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Thread: Landscape Reviews

  1. #1

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    Landscape Reviews

    Here I am again the newbie. I had taken the first photo in landscape mode. Landscape  Reviews The second I tried to step outside my box and try a different setting. I set it to aperture 5/6 with the lens turned off and a/m to a. Saw this on another post. I thought the color wasn't as prominent. Also,, I wnted to capture the light dancing on the water. Help! Landscape  Reviews Also, the island is alway a little shadowed for me.

  2. #2
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Teri, the reason the island is dark is due to the fact that your camera metering system took into account the brightness of the sky, and water. As a result it underexposed the island.
    Certainly other members of CiC will have more helpful comments.


    Bruce

  3. #3
    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    I suspect that you are going to be stuck with the island being dark given the bright sky and water. If you expose enough to get the island well lit the water and sky will be bleached out. To my eyes the most important aspect is the water sparkles and ripples anyway, the island and the far shore are mere framing devices anyway.

    Is the 5/6 actually f5.6 aperture? And the lens being turned off; is that no autofocus? If you are going full manual mode, in other words setting the aperture, speed and focusing the lens by hand then for this sort of scene you need to have a small aperture (f16 or so) to get as much depth of focus, as you can, a speed of about 1/250 to freeze the ripples sharply and focus the lens to get the foreground sharp. Your lens may have a set of marks in the focus ring that show infinity and then how much into the foreground you still have sharpness at a given aperture. You can have a little fuzziness in the background with no huge drawback to the image quality.

    The best way to learn is to experiment. It is all very daunting at first but eventually (in my case about 50 years) it will become second nature to consider the variables.

  4. #4
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Hi Terri,

    To reinforce what Trevor says, this is an impossible scene to get everything well exposed in camera. You already have (just) blown the highlights in the water, which in my opinion is just about right and shows that you can't push up the exposure. In fact I think you could even pull it down a touch.

    I don't know what pp software you have, but in Lightroom a quick slide up of the Shadows will bring out some detail in the island and far shoreline whilst not affecting the water and sky. That is in the JPEG that you posted. If you did shoot in RAW then there is probably more detail hidden away.

    A final point - your horizon isn't level! It's not much out, easy to do and very easy to fix in pp. You'll find that once you notice it, it will drive you mad until you fix it

    Keep shooting and posting!

    Cheers,

    Dave

    EDIT Apologies if I jumped in a bit quick and caused confusion - didn't know where you are at. Pay attention to Grumpy's wise words.
    Last edited by davidedric; 14th August 2013 at 04:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Hi Terri - welcome to the part of photography where you learn that your camera and your eyes see differently.

    Your eyes (and brain) stitch together an image that is very much a composite. You see the sky and water and background. Your eyes dart around and the irises adjust themselves to the amount of light and your see everything. Your camera, on the otherhand takes the whole scene and records it, as it is, without being filtered through the brain.

    The specular highlights (i.e. the light dancing on the water) is frozen in time, whereas you see it over a longer period.

    At this point, we get to introduce you to the world of post-processing, where we can play with the data that your camera captured, and to some extent try to turn in more into the scene that you remember seeing;

    Landscape  Reviews

    A bit of lightening of the trees and land, sharpening and increasing contrast a bit, straighten the horizon, etc. All of this take a minute or two, once you have some practice and use post-processing software. Otherwise, you can tweak some of your camera settings a bit, but you will still get an average record of what the camera recorded.

  6. #6

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by tbob View Post
    I suspect that you are going to be stuck with the island being dark given the bright sky and water. If you expose enough to get the island well lit the water and sky will be bleached out. To my eyes the most important aspect is the water sparkles and ripples anyway, the island and the far shore are mere framing devices anyway.

    Is the 5/6 actually f5.6 aperture? And the lens being turned off; is that no autofocus? If you are going full manual mode, in other words setting the aperture, speed and focusing the lens by hand then for this sort of scene you need to have a small aperture (f16 or so) to get as much depth of focus, as you can, a speed of about 1/250 to freeze the ripples sharply and focus the lens to get the foreground sharp. Your lens may have a set of marks in the focus ring that show infinity and then how much into the foreground you still have sharpness at a given aperture. You can have a little fuzziness in the background with no huge drawback to the image quality.

