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02-10-2011, 10:13 AM   #16

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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
I don't use RAW, so that may be one problem
Unless you're running out of space on your SD card, you should always use RAW. You should also (when possible) use a tripod. But there are more problems here. While the background of the cliffs with clouds hovering above is quite promising as a subject, the foreground is undistinguished. When shooting landscapes, you need to compose for both foreground and background. If you want to shoot a dramatic cliff, try to search out a foreground to go with it, something that provides interest or balance (or at least a clean look at the cliff, without all the distractions of a partial fence, partial trees, non-descript partial houses). Taking great landscape shots is not a matter of quickly photographing whatever looks kind of nice; nor is it merely an issuing of improving PP skills, since no amount of PP work can fix the problems with the foreground in this shot: it involves searching out the best locations, the best vantage points, for illuminating your subject, so that, in the end, you can create a photograph that's worth the considerable trouble of solving the kind of exposure challenges presented in this photo.

02-10-2011, 10:48 AM   #17
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@northcoastreg: Good advice... I agree that it wasn't an attractive landscape shot, but I was taking a bunch and figuring I could check out later to see what could be cropped and adjusted. The rock and cloud were nice, but the foreground, as you note, is a mess. Mainly I used this an occasion to figure out how to deal with the over-bright area in the pic, so when I do have a have a good landscape to shoot, I'll be ready.
I did better with something like THIS.
02-10-2011, 10:52 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
When taking the photo, you should do one of two things -- take a couple of different exposures, one exposing for the sky, one for the ground or, the other option would be to use a graduated neutral density filter. Either way, you are trying to get more dynamic range than would normally be present into your photo.

I personally find that once highlights (like the clouds) are blown, there isn't much to do to get them back. If your underexpose, you can bring up the shadows to a certain extent. RAW is a little more tolerant of these adjustments than jpeg, but you can do them in jpeg too.
I'll put a big plus one on this. digital has eliminated the need for many filters i used to use, but a CPL, an ND grad (or 2 different strength ones) and at least an ND4 , though I usually use an ND8

You can apply ND grad in Lightroom but it's not the same and iff there are blown highlights it doesn't fix it.

Nice picture BTW
02-10-2011, 11:20 AM   #19
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One of the things I learned early on about digital photography is that, unlike film, you can often recover detail from underexposed areas. You cannot put detail back in overexposed areas.

So - if in doubt underexpose and pull something back from the darker bits later with Photoshop. But I like the suggestion of taking two shots and merging them. Nice idea - I will certainly add that to my repertoire.

If this is all a statement of the obvious, please be gentle with me - I'm a newbie. (Well, a newbie here, but I have been using Photoshop for some years.)

02-10-2011, 12:14 PM   #20
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Sad to say that not all things that seem beautiful can be photographed, and this is an example now. Probably 25 years ago it was still pristine (maybe 10?) without the houses.

Someone needs to come up with a "building" filter in PS. Clone works nice enough for power lines!

MGVH- for your other shot, perhaps a bit more foreground would help it out. It would give the mountain and house there on a better sense of size and scale.

Keep at it!

Last edited by BigDave; 02-10-2011 at 12:14 PM. Reason: typos
02-10-2011, 01:45 PM   #21
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This is a simple demo of what a few adjustments in post processing can do. Also, note the histogram and where I set the sliders.

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02-10-2011, 01:54 PM   #22
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blending exposures

To capture such wide dynamic range it is posible to

1) use filters, not only polarizing filter but also cokin filters. But in this shot its not that good, because you dont have a straight horizon, but there are hills therefore i would recommend you

2) Make a HDR shot, you have to take multiple exposures, to cover the dynamic range (best raw, due to wider dynamic range captured than jpeg and a tripod is a must) of the scene. After that you have to create a HDR image and to convert this image to jpeg you have to do some tone mapping. Disadvantage of this method are moving objects, clouds do move, trees in the wind and so on. So you have to take these shots as fast after each other.

3) This is probably the best method and its called blending exposures. You take multiple shots, but you expose each for a different part of the image, like the clouds, rocks, and after that you blend them in post process in a way you like. A tripod is also a must and quite a lot of post processing is required, but its worth

for example

this image was blended from 3 different exposures and its also a pano shot with 2 columns so all together 6 shots were needed

05-05-2013, 09:35 PM   #23
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You know I just cannot see any issues here at all. The more I study the pic, the more I enjoy it. If I were hard pressed to find something to discuss about it, I would suggest perhaps taking the photo maybe a little earlier. Again, what a great shot. Just fantastic.



Last edited by Tonytee; 05-05-2013 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Clarification. I was referring to pic of the rock formations.
05-06-2013, 04:38 AM   #24
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Okay, since mgvh has access to post HDR tools .... here is another technique that can save some photos, one frame HDR.

You create multiple copies of your single photo, adjusting the exposure up and down. Then combine those exposure using HDR. The process is much faster than creating masks or cloning techniques. One big advantage is there is no registration issues. Sadly, truly blown highlights remain blown and truly off the chart shadows will remain black.

This isn't my preferred technique, but it sure comes in handy when you either exposed poorly or circumstances won't allow exposure bracketing.
05-06-2013, 07:45 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I personally find that once highlights (like the clouds) are blown, there isn't much to do to get them back. If your underexpose, you can bring up the shadows to a certain extent. RAW is a little more tolerant of these adjustments than jpeg, but you can do them in jpeg too.

This is what I understood as well. Overexposed areas contain little "hidden" extra information and are just plain white. Underexposed areas however do contain several shades of "black", so some information can be retrieved later. For this reason it would be better to underexpose than to overexpose. That is, if you are intending to correct things in postprocessing.
05-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #26
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A little tweak using Lightroom 5
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05-06-2013, 07:26 PM   #27
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This thread was a couple years old, but I'm happy to see someone revived it! Since my earlier efforts, I did buy Lightroom 4, and that has made a lot of adjustments a lot easier.
@Gashog appears to have HDR to get some good improvement
@Ken T: The clouds are still blown out, but what settings did you use to get the clarity and sharpness in the cliffs? The original wasn't particularly sharp, but I must not be doing sharpening correctly to get the result you did. Any tips on that would be appreciated. (BTW, the photo was taken w/ a DA 16-45. It has a great reputation, but I never could great results with it. My DA 18-135 has happily replaced it.
05-06-2013, 07:58 PM   #28
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Mgvh, I am sorry I do not remember the settings. I just gave a try with your picture in Lightroom 5, I used Graduated Filter for top and bottom of the frame plus some Contrast and Temp adjusted , and used Radial Filter for the cliffs. I just made some quick adjustments with the sliders and did not pay attention to their values. I finished it with a lot of sharpening with mask (also in LR5). It took me no more than 1 minute.
You can get LR5 beta free from Adobe Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 | photo management software beta - Adobe Labs

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