Glowing Trees

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by majgeek, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. majgeek

    majgeek TPF Noob!

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    I was on vacation in Romania a while back, and they have some beautiful old-growth trees there. I was walking up a trail and came upon a huge old tree that was just perfect, and the sun was to the left behind the tree shining through the leaves making them glow an emerald green. I have never been able to sucessfully capture "glowing" trees, and this time was no different. They always come out looking dull.

    Anyone have pointers on how to capture that glow?
     
  2. Innocence

    Innocence TPF Noob!

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    i'm a total newbie, haha i actually had a go of trying to get something like this, i just overexposed. I took about 30 shots of the tree, with different exposures because back then i didnt know what the diff was between trading a stop of aperature for a stop of shutter speed etc.
     
  3. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure off the top of my head. It might help if you posted the pic so myself and others could take a look.
     
  4. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    The contrast between the sky and the leaves/branches is far too high to successfully capture in one exposure. This seems an excellent candidate for the 'HDR' technique (High Dynamic Imaging): basically, you do separate exposures for the sky and for the leaves (tripod!), then merge/blend 'm in PP.
     
  5. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    well, depending on the leaves it may not be outside the dynamic range. if your shooting film you could over expose a few stops and underdevelop %30-%40. and get more detail in the shadows (i think thats right) and for the glow you could print out of focus for a sec.
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'd agree overexposing with print (not slide) film is probably the easiest way to do it. If using a digital SLR then use RAW instead of jpeg.
     
  7. majgeek

    majgeek TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I have tried the "HDRI" technique before. Once when I was in Yosemite, I was taking pictures of the Cathedral Rocks and the sun was starting to set, casting beautiful red tones across the cliff faces. The foreground was very dark but there was a nice reflection in the water. I was shooting both film and digital. I set up my tripod and bracketed several shots with exposures for the rocks and sky, then shot several more for the foreground and water. I combined the images later and it worked like a charm.

    So thanks for the reminder W. Smith, I will try the 'HDRI' technique next time I shoot trees. I will try the other suggestions too.

    Majgeek.

    P.S. Just for the record, technically what is being discussed is not 'HDRI' (High Dynamic Range Imaging) but 'IDR' (Increased Dynamic Range) also called 'DRI', 'Expanded Dynamic Range', or 'Digital Blending.'

    'HDRI' is much more than taking two or three pictures and putting them together. 'HDRI' requires multiple exposures to pick up details in all the different shadows, mid-tones and highlights and then combining them into a 32bit image using special methods. An image is produced that is quite different from traditional photography.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I guess it depends on what you are trying to do. With a back lit tree...an average exposure (from the camera meter) would probably get a little shadow detail (but muddy looking) and the bits of light would probably still be too bright. I would try under exposing rather than over exposing. The tree would go dark...but you should get more of that glowing color in the back light. Rather than a glowing tree...it's more of a tree silhouette with a glowing background. Something to try anyway.
     

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