The Show and Tell Thread

Discussion in 'Photo Sharing' started by allymac123, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. allymac123

    Well-known Member

    May 16, 2005
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    It been suggested one of these was created so here goes.

    The way I envisage this to work is that you post the shot (and information if you wish) in a normal photosharing thread and then everyone can comment in that thread.

    This thread should be restricted purely for show and tell posts so that you can read through it without lots of comment posts getting in the way. If someone has a question then they should ask that in the thread in which you posted the shot. If there isn't a thread for some reason then it should be created. Basically lets keep this thread clean!

    Feel free to use the thanks button to show your appreciation to the poster.

    So I'll kick things off.

    Lochan Urr

    Original image can be found in this thread

    This location is in Glen Etive, Scotland


    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.



    Original image can be found in this thread any comments also in that thread please :thumbsup:

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