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Thread: Today's Problem Child

  1. #1
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Today's Problem Child

    Today's Problem Child

    Still working on the images taken recently at Glacier N.P. and am having a tussle with this one. I should say that really I'm not even sure what I WANT to see with this guy, it's just that I'm not happy with the foliage on those aspens (I think they're aspens) ... I was really taken with the scene when I came upon it but now ... well, you know. I remember Frank mentioning a few days ago that multiple colors from a distance blend into mush; I'm not sure that's what's happening here because there aren't THAT many colors in those leaves. Anyway, not being happy with the leaves as is, I played with simplifying detail and then with enhancing it, finally settled on enhancing the detail. I did some gradients and curves and such too but the leaves ... aarrgh! Aside from that I thought about a tighter crop but I really like looking at the foreground grass too ... can't give it up.

    Maybe I'm asking for more than the image has in it but I'm kind of invested in it at this point.

    The raw file is here http://www.mediafire.com/?1gbtd5u946rpo6l. I don't know how to undo what I did to the raw file but I guess that can be done when it's accessed.

    Any ideas are very appreciated.

    Edit: Hmm, I just downloaded the raw file and remembered that I had made two edits in ACR and that's not the one I went with (I'm pretty sure ... )
    Last edited by Lon Howard; 31st October 2012 at 12:08 AM.

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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Howard View Post
    I'm not even sure what I WANT to see
    That's certainly the most important step and I appreciate that just because it's important doesn't mean that it's necessarily easy to come by. Even so, try developing the discipline to conceive the image before you release the shutter. Once you're able to do that reasonably effectively and consistently, the post-processing will become much easier.

  3. #3
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Lon, what aspect of this scene did you see in the field that made you want to capture the image? For example, was it the richness of the colors of the trees or perhaps the vibrancy of the trees against the grasses and sky? I guess I'm asking what are you looking for that you don't see?

    From there perhaps we can help you bring out the missing element in this scene?

  4. #4
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Just a stab in the dark...The crop in the first was only to straighten. The second was one possible composition. Figure color wise it might envoke an idea of what you like or don't.

    Today's Problem Child

    Today's Problem Child

  5. #5
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Hi Lon

    I didn't see the scene and I don't know what you are looking for but I had a crack at processing your raw file in ACR/CS6 (couldn't resist !). This is what I came up with. A bit of straightening and crop, adjusted the colours and saturation in ACR, added a bit of sharpening and tonal adjustment in CS6.

    If you don't like it, let me know. It may not be to your taste. I'll remove it if you want.

    Dave

    Click on image for best viewing.

    Today's Problem Child
    Last edited by dje; 31st October 2012 at 02:53 AM. Reason: Reposted image with less colour saturation

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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Lon: here is my take on your image, most of the adjustments were done in ACR, then Nik to add some structure to the sky, a little to the trees, and a touch to the grass in the very forground.

    Cheers:

    Allan

    Today's Problem Child
    Last edited by Polar01; 31st October 2012 at 01:37 AM. Reason: forgot image

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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    My Humble effort ... (view to see full size to see correct sharpening)


    Today's Problem Child

  8. #8
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    You guys are great; thanks very much for your thoughts and edits. OK, I can see that this might be a ramble but here goes. When you're driving through Glacier, mostly you're in the open looking at vast landscapes, sweeping views, heavy breezes, the big sky thing. But here, going into the Polebridge area, you hit this patch of private property where things close in around you, and when I suddenly encountered this scene, I was struck by the serenity of it all ... fluttering leaves, solitude and quiet peace of a sort. The colors I saw were gentle and inviting without being overpowering. I think I was trying to capture the serenity, and my impression - at least for now - is that for an inexperienced photographer, this created a kind of trap for me in PP. I recall in PP that I didn't want to overpower the colors and vibrance because it would impede on the serenity aspect but I went a little overboard there and as a result, left the image a bit washed out. After seeing these edits I realize now that when my frustration level reached a certain point, I should have just put this puppy to bed and re-booted tomorrow morning.

    As for the leaves, my impression right now is that I was over-thinking it. There's just no way from this far away and this composition that a camera is going to replicate what your eyeball can send to your brain at the scene. Let me know if I'm wrong there but that's the way it seems to me.

    Learning every day, I think! Thanks.

    Lon
    Last edited by Lon Howard; 31st October 2012 at 05:19 AM.

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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    I admire the diligence of your thought process, Lon. I'd be willing to bet that you ultimately end up with an image that works really well for you.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Hi Lon, thinking about an unsatisfactory image, taking a mental break, then analyzing what happened and why can be a powerful learning tool.

    Unlike our eyes and the complex vision processing that is done by the brain, the camera has only one eye and can only focus at one point, one depth of Field, one sense of speed, and one brightness level at a time. As a result, it isn't always easy to capture a scene the way we experience it but we can often enhance the image towards what we liked most in the scene.

    I think in too many cases we don't expect an image to look like the scene that originally captured our heart. After all, it is supposed to be a flat two dimensional rendition of a vibrant three dimensional experience! As a result, I think we can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable when an image gets a little too close to what we actually saw!

  11. #11
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I admire the diligence of your thought process ...
    Thanks Mike. I don't even remember my mother calling me diligent!

  12. #12
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Today's Problem Child

    As Mike predicted, I'm fairly happy with this result. No more angst with the leaves and give them a little more pop, and thanks to Paul for straightening it. This is very close to how I remember the scene, and it was very helpful to see all the different takes that everyone came up with. Thanks all!

  13. #13
    New Member Stosh's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Problem Child

    Theres a really nifty zig zag flow to this photo
    grass goes left, trees go right , clouds go left
    If that could be enhanced , you may end up
    happier with it,, instead of a sleepy glow feel,
    you could put more energy in it and imply bad weather looming.

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