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Old Jan 9, 2010, 1:06 AM   #1
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Default Montezuma Well

I'm not so sure about this picture. On my home monitor it looks pretty good but I looked at it on another (uncalibrated) monitor and I wasn't so sure I got the processing right. So I'd be really interested in what others think of it. On the other monitor it looked a bit flat, like I should add a bit more contrast. I also thought it was a little too bluish - my camera's AWB tends to be a bit more blue than it should in daylight (could be corrected with a digital warming filter in photoshop). It looks better on my (calibrated) home monitor. Also, while it captures what I wanted it to show, I'm undecided about it otherwise (am I ever losing perspective on all of my pictures!).

But the HDR worked really well...

HDR version:



Middle exposure:



And yes - comments/suggestions/criticisms are definitely welcome.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 6:40 AM   #2
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The HDR looks fine on my monitor (also calibrated) however the shot itself doesn't work for me. The fence in the way is distracting and my eye really wants to see what is on the right as the pool holds more interest. There are some great reflections going on there which I would love to have seen more of.

I like the blue of the shot but I don't like the distortion of the 10mm lens. What did you do the HDR with?
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 7:45 AM   #3
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The colors look good on my screen. But while the difference between the two shots is a world apart, the first shot looks like you just shot it with a polarizing filter on. It looks like a completely normal scene. Thats good. The picture itself is not. As Mark said so say I. When I look at your shot it looks like either taken with a fisheye or its a round pool and its more interesting than that rusty fence. Im interested in that building structure in the lower left. Any story you know behind that?
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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OK - I don't think the picture works either and I so wanted it to work, the reason why I try to blame it on something else that can be corrected.

The pool is round, it's a sink hole that's filled with water, as well as being taken with a 10-17 fisheye - I wanted the foreground cactus and the ruins on the left in the picture and the only thing I thought would manage the dof and both objects, with the cliff walls and the water of the sink hole, but it's not wide enough to capture all of it. I thought the distortion would be "fun" (fisheye perspective can be really neat) but it's not here. I also considered cloning out the fence, I think I could manage it fairly well, but didn't like the picture enough to want to spend the time with it. But I've been losing perspective on a lot of my pictures and thought perhaps I was being too hard on it so figured I'd post it here to see what others think.

Bynx - this was taken at Montezuma Well, part of Montezuma Castle National Monument which is located near Sedona Arizona. The Hohokam and later the Sinagua had settled the area, and I really wanted to show how improbable it would be for people to live at this spot. The only access must have been by ladders, there's no path or access to it any other way. I should have taken the time to walk along the top of the sinkhole and get a better angle of this structure with a longer lens, concentrating on the structure (even though the sun angle was horrible). Instead we just took the other trail that goes down into the hole and visits other ruins on the other side, near the water line. The other picture I took of the well itself doesn't include the ruin and was with a different wide angle lens that wasn't focusing right, so its horrible.

The HDR was done with Photomatix and that part worked really well. Oh well, perhaps we'll wander through that area again sometime in the future...
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 10:15 AM   #5
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Don't beat yourself up too much, it's good that you are trying to think outside of the box, lots of people keep to simple and boring, yes often the get an acceptable shot but you don't get the big wins. So put this down to being one step closer to a really great photo
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 10:49 AM   #6
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Thank you for understanding what I'm trying to do. When I get too frustrated I can always go back to shooting flowers because I know I'm good at them. Simple is good, boring is not (and after a while shooting the same thing the same way gets really boring). I really am trying to expand my photography, find the unusual or something different than what everyone else takes (especially when I'm visiting a tourist location). I'm learning all kinds of things from this experimenting, but I'm also way out of my normal "comfort zone" or where basic technical knowledge gives me hints about how to do it better (i.e., I should have used a larger/smaller aperture etc.). I really need to take a good photography course, I think.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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I keep promising myself that I will take a course but still I haven't LOL. I think you are doing the right thing and as long as you don't get too down when things don't work as you would like that's good.

Looking forward to seeing the next experiment.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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others have mentioned the technical aspects of the composition and i agree. i also thing the sky looks way too Cyan, at least on my monitor.

i also applaud you for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things. as is always the case when we try something a bit out of our ordinary, you will win some and you will lose some. but every shot is a learning experience. i very much enjoy the way you approach your photography, with alot of planning, logic, and are always keen to get feedback and critique yourself as well. this will serve you very well. and i always look forward to seeing what you show us next.
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Old Jan 9, 2010, 7:43 PM   #9
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Hmmm... My first impression was similar, and I find the halo on the horizon to give the impression of severe vignetting of the lens.
When I zoomed it in to fill my monitor, I got the feeling of depth of the well and the panorama which seems to be what you were going for, and I really like it. The small size simply does not do the photo justice.

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