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Ashness Bridge Nr Keswick cumbria,


Ok I've clicked on the Critique tab, so I need some help, I'm still new to photography so this was only my second time out with the camera, the help I need is that I'm not brilliant at editing, but when I had a play with this pic and added contrast it blew the background sky and mountains out and I can't recover it :-(

Chris

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 550D
Lens:18.0 - 55.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28.3 - 86.5 mm)
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:21 Sep 2012 - 10:44 AM
Focal Length:37mm
Aperture:f/29.0
Shutter Speed:20sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Metering Mode:Evaluative
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Daylight
Title:Ashness Bridge
Username:Chris_Ev Chris_Ev
Uploaded:20 Dec 2012 - 8:57 AM
Tags:Landscape / travel
VS Mode Rating 100 (33.33% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 9:37 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Chris, Yes you have clicked the critique gallery and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that; it is the best place to learn that I have ever seen.

However, before uploading here, why not go through a lot of the previous uploads to this gallery, look for pictures similar to your own and read the comments applied there. That will give you an initial learning and tuition ie self-help.

Take good note of the comments which appear to present themselves the most and ignore the comments ,like “Good shot” or “Love the colours” that is not the help you are after, you want to look at critique, which is what this galley is all about.

Looking back at comments and learning from them will give you a very good start without the need for members to keep adding the same advice time after time to picture after picture.

I see you have used f29 in order, like most photographers at Ashness Bridge, to get both the bridge and also Derwentwater in focus. The bridge has ended up a strange colour and the lake (or water more correctly - as you probably know the only lake in the Lake District is Bassenthwaite Lake) in vastly overexposed, maybe due to your long exposure to make the water in the river milky. The 20 sec exposure necessitated a tripod and a heavy ND filter. Neither has been mentioned in your description so in order to get the best help available please ensure that we have as much information as possible so that critiquers are better able to help you.

As I see it everything in your favour was against you as they say! The bridge is underexposed and the background, Derwentwater is over exposed. I do not do HDR but I suppose this is as good as any place to use it because the range of lighting is too great for a normal shot. Another option is for you to use a graduated filter to make the exposure for the sky closer to that of the bridge. If I knew how you achieved your picture I may be better able to assist here but I am sure somebody better qualified than me will be along soon. I just feel that the treatment applied to the stonework on the bridge doesn’t help the final image but as I am unaware of what you did in processing I am finding it difficult to discover why.

The shot is worth retaking if you return to Keswick and I am certain there will be many photographers there again when you do it is one of the most popular sites for TOGs. My advice is to stand in the water and get low down to maximise the impact of the bridge. I got my feet wet when i was there but the outcome pleased me greatly.

Frank

Last Modified By Focus_Man at 20 Dec 2012 - 9:51 AM

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IanBurton
IanBurton  464 forum posts United Kingdom7 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 10:16 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Chris,

This is quite a good image considering your new to photography and it's only your second time out with your camera.

You talk about editing, but I think you first need to considered your camera settings and approach ?
Did you use any filters here, I only ask as there seems to be some colour cast in the bottom third ?
Instead of recording images on JPEG, have you tried shooting RAW ? This will enable you to recover a lot more detail in the image during post processing (i.e. recovered that sky a little).
Why did you opt for an aperture at f/29 @ 37mm ? Next time try between f/11 - f/16, this will also increase your shutter speed as i think 20 sec is too long for this scene, a couple of secs will blur the flowing water sufficiently.
Your metering mode (Evaluative) is fine, if anything the sky should have been toned down and in turn would make the trees and foreground darker, so to me in post processing you have increased the brightness levels to bring back the detail in the shadows hence blowing highlights. I don't think adding contrast has lost the detail in the sky.

There are many ways to approach post processing for this image. If it was me I would have taken multiple exposures in the field as grad filters would have been difficult to use. Basically a shot exposing the sky (detail in highlight) and another exposing everything else (detail in shadows). These can then be blended together. So google Luminosity masking, blending images and you will have plenty of reading. If you didn't take multiple exposures, you could use the same image and save one with the sky exposed and another for everything else, again blending would be required.

