Nooooo, where did I go wrong ? :(

goodguy

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Been to one of the most beautiful places on this planet, the Canadian Rockies.
I have been preparing to this trip for few months and went there with my family, we had AMAZING time, the view is simply UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!

Wherever you look you got lakes as smooth as mirrors, waterfalls, rivers and of course green, green and more green.

With my wife (she on the G15) we took about 3500 pictures.
Of course the moment we got back home I ran to the computer I took all the SD cards and transferred the files.
To my disappointment many of the files I took of the gorgeous view are over exposed washed out and there is very little I can do with my software to significantly improve them.
So my questions are

1.What did I do wrong ? (I am sure I should have used some kind of filter)
2.Is there anything I can do to significantly improve these files ?

Here is an example of the picture, I didn't do anything to it except turning it to JPEG from RAW.

1_zps3ce902d1.jpg
 

The_Traveler

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This doesn't look right.
There is no detail and it looks almost posterized.

How did you make the jpeg?
I suggest loading a single raw file online somewhere and posting a link to it.

$1_zps3ce902d1lll.jpg
 

Ilovemycam

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Don't understand it? Why were you not chimping? You got instant review...use it? In the old days we had to pay big $ for for polaroid backs. Maybe you had the exp comp set wrong? If fo, the chimp should have been looking for it.

Pretty pix anyway in the OP.
 
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goodguy

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Don't understand it? Why were you not chimping? You got instant review...use it? In the old days we had to pay big $ for for polaroid backs. Maybe you had the exp comp set wrong? If fo, the chimp should have been looking for it.

Pretty pix anyway in the OP.

Chimping ?

Thank you for the comment about the pretty pic but really it wasn't me, it was the Rockies, you need to be either blind or a complete idiot to get a badly composed picture there, it really is a slice of heaven.
 

cgipson1

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Don't understand it? Why were you not chimping? You got instant review...use it? In the old days we had to pay big $ for for polaroid backs. Maybe you had the exp comp set wrong? If fo, the chimp should have been looking for it.

Pretty pix anyway in the OP.

Chimping? With that tiny little display? It helps a little bit... but too many images that look good on the LCD look like crap on a full size, calibrated monitor. The histogram will give a MUCH better idea of what the image will look like as far as color and exposure.
 

cgipson1

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Goodguy.... what is the metadata for that shot? Raw's often need some post to make them look good... Raws are just image information, and can be very bland. Make the Raws available, as suggested....
 
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goodguy

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This doesn't look right.
There is no detail and it looks almost posterized.

How did you make the jpeg?
I suggest loading a single raw file online somewhere and posting a link to it.

View attachment 51058

I know it looks wrong :(
I simply took the RAW file and with no editing I simply converted it to JPEG.
If I try to work on this file there is very little I can do to really make it look better.

Photobucket will not download NEF files, only JPEG
 

cgipson1

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OP... what software are you using? Use dropbox for NEF sharing....
 

pgriz

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Even heaven needs to be properly exposed. And exposure is about the balance of light, shadow and darkness in the image. Part of the skill-set of a photographer is to know how the image "should" look, and then select the appropriate settings to translate the real-life lighting situation into the desired result. It's quite common to make mistakes about the settings and exposure when you're on location, and if shoot in RAW, then you have some ability to recover some aspects of the image. If you only have JPG images to work with, then you have much less room to change the result. Since it seems you shot in RAW, then you have the ability (in lightroom or photoshop, or a similar editing program) to change your white-balance, the tonal range, the brightness, etc. This post-processing work does require some knowledge, but you can start with baby steps, and go back to the images later once you have some experience. Ideally, your exposure and settings on site are as good as they can be, with minimal post-processing needed to add the "polish" to an image. If not, there's some work that will have to be done.
 

tirediron

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"Chimping" is the term used to describe reviewing on the camera's rear LCD, the images as you capture them. With respect to your image it's not all that. There are a few things working against you. The single biggest factor is haze; especially on warm days. That can really suck the life out of an image. Using a polarizing filter can help a lot enhancing scenes such as this, and, if you have Adobe's Lightroom, tools such as "Clarify" can help to some degree.
 
