Back Modifications (4)
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Llyn Gwynant

By WeeGeordieLass    
I took 5 exposures of Llyn Gwynant 0, +1 -1, +2, -2 as I wanted to try photo merging.

I'm reasonably pleased with this as in the normal exposure there was no detail in the sky and parts of the lake were blown out.

I'd be grateful for any opinions on whether I have been successful in making a well exposed and composed image.

Any comments much appreciated - I've loaded the original image as a mod for comparison.



Tags: 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.


NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2012 9:42PM
'What's a wee Geordie lass deing climbmin up bloomin mootins for, ya daft bugger, yal knacker yu kamra.

Now back to the series stuff, If you want my opinion that's good. If you don't then you're getting it anyway. It's nice to see that you were bracketing, always a good idea. Did you use a ND graduated filter, or a Circular Polarising Filter? Both are as equally as good 'in my opinion' as each other, others may disagree... This would have dragged more of the detail in the sky. Have you heard of the hyper-focal distance? If not then have a browse, this well explain in further detail, as to whereabouts you should be focusing on when composing landscapes. I normally aim for the middle third of the image. Was you camera mounted on a nice and sturdy tripod and fiited with a remote release, or wireless if you are posh? Again this is an essential bit of kit when composing Landscapes, just a quick tip if it is blowing a hooly, then attach a bag or some form of weight to your tripod, most come with a handy little hook underneath. Finally try where possible to use a 'Wide Angled Lens' again an essential piece of kit for taking landscapes, "Check out Totally Tamron, some great lens at affordable prices..." and finally. Think about your aperture and your depth of field, which by the look of your image is pretty good, considering your set up. If all else fails simply paint the image...

Hope this helps, and before I say goodnight, where were you on Monday Night? We all missed your humour and entries for the MNC.

Regards Nathan

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banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
4 Apr 2012 1:04AM
Hi Elaine,

What youve been doing with those multiple exposures, is the basis of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. I dont remember whuch software you use, howevr Photoshop can do an HDR merge of you shots into a single file, whic is then normally processed in Tone Mapping software called Photomatix, or similar.

BUT, you do something different, and you approach is solid.

Theres one important thing though, and thats the original scene is hazy, and has reflections (you can see a little lens flare in the sky, - so you may also have the Sun high in the sky, rather than lower, for a better image.

When the scene is hazy, no amount of multiple exposures will help; its only a circular polarizer that can assist with this, - a little like sunglasses for you camera, - amd Nathan has alluded to this above. Another approach, - assuming the scene is NOT HAZY, is yo use a ND grad, and this works to lower the brightness of the sky so you get an even exposure.

But good thinking and good effort.

The final result to me is a little flat and hazy in the background, and the colours, especially greens are very saturated.

I have loaded a mod, where Ive treated the upper partion differently to the lower, giving the upper more contrast. I would also suggest, from a composition perspective, that placing the lake around a third, by adding more sky cam make a more pleasing composition. Ive dome this by cropping space from the bottom, and adding sky to the top.

I think you had some challenging light conditions, and made a good effort.

Hope this helps,


Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
4 Apr 2012 9:28AM
I think you'll find that the haze is mostly lens flare from having the sun just out of shot. The natural haze is also there (cf "aerial perspective"), but it is the sun that is destroying the contrast, which unfortunately, you have had to push to "sharpen" the background. In doing this, you have over-contrasted the foreground and Willie's mod has overdone it even more.

The first thing to note, is that yes, a polariser is very useful for saturating colours by cutting scattered light (not just for landscapes), but it will do nothing to emphasise a flat cloud or hazy cloud background. It will help with haze, but then so will a plain UV filter. What it won't do, is change the relative exposure between land and sky.

