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By Relic01  
I took this today with a monopod. Shutter priority /f5.6 1/400 s, ISO 250, +0.3 ev, 24 mm focal. This is SOOC.
I wanted to show the fence how it curves as well as the character found in cedar rails. I think it could use some deepening or darkening, just feels like it is to bright. I metered off the grss at the bottm of the middle fence section.
I think it is an OK image, nothing outstanding but it would be good given some context. Mod away. SmileGrin
I'm not happy with the washed out top rail on at least 3 of the fence sections. the character of the cedar is washed out.

Once I get some more "off duty" time, I will see what I can do in processing, until then, please do.

This is the same fence I posted a while ago just shot from the opposite end.

The last one, some of the comments were "overexposed", technically underexposed, frasming (to include the bottom of the middle fence post) less sky etc. I tried to apply some/most of those but alas, I seem to have fallen short.

The mod I posted is actually a different picture from the other end, more to illustrate the conditions under which this was taken.

Tags: General Landscape and travel Wildlife and nature



dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2002 England
24 Oct 2015 11:10AM
Yup, it is too bright. That's because of the plus 1/3 compensation, and a subject that's dark in places, and midtones in all the other areas. Minus 1/2 stop would have made it a lot better, I think. The problem is especially acute with one or two parts of the fence that are reflecting the sunlight pretty directly: softer light can be better for textures, or you can go for considerable underexposure of the rest of the frame, and make it all about those brightest areas.

Using a long lens for a subject like this, where there is a lot of difference in distances between the nearest and furthest part of the subject, and given that you want to show detail, a small aperture, to maximise depth of field, would be sensible. No amount of sharpening (I think you've used quite a bit...) afterwards will make up for that lack.

A monopod was therefore a definitely good idea: but the aperture needed to be more f/11 or f/16.

Mod coming.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2002 England
24 Oct 2015 11:17AM
Your comment about processing - maybe, a bit, from a RAW file.

But the real solution is to expose correctly for the part of the subject that matters when you take the picture.

A few seconds thought, and you have virtually no processing to do - and a far higher quality digital file. And there's a simple rule for exposure - in bright sun, expect to use something around 1/ISO at f/11 to f/16. Here, that implies something like 1/250 @ f/11.

Old school photographers tended to learn this sort of thing by heart, and it puts us in a good position to do a reality check on what our 'infallible' metering systems are saying, when we bother to do it!
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
24 Oct 2015 1:53PM
This is a good subject for a 'semi-abstract' landscape a it's all about the detail from the larger scene, and you have a nice curve to lead the viewer through the image.

Metering from the grass is often a good idea as it's a good mid-tone.
However, you do need to take into account the scene itself and John points this out. the light is reflecting strongly off the fence and that's where you need the detail. the grass is on the light side (your +0.33 compensation didn't help) and wouldn't matter if it were darker, our brains would accept that especially when we could see the wood.

While the light is better at this time of year in terms of angle it can still be harsh, depending on location, cloud cover, etc. and that hasn't helped your cause. Shooting earleir would have meant the light probably wasn't hitting the subject as you wanted it perhaps? Mind you, I have been in situations where ther is great autumnal light but with no clouds to soften the light on the scene it's just too harsh. In fact the sun in a clear blue October sky can be just as unaccommodating as one in June or July.

I'd crop a little off the right so the image starts with a darker post. I know it's said we look from left to right (in the West) as thag's the way we read, but in this image my eye is taken the other way. That would also get rid of that bit of vegetation which is a distraction, though maybe a small tweak to the taking position would also do that.

