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Thread: Bell's Point

  1. #1
    BongoBob's Avatar
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    Bell's Point

    This is a shot taken at Bell's Point, PEI. Canon T1i, 18-55 kit lens @18mm, f/11, 3s, ISO100, through a circular polarizing filter. The original was too dark, and I had to lighten it up quite a bit. In DPP I set the white balance, raised brightness and contrast, added a slight RGB tone curve, and raised the "sharpness" a bit. In the gimp I increased the intensity of the a/b channels and put a slight S-curve on the luminousity, as well as a slight curve on the image as a whole, and some local contrast enhancing using USM.

    Unfortunately this has introduced noise in the image (particularly in the treeline) that I'm not sure how to avoid/eliminate (Noise reduction that I tried seemed to degrade the overall image quality more than it was worth it), and I feel the resultant image looks flat and lifeless. Did I go too far (or not far enough) with the processing? Is the original simply too dark to brighten up without significantly sacrificing image quality?

    I'd also appreciate your opinions on the composition - does the composition of the original work, using the two trees to frame the image? Or is the foreground too "messy", and you prefer a crop something like #3?

    Any other C & C is always appreciated.

    #1 - camera original
    Bell's Point
    #2 - processed
    Bell's Point
    #3 - processed crop
    Bell's Point

  2. #2
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Bell's Point

    I like the dark one in this instance; a bit like this but I know you can do it better.

    Bell's Point

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Bell's Point

    Quote Originally Posted by BongoBob View Post
    Is the original simply too dark to brighten up without significantly sacrificing image quality?
    Nick

    I would suggest you've got the answer yourself in the above statement.

    As I think you're acknowledging, it needed more at the front end; i.e. more work on exposure at the capture stage. I think you've had to push it too far in PP to get what you wanted.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bell's Point

    Hi Nick
    I also really like the sense of mystery and intrigue in the original - yes it may be a wee bit dark in places, but I'm sure the clever folk at PP will come in with some ideas to complement Steve's.

    I also think the original non cropped version gives the viewer somewhere to stand in the foreground if that makes sense?

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Bell's Point

    Quote Originally Posted by BongoBob View Post
    This is a shot taken at Bell's Point, PEI. Canon T1i, 18-55 kit lens @18mm, f/11, 3s, ISO100, through a circular polarizing filter. The original was too dark, and I had to lighten it up quite a bit. In DPP I set the white balance, raised brightness and contrast, added a slight RGB tone curve, and raised the "sharpness" a bit. In the gimp I increased the intensity of the a/b channels and put a slight S-curve on the luminousity, as well as a slight curve on the image as a whole, and some local contrast enhancing using USM.

    Unfortunately this has introduced noise in the image (particularly in the treeline) that I'm not sure how to avoid/eliminate (Noise reduction that I tried seemed to degrade the overall image quality more than it was worth it), and I feel the resultant image looks flat and lifeless. Did I go too far (or not far enough) with the processing? Is the original simply too dark to brighten up without significantly sacrificing image quality?

    I'd also appreciate your opinions on the composition - does the composition of the original work, using the two trees to frame the image? Or is the foreground too "messy", and you prefer a crop something like #3?

    Any other C & C is always appreciated.

    #1 - camera original
    Bell's Point
    #2 - processed
    Bell's Point
    #3 - processed crop
    Bell's Point
    I use the CP filter in a lot of my photos but only on one lens. I refuse to take it off so I usually carry another lens with similar focal range. Have you tried achieving the same exposures without the filter?

  6. #6

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    Re: Bell's Point

    Hi Nick, sorry for coming in a bit late on this. My vote would be for the original image with the trees, the crop looks a little mundane to me, but the trees are a nice frame. This was a good example for me of what people mean when they say they are drawn into the shot. Sometimes I read that and shake my head, but with this shot I could feel it. With the trees, It's almost like I'm looking through a window, or standing just outside the frame looking in.

    As far as the exposure, well of course you want to work on getting it right in camera. I know there are people here rolling their eyes at me saying such a thing to someone else with all the problems I have with exposure, but it's true and it takes a lot of practise and analyzing until you will know exactly what you want for each scene. However, I like this shot and I think it is salvageable. I think you have gone a bit far with the rework. I don't know your software and all these curves and all that you speak of, but what if you just lightened the shadows a bit, just enough to show some detail and colour in the cliff face. It may not end up being as bright as the scene you actually saw, but I think you would have a nice shot without degrading the quality too much.

    Wendy

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Bell's Point

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Hi Nick, sorry for coming in a bit late on this. My vote would be for the original image with the trees, the crop looks a little mundane to me, but the trees are a nice frame. This was a good example for me of what people mean when they say they are drawn into the shot. Sometimes I read that and shake my head, but with this shot I could feel it. With the trees, It's almost like I'm looking through a window, or standing just outside the frame looking in.

    As far as the exposure, well of course you want to work on getting it right in camera. I know there are people here rolling their eyes at me saying such a thing to someone else with all the problems I have with exposure, but it's true and it takes a lot of practise and analyzing until you will know exactly what you want for each scene. However, I like this shot and I think it is salvageable. I think you have gone a bit far with the rework. I don't know your software and all these curves and all that you speak of, but what if you just lightened the shadows a bit, just enough to show some detail and colour in the cliff face. It may not end up being as bright as the scene you actually saw, but I think you would have a nice shot without degrading the quality too much.

    Wendy
    I am the same way with composition, no matter how many times I critique someone else's photo on composition I still have to force myself to consider another vantage point when capturing an image.

  8. #8
    BongoBob's Avatar
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    Re: Bell's Point

    Thanks everyone for the comments; I might go back to the original and try to pull out something a little darker than my first attempt.

    Donald - I think you're absolutely right, and you've definitely clarified my thinking. The exposure needs work; and as it stands the processing is just too heavy-handed.

    Kay - That makes perfect sense; "Somewhere to stand" is what I was thinking when I originally pressed the shutter button on that one - kind of a "coming out of the woods" sensation. Thanks!

    John - In general, I only use the CP filter for landscapes. I didn't bother taking any shots without the filter in this case because I wanted to bring some "depth" to the water - without the filter there was too much glare for my liking.

    Wendy/John, I know exactly what you mean... I find it much easier to see something in someone else's work than in my own.

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