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Thread: Early start in the snow

  1. #1
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Early start in the snow

    The weather forecast showed clearing skies and i wanted to get a moorland sunrise shot with snow so off i set. It was still pitch black when i set off on the two and a half mile hike out across the moor to the spot where the CIC sunrise calculator had predicted the sunrise point. The -6 temperature with a biting wind chill made me question my resolve. Then as daylight came in NO break in the cloud was apparent. I have three or four pictures but they all seem flat. Can anybody(or everybody) let me know how i could improve things,as my pp is weak or is just something i put down to experience. ps As i was taking the pics i poured a cup of tea and the drops froze on the outside of the cup!

    Early start in the snow

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    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Hello Andrew,

    The first thing that comes to mind is that you could have extended your hand holding the cup out in front of the lens showing the frozen drops of tea! OK, getting real now, I like the scene pretty much the way it is, just I would have put the horizon either higher or lower in the frame. I know many people don't like a lot of negative space (like empty sky) but in this case I feel that lowering the horizon just a little - showing more of the blue sky fading to pink but still including all of the large rock at the lower right - would enhance the COOLD feeling. Elther way it's a nice shot.
    Last edited by Lon Howard; 21st January 2013 at 02:44 AM.

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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Maybe try slightly enhancing the colour of the blue, red and magenta to boost the sky a bit. Otherwise the I think it is alright. Keeps the cold feeling with the foreground as is. Did you perchance move a little to the left to get that gnarled tree against the clouds? Or where you too frozen?

    I feel your pain in the conditions you describe. Miserable.

  4. #4
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Thanks Lon and Trevor I will be home again in a couple of days and I will try those improvements. Trevor I did move a little and I will try to post that effort too!

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Hi Andrew,

    I can sympathise with your conditions and the disappointing outcome.

    Sadly, with landscapes, having 'good' lighting is pretty fundamental to success, you didn't and it shows.

    Sure, there are a few things that you could try on this;
    Correct the Lateral Chromatic Aberration (I see you have CS5, can't you use the profile for your lens in ACR to correct that?)
    Local Contrast Enhancement (LCE)
    Raise the grey point in Levels, or do summat similar in Curves, to slightly brighten the foreground (without blowing the sky)
    If still needed after the above, boost the saturation a bit.

    Hope that helps,

  6. #6

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    Re: Early start in the snow

    A quick edit just using Curves, selectively applied; in much the same way as Dave mentioned. Just a starting thought.

    Early start in the snow

    Adding a little LCE or using a blank Adjustment Layer with the blend mode set to Soft Light at a suitable opacity or something similar might also be worth considering.

    But I was concerned about 'going over the top' with editing.

  7. #7
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    Maybe try slightly enhancing the colour of the blue, red and magenta to boost the sky a bit. Otherwise the I think it is alright. Keeps the cold feeling with the foreground as is. Did you perchance move a little to the left to get that gnarled tree against the clouds? Or where you too frozen?

    I feel your pain in the conditions you describe. Miserable.
    Thanks Trevor i tried some of those things and it did improve. Here are two other shots from closer to the tree. I also tried some of the things that you , Dave and Geoff suggested.

    1#Early start in the snow

    2#Early start in the snow

  8. #8

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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Those have come together much better, Andrew.

    I suspect you might be able to add a fraction more brightness to the foreground of the first one though.

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    My only quibble with these is that I don't have this tree, with the hill in the background and the rocks around the base readily accessible to me. I am relying on you to return to this site in all four seasons and replicate shot number two. Since I am using you as my surrogate: get a fraction more of the tree so the far left branches are not poking out of the frame on the left. The view of the valley in the background is a great element.

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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    get a fraction more of the tree so the far left branches are not poking out of the frame on the left. The view of the valley in the background is a great element.
    Completely agreed!

  11. #11
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Hi Andrew,

    I'm going to be cruel to be kind (in the longer term).

    These are never going to look good until you grip on the Lateral Chromatic Aberration, I'm afraid.

    Early start in the snow

    By not correcting this, you're putting a lot of false colour around the periphery of all your shots where-ever there are step contrast changes.

    The EXIF shows CS5.1, I have CS5 and that does lens-profile corrections for errors like this in ACR.

    Early start in the snow

    Usually the EXIF data chooses the correct lens, but you can select yourself, from quite a long list, if need be.

    Once you've used it, assuming you shot RAW, you'll always want to.
    (and wonder why you didn't find it sooner)

    Cheers,

  12. #12
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    My only quibble with these is that I don't have this tree, with the hill in the background and the rocks around the base readily accessible to me. I am relying on you to return to this site in all four seasons and replicate shot number two. Since I am using you as my surrogate: get a fraction more of the tree so the far left branches are not poking out of the frame on the left. The view of the valley in the background is a great element.
    Ha Ha sounds like i have a project!

  13. #13
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Early start in the snow

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Andrew,

    I'm going to be cruel to be kind (in the longer term).

    These are never going to look good until you grip on the Lateral Chromatic Aberration, I'm afraid.

    Early start in the snow

    By not correcting this, you're putting a lot of false colour around the periphery of all your shots where-ever there are step contrast changes.

    Dont worry Dave i want to learn which is why i put these shots up.
    I hadnt even noticed it was there. I had tried to alter the slider but i had been in the wrong place. Now i have found the the right place but my lens was not listed( 18-105) although i notice it was on your example?I have done both photos again and hope i have improved them. At least i now know what im looking for
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 2nd February 2013 at 01:06 AM. Reason: fix quote tag

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