Olympus UK E-System User Group

Olympus UK E-System User Group (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/index.php)
-   Looking for improvement (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=22)
-   -   The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road. (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=21531)

Floribunda 5th July 2012 07:58 AM

The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
One of our favourite drives in South Australia is along Pine Hut Road, which runs along the top of the Barossa Range.
We always enjoy seeing these drystone walls which stretch for many kms and marvel at the strength and fortitude of the early settlers who constructed them.

These were posted in Foto Fair and were dead and buried without a single response.
I am resurrecting them here in the hope of some cc to help me photograph them better next time.
I find the perspective really difficult and once again it was the middle of the day so not ideal for landscapes.

http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/v...ofrange800.jpg

http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/v...paddock800.jpg

http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/v...newalls800.jpg

Ross the fiddler 5th July 2012 11:08 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Lyn, I did mean to comment, but sometimes the threads come in a bit thick & fast & it drops off the front page quickly. I think you've shown them well with what appears (to an Aussie) to be typical of British country drystone walls. Now lets hear a Brit shoot me down in flames if I have missed something. ;)

*chr

Chevvyf1 5th July 2012 12:00 PM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Lyn, I thought "Yorkshire" landscapes :) although, the blue blue skies would be unusual, I think !

Floribunda 6th July 2012 01:40 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross the fiddler (Post 174899)
Lyn, I did mean to comment, but sometimes the threads come in a bit thick & fast & it drops off the front page quickly. I think you've shown them well with what appears (to an Aussie) to be typical of British country drystone walls. Now lets hear a Brit shoot me down in flames if I have missed something. ;)

*chr

Hi Ross - I know that over the weekend especially a heap of posts come in and can get lost.
I have no confidence with landscapes, so when I don't get even one reply I think - "Right, got it wrong again"! :D
Thanks for the reply! :)

Floribunda 6th July 2012 01:43 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 (Post 174904)
Lyn, I thought "Yorkshire" landscapes :) although, the blue blue skies would be unusual, I think !

Chevvy, I would think that on some days on the top of this range it would be pretty bleak. :(
I guess drystone walls for England are pretty ho-hum, but they are a rarity in Oz, especially on this scale.
It is ironic that this range adjoins our beautiful Barossa Valley, one of the most fertile spots in Australia and a leading wine-growing area.
Thanks for the reply.

Lee 6th July 2012 08:44 PM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Nice to see a drystone wall AND sunshine in the same photograph. Particularly like the first picture, very good leading line.

Floribunda 7th July 2012 05:45 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lee (Post 175090)
Nice to see a drystone wall AND sunshine in the same photograph. Particularly like the first picture, very good leading line.

Thank you Lee for looking, and especially for commenting. :)

Phill D 7th July 2012 08:18 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Yep those drystone walls are everywhere here in Derbyshire we are very proud of them and it's great to see the Aussie ones bathed in sunshine. Not much chance of that here at the moment. I didn't know it was done in Australia too.

Cathrine Stephansen 7th July 2012 09:35 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Hi, Lyn! Since you've posted these in the looking for improvement section, and it's a place you visit often, I'll focus on improvement points, as these are very nice images which deserve comments.

First of all, I see you say you've used a compact, the C-760? This limits some of the options you would have for making the most out of a daylight landscape photo. You have a lot of very bright light in Oz (I bet your winters are twice as bright as our summers :D) although I've only been Down Under in November, March and April...

Next time, bring the E520 and that super landscape lens, the SWD 12-60 and a tripod if you have or can borrow one. That lens is great for landscapes. I hope my screen is still well calibrated, but I am commenting on what I'm seeing on the screen, so you need to take my comments with that in mind! I would like to see a bit more depth in the colour tones in the images, they lack a bit of saturation and contrast. This can be done in post-processing, by using the levels or curves tools. What I would do on a landscape shoot is use filtering of the light and shooting RAW. I see the C-760 can shoot in TIFF format, uncompressed, this would also give you some more options for post-processing improvement than just JPEGs. I have stopped taking JPEGs althogether. A polariser is great for bright sunny days, it brings out the colours better, and does wonders for clouds. In conditions where highlights are blown in the clouds, I use a graduated neutral density (ND) filter to make the camera see the landscape more like our eyes do, often in combination with the polariser.

