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Old Jan 11, 2011, 10:39 AM   #1
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Default Thomas Bull Park in Montgomery, NY

I went to Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery to shoot winterscapes the day after our second snowstorm this season.

#1) This farm really isn't in Thomas Bull Park but along the road near the entrance. I stopped by the country roadside with my hazards flashing, got out, and started setting up my tripod. A man in a pickup truck plowing the farm's gravel path stopped and told me to park in the gravel path "so you won't be parked in the road." He was in camouflage suit and was waiting for a friend to go bird-hunting.

#2) Thomas Bull Memorial Park is big. It has ponds, walks, picnic areas, tennis courts, a golf course, stable, and other amenities. It is popular for snow-tubing during the winter. I didn't go deep in the park. This snow-covered pond is near the entrance.


#3) Bench and pine tree at Thomas Bull pond.


Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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Beautiful Images Billy, Love the lighting.
3 is my fave, but they are all lovely and have a lovely feel to them. The glitter like glistening of the snow in 2 is amazing.
Mark
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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Agree with Mark - 3 beautiful shots and great light - difficult to pick a winner, but it's #2 for me.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 12:42 PM   #4
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Another magic series by vvcarpio!

Very well spotted motives, well exposed and beautifully presented her. I specially love # 2 and # 3. Do I spot a bit of Topaz Adjust-treatment here after the usual HDR tonemapping?


Question about these shots directly against the sun - do you still make the ususal 3 exposures for DP-HDR - or do you increase the number of bracket-shots to let's say 5 or 7?

Best regards,
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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I like #3 best because the sun is not centered and there are interesting foreground elements. Very nice.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 2:13 PM   #6
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Thank you, all. I am thankful to JimC, too, for telling me about sRGB. The Adobe Camera RAW program which I use to convert and defringe my RAW shots into JPEG defaulted to Adobe RGB. I changed it to default to sRGB. I don't know yet how these edits will look on my home PC (hush -- I'm at work when I did these), but judging by your comments, I guess they're OK. sRGB also addressed my long-standing problem of my wallpapers displaying horribly on my desktop.

Mark, it was Walter S whose glitter in snowscapes I was introduced to about a year ago. During post-processing, I found that PS CS3’s “shadow highlight” tool (which defaults at a value of 50) made the glitter even more pronounced.

Frogfish and Walter C, I almost didn't do #3. My first edit of it was fuzzy and un-sharp (probably because one of my bracketed shots was soft) and decided to pass. But whenever I looked at my shots for what pic next to process, #3's thumbnail kept getting my attention so I decided to try again.

Walter S, I admire your works so your compliments when they come are much appreciated.

Yes, there's more than a bit of Topaz Adjust -- I used it for the skies in #2 and #3. For the #1 sky, I used Topaz Detail. I wanted the clouds to be well-defined but Adjust creates more grain than Detail so DeNoiseing afterwards makes my Adjust-edited skies not as sharp as I wanted. With Adjust it has been a tradeoff between grainy skies and well-defined clouds.

You can probably notice this in #2 where the sky still has some grain but looks sharper while in #3 the sky has no grain but it looks softer. Topaz Detail which I used in #1 introduces finer grain so sharpness doesn’t suffer as much after later DeNoiseing. (I remember mtngal’s comment where she said she didn't get the Topaz suite to bypass Adjust and instead bought Detail. Great skies can be achieved, too, like in Adjust but with less grain introduced.) I used Detail on all the foregrounds.

Yes, I now shoot at least 5 shots, often 7 or more. But I rarely if ever use my darker shots. I often use 5 or 7 of my exposures to create the HDR then pick one among the darker exposures (sometimes outside the 5 or 7 exposures) to use its sky so I get a not too-big sun, better cloud definition, and no ghosting due to cloud movement.

#4) For those returning here just to read responses, I added another pic so you'd see something new. It's of the same farm where I was allowed entry in its gravel path and so had a better spot to take shots from.

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Old Jan 12, 2011, 2:38 AM   #7
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VVC - thank you very much for the detailed explanation of your PP work. I often find this is as important to improving my shots as learning new photographic techniques.
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 7:32 AM   #8
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#3 is very good but #2 is my favourite. You have a nice balance of shadow and highlights here and to add to that the sparkles in the snow.
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 8:31 AM   #9
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Oh, my! Great picks.
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 9:11 AM   #10
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All three are great and I really like # 3 because of the other objects in it.
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