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2012 Fall Colors

Camera equipment and technique for taking photos.
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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby Slow Moving Fun Seeker » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:24 pm

Guanella Pass


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We are not passengers; we are crew.

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby kimo » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:08 pm

Nice, Slow Moving Fun Seeker. Love the glow.


Mindy, DurangoJenn, aiyers, im_t_wal (that looks like a Deviant!), I appreciate your comments. It was my first visit to the region - it set the hooks. The place is very beautiful, even when veiled in a smoky haze. One can feel the pull of the mountains like they were magnetic poles on a planet. The wide rivers and wandering creeks, tall trees that border vast meadows...the place really is something else.

im_t_wal wrote:Looks like an HDR shot to me. Take a few shots at different exposures to get good colors on the lightest and darkest areas, then use some software to combine them into a beautiful shot like this. I may be wrong, but typically when you see a shot that almost looks too vibrant to be a real photo, it's done in this fashion.
Mindy wrote:Yes - you are incorrect. Kimo's photographs are ALL REAL - nothing combined. He is an excellent photographer and continues to master the craft, as shown in this picture. Beautiful photograph Kimo.

Awesome news then. Too often you see hobbyist photographers overuse HDR when they first find it, so I have just begun to be cynical I guess :)


I don’t object to HDR or blending and would agree the techniques produce some fantastic results when done well. It’s just that at this time in my craft, I prefer to keep the gear and technique as simple and light as possible, both in the field and at home on the computer. I don’t want or need photography to be a burden. It should be fun! I hope the levity in my approach is reflected in the photographs.

I don’t enjoy editing photos on a computer at home, and so I usually stick to the five minute rule for post processing. Simply: I would rather be outside taking photos rather than at home making them.

Modern day digital camera sensors have a wide dynamic range best utilized when shooting in RAW file format. Expose for the highlights while in the field, and then later, at home, pull the dark details out of the shadows using the shadow fill tool in your editor of choice. And then adjust brightness/contrast/saturation/sharpness to your liking. And save to JPEG. I've made some nice images that way. It really can be that simple.

aiyers wrote:Absolutely stunning picture. I spent the last 5 minutes staring at the picture and looking over all the details. Can you share how you shot this picture? The exposure is very nicely balanced.


That is a single RAW exposure taken with a Nikon D5100 using a 16-85mm DX lens. At the tip of the lens I had a 3-stop hard edge graduated neutral density filter.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-grads.shtml

I wish I had used my 2-stop soft edge GND filter but it is what it is. All part of learning. The filter gradient is clearly visible on the distant rolling hills at photo right. Its easy to believe the dark areas are shadow since the entire scene is back-lit.

I then increased the brightness of the lower half of the photo by using a gradient tool in my photo editor (Capture NX2). I then lowered the brightness of the sunrays at the top right of the photo. I then increased contrast, saturation, and sharpness across the entire photo and saved to JPEG.

This is what the original photo looked like straight off the camera:
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And the five minute edit:
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Sometimes it is easy to criticize an edited photo for being "edited." But I will stand behind the results of the five minute edit as what I saw with my own eyes at the time I took the picture. I saw and felt the atmosphere and vibrance in nature. The camera can't feel that.

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby Mindy » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:29 am

kimo wrote:
This is what the original photo looked like straight off the camera:
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Sometimes it is easy to criticize an edited photo for being "edited." But I will stand behind the results of the five minute edit as what I saw with my own eyes at the time I took the picture. I saw and felt the atmosphere and vibrance in nature. The camera can't feel that.


Im_t_wal I guess you were spot on then in some sense!

Now, time to climb some mountains and catch a few of these beautiful scenes somewhere myself!
Last edited by Mindy on Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby The_Godfather » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:14 am

im_t_wal wrote:
Mindy wrote:
Yes - you are incorrect. Kimo's photographs are ALL REAL - nothing combined. He is an excellent photographer and continues to master the craft, as shown in this picture. Beautiful photograph Kimo.


