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12-12-2012, 04:39 AM   #1
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Frosty morning
Lens: Pentax 18-55mm DAL Camera: K-30 Photo Location: Surrey, UK ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/90s Aperture: F11 

Just to point out first of all that exposure time was 1/100 sec, not 1/90 sec, but the option was not there.

I have just got a K-30 having spent a long time using an aging Pentax Super-A (film SLR). I am a bit lost in the digital world but took this using the SCN setting, set for landscape. Any tips on better composition, plus how to get the foreground lighter much appreciated. I haven't edited the shot in anyway - have Pentax Silkypix software but don't really know what to do with it!

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12-12-2012, 06:30 AM   #2
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I think it looks wonderful tbh and the darkness of the foreground adds to the atmosphere.But if you're worried about the foreground exposure you could use a fill flash or since you used a K-30 maybe just try adjusting in PP?
12-12-2012, 06:49 AM   #3
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You've got the sky ok, not burnt out, so the basic image is there. You can either process (in your computer) the foreground to brighten it or use a graduated neutral density filter when taking the shot to better balance the sky and foreground, or a combination of the two. As for composition, I personally hate jet contrails on nature images, just visual pollution in my eyes, but they seem hard to avoid in the US or UK/Europe. You've caught the early light which is a great start and partly hidden sun behind the trees is a nice touch. A grad nd filter would help balance out the exposure so less would need to be done in the computer. With your current image, my concern would be that lightening the foreground in processing would bring out too much noise or would have poor contrast or saturation.

As for computer imaging software, practice is the solution and some tolerance of frustration early on is required. Adobe do good introduction tutorials for Lightroom to explain basic processing concepts but you will need to interpret which Silkypix controls do the same functions as the Lightroom ones. Personally I ended up frustrated with Pentax Silkypix and moved on. However it does have Pentax colours programmed in which is not easy to replicate in other software.

Edit: that would be some flash to fill that area of foreground. You would be at risk of your eyebrows being burnt off! Ten gallons of gas and a match maybe???
12-12-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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Near Heathrow (judging by the contrails)? I lived on the Chertsey Meads for a couple of years-right under the approach path for LHR. Didn't have a good camera at the time, but saw some great "shots" with the naked eye...

I agree that if you shot in RAW you should be able to brighten the foreground if you want. Too late to do a graduated ND, but next time... Nice color in the sky and sun, and it looks like frost on the grass maybe? I'm sure it was beautiful up close.

12-12-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Hope you don't mind I had a quick play with the file in LR.
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12-14-2012, 06:45 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosliwmit Quote
Near Heathrow (judging by the contrails)? I lived on the Chertsey Meads for a couple of years-right under the approach path for LHR. Didn't have a good camera at the time, but saw some great "shots" with the naked eye...

I agree that if you shot in RAW you should be able to brighten the foreground if you want. Too late to do a graduated ND, but next time... Nice color in the sky and sun, and it looks like frost on the grass maybe? I'm sure it was beautiful up close.
Hi nosliwmit - you are right, actually taken in Surrey near Caterham so between LHR and LGW! Was a very frosty morning. Now raining but hope to go out and have another go if we get some frost over Christmas. Did indeed shoot in RAW so will play around.
12-14-2012, 07:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
You've got the sky ok, not burnt out, so the basic image is there. You can either process (in your computer) the foreground to brighten it or use a graduated neutral density filter when taking the shot to better balance the sky and foreground, or a combination of the two. As for composition, I personally hate jet contrails on nature images, just visual pollution in my eyes, but they seem hard to avoid in the US or UK/Europe. You've caught the early light which is a great start and partly hidden sun behind the trees is a nice touch. A grad nd filter would help balance out the exposure so less would need to be done in the computer. With your current image, my concern would be that lightening the foreground in processing would bring out too much noise or would have poor contrast or saturation.

As for computer imaging software, practice is the solution and some tolerance of frustration early on is required. Adobe do good introduction tutorials for Lightroom to explain basic processing concepts but you will need to interpret which Silkypix controls do the same functions as the Lightroom ones. Personally I ended up frustrated with Pentax Silkypix and moved on. However it does have Pentax colours programmed in which is not easy to replicate in other software.

Edit: that would be some flash to fill that area of foreground. You would be at risk of your eyebrows being burnt off! Ten gallons of gas and a match maybe???
Thanks Southlander - took your advice on the ND filter and went out the next day to have another crack. Unfortunately the sky didn't want to play ball. I know what you mean about contrails but they are completely impossible to avoid round here because of proximity to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Light pollution also a big problem. Anyway, sat down to watch a Silkypix tutorial and tried to lighten foreground, and generally had a bit of a play:


12-14-2012, 07:05 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jessesdad Quote
Hope you don't mind I had a quick play with the file in LR.
Don't mind at all - thanks for that.

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