I remember when I started out my father-in-law would get me to set the camera to manual mode and at a set Av I would go through the different shutter speeds to see the effect it had and again changing ISO. This helped to understand the relationship between AV, TV and ISO.

I hope this has been some help, it will take a while to get used to and I'm sure you will get there. If I can be of anymore help let me know.

Best of luck.

Ian.

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Trev_B
Trev_B e2 Member 7102 forum postsTrev_B vcard England63 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 10:29 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Chris, first well done for pressing the Critique button, like Frank says it's a great place to learn.

I have to assume you are using an editing suite like photoshop. I find it better to use the Enhance Adjust Lighting tools and set the levels so that the histogram is balanced, then under the Adjust Lighting make changes to the Highlights, in this case to darken the highlights. Then in necessary change the contrast. When this has been done you can work on Hue/Saturation for he image....

Anyhow thats how I tend to deal with an image..... others will do it differently.

I have uploaded a mod.... there was nothing I could do with the blown highlights, however I have changed the crop, to remove some of the blown sky, and hue and saturation giving it a more natural look.

Trev

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom843 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 11:22 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Actually, if you crop off all the sky, giving just a wide letterbox shape, you have a rather nice image. There is a magenta cast, but that is easily corrected using a channel mixer. Reduce magenta or increase green.

One of the biggest problems in photography, digital or film, is handling a wide range of tones in one frame. Your 29 sec. was far too long here and, if you must have milky water, a couple of seconds is enough. You needed to reduce the exposure for the sky whilst retaining detail in the foreground. There are a number of ways of doing this. Neutral density graduated filters, HDR and simply under exposing.

if nothing else available, expose for the sky, then the foreground on two or three separate frames. HDR often does not work well outdoors, so i would expose for the sky, then lighten the foreground later with the dodge tool.

paul

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Chris_Ev
Chris_Ev  2
20 Dec 2012 - 12:09 PM

First of all thank you all so much for replying and trying to help me out, wow, so much to take in, I can't remember who said what but I'll try to answer.

1. Yeah I used my ND filters to get the milky water, it may have been ND 2 & 4, it is something I did with my first outing with the camera at "Scalebar Force" in yorkshire to get blured water, I didn't know any diffarent and thought I had to use these to get long exposures, but I will definatley try it with maybe 1 or 2 second exposures next time.

2. The F29 was the same reason, its something I've done before and because I don't know how F stops work I wanted foreground and background in focus,

3. On the original ( before editing) the bridge looked very grey and dull, this is where I got hold of the "contrast" slider and added contrast to get the brickwork more colourfull, (this is when it blew the background sky out) and I'd clicked "save" before realising I'd blown it out,

4. I do have Photoshop Cs5 but its very complicated for me at the minute so I just used the editing software that came with the Canon camera.
5. I thought I'd taken these in Raw.....Obviuosly not.....I'll try and dig out the raw file and have a look.

Thanks guys you've been great, I wish we could meet up sometime and be stood next to someone who knows what they're are doing as I struggle to take things in by reading a book,

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Trev_B
Trev_B e2 Member 7102 forum postsTrev_B vcard England63 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 12:31 PM

Keep plugging away Chris... one point I think we would all agree on is to get the exposure as good as you can get it in camera so that the work in Photoshop is minimal.

Another button you will find essential on the camera is the - or + EV it enables you to increase or reduce the exposure value set by the camera.

Trev

Last Modified By Trev_B at 20 Dec 2012 - 12:32 PM

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Chris_Ev
Chris_Ev  2
20 Dec 2012 - 12:32 PM


Quote: First of all thank you all so much for replying and trying to help me out, wow, so much to take in, I can't remember who said what but I'll try to answer.

1. Yeah I used my ND filters to get the milky water, it may have been ND 2 & 4, it is something I did with my first outing with the camera at "Scalebar Force" in yorkshire to get blured water, I didn't know any diffarent and thought I had to use these to get long exposures, but I will definatley try it with maybe 1 or 2 second exposures next time.

