So Much For The City

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macrumors Penryn
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Dec 27, 2002
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Ok, I decided to get out and go to Royal National Park this weekend. Yes yes, I realize all my threads are named after albums or songs.

Anyway, the national park was different than the ones I'm used to. Normally I'd see dense forest, tall trees, lots of green. I didn't see that on my trip. ;) This isn't to say I didn't enjoy my trip. I did, but it's definitely different.

I saw a tonne of cool cloud formations and patterns while I was there, but most of those shots included my friends doing various things, so I decided not to post those. I do have some cool cloud shots without people in them, though. :)
 

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macrumors Penryn
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Dec 27, 2002
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It took around 1 hour. Actually, there are many entrances to that park, and it would probably take me around 40 minutes to drive to the nearest entrance.

Here's 4 more photos......2 better shots of the water. There's so much life in the water, it's amazing. And you should see the moss on some of the rocks they have at the beach there. It's like a desert, but with a beach attached. Weird.
 

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ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
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Abstract,

Take this as constructive criticism, for that's how it's meant:

1. Focus is off in just about all of the photos. Are you using a wide-open aperture for a shallow depth of field? Did the focus lock onto the wrong target? Are you using in-camera sharpening or doing any post-processing?

2. Avoid shooting into the sun (3rd pic in first set, 2nd pic in second set) unless you've got a filter that can accentuate the reds, golds, and oranges of a sunrise or a sunset. These were taken in the midday sun, so shooting into the sun will not produce pleasing effects. You can, however, shoot into the sun to intentionally underexpose a foreground subject, turning it into a silhouette.

3. Because the sun is so strong here, use a polarizing filter to add contrast to the sky and the clouds. Use it also to heighten the drama in the last 2 pics of the water. You can also try a warming filter (or simply post-process the image by changing the color temperature). Use post-processing to reduce highlights and perhaps turn up the saturation; this will improve contrast and brighten the colors.

4. When shooting along coastlines, I find that the best light occurs in the morning hours. Try to exploit those morning rays.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
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It doesn't look like the focus is that bad, but they are small. What lens, what camera body? maybe you just need some USM or something.

But they're good, I get my ultra wide tomorrow, it should be fun.
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
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I took the liberty to touch up the photos a bit. These are the result of highlight/shadow adjustment, a little bit of color boost, slight rotation to straighten the horizon, and a bit of sharpening.
 

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macrumors Penryn
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Dec 27, 2002
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ksz said:
1. Focus is off in just about all of the photos. Are you using a wide-open aperture for a shallow depth of field? Did the focus lock onto the wrong target? Are you using in-camera sharpening or doing any post-processing?
Almost all my photos were taken at f/8.

All photos were taken with my 12-24 mm Tokina f/4 and a Nikon D50.

Here's a link LINK to Flickr (first time I ever used it) if you want to see a larger version of the photo.

2. Avoid shooting into the sun (3rd pic in first set, 2nd pic in second set) unless you've got a filter that can accentuate the reds, golds, and oranges of a sunrise or a sunset. These were taken in the midday sun, so shooting into the sun will not produce pleasing effects. You can, however, shoot into the sun to intentionally underexpose a foreground subject, turning it into a silhouette.
Cool. :) Unfortunately (for my photos, anyway), the hike took 5-6 hours, so the sun was overhead most of the time. We hiked through like 13 km or something, and I didn't know what to expect. All the cool stuff, like the cliff, was taken earlier in the day when the sun would still be facing the cliffs a little. I should have at least used my lens hood, but I forgot it at home. :eek: The shots near the water and the sand were later into the day when the sun was more westerly.

3. Because the sun is so strong here, use a polarizing filter to add contrast to the sky and the clouds. Use it also to heighten the drama in the last 2 pics of the water. You can also try a warming filter (or simply post-process the image by changing the color temperature). Use post-processing to reduce highlights and perhaps turn up the saturation; this will improve contrast and brighten the colors.
I'm not sure about circular polarisers. Ken Rockwell doesn't recommend using a circular polarizer with an "ultrawide" angle lens because the light is coming in from so many angles that skies are polarized by different amounts throughout the sky from left to right. Anyway, I do want one, but I planned on getting one for the "next" lens I get, whatever that is. Should I just get it for my Tokina 12-24 mm? I got a UV filter instead.

