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Thread: Sky and waves

  1. #1

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    Sky and waves

    I have been concentrating on my seaside photography this month. I went to Coogee several times and each time it represented very different scenes even at the same location.

    P1 was taken before a small storm, while P2 was taken after the storm on the same afternoon.

    P1
    Sky and waves

    P2
    Last edited by Yan Zhang; 30th September 2009 at 08:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sky and waves

    Hi Yan,

    I just love the water swirling over the rocks in P1, but sadly, for me, the sky is a shade overdone and too dark. I can't see the EXIF, would you share the shutter speed please?

    P2 is similarly a bit dark in the sky, I appreciate why, because we want to see detail in the clouds, but the fact that the reflected clouds (in the pool) are brighter than the sky above causing the reflection just looks wrong to me - sorry.

    Hope that helps,

  3. #3

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Dave,

    Thanks for your helpful comments.

    For P1, there is no special PP for the sky, I used a 3-stop GND hard edge on the sky part. Then I realised that the water flow was very bright. I probably should use 2-stop GND instead of 3-stop GND.

    A similar shot is this P3:
    Sky and waves

    For P2, I understand that the GND should not just apply on the sky part, it should also cover the reflection part. In fact, I used 1-stop GND soft edge to cover the upper part of the pool, but in my PP, I made the sky too dark. A revised version is following:



    Thanks again for your critics.
    Last edited by Yan Zhang; 30th September 2009 at 08:30 AM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Hi Yan,

    I can see what your trying to achieve with the top shot, but it just doesn't work (Sorry!) - If you cropped out 3/4 of the sky - and a little of what's to the left then you MIGHT get something that looks reasonable (I experimented a bit, but the resolution is too low - and it's got major levels issues). Sorry to be so blunt - but I've shot a ton like this myself, and they don't "fly" for me either

    The 2nd shot has great potential though - again, I've had a bit of a play, but was again limited by the lack of resolution; I'll bet if you sent me the DNG I could really make this one look good. All in all I think it's a great composition & capture, but I think that you really need to work (and rework) the RAW converter sliders far more agressively; it's not going to be a photorealistic image, so be bold and make it something else instead!

    Here's my rework of it ... (lack of resolution sucks, but hopefully you can see the direction I was heading with it).

    Sky and waves

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Yan,

    ...

    The 2nd shot has great potential though - again, I've had a bit of a play, but was again limited by the lack of resolution; I'll bet if you sent me the DNG I could really make this one look good. All in all I think it's a great composition & capture, but I think that you really need to work (and rework) the RAW converter sliders far more agressively; it's not going to be a photorealistic image, so be bold and make it something else instead!

    Here's my rework of it ... (lack of resolution sucks, but hopefully you can see the direction I was heading with it).
    Colin,

    Thanks for your help. Your version looks great. One thing I am not sure is that sometimes I worried about too much color saturation during the post process, for me, it is hard to measure at which point it is just right.

    I have sent the raw file and will leave PM in your mailbox.

    Yan

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Zhang View Post
    Colin,

    Thanks for your help. Your version looks great. One thing I am not sure is that sometimes I worried about too much color saturation during the post process, for me, it is hard to measure at which point it is just right.

    I have sent the raw file and will leave PM in your mailbox.

    Yan
    Hi Yan,

    Yes - it's something that comes with experience - really just a case of looking at the image - figuring out what it's strengths and weaknesses are - and going from there.

    I'm downloading the RAW now, but haven't profiled and calibrated my home screen yet (new monitor) - so not sure how close the colours will be (I might need to revisit it tomorrow).

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Hi Yan,

    This is the best that I could do - not sure what you did, but you had very uneven exposure in the sky portion; misplaced GND filter? In correcting it I've ended up with some visible noise - possibly because I've just installed CS4 at home and I didn't realise that I'd opened the file for editing as an 8 bit file, in Adobe RGB, so that may have contributed to it. In the end I had to do two versions and layer mask the transition between them.

    I've gone for strong colours -- in my eye it seemed to be a strength of the image.

    Sky and waves

  8. #8

    Re: Sky and waves

    I prefer the 2nd version of P2 as the other version look over-done to me. A very nice shot to my eye

    The only thing I'm not sure about is the posts - can you straighten them without making the horizon go wonky or were they at that angle?