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goodguy

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Even heaven needs to be properly exposed. And exposure is about the balance of light, shadow and darkness in the image. Part of the skill-set of a photographer is to know how the image "should" look, and then select the appropriate settings to translate the real-life lighting situation into the desired result. It's quite common to make mistakes about the settings and exposure when you're on location, and if shoot in RAW, then you have some ability to recover some aspects of the image. If you only have JPG images to work with, then you have much less room to change the result. Since it seems you shot in RAW, then you have the ability (in lightroom or photoshop, or a similar editing program) to change your white-balance, the tonal range, the brightness, etc. This post-processing work does require some knowledge, but you can start with baby steps, and go back to the images later once you have some experience. Ideally, your exposure and settings on site are as good as they can be, with minimal post-processing needed to add the "polish" to an image. If not, there's some work that will have to be done.
Thank you for the comment.
The light was super harsh most of the trip, the sun was very bright and I expected to have difficulty but not to this extent.

Was there any filter I should have used to help me get better results ?
 
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goodguy

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"Chimping" is the term used to describe reviewing on the camera's rear LCD, the images as you capture them. With respect to your image it's not all that. There are a few things working against you. The single biggest factor is haze; especially on warm days. That can really suck the life out of an image. Using a polarizing filter can help a lot enhancing scenes such as this, and, if you have Adobe's Lightroom, tools such as "Clarify" can help to some degree.
Aha, so I needed a polarizing filter.

So all I needed to do is put this filter and the camera would do the rest or are there different kind of polarizing filters ?
I think I might have to get a Lightroom because the program I am using is just a free software I got of the internet.
 

tirediron

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A polarizing filter will help, it is NOT a magical solution by any stretch. A lot of times there is just NOTHING you can do in situations like this. It's frustrating, but cameras have limitations and we have to work with and accept them. As for polarizing filters, there are two types, linear or cicular. Almost all modern digital cameras require a circular polarizer.
 

KmH

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The angle of the Sun relative to the camera is critical to the performance of a CPL filter. CPL = Circular PoLarizing
Good, multi-coated CPL filters generally cost $100+.

If the Sun is 30° or more above the horizon a CPL filter will deliver an uneven filtering.
Plus, the Sun needs to be at about 90° to the lens axis (from the side) as well as less than 30° above the horizon.
Understanding & Using Polarizing Filters

Most of your problem stems from shooting at the wrong time of day. The best landscape shots are made in the morning and the evening when the Sun is lower in the sky.

When the Sun gets above 30°, a GND (Graduated Neutral Density) filter is then used to tone down the bright sky so the scene's total dynamic range can be recorded by the camera.
Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters
Choosing a Camera Lens Filter

Using to small a lens aperture can cause focus softness from the effects of diffraction.
Diffraction Limited Photography: Pixel Size, Aperture and Airy Disks
A Flexible Depth of Field Calculator
Understanding Your Camera?s Hyperfocal Distance

Understanding what camera light metering mode to use can also help.
Understanding Camera Metering and Exposure
 
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Derrel

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Overexposure on distant landscapes is a very common issue. I first read about it in a magazine written in the 1970's, in an article telling photographers how to avoid accidentally overexposing distant scenes...so...this issue is pretty common! However, I'm not so sure that pure overexposure is the issue--instead it's low contrast and loss of ultimate detail, due to atmospheric haze. Day's long, huge forest fires can at times, cause considerable atmospheric haze in places that are literally, thousands of miles distant!

In the summer and fall, many parts of the world have a LOT of airborne particulate matter in the atmosphere, the result of dust, pollen, and farming- or forestry-related airborne particulate matter. Widescale agricultural activities like combining grain and grass-seed crops around here cause the same kind of sky issues. Your scenic shot has a lot of tonal values and colors that, on a clear day, would differentiate themselves easily, but due to all the intervening haze, are muddied. Very careful black point adjustment, and a curves adjustment will help restore a lot of the contrast, so that the colors separate better and you gain back some of the "Pop!" lost due to the hazy atmosphere.
 

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