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Thread: Glowing fields...

  1. #1

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    Glowing fields...

    From mid-April and through May, I was waiting for an evening when the sunset might add the perfect light to the landscape here... It didn't happen. April was a washout, rain all month, and the clear sunset evenings in May have been exactly that, with no cloud to add texture... I went back a couple of days ago, when a good sunset looked likely - and these flowers are over for another year..!

    So, I've revisited my mid-April shots of what seemed at the time a wonderfully sculptured landscape waiting for the right light...

    Sorry if the number of shots is boring, but I'm struggling with picking a good image from these... maybe because there isn't one...?!
    I'm also well aware that this follows hard on the heels of Donald's image of a similar subject.. again, apologies if it seems repetitive...

    C&C, please:
    Which image, if any, works best? Why?
    Any tips on Post-processing..? E.g. I used ND grads for the original exposures and also used grad filters in Lightroom in some images... but I'm not sure I've got the best out of the images, nor out of the landscape... Any tips?

    Please click on each image to view in Lightbox

    Glowing fields...

    Glowing fields...

    Glowing fields...

    Glowing fields...

    Glowing fields...

    Glowing fields...

    Glowing fields...

    Many thanks,
    Ian
    Last edited by IanCD; 3rd June 2012 at 01:14 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Glowing fields...

    Ian: nice place to shoot, I was wondering if your ND filters were hard or soft grads, as it looks like the grad was placed too low on the horizion thus darkening the ground to much. I like the tractor lane in the images, however I one I like the best for compostion is the fifth one with the plant in the foreground. The sky looks good to me, but the landscape is too dark.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  3. #3

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    Ian

    Re: Glowing fields...

    Thanks Allan,
    I think I used both hard (0.9 + 0.6) and soft (0.6) grads on (most of) these shots... a lot of filtering attempting to compensate for the very bright sunlight...
    Something that's difficult with this is knowing what others are seeing... I was trying to capture the glow / luminosity I was seeing across the landscape, combined with the sky...
    On my monitor the contrast of no. 6 probably captures the luminosity best, but obviously omits the sky, whereas the other images don't seem to capture the glow as clearly...
    Ian

  4. #4

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    Re: Glowing fields...

    For me, Ian, the which image works best question is easy.

    It's definitely #3. Those trees on the right edge tend to create an obstacle which directs the view to the left, and all the natural lines, from both fields and sky, lead to the same far distant point.

    Plenty of depth and good natural colour.

    I think #5 would also have worked if those weed seed heads had a bit of plain sky behind them to create a better balance. For instance, if they were further to the right or the sky was 'the other way around' with clear sky on the left and dark clouds on the right.

  5. #5

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    Re: Glowing fields...

    3 most certainly but all have their merits.

  6. #6
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: Glowing fields...

    Ian,
    Time well spent.

    What a great set you have produced. Must agree with the 'troops' number 3 is something special.

    Well done.

  7. #7
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Glowing fields...

    Hi Ian,

    I read the preamble and appreciate your reasons for posting so many, the way to learn is to do and when that alone doesn't work; ask, which you have.

    Not having 'pre-scanned' them into my head by seeing the smaller versions first, I opened the Lytebox and was clicking through them mentally agreeing with you about the light not being ideal on many, I got to #5 (seed heads) and thought 'not so bad' and then also enjoyed the tighter crops on #6 and #7.

    Then I read the rest of the thread;

    It would be a shame if a mis-placed filter transition was responsible for some of the apparent 'bad light' because it darkened the more distant ground too much.

    Geoff has a good point on the seed heads, they do compete with the clouds behind, but it was still the shot that 'woke me up' from the others.

    More ciritcally examining the last two;
    #6: It is more interesting than 1 - 5 for me, but the tree is probably a little too far into the corner.

    #7: Solves that problem nicely, but introduces some foreground out of focus grass which I don't think adds to the scene

    Instructive to me from the analysis angle, I hope you find it helpful too,

  8. #8

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    Re: Glowing fields...

    Thanks for the feedback, folks... really appreciated..!

    Quite surprised re no.3... I wasn't going to include it in this set at first (actually almost deleted it..!) but included it for completeness and to give a clearer idea of the location. I thought it was one of those muddled pictures with too many elements, lack of clarity re subject, not enough of the fields and a boring track to boot... well, that's the point of posting: keep learning...!
    I did try that in monochrome and wondered if it worked better, but that defeats the point of these shots really..!

    Re filters: it's early days for me with these, definitely needing lots of practice (I even left the filter holder behind on one of my trips there... duh!).
    I may have darkened the top edge of the hills... I think that seemed preferable to the band of light sky on the horizon if I moved them up a bit, but maybe not... I think some of the darkening is also due to the angle of the light and slope of the hills.
    The shots seemed to need a lot of compensation, hence using both my hard grads and a soft grad. Although the hard edges are more critical re placement, the graduation on the soft edge is so gentle, it's quite indistinct to me... it's not clear how much of the filter has the full ND effect, nor where I should place it...

    #5 almost worked for me too.. I had to use a fairly strong added grad effect in Lightroom to bring the sky down, as the clouds had moved to let the sun through - and they weren't coming back..! One of those "remember to check everything in the viewfinder - and check again" shots...

    #6 and #7 were taken with different lenses / focal lengths (85mm and 135mm respectively). I like the shape where the field sloping down intersects with the field with the tractor tracks behind the hedge. I wanted to keep that intersection and to include the tree at right, but yes it does look imbalanced that close to the edge. Looking at the previous shots, there might be a shot with the three trees and that intersection in, but I'm not sure of the angles and distances...

    I'll try #7 with a tighter crop at the bottom to lose most of the grass... I agree, it detracts.

    All good reasons to go back next year... assuming the farmer plants that crop again..!

    Just one other question about the processing: on my (laptop) monitor, the processing on no. 6 brings out the luminosity of the fields most effectively... slightly darker in places but more contrast, so the yellow flowers seem to glow more. Is that what you're seeing..?

    Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to comment, folks... it's helped me think about these shots, what I was trying to achieve and how to improve on them. Exactly what I wanted... Cheers!
    Ian
    Last edited by IanCD; 4th June 2012 at 01:19 PM.

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