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Derwent Water

By LazFair
I was trying to find a more interesting angle on the lake and mountains - any help is greatly appreciated

Tags: Landscape and travel

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conrad 16 10.9k 116
9 Jul 2009 9:02AM
Hi Laura, welcome to the site!

What a lovely scene you found. I've only been to the Lake District one day in my life, but I thought it was a spectacular-looking area, well worth photographing.

Anyway, about your photo:

As I said, it's a lovely scene, and you did well in finding these rocks to serve as foreground, with the water behind it and behind that those lovely hills, topped with a sky full of interest. So far so good.

But I think you could improve the image somewhat here and there. Now, I googled your camera model, and I'm going to have to leave out a few suggestions I would otherwise have given you, but I see that this is a compact, so we won't mention a few options you might have had with a different camera - let's concentrate on what you have. And with what you have, the improvements would mainly be in post-processing.

First of all, the composition. Although I like the foreground rocks, you included rather a lot of them, so I would be inclined to crop a little off the bottom.

Also, contrast seems low and colours seem a little flatter than they could have been. I don't know what kind of imaging software you use, but most programs will offer you the following options that I used for the modification that you will find underneath your photo on this page: I increased contrast a little, played around with shadows and highlights, increased colour saturation, played with light levels. Oh, and due to a slightly wonky horizon I gave the image a slight ccw rotation - which necessitated a slight crop, followed by another crop from the bottom, as I mentioned above.

I'm usually not against jet vapour trails in images, but here it doesn't add anything positive to the scene, I felt, so I cloned it out.

Why don't you have a look at my mod, and see if you think it's an improvement. Often having a critical look at your image in imaging software and trying out different things may lead to pleasing results.

Hope this helps!

Edit: Completely forgot to look at the sharpness. Well, suffice it to say that for the Internet it's usually best to sharpen images a little extra, more than the camera does. You'll also find this option in most imaging programs.
NEWMANP 12 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2009 12:45PM
i going to Derwent water or Keswick next week so i may get chance to check out this area for myself.

this is a nice view from the bankside using the rocks as a strong lead into the picture.

there a few thinks i could suggest that would help you with this and similar shots in the future, most have been covered so well by Conrad above.

i would start by cropping the base exactly as suggested above and by cropping out the protruding boulder on the right edge.

next i would straighten up the horizon so we dont start to drain all the water out of the right side of the lake Wink

the next problem is a little tricky, i think the overwhelming brightness of the sky has caused you to average out the scene and lose detail in the highlights. this could have been avoided by using a 2 stop grad or a 3 stop may have been better.

as it is i would suggest making a duplicate layer, multiplying the two in blend modes and dropping a graduated layer mask from the base up, this will double the density of the sky detail and leave the fg as it is now.

i would then do a high pass sharpening on a layer, blend in overlay and erase the sharpness from the sky as sharpened sky detail never looks good. this is prefferable to smart sharpening.

a good effort but go buy a set of filters and you will amaze yourself with the difference. that is if you can fit them to your camera with which i am unfamiliar.

best regards,

ps. if you are not sure about the layers and sharpening give me a pm and ill try to help.
cambsman 11 2 Cyprus
10 Jul 2009 5:44AM
Hi Laura. A very pleasing photograph. I read conrads comments which I generally agree with and a little more contrast is needed. You definately have a good photographers 'eye' so when you can afford it dump your compact camera and invest in an SLR, which will give you so much more flexibility. A good beginning !

NEWMANP 12 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2009 11:35PM
i reads your message,
no im sorry if i suggested things that you cannot do with a compact, i hadnt noticed at the time that it was not a dslr, but then again it may help others with dslrs who read your comments. with regards to the layers i feel sure you would need photoshop elements to do that.
certainly you can and are able to take wonderful images with compact digital cameras.
very best regards,

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