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Thread: Kitesurfers after Sunset

  1. #1
    RichB's Avatar
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    Kitesurfers after Sunset

    I took a few shots of kitesurfers on Monday at Bournemouth beach, unfortunately by the time I got there it was dark and overcast but I needed a break from revision. I'd love to see what people think of these.

    Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Kitesurfers after Sunset
    Last edited by RichB; 15th September 2010 at 11:13 AM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    I'd love to see what people think of these.
    Okay, here goes (remember, this is only one person's view)

    Kitesurfers after Sunset
    I find this the least interesting of the four. It's got the least 'action' in it. It is, I think, a bit boring.

    Kitesurfers after Sunset
    This has a lot more 'energy' a vibrancy. The person is too centred in the frame. I don't mind the noise. It adds to the mood.

    Kitesurfers after Sunset
    A brilliant pan (1/15 sec - wow!). It has the sense of movement and speed. I think it would have worked better if we'd had the surfer in the left-half of the frame, going 'into' the picture. There's a lot of empty space behing him that doesn't add to the shot. If that empty space was in front of him, then it would have had more interest.

    Kitesurfers after Sunset
    My favourite. Technically, it has a few issues. There's an awful lot of noise in there. But in terms of action, dynamism, documentary-shooting - this is good. There's a lot happening and a lot to concentrate on. But, this is how it is (I've watched these guys in action on off the beach at St Andrews (yes, just over the dunes from the famous golf course!) and this very accurately tells us what it's like. The fact that each of the four is doing something unrelated to the other 3, adds to the high-energy feel. Given that you were managing to get 1/320@f5.6, I wondered why you took the ISO setting up to 800? If you had stayed down at 400 or even 200, and adjusted the other 2 factors you might have ended up with less noise.
    Last edited by Donald; 15th September 2010 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Thanks Dave, for putting the quotes round the images

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Hi Richard,

    Well I guess someone may as well make use of all the wind we have been subjected to

    I like #3 for the smooth and lack of grain.
    It's just a shame the face is covered and he's heading right out of frame.

    #2 and #4 are to my mind a little too grainy and too contrasty (if that's possible) reminds me of the 'dotty' newspaper pics that were just made up of black dots on white paper, no mid-tones at all.

    I like the compositions on all (excepting the comment on #3).

    I guess that makes #1 my favourite, except - I still like #3

    Never-the-less, an interesting series and looking at #4 I wonder how they don't get tied up in knots

    EDIT: I just read Donald's comments and bizarrely, I was wondering why you didn't take the iso up further - I say this because I don't believe that is just noise, a modern camera like a 550D (mind you, it is Canon ), ought to be capable of cleaner pictures than this, which is why I referred to "grain" above because #3 doesn't have it, even though it was also taken at iso800, so I assumed you had added the grain in PP deliberately. If you haven't, it possibly points to having too low a threshold when sharpening.

    Hope that's helpful,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 15th September 2010 at 05:40 PM.

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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    The last picture I grabbed very quickly as set up from the previous shot and as you say, it was recovered heavily, hence the noise. It was taken at maximum aperture and 1/320th seemed reasonable with a stabilised lens at 300m on 1.6x sensor to my mind. I really need to up the ISO I use, I've tended to shy away from ISO 1600 and above but it would have been a lot better.

    There weren't actually many guys out there and I had to grab it when I saw him jump.

    On the sharpening front I wonder what a rule of thumb for maximum threshold is?

    It's funny I've always had a preference for things leaving frame in sunsets or low light etc. I don't know why and I think it has been criticised every time. Time to take it the other way now.

    I have to confess the reason they're black and white is to try and make the noise/grain look less wrong. That and the colours are totally flat.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Hi Richard,

    Did you also have to correct under exposure in PP?
    You'd be better off properly exposing at 1600 or 3200 than under exposing and raising later.

    The other thing to confirm is that; you are shooting RAW (I hope), not jpg?

    .. and the third thing to ask is; were these significant crops?

    If noise worries you, get something like Neat Image (it can be tried for free).

    It may look overwhelming, but fear not, use this to guide you;
    Neat Image, a simple workflow, just do what it says* and it will almost certainly work for you.
    * including what is in the Notes (don't skip those)


    Regarding a "rule of thumb" for threshold in sharpening, make threshold higher the noiser the image is**:
    only use 0 or 1 on very clean images
    use 2 - 5 on 'normal' images (noise visible)
    use 6 - 15 on noisy images **

    ** by the time they are this noisy, don't sharpen; deal with the noise first (e.g. Neat Image)
    Then sharpen using the above guide depending how much noise is left, but you should be able to get to using a threshold between 1 - 4.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Yep I had to strongly correct and I realise this isn't so great but once it was underexposed it was all that could be done. Naturally, shooting RAW. I know nothing about noise reduction and there was quite a bit of sharpening, I went a bit further than 15 on threshold. I shall have a look at neat image, I've downloaded the demo before but not used it. They aren't significantly cropped at all.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Richard

    If you haven't dealt with it yet in your learning, another topic to make a note of to study in due course is the use of Masks. By creating a mask you can confine visible sharperning to those parts that you want sharpened. As we know, sharpening sharpens noise, so we see it more obviously. A mask can hide that.

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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Thanks, I think I'm getting there with masks but I didn't use them above.

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    Re: Kitesurfers after Sunset

    I thought I'd continue putting a couple of shots in here rather than opening a new thread, to keep the place tidy.

    Anyway I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot at a concert last night, hopefully there's some improvement here?

    Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Kitesurfers after Sunset

    Kitesurfers after Sunset

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