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Great AdrianW 2007-10-01 12:14

Nice shot Paul! You've captured this fleeting moment well; perfect lighting, with the deep greys contrasting well with the burst of sunrays streaming through. The boat provides a lovely focal point for the composition :)

A few minor things pop out though; firstly this isn't quite as sharp as I might expect. If the original looks sharp at 100% then investigate Luko's excellent sharpening advice here. Part of it may be caused by the excessively narrow aperture you've used though; even at 70mm there's no need to use f/22 in a shot like this, assuming you focus on the boat f/8 may well do it; above ~f/11 diffraction sets in, and loses you sharpness, so try and avoid shooting fully stopped down. Shooting at f/11 also increases your shutter speed; which makes shooting handheld easier and more reliable.

There may be a slight tilt to the horizon; it's hard to say, as the shoreline probably does move towards us from left to right. Try rotating it ~0.5CCW and see what you think there.

There's a bit of the sky burnt around the sun; it's impossible to really correct that in one shot, but if you shoot a bracket set (say +2, 0, -2) then merge to HDR with something like Photomatix then you could probably tame it a little. Similarly if you had time a graduated ND filter would provide an alternative; albeit a slower and less flexible one IMO.

Finally there seems to be a little solarization (visible colour steps) in the sky particularly in the sky above the rocks on the left left hand side. Not sure how that's come in; maybe you tweaked the histogram a couple of times in 8-bit? Always work in 16-bit until you've finished the editing process, and convert to 8-bit only when saving as JPEG.

Despite those minor suggestions; it's a very nicely executed shot :D

  #1  
Old 10-01-2007, 09:12 PM
paulw paulw is offline
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Default To AdrianW: Critic

Adrian,

There's always a critic !!! LOL

I really wanted to keep the image as natural as possible, so didn't really play with it in Photoshop. I took 4 shots of the scene. While 2 of the others were sharper and clearer, I didn't like the sky as much. It was just a moment, looking out the bedroom window.

I've used bracketing before, but you need to have the shot composed and set. The clouds were moving a good bit, so even that may not have worked.

The images were taken in 14bit raw, processed and then converted to 8-bit jpg. I've spoken to a few professional photographers, who say that for web processing, doing it in 16-bit will make no difference at all over the 8-bit. It only has a real effect for large format printing.

But, as always, you live and learn.

Thanks for the critique/comment/advice.

Paul
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:47 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: To AdrianW: Critic

> I really wanted to keep the image as natural as possible, so didn't really play with it in Photoshop. I took 4 shots of the scene. While 2 of the others were sharper and clearer, I didn't like the sky as much. It was just a moment, looking out the bedroom window.

It's a lovely shot; and honestly I don't think sharpening will do anything but enhance that side of things. Give it a go. Resizing causes a loss in sharpness; so you *need* to compensate for it. It's not playing with it; you're just compensating for the resize step.

> I've used bracketing before, but you need to have the shot composed and set. The clouds were moving a good bit, so even that may not have worked.

I haven't come across a cloudscape yet where it doesn't work; particularly since you have 6.5fps at your disposal ;) If the clouds are moving quickly you'll find it just gives the clouds a slightly greater feeling of depth, if you manage to align in properly at least. For handheld HDR alignment I tend to use PTgui Pro. You don't need it for the ground though; so I'd just cut along the horizon; and keep only the HDR sky.

> The images were taken in 14bit raw, processed and then converted to 8-bit jpg. I've spoken to a few professional photographers, who say that for web processing, doing it in 16-bit will make no difference at all over the 8-bit.

Ahh, now therein lies the rub; just because someone's being paid to do something doesn't mean they know everything about it. Something is clearly wrong with the tonality around the headland, have a look at the green channel in Photoshop, and then increase the contrast a bit; you'll see there are clear steps in there. Those visible gradations just shouldn't be there. They wouldn't be there in my 10D or 400D shots, and those are only 12bit; you have a massively greater colour pallette, so your shots should reflect that.

There was a bug in one of the earlier versions of DPP that caused stepping, but I'm not sure whether that version could handle the 40d. (it was DPP 3.0.1 I think)

If it isn't DPP that leaves excessive tonal adjustments in 8-bit mode. Since I didn't think the version of DPP for the 40D was affected by the bug; adjustments seemed like the most likely cause.
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