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Photos for fun: Discuss Alpine glow...I made some time to get out with the camera on Thursday and once again we headed off towards the ...
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Old 17-12-2005, 13:29   #1 (permalink)
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Alpine glow

I made some time to get out with the camera on Thursday and once again we headed off towards the Alps for the sunset. The weather forecast said it was going to be overcast but luckily for most of the day it was wrong and we were treated to a fantastic sunset.

The following pictures (along with several others) were shot within that final ten minutes in this wonderful light.

Canon 20D, 50mm F1.8. 1/50sec F5.6


Canon 20D, 70-200L. Kenko 1.4x Convertor. 1/3sec F8 at 203mm


Canon 20D, 70-200L. Kenko 1.4x Convertor. 1/2sec F13 at 280mm
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Old 17-12-2005, 13:47   #2 (permalink)
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Love the second one. Just goes to show that 'portrait landscapes' can work really well in some situations.

Third one is OK too but I would have either had more of the dark layer across the bottom, or cropped it off completely (actually, probably the latter in favour of that sky).
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Old 17-12-2005, 14:34   #3 (permalink)
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That third is the one that does it for me. I like that dark layer just as it is...gives it a sense of depth / scale.
 
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Old 17-12-2005, 14:50   #4 (permalink)
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You seem to have some colour cast on the snow in the last one.....

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Old 17-12-2005, 15:00   #5 (permalink)
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It took me ages to paint it in using PS without affecting the rest of the picture...does it show?
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Old 17-12-2005, 16:21   #6 (permalink)
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Heh heh,

I think they're stunning mate! The second one is a beautiful composition!
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Old 17-12-2005, 17:01   #7 (permalink)
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all good but the last one for me is easily the best, a fantastic shot, A3 material that one!(to be fair, they are all A3 material, but that ones the best)
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Old 17-12-2005, 18:42   #8 (permalink)
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hi
i had just been looking through steves gallery when i found this thread, steve, has the middle one been 'shopped', if not, how have you managed to keep the building lit, while the trees are silhouetted against the sky?
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Old 17-12-2005, 19:16   #9 (permalink)
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No it has not been shopped, none of the images in this thread have. All post processing was done at raw level using RawShooter Premium 2006 and then framed in PS. None of these shots are a combination of two or more photos either, as sometimes can be done.

The light was fading and I used a tripod and shutter release to get a sharp exposure. I adjusted the levels, fill light and exposure during post processing in RawShooter.

The key to getting a nicely balanced shot is to take the light reading from the right part of the picture as you are taking the shot. Try to get the exposure spot on for highlights (so as not to blow them out) as this will also allow as much shadow detail to be retained at the same time. Once you master that you can then attempt to expose to the right, which is where you almost overexpose and stack the histogram to the right. The trick is not to lose any of the highlight details while capturing as much shadow detail as possible, by shooting RAW I gain approximately F stops of lattitude. I have been doing a lot of experimentation in this area recently and have just about got the gauge of how much I can overexpose at the shooting time to allow me to recover it during post processing. The contrasts from dark to light in these images was not that great so it made it easier than on some much more harshly lit scenes.

HTH
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Old 17-12-2005, 19:33   #10 (permalink)
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Beautiful pics. I like the third one the best, a fantastic shot.
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Old 17-12-2005, 22:07   #11 (permalink)
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i was always advised to set my camera at 3/4 stop under, then i wouldn't burn out the whites, dont know if this is true though.
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Old 17-12-2005, 22:34   #12 (permalink)
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Yes that is the safe bet and good advice so that you have very little chance of losing any shots. If you shoot RAW though you will have more latitude and as you progress or get more adventurous you can begin exposing to the right.

Its always a good idea to bracket your shots and play after you are certain that you have at least one decent shot in the bag. Digital costs nothing and you can learn a great deal from your mistakes.
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Old 18-12-2005, 00:39   #13 (permalink)
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All good but I especially like the last shot, excellent work
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Old 18-12-2005, 00:58   #14 (permalink)
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Third one is an amazing shot. Poster quality, mate. Must have taken some setting up though to get that highlight in the dark layer... you must have some amazing remote-flash gear!!!

