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Brecon Beacons - Upper Neuadd reservoir with Pen y Fan and Corn Ddu in the background

By tommypics

Tags: Wales Outdoor Mountains Brecon Brecon beacons Landscape and travel

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Canonshots 7 141 13 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2011 10:58PM
I was going to give this a vote, the I saw it was in th Critique gallery.

I love landscapes with water, and my first reaction to this one was one of sheer pleasure. The view of the mountains through the haze is beautifully captured and the sky is pretty without being overdone.

On second thoughts, though, I wonder if there is a bit too little landscape and too much water. Consider whether you think the balance is better with the bottom 20% or so of the image cropped away, as in my mod. I have also tweaked the contrast just a wee bit to give the sky a bit more prominence. Tell me what you think.

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tommypics 6 3 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2011 11:10PM
Thanks for your comments Canonshots. I was at this location for 2 hours and took numerous pictures with varying compositions and bracketed exposures, so I have lots of scope to play with on this one. I produced a 3 shot pano similar to this but with a foreground of boulders which is more interesting (I liked it so much I had it printed and framed 1200mm wide Grin ) Ref your modification, yes , definitely an improvement. I wish I could upload the pano for you to see, but I only have the free membership at the moment. Thanks again.
tommypics 6 3 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2011 4:52AM
Where has your mod shot gone Canonpix??
paulbroad 10 123 1198 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2011 12:04PM
If you did a lot of bracketing, i wonder on your criteria for a correct exposure. This is over - a good stop, maybe more. I would have exposed for the mountains and sky, lightening the foreground later.

Having said that, there is no actual subject or compositional standard with the exception of a possible 'S' curve from bottom left. I think you need to look at the histogram, where I am sure you will see the problem.

tommypics 6 3 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2011 5:36PM
Hi Paul

Thanks for your comments on my pic. Looking at the original raw file of this image in Lightroom it does not seem so blown out and has a reasonable histogram. If I increase the exposure up a stop or more it starts looking more like the one I uploaded with a histogram to match.
To be honest I just uploaded the first jpeg I could find after signing up with ephotozine and did not give it much attention. (tut tut Wink, I guess it was one that I was experimenting with.
I would be interested in knowing exactly how you would tackle the foreground exposure. Additionally I would appreciate any tips on the composition, you are right when you mention the curve from the bottom edge, that is exactly what I had in mind at the time.

CathR 10 151 564 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 4:53PM
Hello Steve and welcome to EPZ. Sorry about being a bit behind the game but I have been away for a few days but your shot caught my eye in the thumbnails.

Lovely light on the hills. On the exposure point I reckon it is only overexposed on the hills/sky which of course is where the light is. the foreground and the trees look about right - maybe even just ever so slightly underexposed. so you have the classic issue for the landscape photographer of how to get the exposure right when there is a large range between the light and the shadows which the camera cannot cope with. You could go down the route suggested by Paul and expose for the sky and then adjust the foreground in Photoshop. I don't think you can do it in Lightroom alone though because you need to use a layer mask to apply the lightening only to the foreground. Also you run the risk of noise in the shadows. If you don't have photoshop then you are into using a ND graduated filter which you can use to put over the hills with the exposure set for the foreground. No fiddling about in Photoshop needed but the downside is that you can sometimes see the line of the grad at the bottom where the line of the darkened part of the filter ends (and they can be expensive).

if you did bracketing you could go for exposure blending but again you would need photoshop and layer masks. I am not all that familiar with Lightroom but I don't think it offers layers masks. What you need is some sort of tool to select the areas you want apply the different exposure to. Or you could always have a go at hdr with your bracketed exposures.

Hop eyou enjoy being part of the EPZ community.

best wishes

tommypics 6 3 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2011 5:52PM
Hi Catherine

Thanks for your input, loads for me to think about.
I have invested in a couple of ND grads since taking this pic and intend to experiment with them.
The layer mask thing sounds interesting, I do have photoshop but have not used layer masks yet (will have to look for a tutorial).
I have tried using HDR on some of the bracketed shots but they came out a little weird, I think that the movement of the water and the clouds in between shots was enough for the shots to be different from each other and cause some artefact in these places. I took more than 100 shots in the same area (try doing that with film) so I have lots to mess about with.



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