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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Learning Thread — Landscape Photography
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04/11/2006 02:14:09 PM · #201
Alrighty, I cloned out some of those bright blades of grass. Then I did a layer, selected the grassy area and blured it, slightly.

If I were to do this whole shot over, I'd shoot only the section I ended up cropping out. It was such a large crop from the full shot that the detail is sorely lacking. I'm not sure it'd improve the overall end result much. Could be I'm just tired of looking at it. :)

ver. bw.tint
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ver. bw.tint.clone.blur
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04/11/2006 03:02:09 PM · #202
Originally posted by error99:

Alrighty, I cloned out some of those bright blades of grass. Then I did a layer, selected the grassy area and blured it, slightly.

If I were to do this whole shot over, I'd shoot only the section I ended up cropping out. It was such a large crop from the full shot that the detail is sorely lacking. I'm not sure it'd improve the overall end result much. Could be I'm just tired of looking at it. :)


Much better. It's a moody, love-it-or-hate-it approach, but I sort of like it :-)

Robt.
04/11/2006 03:21:28 PM · #203
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by error99:

Alrighty, I cloned out some of those bright blades of grass. Then I did a layer, selected the grassy area and blured it, slightly.

If I were to do this whole shot over, I'd shoot only the section I ended up cropping out. It was such a large crop from the full shot that the detail is sorely lacking. I'm not sure it'd improve the overall end result much. Could be I'm just tired of looking at it. :)


Much better. It's a moody, love-it-or-hate-it approach, but I sort of like it :-)

Robt.


Thanks much. :)
04/11/2006 03:38:35 PM · #204
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Let's get back on track, people... :-)General, maybe you can erase these irrelevancies, mine included?

Robt.

OK -- sorry. Hiding several off-topic posts now ...
04/11/2006 06:12:57 PM · #205
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by funkin:

I'm not very good as post processing, although you'll probably gather that as soon as you see the image below!

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Substantial improvement here, but still fairly down-key. Try the contrast masking with the shadow layer set on "soft light", and then a hue/sat adjustment layer with work on the relative saturation and brightness of yellow and green. Try to force up the luminosity and the details in the foreground.

R.


Had a lot more fun with this version, although I don't think its much of an improvement on the first one. Using Photoshop CS2 I played a bit with the shadow/highlights as I couldn't get very far with the contrast masking instructions (highlights did stuff, but I didn't have much luck with the shadow layer).

I then used a faint blue/transparent gradient over the sky, just to brighten up the dull weather we get in the UK! I think it may be a little too blue though now.

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04/11/2006 09:26:40 PM · #206
Originally posted by funkin:


Had a lot more fun with this version, although I don't think its much of an improvement on the first one. Using Photoshop CS2 I played a bit with the shadow/highlights as I couldn't get very far with the contrast masking instructions (highlights did stuff, but I didn't have much luck with the shadow layer).

I then used a faint blue/transparent gradient over the sky, just to brighten up the dull weather we get in the UK! I think it may be a little too blue though now.

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"Contrast Masking" is what those of us who don't have CS2 have to make do with. CS2's "shadow/highlight" adkustment dialogue is "contrast masking plus" — it's an evolution of the technique. Or so I understand. I haven't used it. Keep plugging away at it, you're making progress.

Taking a quick stab at your original, I come up with this:

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One of the things I did here, which can be VERY helpful on dull, flat images, is FIRST I ran "autolevels" on the image. That perked it up dramatically, and gave contrast masking something it could sink its teeth into. Then I ran it through two phases of contrast masking, one to gather more detail from the dark areas and a second layer with the dark areas set to soft light to create more impact. Then I used hue/saturation on the yellows and reds to pump them up, and on the blues and cyans to take cyan cast out of the sky. A blue to transparent overlay in the sky, set to multiply and faded to 20% or so. Then a faded corner vignette, and a dose of USM...

R.

Oh, I also rotated .46 degrees ccw, thinking this would be a more natural level, but I'm not sure that's better now...

Message edited by author 2006-04-11 21:48:25.
04/12/2006 02:29:02 AM · #207
Here is a landscape photo I took today before dark. I think it might have come out better if I had caught it a little earlier when there was raking light. It is a little too sharp.