The beauty of photographing in RAW (E520) is that in the RAW converter, you can add a graduated filter in the processing. I very rarely do anything in Photoshop anymore, if I need to adjust the exposure because the conditions in the field were outside the capabilities of the equipment I brought, I adjust in the RAW converter. In the field I expose to the right, and bring it down later if necessary, then I lose as little as possible.

But - for the images you have here, I would add a bit more saturation, and bring out the tones a bit more in the program you have. Most programs will have a function for this. I have had a play with them i Photoshop, and adding a warming filter (10 %) gave them a nice tone without being too artificial, I also deepened the tones using the curves tool.

Composition and perspective, first photo. This scene has a lot of potential and I think you've got a lot of things right. You have a line formed by the wall, and the horizon nicely on the upper 1/3 of the image. But the dry wall leading line leads to a tree that is partly cropped, which disturbes the composition. Suggestion for a slight different positioning and composition would be to stand in the same place, but frame the scene by aiming the camera a bit down (very little - just to give the wall more drama) and to the right, to include the whole tree. There seems to be a bit of branch in the far right of the image, indicating that there is another tree there. To leave this one out and get a clear view of the tree we want whole, you could move a bit closer to the wall if possible. This might also make the leading line stronger and give a more dramatic perspective if you use 12 mm and get the closest stones bigger. You could even try standing on the wall for a different view. I've played with it to indicate what I mean. As you can see, to get this without visiting Lyn and taking the image, I used content-aware fill in Photoshop and some rather quick and dirty cloning to make a sketch of the composition. I've also added a 10 % warming filter and deepened the tones using the curves tool. Just a bit, it's a daylight photo and you don't want an artificial storm...

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1...Floribunda.jpg

In the second image, the same tips for exposure and post-processing, including increasing the saturation a bit. The composition has a lot of elements and you need to decide on what are the main elements and what are the supporting ones. The tree to the left is a bit disturbing to me. If it had been in front of the wall you could have used it as a natural frame for the sheep somehow, but I'm not too sure. Experiment! :D

One option you could experiment with is to skip the tree and focus on the other elements: Wall, hills and sheep. Maybe you could move away from the wall a bit and frame them with a short telelens or the 60 mm. (OK, maybe bring that 75-300 mm and a tripod). Full depth of field! Using a telelens and shooting from a distance is sometimes a nice effect in scenes like this where you want to bring hills in the background closer (compressing). This of course depends on whether there is a raging bull in the field where you have to stand moving away from the wall :D This calls for another day out in that favourite scene.

Another suggestion involves just simply cropping away a bit of the sky and the grass in front of the wall to simplify a bit. You could stand a bit higher if possible to lose more sky and gain more field with the sheep. In this crop I've included the tree, because now we've lost two unnecessary elements, the grass and most of a blown-out sky.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1...Floribunda.jpg

In the last one, I really like the odd stone out! I would give it more focus by moving closer to it and making it stand out. I've cropped your image to illustrate what I mean, also, deepened the tones in Curves, added 10 % saturation for a bit more drama and a warming filter (20 %).

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1...loribunda1.jpg

The warming filter illustrates what you could get with a warmer evening light, I guess. You'd just have to get out a bottle of wine and wait a bit... It's the Barossa Valley, right??

Anyway, just some suggestions from me.

Cathrine Stephansen 7th July 2012 11:51 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Hi again!

Our friend the ever-fiddling Ross knows more than me about reading the EXIF of posted images, so he has kindly pointed out that you DID use the E520 and 12-60. I thought that since you had C-760 under your signature and the rest of your equipment further down you were using the compact for the images in that post :D My mistake.

Anyway, you used the best kit, and the rest of my suggestions for post-processing and perpectives stand. Incidently if you did shoot these in RAW, you have the option of using the graduated ND filter over the skies to add a bit of tone and reducing the blown highlights, much as in-the-field filtering would do, at less cost. I use Lee filters I was given as a gift, and they are frightfully expensive :eek:, so I really like the "filter" in the RAW converter as it can be adjusted so much better. It can be used reversely to give more light if you have a too dark background as well.

