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Thread: Your opinion please

  1. #1
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    Your opinion please

    Hello,

    If all went well, below should be my first uploaded image.

    The RAW file, as opposed to this edited image, looked duller, the trees caught in a gray haze. This resembled the extreme fog that was apparent at the scene. Although looking spectacular when standing there the image as it originally appeared was not usable. So what I basically did was "spreading" the histogram, bringing back the dark tones and the highlights without off course clipping it.

    As this is one of the first images I edited since very long, I would like some third party eyes to give their opinion. The doubts I have are:
    Am I cheating the image or did I just restore it?
    Is the image still misty enough to have that, err.. 'misty athmosphere'?
    Should I make it a 'true' B&W image?
    Perhaps most important; is it a strong image, does it appeal, isn't it missing some essential elements?

    My goal during this shoot was creating dark, misterious images. I love desolated places as a subject and I generally dislike too many things getting inside the frame.
    This image was taken around Feldberg, in the Black Forest, Germany.


    Your opinion please

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Hi Roeland,

    The RAW file is what it is, don't go by how it appears on the monitor, it is your working source so that you can do what you did on this image. You have to convert it to a workable format before you can make any adjustments. You can always go back to the original RAW file and restart your post processing from scratch.

    Regarding your image, leave it as it is and make another version adding a bit more contrast. This will get you closer to the dark, mysterious image you are seeking to produce. What program are you using for post processing? As for your composition, the spacing of the trees helps but think about angling the view or putting the tree line on a diagonal if you can reshoot, probably don't have much time left before the snow melts.

    Nice job.

  3. #3

    Re: Your opinion please

    I like it a lot. My eye starts on the left with the main subject then flows from there across to the right of the picture and down to the smaller tree then up into the fog. The image feels very well balanced because the two main trees are both on or near thirds and the whole thing has a very calm feel to it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Hello Shadowman & Dan,

    Thx for replying. Dan, i'm glad you like it, you exactly translate the aim of the setup. However, Shadowman has a point insisting to actually increase the depth of the image by framing more diagonally. As for the contrast; didn't I increase it already by spreading the histogram? I could be wrong about this. Editing is done with DXO pro optics 7 and so far I love it.

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Quote Originally Posted by roeland View Post
    Hello Shadowman & Dan,

    Thx for replying. Dan, i'm glad you like it, you exactly translate the aim of the setup. However, Shadowman has a point insisting to actually increase the depth of the image by framing more diagonally. As for the contrast; didn't I increase it already by spreading the histogram? I could be wrong about this. Editing is done with DXO pro optics 7 and so far I love it.
    Roeland,

    In which direction did you move the slider to spread the histogram. If you used the contrast slider, moving to the left would spread the histogram while at the same time lowering contrast. I am not familiar with your software but I am sure the technique should be similar to a RAW converter.

  6. #6
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Nice image.

    The RAW file, as opposed to this edited image, looked duller, the trees caught in a gray haze.
    The raw file looks like nothing at all. When you open a raw file in whatever software you are using, it has to render the raw file using settings from somewhere, either from the information from the camera or from defaults in the software. If those settings don't render it the way you want, change them. This is not cheating. First, there is nothing magical about the settings it used. It is not necessarily realistic or consistent with how you perceived the scene. Second, the point is to create an image that you like.

    Spreading the histogram increases the tonal range of the image. That may make it look like more contrast (e.g., richer darks), but it is not what most people mean by a contrast adjustment. Typically, a contrast adjustment changes the rate at which the image goes from light to dark. In other words, it compresses some parts of the histogram and spreads out others. As John pointed out, your software may have done some of that at the same time as it spread out the histogram, but it is a different concept. If you are unfamiliar with this, check out a tone curve adjustment. Make the curve into more of an S shape, and you will see contrast increase.

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Lots of good, constructive comments and I agree with what has been written. In terms of the quality of the finished product, I agree with Dan:-
    Quote Originally Posted by dan marchant View Post
    I like it a lot. My eye starts on the left with the main subject then flows from there across to the right of the picture and down to the smaller tree then up into the fog. The image feels very well balanced because the two main trees are both on or near thirds and the whole thing has a very calm feel to it.
    I think you have created a very atmospheric and a very beautiful image that would, I am sure, have commercial potential. John's suggestion about adding to the dark, mysterious feel that you wanted is correct, but I would reconsider whether I wanted it any darker or mysterious. I think it works very well just as it is.

    Your one question I don't think the others addressed above was whether or not to convert it to B & W. I would not. It's almost monochrome as it is and this works very well.

    Congratulations on posting such a high quality image as your first posting on CiC. I hope we see many more of the same quality.

  8. #8
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Hi All,

    Thanks a lot for the constructive responds. Just to make clear what I did with the tones: I worked with the tonal curves, sliding the black point to the right on the bottom line and sliding the white point to the left on the upper line. So in fact, I rendered the shadows darker and the highlights lighter.

    DanK I now understand I just shifted the shadows and highlights and left the midtones untouched. You are completely right in stating that this isn't the same as changing contrast.

    So Shadowman I didn't touch the contrast slider at all, just the tonal curve. DXO has quite a lot of sliders, most of them I do not use. I mostly use exposure, tone curve and saturation.

    Donald, watching your splendid B&W images made me consider applying it to some of my work. I think it makes certain images stronger by excluding colors that would otherwise decrease the visual impact.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Hi Roeland,

    John, Dan and Donald have covered everything well, so I won't repeat.

    This image works for me as it stands in terms of contrast, colour, etc. - the only thing I want is more of it
    in other words, about twice the horizontal and vertical dimnsions (1200 x 800) so it more fully fills my screen, then it would be really impressive.

    As Donald says, congrats on a very good first image and my thanks for the very useful explanitory text that came with it.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

  10. #10
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    Re: Your opinion please

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the warm welcome, I'm glad the image is worth the effort, because after the shot I spent half a day trying to get out of the foggy forest. RAW conditions...

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