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04/12/2006 12:58:44 PM · #208
Originally posted by myra:

Here is a landscape photo I took today before dark. I think it might have come out better if I had caught it a little earlier when there was raking light. It is a little too sharp.

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Yes, the light is doing you no favors here and the extreme haloing from sharpening is killing you also. The picture has a seriously underexposed foreground and is basically not salvageable. Some study of the "exposure" portion of this course, earlier, might be useful.

R.
04/12/2006 01:50:37 PM · #209
Thanks Robert. I will print out some of your tutorial subjects and use them for future reference. I am looking forward to your next lesson....;-)
04/12/2006 02:04:10 PM · #210
im totally out of the lop since i have not purchased photoshop cs2(i have elements), but once i get it i think that this tutorial will be way more usefull then it already has been. Its so educational loking at other peoples work and watching them learn. I think its great what you add to this site and how much time you put into it, thanks robt( is it robt, or rob?) well heres a try i took at shoot a landscape, and its after all the editing.
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04/12/2006 02:10:55 PM · #211
Originally posted by Elmakias:

im totally out of the lop since i have not purchased photoshop cs2(i have elements), but once i get it i think that this tutorial will be way more usefull then it already has been. Its so educational loking at other peoples work and watching them learn. I think its great what you add to this site and how much time you put into it, thanks robt( is it robt, or rob?) well heres a try i took at shoot a landscape, and its after all the editing.
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Adam,

Just about everything we have discussed in processing here can be done in Elements. It's a perfectly viable tool for landscape editing. Your shot isn't really a "landscape" btw, it's more of a "skyscape". We can see you have huge noise issues here, but you haven't included any data on your exposure alongside the image, so I really can't say whether this is solely due to your small-sensor camera, whenther this is an extreme crop, or whether the original was badly underexposed.

Let this be a reminder, everyone: please take the time to populate the data fields on the images you post here; it's veryhard to talk about how you can improve a shot if we don't have any data to extrapolate from.

Thanks, Robt.

New Lesson/Exercise later today

Message edited by author 2006-04-12 14:47:59.
04/12/2006 02:20:59 PM · #212
Originally posted by Bear_Music:


Let this be a reminder, everyone: please take the time to populate the data fields on the images you post here; it's veryhard to talk about how you can improve a shot if we don't have any data to extrapolate from.

Good point, and one that I'm very guilty of. I've just updated my original picture with the EXIF details and will ensure I do so for future photos.

Finally, I need to publicly thank you Robt as well for all your hard work helping us all out :) It really is appreciated.
04/12/2006 02:30:39 PM · #213
Originally posted by funkin:

Finally, I need to publicly thank you Robt as well for all your hard work helping us all out :) It really is appreciated.


Agreed. Thanks for taking the time and effort to do this.
04/12/2006 02:45:33 PM · #214
sorry about that
im just at school right now and did not have access to any of the information
ill take care of it when i get home
04/12/2006 06:42:07 PM · #215
Robert - I'll try and catch a Landscape with no subject tonight or tomorrow. My Aunt died and I wasn't thinking about my lessons.

-Christine
04/12/2006 09:18:39 PM · #216

Christine, I am so sorry to hear about your Aunt. I know how hard that can be.

Myra
04/13/2006 04:18:06 PM · #217
New Assignment

We’ve discussed the “types” of natural light we work with, we’ve taken a foray into the fundamentals of correct exposure, we’ve done the “Landscape Without Subject” assignment. Now let’s do something a little interesting in a technical way; “Flat-Light Landscapes”.

Lesson 4 — Flat-Light Landscapes

If you’ve been following along, you’ll have the sense that we HIGHLY recommend the use of “descriptive” light in landscape photography; typically this will be low, raking light but it might also be “strong” light (“Shaping” light) or backlighting. We are almost always seeking the light that best defines our subject, which brings it to life as it were.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of “waiting for the light”; we’re here, now, and we either shoot or forever hold our peace. So sometimes we are stuck with dull, overcast conditions, or with the light behind us, and we end up shooting in “flat” light.

”Flat Light” is light that does not do any (or very little) modeling on our scene, either because it is highly diffused (overcast/cloudy day) or because it is coming from directly behind us.

