Back Modifications (6)
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rape seed

By bestefforts
First attempt at a rape seed picture. used HDR to bring out the otherwise dull sky, but lost a lot of the colour from the field. Suggestions ?

Tags: Rape seed field 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.


mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1794 United Kingdom
11 May 2014 9:12PM
Hi, welcome to the site and to the Critique Gallery, I see that this is your first upload here. I hope you will enjoy it and find it a good place to learn. We try to give advice that will help people to improve their photography both the taking and the editing of images.

First of all the thing that really works here - the composition and use of portrait format. Not an obvious choice for landscapes, but I love what it does here - it draws the eye up and down the frame (as opposed to landscape format which draws the eye from side to side), so the eye follows that meandering path of tracks through the rape to the horizon and up into the sky. It's a very inviting, engaging effect, it leads us into the frame.

HDR is a useful technique for difficult interior lighting, but rarely works out of doors. Because it evens out exposure over light and dark areas it risks creating a flatness, a two-dimensional feel. The effect here is rather strange, on the colour as well as the light. There are streaks of greenish yellow in the sky and the rape has a ghostly coldness.

Photographically that's all wrong. But I rather like it. Not as a photograph on a monitor screen- but I can imagine this working as a framed print hanging on a wall.

I shall download and have a play with the light and colour. If I can get something that I like I will upload a Modification - that would appear under the Modifications tab below your upload, click on the thumbnail to view. I'll see what I can do...

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Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
11 May 2014 9:29PM
As it's a rapeseed field, it needs to be brilliant yellow. The best advice I can give re HDR, is not to! Most people use it to even out all the tones, making it look flat and odd. The sky should be brighter than the ground....that's what we expect to see. Here, you have included so much sky, it competes for attention with the subdued yellow, which we assume to be the subject, yet it is also dark and lacklustre.

HDR needs to be used carefully, and subtly, there doesn't appear to be that much need for it here. Cropping some of the sky will improve the composition, and reduce its prominence, and keeping the rapeseed bright yellow, you can darken the sky alone, if needs be. Something in this image needs to shine, as there is the suggestion of it in the light and subject.

rhys47 Plus
9 3 2 United Kingdom
11 May 2014 10:29PM
One of the considerations when using HDR is the subject has to be perfectly still otherwise there is a problem with ghosting which can make the image look a little odd, the first go to tool in any landscapers tool bag should be a ND graduated filter which would have helped to bring out the sky and helped to balance out the dynamic range of the image. If you don't have these or a N grad is not suitable for the image then you could take two exposures of the image one of the sky and one of the foreground and use raw software or layers in photoshop to combine or merge them together. Or use a N grad filter in Photoshop which is not as good as creating a correctly exposed image in camera but can certainly help. Hope this helps
Rhys SmileSmile
paulbroad 10 123 1195 United Kingdom
12 May 2014 7:56AM
Could be nice, but the colours are totally wrong. HDR is a very specialised process and should be used with great care and, in my opinion, rarely outdoors. It is meant for very wide dynamic range images.

banehawi Plus
13 1.7k 3771 Canada
12 May 2014 12:35PM
Dont use HDR is also my advice, its ruined what is likely a nice shot.

If you have a non-hdr version, you can upload it as your own modification, click the tab, then upload modofication, and upload it. We can see what you started with.


dark_lord Plus
13 2.1k 487 England
12 May 2014 3:11PM
Rarely does having the horizon in the middle of the image work well.
That sky is interesting so I can see why you wanted to include it.

There are two images here, one of the land and one of the sky. I shall upload some mods to show what I mean.

The HDR has not been kind to the detail in the yellow flowers, and there aer still burnt out (or at least very bright) areas in the sky that almost look like posterisation.
I'm sure one of your shots from your HDR series renders this scene well. Perhaps another is better for the sky. You could combine them quite easily in Photoshop using a simple layer mask, especially as you have a well defined horizon with no trees protruding into the sky.

Mike43 6 18 21 England
12 May 2014 4:22PM
Nice attempt at something different, agree mostly with Keith I would keep the bottom third and replace the sky with another.
Niknut Plus
7 1.6k 76 United Kingdom
12 May 2014 5:04PM
Fine shot, with a nice menacing sky !!

Two suggestions....a) apply the HDR on a seperate layer, then erase the areas that don't need it...then flatten the layers.

b)make a selection of the rapeseed, & adjust the Levels to bring back the bright colours.

Hope that helps a little ?.Smile
12 May 2014 9:21PM
Thanks ever so much for your constructive comments folks, they are really appreciated.
I'll go out and have another attempt at a rape seed landscape, and without using HDR see what I can do....
12 May 2014 9:54PM
.... tried a modified version, following Niknut's sugestsion of overlaying the original, slightly modified by saturating the yellow in Lightroom, then overlaying the HDR version of the sky.
Lesson well learnt re use of HDR - thanks again everyone !

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