how to process landscape pictures like these


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emlee

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Mar 10, 2008
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Ang Mo Kio
#1
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/702853

Been introduced to fred miranda forum and saw this guy's photos (Marc Adamus) and felt like throwing my camera away.

Although he was kind enough to share his process, it was quite vague and high level discussion. Blur sotong like me (who only took up digital for 5 months) cannot decode his language.

any masters in CS who can shed some light on how he could have processed such images?
apart from the obvious like use of GND (guessing it's singh ray), how could he have gotten so much:
- details
- highlights in the shadow regions
- sharpness even when it is viewed small on screen (i have loaded pictures in CS gallery and they immediately degraded in terms of viewing online)

please do not get into discussion of composition/ too much photo-shopped/ should he or not, etc. let this be purely a discussion of techniques.

thanks for viewing, and especially for contributing.
 

m3lv1nh0

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Sep 24, 2007
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#2
Not really an expert on this but I think he did layer blending of pics with diff exposures. Something like HDR. So you have the properly exposed sunset/sky background(foreground in shadows), add in a foreground with proper exposure(background blown), create a layermask and just paint off the background so that you have both the background and foreground in proper exposure. Bump up constrast, saturation + USM etc.
 

Estherfu

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Feb 28, 2008
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#3
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/702853

Been introduced to fred miranda forum and saw this guy's photos (Marc Adamus) and felt like throwing my camera away.

Although he was kind enough to share his process, it was quite vague and high level discussion. Blur sotong like me (who only took up digital for 5 months) cannot decode his language.

thanks for viewing, and especially for contributing.
Dear emlee
I feel the same way most of the time just going through the CS threads.:confused:
Can't contribute (must be those HDR bracketing stuff) but thanks for sharing, it's psychologically therapeutic.:p
Esther
 

emlee

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Mar 10, 2008
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#4
Dear emlee
I feel the same way most of the time just going through the CS threads.:confused:
Can't contribute (must be those HDR bracketing stuff) but thanks for sharing, it's psychologically therapeutic.:p
Esther
hahaha... dont suck it in all the time, must let it out sometimes.

Not really an expert on this but I think he did layer blending of pics with diff exposures. Something like HDR. So you have the properly exposed sunset/sky background(foreground in shadows), add in a foreground with proper exposure(background blown), create a layermask and just paint off the background so that you have both the background and foreground in proper exposure. Bump up constrast, saturation + USM etc.
hi, i cannot be sure but in some of the explanation, he did mentioned these are single shots. so that ruled out blending and tone mapping. unless they are re-processed raw at different exposures.
 

David Kwok

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Aug 23, 2008
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#5
I'm not a CS guru, but just my 2 cents worth of knowledge on this.

For the first pic, because he is using a full frame sensor, hence he can effectively stop down his aperture to near f/16 before diffraction seeps in, which for APS-C lens is roughly around f/8 only. At f/14, you can get almost excellent sharpness for the L glass he is using :)

But it must be quite a sunny day too, if not at f/14, it's unlikely he get 1/10s shutter. He uses a 2stop GND, the day should be rather much brighter than you observe in the pic.

In order to get focus at all distance, you need to get the hyperfocal length. Since he mentioned his focal length used is 16mm, it means anything within approx 2/3 feet away from his camera to infinity will be focused.

Thanks


http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/702853

Been introduced to fred miranda forum and saw this guy's photos (Marc Adamus) and felt like throwing my camera away.

Although he was kind enough to share his process, it was quite vague and high level discussion. Blur sotong like me (who only took up digital for 5 months) cannot decode his language.

any masters in CS who can shed some light on how he could have processed such images?
apart from the obvious like use of GND (guessing it's singh ray), how could he have gotten so much:
- details
- highlights in the shadow regions
- sharpness even when it is viewed small on screen (i have loaded pictures in CS gallery and they immediately degraded in terms of viewing online)

please do not get into discussion of composition/ too much photo-shopped/ should he or not, etc. let this be purely a discussion of techniques.

thanks for viewing, and especially for contributing.
 