    The best way to learn is to experiment. It is all very daunting at first but eventually (in my case about 50 years) it will become second nature to consider the variables.
    Yes, I'm trying to step outside of Scene modes. Yes, I had set the aperture at that setting. I set it on A---should I go to M instead? Where do I change the speed to 1/250? I don't even understand when to have the lens turned off and when to have it on? Please advise!

  7. #7

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Hi Terri - welcome to the part of photography where you learn that your camera and your eyes see differently.

    Your eyes (and brain) stitch together an image that is very much a composite. You see the sky and water and background. Your eyes dart around and the irises adjust themselves to the amount of light and your see everything. Your camera, on the otherhand takes the whole scene and records it, as it is, without being filtered through the brain.

    The specular highlights (i.e. the light dancing on the water) is frozen in time, whereas you see it over a longer period.

    At this point, we get to introduce you to the world of post-processing, where we can play with the data that your camera captured, and to some extent try to turn in more into the scene that you remember seeing;

    Landscape  Reviews

    A bit of lightening of the trees and land, sharpening and increasing contrast a bit, straighten the horizon, etc. All of this take a minute or two, once you have some practice and use post-processing software. Otherwise, you can tweak some of your camera settings a bit, but you will still get an average record of what the camera recorded.
    Looks great! I've done it now!

  8. #8

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    You guys are awesome! Thanks for all of your input!! Landscape  Reviews Not sure what this photo needs. I use PSE....somewhat limited on what it can do. I tried shooting in raw...won't read the file.

  9. #9
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    The reason you can't open the file in PSE 6 is that you need a newer version of ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) to open the D5100 files. The moment Adobe release a new version of the software, they do not update the older versions with the RAW converter. According to the metadeata, you are using PSE6, which is came out in 2007; I believe they are up to PSE 11 now.

  10. #10
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    The reason you can't open the file in PSE 6 is that you need a newer version of ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) to open the D5100 files. The moment Adobe release a new version of the software, they do not update the older versions with the RAW converter. According to the metadeata, you are using PSE6, which is came out in 2007; I believe they are up to PSE 11 now.
    PSE 11 is the latest version.

    Bruce

  11. #11

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by terrig View Post
    You guys are awesome! Thanks for all of your input!! Landscape  Reviews Not sure what this photo needs. I use PSE....somewhat limited on what it can do. I tried shooting in raw...won't read the file.
    It looks pretty lack luster! Should I pitch it?

  12. #12
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by terrig View Post
    It looks pretty lack luster! Should I pitch it?
    Terri, to me it a nice photo. I would crop on the right hand side more to place the sailboat in the rule of thirds.


    Bruce

  13. #13

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    Terri, to me it a nice photo. I would crop on the right hand side more to place the sailboat in the rule of thirds.


    Bruce
    Bruce, does this look better? Landscape  Reviews

  14. #14
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Hi Terri,

    I'd be a bit more drastic with the crop - I don't think the large foreground expanse of water adds much. With your permission, here is a different version. Bear in mind that cropping is very subjective. I also did a few other tweaks, of the kind that Manfred referred to, but nothing major (happy to specify if you wish).

    Dave


    Landscape  Reviews

  15. #15

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    terrig...you need to pick up some education, start with the term "dynamic range",
    your camera cannot see the range of light that can our eyes.
    Add to that the fact that your camera chooses the exposure based on average exposure, around 18% gray.
    Learn to use your histogram which can be displayed in your LCD screen Live View mode.

    Since starting to shoot in manual mode, utilizing Live View's histogram, those problems are a thing of the past.

    Technique is:That LV histogram is based on a jpeg rendition of your image so you need to "neutralize"
    (slide them to the left) all your "picture style" settings.
    Set-up your LV to display a RGB histogram and blinkies whenever it's opened. Now it's a simple matter to adjust SS,
    F/stop, and ISO to "push" that histogram to just shy of the right side, a technique referred to as "Exposing To The Right".
    Now simply input wanted/needed SS and f/stop and use the ISO to push that histogram to the right or...
    any combination of the three settings."

  16. #16
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by terrig View Post
    Bruce, does this look better? Landscape  Reviews
    Terri, Dave's crop on the right hand side is more what I had in mind. This gave the sailboat space on the left to "sail' into.


