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Thread: Still life, moving water

  1. #1

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    Still life, moving water

    So this is something of a minor achievement for me but none the less I'm seeking advice and critique.
    Compositionally I'm fairly happy with this shot but I've been playing with Photoshop CS3, which unfortunately doesn't recognize the raw data from my 5D mk II, so I've been importing JPEG files, Step 1 was finding that out and understanding what it all meant, Step 2 was to undertake some sharpening tutorials and apply them to the photo. Step 3 was to research framing/background techniques, and then apply them !
    For me, a photoshop novice, this was quite time consuming and convoluted.
    BUT I think I did it all.
    Your opinions and advice most welcome

    Still life, moving water

  2. #2
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    I like the composition, but the picture is a little blurred. Is this an hand-held shot?

    Tip: download the free DNG converter from Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/downloads/) and transform your .CR raw file into the DNG raw format. Then open the DNG file with Photoshop.

    Andrea
    Last edited by kris; 14th February 2013 at 03:38 PM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Thank you Andrea, this was taken mounted on a tripod,I found it pretty sharp but maybe the years are catching up with me and I need to get some new glasses !
    I will look at the DNG converter, there seems to be some debate about DNG's, do you use this method and what, if any, are the drawbacks? Is a DNG file somewhere between a JPEG and RAW as far as data amounts/ quality, or is it far closer to the RAW end of the scale?
    I guess if you feel the image is blurred, it's back to the drawing board with the sharpening lessons !! I also think the frame needs some work so back to photoshop it is. . .

  4. #4

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Mat: I think in this case it is the smoothed water flowing in the background. I love the smooth silky look, however I think in this case a faster shutter speed would have helped.
    As to DNG files, they are just a format Adobe developed so that in ten, twenty years for now as programs change you would still be able to open them and process them, it just saves the RAW file with all the info in a different format. Others will be able to give a more indepth overview but that is it simply.
    Like the composition of the image.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Very nice composition, Mat.

    What it looks strange to me is that only the rock seems blurred, while the other objects on the foreground are quite sharp, and I'm wondering if it could be only an optical effect due to the rock texture.

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Dear Mat,

    in your composition the main subject is the plant and the chestnut with its bur, at least this is what capture my eyes. While the plant is in focus the chestnut and the bur look on my monitor blurred. The same with the rock in the foreground. This gives an unpleasant feeling. It the shot was taken with a tripod probably the DOF was too small. You can try with a bit of local sharpening. Maybe the problem is the monitor, or the PP done on a Jpeg file.

    In short:
    DNG (Digital Negative) is a "raw" format developed by Adobe. Its is an open format, at difference with the CR from Canon or NEF from Nikon, that are proprietary, not well documented, file formats. The declared intent of Adobe is that of having a standard RAW format that would simply the archiving and handling of digital RAW files. You just experienced the problem of not-standard RAW format.

    The DNG file is a RAW file, as your original CR. The conversion is lossless, even if sometime some loss has been reported, especially with old DNG converter. However, if you want, when you convert your CR RAW file into a DNG file you have the option of embedding the original RAW data into the DNG, at the price of almost doubling the size of the resulting file.

    As with any RAW data file when you PP a DNG file you will not alter the original data. Depending on the program you used for PP the developing instructions can be embedded as additional metadata into the DNG file itself or written in a sidecar file. In any case our original data are untouched.

    I personally do not change my original RAW file into the DNG format, unless nedeed. Others, for example Donald here in CiC, always do. There are Pros and Cons in converting or not converting the data. In your case you have to transform your RAW file into the DNG format to be used with CS3.

    Cheers
    Andrea
    Last edited by kris; 15th February 2013 at 06:07 AM.

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Very interesting composition and effect.

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post

    Tip: download the free DNG converter from Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/downloads/) and transform your .CR raw file into the DNG raw format. Then open the DNG file with Photoshop.

    Andrea
    Great advice about DNG converter, Downloaded and running at 110% as I try to get all my raw files processed. Thanks

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Mat: I think in this case it is the smoothed water flowing in the background. I love the smooth silky look, however I think in this case a faster shutter speed would have helped.

    Allan
    OK, Allan. I appreciate your time and critique but in this instance, it was exactly that effect (still against 'moving') that i was looking for, however i will review my shots and see if a shorter shutter speed also does it for me !
    Ta

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by GiacomoD View Post
    Very nice composition, Mat.

