Wednesday Landscapes, 19 April 2017

Discussion in 'Landscape' started by Leslie Reid, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Welcome to all photographers with images of landscapes! We’re test-driving a new weekly thread here, and I invite you to upload one of your landscape photos (or more than one, if an extra would help illustrate your objectives or process).

    I also invite you—if you’d like—to accompany your image with some commentary: challenges you faced in making the image? your intent for the image? settings? post-processing decisions? why you did what you did? the place and time? or an aspect you’d like feedback on?

    And I further invite you to ask questions of others who have posted images or to join the discussion. My ideal for the thread would be for this to be a place where we can learn from one another. If you don’t feel like using words, that’s OK too—unaccompanied images are very much welcomed, too.

    As for the technicalities, the usual forum guidelines apply: files < 1 MB; image size <1000 px maximum dimension.
  2. Pre-dawn rain, Moonstone Beach, CA​

    In a sense, this image is a record of a failure, since I’d taken a series of four frames to stitch as a panorama; this was my back-up overview shot. The stitching didn’t work as well as the cropped overview because the clouds didn’t blend well between frames (I should have switched to Manual instead of staying in Aperture priority).

    This was taken about 10 minutes before what would have been sunrise if it hadn’t been raining. Hand-held, Canon 80D with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM at 35 mm. Av spot-metered (on the brightest clouds), ISO 800, 1/100 s, f/5, -1/3EV.

    My objective in the field was to feature the soft blue light, the monochromatic feel, and the gradation of tones in the foreground-to-background sequence of rocks and islands. Think zen. I’d decided on the panoramic format because the story was draped along the horizon.

    Post processing (all in LR6): I first cropped to the central 40% of the frame. The cropped image started off with a centered histogram and low contrast, so my primary goal was to increase the contrast among the sequence of rocks while keeping the image gentle and ethereal; that meant that I couldn’t (over-)use “clarity” like I usually do. So, whites +68, highlights -55, shadows -33; clarity -25. These changes made the image very blue, so I reduced vibrance -10 and increased temp to 6380 from 5250. I then modified the tone curve to increase contrast over the central 70% of the histogram. I added a gradient to increase foreground clarity +54 and sharpness +20, cloned out four awkwardly placed gulls in the mid-distance, and sharpened (with about a 50% mask). Finally, I brought up the overall exposure about 1/3 stop.

    My greatest uncertainty was whether I should crop in from the right. I’ve tried three different crops, but I always come back to this one because I like the distant obelisk to be centered—it’s an unlikely center of interest because it’s so faint, and moving it off-center seems to give the darker rocks too much prominence.
    DavidTriplett, Gup and Renee Shipley like this.
  3. arbon valley 2 s.jpg This is a photograph of Arbon Valley, Idaho. Initially I was attracted to the horses as a subject, but then the clouds became the dominant interest. What you can't see is that the wind was blowing at least twenty five miles per hour. If I had not used a wide-angle lens (24mm on full-frame Canon 5D II), then movement of the bushes by the wind would be more obvious. I decided that the clouds would look best in black and white. I edited the image in Photoshop CS5 using NIK SilverEfex. I forget the details, and I did not save the Photoshop file, just the resultant tiff, but I probably used a red filter, and tonal contrast in SilverEfex.
  4. Hello everyone. I first got into medium format during my 63-67 army stint in Germany with a Yashica Mat EM. As the years have gone by, many other med. & large format cameras have come n gone, but that EM is still in my hands at times today! During this photo journey, The Zone System has been used with many personal modifications. ZS thinking holds it's own in this age of "hybrid" photography. A ZS negative provides almost 15 shades of grey from my "common" V600 scanner. . I surprised myself during a "bucket list" scanning project several years back with detail's not seen on some fiber prints over the years.
    Since early 2014 most of my "Vista" work has been with folding medium format cameras from the early 1950's (addictive hobby it is). 6x6 & 6x9's are used with various films, but the primary developer's are Pyro based (510-Pyro, PyrocatHD & now Obsidian Aqua). Although I no longer use spot meters, the Zone principle of shadow / highlight ratios is applied to exposure & developments. Contrast is controlled in the negative via filtration & my post production work is generally minimal with "some spotting" on the finished file. I scan with the native Epson software & use a program called PhotoScape from off the net (Do give a reasonable donation if you find it helpful).
    The primary challenge of these MF folders is there is no other lens on the camera! My composition "sense" is me, so a square neg will be somewhat different from a rectangular one. Very seldom do I crop extremely with a 6x6.
    I recognize that todays landscapes will include man-made objects & attempt to put these structures into context with the land. Since I now can not take off across field & mountain for another "view point", many times my "snap" is close to the road.
    Things have changed since the 60's, but as long as I can kick the sheets off in the morning, my cameras keep "clicking". . . Aloha, Bill
  5. 2k15-035-001 ce d3 x.jpg Bessa 6x9, 400 Delta, 510-Pyro & V600 scan 2k15-035-001 ce d3 x.jpg
    Renee Shipley likes this.
  6. Ver 2.0 is being weird now. . . Here is the 6x6 view. Isolette3 (Apotar), 100Tmax, 510-Pyro, V600 scan. Aloha, Bill 2k15-036-001ce.jpg
    DavidTriplett and Renee Shipley like this.
  7. I forgot to mention that the wind generators are just outside Goldendael, Wa. off Hwy 97 leading south to the Oregon - Wa. border which is the Columbia River. These are located on the hills only a few miles from the Columbia River Gorge. Heavy tripods are mandatory here. Aloha, Bill
  8. This spring there's a super bloom of wildflowers going on in several parts of Southern California. The image below is from the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The Temblor range forms the northerly boundary of the plain and is currently awash in yellow, purple, orange, and green colors. We drove there the last four weekends, always exploring a different section of the Monument. It's a 3+ hour drive one way but totally worth it.

