I need landscape help - Please :)

This is a discussion on I need landscape help - Please :) within the Landscape & Flower Photography forums, part of the PHOTO GALLERIES category; Feel free to edit this image Ok, I need some help. I drive through some beautiful parts of the mid western United States, and in ...


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  1. #1
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    Feel free to edit this image

    Ok, I need some help. I drive through some beautiful parts of the mid western United States, and in doing so come across some really cool spots. My problem is that I canít seem to capture the beauty with my camera. This photo is one example. Itís a really nice snap shot, but itís not a photograph if you know what I mean. I thought the river bank would make a nice leading line to walk you through the image. I shot with a wide angle. I was in the so called golden hour of the sunset. I just canít seem to turn these into great shots and donít know what to try next. While I wish there was a specific subject to shoot, there was nothing around that stood out. It was the scene that was beautiful. Iíve seen other photographers capture the feel of the beauty in a spot, why canít I? What am I missing? Are there some rules beyond the basics I should know about that are specific to landscape photography? Any input is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Only a rat can win a rat race!


  • #2

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    Another subject I know very little about, have much the same trouble myself, usually all those great photos you see have been boosted in PP, try some editing variations and see how that goes.

    One thing, it may only be because of the reduced size of the image or my failing eyesight, but the image doesn't seem to have sharp focus across the range from foreground to background that seem to make a great landscape shot. Does your camera have a "Landscape scene mode" ? If so try taking a few using that and then check the settings it used. also did you use a tripod? I know I never have one with me and pay the price in IQ.

    Sorry I can't be of more help, but I'm sure you will get heaps from those familiar with your camera.
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  • #3
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    You have to keep in mind that your eyes see things differently than your camera. Not all beautiful scenes will be captured the same as you see them. In the attached image, the colors are all muted and too similar. The sky is bland. The reflections are blending into the the opposite bank and further muting the effect. There isn't a whole lot you could have done differently other than choosing a different location.
    Steve

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  • #4
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    :P Lol second thought Charles.

    Oops, double post.

  • #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RudeRat View Post
    ... I thought...
    Um, well, I feel a some input forming - sorry, it might take a while to get focused and when it does become focused it might be lightweight - but this popped out at me. I might be wrong, but I believe pictures are more about feeling than thinking, though thinking is indispensable.

    I don't really want to think about how many times I've taken a good picture only to find out it actually wasn't a good picture.

    Our emotions can fool our intellect easily- we see something that grabs us due to emotional impact but a camera can't record our feelings. There's a saying, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." Sometimes you just can't get what you see because what you see isn't really there; you can't get the picture you're seeing because the picture you're seeing exists mainly in your perception.

    For this specific picture, I think you could crop the top and left some and that might improve it; but I think you would need to make a whole lot more exposures with different lens positions - closer to the water (personally, I think that would be a good idea), maybe more back from the water, left, right, up, down... and over a period of time... to know if you can capture what you're trying to capture or if you can't.

    I believe the only way to adjust our eye for photography is through a sometimes (my experience) disappointingly large amount of (sometimes dismal) failures. If you're willing to go through some sort-of-nerve-wracking-and-depressing tunnels, the lights at the ends of those tunnels are that you come to a point where you have a pretty good idea of what you're looking at and whether you can capture some or all of it on film (hm, now I guess it'd be some or all in digits).

    Don't let yourself be discouraged- it might happen anyway but keep going back to it and you'll get a handle on it; after a while, you'll own it.

  • #6
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    Bill,

    Did you have a second thought ?

    Charles
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  • #7
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    Seriously,

    The best way to see what this photo might look like is to post it in the "fix-this-photo" forum. To me, the photo looks too yellow, the contrast is flat, the levels need adjusted, and it needs the saturation pumped up.

    If you expect your images to look like they came out of a magazine then you need to post process them. I guarantee you that almost every image that makes it to publication (other than self-publication and news) has had some post processing done to it. This picture is far better than you think. No show winner and I still wonder at what the subject is but this image can be much more attractive than it is.

    I would have posted a edited copy here but your avatar says "photo editing not OK".

    Charles
    I currently spend a fair amount of time on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103236949470535942612

    my personal website (not very current I'm afraid): clupica and family
    my photogarphy : cwlupica - Photograher
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    me on facebook: Charles Lupica
    My fan page on facebook: StudioLupica

  • #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by clupica View Post
    I guarantee you that almost every image that makes it to publication (other than self-publication and news) has had some post processing done to it.
    Are you referring to a specific type of photography with this comment?
    Steve

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  • #9
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    I find myself in agreement with Charles as far as what the image needs. It seems to me that a beginning landscape book may provide the needed basics for you to step up. There are some really good used book deals on Amazon.
    Capture all the photons you want; the universe will make more.

  • #10

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    Lighting is very important to generate a good image. If the clock on your camera was right, this photo was taken late afternoon. Waiting a little later for softer light will improve your image. Try giving the photo more depth (fstop). I have had a lot of luck using a circular polarized filter to take landscape shots when conditions aren't ideal. Might be worth a try. It will help to darken the sky and pull some glare off the water.

    Like mentioned by others, take photos from multiple angles and heights. Practice, Practice, Practice. Its the best way to learn
    Andrew Walker

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