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Thread: Sunset at Tanah Lot

  1. #1

    Default Sunset at Tanah Lot



    1. in what area is critique to be sought?
    I'd like some comments on the composition and the technique.

    2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
    I want to show a different side of the familiar landmark at Tanah Lot, one that has been photographed to death. Since the place is primarily a place of worship, I want to give it a peaceful and serene feel, hence a long exposure shot with stacked GND and ND filters to give an ethereal feel.

    3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
    Photograph was taken during the last moments of sunset at Tanah Lot, Bali. To avoid tourists standing in front of the camera, I chose a spot away from the path, close to the cliff edge, in the vegetation. I recently procured a set of square filters, but the filter holder was a wide angle one and could only hold one filter. As such, I hand-held the stacked filters in front of the lens during the exposures. I took 3 long exposures, and blended them together in Photoshop to create one image. There was a bit of vegetation on the bottom of the frame, which I cloned out. There were shadows of people walking to the shrine, and I cloned those out as well.

    4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
    At first I wasn't too happy with the colour cast by the stacked filters (probably could get better results if I only used one 10-stop ND filter instead). But after looking at it when I got home, I found the colours mesmerising. I think I can do a better job of exposing for the headland and either get a silhouette or a proper exposure.I hope the final image doesn't look overly photoshopped. All in all, I would like to know how to improve this shot, and humbly ask for comments and criticisms.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sunset at Tanah Lot

    To me, composition not bad. Location of shooting is ok. But seems the horizon cut across the middle not so nice.
    Colour is good.
    I don't understand why you need blend 3 exposure together? Does this give you better photo?
    It seems soft. Is it when you blend it, not do properly?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sunset at Tanah Lot

    Thanks for the comments. I agree with the part where the horizon cuts across the middle, but I was limited by terrain, so can't really do much about that.
    I blended 3 exposures together to enhance the silky smooth effect of the clouds and sea. Individually, I can make out the more prominent waves and clouds. Also, I find that the colours are enhanced when I blend them together.
    The softness is not due to the blending. The headland of each exposure wasn't very sharp to begin with. I weighed down my tripod, turned off image stabilisation, and used a remote shutter. My guess is either image degradation by the stacked filters, or the sea spray (which was quite prominent and made it look quite misty). Even my 1/320s test shots were soft. Unless it's the lens

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sunset at Tanah Lot

    First look at the image and I pretty much not think of it as a landscape photograph but an abstract work or even a still off a video. I hope you don't take that statement as a negative, as I mean it as a positive. Imagination is what I carve in photographs and photographs that make me imagine are even more valuable. Don't take me places where everyone has gone, take me to a place the photographer has only been.

    Horizon, blue toning, softness are all not a problem. My only gripe is there should be more! A panning stitch of the sea would look great in a pano. I like it, but only if there's more of it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sunset at Tanah Lot

    Thanks... I think I understand what you mean. It looks as if the clouds are rolling by, so it gives an illusion of movement.
    I was tempted to use a wider angle, but that would make the focal point of the shrine on the headland look very small. If it's a long exposure, how would you stitch a series into a panorama?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sunset at Tanah Lot

    Quote Originally Posted by xenith0 View Post
    Thanks... I think I understand what you mean. It looks as if the clouds are rolling by, so it gives an illusion of movement.
    I was tempted to use a wider angle, but that would make the focal point of the shrine on the headland look very small. If it's a long exposure, how would you stitch a series into a panorama?
    As the only 'dark' point in the photo, the headland should not have any problem being the contrast against the fluorescent sea. I would have decided it to be a fair tradeoff. It might also change your main subject depending how you look at it, from the shrine to the big sea. Or it could still be the view from the shrine.

    I guess that also depends on how long your stack exposure is, but it should have been doable. There still seems to be enough light? I will also trade slight exposure inconsistency for negative space.

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