoot in sunny daylight), the camera is going to make a pretty good job of getting it right.

    But if you want to take the extra step in terms of correcting for white balance (and I think it's recommended if you go down the road of, say, Cokin filters) the thing to do is:

    • Once on location, take a photograph with the white balance card very clearly in the frame. And then shoot your images. But of the light changes to any significant degree, take another shot with the card in the frame.
    • Once back at the computer and you have all the images uploaded, go to the one with the card in the frame. Use the white balance eye-dropper tool (I think most RAW converters use the eye dropper as the icon for this tool) and click it on the card. The white balance will automatically adjust (if any adjustment is needed) and give you an accurate white balance.
    • Now (and different RAW converters work differently in term of carrying out this task), apply that setting to all the other images shot in that session. The 'correct' white balance will be applied. The easiest RAW converter I've found for batch balancing a set of images, is Canons own Digital Professional Processing software.

    As I say above, this is a step too far in 'fiddliness' for many people, who go with what the camera tells them, or make adjustments in post-processing by eye. The other thing to remember as well, is that sometimes for creative effect (for example, a portrait in candle light) you don't actually want the 'correct' white balance.

    That parallels what I've read on the net. I'll wait until I can afford Singh-Ray.
    They are eye-wateringly expensive. I've often wondered about stretching myself up to Lee, but Singh Ray will forever, I think, remain way out of my price bracket.

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