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Thread: Rim Light

  1. #1
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Rim Light

    Sorry to inflict another scene of snow and ice on you all, but I am just now editing the shots I took at the lake on Easter weekend.

    Two questions regarding this image are uppermost in my mind. First, for this type of shot, should I have focused elsewhere than on the dog? And second, regarding the edit, would I do better to show more or less of the sand detail, as in the two sample versions below.

    This is one of those cases where your opinion is liable to differ according to the brightness of your screen, or whether you view the images in the lightbox or not, which may make it difficult for me to know how to interpret your response, but I'll just throw the question out there anyway.

    As always, C&C on any other aspects of the image are welcome as well.

    Rim Light

    Rim Light

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Hi Janis,

    If it is any help, I prefer the first version with more sand detail, whether in Lytebox or just viewed in post.

    I think the focus on the dog is fine, the alternative would probably have looked like a mistake.

    Cheers,

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
    First, for this type of shot, should I have focused elsewhere than on the dog?
    Definitely not, in my opinion. The focus had, I think, to be on the dog. Get that rigth (as you did) and the rest of the image falls into place nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
    And second, regarding the edit, would I do better to show more or less of the sand detail, as in the two sample versions below.
    As per the first version; i.e. more. If there were less (as per #2) we lose the sense of where we are; i.e. the context/setting.

    Beautiful lighting on the dog.
    Last edited by Donald; 17th May 2011 at 07:07 AM.

  4. #4
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Thank you, Dave and Donald. Is the version below a good compromise, do you think? It attenuates some of the flare on the snowbank, which I don't know how else to deal with. I also sharpened some more, as the jpeg went soft on me.

    Rim Light

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
    Is the version below a good compromise, ...
    Janis

    In striving to reach a compromise, what is it that you think needs compromised? I am wondering what, in the first one you don't feel is right?

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    Re: Rim Light

    Your backlit shot of the dog is almost a silhouette but, not quite a silhouette because of the background. IMO, the dog is not separated from the background enough...

    Obviously, if you had exposed for the dog, the lake and snowbank would have been blown out with over exposure...

    A possible way to remedy the problem would have been to shoot from a lower angle and silhouette the dog against the sky. Perhaps, even placing the dog between the camera and the low sun...

    Also, a slightly different angle might have helped. If you had moved to the right a bit, more of the rim light might have been shown...

    What I might have done is to use fill-flash a bit to open up the shadows of the dogs coat just a touch. A -1 or -2 stop fill might have given some modeling to the dog. However, the color balance might have been off since the flash would have been 5500-6000K and much more blue in color than the sunlight. I always carry a pair of gels that I can modify my flash color balance with. One is a green which I use when using flash in a predominantly fluorescent lit scene and an amber gel which I use when the scene is lit predominantly with tungsten or with a reddish glow of the sun...

    When the flash is balanced somewhere near the ambient light, it is easy to modify the entire image in post processing...

  7. #7
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Janis

    In striving to reach a compromise, what is it that you think needs compromised? I am wondering what, in the first one you don't feel is right?
    Chuckle here. Have I taken your lessons too much to heart? You do know, don't you, that you and Peter and Willie accompany me on all of my photographic peregrinations, whispering in my ear, "what do you see? what do you want to show?" In this case, I want to emphasize the lighting on Stella and it seemed to me that too much foreground detail distracted from that. I also don't like the flare. I don't know if you can see it that well on the jpeg version, but there is a lot of weird chromatic stuff happening on that part of the snowbank between Stella and the sun. Is that not a serious aesthetic flaw?

  8. #8
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Your backlit shot of the dog is almost a silhouette but, not quite a silhouette because of the background. IMO, the dog is not separated from the background enough...
    Yeah, I get that. Was not quick enough off the hop to get low on that pose, but Stella did obliging hop up on a snowbank a few moments later, giving me this shot, for which I was in the wrong position to catch much rim light. I think it is over-processed for my taste, but I don't know what else to do with it...

    Rim Light


    Also, a slightly different angle might have helped. If you had moved to the right a bit, more of the rim light might have been shown...

    What I might have done is to use fill-flash a bit to open up the shadows of the dogs coat just a touch. A -1 or -2 stop fill might have given some modeling to the dog. However, the color balance might have been off since the flash would have been 5500-6000K and much more blue in color than the sunlight. I always carry a pair of gels that I can modify my flash color balance with. One is a green which I use when using flash in a predominantly fluorescent lit scene and an amber gel which I use when the scene is lit predominantly with tungsten or with a reddish glow of the sun...

