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Old Oct 10, 2007, 11:54 AM   #1
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I'm not sure if I should be posting photos in here for thoughts/advice/critique, so before I do, let me know if I should be posting them in another section of the forum.

My two main concerns from my photos were exposure and haze. In the first set of shots that I'll post, the main subject was usually set under a cloudy or partly cloudy sky. However, I want to include the sky in a small portion of the photo to display the outline of the landscape and the clouds are over-exposed as the sun is trying to burn through.

In the second set of shots, I'm trying to capture coastal lines under sunny or partly sunny skies and am constantly faced with haze that to me takes away from the clarity of the image.

If anyone can speak to this and let me know if posting a handful of shots here would be appropriate, that would be excellent.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 3:45 PM   #2
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Hi Cristovao

Please post/upload the pictures so that we may be able to help out.

Cheers

HarjTT

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Old Oct 10, 2007, 8:51 PM   #3
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OK, here are some examples where I have a bit of over exposure. In each case, I actually turned the exposure compensation down but didn't want to go any further in fears of under exposing the shaded areas/subject.







In these two examples, there is a bit of haze. I realize that I can only capture what nature presents me and that there are probably some filters that I can add to the lens to help alleviate this, but is there something I can do with the camera settings to help as well?




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Old Oct 11, 2007, 3:03 AM   #4
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The haze is caused by water drops in the air reflecting UV-a light. In the days of film a simple UV filter on the lens would be the first port of call and it may have helped. But withdigital sensors a UV filter is good for protecting the front element, but it doesn't do muchif anything thatis noticable on the image.

You can however buy 'Haze' filters.Thesefilter UV-a light andcan sharpen up the tones and the detail on the horizon. But there is a downside in that they add an element of yellow to the imagethat may needprocessing out.

Your second image down would stump many people in attempting to meter for such a scene. A graduated neutral density filter may help with exposure, as it would 'if' the fisheye picture wasn't fisheye (if you see what I mean). For myself I would use a tripod and take four or five pictures of the rocks with an expose range of -4 to +4 stops (for instance, you need to experiment), then blend them into a high dynamic range image in Photoshop or some other 'of the shelf' software like Photomatix. In the old days of black and white film getting tone in both sky and rocks in such pictures was taken care of by using 'The Zone System', which was akin to reading a book of spells and standing around a bubbling pot of frogs and spiders. Nowadays it is all done automatically and all you need is the software and a tripod.
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 9:15 AM   #5
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I guess then my goal of just simply taking photos and eliminating those nasty natural elements without the aid of software isn't realistic. I have never gone in depth on any imaging software, nor do I have the desire to (which is strange seeing as my profession is actually IT). Honestly, I just want to compose the shot, select the right settings and have them turn out like I see other professional or semi-pro photographers printed in magazines or posted on-line. I suppose that they probably use software to touch up their photos to make them look so remarkable.

Any other thoughts?
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
and have them turn out like I see other professional or semi-pro photographers printed in magazines


Software is only doing whatused to goon in the darkroom or lab. And you won't find many landscape photographers, and almost certainly none at allwho publish, who don't do some post processing tomake the printinto thepicturethey 'saw', rather leaving it purely to what the camera records. The bottom line is that the cameras sensor records much less than the eye sees, so some 'compensation' to make the print look the same as it was in your eyes/head is essential.

I wouldn't worry about 'touching up' photo's as being less than true to nature and what is in front of you. After all, you have alreadyimposed yourideas and manipulatedthe landscapeby simply choosing a viewpoint and pressing the shutter! After going that far you may as well make sure the clouds look like clouds......
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 10:43 AM   #7
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Fair enough. Any suggested applications I should use without breaking the bank or having to invest weeks of learning?
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 11:29 AM   #8
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Hi Cristovao: Since you want to test the software waters before spending any money, try some freeware. There are a couple of pretty good free programs available for download on the internet. I often use a free program called PhotoFiltre. I find it both effective and simple to use. I often use it for quick fixes instead of using my high priced programs. Based on the photos you posted, a few quick adjustments would probably provide results that you would like.

http://www.photofiltre.com/

Another free program that I've found handy is Irfanview.

http://www.irfanview.com/


Good luck, and have fun experimenting.

Steven
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Old Oct 12, 2007, 3:30 AM   #9
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Excellent suggestions from Steven R. These are good programmes.

I'd just add that when you start looking in magazines you will often read that people use Adobe Photoshop. This is the standard software, where it does a very good job and everybody knows what you are talking about when asking 'techincal' questions along the 'how do I...' line. There are plenty of tutorials printed and discussions about it. So for a purchase, rather than free software, I'd add Adobe'Photoshop Elements 6' as a recommendation.
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Old Oct 15, 2007, 1:46 PM   #10
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Here's one I found last year and it's about all I use anymore. The retouch program on it is great. http://www.heliconsoft.com/A lifetime subscription is only $79.00 and you get all the updates from now on.

DonR
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