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Thread: My First Landscape Photo

  1. #1

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    My First Landscape Photo

    I visited the famous Yosemite National park and i remebebred to take famous tunnel view picture. I read a lot of tips from the forums here and applied it to the picture.

    I am sure this picture could have been much more better, also i did not like the sharpness either that i got, so you all please advice me on how to improvise further on this?

    Thanks

    My First Landscape Photo

  2. #2

    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    Quote Originally Posted by sabcoolin View Post
    I am sure this picture could have been much more better,
    Hi,

    Your color balance is way off!!!!!!!

    Roger

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    Sachin

    Maybe you could give us some more information so that people would be able to better respond.

    Did you shoot this as a RAW image or as a JPEG? What, if any, post processing have you done? How do you rate your own post-processing knowledge and experience? These answers will allow people to give responses that might make most sense to you.

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    The colour balance seems a little odd to me. How does it compare to the actual scene?

    Possibly you are expecting too much from this scene. There is a lot of distance to be recorded here in a two dimensional photo. So parts are bound to be a little lacking in sharpness.

    What were your camera settings and what have you done by way of editing?

    At thumbnail size, the trees all merge together but this looks better at full screen size.

  5. #5

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    I Shot this as a RAW image, i should say this is probably one of my first 10 files that i have ever edited in Lightroom, i have started using Lightroom 4 for editing purposes. I am a newbie in editing pictures.



    Thanks
    Last edited by sabcoolin; 17th June 2013 at 11:18 PM.

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    Sachin: do you remember those rocks as green in colour, as those rocks are grey, now with the light at the right angle and time of day you can get some red and orange shades by not green. Think back to when you took them and if they were green in your vision I think you may have a problem as to how you see colour compared to most people some form of colour blindness, that is unless you made them green on purpose, so it would help to let us know if that was the case and why you did that.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  7. #7
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    I do not have Lightroom but I messed around with the much inferior PSE10 and Topaz Detail 3. It is very hard to remove the green, if you have the RAW file, use the pipette for white balance on the clouds or rocks.

    This isn't perfect because I had to select parts of the picture to adjust separately, you won't have to.

    My First Landscape Photo

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    If there was ever an example to re-inforce my view that newbies should not shoot raw, then this is it. An uncharitable reaction is that it is a deliberate hoax following a deliberate mis-play with the controls in LIghtroom. I used a proper editor to return the closer rocks to an appropriate tone and to get rid of the hideous sickly green of the trees in foreground. Though I cannot do much with the sky as I am not used to playing with colour controls ...I simply do not need them.
    If you must shoot raw becuase everybody says it is the way to go then at least shoot rawplusjpg with the camera set to AWB becuase with the ability of the camera I am sure you will get much better results and comments when working off the jpg version.
    My First Landscape Photo
    I have not been to the Yosemite but none of the trees I have seen elsewhere in the States, or my home country, look like your effort ... even in the fall there would be patches of lightness contrasting with the dark prevailing conifer.

  9. #9
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    Sachin,
    As you have gathered there are a lot of issues with your image. If you have never used Lightroom seriously before you need to adopt a more structured approach to your processing workflow. That way you will find that it is easier to learn, and will get more reproducible results.

    Also, while you are in the early stages of coming to grips with the software, I would advise you shoot RAW and JPG at the same time. (You shout be able to set the camera to do this.) You can then use the JPG as a reference while you are learning how to manipulate the Raw image.

    Ok so what are the key RAW steps... (I use PS6 which I understand is a bit different from LR4 but the 'general' processes I describe below should still be valid.)

    1) Set White Balance ie find an area of the raw image which you think should naturally be 'grey' and click on it. I tend to use grey cloud or rock/stone in landscapes.

    2) Adjust your exposure. Look to get true whites as white with darkest areas black but keeping reasonable shadow detail in dark areas. (Watch out for black and white clipping of the image)

    3) If there is clipping consider reducing highlights to adjust before reducing exposure, and if black clipping is present either reduce 'black or lighten shadows.

    4) Adjust Clarity to improve contrast in midtones

    5) adjust Vibrance (if colours seem particularly flat)

    6) Adjust Luminance to remove/reduce noise. Also adjust colour noise if necessary.

    7) Adjust image sharpness

    Once you have done the above the image should look something like the reference JPEG but you will have controlled how the final look is.(keep in mind that not every image needs all these adjustments ever time)

    Right, that is my very quick summary of thee steps I use. Other people may do things in a different order etc. You will find as you get more experience that you will develop your own preferences.

    I strongly recommend you read the various tutorials on this site, they will help you enormously with your understanding of the processes involved. I would also suggest you find a good guide to Lightroom and work your way through it. You will also find a lot of information on imaging workflow if you search the web.

    A few years ago, I tried to 'summarise' workflow processes in a diagram. ( It was meant tobe an 'aide memoire' to help a few friends who were getting into image processing.) Software and packages have moved on since then, and some of the 'techniques' have either gone out of fashion, or been superceded. It may help you, it may not, but I'll post it anyway.
    Good luck, and I look forward to seeing more of your images.

