Back Modifications (7)
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By Peter23  
Soooo, this is an olllld photo that I just came along and have not edited it in anyway. Just a plain photo I was wondering what you guys would personally do to improve the shot, in camera and in photoshop afterwards.

Sometimes I come across old photos and think can this be made to look like a good image from a very average dull shot!

Cheers Pete

Tags: General Landscape and travel

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CathR 14 151 564 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2012 5:10PM
The reason the photo is dull and boring Peter is that there is no light to work with. You need some light playing on the hills or lighting up the grasses in the foreground to bring it to life. Preferably the soft light of early morning or late in the afternoon. I think processing can make a difference to an image but you need to have something decent to start with or else it will always be second best.

Your aperture seems stopped down at f20. This can lead to loss of sharpness due to refraction as the rays of light are squeezed through the tiny aperture. Your lens will work much better at f11, something like that. Such a setting will give you a faster shutter speed as well.

Unless you are very fond of the image I would start again and wait until the conditions are beeter for landscape photography,

Best wishes

Peter23 13 23 2
21 Feb 2012 5:12PM
Thanks Frank,

I really like your mod! When putting your own sky in what is the quickest and easiest way you find to do this?

But thanks, really do like the mod.

mhfore 14 8 176 England
21 Feb 2012 5:24PM
Hi Peter,

Idle bleeder, getting others to do your processing, what are you like Wink Wink Wink

Good challenge Pete and I've stepped up with my 3 minute Mod but I'm not going to tell you what I've done Grin

Good stuff in the pf Peter, I like the big cat shots.

Take care

banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4272 Canada
21 Feb 2012 6:23PM
Joined the mod squad. Loaded one with no changes to size or aspect ratio, its as-is.

Underexposed original, low contrast.


NEWMANP 13 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2012 9:09PM
Compositionally all there but in the wrong proportions, waterline horizon too central and dividing, land mass of the fell too heavy to balance the foreground detail, the foreground detail there but not providing a clear bold lead in to the view.

id suggest, wellies on, switch to 12 mm lens to push the background away, wade in and slightly rotate the camera to the right, this would make the mass less and use the slope of the hill better,
get behind those reeds and make those rocks count as a lead in with more dominance.

exposure wise its taken at a bad time after golden light and without any real directional light which in true landscape is usually but not always critical. a litle flat and dull overall it needs quality light to make it work.

never a good idea to use a lens beyond f16 or so as the lens resolution starts to fall away in the same way it would used wide open. for landscape i usually settle between f11 / f16 as a preferred setting. this will still allow a good depth of field if local focusing is considered when using wide angle. the 2Omm used is getting on for 30mm in old money and thats a bit long for conventional fg /mid distance/ distance shots and pulls the horizon a little too close. the wider angle pushes the background hills away giving more strength to the foreground.

hope this helps
Peter23 13 23 2
21 Feb 2012 9:26PM
Probably all in all the best critique I'v had so far on this site, some great points from all and ones I can really get in to use!

Thanks all, much much appreciated!

Phil could you recommend a good book/web page to talk about aperture settings and sweet spots etc!

Many thanks.

NEWMANP 13 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2012 10:08PM

choose your lens and google for a review, there are lots that test independantly, there you will see graphs that show the peak performance or sweet spot of the optics.

on any zoom you will start to get fall off near the exteme ends of the focal length and usually much worse at the exteme long end and the longer the length the more the fall off.

with the majority of "in price reach" lenses, the graph will climb in quality from a wide open aperature setting continuing to improve until around f8 optimum performance on many) and starting to fall away at f16 and beyond. this is not the whole story just a glimpse of the typical, other things come in to play like ability to handle contrast etc.

you will have realised that using a wider aperature say f4 provides a fairly narrow band that is in sharp focus (depth of field) and that stopping down to f16 the depth in focus is pretty much front to back of view. when landscaping switch to manual focus and focus towards the front foreground details. the depth of field should stretch to the rear.

from this, its clear to see that wide aperatures are good for portraits and the opposite good for landscape.

hope this helps
Peter23 13 23 2
21 Feb 2012 11:15PM
Thanks, Phil. Again Much appreciated.

Also everyone I have done a couple of my own mods, opinions please?

banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4272 Canada
21 Feb 2012 11:41PM
Theyre quite good Peter.

rabdhu 9 18 United Kingdom
22 Feb 2012 8:42PM
wait a minute:
allow that was a 'kit' lens in slightly less than ideal light, nevertheless (as this scene is so like the bits of my typical holidays in between violent squalls) I actually like it, sombre, muted, serene.
The biggie test is, when looking at it do I feel I am there? Yes I do, the cloud of course is essential to that but the bleakness is what the photog' saw at the time.

ps just looked at the mods and NO!!! About equivalent to boiling Tri-X in a drainpipe to get a front page contrasty splash, not at all what this is about. I can't explain better but not all landscapes have to be full ectacolour vibrant high contrast big hitters.

Noticed in the exif you used f 20 (ie, minimum aperture near enough) and focal 20mm (almost maximum)
With a kit lens made for less than $50 you were pushing your luck wholesale. You can do this with Rodenstock Apo Sinar prime lenses but not with a cheap plastic zoom. Keep mid zoom mid aperture if you are after reasonable results with your kit.

But, I don't think it is half bad as it stands, as a reminder of the scene for a scrap book.

It is not a Joe Cornish 5x4" after six days waiting for the light, no, but we are not all professional artists.
(Joe and Charlie Waite please send blank cheques to the usual address)

Kindest regards - b0b - I have nay number of these for purchase!

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