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Thread: Rain forest C&C please

  1. #1
    whited3's Avatar
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    Rain forest C&C please

    Went for a walk this morning through the rain forest at Curtis Falls, Mt Tamborine and was reminded again of a problem I always seem to come up against in this environment, so any help or advice in technique or equipment would be appreciated.

    This first image is the unprocessed RAW image. Taken at 0821 with a 500D, Sigma 10-20mm @ 18mm, f14, 0.8s, ISO100, no filters other than the UV for lens protection.
    Rain forest C&C please

    This is a narrow valley, typical of rain forest where the floor and sides are dark but the sky through the trees is (usually for a QLD summer) very bright. My problem is the glare through the trees. I do not think that a GND filter would help me here (Said in ignorance as I've never used one) given the dark RHS and that I also want some light on the diagonal tree.

    This is the processed image. Colour, exposure, distortion corrected in ACR, contrast and sharpening in CS5.
    Rain forest C&C please

    This final image is identical to that above, but cropped at the top to lose some of the sky.
    Rain forest C&C please

    I think the ultra bright sky through the trees detracts from the overall cool, wet look of the rain forest but I'm not sure what if anything, can be done with it.

  2. #2
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Hi Mark

    I'm no expert on this type of photography so take what you will from my comments. I like the image - the greenery looks really fresh and alive.

    In terms of the sky, have you tried using a graduated filter in PP? In CS5 you can angle the filter or have it straight. Or dodging/burning selected areas?

    What a lovely place to go for a walk. What was the humidity like?

    R

  3. #3
    whited3's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Thanks Raylee. I did use the graduated filter in ACR to get to the second image, but of course this tool darkens the sky and the trees, which Is what I'd like to avoid.

    It was very humid, not to mention muddy....but that's half the fun.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Mark

    Have you read Rob's comment (here) about how he made 2011. The challenges are very similar.

    For what you were trying to achieve and if we really needed the patches of sky not to be blown , I would be think about the GNDs. Okay, you're going to darken up the trees as well. But the dynamic range you've got between rocks, water and trees would, I think, still let you get away with a GND. You could then bring more detail back into the trees in PP if you wished.

    The other point is - given there is so little sky on show, is the fact that what you have is blown, really a problem? Okay, if you had a swathe of blown out sky hitting us between the eyes, it would be. But, given the strength of your main subject - the water, rocks, trees (it is a nice one) you can, I think, carry the little bit of blown sky that peeks through.

    So, in terms of continuing to shoot this sort of scene, it may well be that the solution is not technical, but is down to your creativity and compositional skills in getting yourself into the position where the sky is going to be, at best, a very minor player in the picture and is, therefore, not going to be an important factor.

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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Mark,

    I think that is a great improvement using filters, ACR and PS CS5. I wonder how your shot would look like in portrait format with the elongated trees in the background, part of the bridge and rock and running waters. Id love to see it.

    Nasseem

  6. #6

    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Hi, I feel that the edited photo (second one) is a bit washed out. But otherwise, it's a nice photo.

    Rain forest C&C please

  7. #7

    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Mark

    First let me say that if you look up in the forest the sky is always blown
    don't worry about it it looks natural.

    Also I had a look at your original file it is under exposed due to trying to hold the highlights.

    I had a quick edit of you photo I have attached the photoshop log file to explain what I've done, if you don't like it I will remove it from the post.



    Rain forest C&C please

    Open
    System:Users:johnwalkerrevieesktop:15q3jlw.jpg
    Layer Via Copy
    Layer Via Copy
    Shadows/Highlights
    Shadow/Highlight
    Shadow: Parameters - Open shadows
    Amount: 56%
    Tone Width: 39%
    Radius: 16
    Highlight: Parameters
    Amount: 0%
    Tone Width: 0%
    Radius: 0
    Black Clip: 0.01
    White Clip: 0.01
    Contrast: 0
    Color Correction: 20
    Layer Via Copy
    Layer Via Copy
    Unsharp Mask
    Unsharp Mask
    Amount: 39%
    Radius: 25.3 pixels - Local Contrast
    Threshold: 0
    Show Background
    With Toggle Others
    Show Background
    With Toggle Others
    Show Background
    With Toggle Others
    Show Background
    With Toggle Others
    Show Background
    With Toggle Others
    Show Background
    With Toggle Others
    Image Size
    Image Size
    Resolution: 100 per inch
    Crop
    Crop
    To: rectangle
    Top: -0.351 inches
    Left: -0.526 inches
    Bottom: 7.181 inches
    Right: 10.766 inches
    Angle: 0į
    Target Width: 0 pixels
    Target Height: 0 pixels
    Target Resolution: 0 per inch
    Reset Swatches
    Flatten Image
    Flatten Image
    Export
    Using: Save for Web



    John
    Last edited by john w revie; 30th January 2011 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Wrong log file

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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    I had a go at it as well...using the graduated filter in RAW edit and some other tomfoolery...