    James
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    Last edited by James G; 18th June 2013 at 12:40 PM.

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    Thank you all for the critique. I looked at my image and after a little research on tutorials on lightroom and i figured out that i had saturated green all the way up and i had got the wrong white Balance.

    James,
    Thank you for the steps. I knew that my image did not look right in terms of colors so on the other hand i was trying to troubleshoot and understand what went wrong, but your steps help a lot. Thanks once again.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    Sachin - usually (unless things are really screwed up or you are trying to do something dramatic or experimental) adjustments tend to be incremental and subtle. This image looks like you went a bit slider happy when choosing the settings.

    I'm not sure if you are ready for RAW yet...

  12. #12
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    I think beginners should shoot RAW so that they can learn how to do it sooner rather than later or never.

    I frequently read posts that go something like this: "I finally got up the courage to shoot RAW - it wasn't painful at all - should have done it years ago". Don't give up on RAW, it's worth the effort.

    I'm not writing JPEG off nor denigrating it. There are situations were JPEG is the only viable option; shooting at a sports event where hundreds of images must be ready to send elsewhere immediately for publication (think of the Olympics or the Tour de France). In these situations, one can't be sitting at a computer all night developing RAW images. JPEG is the ONLY option.

    Glenn

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    One other point which may prove useful apart from the excellent suggestions / advice from other members is, to ensure your Monitor is colour calibrated. Sometimes what you see may not be the same on other Monitors. Just a thought. Also hope you were not using any filter effect?

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    It's a bit off the original thread and simply an observation, but I'm always intrigued by the idea that RAW needs a bit of experience before you get into it
    I think the issue is governed more by learning style, and the potential of information overload when advising beginners... After all, they have to master the camera, exposure, focus, composition, DOF, etc...... then progress to image processing to polish the end result and all that that entails, white/colour balance, sharpening, cropping,etc and then print.... maybe ... It is a bit daunting, and I personally empathise with the idea of small steps, problem is that a lot of people just want to get stuck in, and are enthusiastic, probably impatient, and just want to start seeing results. Which is often where CiC comes in

    There are any number of ways of learning and getting experience so I think as long as we don't frighten people off with our advise, or depress them when their efforts are still a little raw [ pun intended], then we do a good job.

    My experience of advice from CiC members is that they do manage to walk this 'tricky' line very effectively, unlike a number of other forums I have encountered where there tends to be far too much dogmatism , intolerance of inexperience and over critical review etc.

    I just love this forum.....
    Last edited by James G; 20th June 2013 at 06:23 PM.

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    The 'state of the art' with both cameras and editing programmes is such that all one NEEDS to know is composition and how to depress the trigger and there is absolutely no reason to mess around shooting in systems that require experience to turn out anything better than rubbish.
    There are plenty of examples of the competence of the modern camera ... it is just that people try to make it far more complicated than it is and foolishly think that shooting in manual makes them a photographer. I am sure that many will denign this simple state of the art.
    I have been doing this game since the only automation I had was a Weston Meter which moved its needle to tell me the strength of the light and I enjoy the current SOTA.
    There is today an unhealthy pre-occupation with the technical aspects with so many pressing triggers to so little worthwhile purpose.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 20th June 2013 at 10:27 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    The 'state of the art' with both cameras and editing programmes is such that all one NEEDS to know is composition and how to depress the trigger and there is absolutely no reason to mess around shooting in systems that require experience to turn out anything better than rubbish.
    One man's 'rubbish' is another's valued item. I contend that any image, rubbish or otherwise has merit when it has relevance to the person who took it.
    I took a rubbish image (technically), last year, slightly blurred and rather flat, because I did not have time to do anything more than point and shoot. I used every trick in the book to enhance it (experience?) because it recorded the totally unexpected and unanticipated moment my wife walked into a farm kitchen , realised she was meeting her aunt (85 ys of age), and had finally found her deceased father's family after a search that had lasted 40 years. The state of the art DSLR camera did a magnificent job under the circumstances, composition was not relevant, but being able to 'enhance' the image appropriately afterwards, added to my wife's continued joy of that moment in her life.

    My post was an observation and not a challenge to anyone.
    I have to disagree though with your assertion about what it is that "only" needs to be known. Your preference may be to capture images with initial composition being key. You may decry any 'significant' subsequent manipulation from RAW, preferring to present a final product on basis that it was 'as shot'. That is your right and choice, and presumably all you feel is needed for yourself. But I would not look to propose it universally as the only way to capture images or learn the craft.

    I do not claim to be a 'Photographer' or an 'Artist', Graphic Designer, Visual Media Practitioner (yes some one once described their efforts to me that way), I simply like pointing the camera and clicking the shutter. I invariably do use the words 'amateur' and 'passionate' as descriptors for my efforts. I do not regularly shoot on manual, I use both point and shoot and DSLR, and do not consider my imaging to be better or more authentic because I choose to capture in RAW format where possible. I simply prefer to be able to use available technology to exercise my own judgement in developing the final image without having to undo the automated and statistically 'expected' and standard look that the camera (vendor) has chosen for me.

