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Thread: Project 52 by Geoff F

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    Project 52 by Geoff F

    I am intending to use this as something of a photographic diary to record one image a week concerning what has happened to me or what has occurred in the area where I live during the previous week.

    Week 1

    I'm starting with a slight cheat as I photographed this last week but I've been experimenting with different edits and probably haven't finished yet.

    Project 52 by Geoff F

    An ex fishing boat, Frances, moors alongside the local landing stage and is decorated with lights for the Christmas/New Year celebrations

    This was a real struggle because there simply wasn't an ideal exposure to be had. I wanted a bit of movement in the flags but that also meant movement of the boat. And the light was a compromise because I wanted to show something of the boat hull, in shadow, under the lights.

    Took over a hundred shots with a variety of settings and quickly deleted 90. Finally ended up with 4 that just about work. But it has taken quite a bit of experimentation in editing. Rather noisy in the dark areas which got worse as I increased the brightness.

    Shot Raw, Canon 7D and 24-105 L lens, tripod with cable release and mirror lock up. Av, 1/6 sec, F5, ISO 1250.

    Also shot some at ISO 2000 but these were noticeably more noisy.

    Edited with several Curves Adjustment layers including adjusting Luminosity and Colour on separate layers, and a few masks to give selective adjustment.

    Hopefully, this will be one of the more difficult subjects of the year.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 4th January 2012 at 06:27 PM. Reason: photo changed

  2. #2
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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Nice image, you have the illusion of movement with the reflected light on the water, I would forget about the sails as they will probably not even get a notice.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Well it might have been a lot of work Geoff but it looks like you accomplished what you were aiming for. It looks great to me

    I like the idea for your project and if you stick with it you will have a very interesting photo record of 2012 to browse through at this time next year.

    Wendy

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Thanks for the comments.

    And yet another edit, so I've changed the photo.

    I just realised that when I created the second Smart Object from Raw conversion I hadn't increased the noise reduction setting when I brightened the scene, in order to produce the boat hull area, plus a few other items.

    This has now reduced the noise a bit in shadow areas. I also added a better flag on the stern and changed a couple of the lights.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    As others have said - a very fine image. I think you've got this right as far as exposure is concerned. The wheelhouse and the hull of the boat are very well lit.

    As you suggest - this might be one of the more demanding challenges of your photographic year. Wonderful idea for the project, Geoff.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    This is one fine image Geoff and well worth the effort. As I look at it, I could almost swear that it is bobbing up and down with the waves, but that must just be an illusion you've created.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    This is one fine image Geoff and well worth the effort. As I look at it, I could almost swear that it is bobbing up and down with the waves, but that must just be an illusion you've created.
    It was bobbing up and down which was part of the problem with such a slow shutter speed.

    Another problem was that I was too square with the scene, fenced in by quayside obstructions, so the reflected water was at right angles to everything.

    With this edit, I copied and pasted the reflection then gave it a skew which 'alters' the angle of the boat and gives a bit of apparent movement.

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Like everyone has said, you've managed to take a really good photo and overcome a lot of the challenges you've mentioned.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Thanks for the comments - so now:

    Week 2

    Another week of mostly dull weather, but during a one hour break of hazy sunshine I went out in my dinghy to photograph a couple of the little scallop fishery boats.

    Project 52 by Geoff F

    Initially there was just sufficient light to enable 1/640 at F11 and ISO 400. But after one series of shots of them hauling their dredges it became too dull for sensible settings so I deferred this task until a better day.

    Also, part of my problems that day was caused by me selecting idiot mode on my brain! On arrival at the scene, boats were starting to haul so I quickly picked up my camera and started shooting a burst of absolutely stunning shots in decent conditions. But when I had a review on my screen I thought the focus was a bit soft; then realised I had the lens switched to manual focus from the previous day while I was now trying to shoot with auto focus.

    So by the time I got a second chance to catch them hauling the light was starting to get a little hazy.

    ps. This is a restricted scallop fishery within the harbour for a few small craft which hand haul their dredges. Something I also did at one time - when I was a little younger!