    As always when shooting landscape, I am struggling with focal length selection. I have used everything from 15mm to 400mm at the Carrizo Plain. Most of the time there has to be some interesting clouds for me to select an ultrawide; nothing looks more boring than a vast expanse of blue sky. I often shoot with the 70-200/4 because I like to pick out details in the landscape or utilize the tele compression.

    The focal length used for the image below is a bit of an oddity for me: 50mm. I shunned that focal length for a long time and only very recently decided to add it back to my bag.

    • Near Devil's Tower, on the plains of Wyoming, there sits an isolated espresso shop​
    • WY-US-14W-150511-056+-Hi-Plains-Espresso-PAN-cr.jpg
    • The gentrification of the cowboy state​
    Palouse and Renee Shipley like this.
  9. April 16, 2005 Evening shot of a lake. D70 18-70 lens at 18mm. My first year with the digital camera. 16x20 crosby lake reflection.jpg
    cegeiss likes this.
  10. castlerigg.jpg
    Castlerigg Stone Circle, Cumbria, England.

    Made in October 2006, around 5 pm. Rolleiflex 6008i, Distagon FLE 50 mm f/4 on Velvia RVP. This is the old Velvia, not the present Velvia 50. I used a polariser.
  11. Bird Rock viewed from Castell-y-bere, Gwynedd Wales.
  12. False sunrise: last week we headed out to cape Cod bay to look for bio-luminescent waters. Unfortunately the tide was out and the waters were calm, so there was no bioluminescent glow. :-(
    This image was taken with a small table-top tripod (from RSS) placed on the railing of the boardwalk. the "sunrise" glow are probably the lights of nearby Wellfleet. OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm 1/2.8. 60 sec exposure at f/2.8 and base ISO. false sunrise - cape cod.jpg
  13. Sorry for my late arrival. The day job is getting busy, and I had to buy (another!) car this weekend. (Don't ask...) This past Presidents' Day saw a rainstorm over Zion Canyon. Rain in Zion is a wonder, as it turns every crack in the cliff walls into a waterfall. We've been waiting over a decade for this opportunity, and finally we were able to make a trip to Zion in the rain.

    The challenge, of course, is to capture the details and colors in the flat light under the clouds. I worked in raw, knowing I would have to manipulate these in PP. My equipment was a Nikon D7100 with a variety of lenses. I mostly shot hand-held since I carried the camera body inside my raincoat. I failed to think ahead and buy a rain cover for the camera, as the trip was somewhat last-minute. In any case, I could only expose the camera for a few seconds to get most shots in order to avoid raindrops on the lens' front element/filter. ISO settings were selected to obtain a workable exposure handheld with the most desirable aperture for each shot. The first image is of a waterfall across the canyon, taken from a turnout below the Mt. Carmel Tunnel entrance. I had to wait nearly an hour for the clouds to expose the hanging valley above the falls. It is important to note that all of these waterfalls are ephemeral, at best, and many disappeared within minutes after the rain stopped falling on the slickrock above.
    Zion Waterfall-5154b-sml.jpg
    The original raw file was very flat, with little saturation, even moreso than usual due to the cloudy and misty conditions. This was processed in LR5 to bring up the colors, add contrast to the misty scene, and sharpen details softened by the moisture content of the air. The next image was taken from the top of the trail to Weeping Rock. The dark and light spots are water drops falling from the rock above, combined with a steady rain. The waterfall on the right is nonexistent, except in a rainstorm. Due to low clouds and rain, the original raw image had almost no color, and was very contrast-challenged. I could not get any meaningful color in PP, but I was able to play with exposure and contrast, so I finally rendered this one in B&W.
    Zion Waterfall-5020a-bw-sml.jpg
    This is my first serious experiment with landscapes in the rain. Your thoughts and suggestions are sincerely appreciated. And, if ever you have the chance to see Zion Canyon in the rain, take it! It feels more like Kauai than the high desert of the Colorado Plateau.
    cegeiss likes this.
  14. Stunning photos, David—looks like Yosemite dressed in red. The post-processing looks completely natural—beautiful!

    I’ve also been dealing with a lot of rain—this apparently is the wettest year on record in my part of the state, and there’s more coming. In big storms I use one of those inexpensive plastic sleeves (I think they were 2 for about $6), which works remarkably well as long as I shoot down-wind and wear a brimmed hat. There’s a drawstring that cinches it behind the lens hood, and the left hand stays inside the sleeve to control the zoom, so only the right hand needs to work on keeping dry—I carry lots of bandanas in lots of pockets so there’s always a pocket to dry off in. You could DIY a similar sleeve by cutting the corner off the bottom of a plastic bag and using a rubber band to cinch it to the lens. But the most useful tool of all that I’ve found for dealing with rain is the online National Weather Service basal reflectivity radar imagery—that lets me time outings for brief windows between squalls.

    And in the spirit of the aphorism thread, three things experience has taught me about photography on rainy days: don’t turn around into the wind to see who just called to you without covering the front of the lens; the best way to ensure that there are drips on the front of the lens is to tip up the lens to see if there are drips on the front of the lens; and any loose dog will run up in front of you and shake its coat dry, thereby making the wind direction irrelevant.
  15. Gup

    Gup Gup

    This was after a violent summer squall on Cape Breton Island's Cabot Trail.

    The Trail is a wonderful, winding drive with literally thousands of fabulous seascapes looking over both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. It can be driven in either direction, with a different photo experience each time depending on the time of your departure.

    I shot this handheld with a Nikon D700 and an AF-S 28-70mm a few years back. f13, 1/100, ISO 400.

    Cape Breton scan wm 1000  2672.jpg
    DavidTriplett likes this.

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