Awesome news then. Too often you see hobbyist photographers overuse HDR when they first find it, so I have just begun to be cynical I guess :)

EXCELLENT photo!


im_t_wal - i guess "real" is a relative term honestly. Kudos to Kimo for posting the SOOC and post production shots so you can determine for yourself how "real" the photograph was. The problem for the photographer is that the camera rarely will capture the true image your eye saw. Generally the image will not be as sharp, will not be as saturated, and maybe you want to crop it differently. I'm not saying that its wrong to adjust the image -I'm just saying the "real image" you talk about rarely exists. As for these two shots, yeah some critique could defiantly be done - however Kimo as the artist is happy with his work.....and thats truly all that matters. He has the right to showcase his work how he feels and how the style fits. But I will agree with you - HDR images generally suck as they are completely over done and look like crap.

Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby Bean » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:38 am

>99% of my photos have some bit of tweaking done, but it's usually just 10-30 seconds of tweaking contrast, saturation, exposure, etc. Processing is a necessity shooting in raw (especially with mediocre-at-best lenses). If you're shooting jpegs and saying photos are "straight out of the camera," the camera has already taken care of those adjustments for you.

A few shots from near Kenosha Pass this weekend:

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gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby Wentzl » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:47 am

West Winfield, just past the cemetery 9/18/12
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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby im_t_wal » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:46 am

Woa - sorry if I came off negative everyone, that wasn't my intention. Perhaps the term 'real' wasn't quite what I meant.

I do not have a problem with edited images. In fact, I think it's an important step in photography to learn out to touch up your image and bring out the points you want to highlight. And I agree with the 5 minute idea. Just a little touch up, without destroying the integrity of the original image. Personally, I know this is where I failed in my own photography. I could never find that happy balance. I would either totally over edit or just leave my photos as originals. And there is nothing wrong with that either. As said, it is a personal art and if the artist is happy with it, it doesn't matter.

I still stand by my point of people abusing HDR technique when they first find it in their budding hobby. There is a time and a place for it, just not on every photo you take.

Back on topic, they are amazing photos, both the RAW and the edited. And even MORE back on topic, fall colors in CO are wonderful.

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby aiyers » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:20 am

Kimo, thank you for explaining how you shot the picture. I guessed there was a Graduated ND used. I always use the computer to edit my pictures, but basically use it for "auto correction". If I like the pic after correction, I save it else move on.

How are the colors on peak-to-peak highway? I am definitely driving to Maroon Bells on Saturday. Plan is to get there before sunrise...

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby Tony1 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:43 am

anna wrote:Any thoughts on what areas might offer the best show this weekend?


I second this question!

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby PaliKona » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:05 am

Took a drive in the Aspen area and on Indy...great color on Castle Creek road and down by the La Plata trailhead

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby gb » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:37 pm

Tony1 wrote:
anna wrote:Any thoughts on what areas might offer the best show this weekend?


I second this question!


I'm biased, but I say Crested Butte. Areas close to town are just a hair past peak (although driving upvalley today and looking at Whetstone, it's pretty amazing out), but Kebler and Ohio passes will be perfect and both of those are about as good as anywhere. But the real reason, and ajkagy mentioned it above, is Vinotok. It's pretty much my favorite "holiday" of the year, despite the growing influx of kids at Western who only come up to get wasted. Saturday night is the trial of the grump. Don't know what Vinotok is? Click here. Don't forget to bring a list of your grumps for the fire! :)

On a related note, we're seeing a lot more reds and oranges this year. I'm guessing it has something to do with the drought, but anyone know for sure?

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Re: 2012 Fall Colors

Postby prestone818 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:16 pm

gb wrote:
Tony1 wrote:
anna wrote:Any thoughts on what areas might offer the best show this weekend?


I second this question!
Don't know what Vinotok is? Click here. Don't forget to bring a list of your grumps for the fire! :)?


:wft: lol

hey gb, do you know where this is? also, how was the haze today in cb?

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