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09-15-2009, 06:03 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Well, you call it frankness, but it sure looks like a cheap shot to me.

You best look up the term "criticism," because what you did doesn't even come close. If the OP wants to ride with it, that's his business, but I reserve the right to be frankly critical in turn.

And if you'd like to see what legitimate criticism looks like, I'd be happy to parse your comments above in a PM for your edification,
Brian


you want something critical? here's one. your post here concerning about my criticism is nonsense and does not answer or evaluate the OP's photo in any way. it is rather your "personal feeling" towards my post. if you have something personal to talk about, just push the pm button. coz what you are posting here does not concern the OP's concern and it's clearly "INAPPROPRIATE".

you can continue doing this circus all you want, but I will stop here because I don't want this thread getting fully derailed because of your "personal feeling".

09-15-2009, 07:44 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
Ok, I've been wondering what is involved with getting that "3-d" look to landscape photos, and a quick shot taken tonight finally urged me to ask the pros.
I would prefer not to talk about "3-D". That term actually is used in other contexts and I don't think it's necessary here. You just want to take landscape photos that have a sense of depth to them. Perfectly understandable.


QuoteQuote:
Whenever I come across impressive landscapes, such as this this meandering valley, any attempts I've made to capture it always come out flat and don't do the scene justice. This was taken with the 18-55 kit lens at 18mm.

Is the 3-d effect given by the lens being used, ie some lenses just make things 'pop' more? Is it a combination of settings?
I have read all the other replies and agree with most of them. I'll just add my take (repeating some of what's been said).

First, the shot is underexposed, so you've probably lost some detail in there for good, and what detail there might be, we can't see. That is really the main problem with this photo. Work on your exposures - and learn more about the best time of day for shooting landscapes (usually, just after dawn or just BEFORE dusk). Did you use a tripod here? I use a tripod mainly for portrait shooting and I don't carry one in the car with me everywhere. But if I came across this scene while driving and felt like taking a shot, I think I'd at least consider setting the camera on the car and using the shutter timer, so I could use a 1 second exposure or something like that.

Second, not every scene fits properly into the default aspect ratio of our Pentax cameras. This scene MIGHT be improved by cropping out a lot of the foreground and some of the sky above the sunset. I use 1x2 aspect ratio a lot for landscapes. Yes, it makes getting prints a little awkward but not impossible.

Third, if you did have a tripod - or if you practiced and got good at doing this by hand - you could have taken two or three shots, panning from left to right or vice versa, and then stitched them together later on your computer. I suspect that part of what you were responding to in this scene was the wide-open-ness, and you need a panorama to communicate that. It's nice to have a wider lens. If I took that shot and if I had my Sigma 10-20 handy, I might have used it. But a panorama is sometimes the right approach and you don't need a new lens to do it.

Fourth, with respect to composition (NOT "composure"), yes, that's terribly bimportant too and I am sure you could go back to this scene, think about it, and find a better way to compose this shot. You don't have to put the barn or whatever it is right in the middle, for example; you might instead put it on the left or right and get a lot of the open fields to its side. However, I think you want to start with improving your exposures.

*

Don't feel bad if you look at this photo and don't feel too excited about it. That's life. I'm not too excited about a rather high percentage of the shots that I take - and I'm not taking about my occasional dumb mistakes but about photos that are otherwise well composed, properly exposed, etc. It is the nature of photography - indeed, the nature of nearly all the arts and certainly of all crafts - that mediocrity is the norm. So first, you start taking some pride, or at least satisfaction, when you are able to reach mediocrity on a fairly routine basis. I can't find the link right now but I'm pretty sure it was Mike Johnston over at The Online Photographer who said that he'd once had a chance to look through Ansel Adams unpublished archives and he was surprised - and profoundly encouraged - to see how many truly mediocre photos there were in there.

Will
09-15-2009, 07:58 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
Composure has been my weak point. I've known that. Any suggestions on books for composure?
I don't have any recommendations, but FWIW, the term is "composition", not "composure". I think composition is the part of phoography that is most art as opposed to science, and you might consider looking at books on art technique, which typically take the subject a bit more seriously than photography books.

