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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Photos from the beach
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08/15/2004 01:19:14 AM · #1
Took these yesterday and would appreciate constructive feedback, or any other general comments you have. :)

In particular wondering which of these two is better.
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Also, trying to learn something about black and white photography. Am I doing anything right here?
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And one more just for fun. My boyfriend's and my own shadow posing for the camera.
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Thanks!
08/15/2004 01:28:52 AM · #2
Hey,

I really like to the b&w. Not an expert myself but maybe you could try an adjustment layer to lighten up the tree bark/branch thingy. Its got a really nice feel to it, soft & rough. anyway you look at it, it's right. The just for fun one is reallu nice as well.
08/15/2004 01:49:53 AM · #3
I love the right one of the two dunes shots..Very nice...your b/w shot has a wonderful compsition and lighting with the shadows...great eye...However, without playing around with the file...I see the the left part of the drift wood seems over exposed and lacks detail...perhaps grab some more detail if you can...or even lessen the exposer in photo edit program. Also, it looks grainy....I don't know if that was ment to be that way or not...It's just me, I don't like grain in my shots...a b/w (to me) needs to be crisp and show details and lights with shadows....Overall, I hope you do well in learning...I'm am too....
08/15/2004 02:01:06 AM · #4
I really like both the dune photos.

Differing from Dustin here :-) : I prefer the left one of the Dune shots. It shows the detail in the dune a lot better. In fact, I would suggest you crop out some more of the sky.
The right one has a lot of distraction in the background. If you could have taken it sitting down, so that the grass was directly against the sky (no beach), it might have been better.
08/15/2004 03:05:28 AM · #5
Originally posted by turquoise919:

Took these yesterday and would appreciate constructive feedback, or any other general comments you have. :)

In particular wondering which of these two is better.
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I prefer the composition of the first one and the exposure of the second. The over-bright sky of the first one doesn't fit in well with the 'shadows' theme. While it is possible to bring out a bit of the skies color with PS, this is the type of shot a polarizer really helps with.

Originally posted by turquoise919:

Also, trying to learn something about black and white photography. Am I doing anything right here?
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I like the composition; good eye to find it in such a mundane item. But the flowing texturs take the eye right out of the scene to the bottom. I am wondering if the composition would have worked better if taken with much more of the sand flow in view.

It is good that you pushed the exposure to the limit on the bright side of the scale, as it allows for much more texture to be captured. However, as mentioned above, the left side is a bit over-exposed and should be dialed down a bit -- unless that was your intention.

Owning a camera very similar to yours (I have the C720UZ), I know how hard a shot like this is to get exposed correctly. My entry into the 'Where you live' challenge (Peaceful Park) was an exposure disaster. I was able to salvage it somewhat in PS, but it still convinced me to purchase a polarizer for my camera. In my humble opinion, the polarizer makes outdoor shots on a bright sunny day possible with the less than high-end cameras.

David
BTW: Have you tried the dunes in B&W?
08/15/2004 03:27:24 AM · #6
Originally posted by Britannica:

Iprefer the composition of the first one and the exposure of the second. The over-bright sky of the first one doesn't fit in well with the 'shadows' theme. While it is possible to bring out a bit of the skies color with PS, this is the type of shot a polarizer really helps with.


Agreed, first one has a nice composition with a relatively good lead in from the top of the image. Second one is too centralised and bland.

First one is overexposed and thus the sky is blown, while the second is just about right. These were just screaming out for a polariser. A Grey Grad or Graduated Neutral Density filter helps to darken skies quite a bit too, but it can sometimes produce an unnatural effect, and it might not have helped you much on your first example.

Originally posted by Britannica:

Owning a camera very similar to yours (I have the C720UZ), I know how hard a shot like this is to get exposed correctly. In my humble opinion, the polarizer makes outdoor shots on a bright sunny day possible with the less than high-end cameras.


If the new range of UZIs have the same detailed in-camera contrast control to the other Oly cx0x0 rangefinders, I'd recommend trying out a few shots with it set to its minimum value (-5 on a rangefinder). This should help preserve highlights and shadows. You can later adjust the contrast back to a more 'punchy' level in post-processing if need be.

The whole point being that in mega-contrast situations such as these, you want to try and stop the highlights/shadows from being blown, in order to retain useful pixels for post processing.

David
08/15/2004 03:36:49 AM · #7
Originally posted by downward_spiral:

Originally posted by Britannica:

Owning a camera very similar to yours (I have the C720UZ), I know how hard a shot like this is to get exposed correctly. In my humble opinion, the polarizer makes outdoor shots on a bright sunny day possible with the less than high-end cameras.


If the new range of UZIs have the same detailed in-camera contrast control to the other Oly cx0x0 rangefinders, I'd recommend trying out a few shots with it set to its minimum value (-5 on a rangefinder). This should help preserve highlights and shadows. You can later adjust the contrast back to a more 'punchy' level in post-processing if need be.

The whole point being that in mega-contrast situations such as these, you want to try and stop the highlights/shadows from being blown, in order to retain useful pixels for post processing.

David

It has an in camera Sharpness (Soft, Normal, Hard) and Contrast (Low, Normal, High), which I have always left at normal as I figured PS would be better at it than the camara. I'll try a few comparison shots tomorrow (if it is still sunny out) and see what effect it has (both with and without the polarizer).

Thanks
David
08/15/2004 04:03:45 AM · #8
Originally posted by Britannica:


I'll try a few comparison shots tomorrow (if it is still sunny out) and see what effect it has (both with and without the polarizer).
David


Post a few shots if you can!

Originally posted by Britannica:


which I have always left at normal as I figured PS would be better at it than the camara.


Probably. I'd imagine the lowest settings are probably the closest to unprocessed, but then I'm not so sure if it's the same on a C720.

Just pointed the camera out the bedroom window to take an example shot. Here's one at -5 contrast

//homepage.ntlworld.com/zerosignal/c-5.jpg

and +5

//homepage.ntlworld.com/zerosignal/c5.jpg

Notice how the -5 version has managed to keep the sky and land reasonably well exposed, while the +5 version has completely blown the sky while pushing the land much darker. The -5 version also seemed to be a bit more accommodating to sharpening without producing bad artifacts.

hth.

David

Message edited by author 2004-08-15 04:10:30.
08/15/2004 10:10:14 PM · #9
Thanks for the comments on both the photos and the Oly cameras, that was really helpful!
08/16/2004 05:27:13 PM · #10
Personally, I like the beach shot that shows more sky. It is just more appealing to my eyes.

~Newt
08/17/2004 02:10:23 AM · #11
@turquoise919: Sorry to take your thread off-course, but since you seem to be gaining from it as well... ;)

@downward_spiral: I see what you mean by the keeping the in-camera modifications to the image to a minimum. I had taken the 'normal' default settings of my camera to be a no-modification setting, but now I am not sure. And after seeing the differences in you images and the test images I took I will be leaving the sharpness and contrast settings on their minimum settings from now on.

The following test images were taken on an overcast day, mostly grey sky with a patch of greyish blue on the right (although larger than is seen in any of the images). The exposure and WB were preset with a make-shift grey card prior to the shoot and maintained throughout. I took a similar set with the polarizer, but as the sky is overcast it didn not make a significant difference (other than acting as a 1-stop ND filter).

The nine test images below were taken by varying the sharpness and contrast settings between the three possible settings for each:

soft sharpness (low-normal-high contrast):
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normal sharpness (low-normal-high contrast):
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hard sharpness (low-normal-high contrast):
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David
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