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rape seed

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First attempt at a rape seed picture. used HDR to bring out the otherwise dull sky, but lost a lot of the colour from the field. Suggestions ?

Camera:Nikon D5100 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:EF50mm f/1.8 II
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:6 May 2014 - 6:32 PM
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f/9.5
Shutter Speed:1/350sec
Exposure Comp:none
ISO:100
Flash:none
White Balance:As Shot
Title:rape seed
Username:bestefforts bestefforts
Uploaded:11 May 2014 - 8:33 PM
Tags:Landscape / travel, Rape seed field
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7394 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom970 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2014 - 9:12 PM

Hi, welcome to the site and to the Critique Gallery, I see that this is your first upload here. I hope you will enjoy it and find it a good place to learn. We try to give advice that will help people to improve their photography both the taking and the editing of images.

First of all the thing that really works here - the composition and use of portrait format. Not an obvious choice for landscapes, but I love what it does here - it draws the eye up and down the frame (as opposed to landscape format which draws the eye from side to side), so the eye follows that meandering path of tracks through the rape to the horizon and up into the sky. It's a very inviting, engaging effect, it leads us into the frame.

HDR is a useful technique for difficult interior lighting, but rarely works out of doors. Because it evens out exposure over light and dark areas it risks creating a flatness, a two-dimensional feel. The effect here is rather strange, on the colour as well as the light. There are streaks of greenish yellow in the sky and the rape has a ghostly coldness.

Photographically that's all wrong. But I rather like it. Not as a photograph on a monitor screen- but I can imagine this working as a framed print hanging on a wall.

I shall download and have a play with the light and colour. If I can get something that I like I will upload a Modification - that would appear under the Modifications tab below your upload, click on the thumbnail to view. I'll see what I can do...
Moira

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 11 May 2014 - 9:13 PM

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Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41180 forum posts United Kingdom196 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2014 - 9:29 PM

As it's a rapeseed field, it needs to be brilliant yellow. The best advice I can give re HDR, is not to! Most people use it to even out all the tones, making it look flat and odd. The sky should be brighter than the ground....that's what we expect to see. Here, you have included so much sky, it competes for attention with the subdued yellow, which we assume to be the subject, yet it is also dark and lacklustre.

HDR needs to be used carefully, and subtly, there doesn't appear to be that much need for it here. Cropping some of the sky will improve the composition, and reduce its prominence, and keeping the rapeseed bright yellow, you can darken the sky alone, if needs be. Something in this image needs to shine, as there is the suggestion of it in the light and subject.

Nick

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rhys47
rhys47 e2 Member 5rhys47 vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2014 - 10:29 PM

One of the considerations when using HDR is the subject has to be perfectly still otherwise there is a problem with ghosting which can make the image look a little odd, the first go to tool in any landscapers tool bag should be a ND graduated filter which would have helped to bring out the sky and helped to balance out the dynamic range of the image. If you don't have these or a N grad is not suitable for the image then you could take two exposures of the image one of the sky and one of the foreground and use raw software or layers in photoshop to combine or merge them together. Or use a N grad filter in Photoshop which is not as good as creating a correctly exposed image in camera but can certainly help. Hope this helps
Rhys SmileSmile

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom843 Constructive Critique Points
12 May 2014 - 7:56 AM

Could be nice, but the colours are totally wrong. HDR is a very specialised process and should be used with great care and, in my opinion, rarely outdoors. It is meant for very wide dynamic range images.

Paul

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10781 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2798 Constructive Critique Points
12 May 2014 - 12:35 PM

Dont use HDR is also my advice, its ruined what is likely a nice shot.

If you have a non-hdr version, you can upload it as your own modification, click the tab, then upload modofication, and upload it. We can see what you started with.


Regards


Willie

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dark_lord
dark_lord Critique Team 101449 forum postsdark_lord vcard England123 Constructive Critique Points
12 May 2014 - 3:11 PM

Rarely does having the horizon in the middle of the image work well.
That sky is interesting so I can see why you wanted to include it.

There are two images here, one of the land and one of the sky. I shall upload some mods to show what I mean.

The HDR has not been kind to the detail in the yellow flowers, and there aer still burnt out (or at least very bright) areas in the sky that almost look like posterisation.
I'm sure one of your shots from your HDR series renders this scene well. Perhaps another is better for the sky. You could combine them quite easily in Photoshop using a simple layer mask, especially as you have a well defined horizon with no trees protruding into the sky.

Keith

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Mike43
Mike43 e2 Member 3Mike43 vcard England13 Constructive Critique Points
12 May 2014 - 4:22 PM

Nice attempt at something different, agree mostly with Keith I would keep the bottom third and replace the sky with another.
Mike.

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Niknut
Niknut e2 Member 4521 forum postsNiknut vcard United Kingdom60 Constructive Critique Points
12 May 2014 - 5:04 PM

Fine shot, with a nice menacing sky !!

Two suggestions....a) apply the HDR on a seperate layer, then erase the areas that don't need it...then flatten the layers.

b)make a selection of the rapeseed, & adjust the Levels to bring back the bright colours.

Hope that helps a little ?.Smile

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bestefforts
12 May 2014 - 9:21 PM

Thanks ever so much for your constructive comments folks, they are really appreciated.
I'll go out and have another attempt at a rape seed landscape, and without using HDR see what I can do....
Smile

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bestefforts
12 May 2014 - 9:54 PM

.... tried a modified version, following Niknut's sugestsion of overlaying the original, slightly modified by saturating the yellow in Lightroom, then overlaying the HDR version of the sky.
Lesson well learnt re use of HDR - thanks again everyone !

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