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Thread: Epic Icy Failure!

  1. #1

    Epic Icy Failure!

    "Epic Failure!" is a catch phrase that my 13 year old son likes to use and I thought that it expressed my feelings, towards my attempt at catching this ice storm, nicely. What did I do wrong?

    My feeble attempt at editing in iphoto:
    Epic Icy Failure!
    AV 1/50 -1 exposure compensation (I'm not sure why - I think that it was just washed out without it) f22 30mm ISO100 pattern metering

    orginal (maybe, better than edit?):
    Epic Icy Failure!

    I'm sorry to be such a sponge (really, I'm trying to figure out my questions on my own).
    We're possibly getting more ice this weekend. (Although, you would think that it would be snow, considering that the temperature, this morning, was 1℉, which is -17.2222222etc.℃)

    Is this a case for a filter? If so, which one would you have used? There was so much light, everywhere and the storm cleared out in a matter of minutes with a high wind that quickly knocked most of the ice off. I just didn't have time to figure it out. Also, it seemed that the best views required shooting in the general direction of the sun. There was just a field behind me. Is it easier if the sun is behind you when trying to take one of these shots? I, also, wondered if it would have been easier if I could have gotten out there while it was still cloudy.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    What did I do wrong?
    I would like to see others coming in to offer their constructive C & C. I think this is a good image on which people could develop their C & C skills. And the invitation is being made to do so. I would like to confine my response to ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    I just didn't have time to figure it out.
    ... and pose the question - If that was the case, should we content ourselves with looking at the view and saying - 'I don't have time to set up the shot I want, so leave it'? Or do we go for the best we can get at the time?

  3. #3
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Filters make life more difficult; I'm never going to get this right and now I give up. This is an epic failure of the epic kind using a Cokin GND8 (three stop cheaper brand with hard grad) and about thirty attemps and hours and hours of PP.

    Trouble is you get lens flare in filters and this is hard to remove, but also you can see it is darker on the left. The frame just keeps it on thirds, it is a trick I sometimes do.

    I don't think it is possible to do this without expensive equipment, and you seem to be trying to do the same things as I am. I hope you get it Katy, because then you could tell me how you did it.

    Epic Icy Failure!

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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    I think someone commented on my blusih ice picture the other day suggesting I rethink my color balance when shooting, especially in giving thought to correcting the kelvin temp to a degree closer to 7500 than the 4 or 5000 range the camera probably told you was correct. I did this earlier today on another photo of my ice area and the results were much closer to what I wanted than my first attempt. Like you, I am still learning but I never think of myself as sponging info, given this is the entire intent of this forum...to teach each other the how's and why's. Learning is good and I think, right or wrong, when each of us commnets on another's work, we are either learning something new, relearning an old lesson, or making the discovery that those things we might hold to be truths are indeed just the opposite.

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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Hi!
    Donald, probably I'm the last one that can respond (if I've understood correctly your thought), I think we have to capture the scene for the best we can, never leave the subject if there's no time (or no skill) to shot a good picture. the bad picture full of failures and the practice is the best way to learn photography. When experiece and skill grow, less failures occurr. isn't it?

    about this picture, I see a blueish atmosphere that could be nice in order to replicate the cold feeling, but it comes from an incorrect white balance, I think. Perhaps an UV filter too could be helpful for this.

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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    A grey card works wonders. You have a little lens flare a spot healing brush might get rid of, or you could recolour it, desaturate it, or simply crop it out.

    In fact your pic is virtually flare free, unlike mine was, but I already tried this without a filter and I didn't get any flare but it was too dark. Filters are a necessity I try to avoid if possible.

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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Katy, I hope you don't mind but I tried a bit of a rework. The main adjustment was changing the white balance to tone down the blue. Of course as with anything else, this is all subjective.

    This is also a lesson for me. As I worked on this the biggest problem was making the adjustments without messing up the cloud which was already blown, so I'm thinking if I were to shoot this, and i will be taking shots like this, then maybe try to get it with a solid blue sky or solid anything sky. The sunlit cloud seems just to much - not to look at, but for the camera. I may be wrong but without the cloud, I think you would have been able to get better exposure for both the sky and the trees. I toned down brightness, but lightened shadows on this one.

    Epic Icy Failure!