Personally, I would clone it out as I find it a little distracting.

What you say about your exposure - I assume you use spot metering on the brightest part of the frame and over-expose by what - 2.5 stops to emulate slide lattitude?
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Old 18-12-2005, 09:05   #15 (permalink)
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All 3 are great shots again Steve, I prefer 2, excellent composition and pleasing to the eye. Great colours in all 3.
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Old 18-12-2005, 09:40   #16 (permalink)
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Out of the three shots, I prefer the second and third.

For me the first shot doesn't quite work. My eye is drawn to the dark block in the lower third,
and there is nothing else in the shot apart from the tree to keep my interest.
I would consider an X-PAN type pano crop of the tree, leaving a little more space at the top.

The second shot is fantastic.

In the third shot, I think the dark layer at the bottom is lost in the framing,
also the white highlight could do with not being there.
It also looks a bit flat, this may be down to the web resizing.
When processing for web, try USM @ Amount: 20, Radius: 30, Threshold: 0, to lift the foreground mountain from the background.
However, its still a great shot, with fantastic colours.

I also think the whole set could be set off better, using a white border instead of the black.
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Old 18-12-2005, 10:16   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catdaddy
What you say about your exposure - I assume you use spot metering on the brightest part of the frame and over-expose by what - 2.5 stops to emulate slide lattitude?
Yes I meter off the brightest part but never over expose by 2.5 stops from that point. In my experience that would cause blown highlights that would be unrecoverable for the majority of shots. As a rule of thumb I find that overexposure of ½ to 1 ½ stops is the maximum you can get away with depending on the scene and if I go to the far end I always shoot the same shot with “correct exposure” as well just to make sure I don’t end up with nothing. The second shot was overexposed by 1 1/3 stops.
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Old 18-12-2005, 10:30   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
For me the first shot doesn't quite work. My eye is drawn to the dark block in the lower third,
and there is nothing else in the shot apart from the tree to keep my interest.
I would consider an X-PAN type pano crop of the tree, leaving a little more space at the top.
I can see your point entirely, I do have other shots of this location both in landscape format and portrait format as well. I even have a panoramic including thetree placing it on the right of the shot. I chose to show this version here as I like the way the light is falling on the mountain tips in the background and unfortunately that is not visible in the web size versions of the other shots.

I take on board you comment about the black block in the bottom though and I could have processed it better to reveal some more detail there.

I am surprised that nobody has commented on it not quite being level though


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
The second shot is fantastic.
Thanks, again here I think it could have been improved slightly by including all of the building rather than having some of the right hand side chopped. There is also some other trees very close to the right of that which I wanted to keep out of frame. The problem was I was working very quickly in the fading light and with so many opportunities for great pictures I slightly miss framed that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
In the third shot, I think the dark layer at the bottom is lost in the framing, also the white highlight could do with not being there.
I prefer the black part at the bottom to add depth and scale to the image but agree about the one highlight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
It also looks a bit flat, this may be down to the web resizing.
When processing for web, try USM @ Amount: 20, Radius: 30, Threshold: 0, to lift the foreground mountain from the background.
However, its still a great shot, with fantastic colours.
The subject was along way from where the shot was taken and so the use of so much zoom has flattened/compressed the image. I did use some large radius USM to liven it up slightly but any extra was beginning to cause large dark Halos around the edges of the mountains, completely ruining the picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
I also think the whole set would be set of better using a white border instead of the black.
Subjective but I did try all pictures with both black and white borders (some with others colours too) and the ones that I preferred most were black.

Thanks everyone for taking the trouble to comment.
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Old 18-12-2005, 10:59   #19 (permalink)
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Those photos are really lovely, I especially love the 3rd one as it looks so grand and the colours are amazing. (I agree with editing out the white bit at the bottom, though).

Last edited by Swiftwind; 18-12-2005 at 11:05.
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Old 18-12-2005, 11:58   #20 (permalink)
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Steve

Lovely Photos, #3 is the one for me.

Great place to be for christmas.

Mike
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