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Old Feb 21, 2005, 4:58 PM   #1
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Here's a shot from a bright day, 12x zoom of a subject 2.25 miles away, and at 4350 feet higher elevation - lowest setting for saturation, F/5.6, 1/800 sec, ISO-80, with 0.3 compensation to make sure highlights weren't in the least bit blown.

1) Almost straight off the camera with mild Neat Image on sky, then brought levels out a little closer to the edges on lows and highs (it was already very close, almost but not quite filling the histogram), then bicubic to 640 x 480 (EDIT: 960 x 720) with one pass of sharpening on everything but the sky:



2) Pretty much the same, but with saturation on entire pic brought up slightly after adjusting sky to what I recall the day looking like:



#1 is a more dramatic sky, but #2 is more what I was seeing and what some of the other photos from the same period reflect. The sky in the original was slightly darker than the norm anyway because of the - .3 exposure compensation, but also had a lot more red component which brought it closer to grey than the actual bright sunny sky looks like on a winter day at that time.

This was an fast correction because it was easy to nab a region with pretty clean edges and not too much purple fringing, and no other areas needed to be touched, though those chalky yellow-greenish areas on the cliffs were perhaps a little more like tanned skintone than seen here.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 5:30 PM   #2
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hooray we've got another post production guy You use almost exactly the same steps I do before posting a photo.

Nice correction. And a good shoot, you certainly know how to use the camera for a 1 week user (exposure stuff... ). Or is this the 10th digital camera you've owned :G
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 5:57 PM   #3
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Hey TimvdVelde,

Thanks : } ...Second camera, I bought a non-zoom Canon A300 (don't laugh) with a 512 CF and a charger and 6 extra NIMH last summer for $200. But during that time got to use a newspaper guy's mid-priced digicams a few times. But I shot industrial and band videos professionally a long time ago so I had a grasp of a few basics. White balance being a biggie ; }

This one was shot at full zoom from my backyard toward the end of sunset the evening before. That's the Big Mountain ski resort, beyond Whitefish Montana. F/4.0, 1/100, ISO 80. Then I stretched the levels slightly to come closer to the edge of the histogram (wanted to still keep it "soft" and to not blow the shadows in the foreground trees completely), did a pass of the entire image with Neat Image, boosted the saturation moderately (was at its lowest setting in the camera because I found that a higher setting exaggerates the FZ20's hue skew even more), and sharpened mildly after a bicubic shrink. I'll probably crop the top out to 4x6 aspect.



Those three trees in the foreground are maybe 125 yards from my backyard, the others ranging maybe double that and more. In the 2560 x 1920 you can clearly make out buildings up there at the top peak which is 17 miles away from my patio's picnic table I stood on, and down at the bottom of the runs on the left (as well as the tiny individaul lights that mark the edge of the cleared slopes), where all the night action happens. My band's played in the Beerstube there a few times...

EDITED for typos.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 6:40 PM   #4
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Here's an 8x zoom sunset out my front door. F/4.0, 1/160, ISO 80 {sure would hate to see that at ISO 200 ; } - one pass of Neat Image for the full image, mild saturation boost (it was already pretty colorful!) mildest focus enhancement, then bicubic resize and a sharpen to get it back where it was before the resize:



I think the FZ's characteristic color skew worked in the favor of this one, or at least reinterpreted an already nice display.
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 7:00 PM   #5
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This next one is almost off-topic since it's only 3x zoom or so ; } ...It's in the late morning on Apgar Creek at the foot of Lake McDonald in Glacier Park, looking though the mountain gaps toward the Garden Wall. Summer shots would tell you why it's name thusly - it's profuse with dozens of varieties of wildflowers. I love hiking up there and beyond.

Had to pull some red out of the sky to pull away from purplish grey, and I wish now I would have pulled a little out of the foliage on the tree to the right - that's NOT the way cedar here usually appears. Pulled just a bit of blue out of the mountains as they were almost ridiculously saturated, as well as the hill on the right behind the cedar which was also blue-tinged but is actually closer to black and burnt colors due to a huge forest fire a couple summers ago.

