NEWS / Workshops / Article: Which one Works # 4, “The Palouse”

               Jack Graham Photography                www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

 

VISIT MORE IMAGES on the 500PX Web site–CLICK HERE  http://500px.com/JackGraham

This is a GREAT website for viewing some simply amazing  images!

 

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Out in the Eastern Sierra

2012 Workshop Schedule    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

 2012 Registration Form   REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

 Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

 One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s  GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com  NEW PODCAST COMING LATER THIS WEEK!!!!

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 Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

 

Noteworthy

WEBINAR———NIK SOFTWARE: I would like to thank the folks at NIK SOFTWARE for inviting me to host a webinar   at their studio in San Diego from 2-3PM on Feb 28th. You have to register to attend. You need to register for this, and I know there are only a few spots left! ( they can register up to 1000 people). Click here to register: http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php/webinars/signup/12851?j=16013119&e=jack@jackgrahamphoto.com&l=175395_HTML&u=205139063&mid=115479&jb=0

I have a featured article in Landscape Photography Magazine this month. You can read it here:

http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/

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Workshop news and information:

 

WHIDBEY ISLAND & NORTHERN CALIFORNIA—Pacific Northwest Art School Workshops am conducting 2 workshops this year for the Pacific NW Art School. One is on Whidbey Island, Washington in May and the other is in Northern California in September. These are at a very special price and a tremendous value. Please contact them by clicking here, http://www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org/all/photography-workshops/graham-jack-photography-on-whidbey-may-9-12-2012

or call (360) 678-3396 for information      Pacific Northwest Art School Flier

Blue Ice, Iceland

ULTIMATE ICELAND in July 2012—–ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!… It’s going to a special trip! http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-july-2012

         HIDDEN CHINA and optional TIBET:–Summer 2012 One of the 1st workshops ever to venture into Details here: http://www.phototc.com/tours/tour.php?tour=152

 

EASTERN SIERRA with GUY  TAL — www.guytal.com  OCTOBER 2012—There are only a few spots left for my Eastern Sierra workshop in October with me and my good friend Guy Tal. If you are thinking about joining us, please let me know ASAP. Rooms are also at a premium.

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/17th-annual-eastern-sierra-photography-workshop-mono-lake-alabama-hills-bristlecone-pine-bodie-more

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone NP

TETON NP / YELLOWSTONE NP WORKSHOP in September. Details are found here:

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/fall-grand-teton-and-yellowstone-np-photography-workshop

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE in JUNE !!   Wildflowers & Waterfalls!http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/columbia-river-gorge-and-mt-hood-photography-workshop


                                             FEATURED ARTICLE:            WHICH ONE WORKS   # 4

© Jack Graham

This is a new feature I am publishing here on my blog every week or two. I’ll discuss and compare images and talk about why I like one over the others.

This process is a common one that we all deal in our editing process.  The editing process is as important as any stage in the making of a photograph. You should edit carefully, and be your toughest critic. In most cases the slightest difference in composition, light etc makes all the difference between a really good image and a great image.

Often we may take many frames of a subject in different light and different angles. Each frame can evoke a different feeling to the subject.

Always remember that you need a good subject and acceptable light, or your final image will probably be less than desirable.

Though art is subjective, certain aspects of correct composition are less. This writing is my feelings. You may disagree; if you do I’d love to know why. You comments, as always are more than welcome.

“The Palouse”

LOCATION. – The Palouse Region of Eastern Washington, USA. The Palouse is made up of rolling hills, old weathered barns and patterns in the wheat fields, accentuated by the light and clouds, which makes for some simply amazing photography. One must have their creative juices flowing to be successful photographing the Palouse. The Palouse is the richest wheat growing area in the United States due to the geographic location rainfall and rich soil.

These images were made in June, when the area is its greenest.

