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What can I do differently?

Alun

Prominent Member
I went out in the fading light last night as it looked like a nice sky was forming.
Took some fots of what I thought would look good.

I'm less than happy with the way they turned out and would like some advice on what I could have done differently. Unforunately I seem to have strippped the exif data in my conversion from RAW:confused::confused: but will try and remember the settings.



Living under a flight path means I get plenty of chances to do this kind of thing.




The sky looked really imposing but I failed to capture the feel at all... Any advice?





And another one that i thought would look good, but turned out cack.

So I froze my * off for not a lot. I just hope some of you guys can give me something to take away from it

Cheers

Alun
 

atr1981

Established Member
I can't offer any help but I'd be interested in what others come up with. I often find a nice scene that I just can't seem to get the camera to capture.

I'm pretty sure it is a settings thing that will come with experience though.
 

lightpainter

Established Member
Got to remember some times nature isn’t that great and needs a helping hand with Photoshop!
 

salubrious_k

Established Member
I think the first is too plain (okay bad pun), as the plane is too small to really be a point of interest.

The second has an interesting sky, but I think you need to crop the image to improve the composition.

The third has the most potential from an initial capture point of view, but needs a fair bit of work in post-processing to make it look good. I imagine that there are hundreds of different variations as to what you could do. Higher contrast is essential, and unless you are going to do something to bring out the subtle colours in the sky then you could also consider desaturating as an easier alternative.

If you fancy uploading the RAW I'd be interested to have a play around and show you a few things that could be done...
 

MAH

Standard Member
I would say your main problems are you have no foreground interest so all we see is a dark patch that could be anything or the sky is flat (except #2). If you don't have any GND filters then the difference between the land and the sky could be anything up to 5 stops. Therefore you have use something to create interest.

On Number 2 if could have found some water to reflect the sky on to it and then adjusted the image to bring out the colours, or perhaps have a tree the fills the right hand side of the frame.

Whenever possible when having a large expanse of sky then have clouds in it to give the sky interest and definition, if not then the sky should have enough colour to add extra interest to the foreground. On the last picture if the birds where at tree level you could have filled the left hand frame with the tree so and then it would have brought in the evening light against the birds.
 

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Alun

Prominent Member
I think the first is too plain (okay bad pun), as the plane is too small to really be a point of interest.

The second has an interesting sky, but I think you need to crop the image to improve the composition.

The third has the most potential from an initial capture point of view, but needs a fair bit of work in post-processing to make it look good. I imagine that there are hundreds of different variations as to what you could do. Higher contrast is essential, and unless you are going to do something to bring out the subtle colours in the sky then you could also consider desaturating as an easier alternative.

If you fancy uploading the RAW I'd be interested to have a play around and show you a few things that could be done...


Dont think the forum will let me attatch a 7Mb file:eek: I'll email it you if you like. Would really appreciate you having a squint at it.

cheers

Alun
 

salubrious_k

Established Member
Dont think the forum will let me attatch a 7Mb file:eek: I'll email it you if you like. Would really appreciate you having a squint at it.
Like Ally says I normally use mediafire, it's worth signing up for if you ever want to send files (up to 100mb in size). I'll be happy to have a play and then I can upload the PSD for you to look at...
 

salubrious_k

Established Member
@Alun - what do you use normally to post-pro?
 

salubrious_k

Established Member
D'oh! I'd used CS2 before I read your post (although I did try to keep it very simple).

Oh well... whilst I'm uploading the 86mb file to mediafire (yeah photoshop kinda goes through the roof) I'll have a go in Lightroom.
 

salubrious_k

Established Member
Well here's a go using lightroom (still waiting for the PSD I created to upload!)

