Back Modifications (10)
Views 140 Unique 42 Award Shortlist   

My side of the mountain

By AM74
I wonder what you need to do to capture the magic of mountains in photos, esp the snow covered ones. Any tips re that and feedback on this one ( technical and composition) will be appreciated.

Tags: Mountain Landscape and travel

PortraitPro Flash Sale - 50% Off + Get An Extra 20% Off with Code: EZ89


banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4150 Canada
15 Jun 2020 6:28AM
Its a nice scene.

It seems lacking in contrast, partly due to some mist, and also due to light reflected from the snow. You can use a circular polariser filter to cut down this haze and glare for an improved contrast. In post processing the latest Photoshop can reduce haze also.

Thats essentially what Ive done in the mod. In addition I reduced the blue colour cast a little, and applied sharpening. I also reduced ISO noise in the sky.

You may have left the ISO set at 640 from a previous shot, - you could have shot this at ISO 100.

Hope this looks better,



Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.2k 2248 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2020 10:48AM
Hello again, good to see you back!

Thanks for asking a very specific question. I'm not a landscaper, but I will make two observations.

First, this was taken early morning, well done for that, the light is subtle and creates shadows which show the contours well. I suspect that the air was hazy, and that's always a problem. The aspects that make mist so attractive in 3-D reality - the softness, the 2-dimensional look, the disappearance of background - work against the photographer. If you have Photoshop, the Dehaze slider can help a lot, beyond that it's a situation for adding a bit of contrast as Willie has done in his modification.

Secondly, I think your crop works against you, and I would be interested to see the original file. Here the top edge of the frame seems to be pressing down, and there is no low ground at the bottom to give context. Mountains need space, and show their height best when contrasted with their surroundings, I think. Remember that a landscape frame leads the eye to explore horizontally, it mitigates against a sense of height.

As Willie mentions, the ISO was probably left over from a previous shoot. It's easily done... But get into the habit of always checking the shutter speed that the camera is calculating when you are in aperture priority (and the reverse, the aperture shown when you are in shutter speed priority). In normal light a speed of 1/2500 second should ring alarm bells!
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.2k 2248 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2020 11:09AM
I've added my own modification.

Plus 15% on Dehaze, exposure reduced very slightly, extra contrast;

Extra canvas space top and bottom, very roughly sketched in; I increased the size of some trees to clone them into the foreground, to give a sense of the difference between here and there. That's the context that I feel is lacking in the main upload. (Unfortunately for some reason I cannot download your original to work on that).

Cropped at the sides to increase the sense of height rather than breadth, and to place the mountain off-centre, composing for that wonderful cloud formation.

These are just suggestions, the Critique Gallery offers different ways of seeing.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.6k 684 England
15 Jun 2020 12:24PM
Welcome back from me too.

This is an impressive mountain though the first thing that struck me was the lack of detail in the snow. Less exposure is required, possiblt a stop. If you#re unsure, take a shot, review the histogram on the camera. If you've lost highlight detil (the graph will disappear off to the right) give some negative exposure compensation and reshoot. You could take two or three images at different settings and review later, it costs nothing. That's what we did with film (and thatdis cost a little) as we couldn't review those images.

You didn't need such high ISO (though that's not a cause of overexposure) but with your camera there'll be little quality drop. Only if you needsuch hifh shutter speeds to freeze action should you use high ISOs in bright light.

I wouldn't worry about haze, atmospheric conditions are part of the attraction in landscapes especially in mountainous areas. Indeed, a range of mountains receding into the distance in haxy conditions looks good.
However, when there's a small amount of haze there's no harm in going for a crisper look. Removing haze effectively increases micro contrast in those lighter tone.

That said, the main change to consider is removing the blue cast, which again is an atmospheric quality and more obvious in mountainous areas. For some scees it willbe appropriate though in many cases applying some warming will be beneficial either by altering the White Balance when converting a RAW file or using Colour Balance afterwards.

I like your original crop in the main image though the other suggested crops work welll to. This just shows that there's alternatives to consider and it#s worht thinking about shooting variations at the time of capture/
dudler Plus
17 1.2k 1680 England
15 Jun 2020 7:23PM
Welcome back from me, too, Annie.

A fellow EPZ member said that it's light, composition and subject that make good landscapes, and you've got a lot of the elements here. Early morning light is good: you have got a degree of haze here, which may or may not be good - it depends what picture you wanted to make.

The dark foreground definitely adds to this, a bit like the Nike tick on the side of trainers: I wonder if the composition would benefit from one further addition of some sort, or whether there's a way to make it a really minimalist image...
chase Plus
14 1.7k 417 England
16 Jun 2020 10:10AM
Hi Annie,
This is a very beautiful scene and I can smell all that fresh air.
The blue cast is very obvious, snow is difficult to photograph as white.
Just a little over exposed and quite noisy, especially in the sky, the high ISO has done you no favours here.
I did do a very swift mod.

Reduced the blues, especially on the snow.
Attempted to help the detail along a little using Nik's Detail Enhancer on a masked layer then applying it to the snow only.
Increased contrast a touch.
Very small crop from the left.
I added a frame just to make up for the crop.
jacomes Plus
5 25 13 Portugal
16 Jun 2020 1:08PM
Although not a member of the critique team I couldn't resist having a go at this one. My goal was to increase detail and sharpness and maintain the blue sky. As others mentioned the lead lacks contrast and is a bit too hazy, while the composition is fine.

Using DxO Photolab3 I reduced exposure by a touch and brightened the lower end of the curve by a tiny amount., strengthening Smartlighting and Clearview plus reduced the haze and incresd contrast. I used the Nik style local adjustment masks on the sky to reduce noise (by reducing contrast and a little desharpening) and in the valley to boost colour and sharpness. With a control point I reduced the highlights on the sunny side of the mountain.
I've given a detailed description as I don't know how many of you are familiar with DxO, which I am finding easy to use.

Hope you all like it, James
16 Jun 2020 5:49PM
This won't chime with the popular view, but the truth is that a mountain can be a very beautiful thing... but will nevertheless always try to kill you if it can.
I've tried to suggest some of that in my mod.

16 Jun 2020 11:20PM
Thank you all so much for taking the time and effort. It is very reassuring to know that you are all just as committed to this line of work as always. Lots and lots of stuff here to take on board for me re this image. I knew about the ISO blunder and was annoyed with myself( kind of thought my camera would be forgiving of this), but thanks for pointing out that the picture was over exposed also.
Sorry also that I inadvertently misled you about the time and hence lighting, but it was actually 2:50 pm(GMT+8). A 2K plus camera is supposed to take time zones and time difference into account, I had wrongly assumed!
Love that you have all done different things to the shot so brilliantly and wonderfully. All mods give different vibes( from peaceful and serene to awe and fear). I especially love Willie's and chase's mods but they really are all fab!

Moira I have uploaded the original unedited photo as well for your reference.

Many thanks again.

dudler Plus
17 1.2k 1680 England
17 Jun 2020 5:07PM
Keep shooting, Annie!

Constant practice and review will get you there.
17 Jun 2020 9:49PM
Appreciate your encouragement John Smile

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.