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Amazing photographs!

Could you show us your example that you tried? An idea of the settings and how you shot and processed the photo as well as the equipment you used would be of great help. There could be any one of a number of contributing factors which are resulting in the differences between the photos and without an idea of how and what you're doing already its very hard to give exact advice.
 
I used a Nikon D3000, i had it on a tripod. I set the setting on the camera to Apperture mode and did the 3 images at 0 2.5 and -2.5 to compile them into an HDR format. I utilized the Aperture program on my mac to create this image. The time of day was approximately 1530. I just dont see the image as a "great shot" it looks very sub-par. thanks in advance for the help. http://db.tt/L5jRDztQ
 
It appears I can't see the photo at that host - try embedding the photo url between image tags like this:

[ img ] url of photo here [ /img ]

without the spaces - making sure its the photos url/address directly and not the page it is displayed upon (rightclick and properties on the photo should show the address/url line)
 
HDR%201%200001.jpg


Hope this link works!?

I didn't use any light, just the natural light. Are you saying to utilize flash? Or alternate light source of some kind?
 
Exposure looks good on yours, though the mountain region looks a little flat. Best things that will help you get more "punch" out of your shot, like you are seeing with the one you linked to is to consider and research the following:

1) Local contrast adjustments - this is using layermasks and is where you make local adjustments to sections of the photo, rather than to the whole photo. So in the above shot of your own you might only increase contrast in the mountain areas. Similarly you can use this basic method to adjust saturation, brightness, shadows, curves etc.. - basically anything with a local element. It's a very powerful form of editing and well worth learning.

2) Golden hours - the hour before and after sunset and sunrise are commonly referred to this way because they are the times of the day when the light from the sun is naturally at its softest and most even. Whilst also holding a very vivid element of colour. Midday light, by contrast, is very harsh, glaring and often lacks that warmth of colour. In landscape work this single element (light itself, not necessarily always the golden hours) is what will often split a good shot from a dull shot from an outstanding photo. The stories of landscape photographers travelling to the same spot day after day for weeks, months (even years sometimes) is not an exaggeration - its a mark of difference between good and excellent

3) Composition - this isn't just reading about the rule of thirds - there are leading lines, the golden circle, colours, brightness, etc... its a big topic and is another big change between shots that look snapshotty and those that look very good. Yours, by way of example (and to my eye) looks a little lacking in a "subject" or point of clear focus. The eye wanders and never really finds a point (or multiple points) of key interest to hold the gaze.
 
Overread! Thank you so much. That really helps, I appreciate the direct an honest input. It gives me a lot of good ideas to work with and progress. I'll save this shot as m "1st" and see what future shots bring. Thank you again. I really like the photos I attached that were done by the photographer "Bill" his photography an image edit skills are phenomenal.

Again thank you.
 
That picture looks like it had a lot of vibrance added to it. Vibrance differs from saturation in that it doesn't raise all the colors up evenly.
There also appears to be a lot of contrast among the hues. This produces the bigger range of colors that you see.
The picture had a lot of colors to work with as it was taken at sunrise.
If that was done to your picture it wouldn't look good. It would end up looking terrible like so.
2q00hoj.jpg

But there are some alternative ways you could edit your picture to make it look good. Sense the colors in your picture are boring, you could convert it to B&W. A very strong vignette to attract attention to one area of the picture might work well. You could try cross-proccessing the image. blurring the highlights for a dreamy feel. etc.
Try finding a picture with a lot of colors if you want to get a picture like the one you linked to.
HDR won't help you. HDR is only useful when you have clipped highlights or shadows.
The next article I plan on writing will be about color, so if you wait a couple weeks I should have a good article written on this subject.
 
That edit looks terrible (in my opinion)

The example photographer seems to do some hard wide shots which make them seem more unbelievable.
They're so wide it's obvious it wasn't a cellphone or a regular point and shoot camera.
Try shooting wide. It seems he merges the pictures together to give a wider shot (i can see a merging messup)

Overread mentions the Golden Hours. Try that.
Your picture looks like it was taken at noon with the sun at it's highest.
Also look around in the HDR section. Maybe that might interest you.
 
That edit looks terrible (in my opinion)

The example photographer seems to do some hard wide shots which make them seem more unbelievable.
They're so wide it's obvious it wasn't a cellphone or a regular point and shoot camera.
Try shooting wide. It seems he merges the pictures together to give a wider shot (i can see a merging messup)

Overread mentions the Golden Hours. Try that.
Your picture looks like it was taken at noon with the sun at it's highest.
Also look around in the HDR section. Maybe that might interest you.

I agree that edit does not work. The photos in the examples combined several techniques. The wide shots are stitched panoramas. It looks like HDR and other post processing is being used to get the dramatic colors and contrasts. Of course capturing the right time of day helps a lot.

To the OP...Try working that same area (is that Tramway in the foreground?)and both dawn and dusk. The sun breaking over the top of the mountains is perfect for HDR. Sunset lights up the face of the Sandias in that famous pink color that gives them their name. Don't for get to turn around for the city lights/sunset colors shot. Again, another HDR opportunity.

Your photo still has a bit more potential. The flat mid-day lighting makes it difficult to do much. I tried a real quick fix in Photomatix. More work could still be done with Photoshop and Topaz. It can be improved some, but re-shooting during golden hours will give you a lot more to work with.

onelove
HDR201200001.jpg
 
First thing, wake up early or stay out late for the good ligh. High noon is not good light.Second thing, ditch the HDR. Unless you've found a way to get repeatable results that aren't crazy, it just makes things look worse than getting it right the first time in camera.
 
As Sw1tchFX said, start with good light (time of day, suitable weather with interesting clouds preferably). There may be multiple images stitched into a panorama, or just a cropped photo to appear that way.

The photographer referenced then appears to be using either HDR with multiple images or at least simple tone-mapping of a single photo shot in RAW to squeeze as much as possible from it (I suspect the latter). From there, it's a matter of controlling color saturation throughout the image, probably with multiple color filters and masks in Photoshop, combined with saturation adjustments for each. Finally, crop, resize, then sharpen to taste, and output to JPG for web.
 
This is a local photographer where I'm from in Albuquerque, NM.


http://unit16.net/Adobe Web Gallery/content/Tondreau_Rio_Grande_in_Red_large.html

How does he get these vivid colors and amazing shots?!

I used my Nikon D3000 to photograph a mountain scape (HDR) and the image came out bland and boring.

I'm sure a lot of pre-planning went into the exposure in your link. How much pre-planning went into your try? Did you just set it up and point and shoot?

A seasoned professional landscape artist may have a place and shot pre-planned and are just waiting for that right day, with the right lighting.
 
But the first thing on your list to do is not to compare yourself to a seasoned landscape photography. Try to pick apart their exposures and techniques. But it would be silly to compare.

It would be like me trying to compare my B&W self portrait:
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/black-white-gallery/271194-b-w-self-portrait.html

To the "most popular ever" portraits over at 1X.com
1x.com - In Pursuit of the Sublime


You don't want to jump right into an F1 car, you want to work your way up starting with karts.
 

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