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Thread: Misty sunrise

  1. #1
    ucci's Avatar
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    Misty sunrise

    The dogs got me up this morning around 7am. Just before sunrise. It was as cold as a frog's tooth outside and there was a heavy mist down in the valley, obscuring Seymour and the low lying areas. So I dashed outside and set up and took these shots using AV setting of 13, ISO 100, and three shots at -2, 0 and +2 exposure settings. A shot of something taken internally to warm me up might have been a better idea! Processed files as HDR's in photomatix with a bit of a tickle and sharpen in PS. Am still a novice with photomatix and have much to learn about it. Had the 500mm lens on my 1000D. The ugly white gooey stuff in the foreground in#3 is actually mist.

    Just hope the neighbours didn't see me up on the hill in my PJ's taking these pix. They will reckon a guy is a sandwich short of a picnic and have me consigned to the nearest looney bin if they did. But gee it was cold out there this a.m. in my PJ's!

    Thanks for viewing and posting any comments.
    old ucci



    Misty sunrise

    Misty sunrise

    Misty sunrise
    Last edited by ucci; 19th March 2012 at 06:16 AM. Reason: spelling correction

  2. #2
    escaladieu's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Great images taken at the right time of day.

    You may wish to take a look at SNS-hdr for an alternative to photomatrix. Its very easy to use, and gives a natural result to HDR shots which is perfect for landscape shooting. Its not expensive either.

    Keep up the good work !

    J

  3. #3
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Quote Originally Posted by escaladieu View Post
    Great images taken at the right time of day.

    You may wish to take a look at SNS-hdr for an alternative to photomatrix. Its very easy to use, and gives a natural result to HDR shots which is perfect for landscape shooting. Its not expensive either.

    Keep up the good work !

    J
    Thank you for helpful feed back Jeff
    Ken

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    #2 is, for me, the pick of these 3.

    In the first one, the sky and the top edge of that big block of mist closest to us, are blown to white. Although the line made by the top of the hills against the sky makes it a nice composition.

    In the third one, I personally feel it is a very, very rare image that works with the sun actually appearing in it. That might be just personal choice. But I feel it just so takes over the scene that anything else has no chance of working well.

    Whereas the second one - That gets the sunrise, but also allows us to appreciate the trees and the mist in that sunrise.

    Anyway, that's what I think!

  5. #5
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    #2 is, for me, the pick of these 3......Anyway, that's what I think!
    Thank you for taking the time to view and post useful critique advice Mr D. Much appreciated and very helpful
    old ucci

  6. #6

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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Spectacular. 2,3,1 for me but given how much my own landscapes suck, I would be over the moon with either. One day, one day...

    BTW - so how cold is a frog's tooth?

    As for sending people in pj's to looney bins - won't happen. Wearing pj's outdoors equate to being in-fashion, your own man etc etc and some take it as a fashion statement. Lots of looneys around. On that, someone once reported that some study shows that 10% of the pop. in the western world is somewhat to very looney. I bet that at least 2% of that are photographers.

  7. #7
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    As a newbie photographer, please tell me why you felt the HDR effect did anything for these images. It seems to me that a lot of people on here subscribe to using tools on images that would be just fine without the "extra" dimension. In the case of these three images, I cannot see anything which would lead me to believe there is good purpose to its use. Seems to me in many cases to be just sprinkling fairy dust in hopes of salvaging ho-hum images. It is not these particular images are badly composed or exposed, but back to the original question, why the HDR?

  8. #8

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    Re: Misty sunrise

    I will try to answer Nina though others will probably do it better.

    But the reason is pretty simple.

    Take #2 for example. What do you want from the scene?
    The sky? Expose for that and you get a really black foreground.
    The foreground? Expose for that and you get a blown out sky.
    Both? No way one exposure will get you what you want. You will have to take a series of shots and merge them to get the whole scene to show up.

    Ken used the bracketed shots to get what was needed. What he did not do (and that is where HDR gets ugly) is try to manipulate (I call it mutilate) the combined shots in some sort of freakish way.

    Now if the camera could handle the huge difference in lighting then perhaps you do not need HDR. But currently there is nothing available.

    This is the newb to newb explanation as best as I can make it.