THE STORY:  One of the most striking things I always look for are the barns, sitting on or within the green hillsides. As I am sure you know red and green, as opposite colors work well together. This time of year, the green is at its peak. When photographing here, it’s important to take the textures, patterns and color all into account in every landscape image. I did that in all 4 of these images. Keeping the image as simple as possible is also primary. These are working farms. There will be tractors, silos, and other added articles around the barns, property and on the roads and along the roads. Sometimes you wasn’t them there, sometimes you don’t. Can you clone them out, sometimes, but sometimes they may cause distractions and be unable to be removed successfully. Can they affect the feel of an image? You bet, as we will see here.

TECH DATA:  These images were all shot back in 2006 on June 12th.  Image and all were taken 8, minutes apart at ISO 200, using A Nikon D200 and a Nikon 300mm F4 lens (which equaled 450mm taking the crop factor into consideration). Apertures were all F16, and shutter speeds were either 1 /40th or 1/30 second.

I did minimal processing on these 4 images. The one which I select will be refined and look better than these, but for this exercise, we’re talking about compositional elements, not processing.

The finial-processed image will be included at the bottom of this writing.

Images were processed using Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and as always Nik Software. Define was used first to remove any noise. I did not use Viveza 2 on these images at all, but did add Detail Extractor, Brilliance & Warmth, a slight amount of foliage enhancement and bit of vignette to each image, using the Nik Software’s Color Efex4 Pro.. Sharpening was done in Nik Sharpener Pro. There was minimal cropping done to these images.

The same amount of each filter/ sharpening etc was applied to each image. There are no variations in processing here, just natural light

 THE EDIT:    Let’s talk about each image, the pros and cons.

IMAGE # 1
IMAGE # 1

Image # 1

Pros:  I don’t really see too many here at all.

Cons: Let’s start with a basic question you need to always ask yourself. What’s the subject? IS it the barn? Is it the green hillsides? If you cannot answer this, the image is a failure. I cannot answer that question looking at this image. Can you?

There are many compositional defects in this image. There is a huge excess of foreground that adds nothing to the image at all. Yes the rolling hills are nice, the shadows are to me just ok, but the only reason you know it’s a barn is because it’s red. Could I crop out or clone out that tree in the upper left corner. Why is even there? Perhaps because the D200 was a 95% view finder! Also, to me the barn is not 100% sharp.

TIP—Know what percent your viewfinder is and remember things may creep into your image.  Live view will always show you a 100% view!

This image will be trashed and would never get to the processing area.

IMAGE #2

   IMAGE # 2


Pros:  To me this is an improvement that image #1, because of one factor. To me the barn is now the subject. At least we have one here. The simple placement of the barn in the foreground vs. at the top allows for a defined subject. This image was made 4 minutes after image #1. There is a nice leading line, the road coming from the lower right into the barn & house. The patterns are nice and the hillsides in the background are OK.  Notice how the light changed in just 4 minutes.

Cons:  The barn is not sharp enough, nor is the trees. This is still not anything to keep. Perhaps it might be a nice postcard, but nothing to hold my interest for more than about 10 seconds. It’s better than image #1, but to me, still a boring image.

I see many of these kinds of images, sometimes published—but this image will be trashed and would never get to the processing area either.

IMAGE # 3

Image 3

No matter how I tried the images, even though there were some pros, was unusable for all the reason I stated. In the same general area, Image # 3 was taken 2 minutes later than image # 1&2. Here we have something to look at and to hold interest.

Pros:  Just my looking in a slightly different direction allowed me to see something different. Because of the way it’s constructed, the content and layout is why this image is, so far, the superior. The red buildings and silos in the foreground make a pleasing anchor to the vertical view. This image says” Palouse”!  The added suspense created by the dust blowing off the road at the top, as a vehicle, not seen, creates interest. The spacing on the barns etc is good. The light is quite nice as well. It’s a bit hard to tell in these compressed images but the barn and trees are much sharper.

Cons:  Even though there is better subject matter here, there is also much more “going on” in this image than I really would like as a final shot. My eyes wander from the red barns up to the top and that dust, and then back down. Lets’ look for the subject again? What is it in your mind? I need the subject to be a bit more defined. The trees in the upper right corner also bother me a little but not terribly.