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Very nice images. I like the first one more. The PP is great.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    This image tells a great story, Geoff! At this size I don't see any obvious focusing issues and you are getting great reflections off the dredges.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Great image.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    This image tells a great story, Geoff! At this size I don't see any obvious focusing issues and you are getting great reflections off the dredges.
    By the time I shot this one, I had realised my error; but the failing light meant this was one of the last opportunities of that day.

    I also had a shot of another boat with water running from the dredge as they lifted it aboard. Maybe later, I will post it elsewhere together with the one which was slightly soft. Not a total disaster but not quite as sharp as it should have been.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Also, part of my problems that day was caused by me selecting idiot mode on my brain! On arrival at the scene, boats were starting to haul so I quickly picked up my camera and started shooting a burst of absolutely stunning shots in decent conditions. But when I had a review on my screen I thought the focus was a bit soft; then realised I had the lens switched to manual focus from the previous day while I was now trying to shoot with auto focus.
    I hate when I do that! Which is more often than I would care to admit. Nice capture despite lousy lighting conditions.

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    The manual focus was a good lesson learned on this trip then. My personal nemesis it the focus switch on a D300. Just how I hold the camera sometimes causes it to go into manual focus and as you found, sometimes means you lose the Pulitzer Prize shoot. Nice colour and composition on your last shot and you're right, a sunny day would have added to it.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Hi Geoff,

    I also wondered about the choice of f/11, since it has rendered a sharp background competing with the boat and crew?

    I was going to suggest f/5.6, then I looked at the EXIF data (for focal length) and that says it was f/5.6

    btw, my (all too often) failing is to leave the IS switched off

    Cheers,

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    Re: Project 52 by Geoff F

    Yes, I didn't check the exif with that shot before uploading it, Dave.

    I remembered starting off with Tv at 1/640 because of movement both with the subject and my boat; which gave me F11 at the start during better light. And at the original position I also wanted to capture some other boats working in the background.

    By the time I was able to get some more shots the light had deteriorated and there were 2 boats hauling at the same time so I was trying to photograph both while manoeuvring my own boat to keep best position. So I had stopped thinking about actual settings by then and just assumed they were the same as when I started.

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    Week 3 - Ring Around the Moon

    Wanted to get away from boats this week but the weather was still poor at the start of the week.

    However, there was full moon peeping through the clouds and at one time it developed an interesting 'ring'.

    Project 52 by Geoff F

    Canon 70-200 F4 lens at 120 mm. 1/20, F6.3, ISO 400. Tripod with shutter lock up and cable release.

    This type of shot always takes a lot of experimentation and there aren't many firm rules; just expect a lot of rejects.

    The settings do vary a bit from traditional moon photos. The most important bit is finding a situation where the amount of cloud cover is exactly correct. Then your shutter speed must be sufficient to allow for the speed of clouds.

    After that it is just a case of mixing and matching the aperture and ISO. Try to select a middle aperture setting (F6.3 - F11 range) and not too much ISO to prevent background noise.

    But variations in the amount of cloud cover, hence overall brightness, will mean these settings are quite variable.

    When these stormy moon conditions do occur it is an opportunity for anyone who is limited with their lens sizes to try a different type of moon shot.

    In the past, I have achieved better results, but this was the best shot of that particular night/week 3.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 15th January 2012 at 11:04 AM. Reason: line added

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Week 3 - Ring Around the Moon

    I like that one Geoff,

    I have tried similar 'through cloud' shots myself, but the results were awful, you have the patience and determination I lack

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F
    When these stormy moon conditions do occur it is an opportunity for anyone who is limited with their lens sizes to try a different type of moon shot.
    It certainly brings moon shots within reach of those lacking the 800mm mentioned elsewhere

    Good effort,

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    Re: Week 3 - Ring Around the Moon

    Hi Geoff. Boy you're really chomping at the bit on Project 52. I missed your fishing shot so I'd just like to comment that I think despite the problems you had I think it is a great documentary shot.
    Now you've got week 3 posted already. Your moon shot looks really good. I tried something similar during the summer, but the results were not so nice. In this one I like how you managed to wait for the cloud pattern that you wanted and were able to capture the changing tones from light to dark - sort of a natural vignette. Looks good.

    Wendy

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