Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: There's something missing here...

  1. #1
    jordand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sofia Bulgaria
    Posts
    289
    Real Name
    Jordan

    There's something missing here...

    I love landscape photography and because both my wife and I enjoy trekking and hiking I have many opportunities to practice.
    Nevertheless I cannot achieve a satisfactory result.
    Part of the answer might be the kit 18-55 VR lens Iím still using, (considering to buy Tokina 11-16), but still, thereís something missing.
    This is the result of a processed RAW file.
    Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 18-55.
    S Ė 1/40
    f/3.5
    Metering: Center weight
    ISO 100
    Post processed in CS5 mostly using Color Efex.
    Please C&C.

    There's something missing here...

  2. #2
    glenng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    215
    Real Name
    Glenn

    Re: There's something missing here...

    For me the light is too strong try going early morning walk with the mist still on the ground and on a personal point I like to see a wondering path through the wood.

  3. #3
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,861
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Hi, i think the image lacks a focal point, in landscapes this is often achieved as glen suggests with a path, road or contour that leads the eye. als light is essential with landscapes and they really are best when taken early morning or evening when the sun is low.

  4. #4
    jordand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sofia Bulgaria
    Posts
    289
    Real Name
    Jordan

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Thanks for the advices guys!"...a wondering path through the wood" is something I took picture of the same day and called "Sendero Luminoso" ;-)
    There's something missing here...

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    31,091
    Real Name
    John

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Try again at a later time of day, just before sunset you should get those golden flecks of color that really adds to a seemingly drab setting.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,353
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Jordon, with a f-stop of 3.5 only what you have focused on will be sharp the rest will be soft. I suggest that you up the ISO to 400, and adjust the depth of field so that you get a shutter speed in the 1/60 to 1/40th range, that should give you a better depth of field so as to get more of the background in a sharper focus. Do not worry about uping to 400 or more, as the D7000 has very good high ISO noise reduction.
    Moving up to an ISO of 400 is two stops, which should be about f-11 and still keep the same shutter speed.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  7. #7
    John Morton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New York NY USA
    Posts
    459

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Looking at the shadows in the image you have posted, I would suggest that the direction of the light is a factor here. The light is coming in almost perpendicular to your camera, so that's not going to heighten or flatter anything in your image.

    Ask yourself, what was it that caught your eye in that scene? And, how to best accentuate that aspect of the image?

    What catches my eye - and I would have taken a photo there, too - is the contrast between the bright green leaves and grass, and the dark shadows. So, I would have moved more facing the sun, so that the shadows where heightened by the shaded side of the trees, and , the leaves and the grass would have been backlit by the sun. That means making sure that the camera lens is in shade, within the shadow of a tree; and to work best it often requires an HDR image composed of several different exposures taken with a camera on a trip using a cable release of some sort.

    Here's the kind of image I am describing:

    There's something missing here...

    ... but it is easy to get really nice forest images using the 'shoot toward the sun from within shadow' technique with just a single handheld exposure.

  8. #8
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Quote Originally Posted by jordand View Post
    I love landscape photography and because both my wife and I enjoy trekking and hiking I have many opportunities to practice.
    Nevertheless I cannot achieve a satisfactory result.
    Part of the answer might be the kit 18-55 VR lens Iím still using, (considering to buy Tokina 11-16), but still, thereís something missing.
    This is the result of a processed RAW file.
    Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 18-55.
    S Ė 1/40
    f/3.5
    Metering: Center weight
    ISO 100
    Post processed in CS5 mostly using Color Efex.
    Please C&C.
    Jordan:

    What I find missing is the EXIF information. You provide the f/stop (f/3.5), which tells me that you will have little depth of field at any focal length. Since the ISO was 100 (and you were hiking) I conclude that you didn't use a tripod.

    There isn't much in focus in the image - in scenes like this, it's important to get the closest trees in sharp focus, but at f/3.5 that's difficult if not impossible. A tripod would let you stop down the lens for more depth of field (better focus overall).

    Your image might need a bit more saturation (but I would suggest you try VIBRANCE first - it's similar to saturation).

    Glenn

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: There's something missing here...

    The trouble with the 'wandering path' approach is that the eye is taken to some spot where there is nothing of interest.
    The 'tramline' shot is highly seductive to photographers but so often it leads us to nothing unless the photographer is aware of this and restrains themselves from taking such shots. The judge commented on this fault with an excellent print at the last camera club meeting I attended.

    The innitial photo is a flat and boring image which for some reason people keep on taking ...I guess they appreciate the beauty of the tree, the lighting, and sadly take numerous examples in one shot which results in a jumble. The second example has much more interesting lighting but is still a jumble of objects without any point of interest, possibly the tree on the left which isn't particularly interesting anyway .... but since I am not a landscape photographer perhaps I do not appreciate the merit of the examples.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 10th October 2012 at 09:54 PM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Mid Atlantic coast, USA
    Posts
    538
    Real Name
    Natalie

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Perhaps dress a person in a bright color, like yellow or red and send them way ahead in that path and maybe walking a dog, would add interest to the woods road shot, as well as thinking about the light source.

  11. #11
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,979
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Jordan - what struck me about both of your images is that I could not identify the subject. When I looked at the images, there was nothing that really draws your eye and I keep looking around for something of interest, whether that is a shape, a pattern, etc.

    The problem that you have with your "walking in the woods" shots is that what you see, versus what your camera records are two completely different things. You have to start looking at light, shadows and patterns to get something interesting, even if the subject is something as mundane as trees.

    I don't have any pictures of trees in the woods, but the feature picture of the web page of one of the local professional photographers I know is very simple, stock image that has made him a fair bit of money. Nothing complex, but effective.

    http://www.jdavidandrews.com/Home.html

    Perhaps this clarifies where I am coming from...