Some ducks there; barely specks at this resolution:

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Old Feb 21, 2005, 8:43 PM   #6
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This is a huge carved representation of a bald eagle a few miles before the West Glacier entrance, with subassemblies pegged together and onto, and then the head painted with (if I recall) aluminum and then slightly burnished. I think the bunting is someone's recent idea of patriotic opportunity, or maybe a sentiment they feel is worth expressing. That was shot at 7.5 x. To get an idea of the size, those gateway timbers are probably two and a half feet in diameter, with the top long enough to run a two lane road beneath...

The sky originally had a dull purplish cast - it seems like very slight haze just burning off in an otherwise bright [morning] sky brings that out according to the direction one is shooting relative to the sun. There was too also too much deep blue/purple tinge to the timbered hills beneath the mountains; in actuality those hills are partly burned off and mixed with standing live growth. You can see where the hillside on the right was cut into to stop the fire's spread.

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Old Feb 21, 2005, 8:59 PM   #7
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This is shot from the same position, nearly 12 x zoom of Mount Belton. On the other side is a huge glacier cirque. The main problem here again was a dulled and purplish sky, and the very steep slope to the left inundated with deep purple, supersaturated shadows. Took awhile to dig them out without destroying too much of the little color growing on that bleak near-grey rock, and making the thin snow color look even more patchy than it was.

Ditto for the clouds - correcting the sky color without making it too obvious in the cloud tone was tough. I'm not quite sure I feel I succeeded ; } ...But there's enough subtle filigreed detail on that hillside on up the face of those mountains up into the white to look pretty stunning at 2560 x 1920. It pretty much gets blurred together at this size. Still, its a postcard by my humble standards ; }

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Old Feb 21, 2005, 9:12 PM   #8
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i favor the print of the lake it's a wonderful capture ..reminds me of a frosty mourning looking out over the lake getting ready to step into my skiff ..taking a deep breath and just being amazed at the scope of mother nature...to look down the lake and wonder whats around the bend..
keep the xlnt tipps coming ...
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Old Feb 21, 2005, 9:25 PM   #9
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Looking three plus miles across Lake McDonald to Howe Ridge. I could never get this with a 3x zoom camera. I think I used around 7 or 8 ... Behind Howe Ridge is the area where the events in Night Of The Grizzlies actually took place. A great backpacking area with a few incredible lakes in between Howe and a much taller ridge of peaks. Lots and lots of huckleberries and some good fishing. Bears and berries... The hills below were logged back in the '30s so that is NOT old growth - I don't recall if it was Park at that time. There's still a smidgeon of private land below on the lake with summer home cabins on it, that must be worth a fortune.

Bottom right corner, you can see the edge of a considerable total burn. Those tamaracks/larch and mixed evergreens up there just to the left and above that are still living, but the lower trunks are bark-burned, and all the groundcover and lower branches burned as well... you can also see occasional patches where small groups of trees burnt totally.

I pulled quite a bit of blue out of the unburnt forest area on the far right by moving it maybe 20-some % around the color wheel. I also fixed the slightly purple-cast and dulled sky and pulled blue shadows off the sides of the snowy areas, mostly by just pulling saturation out. Unbroken or rocky snow's great that way ; }

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Old Feb 21, 2005, 9:39 PM   #10
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Hey jazzmaster,

Indeed, that morning the edge of the lake for quite a distance was still translucently frozen in many areas, and as I proceeded up the lake it began to break into thin shards and get tossed around by the crestlets, in the process making all kinds of great crystalline sounds. I got some good ice shots around the mouths of a couple creeks where formations were still built up pretty deep around the running pockets of water.

Yep, nature truly rules {not that I'm in much of a position at present to do the urban lense guerilla routine : }

...Here's my last for now - coming back from the end of the lake in the late afternoon, I took a couple of stereotypical specular lense distortion pics - with the sun just outside of the edge of the lense hood to barely keep it together. Not so fortuitously, there was a lone bald eagle hanging out in that tall snag near the waterline whose rushed 12x zoom pictures just didn't turn out for ca-ca ; }

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