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A storm is brewing!!

By Jas2
Just needed critique on exposure , composition and lighting!

Tags: South africa Landscape and travel

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Comments


banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4229 Canada
22 Feb 2021 2:43AM
Why do you think its so very soft?


It is underexposed, and very, very red.

Let me know if you used a very solid tripod; manually focused 1/3 the way into the scene; and used a remote shutter release, or the self timer?



Thanks


W
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2397 United Kingdom
22 Feb 2021 9:25AM
As Willie says...

Plus - can you remember how you set White Balance? Assuming that this hasn't been processed, something went wrong there.
Moira
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
22 Feb 2021 10:12AM
What a difference Willies' mod has made, your white balance is way off and it is so very soft and as he has commented, underexposed.
I'm not convinced that aperture priority was the way to go with this one without a tweak or two to your camera settings.

Have you done anything to this ?
If so, it would be nice to see the original.
Worth a few frames for that sky though.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
22 Feb 2021 11:09AM
To assess the exposure, Jas, we really need an untweaked JPG file - a conversion of the RAW file without any changes to exposure, contrast, highlights or shadows.

The composition looks pretty good, with the horizon on a third, and the line of the clouds echoing the shoreline. There's interest in the foreground, which is good.

Lighting - I'm not sure - but it looks as if the light was rather interesting, and you might be able to play that up with selective adjustments to emphasise differences. I did a blog that picks up on the need for good light in landscapes, based on my admiration of hwatt's pictures on this site.
Jas2 3
22 Feb 2021 11:53AM

Quote:Why do you think its so very soft?


It is underexposed, and very, very red.

Let me know if you used a very solid tripod; manually focused 1/3 the way into the scene; and used a remote shutter release, or the self timer?



Thanks


W



Hi Willie
Thanks for the critique.
Yes it was on a tripod, very stable as it was 8 secs so had to use a tripod , used ND filter , used self timer !

I have attached the histogram for your perusal, I might be interpreting it wrong but does it not show reasonable exposure?


BOTTOM LINE- your mod is so so much better.

Just a question - how to know white balance is off?

Also please advise how you processed !

When I try and increase exposure in post I burn the highlights on top left corner of the sky!!!

My mistakes - Haze removal and demonising! - that's why its soft is my guess!

Regards
jas

Jas2 3
22 Feb 2021 11:57AM

Quote:As Willie says...

Plus - can you remember how you set White Balance? Assuming that this hasn't been processed, something went wrong there.
Moira



Hi Moira

I have warmed the image , maybe too much in post!! Just wanted to give a more 'stormy' feel to the image!!
Also de-hazed and denoised!

I have attached the histogram as a mod.

Regards
Jas

Jas2 3
22 Feb 2021 12:03PM

Quote:What a difference Willies' mod has made, your white balance is way off and it is so very soft and as he has commented, underexposed.
I'm not convinced that aperture priority was the way to go with this one without a tweak or two to your camera settings.

Have you done anything to this ?
If so, it would be nice to see the original.
Worth a few frames for that sky though.



HI,

I totally agree that Willie's mod is spectacular. I have attached the histogram and looking at that I would have thought the exposure is quite balanced!

I go for aperture priority in landscapes/seascapes to have control of DOF. Is that not the right way to go?

Mod- yes I have ,
My mistakes - Haze removal and de- noising! - that's why its soft is my guess!

Regards
Jas
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
22 Feb 2021 12:05PM
Willie may read the histogram a little differently, but here's my take on it.

If that's without any processing, it shows a very wide dynamic range in the scene, with a stack of data right against the left hand side (which means there's detail lost to black), and a smaller aggregation against the right hand side (indicating out-of-range highlights).

The scene has an enormous contrast range, in other words, so it's a question of what do you do about it, or how do you manage it. With the long exposure you were using, it may not be feasible to take multiple frames at different exposure times for an HDR image, because there'd be mismatching in the clouds and sea.

Reducing contrast and pulling back both highlights and shadows is one way to go. You might then need to do something to restore a feel of contrast without losing detail at either end of the brightness range. I'm unsure of what, though!

And then I read that you couldn't find the RAW file, so this may be the result of your processing. Really, we need the original to see how it was in the first place.

And if I'm understanding you, the light was actually very red indeed - low sun through a veil of clouds, maybe?
Jas2 3
22 Feb 2021 12:10PM

Quote:Willie may read the histogram a little differently, but here's my take on it.

If that's without any processing, it shows a very wide dynamic range in the scene, with a stack of data right against the left hand side (which means there's detail lost to black), and a smaller aggregation against the right hand side (indicating out-of-range highlights).

The scene has an enormous contrast range, in other words, so it's a question of what do you do about it, or how do you manage it. With the long exposure you were using, it may not be feasible to take multiple frames at different exposure times for an HDR image, because there'd be mismatching in the clouds and sea.

Reducing contrast and pulling back both highlights and shadows is one way to go. You might then need to do something to restore a feel of contrast without losing detail at either end of the brightness range. I'm unsure of what, though!

