Back Modifications (5)
Views 84 Unique 20 Award Shortlist   

Dusk Water

By ctxuk  
3 frame stacked image, processed ACR, stacked in PS. Reason for stacking a flare in original frame used as basis for image that wasn't as apparent in 2 others with slight different angle of sun. I had shot using a trick to eliminate flare anyway at time of shooting but I liked the Sun main flaring here, just didn't want an extended flare through the shot.

Overall critique, general or specific advise. If you think it 'works' as an image or not etc. Where it fails as appropriate.

Tags: Landscape Water Tree Pool Pond Horizon Stacked Landscape and travel Treeline

Comments


ctxuk 10 7 1 England
12 May 2015 8:47PM
I forgot to add, a cheap ND graduated filter and hood used on this shot, currently experimenting with them. I have removed a magenta caste by -3% overall.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4046 Canada
12 May 2015 9:58PM
Im not entirely sure what your goal was here.

When you say stacked, I assume you are referring to focus stacking, and not exposure stacking? Can you confirm?

Its clearly well underexposed, however, Im not sure if thats exactly what you wanted?

So, since it appears underexposed to me, I would increase exposure as in the mod.

Its quite nice, with sharp elements in the stream; the trees can be, and were, sharpened a little.

It would be great if there was a focal point in the distance.


Regards



Willie
dudler Plus
16 973 1536 England
12 May 2015 10:44PM
Martin, I share Willie's confusion...

The shadows are blocked, though the highlights are fine, of course. Is this what you wanted? Or is Willie's mod more the way that you wanted it to look?

If we don't know what you were aiming for, it's hard to give a constructive critique, I'm afraid.
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
12 May 2015 10:54PM
Hi Willie

Firstly, thanks for the feedback, and in reply

Yes I utilised Focus Stacking but only to remove the original flare extending through the image, the same focal point and aperture used in the frames but the cheap tripod I own (since expired with a broken mount hinge) moved between shots a little (fractions), enough to dip the sun out more on the others and use to obliterate the extended flare which wasn't in those.

I like water, I like the glistening to it that I got in the shot, only available if shooting into the sun, I did others at other angles.

I also like the tree line's on both sides, the receding element to them, and also the ones spaced a little on the right, just an aesthetic I guess.

The histogram on the raw (in ACR) shows it to be exposed the the left, I prefer darker more contrasty shots generally but it wasn't an intentional thing, I had dialled in -0.33 exposure compensation and as I said in my additional comment, I used a cheap ND Grad on it. I am not used to them and I think this was the first serious use of them on this day. I didn't alter the exposure in ACR at all and it does extend along the entirety of the histogram without showing any flags.

I recognise that many say to "expose right" and respectfully ask, is that why you say it is "clearly well underexposed"? I think on that I need more guidance on why you say it to understand more fully and improve. Is it the case of "accepted normality and practice", or with good reason for it? I am aware that the tonal zones on the right have a greater differential than those on the left (extreme left 127 to extreme rights 2048 I think (please correct if wrong).

If I fail to put what I am saying above, you will not understand me and be able to help me grow as a photographer, which is what I want. What I do not want is you thinking I am trying to argue with you, being disrespectful or objectionable. If I increase the exposure in the post processing, it appeared to meter fine at time of capture, will I not also lose the feel of the image?

A part of me wants to say "rules are meant to be broken", so often I hear it in photography, often in relation to thirds, golden rules etc. but as I say, I don't wish to disrespect, but blind obedience with no understanding of how's or why's is perhaps far worse.

I truly hope you understand my meandering ramble here.
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
12 May 2015 10:57PM
Dudler

Thank you, I was composing a reply to Willie which I just posted, so will wait to hear back thoughts on it rather than post more.
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
12 May 2015 11:28PM
I meant feedback by anyone on the reply I made to Willie's comment, just realised it may look in my response to you Dudler that I wanted it from him alone, which is not the case, sorry.

I just saw the modified upload, it's been a long time since I used the site and forgot how to see them, anyway, my thoughts are:

The two images are differing sizes which doesn't help, but you have increased the exposure to open in the shadow areas, and also reduced the red considerably in the image overall and also the blue a little looking at the grass colour.

The water has lost that "glistening nature" in doing it to my mind. The trade off though is better separation in the reed heads to stems

The "blocking", by that I figure you are saying the darker tones arn't all open and are turning to entire black, does that lack of detail in a shadow area matter considerably in dark areas when shot into the sun? ie, They are receiving little or no illumination anyway.

