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Thread: The Oregon Countryside

  1. #1
    BrianA61's Avatar
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    The Oregon Countryside

    I had been wanting to go shoot something with my camera but had been hampered by bad weather. When the rain finally tapered off, the sun broke through occasionally and was perfect. I went for a short drive near my house and managed to stumble upon this scene. There is no post processing as I don't like to manipulate photos. I try to get the best "raw" shot possible. I'm not one to hang my own photos on my walls, but, I really like this one. Feedback and critique is welcome.

    The Oregon Countryside


    I also like this one but can't decide which is better. Anyone?
    The Oregon Countryside

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    Hi Brian

    I think they are both very nice photos - well composed with good natural looking colour, well exposed and nicely in focus.

    Were these shot in jpeg or RAW ? I know you refer to "raw" shots but I'm not sure whether you mean this in a general way or are referring to the RAW file format. If they are jpeg, then presumably they are straight out of the camera. If they are RAW, presumably they have had minimal processing in your RAW capture software. Either way, they are very natural looking shots.

    Dave

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    Hi Brian, both images are nice snapshots with interesting subjects, good composition and color.

    It looks like you have Lightroom so you should be able to easily make some global adjustments to the RAW image to adjust the Recovery, Black Point, Fill Light and Contrast in the first one to bring out more detail in the sky and shadows.

    If you don’t want to use post-processing to clone out the wires and modern building in the second image, you could try changing the shooting position and angle to avoid these kind of distracting objects in the scene.

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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    I just wonder, Brian, how would the first one look if the horse and barn changed places! That is to say, both facing inwards.

    Probably easier to move the horse than the barn; but neither is particularly practical.

    But it still works as it is.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianA61 View Post
    There is no post processing as I don't like to manipulate photos.
    I think it would probably be helpful to define what you mean by this, as the answer could inform the extent to which people are able to provide constructive C & C that will be of use to you; i.e. it's no use suggesting using layers, curves, sliders, fill lights etc etc, if you do not believe in using them.

    As Dave said, if you shot this in RAW, you must have done some post-processing in order to get it into a format to post it on here. So, it would be good to understand what you consider appropriate and inappropriate post-processing.

    I think you will find that almost 100% of people on here hold to the idea that pressing the shutter is the end of the first part of making an image. The second part starts when you begin processing in the darkroom (if you're shooting film) or on computer (if you're shooting digitally). If someone does not believe that this is what the art and craft of photography is about, it sort of leaves C & C having to be be restricted to composition and exposure.
    Last edited by Donald; 3rd June 2012 at 07:40 PM.

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    BrianA61's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    All, Thanks for the feedback. Just to clarify a couple of things. By 'raw' I mean that I like my photos to be as close to "as is" as possible. These particular photos were both shot in RAW format and I just did a RAW->JPEG conversion trying not to do any tweaking. Maybe I'm old school or something, but, my mindset is that given the sophistication of today's software, anyone can take a bland photo and make it into something spectacular. To me, blending multiple photos, making major changes to the original, etc, are kind of cheating in a way. Not to say that many digital photos I've seen aren't spectacular, but my goal is to try to capture what is naturally there. Maybe I'm naive and limiting my ability to get some great outcomes? I don't know. Anyway, I do appreciate the feedback. I could learn to like the post processing once I get used to using the new "tools" and changing my outlook, I guess.

  7. #7
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    Hello Brian, first let me say I am old school also, having begun photography when film and slides was all there was. I agree and disagree with what you write. I agree in wanting to get the best image possible out of the camera. I disagree that post processing is not necessary to get the most out of the best posible image. A Raw image is flat lacking contrast and tone curve even when shot at the best possible exposure for the scene. In the old days all film and slide film had color/tone curves in the emulsion. That is why different films acted differently and photographers learned how to handle the film for the exposure they wanted, such as under-exposing a half a stop to saturate colors. I urge you not to limit what your images can be, they can be so much better with limited post processing. All Raw digital images are linear they need post processing to bring out what you saw when you clicked the shutter. When I first look at my images after downloading I am normally disappointed, I check only two things to decide if an image is a keeper...sharpness at 100% (1:1) and are any highlights blown out. Then I work on exposure, contrast and tone/color curve, tweaking the sharpness last before applying local contrast enhancement. I rarely go beyone these steps. I took the liberty to quickly edit your first image to show how it can be enchanced to be what you saw when you shot it. If you would rather I didn't edit it, let me know and I will delete this post.

    The Oregon Countryside

  8. #8
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    Hi Brian,
    I can fully understand were your coming from here. But, I agree with Donald that most members and others Iíve met do adjust thing their pictures, using PP software. I do admire you desire to try and get things as perfect in camera as possible and believe this should be everybodyís ultimate goal.
    I, for some naive reason always believed that picture manipulation only really started since the digital age took hold. But last year my wife and I went to the London National Portrait Gallery, where they were holding an exhibition of the Hollywood greats. The pictures were stunning. There was one picture; of Rita Hayworth which showed her perfect skin tones (B&W of course) with no blemishes of any kind. In the same display case, were the film negative and the original picture taken from it, which showed some spots and her freckleís. Apparently even in the 1930-40ís the film studioís paid artistís to touch up pictures of their stars, to make their appearance fit the persona they were trying to portray. Told you Iím naÔve, I had no idea this type of thing went on. I always believed the old saying ďA picture did not lieĒ and I believed up to a few years ago this was true.
    Anyway, I think what Iím trying to say is, that I agree removing somebodyís freckles is distorting Ďreal lifeí and in fact removing a personís natural feature & beauty should not be done. But a little straightening of a horizon or levelling of building using PP, in my opinion is just correcting any mistakes made when the button is pressed; but doesnít really alter reality or is cheating just an extension of the tools needed to make the best pictures we can.
    Anyhow, this is just my opinion, but I respect your methods and look forward to seeing even more of your work.
    Regards

  9. #9
    BrianA61's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    That's OK, Joe. I don't mind you editing my photo. I see there could be some minor changes so thanks for letting me see what is possible. My original photo is pretty much as I saw it through my lens(that's why I like it so much). The raw file came out just as I remember seeing it as well. I know I am probably limiting my "perfect shot" by not wanting to PP, but, like I said, maybe I'm either naive or just old school. I think I will take a poke at PP on my library of photos, which consists mostly of my older DSLR camera shots. Thanks to all for the comments.

    BTW, here is another from my older camera that has no PP. I won a photo contest at work and this is now a matted and framed 20x30 photo on display in the office area.
    The Oregon Countryside
    Last edited by BrianA61; 4th June 2012 at 01:58 AM.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The Oregon Countryside

    Hi Brian, thank you for the clarification of your position. As I understand it, you are looking for image taking feedback and therefore the C&C should be limited to how the image could be improved during a reshoot. I saw in the EXIF data that you were using Lightroom but as you have explained, only to convert the images from RAW to JPG.

    Not every image 'needs' to have post processing but in my experience since I started shooting film almost 50 years ago, it is rare for an image to not benefit from some form of processing.

    Every image I take is checked for capture sharpening, white balance, brightness, contrast, highlight recovery, shadow fill light, saturation, vibrance, noise, and after croping and resizing, output sharpening.

    There are also a whole host of other processing techniques such as Local Contrast Enhancement, Lens Blur, Creative Sharpening, etc. that are only applied as needed for specific situations. I usually don't need to apply all of these changes but it is extremely rare that I wouldn't need to apply some of them. But, that is me and you have your reasons for the limitations which I respect.

    Now that we understand your parameters, we are more than happy to provide constructive feedback to help you improve your shooting technique!

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