Rocky landscapes - tips to make good photographs

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by DriedStrawbery, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. DriedStrawbery

    DriedStrawbery No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi All,

    Any tips on what can be done to improve a photo of a landscape similar to this one? Any compositional or other tips?

    Thanks for your time.

    IMG_9429.jpg


     
  2. zulu42

    zulu42 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's cool, there's some interesting colors going on there.

    I have some landscape similar to that nearby. I've noticed that certain times of day bring out vastly different looks. Morning light, evening, totally different colors. Some shadows might help!

    Look at @gnagel his picture #1 in this thread
    My Favorite 10 Pictures of 2017

    Maybe you could find something along this line with the different colored hills and shadow work.
     
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  3. Low_Sky

    Low_Sky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1. Looks like this is shot in mid-day sun. All the shadows are straight under the rocks. Makes for a very flat looking image. Try closer to the morning or evening golden hour.

    2. Boring sky. Following #1 will help, but having something interesting in the sky also depends on weather, which we can't control.

    3. No obvious subject in the photo, and no leading lines to tell my eyes where to go. If the pink truck is supposed to be the subject, it's far too small.


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  4. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Lack of focal point, WB off, underexposed, no contrast but with a few adjustments it can be improved. Without something to lock onto as a focal point everything becomes to much the same. IE you could have shot the car coming toward you or going away into the distance, or found a scraggly bush/tree with the barren landscape as the background.

    edit-1.jpg
     
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  5. DriedStrawbery

    DriedStrawbery No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the comments!

    I was trying to create something out of the situation. Was mid day and wanted to make something out of the patterns of rocks. Tried to get the pink Jeep to be something that catches the eye.

    Guess the missing leading lines of other elements make it tough.


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  6. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Yes, this. It's a bit of a difficult question to answer because there are so many that could be used in this kind of environment.

    But lets have a look at what you had here:

    The obvious answer is to use a zoom, make the jeep bigger in the frame, make sure the jeep is well exposed and the background 1-2 stops under much the same way as a portrait could be shot. But what if we want to use is as you have done here to provide a sense of scale?

    Then it's good to use classical techniques of creating a frame then using the elements within it to draw the viewers eye through the frame. So it could go something like a zig zagging road (kept within the frame) to the car, to the mountains, to the sky, then detail back down to the road to then loop the viewers eye back around and keep interest in the shot. In that way you are not using size to draw attention to a focal point but tone and structure to make a path through a shot.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    See smoke665's re-work of the original image as shown in Post #4, above; his re-work of the image is a good example of making hot, noon-time sunlight in a desert environment look like hot, noon-time sun in a desert environment.

    As for the original framing and composition, almost any type of recognizable foreground element could have given more of a sense of scale, of vastness, of grandeur, to the landscape in the mid-ground and the distant parts of the photo, but many times it's tough to find a suitable foreground object handy in places like the one where this photo was shot, so one does what one can, and snaps the shot.
     
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  8. DriedStrawbery

    DriedStrawbery No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    @weepee/Others, thanks for the comments.

    I noticed many structure/patterns and tried to capture them. Looks like there are many more elements along with it to be able to bring out the patterns well in a picture.

    Here are a few more I captured. They have a little more interesting skies. Pls call any images that worked.

    I personally liked the B&W pic, but not any of the other landscapes as much.

    1.

    IMG_9093.jpg

    2.
    IMG_9104.jpg

    3. IMG_9105.jpg
    4
    IMG_9119.jpg

    5.
    IMG_9215.jpg
     
  9. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I found #3 the most interesting of the bunch, but it seems like overall you have a tendency to underexpose by about a 1/2 stop. On number #3 this is the histogram, you're missing a lot of data, especially in your highlights, and as on your others your WB is off.
    original histogram.JPG

    This is the histogram of a reworked #3, notice the difference.
    revised.JPG

    And now the reworked image, still needs more, but it illustrates what I'm trying to show you.
    rework-1-2.jpg

    Possibly a review of the components of what comprises a good exposure might be helpful Learning about Exposure - The Exposure Triangle

    Also to review how WB will affect your images Understanding White Balance

    As to the elements of a good composition if you can get your hands on a copy of just about any of the Hedgecoe books I think you will find them beneficial. They can usually be found on the internet used for cheap. If you only get one get "The Art Of Digital Photography" by John Hedgecoe.
     
  10. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Personally I think 1 works the best compositinally. I tend to read photos left to right by default, so my attention is drawn immediatley to the light foreground circle, then the few curved light sand patches bring my eye to the right and to the road where my eye goes back to the left until picking up the light patch leading up the centre of the mountain to the sky, then the clouds take me back left and out the frame to begin again. PS be careful with your panoramas, looks like you lost sharpness in the RHS a little.

    You B&W is an interesting one, while it has the boldest shapes it's got that bright serpentine sand path that weights it too much to the left and takes the attention away fron the bold pattern on the right so is less effective for me.
     
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  11. DriedStrawbery

    DriedStrawbery No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was looking into the underexposure on my pictures. I thought it was my monitor settings, but the histogram shows most are under exposed! Learning more about histogram based LR editing, was ignoring it totally earlier. Am redoing my trip pics based on inputs here. Thanks again for taking time to respond.

    Any idea why the most of the pics are under exposed? I use Av setting as the default when shooting. This is used in most times of the day. Gear was Canon 6D with 24-105 F4.

    Do people add a exposure compensation in the camera itself and leave it as is?
     
  12. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Depending on how your metering is set (matrix or spot) will affect your exposure on any program mode. I like to stay in spot and sample an area then use EV to compensate.
     
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