Failed landscape attempt

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  bucweeet 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #392193

    billyspad
    Participant

    I rarely take landscapes but saw these clouds over a cliff on a beach in North Yorkshire UK and thought Ansel Adams eat ya heart out! This was not to be lol. The B/W conversion looks a mess with a black sky and numerous attempts over a few years to get a result I am happy with in color has proved frustrating. This is the best I could come up with and to me lacks the punch I wanted. So if you landscape people can advise I would be grateful. Going back hopefully later this year to revisit the scene. Good clouds come with the territory in this part of the world. One thing to bear in mind is I travel light. So will have a Nikon 7200 a 70-200 and a 10-20 wide angle in my pocket. No filters and refuse to hump tripods about. This is what I do for fun so hard work is out.

    Exif  1/640th ISO 100 f8 10mm

     

  • #392196

    Tom M
    Participant

    Ok Billy's- it's a nice photo of clouds. They are pretty dominant aren't they? The first thing I notice is the horizon is not level- it slopes down to the left. I think you over-processed or over-sharpened, as the cliffs on the right show some halos on them. I think if you had shown more of the land/water in the foreground and less sky it would have nice leading lines. I think a polarizer filter would have helped, I know you don't like to carry them, but one polarizer is like zero extra weight…

     

  • #392198

    Roger Wehage
    Participant

    What if you did something more like this? Or maybe even zoomed in a bit more? I don't think the clouds are enough to stand on their own, and the other interesting stuff is too small to easily make out. I'm also interested in what looks like a row of boats and a person who appears to be walking toward them. You might also experiment with adding an artificial sun behind the clouds with rays and increasing the warmth.

    If you really like these clouds, which I think are nice, you could use them with layers to replace less impressive skies in other images.

  • #392221

    billyspad
    Participant

    Tom your right about the horizon. That's what you get when you wear cheap Philippines vari-focals. The halo is the remains of some rather bad CA I had on the cliff tops. Sloppy editing by yours truly.

    Having just read a bit about polarizers I have to admit it seems like a good idea. Thank you very much for your input it is greatly appreciated.

  • #392224

    billyspad
    Participant

    Roger for a few years now I have trotted out the image trying to get it to a state I was happy with. Due to a total fixation with those clouds a crop never occurred to me. Looking at your version now I cannot believe how dumb I have been. Thank you for opening my eyes for me. Sometimes I think our own work takes on a sacred aspect which when added to the original vision we had for it makes it difficult to take drastic action like a severe crop. I firmly believe that is the major use of forums such as this.

    Re the sun rays there is a sun ray layer added but I was very subtle with its use. Not a problem to turn up the volume on that one. Thank you mate you have been a great help.

  • #392228

    billyspad
    Participant

    After taking advice from Tom and Roger I got to the vision I had when I saw the scene. The Sharks will probably tear it to bits but in my mind this was what I wanted. Feel free to critique I really am open for advice on this one.

  • #392230

    Richard Barnard
    Participant

    I much prefer the closer crop which has created a more balanced composition in my view. I think this has the potential to work in b&w but unfortunately the contrast appears to have been pushed a little too far on your b&w edit and one of the first things I notice is the fringing /haloing along the hard edges of the cliffs and breakwater. Not sure what programme you are using to achieve your b&w conversion and I am certainly not a LR expert but I always find it helpful to ‘flatten' the RAW file in LR prior to conversion in Silver Efex. I like contrasty b&w edits with deep, crunchy blacks and I find ‘flattening' prior to export gives me much more leeway to add contrast without clipping / haloing. As a rough guide I usually do auto exposure in LR and from there ‘flatten' via the following:  Contrast -27; Highlights-52; Shadows +26; Whites -100; Blacks -1; Clarity -22 prior to export. Works for me and this was the process used for the Cuban farmer portrait recently posted.

  • #392234

    Graham Hart
    Participant

    I agree this is a good candidate for the B&W treatment Billyspad. I also think it needs some cropping but I prefer to keep the channel entrance in the pic as I think the benefit from it linking the BG to the FG is worth keeping it in. The boats provide scale and enough interest factor to warrant cropping the tiny little figure which is practically unnoticable anyway. I think the balance in the clouds with this broader crop adds to the majesty of the scene overall.

  • #392237

    Rob Eyers
    Participant

    I also prefer your cropped version Billy. I'm in disagreement with how harsh it's become. I would prefer that the clouds be softer and that the cliffs reveal some more detail without losing the deepest blacks. Of course it would be better if the halos along the break wall and the cliffs hadn't been caused but there are ways to reduce them. To visually explain, here's my quick shot at it.  Most of the adjustments made were done with luminosity masks to target the issues I perceived.

