Last edited by agaace; 23rd September 2009 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Added shooting data
Well I think the ground is about how I would do it, but I think I would, in this instance, given it is not a sunset, hold back some on the clouds. They are now so contrasty they 'fight' with the scenery below for attention, rather than compliment it.
Two riders to that opinion;
It's only me
What do I expect for 30 seconds
Spectacular view and well captured
Only niggle I have is the wee white bit in the bottom left....now I've noticed it I keep noticing it!
Thanks for all the comments, much appreciated!
@Colin: Wow, you make magic! I must say, because it's a single exposure shot, I used a lot of fill light to bring up the foreground, so I was afraid to add any more because of noise.. And when I use contrast/saturation.. at some point I think I exageratted, so move the slider back. Then the next day, someone adds more contrast (not knowing I already gave some), and I look at it.. and it looks great! I think I should just do pp, go to sleep, come back the next day with a fresh look - and finish pp.
@Dave: It IS a sunset The mountains are high, so it is technically still a few minutes early, but you won't get that "last beams of light" because the sun would be hidden behind the mountains. It's a completely different experience than with a flat landscape! The clouds here are actually the most natural part of the image.. hmm.. maybe I just screw up the color balance of the rest?
@Andy: The white thing is those little white flowers. At first sight, I wanted to clone them out, but then thought - ok, it's flowers, not rubbish, and left them. But I was worried they'd grab attention, too I find it weird myself, that when there's something contrasty in the corner of the frame, even very small, it still catches my eye. I often clone the corner out then.. and I think I should have done that here too.
After a while you'll get pretty good at evaluating images - you'll be able to take one look at shots and immediately think "looks a bit gray - must be lacking contrast (usually incorrect black and white clipping points - don't believe people who tell you that you only move them to the ends of the histogram; you have to push then a bit further than that).
Keep an eye on your colour casts too (you'd probably benefit significantly by shooting a gray card) (or even a white piece of paper in a reference shot).
OK, Ok, ok, it IS a sunset
What I meant was the sun is not in shot, as it often is in 'classic' sunset shots.
If it looks right to you now, who am I to argue, I wasn't there
I know what you mean about fresh eyes on PP, the number of times I finish, upload to PBase, sometimes even post here, THEN decide I really must change something and have to do it all again is infuriating. Maybe I should do the same thing you suggest (let's call it "the morning after review"), or at least take a screen break for a cup of coffee, bottle of beer, etc. then come back, re-assess and finish off, before uploading!
Last edited by Dave Humphries; 23rd September 2009 at 08:03 PM. Reason: fix missing quote tag (I hope I put it in the right place!)
Nice work Agata. I like what Colin has done to the clouds but I am not sure it carries through to the land so well. It seems to give an artificial cast to the trees. the original version had that subtle glow to the mountain top and the grasses in the foreground. Having said that my eyes are tired through messing with accounts spreadsheets all evening so a pink elephant would probably have a yellow tinge to it at the mo.
Just a wee follow up - the original had quite a colour cast to it, but it wasn't as obvious in the tree regions because they were relatively dark. So once I'd lifted the trees I needed to fix the cast which in turn changed the clouds (which had a variety of temperatures anyway) - so very much a colour temperture compromise which could probably have been dealt to, but I was more interested in letting Agata see the difference the fill light would make.
Personally I think the clouds spoilt the shot to a degree (not very attractive) - the rest of the composition would have been fantastic if it could have been tilted down with something like a wild flower in the fore-ground.
Thanks for all the comments!
@Steve: Yes, I always shoot in RAW, but I suck in blending so I prefer single shots whenever possible.
@Wirefox: This subtle cast was there indeed, it was made by me, because the sky was warmer, so I wanted to warm up the foreground.
Yeah.. and a dancing elf in a pink dress in the foreground I see your point, and a flower shot would have been interesting, but unfortunately, there were no wild flowers there (and no nearby florists). I do like the clouds in your version with more contrast, but when you fixed my cast (which I made on purpose), the trees look so green.. so basically the foreground looks like daytime, and the sky looks like sunset(ish), so I think it causes confusion. You said previously I should be careful with casts, and that's true, I find it the toughest part, to get color balance right (I can partially blame my lousy laptop screen, I can't wait to get a better one). For a sunset(ish) shots I want warm colors - orangish, pinkish, reddish, purpleish.. I always try to avoid green cast, cause I don't find it very attractive, unless it's a jungle shot. Green cast always reminds me of my old school books back from 80's / early 90's, especially the geography books had this terrible resolution of photos and all the places looked so unattractive in the photos due to this blue-greeninsh cold cast. The photos of cities were the worst ones. And personally I'm not very fond of photos with oversaturated green, I way more prefer olive or Sun Kissed Dry Grass™ range of colors I know, maybe it's just my personal thing.. and maybe I just need to learn a lot more about colors..Personally I think the clouds spoilt the shot to a degree (not very attractive) - the rest of the composition would have been fantastic if it could have been tilted down with something like a wild flower in the fore-ground.
Yeah - white balancing is an "interesting animal" with landscape photography. As a rule, anything with people generally needs to be balanced quite accurately, but with sunsets and sunrises the temperature is so heavily biased (and changing) that it makes things tricky; the least of the problems being that you don't necessarily want technical accuracy anyway.
A little trick I use is to temporarily up the saturation to something like +50 (or more) and then adjust the temp and tint; that way you can see when you start to drift away from the ideal quite quickly. Laptops are tricky to work from - best advice I can give is to adjust the screen so that you can see a reflaction of your eyes dead centre (when it's off) so your guaranteed to be looking at it at exactly 90 degrees (see those old geometry lessons of our days at school finally coming in handy!).
If you get a chance, pop along to http://singhray.blogspot.com/ and scroll down to some of the photos in the middle and towards the end (just forget those aweful ones at the top!) -- there are several there that show flowers etc in the foreground, and a similar background to yours -- they are ideal compositions (I appreciate that you didn't have anything like that where you were -- I have the same problems frequently) (in fact one of those types of shots are on my "wish list").
If you'd like a gentle introduction to blanding (and many other common techniques) then grab yourself a copy of Scott Kelby's 7 Point system for CS3 - good "hands on" stuff