    On balance, this simply pleases and satisfies me, and generally, I agree that often, my final result may not be significantly better than the camera generated product, but, If the image is rubbish it has been generated by me and no blame can be attached to Canon, Nikon or any of the other excellent Camera providers.

    I agree with you that learners particularly, do get caught up in unnecessarily complicated processes, but experience soon sorts this out (in most cases). In general, the advice from CiC members recognises this when it occurs and suggest the appropriate simplifications.

  17. #17
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    I would like to relate to what both jcuknz and James say on the subject and in my opinion, both are correct.

    I am by all means an amateur hobbyist when it comes to photography. I have indulged in astrophotography as well which involves a lot of processing with Raw files and then with Jpeg files. However, for daytime, I sometimes tend to shoot Raw while the majority of time I chose Jpeg, simply because the modern dSLR today has enough processing power to satisfy my needs. Most of the time, the outcome shooting potraits or group shots or landscapes has not disappointed me. On the rare occasion I use Raw for daytime shooting, I seem to lose my patience halfway processing images. As I said, I am a hobbyist.

    The 60D which I own has an internal Raw to Jpeg conversion which helps somewhat but a 3" LCD screen is not exactly going to help me see details. However, over time, I have learnt that one must develop a bit of processing skills, especially if even a hobbyist or a beginner are going to start indulging in Macro photography or photography which involves 'water' or Product shoot. If not for anything, for the sake of creativity.

    My point? While modern dSLR's, even Point & Shoot cameras have evolved to a point where processing may seem unnecessary, it is definitely not. I think creative photography would be lost if one has to solely rely only on the camera's input.

    I am always astounded seeing my result of my earlier efforts and after running them through Photoshop Elements or PaintShop Pro. Nowadays, while I still process using both these programs, the processing is reduced to a large extent, mostly because the experience gained over time and understanding the various buttons on my camera, understanding of lenses and most importantly, reading on forums such as CiC.

  18. #18

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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    What gets to a raw point with me is the suggestion that one needs to use raw if one wants the ability to do any post processing. Since throughout my digital experience I have used jpg and still post process to a lesser or considerable degree in all manner of ways as the photo requires I reject totally any suggestion that one cannot PP after shooting with jpg ... once the file is in the editor it is a full lossless image and treated that way from then on. The fact that jpgFINE or equivalent dispenses with 75% of what the camera is capable of and does record doesn't bother me one little bit .... the operating advantages of shooting jpg outweigh any posssible advantages of shooting raw for me ... though this is less these days as gear improves ... when I started there was similar discussions about jpgFINE v. tiff in the camera. I used a Nikon in those days.

  19. #19
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    One of the points about JPEGs is that I am generally completely underwhelmed by the color fidelity of the in-camera processing that happens with every vendor whose digital cameras I have tried except with RAW. I've been doing digital photography since early 1990 and my first digital camera was a Canon Powershot, (except for the fact that it was what I'd now call a PnS, I have no idea what the model number and other data about the camera were). I took it with me to Brazil and came back with what I thought was a collection of wonderful photos. NOT! And, even though I had access to an incredibly high end image processing and editing system, I was never able to get those shots to a point where the colors are as I remembered them (and have confirmed on a revisit that they really are).

    Next, I got a small Sony PnS. Same consequence! Next, was a Nikon, followed by two Kodaks, followed by two more Sonys. Then, I went back to my 35mm Maxxam SLRs because I was SO tired of bad color, even though carrying 60 pounds of cameras and glass wasn't too wonderful. Finally, the DSLRs showed up and I ultimately got an alpha 700 to which I could attach my favorite Maxxam lenses and I discovered RAW.

    What a pleasure to use! My color memories can now be perpetuated! With this camera using RAW and Dave Coffin's DCRAW software, it took me less than a day to arrive at a series of settings that gives me the "right" image time after time. I got my first picture of Texas bluebonnets that were actually the same color as I remembered them. On that trip, I progressed to getting excellent color fidelity shooting blood sausage, sheep and goats, Southern pine trees, azaleas, poinsettias, and the planes at the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site. I now am able to actually organize my workflow to include exceptions and, most importantly, I'm back to enjoying photography again (which, incidentally, is one reason I'm here on this site).

    One thing I should probably add is that, in case you haven't noticed, color rather than any other aspect of photography is what is important to me. As far as I'm concerned, that first Kodachrome slide of my fifth birthday party *during the first half of the last century* is still my standard for how accurate color representations should be. Over the years, a number of people have commented on my attention to color fidelity and the fact that, when I used to process slides through my Cibachrome system, I got their pictures exactly right even though, usually, I hadn't been to the particular place where they took particular pictures. The one who was most stunned was my department chairman for whom I printed two images of the churches on Red Square in Moscow. That was the first time I made him speechless! Teehee and chuckle!

    I'm jes' sayin'....

    virginia
    Last edited by drjuice; 23rd June 2013 at 03:46 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: My First Landscape Photo

    My First Landscape Photo

    My try to bring back your photo alive. Hope you like it.
    Wing

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