If I had "blown" the Sun at time of capture, it would have allowed better shadow detail and moved the histogram more central, would that have been preferable and more correct? I probably added that -0.33 exposure adjustment at capture to avoid blowing the high lights in the image. I think that Sun in the image the reason it is darker the camera having metered for it.
Mike43 8 89 21 England
13 May 2015 9:00AM
I agree with Willie & Dudler on the exposure, have uploaded a mod more or less between yours and willie,s with added yellow/green filter. Mind you I wouldnt say you pick the nicest piece of water I have seen.
Mike.
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
13 May 2015 12:50PM
Thank you Mike

I looked at the mod and my thoughts are

I will skip on the exposure until Willie replies to give me some clarity

The yellow/green filter - Is there a reason for it? Are you saying the colour balance is wrong in my own? I acknowledge the ND Grad does give a magenta hue which I have mostly removed with the -3% to the magenta channel. I did comparison with and without shots to ascertain how much I needed to remove prior to this shoot, adjusting in ACR, viewing both files in it. I used more than one comparative pair, same lens, tripod mount, shot at same time with identical settings.

Re; That water. I find myself out of work the last couple of months, literally eating dry bread for some days as benefits do not cover my housing costs at all let alone food and electricity for the period its intended for, last week saw 4 days on emergency and then another 4 with no electric. The only food I had was dry bread, all else frozen and required cooking, no electric means unable to cook. That patch of water is 2 miles away, it's free and at least allows me some distraction from the tedium etc. The only costs I incurred were equipment relates by firing the shutter, so, cost per frame for the camera, cost of energy to refresh depleted battery and of course my boots in walking the 4 miles (yes, I returned home after) I already have the equipment although now I do need a tripod, both of mine now junk, one plastic and won't take weight, the other with age related bracket failure to the head.
Nature provided me the water, the animals using it the muddiness at a guess (deer), I just took advantage of what is offered locally.

PS Coffee made with cold water with sugar and milk in tastes much better if allowed to stand for about 30 minutes.
TanyaH Plus
16 1.3k 395 United Kingdom
13 May 2015 2:13PM
Hi Martyn - welcome (back) to the critique gallery Grin

I can understand, on one level, where the others are coming from regarding the dark moody nature of your image, but I do tend towards that a bit myself so can understand your motivation with this image.

I'm not going to debate healthily (Grin) on the technical side of things as I firmly believe that, if the image you end up with is one you like and are happy with, based on your particular creative ideas and what works for you, then the settings you used to take it were the right ones at that time.

I've actually done you three mods (sorry, and you're probably going to hate them all ...) but I will state at the outset that it's just my own take on your image. They're not done to better yours, or say how it 'should' have been done, they're just a manifestation of what I felt when I looked at the image above.

Mod 1 - is just your image with some fiddling around in the Image/Shadows and Highlights feature in Photoshop to bring out some more detail in the shadow areas without, hopefully, altering the sparkly bits in the water (which I really like).

Mod 2 - is my Mod 1 but with a bit of playing around with a ColorLookup adjustment layer (set to FuturisticBleak, I believe). While I love the blues in your image, there's a sense of otherworldly about it, which is intensified for me by the water (always a mystical thing, water ... full of dryads and old swords ...) so I just tried to capitalise on that feeling.

Mod 3 - what the hell! You're not going to like it, but I've used my Mod 2 and gone square Grin Your sun flare is placed dead centre on the top edge and although I've taken away that sense of the riverbanks rushing towards the back of the image, I like the off-kilter balance that a square format brings - like intentional tension Smile

Anyway, have a look and try not to throw anything at me Grin

Tanya

PS Coffee like that sounds 'orrible!!! Sad Hope things start looking up for you soon.
PSS Yes, rules are meant to be broken ... daily, with impunity and no regrets ... helps to know then first, though ...
PSSS Yay! I've actually found someone that talks as much as I do Grin
Mike43 8 89 21 England
13 May 2015 2:37PM
Hi ctxuk,
Green Filter = Enhance color of the grass. Yellow Filter = Warm up lower sky area, with lighten the exposure in the bottom 1/2 of your shot though it needed additional color/warmth.
I am not quite sure why your lack of a Full English and the temp of your morning coffee as to do with the low level of water in the pool/river, in my humble opinion if there had been enough water to cover the reeds then you would have had a very good photograph.
Hope you get a job soon, I have been unemployed before not a nice state to be in.
Mike





Quote:Thank you Mike

I looked at the mod and my thoughts are

I will skip on the exposure until Willie replies to give me some clarity

The yellow/green filter - Is there a reason for it? Are you saying the colour balance is wrong in my own? I acknowledge the ND Grad does give a magenta hue which I have mostly removed with the -3% to the magenta channel. I did comparison with and without shots to ascertain how much I needed to remove prior to this shoot, adjusting in ACR, viewing both files in it. I used more than one comparative pair, same lens, tripod mount, shot at same time with identical settings.