4. When shooting along coastlines, I find that the best light occurs in the morning hours. Try to exploit those morning rays.
Oh I know. Since the cliffs and coast are facing the east, it's the perfect place to shoot a sunrise, but by the time we got there, it was around 11am.
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
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Abstract said:
Here's a link LINK to Flickr (first time I ever used it) if you want to see a larger version of the photo.
Down rezzing the image took a lot out of it. The original is way better. Highlights should nevertheless be reduced, shadows boosted ever so slightly, and the image should be rotated to straighten the horizon.

I'm not sure about circular polarisers. Ken Rockwell doesn't recommend using a circular polarizer with an "ultrawide" angle lens because the light is coming in from so many angles that skies are polarized by different amounts throughout the sky from left to right. Anyway, I do want one, but I planned on getting one for the "next" lens I get, whatever that is. Should I just get it for my Tokina 12-24 mm? I got a UV filter instead.
You can safely use slim circular polarizers on wideangle lenses down to 17mm (12mm on DX?). I recently purchased B+W's slim circular polarizer for my Tokina 12-24, but I haven't taken it out for a spin yet.

According to the manufacturer:

http://www.schneideroptics.com/filters/filters_for_still_photography/slim-line/
Have you ever photographed a beautiful landscape with your wide-angle lens, rotating your polarizer just right, only to be surprised to find four black corners in all of your photos?

The B+W Slim-Line Filter is specifically made to work with wide-angle lenses. The unique "slim" design prevents vignetting with lenses as wide as 17mm. Available in a broad range of filter types in sizes 49mm through 105mm, Slim-Line filters are the perfect choice for your wide-angle photography.

Slim-Line Filters do not include front filter threads, as adding accessories would defeat the purpose for which they are intended. Slim-Line circular polarizers are available in 49mm through 82mm and 95mm only.

Selected Slim-Line Filters are also available multi-resistant.
 

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macrumors Penryn
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Dec 27, 2002
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This is why I've really had to think about whether to buy a circular polarizer or not. (The photo is below)

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filters.htm

Avoid polarizers on wide-angle lenses

You'll get weird effects with a polarizer on any ultra-wide lens. Linear and circular polarizers give the same weird results on skies.

Death Valley Dunes

Dunes, Death Valley

The weird results on ultra-wide lenses are because the polarization of the sky varies from one end of the sky to the other. Polarization of the sky is maximum at 90 degrees from the sun, and none at the sun and 180 degrees from it. This is no issue with a tele lens, however with a super wide you are sweeping such a broad expanse that the polarizing effect will vary greatly across the sky. You often get a dark area in the sky, which usually looks nasty. I rarely use polarizers with ultra wide lenses.

If your polarizer is thick (as many are due to the rotating mount) you may be getting mechanical vignetting in the corners, too.
Several people on this board told me to get a 3 mm slim polarizer, but I was still skeptical because Ken Rockwell's site came with an image of what the sky might look like with a polarizer on. :eek: But I interpreted this vignetting issue as being due to the physical thickness of the polarizer, and that's what you and several people are talking about --- a problem related to physical dimensions.

The problem Ken is talking about isn't due to physically blocking light at the corners. He's talking about getting weird effects due to the physics of light, and THAT is the issue I'm afraid of. I thought even if I got a 3 mm, 77mm diameter circular polarizer lens, I might still suffer from this uneven-ness in the sky.

However, if you're telling me that it'll be fine, then I'll try it out. Heck, I guess I could always return it if it doesn't work out, right? ;)
 

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ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
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Interesting. I will slip on the polarizer and test it out on the weekend at various focal lengths from 12 to 24 on the Tokina. I'll post the results.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
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Turns out I have a 72mm polarizer, darn me. But holding it infront of it I can atest to no viggnetting at 10mm f4.
 

0098386

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Jan 18, 2005
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This thread has made me realise I've got so much to learn about photography.

