Do these work?

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by NeilCam, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. NeilCam

    NeilCam

    609
    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    If so, why so? If not, can any of 'em be saved and how?

    I don't ask much. :roll:

    I really want to improve my landscape work, but a lot of the time I just can't visualise an image - I can't seem to compose something I'm happy with. This does not bode well for me in this week's contest. :D


    All were done using the D100 with 80-400mm OS. Which is the other interesting thing - I often find most WA lenses too wide for the subject I want to photograph (often, but not always). Anyway, I'm sounding like the abject amateur I am and would dearly love the opinions of all and sundry on what I could do better.

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    Thanks,
    Neil
     
  2. Todd_D1x

    Todd_D1x

    70
    Feb 23, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I think they work. They may need a bit more contrast/saturation but the exposure is very nice. I purchased a Macbeth color checker for setting the white level, gray for correct WB, and set the black level for proper contrast. It works so well that i do nothing else but sharpen the image. Here is an example:
    40045892.

    The colors just come out so well and rich. Even this one will work great for you. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...mp;A=details&Q=&sku=325038&is=REG
    Just take a photo with this card in the scene and open it in Capture, Make sure it is a RAW so you can change the WB and set the gray point, and when you finish processing, go to edit and copy all image adjustments and open your next image and go to edit again and click on paste, apply to all photos under the same lighting.

    Todd
     
  3. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Todd,

    I'm not sure exactly what this color checker thing is, but I'm definitley interested. This shot is just stunningly rich.

    Can you give use a little photographic walk through of the process when you get some time?

    Thanks,

    Frank
     
  4. Todd_D1x

    Todd_D1x

    70
    Feb 23, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Hi Frank, sure always willing to help. The color checker will help you get the best image first time and every time. Basically what I do is photograph this color cart http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...mp;A=details&Q=&sku=325035&is=REG
    under the lighting conditions that I am shooting in and when I process the RAW image, I go to the advanced RAW tab in capture and set the gray point using the 18% gray squre at the bottom. I then set the white points, gray, & black points using the eyedroppers in curves and that is about it. I just sharpen after that. then copy all image adjustments and apply them to the other images. In photoshop, you can go to levels and do the same thin even to a jpeg. and save that setting to a folder and then open next image and open levels again and click on load & load the save setting. It works very well. Then when the photo is finished and saved, ( with the card in the scene) print it out and compare the colors on the print to the color checker, if they match, you have a great looking print/image.

    Todd
     
  5. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Todd, thanks!! I'll look into this process some more. Definitely looks like it worth the effort.

    Neil, sorry I sort of hijacked your thread.... :oops:

    Frank
     
  6. Todd_D1x

    Todd_D1x

    70
    Feb 23, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Hi Frank, I thought you might like to see this:

    Here is a side by side comparrision with and without the Macbeth color checker settings. The white, gray, and black points were set in the photo to the right while processing the Nef in capture. It takes all of the guesswork out of processing, all I did afterwards was sharpen it.... that's all. It saves me so much time. I had to pass this along to those who are interested.
    Todd

    original.
     
  7. Baywing

    Baywing

    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    OK, the color checker looks good, I'll have to look into it, too, but back to Neil's questions.
    Photo 1: Consider keeping the subject simple, IE there should be only one subject. Everything else should support that subject in some way. I think the boats, man and bird are too much. Maybe loose the bird and focus on the man and his interaction with the boats. If that, then allow some extra room to the right of the man, he's a little too close to the right edge. Rule or thirds here. Otherwise, color, exposure, sharpness all look good. Like the reflections.
    Photo 2: Not sure, but I just don't get the sense of abandonment that I think you want to show. This one might work better on a grey, overcast day, where there is a depressing mood to set the tone. I first thought maybe later in the day, but the more I think about it, the grey, rainy or foggy day would set the mood. It would also dull the greens which are a little too "happy" for the abandoned house, you good just desaturate the greens in PS.
    Photo 3: Technically, good, although keep a close watch on the horizon. You can't always assume that sailboat masts are perfectly vertical, most have a slight rake to them. I'm not really sure what the subject is here, look for the picture in the picture. If you have more zoom, find a section of what you have already taken and get in close. I think I see several photos in there. In camera club terms, it is a pretty picture, but it would not score highly due to the lack of a clear subject, something that jumps out and grabs you. Look for something red, that usually does it.

    As a final general comment, with critiques, always consider that the person making the comments may not know what you intended to show. Also, as we are all different, we all have different opinions of what is a good photo. I usually tell people to shoot what you like to see, not what I want to see. In the end, the only one you really need to please is you!
    (I took one of my highest selling and most liked images to a club competition and it took high honors... for the lowest score the club ever had. I, and many others, still like this shot, it is on the net, book covers and was in an ad in TV Guide. So much for judges and comments!)
     
  8. Todd,
    So if I understand you, in this particular description the only square you use is the grey one? Or when you set the white and black are you matching the white and black of the color checker image to the eye drops?

    Thanks, Rich
     
  9. NeilCam

    NeilCam

    609
    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Thanks Todd and Baywing. You've both given me some things to think about and work on. It's much appreciated.

    Neil