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Great tyro 2018-02-18 17:48

Hello Richard,

By Jove, you have written a fascinating and very informative note and posted a delightful photograph to accompany it.

So this is where "Bloody" Mary lived before she became Queen Mary after the death of Edward? By all accounts she was a pretty rotten person but eventually got her comeuppance, dying at a fairly young age, so allowing Elizabeth the throne.

I like this picture very much. Your patience certainly paid off and you managed eventually to capture some beautiful reflections in the calm water of the mere. Your exposure is spot-on and the colours are delightful. It's also nicely sharp though perhaps not so superbly sharp as your last photograph - I think I might have tried to boost the sharpness just a tad more.

If I have any negative feeling at all, it is just that the reflections in the water of the mere are actually brighter than the subject which is being reflected. Now, by the rules of physics that can't happen as no mirror can reflect more light than it receives. I suspect that you used a graduated ND filter here to darken the upper part of the image - either that or you did the equivalent in Photoshop.

I think you were probably using the filter in an effort to darken an overly bright sky - and that has certainly worked - but unfortunately it has also darkened the castle. The trouble is that the eye is automatically attracted to the brightest bit of an image and here the castle itself is no longer the "star of the show" because its reflection is the thing to which the eye is naturally drawn.

I've tried to do a workshop for you and post it - it's by no means perfect but have a dekko and see what you think.

Anyway, a delightful photograph, well composed and definitely worth a full deux points!


Kind Regards,


Old 02-19-2018, 10:38 AM
ric50 ric50 is offline
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Default To tyro: Reflections

Hi John,
This is a really helpful comment. I see exactly what you mean and the difference. I have had a quick look in Lightroom and can see what the possibilities are.
I was using a ND Graduated and I think it was a 0.6 or 0.9. It was clearly too strong. I can see that while the filter is a useful aid there maybe moments when the light is such that it is not needed.
I think I will be spending a bit of time adjusting a few of my older photos.
Your help is much appreciated.

Best Wishes,

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Old 02-19-2018, 03:00 PM
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tyro tyro is offline
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Default ND filters....

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your reply. I'm pleased that you weren't upset by my playing around with your photograph.

It's a funny thing, but when I got my first digital SLR and started taking landscape pictures I tended to use a polarising filter a lot - in fact I rarely took it off the camera, believing that it would add "punch" to skies. But gradually I realised that a polariser does have a use but only on particular occasions, so nowadays I rarely use it. Same pretty much applies to graduated ND filters too - I have used them but not for some considerable time. Largely because you can do so much nowadays with Photoshop and Lightroom, especially if you take your original image in RAW as that gives you so much more latitude with exposure and "room for manoeuvre".

Yes, I agree that a 0.6 or 0.9 graduated ND filter might just be a bit too much on many occasions. Remember that the 0.6 or 0.9 is a logarithmic value (the logarithm to base 10 of 2 is 0.3010 - or 0.3 for practical purposes) so a 0.3 filter will halve the amount of light passing through it (equivalent to 1 stop), a 0.6 reduces it to a quarter (2 stops) and a 0.9 reduces it to an eighth (3 stops) which is a hell of a lot.

In fact, in a situation such as this photograph of yours, many people would advise "bracketing" your exposures - in other words, if you're using a tripod as you did, setting the camera to take 3 exposures, one "normal", another one or two stops underexposed and a third one or two stops overexposed. And then, especially if you've shot in RAW, you can later blend the various bits of the different exposures for your final image. Doing that can be a bit challenging but there's tons of stuff out there on the web, especially on YouTube where there are many good videos which can take you through the steps.

Happy snapping - keep them coming!


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