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Marken
Marken
Azrifel


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Black & White II (Basic Editing I)
Camera: Nikon D70
Location: Marken
Date: Nov 14, 2004
Aperture: F8
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/320s
Galleries: Black and White, Travel
Date Uploaded: Nov 14, 2004

Central Marken (Church area) in B&W from the harbour side of the town. Marken is a very traditional location in Noord-Holland, just like Volendam but a bit less killed by tourism. The people here cling to their traditions and visitors are not allowed to take their cars into town.
Their are a lot of green and black wooden buildings with small alleys. Suddenly you walk into a death end and find yourself in someones garden.

Exposed with the emphasize on the sky. Wanted to keep the clouds in. Otherwise you might have seen more detail in the three most black buildings.

Shot in NEF, loaded into Nikon Capture for a RAW conversion where I changed stuff like the curve (extreme to bring back shadows), edge noise reduction @ 3, moire reduction (against color noise in the shadow) @ medium, enhanced the color in landscape mode to saturation @ 14, sharpening to medium low (wished I had set it at low).
Saved as 16 bit TIFF

Loaded in Photoshop:
* cropped
* 8-bit
* channel mixer to monochrome
R: +100
G: +60
B: -60
* resampled to 640 wide
* USM on lightness channel in LAB mode:
120% on 0.3 radius with a 1 treshold

Using negative values in your channel mixer is fun. When you push the blue to -100 and up the green to +100 you are starting to approach IR. The negative side effect is strange effects on the exposure. The strong shadow recovery curve + NR + negative blue value led to some oversharpening on the tower without even applying USM. So I had to keep the USM down a bit.

If it weren't for the Basic editing rules I would also have changed the distortion towards the middle that came with using the 18mm side of the lens. The churchtower especially. On the other hand, don't be surprised about Dutch churches in Noord Holland. Several of them are not straight!

Lens used: Nikkor AF-S 18-70 DX
DateTimeOriginal : 2004:11:14 15:23:43
ExposureBiasValue : EV-0,3
MeteringMode : Division
FocalLength : 18,00(mm)
WhiteBalance : Auto
FocalLength(35mm) : 27(mm)

Statistics
Place: 8 out of 636
Avg (all users): 6.5127
Avg (commenters): 7.9259
Avg (participants): 6.4977
Avg (non-participants): 6.5474
Views since voting: 1936
Views during voting: 445
Votes: 316
Comments: 37
Favorites: 6 (view)


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AuthorThread
09/06/2005 01:53:26 PM
Very beautiful, scenic, and serene. The B&W contrast is excellent. However, I do wonder what it would look like in color. You mention in the description that this place has many "green and black wooden buildings". I wonder how vivid and/or bold those hues appear against the greens of the grass and the blue of the sky.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/25/2004 12:07:40 AM
this is just beautiful, Sander! congratulations on your Top 10 finish! (big hugs)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/24/2004 01:50:46 PM
Thanks for all the comments, favorites and even print wish list additions (I'll see what I can do). Here are some answers and info additions:

Moose101 wrote: This must be Italy from the name given?

Nope. "Marken" is about 10 to 15km North of Amsterdam on semi-island in the IJsselmeer. It is a very popular tourist location. Mostly the busses go to Marken in the morning, visit a cheesefarm an hour later, next stop Volendam and them off to Alkmaar (near the North Sea) and its cheese market.
I ride (some would call it 'race') a lot on my motorcyle in this area. Especially sunday morning when it is quiet and not many people around. A lot of twisty roads with camber, highspeed and lowspeed corners.
There are also some little old quiet towns nearby (Durgerdam for example), harbours, campings and nature.

Gatorguy wrote: did you smooth it with Neat image?

No, I don't like the Neat Image smoothness. Like I said in the pg note; there was some edge noise reduction (pattern noise) and chroma noise reduction (moiré / color noise), but not much. I was also a bit conservative with the sharpening.

speedylix wrote: Is there a person fishing beneath this small house or I'm hallucinating

You are not hallucinating, but it is not a person. It is a statue of a fishing kid. :)

Shadowrain wrote: I think it would have been improved with a person somewhere

I agree. One reason is because I believe that most scenes do better with people in it. They make a scene come alive, give scale etc. Another reason is the traditional costume of Marken. Because it was shot on a Sunday (religion) there was nobody around. :(
The traditional costume is the most colorful of the whole region (Voldendam, Edam, Monnickedam, Wieringen). Especially the women look great.
I'll remember the places you adviced me to go to next time I visit the US. :)

connie wrote: IR?

Nope, I just played with the channel mixer (see note). I remembered reading somewhere that using negative values in your channel mix to monochrome can create Ansel Adams or IR like effects.

just-married wrote: Once I notice the leaning tower, it's really hard to pull my eye away from it. Is this lens distortion?

Yup, I believe it is.