As a documentary image or a stock image this might be kept, but not certainly for a fine art print.

Image # 3, though a big improvement over 1 &2 is still a work in progress.

IMAGE # 4

Image # 4

I remember when I made these sequences of images and remembered how I asked myself how I could define the subject better. Why not try a horizontal image?

Pros: The placement of the red barn is now in the right area. As a horizontal image, there is not extraneous apace on the top or bottom. To me it’s just right. I really like how the leading line (road) comes in from the lower left and through the image. The lone few trees on the left add interest. The amount of spaced used by the hillsides on the upper half of the image add interest as well. There is enough, but not too much.

Cons: I don’t have too many. As a nit pick, when I finish processing the image I’ll remove the shadow in the upper left corner. Did you notice this? I did. These kinds of things can distract from an image. In the final image I’ll add some structure to this image using Nik Software’s Viveza2.

In a span of 8 minutes these 4 images were made and the simple though to make a horizontal image saved the day. This scene just lends itself to a horizontal over a vertical image.

TIP: If in doubt, shoot both horizontal and vertical images. When you get in front of your monitor, and then make the decision. Both can work for different uses.

What do you think?   … and if you would like to join us in the Palouse this June… click here for information:

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/spring-palouse-now-5-days

The right to download and store or output any content on this website www.jackgrahamphoto.com and  www.jackgrahamsblog website is granted for preview purposes only and may not be reproduced in any form .All Photographs appearing on this site are the property of Jack Graham unless otherwise noted.
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By entering this site you accept these terms. If you need permission to use a photo on this site please call 503-625-21430 or email Jack @ Jack@jackgrahamphoto.com

NEWS / 2011 Jack Graham Photography Workshop Contest Winners

 

Jack Graham Photography    www.jackgrahamphoto.com

Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

 

 

2012 Workshop Schedule    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

2012 Registration Form   REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

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"In All we See"

 

Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

 

 

Noteworthy

 WEBINAR-NIK SOFTWARE: I am conducting a webinar “live” at the Nik Software studio from 2-3PM on Feb 28th. You have to register to attend. As of last night there were only 120 spots left ( they can register up to 1000 people). Click here to register: http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php/webinars/signup/12851?j=16013119&e=jack@jackgrahamphoto.com&l=175395_HTML&u=205139063&mid=115479&jb=0

I have a featured article in Landscape Photography Magazine this month. You can read it here:

http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/

ONLY ONE SPOT REMAINS for ULTIMATE ICELAND in June 2012 It’s going to a special trip!: http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/ultimate-iceland-july-2012

As well as one of the 1st workshops ever to venture into HIDDEN CHINA and optional TIBET: Details here: http://www.phototc.com/tours/tour.php?tour=152

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2011 Jack Graham Photography Workshop Photo Contest Winners

I want to thank everyone who entered this years (2011) Jack Graham Photography Workshop Contest. Every year I say this, but this year’s entries were the best yet. The quality of the submissions was really way above average with many images that I frankly wish were mine! We had 94 really amazing images entered. Here are the top 5 winners

Again for 2011 the three judges for this contest were:

Bill Fortney: http://billfortney.com/ a legend in nature photography, author of the America from 500’ Nature photography book series, workshop leader, speaker, and much more, as well as great person and someone I can not say enough about. Bill also is an integral part of Nikon NPS (Nikon Professional Services)

Darrell Gulin: www.gulinphoto.com   Darrell has been photographing for over 26 years, marketing his work for the last 25 years and has been a full time Nature/Travel Photographer for the last 19 years. He markets his work through Stock Agencies, Editorial Markets, Photography Workshop/Tours, Seminars and Speaking Engagements. Darrell is one of Canon’s Explorer of Light Photographer

Ralph Clevenger: www.ralphclevenger.com Ralph teaches courses in nature photograph, stock photograph and more at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Ca. He is an award winning photographer and author of the book( highly recommended) “Nature Photography”

Congratulations to these years’ winners as well as our honorable mention folks.  http://jackgraham.photoshelter.com/gallery/2011-WINNERS-Jack-Graham-Photography-Workshops-Photo-Contest/G0000VEgdVtouG6g/

I’ll be repeating this contest again for 2012  so consider a workshop where I stress learning to see, learning to think and learning to create, as we work together to become a true “artist”.

