How do I fix - landscapes C&C

Webby

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I know these images suck, but I don't know how to take a picture to really capture what I see. It looks awesome in real life but I can't seem to capture anything to relay the awesomeness. I just got a Canon EOS 40D and don't know how to use it yet. Still reading the manual. lol

Any help is appreciated. Be honest.

1. Landscape Auto - Tv=1/160 - Av=F8.0 - ISO=100
2009_05_09_3661b.JPG


2. Landscape Auto - Tv=1/200 - Av=F10.0 - ISO=100
2009_05_09_3866b.JPG


3. Landscape Auto - Tv=1/200 - Av=F10.0 - ISO=100
2009_05_09_3900b.JPG


4. Landscape Auto - Tv=1/30 - Av=F5.6 - ISO=400
2009_05_09_3950b.JPG
 

Sherman Banks

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Wow, great scenery! It looks like a lot of your shots are just a tad undersaturated. Is this the kind of look you want?

2009_05_09_3661b.jpg


This was like a 2 min edit so it's not great but just trying to get an idea of what you want out of the shot. Nice shots though, they certainly don't suck and I envy the location you got to shoot them in.
 

ZWolfe21

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Well, I can offer only some suggestions, as we are probably in the same boat. But i'll give it a shot and perhaps it will work for you. These are only MY opinions and thoughts there are folks here who know far far far far more then I do and will probably contradict my thoughts and we'll both learn something!

1st Pic: It seems to me that you might need a lens hood, or elected not to use it, and perhaps a polarizing lens would kill alot of that glare, and darken the picture or try the shot in the morning or evening. The thing here that struck me is that you've positioned the waterfall quite well. The top of the falls, and the bottom where the water is crashing (two major elements) alight well with the Rule of Thirds principle. Something to try next time is close your appature a bit and use a longer shutter, about 1/4 or 1/2 a second, and try to blure the water.

2nd Pic: Again, its bright. Composition isn't quite the best. Again, the rule of thirds. I'd have let the person either move on past or try a different pose and altered the composition.

3rd Pic: Again, its bright, and alot of glare. Its washing out the foliage. Polarizing filter or morning or evening shots. Composition isn't bad though. It would suprise you how much a polarizing filter will saturate those trees, even mid-day.

4th Pic: Good composition, perhaps would have tried a bit more to the right though to avoid clipping the stream or widen my shot. I'd deffinently tried this one outside of midday or at least with a polarizing lens. That bluring effect with the water would be great here (Stopping down and opening the shutter up a bit more).

Hopefully these will help, its just my opinion and i'm far from an expert. Are you doing any post processing on these? Photoshop or something similar?

EDIT: As the previous guy said, killer place, would kill to shoot there myself.
 
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Webby

Webby

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Thanks for the feedback. Yes it is an awesome place. I ended up taking over 500 photos on Saturday. Of course only a couple came out like I expected.

1st Pic. Lens Hood? I guess I should look into that. I assume it takes the glare off of the lens. lol I'm really a noob, sorry.

2nd Pic. All of my photos came out way too bright on the landscape shots. How do I darken them with the camera? I guess I was taking most of the shots around mid day, morning or evening is better. Next time...

3rd Pic. Googleing the Polarizing filter now. Thanks

WOW, Rule of Thirds! Excellent, I never knew this. Thanks This should help considerably. I always thought you were supposed to center the subject. I know, I have no artistic experience. Thanks for the help.

Photo processing, I only discovered the ability to adjust the saturation because of these forums. I used the software that came with my camera and I did saturate Pic 4 a little and was amazed at the outcome. I felt like I was cheating though.

Yes! Thanks for adjusting the waterfall. That looks more like what I was hoping to capture. The original just seemed too washed out and didn't really convey the feeling of being there. It was very misty due to the water spraying all over. I had to cover the camera from where I took the shot because I was getting soaked from the spray.

I'll have to go back this weekend and try these shots again.
 

ZWolfe21

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When you shoot these again in the morning your going to see significantly different results, alot more saturation. You'll find that a polarizing filter as the day gets brighter becomes much more valuable for killing glare and helping to saturate the colors. I should have stated it a bit more clearly but a polarizing filter would have helped in all of those pictures because you were shooting mid-day. Not to mention that when your shooting water its invaluable.

The vivid colors you see in most photos have been post-processed through a digital editing program like Photoshop. There are a number of decent free editing programs out there but if you can't afford $700 like most of us, nor would probably need full photoshop, I suggest picking up a copy of Photoshop Elements 7. Its a chopped down version of Photoshop but still packed with very very useful and fun editing features such as increasing saturation. Elements has enough power that even some professional photographers wouldn't really miss Photoshop CS4 all that much, so i'm told. If you happen to get Adobe Photoshop, be sure to shoot in Adobe RGB if your camera is capable of doing so. And no matter what program you pick up if you get one, if the program can handle RAW images or your camera came with software like mine did that handles RAW images, shoot in RAW format. We can help you with all that when the time comes.

The lens hood will guard against brightness coming off the sun on your lens, if it gets too intense you'll see a lens flare. Thats when a bright light is shining on your lens but isn't in the field of view. Sometimes it can be bad enough to show hexagonal shapes on your photos, which is a reflection of your appature. Other times it just helps to wash out your photos and make the pictures seem overly bright.

EDIT: Get a good book, helps tremendously.
[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Photography-Essential-Handbook-Digital/dp/0375711570]Fundamentals of Photography[/ame] Really in depth, blends the basic principles that built photography with today's digital technology.

