Trolling the orchards again

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by scooter2044, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. scooter2044

    scooter2044 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I find it hard to do justice to these orchards with my photos. They are breathtaking to see when they are in full fall color. I enjoy them so much, I am thinking about moving to this area which is only about an hour away from me now. Here are some of the last ones of the season. C & C is always welcome and appreciated.

    1
    [​IMG]
    adamscounty4
    by Sheila Swindell, on Flickr
    Canon EOS REBEL T3i
    EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
    ƒ/6.7
    74.0 mm
    1/350
    ISO 100

    2
    [​IMG]
    adamscounty_3
    by Sheila Swindell, on Flickr
    Canon EOS REBEL T3i
    EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
    ƒ/6.7
    74.0 mm
    1/350
    ISO 100


     
  2. BlackSheep

    BlackSheep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I really like the first shot, it reminds me of postcards from when I was younger. The second one is nice too, but the sticks in the middle of the foreground are a bit distracting.

    In terms of your comment about doing the orchards justice, have you considered shooting a bit closer for a more graphic approach? This is just a quick crop taken out of your first image, but maybe something like this would be worth trying in addition to the wider views you already have:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. scooter2044

    scooter2044 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Those sticks were really a pain to get out of the first one. I'm not the best at post, and the content aware tool wasn't doing such a great job. I still missed one of them too. I gave up on the second one and just left it the way it was. I like the close up crop. I will have to try that next time. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Being pretty new, I'm grateful for any advice I can get.
     
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  4. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I can understand what you say about doing justice to the orchards - I have the same problem with the relatively flat prairies around where I hang out. It is difficult to capture the detail of the individual elements, or to even give viewers a feeling for the magnitude of the whole thing.

    Some thoughts - have you tried increasing the contrast or the vibrance as this might bring out the colours a little more? - alternatively, there is always the "intimate" landscape approach where you get up close and personal with parts of the orchards.

    I like the first one, but agree with BlackSheep that a closer crop might be something to try.

    WesternGuy
     
  5. scooter2044

    scooter2044 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have increased the vibrance and contrast in most of them. On my monitor they seem almost too vivid, but when I upload them they seem pretty dull. I'm never sure how much is too much. As for the "intimate" landscape approach, lol, I have tried a few. Let's just say, as soon as I get one that will not be the laughing stock of TPF I'll post one. So far, no luck. I am once again struggling with composition in that area. I think I am just trying to get the pano look without the wide angle lens which loses so much detail. But I will keep trying. Thanks for commenting. You guys keep me wanting to get it right.
     
  6. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I do have to ask - are you working from a calibrated monitor? Often, if they look good on your monitor and then not when you upload them, calibration, or lack there of, can be the culprit as can the difference in colour spaces. How do you convert your images for posting on TPF?

    For the "intimate" approach, just a suggestion, but what about taking a picture from ground level, or slightly off the ground, looking down between two rows of trees in the orchards as the trees "fade" into the distance? Maybe in portrait mode with a wide-angle lens, or your lens at 55mm? Or maybe with one of the fruits from one of the trees as your foreground and the row of trees in the background. Don't know, just trying to suggest things that I would try. Now I am curious...Google to the rescue...:biggrin-93:

    Check these out:

    Anthony Dunn Photography: Peach Orchards in Bloom - From the Ground

    Kent apple orchard - this is a stock image page, but there are some interesting pics there for examples of what folks have done.

    WesternGuy
     
  7. scooter2044

    scooter2044 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How often do you need to calibrate your monitor? I know when I first got my computer I did it using the built in calibration checker. I don't know of any other way (that's free) to do it. Lol, I also know that my photos also look different depending on how I am sitting when I look at my screen. I try to get my colors and exposure correct when I am looking straight at my screen, instead of looking down or when I am being lazy and slouching. It makes a huge difference. Since I have Photoshop Elements I have to save them to jpeg to upload them. I know they probably lose something in the conversion, but I don't think I have another choice.

    I tried some of your suggestions like getting on the ground and taking photos down the rows. I'm still working out when something should be OOF and when it shouldn't. Unfortunately all the wrong things were OOF. Knowing what settings to use to get the right depth of field is really confusing to me, along with knowing which lens will give me a better result. I never considered my wide angle lens at ground level. I can't find any distortion correction in Elements so I don't use mine too much. It would be a good experiment. I love the photos from the peach tree orchards. I guess I will have another year to practice on other things before the apple orchards are ready again. I'll be spending alot of time with Google over the winter, lol.
     