Sincerely

Jack Graham   www.jackgrahamphoto.com

                           1st PRIZE:  Albert Tam, Burlingame, California________________

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Death Valley NP © Albert Tam

Albert is an amazing photographer. His  monochrome renditions are the best. Albert uses all components of the location and conditions to deliver simple, yet stunning images.

I really love Albert’s use of subtle nuances as well as wonderful use of shadows. This image is one such example.His work speaks for itself!  Great image Albert!!!

Albert attended my Death Valley workshop in Feb 2011. The image above was just one of many great images he made on this workshop.

It’s interesting to note that the first prize image the past 2 years was from Death Valley. Those who know Death Valley know it’s a challenging place to photograph in.

More of Albert’s work can be found on his website. Visit it by clicking here

http://www.thedphoto.com/inspiration-fix/amazing-black-and-white-landscape-photography-from-albert-tam/

Congratulations Albert.

1st Prize

1)       A Jack Graham Photography Workshop between now and the Dec 31st 2013 ( Gift certificate to be sent to you by me) (does not include international workshops or workshops I do for other companies)

2)       $100.00 Gift Certificate from Hunt’s Photo & Video(will be sent directly from Hunt’s

3)       Your choice of either Viveza2 or Color Efex Pro 4 from NIK Software (sent to you directly from Nik Software)

4)       Peak Capture Camera Clip from www.outdoorphotogear.com (sent to you directly from OPG)

5)       A few one years subscription to www.photographamericanewsletter.com (I’ll send you the form)

A copy of both of my E-Books (Sent to you by me)

 

 

______________ 2ND PRIZE: Tina Blum, Central Point, Oregon____________________

Dancing Aspens, Eastern Sierra, CA © Tina

Like Albert, Tina also was one of what Guy Tal (www.guytal.com) and I called “thinkers” on our workshop in the Eastern Sierra last October. Guy and I really stressed slowing down, studying the environment, conditions and looking for a unique image, rather than the iconic image so often seen. Tina accomplished this. I remember look around many times and seeing someone in some kind of contortion, of laying on the ground, in other words, not just standing there with a tripod. So often, it turned out to be Tine. This image represents her vision. Tina’s work can be seen here http://tinablumimages.500px.com/#/0   and even more here: http://500px.com/TinaBlumImages

Thanks Tina !

2nd PRIZE

1))       A 60% discount off any Jack Graham Photography Workshop between now and the Dec 31st 2013 ( Gift certificate to be sent to you by me) ) (does not include international workshops or workshops I do for other companies)

2)       $50.00 Gift Certificate from Hunt’s Photo & Video (will be sent directly from Hunt’s

3)       Black Rabbit Extreme Sport Strap from www.outdoorphotogear.com (sent to you directly from OPG)

4)       One regional Collection of your choice from  www.photographamericanewsletter.com (I’ll send you the CD—let me know which region you would like—visit the website for the offerings)

5)       A copy of both of my E-Books (Sent to you by me)

 

                            3rd PRIZE:  Carol Pustulka, West Seneca, NY_________________________

Patterns in a Stream,© Carol Pustulka

Carol was here in Oregon last year for a workshop out on the Oregon Coast. This image was made in a local creek. Carol and I met a few years ago while I was speaking at the big Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Club convention in Buffalo, (a great group—I’ve been there 3 times now!). Carol is a consistent winner in their various competitions and a mainstay of the Southtown’s Camera Club, which has been the top producing club in the region.