The next thing to ensure with shots like this is that your lens and filters are scrupulously clean. Any dust/dirt will add to the flare when shooting into or close to the light. Also, use a lens hood - as deep a one as you can get away with, to shield the front element from grazing sunlight. If necessary, with the camera on a tripod, shield the lens with your hand.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the initial image, it looks like what it is, a landscape bathed in mid-afternoon light. If you shoot the same scene in the morning, the sun will be behind your left shoulder, and you may well get more texture to the land without the harsh shadows. Unfortunately, this kind of shot is more to do with being there at the right time, in the right conditions, than how you process the shot afterwards (you would need to do far less work!).

Composition as it is, is fine for me. A place to go back to if you can, at different times of the day.

4 Apr 2012 3:15PM
Hiya Nathan,

Eeeeeehhh pet, aaah knaaa what ya meen lyke. It wasint me kamra that was was me!!

Suppose I should revert back to proper English now - shame!

I don't have any filters, but they're on my shopping list now after your advice. "Hyper-focal distance"..........what's that? - I've made a note to myself to swot up on this before I go out on my next landscape shoot!

I did use a tripod though, and I'm not posh so had to resort to the self-timer.

Thanks for your time and advice - very useful and I think it'll help me improve the next time.

I missed the MNC too. I was at my yoga class.........I did wish I hadn't gone though as during meditation I kept thinking "wonder what the challenge is tonight"...................defeating the object somewhat!

Cheers Nathan,

4 Apr 2012 3:29PM
Hi Willie,

Thanks for the mod. I like the added sky.

My husband is dead chuffed now................he said the foreground was too green, and was waiting with baited breath to see what would be the response from here........there's no living with him now!!!!

I'm going to stock up on filters and try to shoot landscapes at the best time of day - just need to learn when that might be, depending on the location, time of day, year etc.

Thanks for your advice - I've learned a lot with this shot.


4 Apr 2012 3:38PM
Hi Nick,

Thanks for your advice and knowledge re: the filters. I'll bear this all in mind the next time I'm presented with conditions like on that day.

Also, thanks for the tip about ensuring the lens and filters are clean - I wouldn't have checked that!. I don't have a lens hood for the lens I used but I'll get one now after your advice.

I agree totally that the main problem with this shot is that it wasn't taken at the optimum time of day for the lighting/sun etc. We drove past the scene in the morning and it looked wonderful.........instead of stopping then and getting the shot, we carried on to another destination and went back later that afternoon........that was a mistake!

Thanks for your great advice - I'll take it onboard.

salopian Plus
6 3 27 United Kingdom
4 Apr 2012 7:19PM
Really good shot - I have been there myself a few times in the past and it's a great viewpoint with Moel Hebog in the distance. I noted your mention of your husband's comments and had quick play with "colour balance" in P.S (mod) . What do you think?

4 Apr 2012 7:37PM
Hi Geoff,

Cheers for the mod - I think that the foreground in your mod is more natural................and so does "'im indoors"!

Now that I look at my foreground against yours, mine looks very "lime" green - it definitely wasn't like that on the day!!!

I absolutely love that area of Wales now and can't wait to get back there with my camera.

Thanks for your time to comment and work on a mod for me.

Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 9:16AM
If you don't have a lens hood, you can improvise one with some light card and sellotape. Just roll it round to make a cylinder and slip it over your lens. It can stay round it during carrying to preserve it's shape, and you can slide it on or off, depending on the focal length selected on the lens when you shoot. Just be careful of vignetting.

janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 8:41PM
As the colours are so vivid I felt this could be tamed by turning it into a B+W. As a simple conversion I put it through Elements. Black and white/infra red. A bit of dodging and burning to the sky to bring out the clouds. Cropped to take out the foreground and make a letterbox image and then the addition of a border to finish it off. The image has a Victorian landscape quality about it so thought it could work. Sometimes it is worth trying a few different styles to see what the effects might be. Haze is tricky to deal with if you don't have the filters and my polariser is always to hand especially in the summer.
5 Apr 2012 10:06PM
Hi Jane,

I think your mod is great. There are loads of tones.

It never entered my mind to try the scene in black & white, and as you say, it suits the image.

I'm loving the border too!

Thanks for showing me what can be done with some imagination Jane - I need to start thinking outside of the box!

Cheers and thanks for your work and time.


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