QuoteQuote:
Marc, your comments pose a couple questions in my head. Maybe your comments were intended to be more general than landscapes
They are indeed more general, but apply perfectly well to landscapes in particular.

QuoteQuote:
1. when working with wide angles and landscapes, I can kind of see the DOF part, but how much of a difference is there going to be in DOF at infinity focus? 2. When working at infinity focus, how would you focus more precisely in one area versus another?
The whole point is, you *don't* necessarily want infinity focus. That's what I meant about controlling where your focus actually is. Maybe the effect would be stronger if you focused specifically on the building rather than the horizon, and used a large aperture so the building and the immediate surroundings were sharp but the rest of the picture was not. Or maybe you really do want everything in focus - but even then, some areas will be *more* in focus than others, and it might make sense to be sure the building is the *most* in focus. Or maybe you want to focus to be on the background, with the build a bit on the softer side. These are all valid decisions, and you have control over this.

You speak of a "3-D effect", but really, there is no such thing. A 2-D picture is a 2-D picture, period. If there are pictures that you personally perceive as being more "3-D", you'll have to first ask yourself, what *specifically* about the picture makes you feel that way. then try to achive that specific thing. Often, it's shallow DOF that makes people say a picture looks "3-D" - subject in focus, everything else not. But for landscapes, it might have ore to do with the composition - a scene in which the layout of the land of the objects in it give a clear sense of receding planes. Or maybe it's a color and contrast thing - having more highly saturated colors with higher contrast in the foreground than the background. This always happens to some extent naturally due to the effects of the atmosphere, but scenes in which the effect is more pronounced might read as more "3-D".

Anyhow, again, bottom line is, you need to first identify what *specifically* you want. It might help to find another image you like, post it, and start a discussion about the specific things about that image you like, and then maybe you can work to understand how to make those same things happen in your own pictures.
09-15-2009, 08:25 AM   #19
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I'm surprised that no one has recommended using HDR. Part of what gives that 3d effect comes from being able to show a contrasting details in the shadow areas and contrasting details in the bright areas.

09-15-2009, 09:03 AM   #20
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You can get quite a bit of "3-D" if you mask for the land and sky and post process each separately.



Tim
09-15-2009, 09:12 AM   #21
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Haha, I didn't even notice I was saying composure instead of composition. I've been on here long enough to know that, oh well, still fresh at this.

Anyways, to answer some of the questions, there wasn't much of a plan to this photo. I was driving for work and pulled off to a wayside to use the facilities, I was impressed with the valley, so I grabbed the camera out of the car. No tripod, no choice with the available light, and instead of cranking ISO and letting things get too grainy, I underexposed to prevent camera shake beyond what SR could overcome. I was probably thinking I should try bumping it up in PP, which I didn't do before posting the original photo. At least that's what I'm guessing what I was thinking, it was a long day and I was falling off a sugar/caffeine buzz, who knows what was actually thinking.

Regarding the "3-d" feel I was referencing, I know a two dimensional object cannot show the third dimension. I couldn't think of any better way of wording it though. Will nailed what I was trying to say though. I was trying to say take photos with a sense of depth and/or magnitude.

I'll work at composition more so. From what I'm understanding, in order to convey the feeling we as being able to see depth viewing it live, elements need to be creatively composed into the photo to show the depth. Using a dominant foreground subject, different elements stacked showing the depth, etc.

Turbosaturn- From my understanding of HDR, it is a tool that could be used to help with the exposure- capture the details in both the bright and dark areas, but I'm missing, especially in the example photo is more basic stuff that needs to be executed properly before I bother with HDR. You're right, it could be useful if only parts of the photo were exposed properly to catch the details of what would otherwise have been missed.

Thanks all
09-15-2009, 09:41 AM   #22
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One aspect of getting the landscape 3-d thing (as opposed to the bokeh, 'binocular' sort, done with contrasting sharpness and oof blur) is to get the absolute best contrast/resolution possible. I find the landscape 3-d is very dependent on this sharpness being equal-ish foreground to background. This creates the illusion of awesome depth and clarity.