3rd PRIZE

1)       A 50% discount off any Jack Graham Photography Workshop between now and the Dec 31st 2013 ( Gift certificate to be sent to you by me) ) (does not include international workshops or workshops I do for other companies)

2)       $50.00 Gift Certificate from Hunt’s Photo & Video (will be sent directly from Hunt’s

3)       Tanaba Vector Top Load Camera Bag from www.outdoorphotogear.com (sent to you directly from OPG)

4)       One regional Collection of your choice from  www.photographamericanewsletter.com (I’ll send you the CD—let me know which region you would like—visit the website for the offerings)

5)       A choice of one of my E-Books (Sent to you by me)

 

Learning to be a good nature photographer in areas of the country that make you have to work a bit harder than others really shows up. Carol is one such example. Good job Carol!

 

 

 

__________________4th PRIZE  Jackie Curts, Lagoda, Indiana________________________

Snow Scene, Canyon de Chelley, Arizona © Jackie Curts

 

 

What a gift we had last March in Canyon de Chelley. Jackie made this photograph actually on the afternoon before the workshop started. We caravaned from Monument Valley over the Canyon de Chelley in early afternoon. When we arrived in Chinle, AZ it was snowing lightly. Knowing it was snowing Chinle, I figured that for sure was probably snowing harder up in the Canyon. I got the group together and we ventured up to the canyon for a few house of amazing photography. in some rather deep snow. What had been intended as a travel day (and some down time for me!) turned out to be a special few hours… truly a gift !

Jackie took some time composing this image. We were all scattered within about a 50’ range of each other but she did a great job on this composition. Usually gray or white skies or backgrounds are not what we want in an image, but the background here is wonderful. It’s snow falling! If you look closely you can se the red rocks of the canyon through the snow. This was not an east image to compose for many factors, let along the cold, and blowing snow were dealing with. This is a wonderful image Jackie! Congratulations.

More of Jackie’s work can be found here: http://www.photosbyjackiecurts.com/

 

4th PRIZE

1)  A 25% discount off any Jack Graham Photography Workshop between now and the Dec 31st 2013 ( Gift certificate to be sent to you by me) ) (does not include international workshops or workshops I do for other companies)

2)  $25.00 Gift Certificate from Hunt’s Photo & Video (will be sent directly from Hunt’s

3)       Dust Aid Sensor Cleaning Kit from www.outdoorphotogear.com (sent to you directly from OPG)

4)       A one year subscription to www.photographamericanewsletter.com (I’ll send you the form

5)       A choice of one of my E-Books (Sent to you by me)

 

                                     5th PRIZE   Lynn Koler, West Seneca NY________________________      

Sunrise, Tillamook Bay, Oregon © Lynn Koller

Lynn was here as well, with 3rd place winner Carol P, in Oregon last year for a workshop out on the Oregon Coast. This image was made at sunrise from a kind of secret location I know of, that not many other photographers frequent.. Like Carol, Lynn is also a consistent winner in their various competitions and a major part of the Southtown’s Camera Club, near Buffalo which has been the top producing club in the region. Lynn spends a lot of time in sunny Florida as well and has some wonderful images to prove it!

Don’t you just love how Lynn placed this (what looks to be an ibis?) in this image in a perfect position!  Wonderful image Lynn.

5th PRIZE

 

 

 

1)  A 20% discount off any Jack Graham Photography Workshop between now and the Dec  31st 2013 ( Gift certificate to be sent to you by me) ) (does not include international workshops or workshops I do for other companies)

 

2)  $25.00 Gift Certificate from Hunt’s Photo & Video (will be sent directly from Hunt’s

6)       Gitzo Hat and Cap from www.outdoorphotogear.com (sent to you directly from OPG)

7)       A one year subscription to www.photographamericanewsletter.com (I’ll send you the form

8)       A choice of one of my E-Books (Sent to you by me)

WHICH ONE WORKS? #3 “Composition, Processing challenges and the Feeling” / Recent News

                            Jack Graham Photography

www.jackgrahamphoto.com

    Learn to See                        Learn to think                      Learn to create

 

   2012 Workshop Schedule    http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/2012-workshop-schedule

2012 Registration Form   REGISTRATION FORM 2012v9

Workshop Referrals:  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/referrals