    These are the settings from Lightroom
    WB:+37
    Brightness -42
    Recovery 65
    Tone Curve:
    Highlight -29
    Darks -12
    Shadows =21
    Blue Slider
    Saturation -33
    Luminance -9

    Then there is this, which is more what I remember ice looking like on the trees after freezing rain. This is way overboard and all kinds of PP artefacts that even I can see, but.... well, I had to do it. The rework above was taken into Elements, and then I fooled around replacing colours until I got the icy trees looking more like how I remember them to look.

    Epic Icy Failure!

    Sorry, if I've totally destroyed your vision, but I could not resist. We are supposed to get freezing rain this weekend.

    Wendy
    Last edited by ScoutR; 10th December 2010 at 04:15 PM. Reason: edit link

  8. #8

    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Ok back to basics. P&P aside and the bags of expensive gear that none of us can afford I think we have all shot scenes whose only redeeming feature is the light itself. For trees you need to be very far away (so as not to see the fuzz) or so near that we are probably talking leaves instead of trees. The possible exception being a tree with strong limbs right out to the tips (lightening blown or dead)

    There is always going to be compromises with shooting into the sun that cannot be fixed in PP.

    Steve, there is nowt wrong with your image that a little tonal curve manipulation cannot put right. Someone on here said recently that we spout the use of photoshop without knowing what we are actually doing to the image in the technical sense....does not matter in the least. Play around with whatever you want whether you understand it or not. If it bags the image you have achieved the required result....unless of course we should enjoy self flagellation with a dead cat.

    Right, how was that was I fierce and masterful enough Actually it is good practice for the critique and my headache has gone

  9. #9

    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Thanks, everyone for their input!

    Chris, thanks for the thoughts!

    Steve (Arith), I feel your pain. I, now, take a solemn vow to let you know if I discover a magical secret!

    Nicola, I just want to say, "amen!" I feel like pretty much all of the images that I'm taking nowadays are more like dress rehearsals. I feel like I'm getting ready for when the real photo comes along. Hmmmm! This could be wrong thinking!

    Wendy, ALWAYS feel free, please, to speak your mind and/or fiddle around with my images! Good luck with your ice storm. I tried very similar versions to yours in my humble iphoto. When it came down to it, the ones that I wound up, here, looked more like it did on the day - there was blue everywhere. Certainly, the skies are pretty darn close. Good insight and food for thought about the clouds. After all of this, however, I wonder, is it possible to take a photo with wb so far off that it can't be salvaged in PP?

    Mr. Fantastic Wirefox, "you know, you're really cute but I can't understand a word your saying." - Just kidding! I know what you're saying about those trees. Not sure what I think about it but totally DO know what you're saying.

    I'm sure that I'll have a chance or two to try again and, hopefully, I'll get a little closer. I think that I'll go out when it's not slippery as heck and scout out some possible shots that I'd like to frame with the sun behind me, this time.

    I'm, also, still perplexed about how to take a photo like this that is SO bright and SO full of glare, but....

    Thanks, again!

  10. #10
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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Edit: Ooops just saw you'd posted the original...
    Last edited by RockNGoalStar; 11th December 2010 at 01:13 AM.

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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Tommy, the original is the second photo in the original post.

    Wendy

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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    should we content ourselves with looking at the view and saying - 'I don't have time to set up the shot I want, so leave it'? Or do we go for the best we can get at the time?
    I tell my students:

    When you get a perfect picture, you will learn something about photography.
    When you get a real goof of a shot, you learn even more. Your mistakes are the ones which teach you how to handle the many different conditions you will encounter.

    Pops

  13. #13

    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Mr. Fantastic Wirefox, "you know, you're really cute but I can't understand a word your saying." - Just kidding! I know what you're saying about those trees. Not sure what I think about it but totally DO know what you're saying.
    Having read it back in the cold light of day I am not sure I do either I think the human being has an ancient and instinctual relationship with trees (shelter, fuel, food etc). Our minds perceive that relationship but it is so difficult or even impossible to get that empathy across through the medium of photography. I think most of us feel trees rather than see them in the accepted sense...now I sound like Prince Charles. I will be talking to my aspidistra next

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    "Epic Failure!" is a catch phrase that my 13 year old son likes to use and I thought that it expressed my feelings, towards my attempt at catching this ice storm, nicely. What did I do wrong?

    My feeble attempt at editing in iphoto:
    Epic Icy Failure!
    AV 1/50 -1 exposure compensation (I'm not sure why - I think that it was just washed out without it) f22 30mm ISO100 pattern metering

    orginal (maybe, better than edit?):
    Epic Icy Failure!