And then I read that you couldn't find the RAW file, so this may be the result of your processing. Really, we need the original to see how it was in the first place.

And if I'm understanding you, the light was actually very red indeed - low sun through a veil of clouds, maybe?




Hi John

The light was as you described . It was 1600 hrs roughly and it was indeed very cloudy!
I have just dehired to darken it further!
I attach the jpeg as a mod

Regards

Jas
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2397 United Kingdom
22 Feb 2021 12:28PM

Quote:
Quote:As Willie says...

Plus - can you remember how you set White Balance? Assuming that this hasn't been processed, something went wrong there.
Moira



Hi Moira

I have warmed the image , maybe too much in post!! Just wanted to give a more 'stormy' feel to the image!!
Also de-hazed and denoised!

I have attached the histogram as a mod.

Regards
Jas



The Exif shows manual WB, that's what I was asking about, if you can remember how you customised it in camera. The original does show far too much red.

Opinions vary but I much prefer to use auto WB for daylight conditions, simply because I find it easier to tweak than a customised setting that has gone wrong.
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
22 Feb 2021 2:12PM
I see your 'storm brewing' approach Jas but the histogram really does show the lost detail in the blacks /darks one the left as John has pointed out.

If you do your adjustments during post processing on separate layers and apply a mask to that layer, then you can easily tweak things as you see fit, without applying the adjustments to the whole image.
Layers and masks take some learning but once you get the hang of the process you will find it of benefit.

I did do a mod based on your original (mod3)
Cropped off the very lightest part of the sky and put the horizon onto the upper third.
Altered the WB using the Camera Raw filter within Photoshop, on a separate layer.
Levels adjusted to brighten.
Straightened, approx 0.5 degrees so not drastic.
Cloned out the dark bits on the top of the rocks to the left.


Quote:Opinions vary but I much prefer to use auto WB for daylight conditions, simply because I find it easier to tweak than a customised setting that has gone wrong.


I am with Moira on that score and would do the necessary tweaking on the Raw file before anything else.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 762 England
22 Feb 2021 8:33PM
It is warm but given the date and time in the exif I guess there was a lot of red around. I'd like to keep some of that. Some drama in a winter sky is nice to see after days of thick grey cloud, nice not to waste it. So as far as lighting is concerned you were out at a good time

Your jpg straight from the original has the horizon dead centre and is sharper so I'll use that for my mods. I see two images here, one concentrating on the sky (as in your lead image) and another using that lead-in of the channel of water. Your original allows both but if you see both options at the time then take two different images as they may allow for yet more alternatives, such as a small mount of land and a lot of sky.
That's composition.

Exposure. The histogram shows a full range of tones but ithe fat there's quite a contrast range mans it's difficult to retain detil at the extremes so you have to make a choice. Take more than pne exposure and blend some shadow detail back in (ypu don't have to go the HDR route), but on the other hand there's nothing wrong with deep shadows in a moody winter afternoon shot.

While I'll lift the shadows in my mod you should be able to do better using the RAW file.

Looking at the focal lenght used and the scene using f/11 would have en sufficient to give you enough depth of field with better lens performance.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1835 England
22 Feb 2021 9:33PM
We all have different approaches to white balance: I tend to keep my cameras set to daylight WB! As much as anything, it's a matter of having a reliable starting point. And I always think in terms of how it looks on the screen, and how I actually want it to look. Shoudl the light be cold or warm?

And i certainly get the idea that sometimes when the weather's getting stormy, the light does go brown...

Aperture priority is definitely a good way to go for landscapes.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 762 England
22 Feb 2021 10:06PM
I forgot to mention White Balance.
My approach is the sme as John's, I use Daylight as it's a known point.

I then adjust in two ways, if I feel it necessary.
One, warm or cool as I want, for mood, effect and/or pleasing tone.
Two, use the colour picker on a neutral tone, a sort of AWB after the effect.
If it looks ok I leave it.
Jas2 3
23 Feb 2021 6:23PM

Quote:Willie may read the histogram a little differently, but here's my take on it.

If that's without any processing, it shows a very wide dynamic range in the scene, with a stack of data right against the left hand side (which means there's detail lost to black), and a smaller aggregation against the right hand side (indicating out-of-range highlights).

The scene has an enormous contrast range, in other words, so it's a question of what do you do about it, or how do you manage it. With the long exposure you were using, it may not be feasible to take multiple frames at different exposure times for an HDR image, because there'd be mismatching in the clouds and sea.

Reducing contrast and pulling back both highlights and shadows is one way to go. You might then need to do something to restore a feel of contrast without losing detail at either end of the brightness range. I'm unsure of what, though!

And then I read that you couldn't find the RAW file, so this may be the result of your processing. Really, we need the original to see how it was in the first place.

And if I'm understanding you, the light was actually very red indeed - low sun through a veil of clouds, maybe?




Hi John

The light was as you described . It was 1600 hrs roughly and it was indeed very cloudy!
I have just dehired to darken it further!
I attach the jpeg as a mod

Regards

Jas

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