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Thread: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

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    Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    Hi

    As a novice let loose with a Canon EOS 450D I would be most grateful for help on taking shots of landscapes at time of sunset, where there is light in the sky, yet the land is darkened. Here is an example of a recent effort. I tried changing the ISO, and the exposure settings, but then the sky was too exposed. In a situation like this what is the way to go to get a crisp, viewable foreground, plus a decent sky?

    example.jpg
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    Last edited by carregwen; 30th November 2010 at 05:13 PM. Reason: enlarged image

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    Errain

    Welcome to CiC. I hope you stick around and take part in the discussions.

    In response to your question, you bascially have two choices:
    1. You take more than one copy of the scene (at different shutter settings, keeping the aperture and ISO settings the same). You expose each frame for different parts of the scene. So, you may just have two frames - one exposed for the sky and one for the land. And then you blend them in post processing. There are varies approaches to blending and these can be explored through various tutorials and online discussions, or
    2. You purchase Graduated Neutral Density (GND) filters and place these on the front of your lens. GND filters, as the name suggests, graduate from being dark on one half of the filter and light on the other. You can buy filters that have a soft transition from dark to light or a hard transition. You can buy a filter that has the darkest part in the middle of the filter, specifically designed for such as sunsets. These filters balance up the amount of light getting through to the sensor on your camera. Again, there are many options, all of which can be read about online.

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    Thought i'd make it bigger for you

    example.jpg

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    I am no expert but I did this in 5 mins on Photoshop C3.

    I took the image onto Photshop. Adjusted the "levels" and then used colour balance to bring out the blue, red, yellow and green. I also cropped the image to centre the sunshine and often worth having the sky or land 2/3rds of the picture.

    Hope you like it??
    examplea.jpg

    exampleb.jpg
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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    Tinman, thanks for taking time to offer that advice, appreciate the idea, what I was looking for is ways to improve capturing the scene when taking the photo, maybe its just me but feel editing images takes something away from what is photographed.

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    Quote Originally Posted by errain View Post
    maybe its just me but feel editing images takes something away from what is photographed.
    Errain

    That's one of the biggest misconceptions in photography. Photographers hasve been engaged in post processing ever since photography was invented. Even if you shoot JPEGS, your camera is doing post processing before you see the image.

    So the idea of purity achieved through pressing the button and nothing then being being done so that you end up with an unadulterated image, is myth. The greatest landscape photographer of them all (arguably), Ansel Adams, spent hours and hours in the darkroon post-processing the photographs that he had captured.
    Last edited by Donald; 30th November 2010 at 10:38 PM.

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    I think it is an interesting debate and one i have pondered. At first I thought that if I alter the image then it reflects on my photography skills. Later I would suggest thst taking an image i shot and seeing what is in that image and using my skills an knowledge to bring it out is the continuation of bringing the image out...

    just my thoughts...

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    Donald

    They are valid points you make, never thought of iut in that way, Appreciate your taking time to offer those insights.

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    That's a reasonable way of approaching this, I'm not really sure exactly why I felt a compulsion to capture an image as naturally as possible, but what you suggest, along with Donald's point are valid.

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    If you think one should not post-process your photographs, get a copy of Ansel Adam's "The Print" and see what he did for post-processing.

    I used to do for hours in the stinky darkroom, what I now do in less time in the computer. The idea is the same. Create a picture which is pleasing, attention grabbing and is what YOU want it to look like.

    Pops

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    I still like the smell of a well used darkroom and often will spend a day working with my students so as to not lose the magic I feel each time I make a print. That said, I have to agree with Donald, et.al. as per post production work. Being an old-school film/darkroom guy, I can attest to the hours spent both setting up for a Zone shot, the specialized processing and all the dodging and burning necessesary in obtaining the best quality print. Since making the shift to digitial, I've found that I still do not like "gimmicky" stuff used by some photographers in post production any more than I like it being used in a video production platform simply for the sake of being "cute or glitzy." However, quality post-production processes in digital are just as valid as those used in the darkroom. What I think most people should embrace with digital photography is that it is a tool or set of tools designed to provide an insight to your artistic vision of the world. As a painter uses different mediums, a sculptor different materials, a potter different clay bodies, we photographers use our own special set of trade tools.

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    On post-processing ...

    It's a big debate, but the bottom line is cameras don't work the same way the human eye does - and there's even a difference between what we see and what we remember.

    Errain, you might like to have a look through my Landscape galleries at pbase.com/cjsouthern - I do quite a lot of what you're asking about; happy to introduce you to the techniques I use.

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    Re: Help Sought By Novice Landscape 'Shooter'

    Keep in mind that since the human eye can see a huge dynamic range of deepest black to snow white, and the printed image can not match that range, there is always a compromise in translating what you see in the field to what can be printed. Call it editing or compression, the process can never be avoided.

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