Talking of light, this is sidelit which is good for texture.
It's a good subject worth returning to at different times (day and year) in different conditions too so that you can compare the images and see what yields the most pleasing results.
Relic01 11 8 Canada
24 Oct 2015 3:02PM
Thanks both of you. I will return and shoot again.
I don't think I'm paying enough attention when I'm shooting, probably because I rarely plan any of my pictures, rather I happen upon them while doing something else.
Over the past year or so I have received a lot of excellent advice and generally apply it all but seem to always miss 1 element that whacks the shot.
My family has for it's motto "No Give Up", so that's what I shall do.
pamelajean Plus
17 1.8k 2285 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2015 5:35PM
The image that you have put into the modifications section is better than this one, Mike. It doesn't have the burnt out areas on the fence.
(By the way, I love your dog Knight. I've seen other pictures on him in your pf. Just one small thing - when photographing him, get down to his level and have eye contact. This engages the viewer and looks so much better than looking down on him).

The overexposure on the fencing is partly due to the light at the time of shooting, your positive exposure compensation, your ISO setting, and your chosen aperture.
I'm not sure why you chose Shutter Priority because nothing is moving, and Aperture Priority would have been fine.

Whilst shooting, try to allow time to review your images, see any errors and adjust your settings to contend with the prevailing conditions. For instance, using negative exposure compensation, go down another stop and see what difference that makes. I am sure that Knight will wait for youSmile.

Sooty_1 12 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
25 Oct 2015 1:02AM
Can't really add too much to what's been said, except that at the time of shooting, if you aren't sure what the exposure should be (or if it's a once only occasion) you can always take several exposures around the metered value: this is called "bracketing". If you take a shot at the metered value, then one a couple of stops under exposed and one a couple over exposed, you should have enough latitude to work with if your actual metered exposure isn't quite right for what you want.

Most cameras have an automatic bracketing function you can set, so with one press of the shutter it will take 3 or 5 shots at different exposure values over and under the camera's reading.

It's a good learning tool as well, as you get to see the effects of different exposures on a subject, and you can learn when and where particular adjustments are necessary, and it allows you to learn to control the exposure for what you want, rather than letting the camera make all the decisions.

dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2002 England
25 Oct 2015 6:00PM
Bracketing, and using the histogram when reviewing your pictures. And review before you move on!

There's also an increasing level of technical knowledge that you can call on, as you develop.

Finally, the current fashion for 'mindfulness' - I've recently seen an article in a camera magazine about this. You need to focus very thoroughly on taking a picture, not try to multitask. At this stage, you may even want to go through a checklist:

Zoom - does the focal length I am using give the perspective and framing I need: or do I need to alter it, and possibly my distance from the subject?
Aperture - is it right for the depth of field I want?
Shutter - will it prevent unwanted blur at the ISO and zoom settings I have?
ISO - does it give me the right expousre, with the aperture and shutter settings I need?
Focus - is it on the right part(s) of the subject?
Compensation - is it right for the subject's brightness/darkness?
Viewfinder - a final check all round the frame that you have included (and excluded) what you want for your composition?

With experience, you will be doing much of this as you decide to take a picture at all, and the rest of it, usually, in a couple of seconds.

I have compared taking pictures with driving a few times: the difference between Lewis Hamilton and the person who just wrecked his car on a damp but gentle bend is that Hamilton focusses himself on doing everything exactly right. He is physically fit, because that makes his reactions sharper, and gives him the stamina to operate at high adrenaline levels for a long time. He is thinking hard about where he is going, how he will take each corner, so that he can place the car within millimetres every time. When he is driving, he is 'in the zone' as we used to say.

On a good day, my camera becomes an extension of my brain, and my hands almost blend with it. It feels great!

And other days, I wonder why I bought it...
Relic01 11 8 Canada
25 Oct 2015 6:53PM
Mindfulness, that is exactly my weakness. I have a horrible time focusing on just one thing, likely a product of years of multitasking. I will try to apply this and will probably experience much better results.
paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
25 Oct 2015 7:15PM
Yo are going backwards with this one. There has to be an issue with the focusing of your camera. nothing is sharp and by holding the camera steady on autofocus something should be, even if it's the wrong thing..

As above, you are at least a stop over expoed. You would only get the right reading from the grass using spot, then shutter lock or manual.

Compositionally it is a fence and grass, bt what is the subject? The fence just travels across the frame but nothing acts as a focal or point of interest..


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