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Old Oct 17, 2012, 10:56 AM   #1
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Default Hang glider at Hyner's Point State Park (help with pp please)

Last Thursday I took a (very long!) day-trip up to Northern Pennsylvania to see the Elk herd and some of the state parks. At one overlook, a big hanggliders club was having their big East Coast last hurrah of the season.



I gotta say that I like this shot a lot. But it doesn't look quite "right" to me yet. The hills and trees look too blue (or something) and contrasty to my eyes maybe--part of the issue is that I can't really put my finger on what I think is wrong. Any suggestions? Is there some kind of white balancing or other adjustments to make? Or just leave well-enough alone? I'm sure at least part of it was because of where the sun was hitting.

This was with my E-PL-2 and the Panny 45-200 lens, at f 5.6 because I wanted to get a high shutter speed. Smaller hole in the lens would have made the background more in focus but there's not much I can do about that now.

I have some OK shots of the Elk and some other random scenery, but right now I'm just really stuck on the above shot.


Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Oct 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM.
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 1:16 PM   #2
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If you want to change the white balance, I think you needed to have the photo shot in RAW. That way you can go back and adjust the image.

I opened it quickly in Olympus Photo Viewer 2 and messed around with the tone curves and contrast a tiny bit. I think this brings out the glider a bit more and creates more depth between him and the ground.



Its definitely overdone (maybe in a larger size photo the darker areas would look better) but I think this is the direction you want to go in.

Last edited by drew881; Oct 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM.
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 2:07 PM   #3
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Thanks Drew. Yeah, I have the original in raw--this was just a working JPG I uploaded to flickr last night to see what I thought about it "the day after." Ha. Usually I get in so deep that I just end up making matters worse.

I think what you have is on the right track. I guess I just need to mess with it a little longer.

Would a polarizer have helped at all? I don't have one the correct size for this lens, but I can't help but think I did or didn't do something obvious that would have made it better.

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Old Oct 17, 2012, 3:35 PM   #4
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The polarizer will only work at its best if you are perpendicular to where the sunlight is coming from. This shot looks like the sun is coming from your left, so it could have helped. The polarizer would have helped the most however if you wanted to capture the sky above the hills, and it would render the color of the sky through whatever haze there is.

I like using the polarizer for outdoor shots like these and will take a few shots with varying degrees of polarization by adjusting the filter. Of course in this instance with the moving handglider it would be tough to do that.
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 3:37 PM   #5
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G'day Sammy

Presuming you have PS Elements - or something similar

Go into the Qwik-Fix menu > choose auto Levels & auto Colours and the result looks like Drew's result above. 2 mouse clicks is all it takes

Hope this helps
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 4:07 PM   #6
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I like Drew's fix as well. It also colored up the leaves nicely.
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Old Oct 17, 2012, 8:25 PM   #7
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Thanks guys.

Still working. Here's one from the same basic location that I got what looks (to me) to be the pretty good colors.



Ha, so I know it's in there, somewhere.
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Old Oct 18, 2012, 4:25 PM   #8
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yeah I agree with what others have said. I think starting with the RAW file and using a curve to improve contrast will make the hang glider really stand out, sorta like Drew did.

I would ask yourself before you start; what is my goal? what is the focus of the shot?

I say this because you mentioned wishing you had better depth of focus so that the background would be clearer. To me that maybe exactly the issue that you are having trouble putting your finger on, that there is too much going on in the background pulling the eye away from the central subject. I think once you determine your goal you can better get there.
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Old Oct 18, 2012, 10:21 PM   #9
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Does this look better/worse/much the same? It's not exactly what I was thinking (never is) but to me at least the background trees are a more pleasing color (trees being typically green and not blue).




For the record I like what Drew did though . . . I might try darkening the darks a bit more. I like the green of the fields directly below, but as racewan mentioned it might be a bit distracting from the main point here. Darkening EVERYTHING a tad and then bringing the "kite" back up to almost being blown out might be worth trying.

Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Oct 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old Oct 18, 2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew881 View Post
The polarizer will only work at its best if you are perpendicular to where the sunlight is coming from. This shot looks like the sun is coming from your left, so it could have helped. The polarizer would have helped the most however if you wanted to capture the sky above the hills, and it would render the color of the sky through whatever haze there is.

I like using the polarizer for outdoor shots like these and will take a few shots with varying degrees of polarization by adjusting the filter. Of course in this instance with the moving handglider it would be tough to do that.
I have a polarizer to fit my 14mm but not the 45200. I intentionally cropped out the skies in a lot of my shots this time, because I seemed to be using the zoom a lot. It's a happy accident though because I think it made a lot of shots more interesting. In this shot, for example, the hilltops weren't really that much above the top of the frame. I think it looks better this way when all I was really trying to do was avoid the blown out sky.

(A few from the 14 for reference)






Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Oct 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM.
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