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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Newbie - Small waterfall in Forest

Hi all, I am starting out with this great hobby, and currently consider myself a newbie. This is my first post in the critique forum, so be gentle

I have started reading a book to learn more about photography, but I also think that some constructive criticism regarding some of my photos would be an excellent opportunity to learn more, hence this post.

About the photo:
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I took a long walk in the forest and stumbled upon this small waterfall, and it absolutely blew me away. It was so beautiful. I should note that I love water and running water in general so I might be impartial. I tried my best to capture the scene as I saw it, it was around mid day.

Technical info about the shot:
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Captured with my Canon 400D camera. I shot it in RAW format, what you see here is a downscaled version (20% of the original size) in JPEG for size limitations.
Shutter speed: 1/10th of a second.
Aperture: f/14.0
Exposure Bias: 0
ISO: 800
Flash off
Computer modifications: None (I use GIMP, can't afford Photoshop)

How do you like the scenery as well as the composition of the picture ?
Also, is the picture overexposed in the water part or too dark in the shadows ? From what I can remember the picture is pretty close to what it looked like when I took it (aka the stones were in the shades and hence very dark)
What modifications, if any, would you do to enhance this photograph ?

I am considering buying a large printout of it, so I want it to look at its best

Thanks in advance for all tips
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:30 AM   #2
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hi henrik .... the shot you have posted as great potential however it appears to be soft and not quite sharp so this could result in problems when printing can you download infranview and resize resample + sharpen and post it again to see if there is any difference.

just a slight sharpen from the image provided it would look better from the original


Last edited by simple; Aug 25, 2009 at 11:36 AM.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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henrik you also say you shot the image in raw? you could always try this download the trial of this http://www.hdrsoft.com/ open up the program then just drag and drop the raw file into the user face and try and create a peusdo image maybe ?
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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Hey, and thanks for the great input - I am thriled you liked the shot !

I didn't notice that the image was kinda blurry until I saw your version. Thanks for pointing that out. I took multiple shots of the waterfall, but I had no tripod so I am unsure whether I can keep any of them. I have one at shutter speed 1/80 thats probably sharp, but then I lose some of the "silky water" effect that I like in the photograph.

PS: I run on a mac, and so far I seem to have some small issues resizing my images. I have used Imagewell for my resizing and GIMP as well, but not entirely happy with the results.

Am I allowed to post a full size (JPG version, not RAW) picture here, or is that too much ?

EDIT: I guess I might have a problem since all my shots of this scenery were dont without a tripod. Is it possible to sharpen it up or is it plain better to wait for nice weather and go for a bike ride with a tripod and camera on my back ?

Kind regards Henrik

Last edited by HenrikH; Aug 25, 2009 at 11:58 AM.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 12:02 PM   #5
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Henrik,

as mentioned previously, good potential here, and a good entry into our forums.

I cannot comment on the original sharpness, as the original image is not downloading for some reason.

i think the idea of using the hdr software for a pseudo hdr image is a great idea as this scene just has a lot of contrast between the shadows and the sunlit areas, making a good exposure difficult.

some general tips. if you want a silky smooth water look, you will need a tripod and a longer exposure, you may need a neutral density (think sunglasses for your lens) to achieve this.

for these type images, i tend to prefer them slightly "underexposed", so u may try bracketing a few different exposures. i find it gives it a lil more pop to the colors and makes for a little more atmosphere.

i don't use mac, so i am not the best to answer questions regarding image editing and resizing for them.

welcome and thanks for sharing.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 3:51 PM   #6
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I have a Mac in front of me, a Mac by my right elbow and a Mac behind me. Id say I was a Mac user. When you size your shots in Photoshop when your image is almost full screen in height and/or width at 100% size then thats how it will appear when you upload it. Another rule of thumb I use is to keep the jpeg size down to less than 160 Kb. This should give you the largest size of any photo you wish to post.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 4:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips to you as well Bynx.

I do not use Photoshop (I use GIMP as a free version), and I am VERY new to that as well, so my knowledge is basically zero when it comes to enhancing the photos in either of those programs.

I do however use iPhoto, and am considering buying Aperture for more advanced editing should I need it for my photos.

Unfortunately, this also means that the picture I posted is probably doomed, since its kinda unsharp - meaning I think I will need to capture it again, this time with a tripod. From what I know its basically impossible to "rescue" an unsharp picture into a crisp sharp one ?

Best regards Henrik
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 5:23 PM   #8
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Henrik -

A fine first attempt at a difficult subject! Even if it is not technically the best it could be, you certainly show some fine photographic and compostional skills.
I have taken MANY waterfall shots, and would like to offer a few suggestions: Yes, do use a tripod - unless you are a lot steadier-handed than most people, it's really tough to get a sharp picture at slow shutter speeds. (Some of my favorite waterfall shots have been 10 seconds or longer exposures!). If you don't have an easily portable tripod, try leaning your camera (and yourself) against a tree, or large rock, or some other stable surface. If you can, get an ND filter to allow you to use even slower shutter speeds. I like to use a CP filter to help cut glare off of rocks, but that is just personal taste. Also consider going back on a dark, cloudy day, so you won't have to fight with the wide dynamic range. And my best waterfall pictures come in our wettest seasons (late winter through early spring), when water levels are highest.
As far as software, I use GIMP on the mac a lot too - there are a number of free downloadable scripts that can help with things like sharpening, HDR, etc. Try looking here: http://registry.gimp.org/
Hope this is of some help. And thanks for sharing your lovely image of a great discovery!

(PS - if you'd like to see some of my waterfall photos, I have a number of them posted at the Pentax DSLR part of these forums).
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 6:22 PM   #9
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As simple said, if you sharpen your original it will look at least as good as what he has done with the lo res version, or even better using the hi res version. Dont give up. Every photo can be made into something else with some post production.
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