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Thread: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

  1. #1
    CeeCee's Avatar
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    Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    I tried every setting on my camera (M,A,P,Auto,Landscape,Sunset) and they all came out similar to this. What is the secret to a great sunset photo out in the woods? I shoot in NEF and I have not touched this photo yet. I have Adobe Element 10 and also Lightroom 2. Do I need a filter?
    Landscape, shooting into the sunset

  2. #2

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    Jack R Mann

    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    I WOULD HAVE used a split nd filter 2to3stops that would let you bring out foreground and blend with sunset. i am just an amateur, i think you did the best you could without filters, keep trying comp looks good to me just need some tlc.

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    waha's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Yes, I am sure that a neutral density filter would have been helpful here. And I wonder what would happen to a shot like this if it were taken in HDR? I have very little experience with this so far, but it seems to me that HDR is meant bring out shadow detail. Maybe some wiser heads can jump in here.

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Cheryl,certainly a GND would have been my first choice here, however there would have been some merit to doing an HDR provided you could get the shots without the clouds or trees moving. Below I have used an HDR program to give you an idea. I try to be rather light handed with the proscess as to not make it unreal. It would have been much better working with 3 or more to merge and full size.

    Landscape, shooting into the sunset
    Last edited by jeeperman; 19th February 2012 at 06:16 AM.

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Cheryl
    These types of shots do offer a large dynamic range that the camera cannot capture in one image. The filter would have helped. One thing I have learned shooting with filters, is practice, practice and more practice. Plus less images are taken with the work setting up the shot (not necessarily a bad thing).
    Like you, I am learning how to make these work and hope to one day be able to make a good image exposure wise. I really like the reflection that Paul was able to bring out in his rendition.

  6. #6
    CeeCee's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    We are all on the same page I see. I thought of a split filter (but I only have a circular GNDF). I could kick myself for not Bracketing to bring back and see what HDR would have provided especially since there was not a speck of wind to be found. I did tweak it in Lightroom and this is what I got. I did the graduated filter from the top going down to bring out the sky and the graduated filter from bottom going up to bring light thru the trees, gave it a little enhancement of color. Not too bad but I will have to go back. I guess I will need to get a split filter. I too am an amateur.
    Landscape, shooting into the sunset

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    One other option, Cheryl, that I often use for problem shots like this where subject movement prevents true HDR, involves shooting for the highlights then attempting to recover something from the shadows during editing.

    Shooting Raw helps. Make two Raw conversions, one for the highlights and one for the shadows. Stack them as layers and use a mask to combine the best bits from each layer.

    The exact method depends on your software.

    Not true HDR but it often works sufficiently well to overcome basic problems.

  8. #8

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Cheryl, in the Lightroom Develop module at the top right below the histogram is a panel with crop, spot removal, red eye correction, graduated filter; you have the Graduated Filter available that can be used to lighten up the foreground in your image; the graduated filter can be swiveled to both "lighten" or "darken" the field under its influence; with the filter applied you can adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, etc; i use the graduated filter quite frequently when i have a marked difference like this when even using a graduated ND filter doesn't completely balance the near ground / sky. you can also modify the background color by tinting it from a color pallete. Here i used the graduated filter to apply a blue tint to the sky behind the spiny orb weaver spider. In the lightroom help menu look up the instructions for using the grauated filter function if you are new to this feature
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st February 2012 at 09:07 PM.

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Cheryl , here's an idea of what can be done using the Graduated Filter in the lightroom develop module; you might have to use several applications of it to achieve the exact foreground / sky balance you like; it can be used at any angle othe than straight horizontal or vertical
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st February 2012 at 09:07 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    I took your image & modified it using the Lightroom Graduated filter in the Develop module, but for some reason i cannot access it from " My Pictures" on my pc's hdd to post
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st February 2012 at 09:08 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Cheryl, i have problems like this also with the dark foreground versus the brighter sky; if you don't have a graduated ND filter to use you can try exposure bracketing for 3 images that can later be combined in PP; you could also try using "spot" or "center weighted" metering on the foreground, then alter the exposure compensation several increments to attempt some balance between the "extremes"; some situations aren't easily captured after you exhaust all the "adjustable" camera settings, i.e. aperature, shutter speed, iso.

  12. #12

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    Graham Heron

    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    If you are shooting RAW, try using the fill light slider in the ACR in Elements. It's amazing just how much detail you can pull out. You can, of course, double process. once for the dark sections and once for the lighter sections. Layer them in the main Elements Editing section and use layer mask to selectively reveal the bits you want.

    Of course, there is no substitute for getting in camera as close as possible, but that moment has passed.

    Graham

  13. #13

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    Re: Landscape, shooting into the sunset

    Cheryl, are you aware that you can take 3 exposure bracketed images of a scene & combine them in Elements 10 using Photomerge Exposure, its in the File dropdown menu of the Editor; i have Elements 8 & just discovered this feature recently

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