Re; That water. I find myself out of work the last couple of months, literally eating dry bread for some days as benefits do not cover my housing costs at all let alone food and electricity for the period its intended for, last week saw 4 days on emergency and then another 4 with no electric. The only food I had was dry bread, all else frozen and required cooking, no electric means unable to cook. That patch of water is 2 miles away, it's free and at least allows me some distraction from the tedium etc. The only costs I incurred were equipment relates by firing the shutter, so, cost per frame for the camera, cost of energy to refresh depleted battery and of course my boots in walking the 4 miles (yes, I returned home after) I already have the equipment although now I do need a tripod, both of mine now junk, one plastic and won't take weight, the other with age related bracket failure to the head.
Nature provided me the water, the animals using it the muddiness at a guess (deer), I just took advantage of what is offered locally.

PS Coffee made with cold water with sugar and milk in tastes much better if allowed to stand for about 30 minutes.

paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
13 May 2015 3:20PM
You are sure to get apparent under exposure with the sun in frame like that. I'm quite happy with that effect because the sun and water highlights are so bright. It needs under exposure to be of any use at all.

There is some instant impact, but then I find little in terms of content. With the sun being cut right on the frame edge, you jyst look at it all the time. Ine rule, made to break, is keep strong highlights from frame edges.

Paul
dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 599 England
13 May 2015 6:49PM
I do understand your predicamant, and hope you do get something soon.
At least you have somewhere you can 'escape' to and do some photography. Having that has helped me many times.

There's nothing wrong with a dark or low key image. Having said that, there still needs to be some area of lighter tones, and it's the foreground that needs the lift here. I won't do a mod as there are several already addressing this.

So all that's fine and easily sorted. The main issue is the foreground interest, or lack of it.
You've a great low viewpoint but there's not a lot to hold the attention. When those weeds have started to grow again and are green there would be more. Or if that log were moved right so it was more prominent. Even an old boat, or wellington boot!
Those suggestions may work better in mono in which case the low key approach could well be suited.

It's as if you've set the scene ready for that final element. As it's not too far from you, I hope you can make another visit, at a different time of day or year.

Keith
dudler Plus
16 973 1536 England
14 May 2015 12:12AM
My word, that's a lot of text!

The bottom line is that if you like it, that's fine: it helps us avoid saying the wrong things if you can tell us what yo uwanted to achieve, and whether you think you succeeded. If we know, we can make sure we give you useful comments and constructive criticism.

I, too, wish you well with finding a job that is both rewarding and fulfilling.
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
14 May 2015 1:12AM
Good Evening all, and thank you for your responses. I will start by saying I have uploaded the original SOOC .jpeg that it was based on, no editing done to it. I have uploaded it for comparative purposes only, I am only allowed one image a day currently or I would have uploaded it before now.

My biggest regret in this post is I may have upset Willie - Banehawi, believe me when I say, if I have I really regret that as I respect what he has to say and his contribution and time. If he only knew how much he helped me in the past, the very idea of me wanting to be disrespectful to his comments wouldn't enter anyone's mind. It truly is a case of, if I don't ask why, I will not learn and grow, indeed his comment on it needing a distant focal point made me see some shortcomings that had never entered my mind.

I am not great at explaining images, to me, it's what I see in a capture and I will emphasise aspects as I think suitable. In fact, I am currently playing with some things that I post on my flickr and would have had one of those critiqued if I thought suitable as it combines my photography and other artistic interests. The artists depicts a scene, bu when you enter a gallery more often than not you are alone, to make of it what you will, despite what artists may say, I believe photography to be an art form, the less the artist verbally says, the more his or her work speaks or not to the viewer.

Mike43 - I spent awhile thinking about your mod which in honesty I initially disliked, finding the grass just too much, and that yellow sky offputting, but I kept thinking. Elements of it are right, whilst that yellow is perhaps intense in the sky, maybe a little graduation and intensity level reduction would work, the grass though? Sorry, for me, it's too much. Overall too the image was very blue, especially the water. I do appreciate you doing it though, so thank you.

Tanya - You make a lot of sense with your comment on it being your take on the image, whilst no doubt we all sit behind colour corrected monitors how we perceive colour is very personal, my father for instance, a Printer for many years see's it very different from myself, also a printer and until lately a colour matcher mixing paint and inks, often by eye or to a rough formula to later machine match by eye. I am used to balancing a 4 colour set on a litho machine with an added fifth often (one pass and singly).
Mod 1 - I found a lot more blue than my own, the grass I could live with, not being unnatural and the colour caste coming about by a magenta reduction no doubt. The receding tree line on the left bothers me though, no only in yours but in the others, to me some trees look a little 'washed out' and if they are silhouettes due to sun position should they not be darker?
Mod 2 - I preferred your first although the level of yellow in the sky is interesting, and I notice almost identical to Banehawi's, perhaps a little more enhanced but on a similar vein.
Mod 3 - "What the hell! You're not going to like it" (you omitted an exclamation mark Wink ) - I am surprised you say that, a little cautious and negative in doing so but completely wrong. It's not really a case of like or dislike, more a case of thinking about it, if we cease to examine and think, how can we ever learn? As with all the mod examples it is only by looking at them, seeing the alternatives they offer you can more closely examine and see the faults in your own (meaning mine).

