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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jabbott, Jul 15, 2011.
HDR of 3 night shots, tone mapped, & desaturated
OK, the contest is now closed! I will post the results tonight. Thanks everyone for the great entries!
Christmas ... in July
It may be 96 degrees out, but I JUST shot this photo for this contest!
Snow Village display in a room with no artificial light. Backdrop is light-blocking drapes. There wasn't much natural light: On the right and right rear are two north-facing windows, with light blocking-drapes open over sheer curtains, looking onto a shaded Farmers Porch. To the rear of the 14' room is a door opened to a small foyer, with door open to Farmers Porch.
How I might improve similar shots in the future, from jabbott and/or others, would be greatly appreciated (after the contest is completed, of course) ... this is about 3 feet of an approximately 22-foot display!
ISO 400, 30mm, 0 ev, f/25, 25.0 seconds.
First of all, thanks to everyone who participated in the contest! These are all great entries and it will be hard to determine a winner. Here are my comments for each photo:
fcortese: Very nice fireworks shot. Considering how close we are to July 4th, I was expecting some fireworks! I think what would help here is to either get the fireworks to be a larger part of the frame (maybe by shooting in portait orientation), or get a large foreground subject (city lights, etc.) with the fireworks in the background. Otherwise very nice colors and subject.
Koffie: I like this photo but the levels need adjusting. If you use Preview/iPhoto/Photoshop/Aperture you can adjust the white level slider to where much more of the tonality and detail begins to comes out.
SomeWhores: Nice, highly energetic shot. I've seen this effect before, albeit in video! It's in the movie Koyaanisqatsi starting at 1h4m12s. One of my favorite movies.
Pkaras: Much smoother shot than the one above it. I like the contrast of black and white on the road, as well as the tones of the guard rail and the passing vehicles. The specular highlights are not my favorite but it is a neat effect.
pistonsfan1600: Very nice photo of the Zipper! This reminds me of the old spirograph patterns. Great colors here too.
paulg: Good framing and interesting composition. My first thought was "what on Earth are they holding?" I suppose it would have helped if I read the subject line. I really like how the light is cast on the buildings, as well as the dark blue cloudy sky.
fireman32: Nice fireworks shot! I like how the paths of the fireworks all cross each other. I think you could have stopped down the aperture a little to increase saturation and prevent highlights from blowing out, but otherwise it is good.
macrumormonger: Very nice and well metered long exposure. Also reminiscent of some of the highway scenes in Koyaanisqatsi. I like the variety of colors from the light sources!
deep diver: Wow, that is a lot of fireworks in 2.4 seconds! Very impressive. From the thumbnail it almost looks like milkweed seeds. The pattern of the fireworks definitely catches my eye in a unique way.
pukifloyd: Interesting effect here. For some reason this reminds me of an album cover. Perhaps it is the square cropping. I like the predominance of red/blue in the photo.
mtbdudex: I like the color tones of this photo a lot, as well as the shapes and ghostly apparitions. I think I would have taken the photo a little higher off the ground (though not much) and a few steps to the left if possible.
Ravaroo: I like the exposure length you chose here (i.e. no white blowouts), as well as the positioning to accentuate the large boulder shadow. I would have framed it ever so slightly to the left (or zoomed out slightly) to include some space to the left of the boulder, as it seems a bit close to the left edge of the frame. Also I would have taken another exposure to see if eliminating blur in the vegetation was possible. This is still a really nice shot that keeps me looking.
Laird Knox: Nice shot of the Milky Way! You must have been away from civilization for this one, as the Milky Way shots I've taken near town have a reddish hue. Do you know what the line was? If I had to guess, I would say it was a space shuttle or the ISS, because aircraft tend to show strobe lights well even with long exposures. I'd be curious to know what ISO you used for this shot as well -- it appears to be very well exposed without an abundance of ISO noise. It might have been neat to light paint the trees below with a flashlight, assuming they were close enough by.
taybo20: Interesting shot. I like the lines drawn by the bridge shadows and the blue/yellow color scheme. Where was this taken if you don't mind my asking? This one is a bit of an enigma for me.
elfy: This is a neat effect, and I really like the lighting, color and perspective.
Chappers: Oooooh, lightning! This is a really nice shot, and I'm shocked (no pun intended) that you were so close to the lightning. I'm also shocked this was shot handheld! In addition to the lightning, it's nice to see the rain illuminated by the lightning, as well as the silhouette of the trees. Like I mentioned to Laird earlier, it may have been neat to light paint the trees, but you would need to have someone else do it or else use a tripod. Where was this photo taken, by the way?
TheOnlyJon: I like the arcs created by the street and car lights. This looks like it would be fun to get from a few different angles/perspectives. I would also recommend level adjustment like what I mentioned in Koffie's comment above. By the way, your user name is funny. I used to think I was only one of ten people named Jon in the world.
acearchie: Quite apparitional! I'm not sure what to think about this one. What are all these clones doing? Where are they going? And most important of all, why are they all staring at me? Interesting effect for sure.
hitek79: Ah, my backyard (I'm headed to Indian Peaks Wilderness this weekend)! This is an excellent long exposure of streams. There is no apparent under- or over-exposure present, which is incredibly tricky given the size of the scene. I've shot quite a few long exposure stream shots in Colorado and there is often an over-exposed area in the ones I've taken. Very well done!