Oct 3, 2008
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#6
hi all... on the pic.2 he said this ---''2 stacked 3-stop GND's gives the strong magenta, which I like. Blended from 1 other exposure on either side to prevent total loss of details. 16mm, 4 seconds at f/14"
what kind of PP is he talking about???:dunno:
 

David Kwok

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Aug 23, 2008
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#7
hi all... on the pic.2 he said this ---''2 stacked 3-stop GND's gives the strong magenta, which I like. Blended from 1 other exposure on either side to prevent total loss of details. 16mm, 4 seconds at f/14"
what kind of PP is he talking about???:dunno:
2 stacked 3-stop GND is not PP, it's the filters. He stacked 2 pieces of Graduated Neutral Density filter which is suppose to decrease exposure, but only in certain halve of the frame. Meaning it will not completely cover the whole frame. Most of the time, photographers uses GND to make the sky less bright to cut down on the dynamic range of the scene. I have not tried stacking, so I'm not sure if it will cause strong magenta color cast. The latter part he mentioned "Blended ....". If i'm not mistaken, he should have used another ND to slow down or perhaps just at f/14 it's slow enough to reach 4s for the silky waterfall effect. Then he blended 2 or more scenes together using masking to merge these different effects together ? :)
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#8
I'm not a CS guru, but just my 2 cents worth of knowledge on this.

For the first pic, because he is using a full frame sensor, hence he can effectively stop down his aperture to near f/16 before diffraction seeps in, which for APS-C lens is roughly around f/8 only. At f/14, you can get almost excellent sharpness for the L glass he is using :)

But it must be quite a sunny day too, if not at f/14, it's unlikely he get 1/10s shutter. He uses a 2stop GND, the day should be rather much brighter than you observe in the pic.

In order to get focus at all distance, you need to get the hyperfocal length. Since he mentioned his focal length used is 16mm, it means anything within approx 2/3 feet away from his camera to infinity will be focused.

Thanks
which photos is shot in sunny day, may I know? 1st photo? that was a sunrise!!

btw, 5th photos seem like shoot during a sunny day,
polarizer, 1/125 second at f/13
 

catchlights

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#9
he's sharing of post processing of one of the image.
Processing for this one was rather subtle, but still somewhat time consuming. I started working with the RAW file which included about 1/5 more on the left side intitially. I'd previsulized a crop that best fit the scene, as I usually do.
In RAW, I increased tint a bit to bring out the magentas, and then worked the blues to get a more of a cooler feeling to the image which was intitially a little more saturated in the reds (if you can believe that!). There was little adjustment to overall saturation levels. The mist areas ended up picking up too much magenta cast though, so I just sponged them off in CS3 at a later point, down to a more neutral grey. I processed the RAW once for everything but the rocks, and then again for the rocks at about +1 stop compared to the rest of the scene. The black rock was tough to control in a single exposure next to the highlights. I recall I made a slight curves adjustment to get the contrasts and tonalities balanced in the background areas too.
I took this out of RAW and did what I always do - subtle dodge/burns at low opacities to pull every bit of depth out of the scene - the most important step IMO, but nearly impossible to describe - just experiement here! We want to transcribe a three dimensional scene onto a two dimensional medium, so it usually requires a bit more than the camera itself will record. I tried to separate foreground and background as much as possible while retaining natural appearance. Someone with more PS skills than I would probably figure a different and perhaps more efficient way to do this, but this works for me and it looks flawless at 100% throughout (very important!).
The last thing I did was bring out some warm color and brightness to the side of the rock at left selectively, again to increase the three-dimensional quality. Subtleties like this are often overlooked in processing but can add a lot to the 'realism' factor IMO. Very painterly in a way I suppose. Painters not knowing the limitations of cameras of course, and being able to interpret the scene however they feel best conveys the experience of the place. I often look to the works of paiters for artistic inspiration. Look at how tonal values, luminosity and subleties in color are used to convey a scene in paintings, adding depth, inviting the viewer in and elevating the emotional qualities.
All and all this looks pretty close to the in-camera capture, as I captured it as well as I could in the field. It's really the subtleties that I accentuated in processing. Subtleties that add depth and highlight the emotional qualities for me.
seem he already gotten very close to what he want during the captured.
 

