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Thread: My trip to Vegas

  1. #1

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    My trip to Vegas

    Here are some photo's I took while in Las Vegas
    Thoughts? Comments? Any help is welcome!!!

    ep-img_6318.jpg

    bp-img_6379.jpg

    img_6307.jpg

    img_6345.jpg
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  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    Kim

    As a general comment covering all the images, I'd say there was no real key point of interest. So, as a person who wasn't there at the time and never 'felt' the mood or the atmosphere, I'm asking - 'What is it I'm meant to be looking at'? 'There are rocks and hills and sky, but why did the photographer take this particulalr photograph?' Hope this makes sense.

    Having the car half-in, half-out of the photograph makes it look as if it's there by mistake. What I'm asking here is - 'Is this a photo of a car or of a landscape?'

    Why not click here and have a read of this article. It really helps you with your thinking about photographing the sort of scene you were looking at. Alain Briot writes a lot of articles on the Nature Photographers Network website and I always find his stuff so informative and educational.

  3. #3
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    Hi Kim and welcome to CiC.

    I read that article Donald and I like it. I will borrow some of that for my students.

    I know what you are trying to do here Kim as much of central Australia is this type of harsh country with beautiful red rock formations that blaze like fire in the setting sun. During the daytime though with direct light on the mountains they can look flat as there are no shadows and if there re it is often too harsh and creates strong contrasts.

    Trying to capture a section of the beautiful vista in front of you can be difficult but as you practice and develop your style and vision you will be able to pick out the cameos in the landscape that show the essence of the location.

    #1 and #4 are the same shot with different orientation. Good to see you trying both formats. I do prefer #1 as it allows the formations of the valleys to flow through the image. This is the pick of the shots and could be enhanced with stronger contrast to bring out the colours and some sharpening to make the rocks stand out. The foreground is a bit bland so I did a little dodging (selective lightening) to give it interest and slightly darkened the mountains in the background to give some separation between foreground, middle and background.

    Keep photographing this type of country. It is very rewarding. I have given #1 a quick work over to show what I mean. I hope this helps.

    My trip to Vegas

  4. #4
    John C's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    I like what you did with the mountains and the grassy areas but the red rocks are now too contrasty and possibly overblown - probably from working with a jpeg. I think the original was good in the area of the red rocks. I wish this photo didnt have the yucca leaves in the lower right corner, or they should be cropped out. Possibly if the photo had been taken from a lower perspective, the yucca might have added interest.

    Regarding Briot's article, he gives some excellent advice. I have read a couple of his books and he has a lot of good information on the process of taking landscape photos. My only gripe is his insistence that a landscape photo can express the emotion of the photographer or of the scene. Examine any famous landscape photo and ask yourself what emotion is being expressed. I offer that the photo expresses ideas but not emotions. There needs to be a human element for emotion to be expressed. I recently went to an exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs and was hard pressed to say what emotion was being expressed in any particular photograph. I could see ideas such as desolation, windsweptness, heat, ruggedness, distance, etc. A photo is made to be interesting (holds the eye for examination) based on composition, subject matter, and lighting. I understand his concepts about vision and style being important but I just dont see emotion being expressed in landscape photos.

    Just my thoughts. You might disagree.

  5. #5
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    I like what you did with the mountains and the grassy areas but the red rocks are now too contrasty and possibly overblown - probably from working with a jpeg. I think the original was good in the area of the red rocks. I wish this photo didnt have the yucca leaves in the lower right corner, or they should be cropped out. Possibly if the photo had been taken from a lower perspective, the yucca might have added interest.

    Regarding Briot's article, he gives some excellent advice. I have read a couple of his books and he has a lot of good information on the process of taking landscape photos. My only gripe is his insistence that a landscape photo can express the emotion of the photographer or of the scene. Examine any famous landscape photo and ask yourself what emotion is being expressed. I offer that the photo expresses ideas but not emotions. There needs to be a human element for emotion to be expressed. I recently went to an exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs and was hard pressed to say what emotion was being expressed in any particular photograph. I could see ideas such as desolation, windsweptness, heat, ruggedness, distance, etc. A photo is made to be interesting (holds the eye for examination) based on composition, subject matter, and lighting. I understand his concepts about vision and style being important but I just dont see emotion being expressed in landscape photos.

    Just my thoughts. You might disagree.
    Hi John,

    Thoughtful comments are always good for discussion. I tend to agree about emotion in landscapes and this is hard to achieve in broad vista style shots. In harsh country like this your ideas theory probably holds true and in such situation I think a closer look at the country, by highlighting small areas of interest that capture the essence of the place, offers stronger images.

    But can you portray emotion in landscapes? Well I think you can but it comes from shots including certain weather conditions such as fog, mist, some sunsets or seascapes, etc that create a mood or feeling. I do think weather conditions of this kind are required to capture mood and certainly not all shots taken under these conditions will invoke such a response.

