Back Modifications (4)
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Rannoch Moor

By cocoa
f/22 1/25Sec with 81A Filter

Any advice or comments on possible improvements would be welcome - particularly in-camera technique, rather than PS stuff. Many thanks

Tags: Landscape and travel

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SueEley 15 279 96 Wales
4 Apr 2009 10:10AM
It's a lovely scene - nice sky and I like the composition. If it was mine, I think I would darken the sky a bit and increase the saturation in the foreground to give it a bit more oomph. Maybe not so realistic - but realism only goes so far, especially with so many people doing hdr these days.
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4268 Canada
4 Apr 2009 4:30PM
Welcome to EPZ Chris.

Its a nice scene, - its a little soft, - you need to remember to sharpen after you re size the image for uploading.

Firstly, - I wonder why you are attempting to avoid any PS work?
I can understand the ideal of making the shot as complete as possible in camera, and theres lots you can do to achieve this, - but theres some things to keep in mind.
The great shots you see of landscapes, etc are RARELY as shot in camera; film shooters use specific films, like Velvia to produce over saturated images; use high ISO film for grain, etc. Photoshop is simply the digital equivalent of the film dark room, - so you need to consider a balance.

Back to your image. You used a warming filter, which has had the desired effect. An ND grad filter may have allowed you to darken the sky, to make these great clouds more dramatic. I would suggest you compose with either more sky, or more foreground just to get the "horizon" out of the centre.

You used f/22, - so Im assuming you focused approx 1/3 the way into the shot manually, then took the shot? If not, - try this method to get good sharpness front to back when using small apertures. Also, keep in mind that f/16 may have given a better result, the smaller the aperture beyond about f/11, the less sharp the image will be in general.

In camera, there may be a landscape mode that can give some more saturation, - you could try that.

I have loaded 3 mods.

Mod1 is the original shot with a mod to emulate an ND gard filter. Its also sharpened

Mod2 shows what a re composition would look like to include more sky.

Mod3 is using a Velvia filter to show the effect of saturated colours.

Hope this is helpful,


SueEley 15 279 96 Wales
4 Apr 2009 5:00PM
Just looked at Willie's mods. All lovely, but was reminded of Velvia - my husband has recently been scanning some Velvia transparencies and have been reminded of the true horror of Velvia skies with polaraser - this filter is a gentle reminder only of what Velvia could do - didn't look natural at all! I have used an ND grad but compared with post processing find this a very blunt instrument. You can't make allowances for variation in the sky line. In the same way, your warming filter (sorry, I missed that before) has warmed everything - in computer you could have warmed the land only - I think this filter may be one reason the shot seems flat. I think people have always adjusted work at the printing stage (for hours, in the case of b&w workers) and I can't see why this should change. But you need a good shot in the first place (which you have got!)
cocoa 12 2
5 Apr 2009 8:01AM
Thank you both very much for your comments.

Willie, you are correct with regards to focussing, I used live view to focus 1/3 into the scene. I'm shooting fully manual, but will also try landscape modes and the larger f16 in future to see how that effects the shot.

I can appreciate your comments regarding PS and the comparison with old school Darkroom processing are valid, so i'll take that on board.

Thanks again,


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