Thanks, Ross for pointing out the mistake :D

Ross the fiddler 7th July 2012 01:18 PM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cathrine Spikkerud (Post 175141)
Thanks, Ross for pointing out the mistake :D

What mistake? ;) :D

Actually, my wife gets quite annoyed with me for pointing others mistakes. I really must "remove the log from my eye first". :o

Ann1e 7th July 2012 02:30 PM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Hello Lyn -

I plead 'not guilty' to ignoring your original post as I was happily lapping up the sun in Italy, as you now know!

I like all three shots, although the first one I think works best with the wall leading you into and round the pic. It is, indeed, almost a UK landscape with respect to the drystone walls surrounding the fields but the distant trees are a dead giveaway! :)

Regards,
Ann1e

Floribunda 8th July 2012 05:41 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cathrine Spikkerud (Post 175135)
Hi, Lyn! Since you've posted these in the looking for improvement section, and it's a place you visit often, I'll focus on improvement points, as these are very nice images which deserve comments.

First of all, I see you say you've used a compact, the C-760? This limits some of the options you would have for making the most out of a daylight landscape photo. You have a lot of very bright light in Oz (I bet your winters are twice as bright as our summers :D) although I've only been Down Under in November, March and April...

Next time, bring the E520 and that super landscape lens, the SWD 12-60 and a tripod if you have or can borrow one. That lens is great for landscapes. I hope my screen is still well calibrated, but I am commenting on what I'm seeing on the screen, so you need to take my comments with that in mind! I would like to see a bit more depth in the colour tones in the images, they lack a bit of saturation and contrast. This can be done in post-processing, by using the levels or curves tools. What I would do on a landscape shoot is use filtering of the light and shooting RAW. I see the C-760 can shoot in TIFF format, uncompressed, this would also give you some more options for post-processing improvement than just JPEGs. I have stopped taking JPEGs althogether. A polariser is great for bright sunny days, it brings out the colours better, and does wonders for clouds. In conditions where highlights are blown in the clouds, I use a graduated neutral density (ND) filter to make the camera see the landscape more like our eyes do, often in combination with the polariser.

The beauty of photographing in RAW (E520) is that in the RAW converter, you can add a graduated filter in the processing. I very rarely do anything in Photoshop anymore, if I need to adjust the exposure because the conditions in the field were outside the capabilities of the equipment I brought, I adjust in the RAW converter. In the field I expose to the right, and bring it down later if necessary, then I lose as little as possible.

But - for the images you have here, I would add a bit more saturation, and bring out the tones a bit more in the program you have. Most programs will have a function for this. I have had a play with them i Photoshop, and adding a warming filter (10 %) gave them a nice tone without being too artificial, I also deepened the tones using the curves tool.

Composition and perspective, first photo. This scene has a lot of potential and I think you've got a lot of things right. You have a line formed by the wall, and the horizon nicely on the upper 1/3 of the image. But the dry wall leading line leads to a tree that is partly cropped, which disturbes the composition. Suggestion for a slight different positioning and composition would be to stand in the same place, but frame the scene by aiming the camera a bit down (very little - just to give the wall more drama) and to the right, to include the whole tree. There seems to be a bit of branch in the far right of the image, indicating that there is another tree there. To leave this one out and get a clear view of the tree we want whole, you could move a bit closer to the wall if possible. This might also make the leading line stronger and give a more dramatic perspective if you use 12 mm and get the closest stones bigger. You could even try standing on the wall for a different view. I've played with it to indicate what I mean. As you can see, to get this without visiting Lyn and taking the image, I used content-aware fill in Photoshop and some rather quick and dirty cloning to make a sketch of the composition. I've also added a 10 % warming filter and deepened the tones using the curves tool. Just a bit, it's a daylight photo and you don't want an artificial storm...