I went B&W(ish) as I decided the fairly high noise and lack of sharpness meant that the post-processing had to be fairly strong with a lo-fi feel to it (ie. heavily vignetted antique feel)

Here is a step-by-step guide to what I did:

BASIC...
Temp 50000!
Tint +50 (at this point I was thinking sepia... changed my mind later on though)
Saturation -90
Exp +0.25
Saturation -98
Contrast + 100

LENS CORRECTION...
Vignette Amount -100
Midpoint 10

CROP...
Partially to centre the vignette but also to improve composition

SPLIT TONING... (optional? it looks quite nice by this point IMO)
Highlights
Hue 80
Saturation 6
Shadows
Hue 210
Saturation 20




Rizingstar, I like it! Very apocalyptic!
 

salubrious_k

Established Member
@Rizingstar - Thanks, yes I'd cloned that out in my CS2 version, I've only just recently started using Lightroom though so I haven't found if there is a clone or heal tool yet?

Anyway here is a jpg version of my photoshop version, the PSD is still uploading. For this I used CS2 and the CS2 RAW import tool.

Here are the step-by-step instructions. I've tried to keep it simple so I've refrained from anything too complex:

CROP...
Shaved a bit of the left hand side during RAW import

EXPOSURE...
Exp +2/3 stop during RAW import

NOISE...
Duplicated layer
Ran through Imagenomic Noiseware Professional at default level
Set opacity of noise-reduced layer to 70%

CLONING...
Created new empty layer and then used the healing tool (set to "Sample all Layers") to remove plane (middle left) and lone bird (just above horizon)

SHARPENING...
Stamped visible to new layer (Ctrl Shft Alt E)
Filter --> High Pass Filter set to 20px
Blending changed to Overlay
Opacity changed to 30%
Layer mask added, inverted (using Ctrl+I)
And soft white brush to brush in sharpening over trees and bird
(this was done very roughly with 100% white over birds and 50% grey over tree)

COLOUR...
Created colour balance adjustment layer with following values (for midtones)
Red + 40
Green -5
Blue -30

VIGNETTING...
Created new layer
Set to soft light
Used very large soft black brush to paint on a vignette round the outside

CONTRAST...
Added Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer
+8 Brightness, +25 Contrast



EDIT: And here's the Lightroom version (from previous page), I'd be interested to hear which you prefer and why... I'm not completely sure myself...

 

Luffy

Established Member
My feeble effort
 

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salubrious_k

Established Member
Right... that took a long time.

Here's the PSD

BTW - Ideally you should get a tripod for shots like these, that way you can drop the ISO a bit.
 

Alun

Prominent Member
WOW!!!:eek::eek::eek:

So many variations on a theme!

Salubriousk, I prefer the colour version, which is unusual for me as I am normally a mono man. Cant put my finger on it exactly but it feels more... well, .. more..

Rizingstar, loving the colours you've pulled out, reckon without the high initial noise it would have been a belter

Luffy, how the same image can be so different (to rizingstar's) is great.

Thanks to all, gave me a lot to think about, will have a good look at the psd when its finished dl'ing.

Again, many thanks

Alun
 

M1kee

Established Member
I tried to turn your picture into a HDR. I created three copies with different Gamma readings and then processed them in Photomatix. Not too sure what to make of it? I think I prefer Luffy's.

Piccyforavforum.jpg
 

Holowlegs

Prominent Member
Hi ya

Hope you don't mind but I had a go as well. ( like these sort of threads)


Tried to make use of the noise here and used some grad filters as well. You can click on it for a larger view.












Salubriousk I like the black and white version myself and was going to go down that road as well.



Cheers Holo:smashin::smashin:
 

Luffy

Established Member
WOW!!!:eek::eek::eek:

So many variations on a theme!

Salubriousk, I prefer the colour version, which is unusual for me as I am normally a mono man. Cant put my finger on it exactly but it feels more... well, .. more..

Rizingstar, loving the colours you've pulled out, reckon without the high initial noise it would have been a belter

Luffy, how the same image can be so different (to rizingstar's) is great.

Thanks to all, gave me a lot to think about, will have a good look at the psd when its finished dl'ing.

Again, many thanks

Alun

Its because there is so many options with how you set the parameters before you convert to Jpeg and there are alot of programs to do it with
I tried with the canon zoom browser tools first but couldn't get the effect I thought was possible so I tried with Canons DPP and got the result you see.
that is just the conversion I only resized it wth Photoshop no other adjustments or fillters I intensified the colour by going to the RGB curves and pulled the blue and red up other than that I just increased the brightness and contrast and changed the white balance to daylight
 

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