LightningPaul

17 Jan 2009 989 views
 
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photoblog image Farmer Land

Farmer Land

This is the view when I go out of my office. I have to admit, together with the snow and an ultra wide angle lens, it looks much more impressive than in reality. Though everyday when I drive to or from my work, I'm thinking how I could turn this nice farmer land into something more magical. Enjoy it!


TECH-INFO: When taking pictures with a tripod I always use a cable release and a level (unless I forget them). Here I shot 7 JPGs with a stop difference.
With Photomatrix Pro I merged them into HDR file and tone mapped it to a 16 TIFF file. The goal was the reveal the sun and preserve the textures of the land.

In Photoshop I processed the sky and ground differently. For both I used the curve tool but for the sky I boosted mainly the dark tones, for the land the brighter ones. The sky got a bunch of extra vibrancy. I wanted the make the snow brighter and the ground darker hence I used the selective color tool where. The blacks got more black the whites less black.
Finally I added a more experimental looking vignette. It is partially hand painted (you could say decorated) and by using an HSL overlay layer where I decreased the lightness and normal HSL layer where I decreased the saturation fully (the overlay layer was coloring my snow to blue).


VFXY: also submitted for VFXY theme Deep Space.

Farmer Land

This is the view when I go out of my office. I have to admit, together with the snow and an ultra wide angle lens, it looks much more impressive than in reality. Though everyday when I drive to or from my work, I'm thinking how I could turn this nice farmer land into something more magical. Enjoy it!


TECH-INFO: When taking pictures with a tripod I always use a cable release and a level (unless I forget them). Here I shot 7 JPGs with a stop difference.
With Photomatrix Pro I merged them into HDR file and tone mapped it to a 16 TIFF file. The goal was the reveal the sun and preserve the textures of the land.

In Photoshop I processed the sky and ground differently. For both I used the curve tool but for the sky I boosted mainly the dark tones, for the land the brighter ones. The sky got a bunch of extra vibrancy. I wanted the make the snow brighter and the ground darker hence I used the selective color tool where. The blacks got more black the whites less black.
Finally I added a more experimental looking vignette. It is partially hand painted (you could say decorated) and by using an HSL overlay layer where I decreased the lightness and normal HSL layer where I decreased the saturation fully (the overlay layer was coloring my snow to blue).


VFXY: also submitted for VFXY theme Deep Space.

comments (22)

Awesome view and perspective. Love your processing Paul it's exceptional. A surreal image, reminds me of a scifi movie about the end of the world or something. Excellent work!
LightningPaul: Many thanks! I appreciate your comments a lot.
  • 613photo
  • United States
  • 17 Jan 2009, 06:00
Beautiful, Paul. This photo obviously has tons of range but I never would have figured it for a product of Photomatix. Excellent subtlety.

I like the vignette. It's different but it works well.

I normally skip over when photographers explain their process, but yours was very interesting to read. Mainly that part about how you treated the ground.

The scene itself is great, but I think I said that already!
LightningPaul: I think it would be possible to make a similar image using a strong hard gradual ND filter. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Bella.
LightningPaul: Thanks smile
The quality is again excellent Paul. If I have a criticism it is that the image is half land half sky and I would crop a large chunk off the foreground.
LightningPaul: Thanks for your opinion, I appreciate it. Initially I didn't agree with your cropping advice but after some thinking I agree that it would work well too.
Excellent ! A likey !!
LightningPaul: WOW! Many thanks!
fabulous image Paul and great processing, might agree with Bill though about the crop.
LightningPaul: Thanks Tim! After some thoughts I have to admit that you and Bill are right too about the cropping.
  • Ilan
  • Israel
  • 17 Jan 2009, 10:40
It amazes me how a good photo may become a great photo but tweaking just what might seem a minor detail - the fact that you can see those trees in the horizon changes the mood of the photo. I really enjoyed this one, great work!
LightningPaul: I'm very glad you enjoyed it smile
  • Rob
  • Thailand
  • 17 Jan 2009, 11:27
Simplicity is a these on shutterchance today. I like it!! The "A" that the tracks make was well seen!!
Cheers
Rob
LightningPaul: Many thanks for your comment. Good point about the "A" smile
I'd crop some of the sky above the watery sun ... the field textures are the protagonist for me. great shot . richard
LightningPaul: Thanks Richard. I don't agree so much with cropping the top of the sky, but I appreciate your opinion a lot.
Very nice atmosphere and perspective. We can feel the cold.
LightningPaul: It was indeed very cold. Brrrrrr.
Nice one, Paul! You know what you are doing!!
LightningPaul: Many thanks for your visit and comment.
  • chunter
  • United Kingdom
  • 17 Jan 2009, 16:21
I know it doesn't abide by the rule of thirds, but in this case there is equal interest in both the sky and the foreground (because of the tractor tracks that lead the eye to the horizon) so I think the 50/50 split works well.