David Kwok

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#10
which photos is shot in sunny day, may I know? 1st photo? that was a sunrise!!

btw, 5th photos seem like shoot during a sunny day,
Yes I'm am aware it's a sunrise, but I'm quite sure it's pretty bright :) I apologize to have used the sunny word in this aspect :)
But it ought to be brighter than what we observed as he used a GND. My conclusion on why it's pretty bright scene becoz of the fact at f/14, it is still split of a second of shutter without having the rest of the scene in darkness. Please correct me if I'm wrong ? :think:
 

catchlights

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#11
Yes I'm am aware it's a sunrise, but I'm quite sure it's pretty bright :) I apologize to have used the sunny word in this aspect :)
But it ought to be brighter than what we observed as he used a GND. My conclusion on why it's pretty bright scene becoz of the fact at f/14, it is still split of a second of shutter without having the rest of the scene in darkness. Please correct me if I'm wrong ? :think:
with or without the GND, the foreground exposure is at 1/10s, f14, so the "bright" you're referring is sky or foreground?
 

Oct 3, 2008
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#13
Thanks david...;)
On no. 9 he said "This taken at 8:30 am. 24mm, 2-stop GND, polarizer, 1/2 second at f/18."
Is this a combination of GND and CPL?
Sorry for the questions, newbie here.. TIA...:thumbsup:
 

flipfreak

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#14
other than the fact he got excellent gear and skills, the location plays a part as well. the angle of the sun is different from where we get ours. that alone makes quite a big difference in the lighting.
 

David Kwok

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#15
Thanks david...;)
On no. 9 he said "This taken at 8:30 am. 24mm, 2-stop GND, polarizer, 1/2 second at f/18."
Is this a combination of GND and CPL?
Sorry for the questions, newbie here.. TIA...:thumbsup:
Yup, likely to be the case. 2-stop GND for the brighter sky and CPL likely to be used on the water to cut away those reflective glare that could be reflected off the bright sky. I'm not sure where on earth is this place, but at 8:30 in Singapore, which is on the equator, it's pretty bright already.
 

emlee

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Mar 10, 2008
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#16
hi, i cannot be sure but in some of the explanation, he did mentioned these are single shots. so that ruled out blending and tone mapping. unless they are re-processed raw at different exposures.
hi, i apologise for an oversight. reading his explanation again, esp for images 1 and 2, it seemed he did use blending of multiple images, be it processed from the same raw file or not.

thanks David on the lead on hyperfocus and refraction. will look those up as well.
 

catchlights

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#17
other than the fact he got excellent gear and skills, the location plays a part as well. the angle of the sun is different from where we get ours. that alone makes quite a big difference in the lighting.
I would say a pair of keen eyes, skills, understand of your gear are above everything..

some CSers have already proven that, same location, different outcomes.
 

emlee

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Mar 10, 2008
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#18
other than the fact he got excellent gear and skills, the location plays a part as well. the angle of the sun is different from where we get ours. that alone makes quite a big difference in the lighting.
thks flipfreak. agree that he lives in a country that has plenty of beautiful landscape.
but lets not talk about that (cos the more we go into that, the more i want to immigrate :(
try to focus on the techniques here (more controllable)

can anyone shed some light on how his pictures STILL look great on the web?
 

tjhan

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Feb 11, 2007
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#19
Those are really immense. The natural environment probably plays a part to some degree, there aren't that many, if at all, scenic naturescapes here.

He just exported his jpgs at the best possible resolution lor. Check out each file, it's 300 kb or more. People who upload to CS are restricted by file size. Some people compress too. When I have a picture that I don't want to be compressed, I post it on my own website and link here.
 

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flipfreak

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#20
I would say a pair of keen eyes, skills, understand of your gear are above everything..

some CSers have already proven that, same location, different outcomes.
of cos. but the lighting of the location itself can make or break the picture. we live too near the equator so the sun tends to hit us straight on as opposed to other countries.
 

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