One on One, Individual Workshop information http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/one-one-field-studio-photography-workshops

Workshop FAQ’s GENERAL WORKSHOP QUESTIONS_FAQ’S INFORMATION_v2012f

PODCASTwww.18percentgraymatter.com

______________________________________________________________________________

 

    Jack Graham E-Book Series 1 & 2 now available for purchase and instant download:  

http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com/shop/e-books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noteworthy

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRPAHY MAGAZINE   http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/

This months issue (Feb 2012)  contains an article entitled “Focus on the Unconventional” http://landscapephotographymagazine.com/magazine/issue-12/ by me. I hope you find it interesting. While you are there, check out his 1st class publication. Compared to many of the print magazines, Landscape Photography is far ahead of the curve. Check out them various sections and innovative layout here. Let me know how you like the article!.

NIK WEBINAR : I’ll be doing a webinar for NIK DOFTWARE, live in their studio from 2-3PM (Pacific Time) on February 28th.  The webinar topic is “Keeping it Simple” and getting the most out of the NIK Software Suite. Click here to register for the webinar:  http://www.niksoftware.com/learnmore/usa/index.php/webinars/signup/12851?j=16013119&e=jack@jackgrahamphoto.com&l=175395_HTML&u=205139063&mid=115479&jb=0

See you there!  (save 15% on NIK Software—order online www.niksoftware.com and enter the code JGRAHAM)

WORKSHOPS; My 2012 workshops are beginning to fill quickly. The links you need to have are at the top of this page. We have only one seat left for Iceland, and just a few for our unbelievable trip to Hidden China and Tibet this summer. Also the workshops in the Southwest this spring are almost filled.. Don’t miss out on these !!!!

__________________ FEATURED ARTICLE————————————————————————————————————

WHICH ONE WORKS?          #3

    “Composition, Processing challenges and the Feeling”

©Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography

Within these discussion that will appear on my blog every week or two, I’ll discuss and compare images and talk about why I like one over the others.

This process is a common one that we all deal with in our digital darkroom. The final image is important for whatever project it’s being used for, and spending time determining which image works vs. another is well worth it. In many case the slightest difference in composition, light etc makes all the difference, Processing techniques can also make the choice apparent as well.

Often we may take many frames of a subject in different light and different angles. Each frame can evoke a different feeling to the subject.

Always remember that you need a good subject and acceptable light, or your final image will probably be less than desirable.

You comments, as always are more than welcome.

______________________________________________________________________

IMAGE # 1 Beaver Pond, Lundy Canyon,

 

LOCATION:  Beaver pond, Lundy Canyon, Eastern Sierra, California

 

THE STORY:  Prior to the start of my fall workshop in the Eastern Sierra, in 2011, Guy Tal www.guytal.com) and me, spent a few days together, scouting the area for our coming workshop in early October. Late in the afternoon as some weather was moving in we drove back into the beaver pond past Lundy Lake. I’ve been back here in some wonderful weather tor photography ( for me its dramatic skies; usually adverse conditions!). There is  lots of subject matter here. There is a series of ponds all high maintained by the local beavers who monitor the water level and use the plentiful amount of aspens and other trees for their dens, easily visible from the shoreline.

 

 

IMGAE # 2   Beaverpond Lundy Canyyon
IMGAE # 2 Beaverpond Lundy Canyyon

 

Its’ about 7000’ elevation here and the temperature is usually about 10-15 degrees colder than in close by Lee VIning and Mono Lake. Though the weather was not really terrible, it was about 32 degrees Fahrenheit and windy and raining and snowing at times pretty hard. Unfortunately the wind was blowing right at us. I’ve been in worse. The light was just ok, but for a few minutes when the sunlight pushed through the clouds in the distance hi about the mountains where it was snowing and the snow up high really made this image interesting. Though I had my chamois ready, the raindrops were a factor on my lens as you can see in the raw file.

