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Thread: Hallett Peak, Colorado

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Hallett Peak, Colorado

    I spent time researching this trip to Rocky Mountain National Park and mostly looking for compositions that I'd seen by other photographers. Many factors made me less than successful. However, this composition is my own. As busy as this trail is, I'm sure this shot has been taken many times but at least I did not see it anywhere.

    This was mid-morning (I have since fixed my data/time on the camera). The crop is just a 3/4 aspect ratio change to remove the footpath at the bottom and some of the sky and a sliver off the side. I usually prefer a landscape orientation but there was really nothing interesting on either side of the stream and there was also a park sign on the right that I didn't want. Keeping the park sign out also caused the tree on the right to be cut off some. I could not move to my left to resolve this because of thick brush.

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with this image. I did do a separate curve for the mountain, but it probably needs more work. I raised the overall saturation by about 10% - does that look ok? Any C&C is welcome and appreciated. Thanks!

    Hallett Peak, Colorado

  2. #2
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Hi Terri, as I look at the image I am seeing two distinct images separated by a diagonal line. I think it may be because the top and bottom halves could easily stand on their own as fine images and both are commanding about the same amount of attention. It feels like one should complement the other but for some reason there is a feeling of tension in the image. I don't know why it feels the way it does so I'm not sure that I can offer a solution or, for that matter, that I may be the only one that gets that feeling.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Terri, I like your composition and the vertical orientation works well. You might want to darken the bright areas where the Sun hits the rocks in the center and lower right because those areas keep tugging at my eye.

    I also wondered if you could bring out any more detail in the clouds. They are very bright and nearly monotoned. If you have NIK Color Efex Pro software, you could use a graduated neutral density filter to enhance and darken the sky and top of the mountain.

  4. #4

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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Nice shot Terri. Wish I had your patience and persistence at getting good at landscapes.

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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    It is a nice image Terri. I do see where Frank is coming from....which I feel Carls edit begins to address. I would take it a little further and fallow Kens suggestions and I think it will come together nicely. LR also has a graduated filter however I might use the adjustment brush here so that you do not darken the trees or rock more than is needed.

  6. #6

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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    I prefer Terri's treatment. Glad to know, Terri, that you got the hang of using a separate curve on the mountain. Everything looks natural to me, including the saturation and the sharpening. The vertical orientation emphasizes the height of the trees and the mountain very nicely. While I agree that the image has two halves, it's clear to me that the lower half is subordinate to the upper half.

    This is the type of scene that is quite nice and is encountered often when hiking in the mountains. The photo is a keeper, is well worth capturing and post-processing, but isn't special because the light didn't happen to be special when you were there. The lighting is already too contrasty for me, so making it more contrasty doesn't help it.

    Personally, I wouldn't spend any more time post-processing the image, as there is probably more satisfaction and learning to be gained post-processing and capturing other images. Enjoy this very nice image for what it is and don't try to make more of it than is there in the first place.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 14th October 2012 at 06:44 AM.

  7. #7
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Nice shot Terri. I agree with Mike in that the light is a bit contrasty. An easy fix for this might be to use Shadows and Highlights - increase the Shadows and reduce the Highlights.

    Dave

  8. #8
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    The composition is really good. The big problem is the common one with landscapes: you cant control the light if you can't wait until golden hours. A big part of the image is "hidden" under the heavy shadows,

    In your place I would have shot multiple exposure and try to combine them in PP, either HDR or just masking by hand so I could retrieve some shadows details while avoiding noise and color shifts.

  9. #9
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Frank, I do see what you mean. I really could have 2 images - there are certainly 2 strong subjects. But, like you, I'm not sure how to resolve the tension you feel if I want the stream and the mountain in the shot. Something to think about... Thanks for sharing what you see!

  10. #10
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Thanks Ken, Bobo, Paul and Dave for your comments and suggestions. I don't have Lightroom, but much of what you've discussed could be worked on in PSE. It really does help to know what you see and would modify.

  11. #11

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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Great photo and a location that I suspect will produce many more just as good. Well done.

  12. #12
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Miltos, Thank you for your comments. I actually did take multiple bracketed exposures of this image. I am able to create a new exposure image from these in Photoshop Elements. I tried the "auto" option for this but the wind was blowing when the shots were taken so I just ended up with blurred edges on the trees. I haven't yet tried to learn how to use the manual option but have that in my LONG list of PP things to learn.

  13. #13
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Thanks, Mike. I agree with all you've said. The big difference between 6 months ago and now is that I knew this was going to be the case when I took the photo - that I would end up with a "nice" image to remind me of this beautiful place but not a spectacular one. I feel good that I recognized it as a composition with potential and it was great practice with the new camera, new tripod/head and a few PP challenges. All this will help when I end up in the right place at the right time.

  14. #14

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    Re: Hallett Peak, Colorado

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    The big difference between 6 months ago and now...
    I beg to differ, Terri. It has only been 3 months and my proof is the following: Landscapes - defining the subject You have shown unbelievable progress. It's difficult to believe that the images discussed three months apart were captured by the same person.

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