    What it looks strange to me is that only the rock seems blurred, while the other objects on the foreground are quite sharp, and I'm wondering if it could be only an optical effect due to the rock texture.
    Hi Giacomo, Yes I agree there is something blurry about the rock. To be honest I blame myself for poor focusing but maybe there's some fault with the lens and my vision is once again 20/20 and my ability with a camera is assured !!

  11. #11
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by moopy goops View Post
    Great advice about DNG converter, Downloaded and running at 110% as I try to get all my raw files processed. Thanks
    You are welcome mat.

    Cheers
    Andrea

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    Dear Mat,

    in your composition the main subject is the plant and the chestnut with its bur, at least this is what capture my eyes. While the plant is in focus the chestnut and the bur look on my monitor blurred. The same with the rock in the foreground. This gives an unpleasant feeling. It the shot was taken with a tripod probably the DOF was too small. You can try with a bit of local sharpening. Maybe the problem is the monitor, or the PP done on a Jpeg file.

    Cheers
    Andrea
    Hi again Andrea,
    Checked up the details and I was ;
    shooting at ISO 50
    at 105 mm
    20 seconds
    at f.22
    It was getting late and I was loosing the light so i must have opted for a high f number which explains the shallow depth of field and the blurred rocks/ chestnuts
    Ta again

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Very interesting composition and effect.
    Thank you sir

  14. #14
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    If in doubt, and you can, take a couple of shot with different settings, so you can chose later. I learnt this by experience

  15. #15

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Mat: if it is correct as to what you say the f/22 will give you a greater depth of field not a shallower one. If you shot at 20 seconds and were to open the f-stop, 7 and 1/3 stop to get to f/1.8 you would have needed to increase your shutter speed to about 1/8 of a second thus you would have had a very shallow depth of field. That lens will not stop that open, another thing alot of 105's are macro and VR,so it is more than likely that you used autofocused and thus allowed the camera to pick the focus point and left the VR on. Next time manual focus and turn off the VR. It should improve the image.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  16. #16
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    The rock and little yellow leaf are definitely blurred, I downloaded it and blew it up in CS6, where at 200 or so %, it's quite obvious - did you use a shutter release to take the photo?

    That aside, I really like it. Great composition, and colour. Perfectly exposed too for a 20 second shot. Very nice Mat!

  17. #17

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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    The rock and little yellow leaf are definitely blurred, - did you use a shutter release to take the photo?

    That aside, I really like it. Great composition, and colour. Perfectly exposed too for a 20 second shot. Very nice Mat!
    Thank you, all comments welcome but lets be honest positive ones are good for the ego too !
    In response, No I didn't exactly use a shutter release, I used a remote control so any shake must have come either through the mirror moving, or through vibrations caused by the river (it's a much bigger river than the shot implies, this is just a wee side stream).
    I feel sure it's down to sloppy focusing on my part

  18. #18
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Quote Originally Posted by moopy goops View Post
    Thank you, all comments welcome but lets be honest positive ones are good for the ego too !
    That aside, I really like it. Great composition, and colour. Perfectly exposed too for a 20 second shot. Very nice Mat!

    Aslo, I think you did a pretty good job with the sharpening, and it is nice to see a very simple border, that complements the image, instead of some, who choose to overdo the border, and have it detract from the image.

  19. #19
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    Mat,

    Congrats on a creative and interesting shot, that I feel would have been excellent had the focus been a tad more spot on.

    When I shooot landscapes on tripod, I use the autofocus only to get close. It will generally choose the closer of 2 similarly placed objects, and that isnt necessarily what the shooter wants. So once close with autofocus, I shift to manual focus and magnify the image in my viewfinder as much as possible (via focal length adjustment and my camera's built in focus magnifier), get the focus precisely where I want it, then back the focal length off and recompose as needed- much quicker to do than to type this.

    My camera has in-camera image stabilization and I have never found a bit of difference with keeping it turned on while on tripod, plus my travel tripod is fairly light and picks up wind vibrations pretty easily, so I entertain the hope that the IS will dampen that effect.

    Hope this helps a little.

  20. #20
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    Re: Still life, moving water

    I really like the composition and colours. As it has been mentioned there is some issues with focus. At f/22 I would think that the field of view should be more than adequate to cover most of this frame. I can only suggest that possibly the camera got very slightly moved either by wind or just vibration from you moving close by. 20 seconds is also a very long time to shoot something like this. A number of factors could have caused the slightly OOF issue.

    When I take long exposures like this I always anchor the tripod with a heavy sandbag and use a remote release.

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