  8. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I calibrate my monitors once a month - 2 ASUS PA246Q ProArt 24" IPS monitors. I just upgraded my calibration to Spyder5 Elite (need the Elite to studio match two monitors). I don't know how to calibrate monitors that's free except something like you have - a built in calibrator which I don't have.

    I think everyone has to convert to jpeg to upload and post, so your having Photoshop Elements is not a problem. The real key, in my opinion, is the colour space you are working in when you process your images and whether it is 8 bit or 16 bit. I can't remember if PSE will process 16 bit images. I always try and work in the colour space with the widest gamut when processing which is usually ProPhoto, but posting for the web is in sRGB which is a smaller gamut.

    As far as being in focus or OOF, that depends partly on the aperture that you are using as it affects the depth of field. Sometimes, to get the effect that I want, I have to experiment with aperture, but why not, it's free. You can get some idea of how the depth of field works from sites such as this one - Online Depth of Field Calculator . Here is a link to a couple of web articles on Depth of Field (DOF) by Ron Bigelow - Depth of Field -- Part I - the link to the second article is at the bottom of the first one. Don't worry if you don't understand it all the first time, just read it to get the basics to start with. Any questions, post back or PM me.

    As far as distortion corrections, etc. in PSE, for your wide angle lens, what lens do you have and what version of PSE are you using? Sometimes Adobe only issues "corrections" for lenses when a new version, or an update, of PSE comes out.

    One thing to remember that you only learn what works and what doesn't, and get better in digital photography through experimentation. This has always been my approach because its cheap and if you don't like the results, then you can always get rid of them very easily :biggrin-93:.

    WesternGuy
     
  9. scooter2044

    scooter2044 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I will have to look into the calibration tonight and make sure my monitor is ok. I work in 8 bit because if you switch to 16 bit in PSE, you lose a lot of its capabilities. I don't know why, but it won't do some of the most basic function unless I leave it in 8 bit and RGB. Both are not the best options, I know. I need a better editing program. :)

    My wide angle lens is a 10-18mm. I should have said perspective distortion, and I think I found something. I might have been trying to do a 16 bit image before and that's why I couldn't find it.

    I have looked at a ton of stuff on DOF. I'm just still struggling with it, but thank you for the links. I'll check them out this week when I can get a chance. If there is one thing I have plenty of, it's experiments, lol. And trash.:biggrin-93: The one thing I need more than anything is time, and that is something that is in short supply around here. I think if I had more time to spend shooting my images, and no one with me, I would do better. I always feel so rushed because my daughter is with me and very impatient. She has her drivers permit now and doesn't want me to stop too long for pictures. There's driving to be done, lol. Thank you very much for taking the time to help me. It's greatly appreciated!
     
  10. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hey, no problem, I am always happy to help those trying to learn the craft. :biggrin-93:

    As far as an editing program goes, have you given any thought to Lightroom? I started with PSE, but I moved to Lightroom as its data management functions are much better (my opinion). It works a bit different than PSE in that you have to "import" images into its Library, but I can get about 95% + of my editing done without having to resort to Photoshop. There are good books available on Lightroom and a lot of videos on the web on how to use its various modules. As well, there are a couple of good forums where you can get questions answered easily.

    You need to introduce your daughter to the wonders of photography :biggrin-93: ...yah, like I am sure that is what every teenage kid with a new driver's licence wants to do...or get her some games for her iPhone so she can amuse herself while you photograph. ;)

    WesternGuy
     
  11. scooter2044

    scooter2044 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been toying with the idea of getting the photography package from Adobe for 10.00 per month. My boss said since we have paid for all the programs at work she would put them on my laptop for me. She also said we could bring any old electronic equipment in because she was going to pay someone to get rid of the old computers at work. That was 2 years ago, lol. I just have to make sure my desktop can handle the programs. I know the laptop can but I don't want to work on such a small screen.

    I'm still not certain how Elements organizes photos. It's very confusing. Then again, I'm not a very organized person.

    As for my daughter, I really wish it were that easy.
     
  12. WesternGuy

    WesternGuy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't know about the subscription package for $10.00/month, but I believe that you can download Lightroom by itself and try it for free for 30 days. You may also be able to get a free trial of the CC Plan.

    As for your desktop, how old is it and what version of Windows are you running. If you are running Windows 7 or later (Win 8...) then you should be okay. If you are on a Mac machine, then I don't know :apologetic:.

    WesternGuy
     

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