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Golden sun rays Bayon Temple Siem Reap Cambodia

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There was a slight ray of light in the morning mist. I enhanced it slightly. Does it look Natural enough? Also could the shot be slightly warmer?

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 5D MkII
Lens:EF50mm f/1.2L USM
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:30 Nov 2012 - 8:58 AM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/1.2
Aperture:f/16.0
Shutter Speed:1/100sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Manual
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Golden sun rays Bayon Temple Siem Reap Cambodia
Username:supercub40 supercub40
Uploaded:23 Apr 2013 - 11:02 AM
Tags:Architecture, Landscape / travel
VS Mode Rating 97 (14.29% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Diggeo
Diggeo e2 Member 1Diggeo vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
23 Apr 2013 - 12:15 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I like the composition in this photo - the steps in the foreground then the temple and the mountain in the background.
The sun ray adds to the composition, but it would look better in a darker background.
The problem is that it doesn't look like misty landscape, it looks overexposured with the sky and the leafs of the tree burned out.
This is a very difficult theme to achieve a proper exposure and I suggest to shoot in RAW format. In this case you could save some photos in the processing. Also you can change the color temperature and give a warmer appearence.
Also I noticed that you have used an aperture of f/16. You could use a wider one (8 or 11), which would have allowed a smaller ISO and shutter speed, while keeping all the scene in focus.
All the best, George.

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7404 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom987 Constructive Critique Points
23 Apr 2013 - 2:00 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I like the way you have composed this, framed it with the green foliage which balances the grey stone nicely. The use of portrait is also good.
For this to work there really needs to be strong background visible through the rays of light - as George says the problem here is
Quote: it doesn't look like misty landscape, it looks overexposured with the sky and the leafs of the tree burned out.

It's worth experimenting with exposure compensation. I suspect that a setting of -1 would have given a much better result. I'm not sure that I can improve on Jeff's Mod, I'll download the image and see what I can do. My instinct is to darken highlights and then adjust in Levels, with maybe a bit of burn tool for the background.
I do like your colourful little cameo of figures, very formally placed in the composition. It occurs to me that there's a crop to be had out of the lower part of the frame, which in terms of light would be better balanced.
Moira

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 23 Apr 2013 - 2:03 PM

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7404 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom987 Constructive Critique Points
23 Apr 2013 - 2:17 PM

I've uploaded two Mods. For the first I darkened highlights by 10%, reduced brightness and increased contrast by 6% each, made a Levels adjustment and then did some very light burning on the detail in the upper part of the frame.
The second Mod is simply a crop, I rather like it. It still has the drama of the beam of light.
I looked at this against the grid but decided not to do anything to the perspective, as it stands it conveys height plus an inviting, enveloping feel. From looking at it I suspect that the building may actually be rather short of true verticals...
I see that in a previous upload you mentioned using Photoshop filters. I would suggest that you really explore the possibilities for adjusting light - that's by far the most important facility in my book.
This was a really tricky subject, with extreme contrasts of light. I work on the basis that it's easier to make something of slightly underexposed than overexposed areas.

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10818 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2820 Constructive Critique Points
23 Apr 2013 - 3:10 PM

A very difficult shot to take with just standard equipment, and no ND Grad filters, which is what you really needed here. The dynamic range is well beyong the cameras capabilities.


So it is overexposed, lacks contrast, and could be warmer, and this can only be tried in post processing at this stage.


I like the closer mod that Moiras done, and have tried a mod also using the full frame. Its not possible to get it perfect, but with highlights toned down, and a warmer tone, its a little better.



regards



Willie

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supercub40
23 Apr 2013 - 5:48 PM

Thank you all so much for the constructive feed back. I guess I should have used a tripod and bracketed exposures to merge to HDR, but will also explore looking into grad ND filters. I really like the mod by cats_123 it has a split tone feel to it and the sky has some density.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom845 Constructive Critique Points
24 Apr 2013 - 9:40 AM

HDR is very difficult to get right outdoors, but you are a long long way over exposed here. Far passed being able to process a better image. The sun needs to be behind an object then you can just expose for the sun beams, which are a lot less intense.

Paul

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