  9. #9

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    The only thing I'm not sure about is the posts - can you straighten them without making the horizon go wonky or were they at that angle?
    Hi Andy,

    Sure - anything is possible. Just takes time though - especially considering that their reflections need to be dealt to as well. Not too hard with lower resolution images like this, but one needs to be careful with high-resolution shots if the image is going to be printed large as it can "give the game away" upon closer inspection.

    Re: Strength of colours - yeah - I know what you mean. It's just a personal thing; I was just trying to show Yan how he needed to "work a bit harder" in the PP dept (especially in ACR, where most of the work was done).

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Yan,

    This is the best that I could do - not sure what you did, but you had very uneven exposure in the sky portion; misplaced GND filter? In correcting it I've ended up with some visible noise - possibly because I've just installed CS4 at home and I didn't realise that I'd opened the file for editing as an 8 bit file, in Adobe RGB, so that may have contributed to it. In the end I had to do two versions and layer mask the transition between them.

    I've gone for strong colours -- in my eye it seemed to be a strength of the image.

    ...
    Colin,

    Thanks a lot for your work on this photo. Your version is very eye-catching but to me, it seems a bit strong.

    I can see your point here. Post processing is my weakpoint

    I am not sure if I place GND correctly, what I did was to place a 2-stop GND above the horizon, and then place a 1-stop GND in the middle of the composition to reduce the water reflection highlight a bit.

    I tried a bit more and got the following version:

    Sky and waves
    Last edited by Yan Zhang; 24th September 2009 at 12:12 AM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Hi Yan,

    Your last effort is definately heading in the right direction. Bigest problem I had with it was the lack of contrast through the middle section -- it was actually quite problematic -- and I think that it appears to have given you a bit of a hard time as well.

    Hard to say what the story was with the filters - personally I wouldn't ever use a 1-Stop - too weak to be able to see any difference; usually a 3-stop is about right. How far you move it down really repends on what it is you want to protect detail in -- in this case I'd have had it over pretty much everything above the green algae. Don't forget that although you can only ever print/display 4 to 6 stops, the camera is still capturing around 12 - and the fill light can adjust that quite nicely for you if needed, although having just said that, I think the shot was about a stop under-exposed.

    Good shot though - I like the composition. I doubt it would sell very well just due to the fact that it's colourful algae, but it's certainly a nice shot to have in your portfolio.

  12. #12

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Yan,

    Your last effort is definately heading in the right direction. Bigest problem I had with it was the lack of contrast through the middle section -- it was actually quite problematic -- and I think that it appears to have given you a bit of a hard time as well.

    Hard to say what the story was with the filters - personally I wouldn't ever use a 1-Stop - too weak to be able to see any difference; usually a 3-stop is about right. How far you move it down really repends on what it is you want to protect detail in -- in this case I'd have had it over pretty much everything above the green algae. Don't forget that although you can only ever print/display 4 to 6 stops, the camera is still capturing around 12 - and the fill light can adjust that quite nicely for you if needed, although having just said that, I think the shot was about a stop under-exposed.

    Good shot though - I like the composition. I doubt it would sell very well just due to the fact that it's colourful algae, but it's certainly a nice shot to have in your portfolio.
    Dear Colin,

    Thanks again for your advice, it's really helpful.

    Yan

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Zhang View Post
    Dear Colin,

    Thanks again for your advice, it's really helpful.

    Yan
    No worries Yan - always a pleasure

    I hear that you're all having some rather different atmospheric conditions over your way today (dust storm) - I'm hoping that someone will post some pictures - could make for an interesting sunset.

  14. #14

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    Re: Sky and waves

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    No worries Yan - always a pleasure

    I hear that you're all having some rather different atmospheric conditions over your way today (dust storm) - I'm hoping that someone will post some pictures - could make for an interesting sunset.
    The dust storm has gone now, someone said moved to Queensland. I waked up at 6.40am this morning and saw a orange color sky, but the color only lasted several minutes. By around 12.00pm today, the storm has gone, the sky became quite clear now.

    You may see some photos here:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/

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