Nice pics, both the original and the edits. But I have a habit of looking through the shot and imagine myself there. Just wanting to take a dip in that beautiful water.

edit: I'm a huge fan of outer-city photography. I live up in the hills surrounding Manchester and it's godly beautiful. Valleys, lakes, woods, hollowed sheep and other things.
EDIT2: DO NOT click the link above if the url name sounds like you wouldn't want to see. It's a good summary.
 

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macrumors Penryn
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Dec 27, 2002
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Oh, I should comment on ksz's edits of my photos since he was nice enough to spend the time doing so. :eek:

I think those were done before he realized that my photos are more sharp than he thinks they are. Well, the originals are fine. Compression makes them crap, so that's why the ones I posted aren't sharp looking.

Anyway, I think those edits are a bit too contrasty for my tastes, and much too sharp. Maybe it's just my Dell 17" LCD (a very basic one, not widescreen or anything), because I know it's way too bright and photos look way too saturated on this monitor. It was never calibrated because it's actually meant for scientific work. ;) I like what was done to the photos with the sun directly overhead, and those highlights, but too contrasty for my tastes.
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
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So that brings up another point:

When posting a photo on this website -- which limits you to about 240K per image -- first resize the image. Bring the dimensions down to 640x480 or something similar. Then use JPEG compression with relatively high quality level, around 90%. That should be enough to meet the filesize limit while preserving image quality.

If you apply massive compression to the original image, you will get crappy results every time!
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
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Seattle
ksz said:
So that brings up another point:

When posting a photo on this website -- which limits you to about 240K per image -- first resize the image. Bring the dimensions down to 640x480 or something similar. Then use JPEG compression with relatively high quality level, around 90%. That should be enough to meet the filesize limit while preserving image quality.

If you apply massive compression to the original image, you will get crappy results every time!
In photoshop you can export to web and when you resize choose bicubic sharper.
I find aperture's default for thins like Fit 640 to look just fine.
 

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macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
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ksz said:
So that brings up another point:

When posting a photo on this website -- which limits you to about 240K per image -- first resize the image. Bring the dimensions down to 640x480 or something similar. Then use JPEG compression with relatively high quality level, around 90%. That should be enough to meet the filesize limit while preserving image quality.

If you apply massive compression to the original image, you will get crappy results every time!
One time (ie: last 4-6 weeks) I asked someone why they posted such small photos in this forum when he's asking for advice? I told him I could hardly see the details, so couldn't tell him whether his photos were sharp, etc.

He told me that he and probably lots of people I don't realize still use dialup, so I felt guilty and started to make sure my photos were below 50 kb in size. :eek: Before, I used to just batch resize my photos to 640x480 using Automator and then just post them. They'd end up between 80-120 kB.

Anyway, I'll post larger photos next time.
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
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As promised, here are the test results for vignetting and color-variation effects with a slim circular polarizer on a wideangle lens.

Nitty gritty details:

1. Lens: Tokina 12-24 f/4 (77mm filter diameter).
2. Polarizer: B+W Slim Circular Polarizer.
3. Camera: Nikon D200 on Aperture Priority shooting JPEGs.

The test consists of the following:

1. 6 images at 12mm without the filter at f/4, f/5, f/6.3, f/8, f/10 and f/22.
2. 6 images at 12mm with the filter rotated to produce the darkest sky at the same six apertures.

3. 6 images at 24mm without the filter. (Same six apertures as above.)
4. 6 images at 24mm with the filter rotated to produce the darkest sky. (Same six apertures.)

The photos were taken starting at roughly 3:30pm with the camera pointed to a part of the sky that is 90-degrees to the incident Sun. If the camera were pointed directly towards the Sun, it would not result in any significant darkening. If pointed directly away from the Sun we would again not expect to see much polarization. Polarization is maximum at 90 degrees to the Sun.

The results are shown in pairs. For example, 12mm with and without the filter for each of the six focal lengths, then 24mm with and without.

Conclusions
1. There appears to be no notable vignetting at 12mm even wide open at f/4 either with or without the filter.
2. There appears to be no dark banding at any focal length and aperture. The slim circular polarizer works well throughout the focal range of the 12-24 DX lens.