  9. #9
    ninanative's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Does this type of shot make a good reasoning to use Graduated ND filters or perhaps a three bracket shot and a simple merge. I'm still trying to get my thinking to understand the use of HDR.

  10. #10
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Quote Originally Posted by ninanative View Post
    Does this type of shot make a good reasoning to use Graduated ND filters or perhaps a three bracket shot and a simple merge. I'm still trying to get my thinking to understand the use of HDR.
    Hi Nina. I don't use the graduated ND filters so my comments can easily be trumped by someone like Colin that is an expert in the subject, but my feeling is that you can't have it both ways in the sky portion of the image. Either the sky is properly exposed and the branches are not, or vice-versa.

    I will always shoot a 3 to 5 bracket set of shots in these circumstances and produce a series of Photomatix results using different settings. I then go into Photoshop and after ACR, take my best shot at doing a straight merge. Then I compare all the results. Sometimes the straight merge wins but with this image I know from experience that the Photomatix output will produce a much better result. Why? Because Photomatic can do a much better job preserving the tree branches against the sky and recovering the details in the shadows without blowing the highlights. If I tried that in a straight merge the branches would take hours to blend and I still couldn't get it as close as Photomatix.

    On the other hand, the Photomatix output often needs additional post processing to blend back in some of the color in the tops of the trees where the tonemapping process has rendered this area too dark. In the end, it isn't really Photomatix or not, it's Photomatix plus appropriate blending from the original or not. HDR processing is not a do everything approach but it can be a very effective technique when applied to the right image.

    Hi Ken, I think you are doing very well in learning how to process images using the HDR technique. There is more to learn over time but you are progressing quite nicely!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 19th March 2012 at 06:46 PM.

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Hi Ken,

    2,1,3 for me.

    That said, I'd really prefer #1 if it wasn't 'over exposed', and on this shot (1), I'd tend to agree that HDR doesn't seem to be needed.

    If you have the RAW -2 stop version* of #1, have a go at processing it straight, using ACR controls judiciously.

    * I only suggest the -2 stop version because it does look 'over exposed', but that may well be an artefact of the HDR processing - for all I know the 0 stop version maybe fine.

    I admire your dedication to your art - but you won't catch me doing that

    Cheers,

  12. #12
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Thank you all for responding so kindly to my latest posting. I am very much encouraged to push on and persist.
    And Nina,can i say that Bobo and Frank have expressed the reasons for using HDR far more clearly than I could ever hope to do.
    HDR is only a tool to give me a reasonable basic image which is not too clipped or blown and which I can then really finish off with appropriate post processing in photoshop. HDR is great but it is not magic and it doesn't always work. I use photomatrix because I find it gives a better end result than using the HDR conversion process of photoshop. Having said that there have been times when using the trial version of Light room 4 on a single exposure I got a better end result than Photoshop HDR processing. I didn't have photomatrix at the time. So, one just uses the most appropriate tool to attain one's intended result.
    In all of the above 3 posts if I didn't use HDR I had either terminal foreground clipping or sky blow out. And without photoshop pp I still had major problems. One of my basic guide lines for HDR is that the final product should not clearly indicate that HDR was used. So many HDR processed shots look bizzare and unnatural from heavy handed processing.


    It is most interesting that Frank intuitively picked up some of major pp steps I carried out, such as lightening the tree foliage. I am in awe of the talent of people such as Frank, Bobo, Dave, Mr D and many others. These guys really know which way is up. Sometimes they frighten me with their insight.
    Thanks to all who viewed and commented
    old ucci

  13. #13
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Hi Dave
    Actually at this stage of my bumbling about I do try what you suggest in working with individual exposures as well as putting them together in HDR. And so I have tried what you have suggested. Unfortunately it did not seem to work as well as the HDR as far as I could judge. I have to admit I was not all that happy with #1 either. And it is in B&W as this was a better end result than the coloured version. I only posted it for feedback as how I may have improved it. I agree it does look overexposed but no matter what I tried this seemed to be the best result I could achieve without clipping. Maybe I should have shown more patience and waited until the light was a bit stronger. But it was darned cold out there in my jim jams!
    Thanks for your help
    Ken

  14. #14
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Misty sunrise

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    BTW - so how cold is a frog's tooth?

    Oh, I dunno, probably about one stop above a Bank Manger's smile when someone like me approaches him for a loan.
    K

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