Having examined all the offered mods, please bear in mind this took awhile to compose and type, Dark Lord being the last entry I see here, I have to say I find Banehawi's mod the more desirable although too red in the image excluding the sky itself and the water has lost its sparkle, I am beginning to wonder if that's a sizing thing with the mod being much smaller than my image. In my original feedback on it, I had said he had reduced the red overall, I meant the sky has far less in it, and the grass/trees/water has the blue reduced leaving it looking too red but in the water's reeds often that would not be unnatural, the grass? I'm not so sure of.
I just wish he had come back and said what is wrong with the shadow areas in his opinion and why it is such a bad thing, although as you have all said it it apparently is. I am sure if I was printing it out at home from his comments the printer would give banding issues due to tonality differentials, thankfully though I only ever use my images on screen not being able to afford a decent enough quality printer for what I would be happy with, ex printer (darkroom and machines = fussy).
I have learnt some things though, paulbroad brought up a very good point about keeping strong highlights away from edges and indeed it's proximity had bothered me on a positional point wishing it was lower in the image but the lowest of the set of those I shot. No ones time was wasted in commenting, and I appreciated all of your input, so thank you for doing it.
Finally, apologies for bringing up my personal stuff, I appreciate your wishes though, often we fail to realise others may be doing the best they can with what is available, I know I have been guilty of it at times.
TanyaH Plus
16 1.3k 395 United Kingdom
14 May 2015 10:17AM
Some interesting feedback, Martyn - thank you! (there you go ... an extra exclamation mark, just for you Grin)
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4046 Canada
14 May 2015 11:37AM
Hi Martyn.

Im not at all upset, - I didnt realise there was this level of discussion in progress!

If you want to underexpose an image because you like how it looks thats perfectly ok. It is best though to include this intent in the description of the image when you upload it.

The darker image will always make the water sparkles, or bright spots more apparent, - the same way diamonds are displayed on black velvet. They dont sparkle an more with it, it just looks like they do.

You need to have a calibrated monitor to view colours accurately, - a laptop or a tablet wont do the job. Otherwise you will see something different to me.

This is a scene shot at 3:23 PM on a sunny afternoon. If I was there and looked at it, it would not be dark. Hence the comment about a balanced exposure; couple that with the fact that the camera WILL underexpose when the sun is in the frame with the fact that you added a -1/3, the result will be dark, as it is. Around 1.3 stops under.
When its submitted for critique, the fact that a positive exposure correction was not used when including a large amount of sky will draw a comment, as our goal is to help avoid a situation like this, which is very common in the critique gallery.

Auto white balance will always reduce warm tones by adding blue. Thats how AWB works, hence the tone difference. Its perfectly ok if you prefer blue toned to sunshine toned. It can look more like a shot taken at night or during an eclipse.

You could have added your original sot here at any time by uploading it as a modification, rather than using up a days upload allowance, - something to keep in mind.

Have fun and take more shots, but do explain your artistic intent at the outset. It saves a lot of typing!


Regards



Willie
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
14 May 2015 9:28PM
Thank You Willie / banehawi

Appreciate you coming back to reply.

The monitor is a Dell U2410 calibrated with a Xrite Huey Pro Pantone Calibrator. I do not use the room light adjust on it and it is set back in a corner desk surrounded on all sides as if having a hood on it. My lg Plasma is also calibrated if I want to see larger images than 24 inch, it being connected by hdmi to the PC also so they should match. I keep this calibrated around twice a month as I am not doing commercial work on it.

I haven't had the D700 long and find the WB isn't as easy to set as my Fuji S5, I have a semi translucent white cap to set a WB on there, the D700 acts differently to capture and set a wb and unsure if I was doing it correctly so haven't used on there again.

I never realised about it adding blue, my concern was the added red from the ND Grad.

Yes on the apparent effect of it being darker making it sparkle, but as we are looking with our eyes, we should employ trickery to achieve what we need perhaps. If it looks right, all well and good, it is if our take on colour is skewed we have to be concerned.

Anyhow, many thanks for the contribution.

Edit - I should add I followed the camera metering, perhaps I need think a little more on that and if using ND Grads and ND's add some + compensation, I thought the metering would be right if done with them in situ.

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.