    I'm sorry to be such a sponge (really, I'm trying to figure out my questions on my own).
    We're possibly getting more ice this weekend. (Although, you would think that it would be snow, considering that the temperature, this morning, was 1℉, which is -17.2222222etc.℃)

    Is this a case for a filter? If so, which one would you have used? There was so much light, everywhere and the storm cleared out in a matter of minutes with a high wind that quickly knocked most of the ice off. I just didn't have time to figure it out. Also, it seemed that the best views required shooting in the general direction of the sun. There was just a field behind me. Is it easier if the sun is behind you when trying to take one of these shots? I, also, wondered if it would have been easier if I could have gotten out there while it was still cloudy.
    Hi Katy,

    Briefly, adding to other's excellent feedback already, my personal views are;

    I see a case for a lens hood to be used, and if that wasn't effective due to angle of view, etc. - some kind of shade held above and in front of lens to keep sun off front element/filter. This would have been even more essential if a filter had been used, as Steve (Arith) mentions.

    Wendy is correct in that it is the line of sunlit clouds giving much of the problrms here, but I can see why she thinks her versions have moved far from what you were trying to capture.

    A GND would have helped with the clouds, but better still, no sunlit edge or clouds.

    Going a bit closer, with feet or lens, may well have helped, as the other Steve (wirefox) says.

    Definitely keeping taking the pictures, even the failures, and posting here because it helps everyone.

    Cheers,

  15. #15
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Ok back to basics. P&P aside and the bags of expensive gear that none of us can afford I think we have all shot scenes whose only redeeming feature is the light itself. For trees you need to be very far away (so as not to see the fuzz) or so near that we are probably talking leaves instead of trees. The possible exception being a tree with strong limbs right out to the tips (lightening blown or dead)

    There is always going to be compromises with shooting into the sun that cannot be fixed in PP.

    Steve, there is nowt wrong with your image that a little tonal curve manipulation cannot put right. Someone on here said recently that we spout the use of photoshop without knowing what we are actually doing to the image in the technical sense....does not matter in the least. Play around with whatever you want whether you understand it or not. If it bags the image you have achieved the required result....unless of course we should enjoy self flagellation with a dead cat.

    Right, how was that was I fierce and masterful enough Actually it is good practice for the critique and my headache has gone
    Nah, I think it needs a bit more than that. A strong S curve will sharpen my attempt to blur the line I made when I was reduced to clone out the big red thing caused by a reflection on my cheap 12 Cokin filter.

    Epic Icy Failure!

    I just been thinking Katy; dangerous for me to do but I always expose on the brightest part then go +1.67 stops brighter. Roughly I then take a pic and check by histogram and blinkies. Each vertical bar is about 2ev or stops and you want the histogram banged up to the right with minor blinkies.

  16. #16
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    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    ... and pose the question - If that was the case, should we content ourselves with looking at the view and saying - 'I don't have time to set up the shot I want, so leave it'? Or do we go for the best we can get at the time?
    Good question Donald.
    Since I felt your question applied to artists of all types, I thought I'd give my two cents. As a painter/draughtsman we do something called a quick sketch. Its a 30-60 second sketch. Most of the time these drawings mearly capture the essense of the thing, but are intended to be a learning tool, or a practice. If you all are like me, when you see an image that strikes you, you have a compelling need to capture it. So we do our quick sketch, or take a few shots the best we can. As a painter I can then go in an use my imagination to recreate it, but I think as a photographer you can do the same. I think it gives you an eye for that image again, and is great practice. And of course every once and a while you get lucky and end up with a 60 second "Brilliant" sketch or photo. Taking shots is your art.....so take as many as possible.

    BTW this is really a kick in my own bottom to do the same. I get lazy sometimes.

  17. #17

    Re: Epic Icy Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I just been thinking Katy; dangerous for me to do but I always expose on the brightest part then go +1.67 stops brighter. Roughly I then take a pic and check by histogram and blinkies. Each vertical bar is about 2ev or stops and you want the histogram banged up to the right with minor blinkies.
    Oops! I never thanked everyone for their input. soooo, thanks! This was all seriously helpful.

    Arith, I completely forgot about that - thank you for reminding me. There have been several threads going around about metering, etc. that have been connecting different pieces of knowledge that I have. Do you, all, ever feel like you "rediscover" something that you thought you knew so well?

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