2. The F29 was the same reason, its something I've done before and because I don't know how F stops work I wanted foreground and background in focus,

3. On the original ( before editing) the bridge looked very grey and dull, this is where I got hold of the "contrast" slider and added contrast to get the brickwork more colourfull, (this is when it blew the background sky out) and I'd clicked "save" before realising I'd blown it out,

4. I do have Photoshop Cs5 but its very complicated for me at the minute so I just used the editing software that came with the Canon camera.
5. I thought I'd taken these in Raw.....Obviuosly not.....I'll try and dig out the raw file and have a look.

Thanks guys you've been great, I wish we could meet up sometime and be stood next to someone who knows what they're are doing as I struggle to take things in by reading a book,

6. where abouts is the modded version Trev ?

7. Is there a special page on here for Critique or do i just tick the critique box when I post pics ??

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Trev_B
Trev_B e2 Member 7102 forum postsTrev_B vcard England63 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 12:37 PM

Above your description next to the description tab is the modification tab... click on this and then on the mod thumbnail.

You have posted it correctly.

If you like any of the comments raised click on the Nominate as Constructive Critique link at the bottom of each comment.

Trev

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10781 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2803 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 3:26 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Chris, welcome to the Critique Gallery.

This is going to be a fairly long comment, and I will include various links for you to look at to understand various aspects of photography.

I have had the advantage of reading all of the above, and your responses, and Ive also looked at your other shots.

So what I understand is you are a beginner, - and from your conversations here, a beginner with photography, and not just with a DSLR. One question that comes immediately to my mind is why you are jumping to advanced photography first, rather than something simpler? I would strongly suggest you put away your ND grads for a while and take to portrait shots, outdoors and indoors; plants, common objects, and with the basics I will start you off on, try different settings to observe what impact each change has on your image, - its suggested above already.

There are some basics about exposure you will need to understand which are the foundation on which you build your knowledge of photography, and you dont yet have that foundation in place, so heres a start:

Your aim always, with any shot, is to obtain a good exposure. So whats a good exposure? Generally, its one that uses the full range of the sensor (or film) without losing a lot of detail at either the extremes of brightness or darkness. There are variations on this, where a good exposure of a black cat will only use the darker areas of a sensor of film.

Light enters the lens, which focuses the light, which passes through an aperture (hole), the shutter and strikes the sensor. The correct amount of light is determined by three variables:

1. Shutter speed, - the length of time the shutter is open. Open longer (slow speed) allows more light than when open shorter (fast speed). This part is easy to understand. Its expressed in seconds, or fractions of a second.

2. Sensitivity of the sensor to light. This is called ISO and has been around since the beginning of film photography, where different "speed" films were made for different situations. So called Normal film was about ISO (or ASA at the time) 100 - 200, and "fast" film would be ISO 800 for sports or night photography. The term speed being fast of slow referes to the sensitivity of the film, or sensor to light. Fast, or high ISO means you need much less light to make an exposure than slow, or low ISO, so it responds to light faster, therefore less light can be used to make an exposure on fast ISO settings, and more light is needed on slow ISO settings. Not difficult to understand when you think about it.
Fast ISO settings have the advantage of being useable in low light with reasonably fast shutter speeds, but they have the drawback of producing an image that can have noise, or grain. Slow ISO settings will also work in low light situations, but the shutter speed required is much longer, or slower, needing a tripod. An speed of 1/250 is twice as fast as 1/125, and is referred to as one stop, as it allows HALF the amount of light to enter the sensor, therefer one stop less, or one stop down. Stop is referring to controlling the amount of light.

