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Thread: Guidance and advice please

  1. #1
    Coinneachmhor's Avatar
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    Guidance and advice please

    I took this photo yesterday of Horsburgh Castle near Peebles. I have been waiting for the chance to capture this castle in the snow for some time now and having done so feel it's a bit flat due to the snow clouds and the general dullness of the day. I particularly wanted this in B&W and have gone for much less contrast than I would normally go for but it's missing something.

    The settings were f5.6, 13s exposure with 10 stop ND filter to reduce the light and ISO 100. I have done the PP in camer RAW and done nothing in elements.

    Would really appreciate some feedback and suggestions.

    Thanks

    Guidance and advice please

  2. #2
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and advice please

    Just out of interest why did you use a 10 stop filter to get a long exposure on a subject that isn't moving?

    Other than that its a bit flat, there are no real whites..or blacks and its a bit too square on to be interesting.

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    Re: Guidance and advice please

    I agree with the comp being a bit square adding to the flat feel, however I think setting your black and white points help it quite a bit and maybe add a touch contrast. While this helps it for me, it may not for you as it completely changes the feel of the image.

    I can add the edit I did if you like.

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    Re: Guidance and advice please

    I agree with robin, there was no need to use a ND filter, unless it helped to blend the fog in the background.

    The image is underexposed, and the levels haven't been adjusted in ACR. That is a good place to start.

    Shooting this scene in good morning or evening light would help. (cross lighting usually adds alot of dimension and interest to a subject.) The tonal values of the light,make a big impact on a B&W.


    The image isn't a total flop, with some heavy editing , it can look something like this (not shure if it's the look you after).....................Adjusted the levels, increased the contrast, sharpened, added a couple vignettes to change the light a bit.
    Guidance and advice please

  5. #5
    Coinneachmhor's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and advice please

    Robin, thanks for feedback. The shot was taken about noon and I was really struggling with the levels of light so put the filter on to try to get something from the sky and the trees.

    Paul, thanks I'd love to see your edit and unfortunately not sure of the terminology you use when you say "setting your black and white points".

    Steve, thanks also. Unfortunately I only had about an hour to get to the location and get some images but early morning I think would be good. I would normally go for something with a lot more contrast as I tend to prefer images with contrast and texture, however I thought I'd try a softer approach on the basis I would come here for feedback and guidance.

  6. #6

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    Re: Guidance and advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Coinneachmhor View Post
    I was really struggling with the levels of light so put the filter on to try to get something from the sky and the trees.
    I don't understand how using a neutral density filter would help with that unless it is a graduated filter that affects only part of the image. (I'm not familiar enough with ND filters to know if the graduated filters are available as 10-stop filters.)

    not sure of the terminology you use when you say "setting your black and white points".
    In the Levels Tool, the far left slider determines your black point. In other words, the placement of the slide maps that tonality to black. Similarly, the far right slider determines your white point. The two points affect the amount of contrast between the darkest and lightest parts of the image. (You can adjust the curve in the Curves tool to affect the contrast in the mid tones.)

  7. #7
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and advice please

    No worries, Kenny. Although there is nothing to be gained at this point from me posting my edit....as it looks quite similar to Steve's. As for the plack points and such....Mike has got you taken care of.

  8. #8
    Coinneachmhor's Avatar
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    Re: Guidance and advice please

    Thanks Mike. The filter was a misguided attempt at trying something desperate while I rushed to get some shots in a limited time. Thanks for the explanation re levels. I normally use this quite a bit but don't necessarily know the terminology that goes with it as I try to teach myself based on what I see here in CIC and what effects I like as I experiment with PP in Elements.

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