It is perfectly possible to shoot stunning landscapes in flat light. In fact, flat light can be the BEST light for certain sorts of landscape details, like flowers or autumn leaves on the ground. But to get the “best” results out of flat light, you usually have to do some serious PP adjustments. In a nutshell, you can use levels and hue/saturation to introduce visual modulation into an otherwise-flat scene. All of these images were shot in very flat light, although the beach shot does have “light” in the sky; but the beach itself was in shadow. The flower shots were done in total overcast; there’s a certain amount of definition from the fact that the light comes from overhead, but the modeling is very muted.

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So let’s go out and see what we can accomplish with light that is NOT “dramatic” or “beautiful” in its own right.

R.

Message edited by author 2006-04-13 16:18:52.
04/13/2006 07:45:14 PM · #218
It is pretty sunny outside right now unless I photograph something in the shade. I do have 3 flower shots in my profile taken last month. I would love your suggestions on one of these. I will be glad to provide the original on them if you want it.

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04/14/2006 12:41:39 AM · #219
Lesson 3:

Am hoping that this is appropriate for Landscape without a subject.

Taken this evening out at the Air Force Bombing Range, on Lake Arbuckle. I had gone out to grab some stuff from the Commissary, decided to see what I could 'catch' at the lake before leaving.

I spent last night trying to capture an image, but to me, most of the stuff had 'subjects', either trees or something else. :(

Left: original (resized) -- Right: edited version

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Am working off a laptop until my main computer is up and running again, I calibrated using Spyder Pro Plus, but, am still not sure if I am seeing correctly.

**Off-topic** Thank you Myra. :)
04/14/2006 01:08:05 AM · #220
My try for the flat lighting lesson -
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And the 1600px original (630kb):
//www.jonbuder.com/temp/house_flat_orig.jpg

Is the light flat after all? I thought so because it was coming from almost straight behind me and didn't cast any sideways shadows in the shot..
04/14/2006 03:47:39 AM · #221
This was taken two days ago and there was a bright overcast overhead. Is it flat or shaping?

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What camera settings would have brought out the best in this shot?
04/14/2006 03:59:02 AM · #222
You say in the details that the ISO was set to 1600 - that's not usually a good idea other than indoors with available light, as it kind of throws away a lot of dynamic range and adds a lot of noise. Between 1 and 400 is usually good, I usually use 400 with a telephoto so I can avoid camera shake but 100 is less noisy.
04/14/2006 04:20:47 AM · #223
Here is one at ISO 100 of the same scene.

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Seems like there would be more of a difference.
04/14/2006 02:24:40 PM · #224
Originally posted by myra:


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Here's a quick makeover on the snapdragons. What strikes me about the original is that it's too heavy on the cyan, which is a natural result of using daylight color balance in open shade, where the bounced sky illumination is very blue. So I have done these things; I sharpened the image (all of these seem undersharpened at this size), I used levels and curves to make a more luminous rendering, I used hue/saturation to remove some of the cyan/blue cast and to bump the yellow slightly, and finally I used a color balance adjustment layer to do "progressive shifting" into a slightly watmer rendition — I shifted towards yellow, magenta and red a fair smidge in the highlights, somewhat less in the midtones, and less yet in the shadows. I think it's a more pleasing rendition, overall. Load up both images and tab between them to see the differences more vividly.

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These are pretty much examples of floral details shot in flat light, yes, they fit the bill. In "Mother of Millions" the BG is horribly distracting to me, it's at war with the subject. If you wanted to rescue it, the way to do so would be to carefully select out the plant itself, invert the selection, and use gaussian blur, hue/sat, and levels on the BG to club it into submission. On the thrid shot, you want to look at a similar approach to what I used on the snapdragons; overall the color is very cold and the luminosity isn't really expressed.

R.

Message edited by author 2006-04-14 14:28:04.
04/14/2006 02:51:48 PM · #225
Originally posted by Skyarcher:

Lesson 3:

Left: original (resized) -- Right: edited version

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This is a decent example of making a very flatly-lit scene more interesting by using PP to introduce visual contrast. The image itself is fairly blah, of course, so there's a limit to what you can do with it. For what it's worth, you can consider going over the edge with PP and making a more extreme image out of it, like the following (for just one approach):

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On this I used multiple passes of contrast masking, hue'saturation bump. selective color, USM, a gradient overlay in the sky, and finally the gothic glow plugin to produce a somewhat surreal, post-apocalyptic take on the scene.

R.
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