Back Modifications (4)
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Stormy Waters

By AndrewCee
Took this in pouring rain with hand over lens in vain attempt to keep rain drops off...

This photo was about trying the ND filter with long exposure to create a somber yet threatening mood reflecting the dark skies, sound of raindrops on the water, and to give the feeling of being alone in the middle of nowhere getting soaking wet!

The original is a little underexposed, but I took it down further still, tweaked white balance to give the reddish hew, then added a wee bit of blue to the sky. I like that there is just enough green/yellow in the foreground to work with the blue in the sky.

Was great meeting fellow member Trevor here who kindly put me straight on using long exposure with my D800 - closing the eyepiece blind cured the light banding I had seen until then. Thanks Trevor!!

Tags: Digitally manipulated 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.


well composed - Brian

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6 3 8 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 2:57PM
Good comp and I like the moody colours. The foreground could be a little sharper though, perhaps using photoshop or having a shorter exposure time. Overall though, a good effortGrin
Trevhas Plus
5 1.3k 3 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 3:36PM
Considering the wet / cold conditions it's a decent shot with a good composition. I had a go at a modification and have uploaded my interpretation of the scene by making it lighter but spoiling your effect of a somber day.
AndrewCee 5 2 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 4:04PM
Thanks Trevor, I think your interpretation adds impact and brings more life to the scene. Will create a virtual copy and have a go at doing likewise.

Thanks Ryan, for your comments too. I liked the fact the whole scene was rather hazy and kind of sinister and moody. I take your point, however. Generally I prefer sharp images, although like to think I've discovered a new genre have begun experimenting with ND filters to create ambience and give my shots more attitude, may I say?

My portfolio picture needs to be viewed full frame (lesson learnt, allow space to tweak and print) and hangs in the hall at home. I can see this picture doing likewise. Enjoying all manor experimentation, and making new acquaintances.

Thanks everyone for your kind remarks!!!

Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 4:18PM
It would be nice to know where this is (under description section) because to me this looks like an interesting area which has been flooded to create a reservoir, with the road, at one time, going off to the left and now flooded.

I don't think the sombre feeling comes across - at least to me is doesn't, (particularly because the sky is blue and the presence of a vignette) so if the mod uploaded had not been there it is as I would have done it myself. It could also do with being a little sharper, whether that is due to movement or lack of focus is difficult to ascertain. Whatever, I would guess it is a result of inclement weather initially.

If the location is close to you then it is easy to return and have another go.

AndrewCee 5 2 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 4:49PM
Thanks Frank, for your thoughts. Certainly will try something similar concentrating on technique to improve sharpness. It's looking like I've secured a Nikon 17-35 f2.8 today, so should make things easier next time around as I find the variable ND Helipan + Polarizer (as per this pricture) creaps into the corners with the 24-70 f2.8 at the bottom end.

The picture was taken right at the top end of the Derwent Valley reservoirs in Derbyshire famous for the Dambusters, this being the Howden reservoir. There may well be a cycle path to the left and far side of the water, which if so then becomes a tarmaced road to the right of the shot. Access is via said road, something like a fifteen minute drive, and back out the same way. She and I were visiting herself's parents just to the north of Sheffield over Christmas, so likely we'll be back, but in more favourable weather.

Thanks again for the kind advice.

Trevhas Plus
5 1.3k 3 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 5:11PM
Hi Andrew forgot to mention the B/W option so i've uploaded one, tried to create a more sombre and moody feel to it.
paulbroad 10 123 1242 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 7:16PM
Not really stormy to me. A very heavy image with no real subject compositionally. Not sure it does what you wanted for me at least and 10 sec has resulted in a significant sharpness loss. I would brighten a bit, but cannot suggest anything else.

Mike43 7 18 21 England
5 Jan 2013 8:22PM
Hi Andrew, If you were after what I think you were then for me it has not worked, if you compare Trevhas B&W Mod to yours you will see where I feel you partly went wrong.
For me I would try and keep your view simple and next time climb over that fence, but there again I am only one opining so keep smiling.
Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2013 9:11PM
To me, it feels like trying to make a dull day look more interesting by photoshop. Your title suggests you were trying to capture a raging torrent, but the long exposure has smoothed the surface making it look somewhat benign, and the blueness in the clouds has already been commented on.

Dull weather, yes, but lack of sharpness, along with the vignetting and processing makes my eyes scan across it without pausing, leaving me to think it's largely uninteresting. It just looks rainy, not stormy, sorry.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3878 Canada
6 Jan 2013 8:17PM
I agree with Nick. Some serious lack of sharpness (might be that you forgot to sharpen your re sized shot before uploading), and since it was miserable, thats the way to show it.

So Ive uploaded a miserable mod, thats sharpened lots.


AndrewCee 5 2 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2013 11:42PM
Thank you all for your feedback and advice. I've had a look at a number of your shots and can see I how I can make improvements, so a great big thanks to all!

Thinking a poor quality original could be made into something special is clearly a floored approach. Looking forward to another visit most likely in March.

Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
7 Jan 2013 5:53AM

A quick question, did you have VR switched on or off with the camera presumably on a tripod? Sometimes VR or IS on Canon will give you blurred shots when used on a tripod, switch it off and use a remote shutter release or the self timer to reduce movement.

AndrewCee 5 2 United Kingdom
7 Jan 2013 10:31AM
Hi Dave, The 24-70 f2.8 Nikon does not have VR. I'd have had it switched off for such a long exposure - likewise when up at 1/750 or more with my 70-200 f2.8 & 600 f4 - as, in my experience, at worst it degrades the image and at best adds no value. The Red Kite pictures I've put up are all taken on the 600 f4 on a large Gitzo with Wimbley Mk2 without VR.


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