    Rain forest C&C please

    Looks much lighter here than in my program..will have a look after lunch.

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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Thanks Donald. I had a look at Robís post and yes, itís exactly the same issue although a somewhat more macabre setting. Give me the rain forest any day! Iíll look at a GND although being middle aged, fat, unfit and lazy, I try to minimise the amount of kit I have to lug on these trips! I take your point re a little blown out sky is no big deal, and itís not I suppose, but Iím always trying to improve. Composition and position as you say may be the key here. Also the time of day; I try to get these shots very early in the morning so while this creates problems in the forest where itís rather dark, I donít have to contend with too bright a sky. These shots where taken at 8.30 in the morning, more than 3 hours after sunrise which is really too late in the day.

    Maloufn, hereís an unprocessed raw image in portrait.
    Rain forest C&C please
    Blazing fire....a bit washed out? Yes, I can see that now and Iíll have a fiddle with it.

    John and Chris, thanks for your edits but thereís something amiss that I can see. Maybe too much contrast? Maybe the difference in monitor calibrations perhaps?

  10. #10
    whited3's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    This is looking upstream, standing on the bridge.
    Rain forest C&C please

    More blown out trees
    Rain forest C&C please

    Rain forest C&C please

    Trying to be clever. I'm using the Sigma 10-20mm. It's difficult to get this sort of shot of an object moving from the foreground to background without the distortion looking weird.
    Rain forest C&C please

    Curtis Falls gave me all sorts of grief. It's facing east and so shines very bright in the morning with the sunlight coming straight down the valley into the falls.
    Rain forest C&C please

    Rain forest C&C please

    I'm disappointed in this shot. I wanted a lot more from it, given the effort I put into clambering around in the mud to get under the ledge. Seems soft in the foreground.
    Rain forest C&C please

  11. #11
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by whited3 View Post
    More blown out trees
    Rain forest C&C please
    Nice fluffy waterfalls are very commercial and what you have done is very good. And please don't think I don't admire those. But this is lovely. You say 'blown out trees'. Maybe. But in terms of composition - the structure of the image; its content; how its arranged. I do think this is excellent. It says 'forest'; 'jungle'.

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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    I do like these, probably Mark's original as much as the edits. I have one small problem. I know it is fashionable and popular and sometimes necessary, but am I the only one that doesn't much like the creamy effect of water rather than showing ripples and some structure of the flow?
    Last edited by DavidM; 31st January 2011 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Correct name

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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Hi Mark,

    I also like rainforests and I understand your issue. I do try to minimize the sky as much as possible in my shots and use GND filter but I also us a polariser to reduce the glare/reflection on the leaves. This will take away a lot of the blown out issue with the trees. It will reduce your shutter by nearly 2 stops so a tripod is normally required but you are no doubt carrying one anyway so it shouldn’t be an issue.

  14. #14
    whited3's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
    I do like these, probably Mark's original as much as the edits. I have one small problem. I know it is fashionable and popular and sometimes necessary, but am I the only one that doesn't much like the creamy effect of water rather than showing ripples and some structure of the flow?
    David, creamy water is a by product of the environment really. Its generally dark, I want a deep DoF so a small aperture, I want to keep the ISO down to < 400 (I usually use 100) so I can do large prints. All this means slow exposures for most shots.

  15. #15
    whited3's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Mark,

    I also like rainforests and I understand your issue. I do try to minimize the sky as much as possible in my shots and use GND filter but I also us a polariser to reduce the glare/reflection on the leaves. This will take away a lot of the blown out issue with the trees. It will reduce your shutter by nearly 2 stops so a tripod is normally required but you are no doubt carrying one anyway so it shouldn’t be an issue.
    Thanks Peter. I hadn't thought of the polariser . I'll give that a go next time.

  16. #16

    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by whited3 View Post
    Blazing fire....a bit washed out? Yes, I can see that now and I’ll have a fiddle with it.
    I take back my word! I meant to say that the rocks were too bright in your edited photo.

    Keep the photos coming; I truly like your work of arts! I believe you have great potential to be a great photographer.

  17. #17
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Hi Mark,

    Are you out of the way of cylcone Yasi? Looks pretty bad.

  18. #18
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    Re: Rain forest C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Mark,

    Are you out of the way of cylcone Yasi? Looks pretty bad.
    About 1500km south in Brissie, fortunately! What will be interesting in the long term is that they're predicting it'll sweep well into western QLD. That's the channel country and any water that falls there ends up flooding NSW, VIC and SA eventually.

    What an interesting county we live in

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