Friday, May 21, 2010

Screwing around

In preparation for my trip to Seattle and Alaska next week, I'm trying to learn a few techniques to maximize my time away, and best be able to process shots when I get home.

Since landscape photography opportunities will be everywhere, I wanted to try some panoramas so I know what I'm doing before out there potentially wasting time and frames.

What did I do wrong here? Well, it was too close to what I was photographing. Panning from image left to right left the semi-circle voids at the bottom (and the top), so if and when I wanted to crop this evenly, the bottom of the image, the track, would be largely lost. Seems like I'll have to compose what's visible, and them sort of re-compose in my mind what will make the final crop.

So here I backed up a bit but I'm still far too close. (Won't be a problem in Alaska) You can see the bowing in the middle where the lens was the closest to the subject while panning. Here I was experimenting with how many frames I need to take to cover the area I want with the correct amount of overlap. Basically the margin for error here is large, since I probably ranged from 10-30% overlap, and no reference point really suffered through the stitching process that I can tell.

So, second task was this kind of inverted/desaturated layer overlay method in Photoshop that Prav told me about. It's kind of a way to bring out the same sort of contrast and tonal ranges that an HDR's Tone Compressor would emulate. It doesn't seem to replace a detail enhanced HDR, but that depends on the photo you're talking about, if you'd want to use that method or not if you're even going for an HDR in the first place. Any way you can bring out the best in the photo and only use the original shot is ok by me, so naturally I had to try it out.

Here are my results:

This certainly made the colors pop out of their shells, and without a "false" look to them. It's like a brightness and vibrance enhancement without any of the additional noise added if I turned it up that much in LightRoom. I'm interested in trying this technique on different kinds of shots. These example I took tonight served both the purpose of using the new 24-70mm during golden hour, and checking out how much color/tone was effected by this photoshop thing, which was my main interest.

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