Merlion - and need some mentoring


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sohzai

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#1
Hi guys,

I consider myself still beginner to photography. Firstly, my bad that the below picture is not exposed correctly, secondly, I just got my hands on a cs2 suite, thus starting to learn to to make up for mistakes that are no longer possible to better through re-shots. Would like to ask for your kind comments/ advices on both points.

Here's the original:



And here's the processed:



Only thing done was to increase highlight in shadows by 5%. Does it make the steps look wrong? I did that cause I felt that the steps beside the merlion are too dark.

I know the composition is not the best, cause I have no wider lens and no more steps to move backward, but I am more interested in learning more about getting the right exposures, both through shooting and post-processing. I guess I am really not that good at it...a little help please?

Thanks in advance!
 

lennyl

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Well, based on the images, the only advice I can give right now is to try logging out of your SmugMug account and see if you can view the images :) Are they in a protected folder by any chance?
 

sohzai

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Cannot see anything leh.
Well, based on the images, the only advice I can give right now is to try logging out of your SmugMug account and see if you can view the images :) Are they in a protected folder by any chance?
So sorry..forgot that I re-uploaded the photos, thus failing the picture link, should be rectified now.
 

JaPhotos

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#6
erm...you said that your subject is the merlion.
from both your pictures...the merlion is over-exposed, cannot see much details.
 

sohzai

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Thanks for pointing that out. May I know what should I adjust to rectify that? Would it be the exposure or the highlight? And in this case, where there is a brightly lit object and rather dark surroundings, is there anyway I should shoot to expose the areas corectly?
 

lennyl

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Thanks for pointing that out. May I know what should I adjust to rectify that? Would it be the exposure or the highlight? And in this case, where there is a brightly lit object and rather dark surroundings, is there anyway I should shoot to expose the areas corectly?
I wonder about that a lot too. I can't think of a better solution than to bracket exposure and then blend in Photoshop. You can try to recover highlight in Photoshop, but success will depend on how badly overexposed it is.
 

m3lv1nh0

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#9
IMHO, for landscape, a wider view would be better. 24mm on a 40D might not be wide enough. Here I find the composition too tight and not much of the sky is shown. Another important thing to note is to shoot the pic around 6.30 - 7.30pm where the sun is setting which create wonderful colours in the skies. Set your cam to shutter pioritiy mode and experiment with the different shutterspeed till you get something you like. Also consider getting a Canon 10-22mm for that extra width.

Here's 2 pic I took of the same subject with 40D and sigma 10-20.
Merlion
Merlion2
 

sohzai

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I wonder about that a lot too. I can't think of a better solution than to bracket exposure and then blend in Photoshop. You can try to recover highlight in Photoshop, but success will depend on how badly overexposed it is.
Know of this...but never tried it before..hehe...I shall try the bracketing shot...but how do we blend the photos in photoshop?
 

sohzai

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IMHO, for landscape, a wider view would be better. 24mm on a 40D might not be wide enough. Here I find the composition too tight and not much of the sky is shown. Another important thing to note is to shoot the pic around 6.30 - 7.30pm where the sun is setting which create wonderful colours in the skies. Set your cam to shutter pioritiy mode and experiment with the different shutterspeed till you get something you like. Also consider getting a Canon 10-22mm for that extra width.

Here's 2 pic I took of the same subject with 40D and sigma 10-20.
Merlion
Merlion2
Hi m3lv1nh0,

I was taking photos there during that time from 6pm to 8pm, taking my time to test and learn the shots. I know the sky would be beautiful with wonderful colours, but I simply can't capture much without a wide lens. Wait till I save up for it...money is hard to come by.

Anyway, may I ask then how to gauge the right exposure, without blowing it off too much on the highlights and showing too little from the shadows?

Is it purely through experience?
 

calebk

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#12
...
Anyway, may I ask then how to gauge the right exposure, without blowing it off too much on the highlights and showing too little from the shadows?

Is it purely through experience?
Your camera has a spot meter. Use it.
 

lennyl

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Know of this...but never tried it before..hehe...I shall try the bracketing shot...but how do we blend the photos in photoshop?
Google for "blend exposure photoshop" and you will come up with a few different methods. Scott Kelby's Photoshop book has technique too. And as calebk pointed out, use your camera to meter. And check the histogram after capture.
 

sohzai

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Your camera has a spot meter. Use it.
Google for "blend exposure photoshop" and you will come up with a few different methods. Scott Kelby's Photoshop book has technique too. And as calebk pointed out, use your camera to meter. And check the histogram after capture.
roger...guess i will do my own read up before asking you guys more questions.
 

lennyl

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roger...guess i will do my own read up before asking you guys more questions.
Not that I don't want to explain in detail, but I'm not very experienced in blending in Photoshop myself (only done it a few times, and kept feeling I could have done a better job) and since I learned from those sources, would rather you get it straight from the source than have it (mis)interpreted by me.

If the highlights / shadows are not completely blown, using shadows / highlight adjustment can recover plenty without blending. You'll probably be better off doing that with the raw image than a JPEG.
 

sohzai

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Not that I don't want to explain in detail, but I'm not very experienced in blending in Photoshop myself (only done it a few times, and kept feeling I could have done a better job) and since I learned from those sources, would rather you get it straight from the source than have it (mis)interpreted by me.

If the highlights / shadows are not completely blown, using shadows / highlight adjustment can recover plenty without blending. You'll probably be better off doing that with the raw image than a JPEG.
Nope nope...don't get it wrong...I also have not thought about reading up first before asking here.. :) thanks for providing the links too...

Yah...think raw would be much better to work with, I never shot in RAW before cause I know I wouldn't be processing them. Now, its a different story...
 

justshot

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#19
hmmm... thought you had attended the classes already....
 

waileong

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#20
Who says the picture is not exposed "correctly"? There is no such thing as a "correct" exposure, only an exposure that gives you the effect you want. In fact, some of the best classic pictures are not exposed "correctly".
 

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