    By the way, with the red rocks I only added some minor contrast and sharpening, no colour adjustement there. This was shot looks like it taken on a bright day so you would expect harsh contrasts and you have to accept that on occassions ti get an image but that is the reality of such locations.

  6. #6
    pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Kim and welcome to CiC.

    I read that article Donald and I like it. I will borrow some of that for my students.

    I know what you are trying to do here Kim as much of central Australia is this type of harsh country with beautiful red rock formations that blaze like fire in the setting sun. During the daytime though with direct light on the mountains they can look flat as there are no shadows and if there re it is often too harsh and creates strong contrasts.

    Trying to capture a section of the beautiful vista in front of you can be difficult but as you practice and develop your style and vision you will be able to pick out the cameos in the landscape that show the essence of the location.

    #1 and #4 are the same shot with different orientation. Good to see you trying both formats. I do prefer #1 as it allows the formations of the valleys to flow through the image. This is the pick of the shots and could be enhanced with stronger contrast to bring out the colours and some sharpening to make the rocks stand out. The foreground is a bit bland so I did a little dodging (selective lightening) to give it interest and slightly darkened the mountains in the background to give some separation between foreground, middle and background.

    Keep photographing this type of country. It is very rewarding. I have given #1 a quick work over to show what I mean. I hope this helps.

    My trip to Vegas
    I feel as though the sharpening radius in this image is far too large, and maybe the intensity is also too high. To me such a large radius makes the image look fake and of lesser quality. I strongly believe that the amount of sharpening should not be so much that you can distinguish halos anywhere in the image, and should only be used with correction in mind rather than enhancement.

    I don't mean to discourage you, Peter, but I think what you've been doing has been wrong all along. You handle exposure and composition and all those other fun things very well, but downsized images posted to the internet for people to view on computer screens should never be sharpened with a radius greater than 0.8~1.0 px in the general case.

    I hope you consider this message to be constructive criticism rather than just flat out mean. Over the last couple months I have seen what you posted to CiC, and browsed through your portfolio a couple times. I believe one small tweak to your image processing workflow could significantly enhance the quality of your web images. This obviously has no effect on prints.

    Limiting this to a personal message would limit the flow of information. Lets all speak, respond, and learn!

    P.S. these vegas images need sharpening
    Last edited by pwnage101; 22nd November 2010 at 07:54 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    I have this photo on my desk top and look at it quite often. Once thing I realized is that you can’t tell the size of the rocks in this photograph. I should have put something in front of it for “scale”. There is, on the left side, a road which looks extremely small in comparison to the rocks but it is not very noticeable. I didn’t want to over adjust it for fear it might look faked or photoshopped.

    I appreciate all the constructive criticism and advice. I am new to Photography and would love to improve my skills. I know there is a LOT to learn; about the functions of my camera, about composition and so on and with time and practice I think I can achieve anything. “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

    Thank you again for the advice!

  8. #8
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by pwnage101 View Post
    I feel as though the sharpening radius in this image is far too large, and maybe the intensity is also too high. To me such a large radius makes the image look fake and of lesser quality. I strongly believe that the amount of sharpening should not be so much that you can distinguish halos anywhere in the image, and should only be used with correction in mind rather than enhancement.

    I don't mean to discourage you, Peter, but I think what you've been doing has been wrong all along. You handle exposure and composition and all those other fun things very well, but downsized images posted to the internet for people to view on computer screens should never be sharpened with a radius greater than 0.8~1.0 px in the general case.

    I hope you consider this message to be constructive criticism rather than just flat out mean. Over the last couple months I have seen what you posted to CiC, and browsed through your portfolio a couple times. I believe one small tweak to your image processing workflow could significantly enhance the quality of your web images. This obviously has no effect on prints.

    Limiting this to a personal message would limit the flow of information. Lets all speak, respond, and learn!

    P.S. these vegas images need sharpening
    Hi Troy,

    Thanks for joining this discussion and I am pleased you have taken the time to look through some of my albums. I am not offended by your comments and in fact on occassions agree with you. I often do submit images I have prepared on my screen while at work. It is not bad but not perfect and has not been calibrated and often done in a bit of a rush. Most of my work is actually printed and this is the only place I post anything on the web. I often do it just for a reaction to see how interested people might be if I printed it to take to the market. It is quiet interesting sometimes to see a reaction here and then take a shot to market. In fact most of what I show here would not sell in the markets. It is a different audience but I am always happy with feedback - that is why we are here. I will try and pay more attention.

    I am actually responding to your comments on a screen at home, again not one I use for photograghy and the rocks do look too strong in colour and a little too much contrast and do look fake. Thanks.

    ps: I just had another look at this on my screen at work and it looks fine. What this is telling me is to stick with one good screen but I would not be able to participate as much then.
    Last edited by Peter Ryan; 22nd November 2010 at 10:39 PM.

  9. #9
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post

    ......stick with one good screen but I would not be able to participate as much then.
    which would be a bad thing

  10. #10
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: My trip to Vegas

    Thanks Kay but Troy makes a good point and I need to take more care on occassions.

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