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Nature's Decay Revisited

By ctxuk  
Following previous image submitted.
Looking for thoughts on what is submitted following changes from previous image critique and anything else thought relevant.
Reshot using the Tokina 745 a lens hood and with a couple of camera bodies, D700 and S5 Pro.
Versions will display the sooc jpeg and different cam bodies shots. Unfortunately the S5 ones done today and so not at same time.
A couple to show camera and lens setup as previous with filter attachment ring I use for focusing manually and with hood and improvisation to lengthen the filter holder to use as hood.
I used f8 and f5.6 but camera exif on some may show f3.5. Max aperure is f4.5 and I generally stop down one click.
All Manual. Focus Manual only.
Raw in ACR for processing.
WB on D700 set with Menon White Cap.

Tags: Nature Landscape photography Landscape and travel

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banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4264 Canada
19 Jul 2021 8:11PM
I would get rid of that Mennon disc, - its done a poor job. If you read reviews its got a bad reputation for turning images blue. Its very cheap, at $3-4, while an Expodisc is $45 approx, so not a loss really.

You can tell that red bricks should be red, and not have a blue colour cast.Mod has WB corrected.

Lens is decent as before, quite decent on the D700.

ctxuk Plus
12 18 3 England
19 Jul 2021 8:23PM
Hello Willie
It may be myself as I have found them to be great in the past. I may not have set the D700 up properly after shooting one, past experience I know its not as easy on that body to do one as the S5.
Those bricks though really old/faded, it has only been the contrast enhance that has brought out the colour more on yesterdays.
Will google an Expodisc.
I use the Menons as they are easier than shooting a test card whilst out and about to get colours 'correct', the black and white point seems better in images sooc before processing.
Appreciate you looking and commenting.
ctxuk Plus
12 18 3 England
19 Jul 2021 8:29PM
Surprised to get the D700 working, not sure what my poking about in it changed but mirror seems to work properly again. However, the sensor full of crud from the pulling on/off a lens to flick it free in past. It needs to be swabbed.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
19 Jul 2021 8:38PM
I reckon that you're overthinking a lot of this.

Rather than seeking perfection in (for instance) white balance, just go with what looks about right, and has the feel of the moment that you took the picture.

I don't use WB aids, and for daylight shots leave my camera WB set to sunny. If the result doesn't look right, I alter in editing.

A wise man said that pursuit of excellence leads to the neglect of the good. Usually, good enough is good enough. If you want absolute excellence, you need to spend a lot of money, and then use expensive kit carefully - and risk being laughed at for concentrating on sharpness (etc.) to the exclusion of artistic value. For the rest of us, it's about making good pictures...
ctxuk Plus
12 18 3 England
19 Jul 2021 8:58PM
Hello Willie
Looking through the images I see now the blue caste. I noticed the cow image is yellower but I would not have adjusted the blue to the image so obviously the onboard processing sorted it there.
Whilst I may have opened up shadows on it, set white/blk points and pulled some highlights back I don't think that would have introduced the caste. At least that says it is not me processing it I guess.
ctxuk Plus
12 18 3 England
19 Jul 2021 9:04PM
funnily enough what I got from yesterday was "if it looks right to you as the photographer then perhaps it is". There is only yourself taking the image learn to trust in yourself rather than need others guidance.
Sometimes though a person can need to evaluate things, outside comment may help, then again though, it could lead you astray.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
19 Jul 2021 10:24PM
What I'm suggesting is that you don't value any comment too much - especially stuff on the web about must-have accessories... And YouTube videos suggesting there's only one way to do something.

So go forth, and seek lovely pictures!
ctxuk Plus
12 18 3 England
20 Jul 2021 1:44AM
I don't about accessories as I do not have the means to be purchasing gear or that D700 would have been replaced long ago.
The Mennon white balance cap I started using years ago before even getting a D700 in an effort to make results more consistent and accurate. It sets the white point (and therefore the black point) when shooting at a location i have always found results better using one.
I have though had problems when I first got a D700 shooting and using a custom WB, lack of use in the last couple of years due to the problem with the camera returns me to that initial point of having issues shooting, storing and setting the WB on it, it is not as straight forward to do as on the S5. For that reason, it may be the image colours are incorrect.
The filter hood I have had several years sat unused (purchased set for graduated ND filters), adding one of its supplied attachment rings my way of attempting to make manual focus on that lens possible, the tiny sloped adjusting ring on the front of the lens extremely hard to use. Due to the comment about needing a lens hood, IO figured do as the photo's show, the hood is a small hood effectively, the card just extends that a little. Zero cost incurred as already bought as part of ongoing photography growth. That set far cheaper than purchase of a set of Lee ND glass Grads and holder, or normal Lee ND grads, both of which I would use (Seascapes, Landscapes and long exposures), I bought the set to evaluate if a decent set worth an investment for myself.

Quote:So go forth, and seek lovely pictures!

So glad you didn't say multiply Wink
The quest for lovely images though why I am seen as 'overthinking this' or seeking 'perfection' rather than the consistency and accuracy I would prefer. Even in that I also wish to retain an artistic merit though.
ctxuk Plus
12 18 3 England
20 Jul 2021 8:40AM
I have shot a new WB today using the Mennon WB cap again. iso 200 - f8 - 1/400th - 3d Colour Matrix ii metering, NB. I routinely use spot metering though as I shoot birds in flight etc. I switched for these tests a few days ago.
Please excuse sensor crud on sooc jpeg, one way you know it has no edits at all.

Versions 15
D700 custom wb using mennon wb cap. sooc jpeg no editing at all.