3. Aperture. This is simply an adjustable hole that light passes through to reach the sensor during the time the shutter is open. The adjustment increments for this is expressed in f numbers. Each full increment up or down is called one stop. As the adjustment for this was a ring on the lens that clicked and stopped at each increment, its likely the term stop originated there, but thats a guess. The f in the term means Function. Function means a math function, and in this case, its a division, so it means 1 divided by the value. So, if you remember, when we speak about f stops, they are shown as f/4, f/5.6,f/8 etc, so the value is under the line. This means, - and this is where confusion reigns, that f.5,6 is a LARGER sized hole (aperture) than f/8, as anything divided by 8 is smaller than anything divided by 5.6. Understood?
So, heres the easiest way to understand it, and explains where it all comes from: Lets start with f/1. This actually means, that the aperture is wide open in a large lens (large diameter), and that the diameter of the aperture will fit once into the distance between the lens and the sensor; think about flipping the hole horizontally and fitting it between the lens and sensor, - it will fit perfectly, filling the distance. So from that, f.2 means the diameter of the hole fits twice, f.8 means it fits eighth times etc, so the larger the number below the line, the smaller the hole.
Thats a start to understanding aperture. The unique aspect of aperture is that it affects the depth of field, i.e the distance in front of the subject to behind the subject that will be apparently sharp. Its the only adjustment that does this, so its critical to understand it. To make it a little more complex, the focal length of the lens, and the distance from the subject come into play with aperture, and both affect the depth of field for any aperture size. I will provide a very useful link that goes into this, and allows you to enter your own camera, lens and settings to you can play online with them and see the differences.
A very important thing to learn, right now about aperture is that the smaller you make the aperture, such as f/29, beyond about f/16, the image will start to LOSE sharpness, and this is a function of light and physics you can do nothing about except DONT use an aperture below f/16 with your lens. Some specialist lenses perform decently at small apertures, such as dedicated macro lenses, but not a kit lens.

So that enough for one day, so go to the links, read learn, and practice.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html
http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/diffraction-small-apertures.html
http://digital-photography-school.com/nuts-bolts
http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds
http://photoshop-tutorials.wonderhowto.com/how-to/use-shadow-and-highlight-tools...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6idvDikh-vM


Hope this gets you going, and I also uploaded a mod with colour corrected in a pano format.

Regards


Willie

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Chris_Ev
Chris_Ev  2
20 Dec 2012 - 3:58 PM

Wow Willie, I don't know what to say to that, But I've got a massive headache now lol , I'm gonna have to read it again and again as its not sinking in yet.
Father christmas has bought me a Sigma 10-20mm DC HSM 1:3.5 lens So I'll be itching to get out with that, I also saved up for a Tamron 180 mm 3.5 Macro lens, and I've had a play with that but finding it a bit heavy :-(

Here are some odds and sods seeing as this site will only let me post one pic per day


http://www.flickr.com/photos/chriseeeeees/

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iancrowson
iancrowson e2 Member 4209 forum postsiancrowson vcard United Kingdom128 Constructive Critique Points
20 Dec 2012 - 11:39 PM

3. On the original ( before editing) the bridge looked very grey and dull, this is where I got hold of the "contrast" slider and added contrast to get the brickwork more colourfull, (this is when it blew the background sky out) and I'd clicked "save" before realising I'd blown it out,

You say that you clicked save and implied that you were stuck with the result........well for sure using PS CSS5 and probably the cannon software (undo) you have a history tab, ie go back one or more stages. Useful when you don't like a result of an adjustment.
In the longer term using photoshop your need to create a copy layer, work on that and then if you don't like the result delete the layer and start again with the original intact. Or you can use just part of the effect of an adjustment to a layer by adjusting the opacity.
In any case always make copy on any image before starting to work on in, pref put it on a different hard drive or storage.
Very few of images you will see anywhere are straight from the camera,, PS is essential tool for any digital photographer.
You can programme your camera to record an image in both RAW and .jpeg
As Paul said play with the RaW until you can make it better than the .jpeg produced by the camera's processor.

Ian

3. On the original ( before editing) the bridge looked very grey and dull, this is where I got hold of the "contrast" slider and added contrast to get the brickwork more colourfull, (this is when it blew the background sky out) and I'd clicked "save" before realising I'd blown it out,

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