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malc_c's Activity

malc_c > malc_c's Activity

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Rush Hour Roundabout!

Rush Hour Roundabout! by Perry_95

Hi James,

Yeah, late comment, but anyways...


Quote: Would cropping out the skyline, making it more panoramic, improve the image?

Well the simple answer is that it depends on what you want and what the image is for. If the image was to help illustrate an article about night driving or roundabouts etc., then the crop would be appropriate. As a picture to stand by itself however I wouldn't crop the image, in fact I'd want to have the sky somewhat lighter in order to get that rich deep evening blue which would complement the red/orange colours of the light-trails.

The first option at doing this would be to simply use a longer exposure. However the street lights are already rather bright and tending to swamp the light trails, and a longer exposure would make this worse. So my suggestion at achieving the result in-camera would be to use a hard ND Grad filter upside down, along with a larger aperture and a shorter exposure time. Of course you would have to wait for a reasonably busy moment to get lots of light trails. My guess would be an ND4 grad, together with opening the F-stop from F22 to F11 and reducing the exposure time from 30s to 15s. This would double the exposure for the sky, half the exposure for the street lights and keep the same exposure for the light trails.

The first alternative out of camera method would be to shoot two frames - one for the sky and one for the light trails. That way you could get the same effect as above but without a filter, after which combining the two images in PS and indeed most image processing software is trivial.

Another more interesting/creative alternative for the light trails (forgetting the sky for now) would be to shoot multiple images and combine them with an image stacker such as the excellent (and free) startrails. What this essentially does is layer all the images you give it (even 100's) on top of one another and for each pixel select the brightest one to make up an output image. This means that every light trail would come through, being bright, but the street lights, which would be more or less the same brightness in every image, would effectively be taken from just one image. To get a lighter sky with this method would most easily be done as a separate image, as in the previous method, combined in PS with the output from startrails.

Have fun!
malcolm

Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral by xwang

J,

There's a nice feel to the brickwork here that has come out of the HDR without looking unnatural, and you've controlled the resulting halo's reasonably well too. That's not always easy to achieve, so well done. However, I just wanted to comment briefly on a couple of aspects of this image....

Fringing
The fringing is CA and as you are probably aware is down to the lens reacting to different wavelengths of light slightly differently, for example having slightly different focal lengths due to variations in the refractive index of the various lens elements. And there are few, if any, ultra-zoom lenses that don't suffer from this- it's simply one of the compromises to get the zoom range. However, there is a lot you can do in software....

You say you are shooting RAW, so your RAW processing software is the first (and generally best) place to deal with the issue. Using Photoshop-CS and ACR, you can simply dial out the CA by going to the lens tab (in ACR) and adjusting the two sliders- one for Red/Cyan and one for Blue/Yellow. Unfortunately this is one of the parts of ACR that you don't get if you are using Elements.

Most third party raw converters also have similar controls and some such as DxO 'know' about lens and body combinations to try and automatically apply these and other corrections, although in my experience you still need to adjust the CA sliders anyway.

There are also both free and paid for plug-ins for PS and similar programs that either give you correction sliders or claim to give one-click wonder results. I did use one of these a while back with good results, but I now correct in the RAW processing.

Another method I have covered previously is simply to de-saturate the fringes themselves. Although in reality this is simply modifying the distortion, it works well because the edges in question have, by definition, high contrast and therefore generally appear close to black-on-something anyway. The trick is to desaturate only the minimum and affect the background colour as little as possible. Of course, this isn't a one-click fix, but it does work very effectively.

One last note- DO fix the CA before ramping up the saturation and sharpening controls, otherwise you are juat making things worse and DON'T, if possible, apply saturation and sharpening 'enhancements' to the corrected areas! Areas such as leaves against a sky often fall into this category.

Levels
I'm not sure if you used an ND Grad or it's a fall-out of the hdr processing, but the top of the church is unnaturally darker than the base. You can correct this very simply by first selecting the church (select the sky and then invert the selection) and then applying a graduated levels adjustment to lighten the upper section. It's trivial enough so I won't bother to post a mod.

Halo's
There are some halo's in the sky round the upper parts of the church which you could argue are appropriate to the type of building and you might say are artistic. Personally I find them small enough not to have an artistic aspect, but large enough to be dstracting. So I would remove them.


malc.

Entanglement

Entanglement by xwang

Here's wishing that all your dreams come true in 2011 Li.
malc

the cage that trapped the bird

the cage that trapped the bird by Diana

Here's hoping that in 2011 the dove will be free....
Happy new year!!!

Sinking .................with a friend

Sinking .................with a friend by helenlinda

Lovely thought Helen, Seasons Greetings....
He even looks   s a d   t o   b e   l e a v i n g  .

dawn

dawn by blondspice

Hi Krystal,
I really like this Canna series of variations with their changing moods and warmths, as well as for their simplicity and form. In fact the concept strikes me as very viable commercially as you could literally make images to fit in to any colour scheme, and also have other forms and shapes. Even placing two of these images side by side, with one flipped horizontally, would give a completely different mood.

malcolm

wedding car

wedding car by Humpo1646

Hi,

An interesting composition, although I would have preferred having the whole grill in rather than cutting it off on the left. I'm also slightly confused by the very grey patina of the grill which looks unnatural for a wedding car.

Apart from that I'd had probably leave the image alone,although I might consider cloning out the tax disk.

malcolm

a book of SORRY

a book of SORRY by jammbulator

Great in mono... and good timing. The third person completely makes this image - imagine it without that figure.

A winter scene

A winter scene by rhys47

Hi Rhys,
I like the original composition apart from the split line between the snow and the tree line behind which although undoubtedly as seen, comes out looking very severe in your image. I especially appreciate the subtle tones in the sky, in fact I might even consider making them more subtle for a large print otherwise they could become boringly strong with repeated viewing.

My main concern though, is the two brown 'loops' - one either side of the tree. I'm not sure if they're due to lens flare, or fisherman's tents or something else, but because I end up wondering what they are, I find them very distracting.

malcolm

Hunting

Hunting by 2286cc

Hi Kevin,
I don't mind the legs being 'missing' as it's just as clear what we are looking at without them and I prefer the simpler outline. However, I do find having the grass in focus and the animal not means my attention keep flipping between the two, which is clearly not the intention.

water  &  dust

water & dust by Diana

Really great pov, perfectly composed, and loving the linky.
Plus congrats on the HC
malc

f l y i n g

f l y i n g by Diana

Like you weren't always f l y i n g

malc

First snow flurry

First snow flurry by mishu78

Milena,
Nicely seen and delicate image, that with better light could have been better still.
malcolm

n e w d r e a m s

n e w d r e a m s by Diana

Always always impressed. Visual art is about expression, not about technique, and the light trails are a tunnel into your mind - a 'navigation' you call it. That's why I don't really care that you haven't reflected the trails.

Great vid too, so appropriate...

malc

You just keep me hanging on...

You just keep me hanging on... by xwang

Xiaoli,
Thank you for the kind thought, and the wish for a perfect day- never let that go. Notwithstanding the thought behind it, I think this is your best image yet. Full of visual clues and emotion, barbed wire and torn hearts...

Love it.
malc

TopicDate Contibuted
Camera Clubs?29/01/2010 - 10:24 AM

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