 

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TECH DATA:

Image 1 ( Horizontal )                                                                                                              Image # 2  (Vertical)

Date/Time: 2011:10:10 16:21:36 Nikon D700 /Nikon 28-70mm F 2.8           2011:10:10 16:04:41 Nikon D700  /Nikon 17-35mm F 2.8

Shutter speed: 1/30 sec   Aperture: 16                                                                    Shutter speed: 1/13 sec   Aperture: 16

Exposure mode: Manual Metering mode: Spot                                                    Exposure mode: Manual Metering mode: Spot

ISO: 400   Focal length: 30mm                                                                                ISO: 400   Focal length: 20mm

 

Let’s discuss processing. II did all my normal processing Adobe Lightroom & did a lot of cloning in Photoshop of the water droplets that I could not prevent from hitting my lens! ( you can see my workflow and processing information in my eBook Series 1 available for sale on my website: I then used my   NIK Software as follows:

Here are the origional RAW FILES of each image

RAW file before processing

 

 

 

RAW file before processing

1)       Define 2.0—noise reduction. With my Nikon D700 at ISO400 there was virtually NO noise

2)       Viveza 2.0 – added a good amount of structure and some contrast to the clouds (see my glossary below & learn these terms). I reduced the amount to light in the upper right, ‘

By adding some structure to the water, I was able to bring out some of the reflections as well. I also adjusted the shadows in the trees and brought out a lot of definition, lost in the RAW file. (This is why we use the RAW format. We have much more to work with and can make these adjustments correctly… a discussion of RAW vs. jpeg can be found here: https://jackgrahamphoto.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/photo-tip-podcast-workshop-info/

3)       Color Efex 4 – I added just a tad of Brilliance & Warmth and then just a little Pro Contrast. I used the foliage adjustment to bring out the greens & the foliage along the shoreline. As always I added a vignette, using the Darken –Lighten center feature. This allowed me to choose where I want the center of attraction to be. I chose the shoreline on the left side of the pone. and adjusted the amount of vignette I wanted as well as the amount of darkening I wanted the boarders to have.

4)       Sharpening _ I used NIK’S Sharpener Pro 3.0 . I wanted the trees and vegetation sharper than the mountaintops and certainly the sky. With the Nik software I can control using the U-Point technology the area I want to have sharper than others. Not all images need this but this one did.

 

After that I added a slight curve and adjusted my levels in Adobe Photoshop and completed the processing.

 

THE EDIT:   

 

Both images deliver a totally different feeling and emoting. I chose image 2.Some of you who know me know I really love vertical images and for a while I tended to photograph more vertical images than horizontal. I’ve now learned to shoot both angles and make the decision later! This is a good example.

IMAGE #2

 

I choose #2 for a few reasons. First there is a much more appealing foreground, which is usually the first thing I look for inn the field when looking for good subject matter.

On my workshops, I always stress to my workshop attendees , that a little thing can make a good image a great one. Sometimes it’s not the obvious, but the subtle that can transform an image. For instance,

I really like how the sun reflection is right at the top of the tree reflection, and the top of the dead tree it pointing right up to the sun that just cresting over the tops of the mountains . I also like, really in both images how the submerged tree act as kind of a leading line to the other side of the pond.

I feel that the composition is simpler in the vertical. My eye keeps moving around looking for somewhere to land in the horizontal image. There is a lot of subject matter in the horizontal. Simple is always better.  In addition the clouds were much more dramatic in image #2.  Also note how two different lenses can evoke a different look and feel to an image as well.  Image was made with my Nikon 17-35mm F2.8 ( a very sharp lens) . I got down low to the ground to get the foreground where I wanted it. Image #2 was made with my Nikon 28-70mm F2.8, also a very sharp lens. There was no foreground where I was standing.

To recap, these items, in order of importance to me are why #2 was my choice.

1)       #2 has a more simple, but stronger composition, delivers a better feeling to the mood

2)       Strong  foreground

3)       Clouds more dramatic

4)       Position of the sun on the top as well as the reflection

5)       Somewhat better light

Let me now what you think!

 

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