Show and Tell

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by GaryK26, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. GaryK26

    GaryK26
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    All too often we see images that are truely fantastic and we aspire to produce such work ourselves. It would be fantastic if the authors were to enlighten us on how the image came to being.

    I'm not just talking about aperture, shutter speed, etc. More along how the subject was selected / staged. How lighting was arranged. What post processing was involved.

    OK, so this level of detail would probably take a while to put together - certainly a hell of a lot more time than it takes to simply post an image.
    Tobers is a great one for providing enlightening and interesting commentary on some of his shots - I just wish that there were more aclaimed folk who would do so.

    Maybe there should be a section of the forum dedicated to Show and Tell. Maybe a sub-section of the Photo Sharing section. If thats not possible, maybe threads could be named "Image of X - how I did it".

    Whilst on the subject, does anyone have any good links to such resources external to AVForums?

    Cheers
    Gary
     
  2. Tobers

    Tobers
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    Thanks - possibly some more coming tomorrow if I get time to post...

    I'm amazed anyone reads my ramblings really.
     
  3. Dave

    Dave
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    Interesting idea which I'd like to get involved in and show and tell some of my shots. However, the benefit would be greater if you saw someone's shot and then asked them how they got that shot rather the poster randomly selecting one.

    I'm sure I'm not alone in the fact I'd struggle to think of a picture of mine that anyone would be interested in enough to hear the story behind it so if someone picked a picture it would make the learning experience much better for all.
     
  4. GaryK26

    GaryK26
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    Dave - good point there....
    Maybe it could be an extension of Photo Sharing whereby viewers can request that the author explain how an image was made. I'd like to see a section dedicated to this so that there is a "landing place" where you know that there are going to be exceptional images accompanied by a "How To"

    Tobers - I have long admired your work and always take great pleasure in not only viewing the images, but also reading about the circumstances surrounding them.

    For me, there are a number of posters who I really admire and would love to be half as good as them. Allymac, Steve Green and Vulkan to name but a few, they all constantly come up with inspiring images - we could learn a heck of a lot from you guys....all we need is a few pointers.
     
  5. tonkie

    tonkie
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    Yes I think that would be a better option
     
  6. allymac123

    allymac123
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    I do try to offer an inslight into what I went through to get a photo.

    I'm not sure I know exactly what your asking for though. Is the detail in this thread of mine what you want???
     
  7. GaryK26

    GaryK26
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    Yes, there's a good account of your day and a story behind how you found yourself in such locations. That in itself is great, but I want more :lease:
    What I mean is that your landscapes aren't just landscapes (if you know what I mean). Image 6 for example, it just oozes quality. How the hell do you do it.....time and time again???

    Ok, so scenery as such certainly helps, but they way that you capture it and create the end image is second to none.
     
  8. allymac123

    allymac123
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    Okay. I'll have a little go. What do you think to this for #6.

    From the 3 or 4 visits when I'd driven past this Lochan I had a pretty good idea of what conditions I needed/wanted.
    1 - Light; this is pretty much always first in my landscapes. This location (view) points NNE so to get light on pretty much all the land, because of the surrounding hills, it needed to be around/just after the midday mark, especially in the winter with the low sun.
    2 - A flat calm, not always necessary but I think for this location it just works because it makes everything twice as gorgeous
    3 - Clouds; tying in somewhat with the light but I think this place works best with a blue sky and some light clouds, those conditions also mean you should be able to get dappled light on the hills which is far more photogenic with the play of light and shadow.

    The day I was up I knew conditions were going to be about right so I headed to the place. I think choosing when and if to shoot a location is one of the most important choices we can make.

    Once there it was the task of finding the composition. I love this little island on the loch with its big green pines that contrast with the brown/yellow of the hills so I knew I wanted to feature it prominently. I also think the glacial valley is one of the prettiest in Scotland and should also be clearly seen. The banks around this area are covered with about 15ft of 8ft high shrubbery which you have to force your way through. They end immediately at the water's edge with overhanging braches so you need to wade into the water a bit to get rid of them (A reason why I wore my wellies and generally do these days when working near water and the hike isn't too far.) I have taken a frame from this spot and included the branches and leaves and that works but I wanted an unobstructed view this time.

    I have to say although not a long walk this is about 15mins downhill from the car so I wouldn't want to walk back up to change into my wellies had I not worn them. As it was I had. There's only really the one place to force through the hedge growth here and that leaves the island in front of the V-shaped Valley, something I didn't want. So I had to wade along the shore until I got to the spot I wanted. Any further right and the bank to the right would start interfering with the valley any further left and the island would do that.

    When I arrived there were a few ripples in the water which disturbed the reflections a little. So I put on my ND8 filter to allow me to lengthen the exposure which would smooth out the ripples. I also used a CPL to bring out the blues of the sky a little. After taking a normal frame I decided I wanted a pano.

    I made sure the spirit level on my tripod itself was level as this means when you rotate the head it doesn't throw it out of alignment.

    Lens was my 17-55. I used the camera in portrait orientation as that gives more pixels in the image height and also makes the image easier to stitch for CS3. I set the focal length to something just a bit wider than I wanted and I wanted to be able to include up to the top of the hill just to the right of the big bushy green tree. If I had Lee grads I would have used a 2stop for the sky and inverted a 1stop for the sky portion of the reflection (I think). I normally avoid cropping my shots at all cost. But for pano's I allow a bit of leverage as sometimes the stiching means you need to crop a fair bit anyway. Plus becuase of all the pixels you can afford to loose a few if needs must.

    I had decided the rough confines of the image area by making an aperture with my fingers. The ripples had now stopped so IIRC I removed my ND8 as it can add a little of Chromatic aberration and as it was no longer serving a purpose there was no point in having it on.

    Aperture was chosen as F9 is probably about where the lens is sharpest (I think F7.1 might actually be a little sharper but negligible really). ISO 100 for the least noise and focus set to manual. IS off as it always is when tripod mounted.

    I waited until clouds put some of the valley in shadow and then began shooting from left to right, using liveview to ensure there was about 50% overlap between each shot. I also used to shutter release cable and liveview acts as a mirror lock up so no vibrations.


    Back to the computer now and RAW conversion was trying to get a nice WB. This was very tricky as too warm and the mountains turned muddy but too cold and the sky lost its warm colour. Added a touch of saturation just to bring out the greens a little.

    Once Photoshop has merged the pano I then brought down the sky a little with a multiply layer and layer masks so that it didn't affect the land. (This wouldn't be necessary if I had grads). A touch of curves just to set it off right and I was done.

    Voila!


    [imglink]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/3201797322_45be0e2a0d_o.jpg[/imglink]
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  9. Biscuit761

    Biscuit761
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    Superb - again. I never tire of seeing this shot.

    Bill
     
  10. denno75uk

    denno75uk
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    Ally, thanks for that detailed write up. I may never even attempt landscapes like that, but reading about what exactly goes into producing such stunning photos is fascinating. It also explains why your photos are so impressive when you read about the effort you put in to them. They say you get out what you put in.
    Excellent.:thumbsup:
     
  11. Holowlegs

    Holowlegs
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    Hello there


    Its a good idea but they do take while to do.


    I tried to do one once. You can find it here.


    Cheers Ally for that great read.:thumbsup:


    Cheers Holo:smashin::smashin:
     
  12. GaryK26

    GaryK26
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    Excellent write up to accompany an excellent image - thanks Ally.

    As discussed, providing such detailed information does take some time to do (and it is very much appreciated too).

    I guess the problem is that guys such as Ally and Tobers churn out high quality images at a rate that we couldn't possibly expect a write up to such a level if detail all the time.

    On the other hand, there's nothing stopping meer mortals such as I asking for the information.

    Cheers
    Gary
     

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