11/24/2004 10:05:57 AM
Congratulations on your 8th place. Beautiful shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/24/2004 06:04:15 AM
Great shot! and your comments serve as a PS tutorial for a beginner in PS like me!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/24/2004 05:39:45 AM
great shot, it deserved a ribbon imho ^^
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/24/2004 12:10:41 AM
Congratulations on your 8th placing. Lovely to look at.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/23/2004 11:42:53 PM
i think this could be a great image, but this version seems a bit over-processed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2004 11:06:27 PM
I had to come back and bump this up a little more, just love this shot. This must be Italy from the name given? Breathtaking photograph, excellent work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2004 04:13:29 PM
Lighting and composition are excellent --- great angle ---- plus the sky was your friend this day
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2004 07:33:15 PM
Cute...Looks like a fairy tale town
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2004 04:35:12 PM
What a bucolic scene. Seems too beautiful and peaceful to be true. Very fine.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2004 07:11:06 PM
Gorgeous clean shot! Amazing detail in the sky.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2004 04:01:48 PM
This looks more like a painting than a photo - did you smooth it with Neat image? My only major issue is the angle of the church tower. You must have taken this with a very wide lens.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2004 10:19:43 AM
Looks like a movie set...almost surreal.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2004 08:32:17 AM
Fantastic!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2004 01:22:34 PM
What a fantastic photo...Very well done 10 .
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/19/2004 09:41:17 PM
The town looks so perfect that it's bordering on surreal. Was a noise-reducing filter used on this shot? Some of the clouds look a little strange. The left side of the shot is the most interesting to me. I'd like to see it cropped to just include the left 2/3rds.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/19/2004 01:32:20 PM
Good capture...i like small houses and sky worked well too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/19/2004 03:15:01 AM
Just beautiful. Great composition and superb contrast. Is there a person fishing beneath this small house or I'm hallucinating?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/19/2004 01:10:40 AM
This is a great photo. But there's something about it that irks me. I almost seems like one of those realistic cartoon movies, where the buildings and such don't nseem to mesh with the background. This is artful, however, I think it would have been improved with a person somewhere. I also don't think this was the best picture to put in B&W. I bet it looks much better with color.

This town reminds me a little but of Mister Roger's negihborhood, without ht etoy cars of course, and also a little town in Maryland called Catonville. A nice mix of urban and rural. Speaking of rural, there are some great apples in Hendersonville, North Carolina this time of year. Go down there to apple country if you want to taker some great shots as well as eat your fill of any type of apple you can imagine. Last time I went I enjoyed cooke apples forr breakfast, apple pies, apple cider, candy apple, carmel apples, caramel apples with walnuts, apple candy canes (Yep, I was as surprised as you are). It's nothing but apple, apple, apple, down there, and it really is a beautiful place. Good mountain shots of the Great Smokies, and the weather is fairly warm all year round. A great travel spot. Then there's Virginia Beach, Virginia. Great fishing spot there, and really good for seascapes and marine shots, but that's a story for another day! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/19/2004 12:30:08 AM
Very nice use of black and white. I bet this was lovely in color as well, but it looks very appropriate in BW. Nice composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 11:35:07 PM
beautiful scenic; a little surreal perhaps
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 09:13:21 PM
returning for comments:
Almost a fairy land. The tilted tower with clock detracts. Bumping up on overall beauty.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 07:29:45 PM
What a beautiful place! Well done IR? shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 07:20:29 PM
I love the contrast in this. Great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 01:58:37 PM
Great image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 12:47:21 PM
incredible clarity and focus!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 06:28:51 AM
This is surreal in it's clarity and contrasts of light and dark. The clouds are stunning. 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/18/2004 03:23:09 AM
Very nice scene - almost over-exposed, but works well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2004 10:40:12 PM
Like a postcard, the composition, lighting and tones. Fabulous
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2004 11:42:52 AM
Nice Town. Looks like a Christmas Card.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2004 10:45:35 AM
Very nice tonal range. The lights and darks really capture me in t his shot. Once I notice the leaning tower, it's really hard to pull my eye away from it. Is this lens distortion? 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2004 10:23:22 AM
Too bad editing rules keep you from using perspective correction, because the "leaning tower" takes away from an otherwise great image. Good job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2004 09:42:59 AM
See, this is what this compitition is all about. Even though it is in black and white...you can still imagine all the colors in this photo. I really like it! You get a 10 from me! And so far...the only 10 Ive gave out!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2004 08:57:30 AM
This photo really hit me hard, I can't put a finger on it exactly, but I like it. Like I said I am more an admirer than somebody who knows the mechanics, so I can't tell you what you did right or wrong, but the photo captures a unique feeling. thank you for posting. -J.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2004 07:51:05 AM
This shot is stunning!! The best in the challenge, IMO. Already in my favorites! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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