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1...Floribunda.jpg

In the second image, the same tips for exposure and post-processing, including increasing the saturation a bit. The composition has a lot of elements and you need to decide on what are the main elements and what are the supporting ones. The tree to the left is a bit disturbing to me. If it had been in front of the wall you could have used it as a natural frame for the sheep somehow, but I'm not too sure. Experiment! :D

One option you could experiment with is to skip the tree and focus on the other elements: Wall, hills and sheep. Maybe you could move away from the wall a bit and frame them with a short telelens or the 60 mm. (OK, maybe bring that 75-300 mm and a tripod). Full depth of field! Using a telelens and shooting from a distance is sometimes a nice effect in scenes like this where you want to bring hills in the background closer (compressing). This of course depends on whether there is a raging bull in the field where you have to stand moving away from the wall :D This calls for another day out in that favourite scene.

Another suggestion involves just simply cropping away a bit of the sky and the grass in front of the wall to simplify a bit. You could stand a bit higher if possible to lose more sky and gain more field with the sheep. In this crop I've included the tree, because now we've lost two unnecessary elements, the grass and most of a blown-out sky.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1...Floribunda.jpg

In the last one, I really like the odd stone out! I would give it more focus by moving closer to it and making it stand out. I've cropped your image to illustrate what I mean, also, deepened the tones in Curves, added 10 % saturation for a bit more drama and a warming filter (20 %).

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1...loribunda1.jpg

The warming filter illustrates what you could get with a warmer evening light, I guess. You'd just have to get out a bottle of wine and wait a bit... It's the Barossa Valley, right??

Anyway, just some suggestions from me.

Hi Cathrine! Thank you very, very much for such a great cc. You have addressed so many of the thoughts and doubts that I had when doing the photos, and thank you for taking the time. I am sure your comments will help others as well as me.
Photo 1 - I hadn't picked up on the leading line going to that tree at all, so simple when you pointed it out.
Photo 2 - I should have thought of using the 70-300mm to bring the hills closer, and will try and remember this for next time. I see what you mean about the many elements, and like what you did by keeping the dead tree branch in.
Photo 3 - This was my favourite shot and it is great what your crop has done.
I wanted to make that odd stone the star, and it is amazing what lowering the sky with a crop has done.
I tried some closeups of the walls, but dismissed them all as in the end they just looked like a heap of rocks! :D
I have never shot in RAW, but will give it a go.
I always seem to err with the saturation, so will be bolder! :)
You made so many good points and I appreciate it. I find landscapes very daunting, but we love to travel, so I am determined to get better at it.

Your final idea about a nice bottle of Barossa Red sipped on the top of the range sounds pretty good to me! *yes Could guarantee some OOF shots though! :D

Thanks again Catherine. :)

Floribunda 8th July 2012 05:47 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
[QUOTE=Ann1e;175166]Hello Lyn -

I plead 'not guilty' to ignoring your original post as I was happily lapping up the sun in Italy, as you now know!

I like all three shots, although the first one I think works best with the wall leading you into and round the pic. It is, indeed, almost a UK landscape with respect to the drystone walls surrounding the fields but the distant trees are a dead giveaway! :)

Regards,
Ann1e[/QUOTE

Italy sounds like a pretty good excuse to me Ann1e! :D:D:D
No-one could ever accuse you of ignoring posts - you are always kind and responsive.
I badly wanted some cc on these shots as I knew they could be made better.
I love history and these walls have always held a fascination for me.
Thanks for looking, I hope to see many more Italian photos. *yes

Cathrine Stephansen 8th July 2012 11:34 AM

Re: The Drystone Walls of Pine Hut Road.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Floribunda (Post 175244)

Your final idea about a nice bottle of Barossa Red sipped on the top of the range sounds pretty good to me! *yes Could guarantee some OOF shots though! :D

Thanks again Catherine. :)

For this minor challenge there is autofocus and depth of field... And horizons may straightened in postprocessing :D*chr

On the David Noton workshop I went to in Dorset, we learnt to wait for the light. It is definately worth it!


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:17 AM.


The Write Technology Ltd, 2007-2019, All rights reservedAd Management plugin by RedTyger