  12. #12
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Jordan - what struck me about both of your images is that I could not identify the subject. When I looked at the images, there was nothing that really draws your eye and I keep looking around for something of interest, whether that is a shape, a pattern, etc.

    The problem that you have with your "walking in the woods" shots is that what you see, versus what your camera records are two completely different things. You have to start looking at light, shadows and patterns to get something interesting, even if the subject is something as mundane as trees.

    I don't have any pictures of trees in the woods, but the feature picture of the web page of one of the local professional photographers I know is very simple, stock image that has made him a fair bit of money. Nothing complex, but effective.

    http://www.jdavidandrews.com/Home.html

    Perhaps this clarifies where I am coming from...
    Manfred:

    First thanks for the link.

    The photographer you know also has a beautiful image of leaf-bare trees with hoarfrost in snow. It "just" has trees and plain boring snow, but is alive. His work is worth studying to see what makes it work.

    Your advice about looking at the landscape, rather than walking through it should help - but it's not easy to master.

    The following is something I read in a book by a landscape photographer.

    "The image will be most arresting if it displays sharply from front to back. This can be accomplished by shooting at the smallest aperture to maximize depth of field, and by focusing about one third of the way into the picture space to center the in-focus zone over the framed area. Use your cameras' depth-of-field preview feature to check results in the viewfinder".

    Elsewhere in his book, the author pointed out that when we look at a landscape with our eyes, we see the foreground in sharp focus, and the far background (infinity) as much less sharp, and at times even hazy/fuzzy (for lack of a better term).

    Because we see landscapes a great deal no matter where we are (cityscapes have the same range of distances), we (subconsciously) expect the foreground to be sharp not fuzzy. Personally I really work on the foreground to get it sharp. If one looks at aspen trees that are several hundred metres away, do you really see individual leaves? Or do we see roughness which our brain computes for us as being leaves? Would a graphic artist paint individual leaves on trees that were hundred of metres away? I think not, and yet he leaves us with the impression of individual leaves (in our mind's eye).

    Glenn

  13. #13
    jeeperman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Seattle Washington
    Posts
    3,550
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: There's something missing here...

    I am in agreement with the above thoughts so I figured I would add an image I made about 8 months ago. Why I took this image was the late sun was casting a brilliant orange but was a rather boring scene across the water. as I turned I saw it casting color through the patch of trees. I looked for leading lines and really there was nothing. So, not wanting to lose the light, I got low and shot up leaving little forground and making the image about the trees themselves and the light on them. Now I realize the image won't please everyone, but those that it has.....it has to some extent, including myself.
    I guess what I am saying is when a scene strikes you.....work the scene. Find angles, where is the light, where are the shadows? Try portrait.....just work the scene.

    There's something missing here...

    Oh....and I did try portrait as well.

    There's something missing here...

  14. #14
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,979
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Glenn - Dave is not being totally accurate when he says he is Ottawa based; his place is just on the other side of the Ottawa River, in Quebec and he lives very close to Gatineau Park. That is where a lot of these pictures are taken. It makes it a lot easier to get out there first thing in the morning to get those shots.

    I agree about the sharp foreground, it is the certainly the way we see and it is unfortunate that the DoF marking have disappeared from modern lenses. It was a lot easier to use hyperfocal distances to maximimize DoF that way and get the foreground and background in sharp focus.

  15. #15
    pnodrog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Waipu, Northand, New Zealand
    Posts
    3,499
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: There's something missing here...

    I don't bother to lug my tripod into the bush/forest on sunny days and I seldom take a bush photo without a tripod. Dark shadows and overly bright dappled areas simply do not work as they make most scenes look far to patchy. Heavy cloud, mist, fog and dawn or dusk lighting will assist your efforts. Be very very wary of sky. On the days with the soft lighting that helps make the forest floor look great you will find those bits of blank white sky will play havoc with the scene. Having a definite point of interest helps a viewer from being overcome with the amazing amount of patterns and shapes that exist within forest scenes. Simplify as much as you can.

    Sometimes on a clear day with a deep blue sky you may come across a clearing or small meadow with even lighting that will make it all work, either by using the forest as a lead in or a backdrop. A polarizing filter will often reduce the gloss from foliage, improve saturation and may help with the sky. Unless it is misty I nearly always use a polarising filter and put the camera on a tripod allowing me to shoot at ISO 100, at what ever f stop gives me the depth of field and whatever filter I may want to use. Unless it is windy, moving water or a bird etc. I simply do not care how long the exposure takes.

    The last shot is my pick, jeeperman has managed to keep a nice range of tones in the sky and the warm glow of the lighting on the trunks and roots is great.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 11th October 2012 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Had a miss credit

  16. #16
    jordand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Sofia Bulgaria
    Posts
    289
    Real Name
    Jordan

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Gentlemen,
    you are extremly helpful.Thank you!

  17. #17
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: There's something missing here...

    Quote Originally Posted by jordand View Post
    Gentlemen,
    you are extremly helpful.Thank you!
    Jordan - did you check to see if you had any personal messages?

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: There's something missing here...

    The difference between the two images that Paul has posted really demonstrates why the landscape shots are flat and boring and the portrait shot is exciting and dynamic ... the difference between wallpaper and an interesting photo with depth. No amount of PP will turn the wallpaper into anything other than wallpaper. Glenn NK quotes a good point about walking in the woods and thinking like a photographer rather than just enjoying what you see which is made up of thousands of individual views as ones eyes move over the scene.
    I don't really see that there is any difference between landscape and other subject .... the basic principles are the same for all images.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •