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Old May 25, 2009, 1:29 AM   #11
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Do you mind if someone plays a bit with your picture? Since you asked about the first one, I downloaded it and tried editing it in ACR (you could do the same thing in Lightroom), adding fill light to lighten the darks and then tried using recovery on the light sky, but it doesn't have much effect on jpg files. I thought it came out better. If you want, I can post my edit - it's not perfect, but I thought it brought out more detail in the bark without blowing away all that lovely green crowns of the trees. Give it a try. Beyond that - the scene is really beyond the camera's dynamic range and about the only way to improve beyond what I came up with is to shoot bracketed shots and do an HDR.

As far as the others - it looks like you are getting a really good feel for the camera. The two pictures above the last one (Horseback Ridge and Stamping Ground Ridge pictures look a bit dark on my monitor. I'm using just my laptop as I am out of town, but it usually runs lighter than it probably should. If they were mine I'd probably use a levels adjustment layer to adjust that a bit. Otherwise they are beautiful pictures, and I sure wish I were there than sweltering in desert heat!

P.S. - Forgot to mention that I like your back-lit fern. Those types of pictures appeal to me.

Last edited by mtngal; May 25, 2009 at 1:31 AM. Reason: added a forgotten thought
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Old May 25, 2009, 4:13 AM   #12
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Great series (again)

I've got the same feeling about Stamping Ground Ridge and Horseback Ridge, they come out a bit dark on my monitor.

Don't ask me for a fav, because that would be unfair to the other shots.

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Old May 25, 2009, 6:19 AM   #13
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Nice series, the fern is my favourite.
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Old May 25, 2009, 10:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
And also Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis). I took a LOT of shots of this rather rare lily, not sure if I like this one. What do you think?
Hey Mole,
All your shots are wonderful! I can't make any comments on color or contrast as my monitor isn't showing me what it should but, I think this shot would improve with a deeper DOF to bring a little more of the flower into focus.
just my opinion.
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Old May 25, 2009, 10:28 AM   #15
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All very nice shots. Your doing very well with the KM. Two ridge top shots are a little dark. Your fern photo looks great.
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Old May 26, 2009, 11:09 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the comment and excellent feedback!

Harriet - please feel free to "tweak" any photo I post here. The only software I have is Elements 2.0 and Gimp 2.6! I did download a free HDR software called Photosphere, but have not had time to try it.

Ronny and BeachBoy- I do have a habit of shooting a bit too dark. Will try lightening these. Thanks!

Rodney - Thanks! I enjoy the amazing diversity of ferns we have here!

GW - I had a lot of trouble with the DOF on this wildflower - it was dark and windy, and hard to catch a moment between the breezes when the plant wasn't shaking. But here are two more shots -see if you like them better.
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Old May 26, 2009, 10:11 PM   #17
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Here's what I came up with for the tree. It was a quick edit, I'm sure it could be improved, especially using the original file.
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Old May 28, 2009, 4:42 PM   #18
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Thanks! That looks so much better! Can you tell me how you did it?
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Old May 28, 2009, 10:45 PM   #19
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I didn't do much. I use Lightroom quite a bit and like their controls for adjusting exposure and contrast. Adobe's Camera Raw has the same controls, so what I did was open the picture in ACR (you can do that in either CS4 or the current version of PSE) first. Then I used the "fill light" slider to lighten just the shadows, which made the trunk lighter. I was worried about shifting the lights too much, so I used the recovery slider to keep the sky (very light) from blowing out. It didn't make much difference - it might have if the original was shot in raw. That left the mid-tones (including your leaves) alone. This method is gentler than using a levels adjustment layer in Photoshop. You could probably do something similar with a curves layer, but I'm not very good with curves, its almost too adjustable and it takes a careful touch, something I've never developed.
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