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Another Baker shot

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2006, 09:48 AM
Ken Rogers's Avatar
Ken Rogers Ken Rogers is offline
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Another Baker shot

Here is yet another picture of Mount Baker from me. I like this shot very much, because it was a gorgeous sunny day, and I seldom take such sharply focused pictures. I would like your critique/help with the foreground terrain especially, and anything else you might feel needs work.

I let auto-levels bring this image to life (Occasionally I get lucky with auto-levels). I then multiplied the sky, applied with a gradient mask. I added some yellow to the foreground, and brightened it as well. I stamped out the trees at the bottom left. I sharpened with unsharp mask, first with a small radius of 1.2, then a higher radius of 2.5 (I don't recall the amounts). I then ran the image through neat image.

I'm not really happy with the overall composition. Does the foreground clash with the mountain in terms of color and detail? Should I do more to the foreground?

Ken
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File Type: jpg before.jpg (43.0 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg after.jpg (90.0 KB, 50 views)
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:42 PM
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Hi there, Ken,

You're right. The photo is great but the composition isn't helping any.
composition is a tricky subject, with no solid right and wrongs, but one thing pretty much agreed upon is that the main line of the image should not be exactly in the middle - which is what happened here.

In the attachment you'll see a composition guide that I use for such things. The blue and red lines are marked at the "Golden mean" and its subdivisions.
As you can see, your line of interest goes straight though the middle.

If you shift up, or down, to get your line onto one of the "Golden" lines, as in the other attachments, you'll get a more pleasing composition.

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File Type: jpg Mountain-Middle-byRo.jpg (98.4 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Mountain-High-byRo.jpg (99.9 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Mountain-Low-byRo.jpg (97.3 KB, 21 views)
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:59 PM
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Ken Rogers Ken Rogers is offline
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Thank you! I really like the "Mountain High" version. I'm familiar with the rule-of-thirds, but wasn't really sure where to put the mountain. Shifting the mountain upwards (your second attachment) puts some focus on the foreground terrain.

Ken
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:09 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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i'm also a little curious as to why you chose to leave the foreground in darkness.

i like the image too, but like Ro said, the composition is a bit too straight on. i'd have been tempted to clone a bit of the left side into the right side and then crop out a bit of the sky. i didnt on the attached image. i just wanted to show the foreground here. it's worth seeing.

craig
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File Type: jpg after-1-k-1.jpg (96.9 KB, 30 views)

Last edited by Craig Walters; 02-13-2006 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:58 AM
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Ken Rogers Ken Rogers is offline
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Thanks Kraellin & byRo,

I really should have bracketed this shot for different exposures. The foreground is so badly exposed that my repair efforts tend to look fake (I won't even post them, out of shame... ). Now I must wait, poised with camera, for another glorious day to come along.

Ken
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:05 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ken,

the foreground is easy to bring out here. the reason i even noticed it was due to adding an adjustment layer of contrast/brightness. when i did that to the overall, i then made a selection of the darker bottom half and ran another contrast/brightness on just that. i was quite surprised to see so much detail there. normally, in a darkened area like that you tend to lose a lot of the detail. so, it's actually to your credit in the picture taking that you got so much of it.

craig
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Old 02-16-2006, 02:18 AM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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It's not that bad

It's a gorgeous photo of Mt Baker. You can see Mt. Baker from Portland (where I live) on a clear day. Your foreground has plenty of detail.

Using Paintshop Pro X:

I used the select color range tool and applied that selection to a curve adjust layer--roughly equivalent to +1EV boost in the sunlit area and +0.5EV in the shade (I thought keeping contrast between sun and shade looks a bit better.)

Used the same selection to mask the clarify filter to clarify the foreground some more (hardly an image comes along that I can't find an excuse to use the clarify filter!) Finally did some color balancing to the foreground to make it "fit" with the rest of the picture and then a little bit of color balance to the whole thing. Please don't take that last color balance step as any sort of advice. I have no idea what the "correct" color balance should be. I'm just sliding things around until they look good.

You can do all of this stuff in Photoshop except the clarify filter. Unsharp with large radius (~40) will likely serve as a satisfactory alternative to clarify in this case.

Bart
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File Type: jpg mt_baker_boost_foreground.jpg (65.5 KB, 26 views)
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:23 PM
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Bart,

That's it, that's what the foreground needed. Thanks for your input (and thanks everyone else, as always)

Roger
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