The processing is very sympathetic and subtle too, which, taken all together is why the thumbnail compelled me to open it for a closer look.

I wasn't disappointed.
LightningPaul: Many thanks! I like the 5O/50 split a lot myself. Especially if you keep the camera horizontal you get this split automatically.
Magical shot! Smart PPing here, Paul smile
LightningPaul: Thanks Dave!
I agree with Chunter. The midway horizontal divide works perfectly here and takes it out of the box which is refreshing.

You certainly achieved your goal. I haven't tried HDR yet. I've seen many where it's really OTT but it's not here. Is there a reason for shooting jpgs as opposed to shooting in Raw for composing HDR images?
LightningPaul: In my experience (and also according the HDRI Handbook) there is no data loss (if you take enough pictures) when shootings JPGs instead of RAWs. JPGs are smaller and load faster into several programs. Also Nikon DSLRs produce IMO very nice JPGs with great and accurate color.
All data gets converted into a 32-bit HDR file; the HDR software takes the best parts of every shot image to combine everything.
  • paul
  • United Kingdom
  • 17 Jan 2009, 20:40
easily made it into my Likeys. Excellent, and thanks for the information on how you created this
LightningPaul: Wow, many thanks that it became a Likey smile
Another nice one. You're one of the few who uses HDR in a nice way, without making it fake.
LightningPaul: Thanks Marco. HDR gives you lots of possibilities. I try to choose the more realistic way with an artistic touch.
  • Chris Legg
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Jan 2009, 08:52
That does look very impressive! The half and half horizontal split works well because of the central tractor tracks. The aky is perfect for this shot too!
LightningPaul: Many thanks Chris! I'm glad you notice the tractor tracks, it proves that it is farmer land.
Outstanding !!! I love the composition, the converging lines fill the scene completely and lead the eyes to a stunning sky. Nice job !
LightningPaul: Many thanks! I followed some rules about converging lines and I broke the rules of third smile
  • Doum
  • Canada
  • 19 Jan 2009, 15:30
You convince my reason; every photographer need ultra wide angle. That it reflect exactly the normal eyes field of vision. Bravo.
LightningPaul: I fully agree that every photographer needs an ultra wide angle smile
Sometimes I read interviews of people who say that they are more a "telephoto" person. I think they miss a huge range of opportunities.
I like wide angle shots, especially this one.
LightningPaul: Thanks! I'm a super wide angle super fan smile
  • nissou*
  • brussels
  • 21 Jan 2009, 07:32
what a nice view after work! cool shot
LightningPaul: I shot it before working :-P
Well done; on all fronts. I agree with John Maslowski -- this could be the set from a movie. Case point of how wielding post production techniques are completely beneficial to the end image.
LightningPaul: Many thanks for your comment! So it looks like I'm passing a movie set when I go my work :-D
Later this year, I'll make more HDR tone-mapped images of the same view, just to see the seasonal changes.

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for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera NIKON D200
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 1/80s
aperture f/16.0
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 12.0mm
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