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/National-Geographic-Ultimate-Field-Photography/dp/0792262093]The Ultimate Field Guide to Photography[/ame] Again, its very in depth and is actually alot less confusing then some other books i've read.
 
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hankejp

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Beautiful pictures. A little bit of time PP'ing them, and they would look spectacular.
 

timethief

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Nice shots.

try shooting around sunset or sunrise.
you need to read as much as you can about apertures and shutter speeds. using your canon on Auto mode exclusively is a waste.
polarization filter would definitely get you closer to the feel that you are looking for.
I dont know if you used a tripod or not but you should consider it.
 

Dionysus

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also keep in mind that the final "wow" pictures you see here, or in magazines, or on professional sites the majority of the time, have tons of pp work done on them. If it were only as easy as snapping the pics and saving them, it wouldn't be much of a hobby.

So, most of the time to get those colors that pop...the strong contrasts and sharpness...you need to do some pp work on even your best photos. It's just that taking a good picture from the get-go allows you more creative room in pp.
 

ZWolfe21

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Just so you don't get daunted though, I felt it best to maybe post this example. The best shots do have alot of processing time but don't let it fool you into thinking you'll spend hours to get good shots through your computer. This one took about 15 minutes.

The left shot is un-processed, shot at about 4pm. See how its dull, undersaturated and washed out.

The right shot has been processed through Adobe Photoshop Elements 7. Took about 15 minutes just through Adobe's Camera Raw 5.3 Plug-in which comes with Photoshop & Photoshop Elements. This is two JPEGs spliced together from the actual raw images that were processed. I shoud note here that this is one of many reasons I shoot in RAW format.

3526139776_21b6ebe14b_o.jpg
 

LarryD

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I don't really see big issues with thest shots that a little post processing wouldn't clear up.. They could all use just a touch of sharpness as almost all landscapes need.

The waterfall is great...the water mist can be seen in the air I like it. Maybe cloning out the people in the very foreground and a touch of sharp.. I think that you may have slightly over brightened it in post..... learn to use the levels and change the different highs and lows rather than just brightening and darkeng the entire frame..

The second one needs to be cropped so the hiker is more to the right and the guardrail is minimized...........you perhaps should have panned to the left a bit to get more of the scenery in and less of the ho-hum viewing area....maybe not, I do see tree shadows, so perhaps you should have taken two giant steps forward..

The third is your best............ aside from some sharp, I just don't see anything wrong..

With the trees and stream............I don't seee the key element here..trees/water..what..... ? Exposed nicely on this mini-monitor....
 

JamieR

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I hope you don't mind, but i sharpened up image number 3 and made the colours pop more and i think the result is excellent. If you add some simple PP, it makes all the difference to a photo.

2009_05_09_3900b.jpg


Regards,
Jamie.
 

ANDS!

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No reason you should be shooting at 1/200th of a second in broad daylight. And if you MUST shoot into the sun, bring your hand above your lens to block stray light from mucking up your shot.

Also, take the camera off Auto. Seriously. Just do it. No you do not need to know how each of the Aperture and Shutter Speed affect your exposure to begin playing around. Its a mountain, its not going anywhere. If you don't get it the first time - it will still be there. Trust me.
 

TJ K

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No reason you should be shooting at 1/200th of a second in broad daylight. And if you MUST shoot into the sun, bring your hand above your lens to block stray light from mucking up your shot.

Also, take the camera off Auto. Seriously. Just do it. No you do not need to know how each of the Aperture and Shutter Speed affect your exposure to begin playing around. Its a mountain, its not going anywhere. If you don't get it the first time - it will still be there. Trust me.
Those bastards can move quite fast!:sexywink: I really love the location you got to shoot! where was this at? Just shoot in Av mode i think it is on canon.
 
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Webby

Webby

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Those mountains can be real fast, especially if they are in Washington (Mount St Helens). Sorry couldn't resist.

Anyway all of these shots are in Yosemite California.
Pic number 1 is Lower Yosemite Falls.
Pic 2 is taken from Glacier Point with Half Dome in the center (didn't know about the rule of thirds).
The 3rd pic is of the Valley Floor from Inspiration Point, and the
4th pic is at the base of Bridalveil Falls which is the falls in pic number 3.

JAMIER
I hope you don't mind, but i sharpened up image number 3 and made the colours pop more and i think the result is excellent. If you add some simple PP, it makes all the difference to a photo.
Mind? I don't mind at all. I welcome it. I have already learned in this one post a whole bunch of good stuff. This is awesome! I love what you did to the image. I need to play around with the software that came with the camera and figure out how to do these adjustments. I also have a program called Corel Paint Shop Pro 12 that seems to be able to accomplish some of this stuff as well. Not as good as Photoshop but it's what I have.

ZWOLF21
This is two JPEGs spliced together from the actual raw images that were processed. I shoud note here that this is one of many reasons I shoot in RAW format.
RAW format, hmm. Is it easier/better to change saturation, sharpness or whatever other adjustments there are, in RAW format? Can these adjustments also be done in the .jpg format?

Thank you all very much. You have given me a great place to start and some very valuable information. Based on the book recommendations it looks like I have some reading to do.
I did order both a hood and a polarizing filter for my lens and can't wait to try them out.

TAKE IT OUT OF AUTO!!! eee gads. I'm not sure...I'm scared. I haven't a clue of what I'm doing yet but I will take your advice and give it a try. I guess I can't hurt anything....

Thanks again

Webby
 

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