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  • Natural Lawn Mower

    A great many thanks for your time and feedback all!

    Tony - aye a little more context might have been nice, and as another modification shows a little more room in front of the horses head does help somewhat.

    Willie, you're right I was trying to counter the green and that did introduce too much magenta, something that when I compare my original to your edit really stands out strong (someone else on another site commented on it as well and even desaturated a lot of the horses head barring the magenta channel and that really showed up how purple it was). I think also I tend, when I have grass, try and work to the grass as a base-line; however in this case its backfired as getting the grass green affected the horse more so (likely due to the shadowing). Warming the photo up really improved it and, honestly, considering the sunny day it was taken on it is likely a touch more faithful to the scene.

    Moria, I like what you've done with pulling a bit of the intensity back from the grass, which otherwise does dominate due to how it was lit. I totally forgot about pulling back saturation there and really should have just gone in and done some selective/channel reductions to try and balance the shot a little more in favour of the horse. Your smaller adjustments to the eye area are good too - and well worth the time (dodge/burn is really something I should make much more use of than I do currently).
    It is certainly being aware of the choices and making them when editing; each person will see a shot differently, though I think some points like the very strong magenta tone are generally detracting in most cases like this unless one wants to really take things to fantasy.

    Dudler - I think that the over-sharpening that you see is likely caused because I tend to resize in stages and sharpen at each stage (normally two or three sages on a the 7D photos I get so long as I get the whole frame). It can be easy to just jump through the sharpening steps there and get a little too much (the last sharpen is normally very minor if anything).

    Paul - aye you're right, strictly speaking what I could do (esp as the horse is quite well isolated and well defined) is that I could duel process the RAW and really pull back the exposure and highlights on the grass and then a second time through and boost exposure for the horse. It's tricky though as its very easy to end up getting to that "cartoony" look where all element of shadowing is lost. I didn't do this in this shot as I felt that I could bring the greens back a touch (and the statuation reminder above should help a lot with that) and also the white haze halo of the hairs on the horses head I felt highlighted around the key subject nicely - it shows that its a nice back-lit shot rather than the horse in full light. Ideally yes being the other side would have worked best exposure wise.
    • 17 Jun 2015 12:48PM
  • A Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

    My thanks Peekyay and Mudge Smile
    • 6 Jun 2015 11:34PM
  • Make an entrance - make a splash!

    Many thanks for the compliments all!

    And yes outside at last!

    Banehawi - yes I could have exposed a little more, as it is the shot already has some brightening of the shadows applied already. At the time I felt that it would be best to have some limit on the amount of over-exposure on the tree since it is still pretty large in the scene and thus take a hit on exposure over the primary part of the image. Just no way around that barring a higher dynamnic range on the camera for such a shot.

    The idea about adjusting the white balance is a nice one; something I didn't think of for this; a little tweak could indeed lift the mood some.

    Keith interesting point on the background and now you mention it it does indeed seem rather lacking in contrast; giving it a rather flat appearance. I might go back and fiddle with it to get a bit more contrast from that area; add some gravity to it and a little more depth to the whole scene not just over the rider and horse.
    • 18 Mar 2015 2:23PM
  • Charge!

    Aye very true Paul; but I'll work at maximising what I can Smile Anything I learn indoors in a poor environment should set me in good standing for outside (though I suspect I'd have to review my whole approach to exposure in more variable outside light)

    Kinda wants to make me get a 7DMII with the shutter speed limiter in aperture priority mode. Setting 1/640 or 1/500 as the lowest limit would be fantastic - I can't understand why Canon can't give it to us in a firmwire update
    • 3 Mar 2015 9:31AM
  • Over we Go!

    My thanks all Smile

    Phil - I certainly see where you're going with the vignetting, indeed lens corrections tends to remove a very tiny amount (its the kind you can't see till you see it vanish and compare before and after). That said I think that a heavy vignette is a style I'm not really going for; however if I combined a light vignette with the contrast boost suggested by Bane that might well work to focus on the rider in a more subtle way.

    Bane - my thanks, contrast wise I think I've gotten hooked on watching the whites a lot in my shots. I find that they blow out so easily on digital that I'm always cautious these days with both exposure, but also with the contrast boosting. I prefer to see detail and not have whites that look blown which tends to mean I shy away from heavier boosts to contrast (even though I do like a contrasty shot). I can layermask of course and localise the contrast boost to select areas if I'm not feeling lazy and want to spend time on a shot.
    • 24 Feb 2015 1:34PM
  • Roe-deers in the dark

    And another welcome to the site from me!

    My views on this in addition to those raised already;

    1) The fog - what you've added is going too far, its too strong an effect, though I'd honestly say that you're getting closer to adding snow with the level you've gone for. I've seen some very impressive shots where photographer/artists have added a whole snowblizzard to a shot so if you're into that kind of thing you might give it a try. Otherwise I'd look at the method suggested earlier and the uploaded mod that person gave. Two layers, one like that and one slightly stronger to give you a "fog" layer and then a drifting layer above it of more wisps of the fog would work well.

    2) The artificial light isn't a problem to me in this shot because by its nature the dark aspects of it make it look more like a night-shot so you'd expect to see either black and white (infra red shot) or a flash-light. So in this cases the harsh directional light works.

    3) On the fake side of things what stood out to me as odd with this shot first and foremost when I looked at it was the faces on the deer. Something about them seemed very off; rather plastically. Almost like when you look at highly airbrushed models. It's "real" but yet not real at the same time. It's not a fault of your shooting though its something that would hold back from the overall aimed effect if you wanted a "wild" appearing shot (and I've no personal problem with people doing that - so long as one never miss-represents how one got a shot).
    • 19 Feb 2015 6:16PM
  • Mane in the Air

    A great many thanks for the input all! I'm rather pleased that this style of shot (that whilst its harder, I do prefer to shoot) is doing well and is viewed as better than the other I posted.

    Brightening is something I find myself doing quite a bit with these shots in general. At least half a stop (according to the exposure slider in Lightroom). It's a pain, but I find that if i try and expose more to the right I end up too far into over-exposure zones; and pulling a shot back from overexposure (esp with all the white areas on many horses, tack and jumps) is more of a pain than the extra bit of noise that slight under-exposure gives.

    Portrait crop I can see where people are going; it focuses right into the action of the moment and the horse; I think I've just got trouble "seeing" that as a "good" shot because I'm very used to leaving a goodly amount of room for action and subjects moving into it.

    And yep I'm getting more used to the busy backgrounds aspect of this style of shooting. I still dislike it and I think I will constantly; but I don't see that dislike as a downside - hopefully it will encourage me to keep hunting for better angles (maybe even risk asking and getting out into another part of the ring for a chance at a different angle).
    • 19 Feb 2015 6:10PM

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