AirborneAngel: This is an interesting photo, although I think you could adjust the levels some to get more detail like what I mentioned in Koffie's comment above. Was this taken near LA? It reminds me of some of the hills along 5 on the way to San Diego, as well as the hills along 58 near Tehachapi and the hills along 166 on the way west to Santa Maria. It's all vaguely familiar but I can't quite pinpoint it.
mackmgg: Very cool shot! Is that an Iridium satellite flare off to the right? Capturing Iridium flares is one of my hobbies... Also, was that a road going up the mountain, lights for night skiing or something else?
Keleko: Very warm colors here, and I like the contrast. I'm guessing this was taken with a fairly wide angle lens to get so many people into the photo?
encephalon: Beautiful mountain shot, and I like how the long exposure evens out the cloud shape (I notice this with a lot of my long exposure shots near the mountains). A slight amount of level adjustment would help to bring out the light on the mountain without blowing out the sky.
Phrasikleia: I am a fan of your photos, this one included! I like the long shadow angle of the subject cast across the long exposure stream. I also like the seemingly paradoxical path that the water takes. Did you use The Photographer's Ephemeris and/or the Sun mode in Google Earth to ensure good lighting and sun angle for this shot?
kevinski25: Very good use of tone mapping to bring out what would normally be dark areas. I've done a couple B&W HDRs myself and they are fun to do. Good framing and composition as well.
And there is one more. Waybo sent me a PM that he had technical difficulties and was unable to post his photo until right after the contest was closed. I understand having technical difficulties all too well so I'm going to bend the rules just this once and include his submission.
Waybo: This is definitely an interesting subject considering the heat! I think the light rays coming out of the house windows (especially the one slightly right and above center) is a neat effect, as they appear somewhat different than typical round specular highlights. I think there are a couple things you can do here which might help what you are photographing. The first would be to adjust the white balance / tone to make the white blanket truly appear white. Currently there is a bluish/greenish tone probably from the ambient sunlight. The other thing would be to get closer into the world using close-up macro photography with narrow depth of field. That would help immerse the viewer into the world.
This has been a tough contest to judge because there have been so many good entries. Here are my judging results:
Thanks again to everyone who submitted an entry this week, and now it's on to Chappers for next week's photo contest!
I'm not exactly sure what that is, but it may be!
Also, the lights on the mountain are them grooming the trails. The other lights are a building and a road. It's too bad I couldn't avoid those in the photo
I'm willing to bet it was an Iridium satellite flare, as it looks just like how they appear in a long exposure. Here is a Wikipedia article that talks more about them and has some photos. There is also a website called Heavens-Above.com that predicts when, where and how brightly they will occur once you enter in your location. The flares only last a few seconds so they are a fun challenge to photograph!
Thanks, jabbott. Hehe, am I that predictable? I guess so because, yeah, I did use TPE for this one (shot six months ago before I knew about GE's sun mode). This was shot on private property where I was staying for a long weekend to visit with family. It is very light-challenged land, at least in my favorite part of it, this gorge with the stream at the bottom. Because of its tricky situation, it's not a place I would go as a photo destination in itself, but there I was for three days with some camera equipment and nothing better to do. So I worked out with TPE when I might possibly get some low-ish sun in that gorge. Turned out that January, when I was there, is the one time of the year when the rising sun will shine into the gorge at a relatively low angle, once it clears a hill southeast of the gorge. TPE allowed me to measure the height of that hill and to calculate to within about 10 minutes when the sun would clear it. I'm not a morning person, so I was not willing to get out of bed and do the hike that early without some guarantee of a pay-off!
Anyway, congrats to Chappers! And many thanks to jabbott for a good round of judging!
Congrats Chappers that was an awesome photo and deserving of the win.
Great job in judging jabbott and congrats to Chappers and all of the participants. there were some really great pictures in this one.
Thank you, jabbott, for such a good job judging. I appreciate your suggestions on improving my shot. Thank you, too, for including me in this contest! Now I need to try to find the post of someone who had problems with their card reader, and see if it could be a similar problem to mine, which ended being a defective USB cord ... but first I must congratulate Chappers for beating out so many other fine photos!
Thanks everyone - but I am shocked really - but luckily not literally by that lightning strike in my photo - it scared the hell out of me. There were so many great photos that I didn't think I stood a chance. I'm trying to think of a new topic - will be back asap - when I think of something.
jabbott ----- Great judging
new contest posted here - http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=13018411#post13018411
Nice job everyone, and congrats to Chappers!
My photo was at the 18mm end of my 18-135mm lens.
Thanks for the comments. This was taken at Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, AZ. The "hilly" or wave type patterns were generated by basically christmas type lights that are strung across the bridge above it.
The image was taken with a Nikon D60. I'm not sure why I don't have ISO information but it was probably set at its limits (1600). I'll have to take a look at the original file to be sure. I just realized that the image I posted is the original file off of the camera. Just a RAW import and re-size so no manual noise reduction.
I was at Great Basin National Park in northern Nevada which is considered to be one of the darkest areas in the country. With my gear I am just pushing the edge where I can start to get color out of the Milky Way. That is my best shot to date. I really want to move up to a D7000 or full frame body one of these days.
The streak is a meteor. I was there specifically to shoot the showers. I didn't have much luck that night and this was the best one. I have about 100 similar shots without anything but an occasional plane.
The trees were up on the ridge so quite some distance away. I wonder if my 5 watt LED flashlight might have had enough power to fill them in a bit? I'll have to try it again sometime.