To do this consistently requires a good tripod and cable release (I am not saying it can't be done hand held etc, but consistently?) ... that's the start. Once you start loosing the detail you can't get it back.

Here's where the other things mentioned come into play: your lens should be stopped down enough to get into the sweet spot at least, and to where a large area is in focus. The lighting needs to work for the photo - so that there is life and sparkle to look at near and far. Composition has to work.

This can be achieved with many lenses, the really good ones work with you here, making it easier to get this sort of clarity and depth. Again, my feeling and experience is that the loss of contrast and detail robs the photo of the life of surface, and when surface life is gone it's very hard to create that sense of depth and clarity.
09-15-2009, 10:03 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
hey Brian. this is my frank criticism. if he gets offended by it, that's his choice. this is to make the OP aware that his subject is not interesting because there is nothing to look at. either way he could take this as a challenge for him. I'm not here to brag about my skills nor did I mention that. btw, I didn't belittle the OP nor did I say that he sucked. if I mentioned that, then feel free to give me a lecture on humility.

since you care enough to lecture me on such nonsense and no bigga deal issue, then why don't you give your free advice to the OP. since you seem to be pretty good in it.

btw, don't tell me how I give my remarks to the OP, coz it's not my style. and I don't find it rude either, I'm just frank. better keep your kind of response to yourself as well.

excess, you just hijacked this thread by trying to be like someone big, you arrogant self-righteous ****.

Whatever you intended is irrelevant. It's about perception, and my perception is that most of your comments about other photos are completely condescending and offer little in the way of "constructive" criticism.

That's just my perception anyway.

09-15-2009, 11:16 AM   #24
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I would clone out the power and phone lines, but then is just my tastes.

Jack
09-15-2009, 06:58 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
instead of cranking ISO and letting things get too grainy, I underexposed to prevent camera shake beyond what SR could overcome. I was probably thinking I should try bumping it up in PP, which I didn't do before posting the original photo.
Had you done so, you'd have gotten pretty much exactly the same amount of noise as had you simply bumped ISO is the first place. Either way, since you're dealing with the same aperture and shutter speed, the sensor collects the same data. It's just a question of whether that gets amplified in the camera (by turning up ISO) or in PP (by pushing the exposure slider). It amounts to the same things either way - noise is amplified.

QuoteQuote:
Regarding the "3-d" feel I was referencing, I know a two dimensional object cannot show the third dimension. I couldn't think of any better way of wording it though. Will nailed what I was trying to say though. I was trying to say take photos with a sense of depth and/or magnitude.
I'm afraid that's still not specific enough, though. At least, not good enough to answer the question. There are many, many factors that influence the "sense of depth" - including the ones I mentioned. So you want to work on figuring out what those things are - how to recognize them in a scene, how to shoot in a way that emphasizes them, how to create them in PP when they aren't there, etc.

Again, art texts are great for this, because an artist can't create a sense of depth if he doesn't understand what specific elements contribute to it.
09-15-2009, 09:23 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
Composure has been my weak point. I've known that. Any suggestions on books for composure?
There are many free online resources available on the web. Search for "Composition", or "Painting Composition". Here are is a good starting point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition_(visual_arts)

QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
when working with wide angles and landscapes, I can kind of see the DOF part, but how much of a difference is there going to be in DOF at infinity focus?
Don't confuse Depth-of-Field (DOF) with Sense-of-Depth ("3-D"). A wide DOF does not necessarily gives you strong Sense-of-Depth, while a shallow DOF can provide a strong depth. Sense of Depth is more strongly correlated to:
  • Relative size - a near object is larger than far.
  • Relative color/hue - far colors are more muted than near.
  • leading line - from foreground to background
  • diagonal lines - provides a strong sense of movement, i.e. from here to there.
I scoured my Flickr photostream (shameless plug alert) to illustrate some of these points. Ignore the fact that they are not landscape photo, the principle still applies.

In "B*all*KEH", the DOF is inches thin. Even though the balls in the background are completely out of focus, the brain can still make it out to interprete the large difference in relative size as distance.



In "Magazines", again the DOF is thin. Multiple diagonal leading lines, and decreasing relative size creates a sense of depth, even though the rack is less than 3 yards in length.