    • Softened clouds to reveal more detail
    • Reduced halos by burning with a targeted high contrast mask
    • opened up the tonal range on the cliff while protecting the dark, darks.
  • #392292

    Tom M
    Participant

    I like Graham's remake the best, other than the halo on the cliffs are still there. I like the darkened sky…

     

  • #392307

    billyspad
    Participant

    Richard pushing the contrast slightly was planned so I will probably stick with approach but the halos are a problem that I need to address. Like you I use Silver Efex for conversion and have not found anything to rival it. I am a Photoshop guy and although I have tried LR many times I always end up hating it. Find it clunky and do not like like being forced into working the way LR says I must. That being said I use Smart objects in PS so its just a click to take an image back into Camera Raw and can apply your settings. I can never work out how one edits with out layers, blend modes and the ability to select portions of an image to mention just a few reasons I do not get on with LR.

    Thank you for looking at my image in depth and your advice has been taken on board.

  • #392312

    billyspad
    Participant

    Graham yours was the ideal crop for me but I just cannot live with the very dark unnatural looking sky top left. Cropping does remove the magesty of the scene but that's the price I'm going to have to pay for lacking the expertise to capture the scene as I wanted it.

    Thank you for calling by my friend

  • #392315

    billyspad
    Participant

    Rob I can use luminosity masks without a problem but for some reason they remain at the bottom of my toolkit and are often forgotten. Thank you the hint and indeed the nudge to use them more often. I really like your edit my friend. Well done.

  • #392336

    Gary Zerbst
    Participant

    Are taking aboard the prior comments, I thought that I'd give it a go too!

    I seem to act as though I believe that the subject should be very obvious, almost slapping the viewer in the face.   Rationally, I know that's not right yet I find that my editing leans that way.

    I'm not sure which was the intended subject, the boats or the clouds.  In his attempt , I chose to emphasize the boats but even so I'm not sure that the clouds are not overpowering the boats.    I've cropped the sky and some from the left edge, then applied a preset in the Tonality App of Creative Kit 2016.  With the caveats thus made clear, I offer my take on the photo

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  • #392358

    billyspad
    Participant

    Tom I agree with you that grahams crop is good,its really how I saw the shot turning out but the dark sky does not suit me. Its a matter of taste I suppose and it would not do for us all to like the same thing. Glad you called by and took the time to comment.

  • #392362

    billyspad
    Participant

    Gary every time I see work edited using Creative Kit I am impressed. Its the only B/W conversion software that can compare to Silver Efex and much easier to use it seems. Been waiting for a Windows version to be released but seems unlikely to happen. Your edit has resulted in a very nice tonality in the sky.

    Thank you for your time and patience my friend.

  • #392646

    bucweeet
    Participant

    With reference to the ‘dark upper LH corner'…. Have you tried using Luminosity Masks (probably darks 2 or 3 depending you how you have them set up). Adjust the upper LH corner to where you want it, or maybe a little bit brighter. Then……. put that specific mask into its own…. “Group”. Once the mask is in its own Group, add a layer mask to the Group and then paint accordingly to hide/show the effect you want from the various other parts of the image.

    As an aside, with Layer Masks I usually paint with the ‘Flow' set to about – 3% – as this give me great control on how fast the effects come through. For real fine detail I set the Flow to 1% or 2%. However, and as one can guess, it takes many more brush strokes for the same level of effect to show.

    With regard to re-visiting the site to photograph again… Have you tried ‘Hand Held Bracketing'. Your D7200 shoots at 6 or 7 Frames Per Second (depending on other camera settings) as well as has the capability to shoot up to nine (9) Bracketed images. The Frame Rate is more than enough to capture the Hand Held Bracketing as the software used for rendering the image will compensate for whatever small movement you've made during the one second it takes to click and hold the camera button. Remember to have your camera set to ‘burst' mode. If you want, and with your abilities, you can adjust the Brackteting settings without moving the camera and take another set of Bracketed shots.

    Lastly, and I'm fairly certain you already do this, but…. do you make the SilverFX adjustment – inside – PS. If you don't, you will find that by applying the SiverFX adjustment – inside – PS…. PS adds a ‘separate ‘layer' to your PS image workflow for which you can add a layer mask and adjust to one's heart's content.

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