Version 16
D700 custom wb using mennon wb cap. Raw file processed in ACR. Note that the Blk point showed a flag and holding the ALT key down whilst on it revealed Yellow areas at culprit, adjusted the yellow slider to reduce it only rather than shift blk point as a whole. I shoot L Raw and Fine (jpeg)

Version 17
I duplicated the file I processed previously and put it back into ACR for edits. If you notice I have placed a white piece of paper on the structure, I set a WB in ACR using the sampler to sample that. No additional editing although it should be noted that further new Yellow areas showed using ALT ket over Blk point slider which now flagged again. D700 custom wb using mennon wb cap. Raw file processed in ACR. Note that the Blk point showed a flag and holding the ALT key down whilst on it revealed Yellow areas at culprit, adjusted the yellow slider to reduce it only rather than shift blk point as a whole. I shoot L Raw and Fine (jpeg)

Today's results indicate I somehow got the custom WB wrong yesterday. Early morning sunlight behind me will have made the images warmer perhaps but the green yellow hues of plants more akin to banehawi's modification. Gone is the 'blue caste' suggested attributable to the Mennon WB cap, not something I have noticed since using one. It sets the White point in an image so that tonally colours are correct and if metering correctly keeps you from blowing out the whites.
The white piece of paper I placed to have a known 'white' point value in shot. It is a standard sheet of 80gsm laser paper for a printer bearing no real discernible colour caste although may not be true white.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
20 Jul 2021 11:10AM
Why do I think you are overthinking?

Because you are chasing a degree of perfection that you don't need. Good enough is - as I wrote a day or two back - good enough.

There's a saying that it's better to do a good job in time than a perfect job too late.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2021 12:28PM
Regarding overthinking... Here's a different approach, and I would be interested to hear your response. You have studied your kit in depth, surely now it's about what you actually produce with it. Here's an analogy.

Drama students spend a lot of time studying how their vocal cords and diaphragm work; but when they go on stage to perform, that's not what they are thinking about. They are concentrating on immersing themselves in the role they are playing and communicating it to the audience. And the audience will not be thinking about their vocal cords, but about how well they carry the role.

The analogy: We need to know our kit thoroughly, to understand its strengths and limitations and how to get the best out of it but that's the starting block, not an end in itself. We then need to concentrate on using it to convey the experience, to draw the viewer into the frame, to communicate. And that is about so very much more than kit - light, angles, spatial relationships, framing, composition.

It seems to me that you (metaphorically speaking) step on stage still thinking about your vocal cords and diaphragm, not about the play and the part. So you don't actually communicate visually.

Does that make sense? You say that you are looking for artistic merit, but I don't see that happening. I would like you to think more about choosing and using light appropriately, selecting your subject out of the messy tangle that the world offers us, about arranging lines within that rectangular frame.

Allow yourself some freedom, and be prepared to act on instinct, to improvise. Think more about taking photographs that people will passionately want to look at.
ctxuk Plus
12 18 3 England
20 Jul 2021 5:19PM
Funnily enough I left school unable to play anything or read music, of course that did not mean I failed to appreciate it or enjoy it, my tastes pretty eclectic.
Now, after owning guitars for around 35 years I am beginning to learn how to play, I discovered some things long ago that made me think somewhat. I have no interest really on how others view what I attempt to play, it is not about how good it is (or bad) but about expression of feelings, a release of emotions to the winds. I do not even ask what others who may hear it think, have and have had no desire to be a star (other than it could enable some things for me) it is purely an outlet or release. I won't even mention my singing ability, lack of or otherwise.

I study the photography kit as to get anywhere approaching decent consistent results it is essential to know how to use the tools of the trade you employ. I have a 30 year background in commercial print (not digital) inc a wet darkroom and running multi colour press, it affects visual mediums like photography.
Yes I analyse things, examine things, seek to know what makes it tick. Unlike music, I find it difficult to reach a space whilst doing photography where my mind is free and become engrossed to the point that everything else ceases to exist and be unaware.

Yes, I do get what you are saying, perhaps though I will never get it in an artistic sense although what is in here is a limited scope of my photography, I will email you privately a broader perspective.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2021 5:36PM
Thanks for coming back. I will add that half of my photographic background is proper film photography, and darkroom work. I only made the transition to digital when our film kit disappeared in a burglary some 25 years ago.

The other half is in water colour painting, which I think gives me a bit more creative flexibility. You could substitute the analogy of musical improvisation.

I'm just going to add one more suggestion. You are very concerned about consistent results. Try loosening up, experimenting, taking risks. The results won't be consistent, but you are more likely to find the one real gem among the failures.

And I'll repeat an earlier suggestion - go in closer, you have found subject matter here, now look for compositions within it.

dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
20 Jul 2021 6:10PM
The background in printing may be telling: I know that involves a great deal of precision.

But photography can be more like painting than printing - it's an expressive medium. I like what you've tried today in yoru latest post. It's working.
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4264 Canada
20 Jul 2021 7:35PM
Wow, thats a lot of feedback.

As dudler mentioned, dont over think or over analyse, then you lose the simple pleasure of taking a good shot.

The simple practice of setting WB to sunny when youre out in daylight, and AWB at other times is worth trying, - I think you will find it works very well.

The technical issue with AWB in daylight is that it "sees" the warm light, and tries to correct it; as you know, you correct yellow by adding blue, hence the issue.
If you want to "test" the Mennon, simply replace it with a paper coffee filter, point the camera towards the planned CAMERA POSITION, not the subject, to asses the WB value.and compare the results. You may be surprised.
Also keep in mind that monitors and viewers vary quite a bit, so unless were all using colour balanced dedicated graphics monitors, we will see differently.

Your lens and camera are working quite well, enjoy them!


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