    Bruce

  17. #17
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by terrig View Post
    Yes, I'm trying to step outside of Scene modes. Yes, I had set the aperture at that setting. I set it on A---should I go to M instead? Where do I change the speed to 1/250? I don't even understand when to have the lens turned off and when to have it on? Please advise!
    As that immortal philosopher Yoda said "there is no try, there is only do". Seriously, ditch the modes and use only the M, A and S settings because you are trying to learn the ins and outs of controlling your imagery. The mental pain of working through the combos of aperture, speed and exposure will pay off. Just remember to analyse each image on the computer to see how the variables are changing the appearance. The metadata will give you all the info on what has changed.

    As to how to change the speed, there must be a dial somewhere. The manual will let you know.

    When to use or turn off autofocus? Most of the time you will be using autofocus but feel free to manually focus if you want. A HUGE proviso, autofocus is a huge area of variability: setting it up in the camera user menu, using the controls and knowing when and how to change focal spot preference or manual only and so on is a massive area to learn For now learn how and why to change speed and aperture to get the effect you want. Then you can tack on more
    Last edited by tbob; 14th August 2013 at 08:42 PM.

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Terri - let me give you my simplified workflow that I use pretty well all the time other than when shooting with studion lights or am experimenting with a technique I am trying to figure out. I generally shot jpeg + RAW almost 100% of the time. I often use auto white balance as well (I shoot Nikon cameras as well)

    1. Select the shooting ISO - I generally shoot at as low ans ISO as I can as that gives the highest image qualtiy. My D90 is usually set at ISO 200 and the D800 ast ISO 100.

    2. Decide if I am shooting for a specifc depth of field (very shallow for effect or wide open to get everything in focus). If so, I will shoot aperture priority (A) mode and will set the aperture I want to shoot with. This is probably 80% - 90% of the time. The rest of the time I will be trying to do something with motion; either freeze motion or blurr motion. Here I choose shutter priority mode (S) and will choose a shutter speed.

    3. Take the shot...

    4. I will generally check my histogram on my first shot and may make a tweak (ISO and shutter / aperture) and exposure compensation, depending on what I see or feel is happening.

    5. I will work the scene (landscape and portrait mode) trying to take the subject a number of different ways.

    6. After the shoot I will review my shots to see how well my plan worked (if doesn't always work) but I pretty well always get a few shots that I am really happy with.

    If you shoot develop a systematic approach to taking pictures and become your own harshest critic, you will improve as photographyer.

    Look at photographs that you like (from famous and unknown photographers) and start analysing / reverse engineering how they have composed and processed theri images and learn from them.

  19. #19

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Hi Terri,

    I'd be a bit more drastic with the crop - I don't think the large foreground expanse of water adds much. With your permission, here is a different version. Bear in mind that cropping is very subjective. I also did a few other tweaks, of the kind that Manfred referred to, but nothing major (happy to specify if you wish).

    Dave


    Landscape  Reviews
    I agree. I had set up my grids for thirds and had positioned the boat to the left and cropped. Your right, the large expanse of water doesn't do anything. Yes, please let me know what you did.

    I'm also working on this one still. The curve tool in Pse only works with shadows. The only thing I have to work with is color variations. Filters that decrease the green and add yellow I can not control the amount. It came out with a purply cast. Landscape  Reviews I didn't change it to color because I wanted you to see it...Here's another one with color cast auto...Landscape  Reviews Also, don't you think it needs to be sharpened? Thanks for all of your help!

  20. #20

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    Re: Landscape Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by chauncey View Post
    terrig...you need to pick up some education, start with the term "dynamic range",
    your camera cannot see the range of light that can our eyes.
    Add to that the fact that your camera chooses the exposure based on average exposure, around 18% gray.
    Learn to use your histogram which can be displayed in your LCD screen Live View mode.

    Since starting to shoot in manual mode, utilizing Live View's histogram, those problems are a thing of the past.

    Technique is:That LV histogram is based on a jpeg rendition of your image so you need to "neutralize"
    (slide them to the left) all your "picture style" settings.
    Set-up your LV to display a RGB histogram and blinkies whenever it's opened. Now it's a simple matter to adjust SS,
    F/stop, and ISO to "push" that histogram to just shy of the right side, a technique referred to as "Exposing To The Right".
    Now simply input wanted/needed SS and f/stop and use the ISO to push that histogram to the right or...
    any combination of the three settings."
    You're not kidding I need some education. I'll see if I can set that up.

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