    When the flash is balanced somewhere near the ambient light, it is easy to modify the entire image in post processing...
    All useful tips, Richard. I will keep them in mind for next time.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rim Light


    Hi Janis,
    I have to agree with Donald here. I haven’t seen any improvementon #1 yet. To me the balance of foreground and background light is excellentand the rim light on the dog really make it stand out as a strong point of interst - whic you were trying to do.
    Great shot - print it, frame it and move on to the nextmasterpiece.

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    Re: Rim Light

    Hi Janis, your questions have been answered I think, but I'm wondering if you have tried #1 and the sillouette in B&W. I think they would be quite striking

    Wendy

  11. #11
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Janis,
    I have to agree with Donald here. I havenít seen any improvementon #1 yet. To me the balance of foreground and background light is excellentand the rim light on the dog really make it stand out as a strong point of interst - whic you were trying to do.
    Great shot - print it, frame it and move on to the nextmasterpiece.
    Thanks for the input, Peter. Such encouraging words! I hadn't even thought of printing it, but I guess I should get in the habit of making paper copies of the stuff I like. I had to have my work for class printed, of course, and that was a learning experience in itself. (Lesson #1: always check the export dpi!)

  12. #12
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Hi Janis, your questions have been answered I think, but I'm wondering if you have tried #1 and the sillouette in B&W. I think they would be quite striking

    Wendy
    Hi Wendy,

    I ran the silhouette through the B&W presets in Aperture, but nothing grabbed me. Part of the problem is with the sun, which can easily take on hard, unattractive edges. It's a matter of learning how to control those highlights, I guess. Thanks for the encouragement; I will give it another go.

  13. #13

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    Re: Rim Light

    Hi Janis; hope you don't mind but I played around with it a bit. I found that by increasing the brighness I could get rid of the hard edges around the sun. Of course this made the sky quite bright and the contrast was lost, but by playing with the black point, contrast and the tone curve I was able to bring back the sky and keep that nice rim lighting on the dog. I'm using Lightroom but the controls should translate into whatever software you have. The same thing might even work on the colour version. Ummm if all of the above was obvious to you and you've already tried it.... just ignore me.

    If you are interested I will post my result which may or may not be what you are after

    Wendy

  14. #14
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Hi Janis; hope you don't mind
    Mind?!!! Oh my goodness, no. I am delighted! Yes, please post, and give me as detailed a rundown of what you did as time and interest permit. I got a look at Lightroom the last night of my class and it appeared to me to have some attractive features Aperture doesn't, but it may be I just need to further my understanding of Aperture to accomplish the same things.

  15. #15

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    Re: Rim Light

    Hi Janis, below is my B&W conversion and my attempt to deal with the sky. The more I look at the sky part the more I am not sure if it is an improvement or not, but I do like it in B&W.
    If you are taking classes I'm sure you know more about these adjustments than I do, I just adjust sliders to see what they do and then adjust some more and delete and start over again. Anyway, I have listed the final LR settings below the shot. I used the LR Greyscale preset and then tweaked from there. Like I say, I'm not sure if this is an improvement or not, just another idea which could probably use more tweaking.

    Rim Light

    Exposure: -1.54
    Fill Light: +20
    Brightness: +49
    Contrast: -20
    Tone Curve
    Highlights: +56
    Lights: +43
    Darks: -34
    Shadows: +36
    Greyscale Mix
    Red: -32
    Blue: -10

    I also used the Adjustment Brush to lighten the highlights on the dog.

  16. #16
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Rim Light

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Hi Janis, below is my B&W conversion and my attempt to deal with the sky. The more I look at the sky part the more I am not sure if it is an improvement or not, but I do like it in B&W.
    I like it too, Wendy; your treatment throws Stella into relief in such a way that there is no ambiguity about what the subject is. I think it addresses Richard's criticism about there not being enough separation between the subject and the background, and lightening the highlights on Stella is a great idea that hadn't occurred to me. I'm going to try that on the colour version, for sure.

    I like the contrast between the sand, snow and ice you've made and I like what you have done with the sun; I only wish there was more interest in the sky. I'm wondering whether the B&W version would look better with a tighter crop on the left, to get rid of some of the bland bits of the sky.

    If you are taking classes I'm sure you know more about these adjustments than I do.
    No, I only took a beginner class on how to shoot; it didn't address editing at all, so I just love reading the particulars of how people get the results they do. Can't thank you enough; you've given me a springboard from which to launch myself into the next learning curve. I'm going to follow your recipe as closely as I can in Aperture and see what I come up with. Stay tuned...

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