In this river shot of Pittsburgh, the DOF is fairly wide but the distant buildings are still not sharp. The sense of depth is provided by the leading lines from both side of the river bank; from the strong diagonal line created by the barge all the way to the skyscraper; from the relative size of the near tugboat against the small far building; and finally from the muted hazy skyline as compared to the tugboat.



Circling back to your first picture:
1. Except for a midground road behind the white barn, all the lines are horizontal.
2. There is very little color fade from foreground to background.
3. It lacks a prominent anchor to provide a relative scale comparison.
09-16-2009, 10:39 AM   #27
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As long as we're shamelessly mining our Flickr photstreams for quasi-relevant pictures :-), here's on I just took the other day and posted last night:



Obviously, a different kind of scene than the one we started with. But to the extent one could say it has "3-D" qualities, I'd say it comes from two specific factors: the extremely shallow DOF, and the converging diagonals of the fence creating a very clear path from foreground to background. Is this typical for how "most" landscapes might achieve a "3-D" look? No. It's nothing like the originally posted scene, so the specific factors that might be relevant in that type of scene might differ. But it illustrates how these two factors *can* work, and it illustrates the value of identifying *specific* factors that contribute to the look, so one can then turn attention to how you make that happen. For instance, in my case, I created the shallow DOF by using a 500mm lens. And I focused carefully so that one fence post would appear sharp, and I chose the post to focus on based on which one also gave me a good amount of the tree in focus, so it too would seem to be appearing out of nowhere. I achieved the diagonal lines simply by how I positioned my and aimed the camera - basic composition. In hindsight, I probably could have moved a few inches one way or another so the bottom of the fence was a stronger diagonal; it's kind of close to vertical here.

Again, the specifics what factors you might control and how you might control might differ for a different scene or what *kind* of "3-D" effect you are after, but you've got to be able to look at things at that level, not just use the word "3-D" as if it were something separate from the elements tha contribute to it (composition, DOF, focus point, etc).
09-22-2009, 11:19 AM   #28
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Browsing a couple of books the other day reminded me of a couple of items that I think most of us subconsciously adhere to...

A good way to get depth into a photograph (not depth of field) is to think of the composition as leading your viewer through the image. The convergent lines people showed in the preceding images give an obvious method of leading your viewer through an image, but there are many ways of doing it as others have pointed out. Stacking your objects from foreground to back works well. Utilizing various proportion rules (i.e. the rule of thirds) often helps. The primary idea though is to engage your viewer to look at a photo dynamically... That is to get the viewer to see everything rather than one thing.

It is easy for me to say that though, but I surely struggle with it. Too often, I end up with a photo like yours. Of course, it looks great when we are in the scene, but too often the result is not what we expect once we are removed from the scene and only have the image to look at. Too many times, I look at an image and can see exactly what I should have done or how I could have improved the composition (i.e. changing perspective rather than cropping).

It all takes practice and browsing through Flickr, Smugmug, these forums, and books all help in addition to that practice.
09-22-2009, 04:36 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
It is easy for me to say that though, but I surely struggle with it. Too often, I end up with a photo like yours. Of course, it looks great when we are in the scene, but too often the result is not what we expect once we are removed from the scene and only have the image to look at. Too many times, I look at an image and can see exactly what I should have done or how I could have improved the composition (i.e. changing perspective rather than cropping).

It all takes practice and browsing through Flickr, Smugmug, these forums, and books all help in addition to that practice.
Thatís as good as any discretion I have read on how to learn to see.

DAZ
09-28-2009, 03:01 PM   #30
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Personally I have found that using a telephoto lens +200mm for certain landscape shots can produce that 3d look as it compresses the foreground to the background - using early morning or late afternoon light which creates shadows at oblique angles.

Sometimes I will see something that really appeals - I then will sit all day, just watching how different light affects the composition and get an idea - sometimes you just get lucky and you are in the right spot,right light etc

Go back to the scene and shoot it many times over,different light,angles,lenses,times of the day (examine the exif data) and keep mental notes - with lots of practice a lot of stuff becomes automatic - like driving a stick shift after lotsa practise;-)

Regards

Dylan
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