View Full Version : Rattlesnake Falls

06-07-2009, 02:14 AM
This made the day worth everything. I was hopeing this shot could give you the depth that I saw when I shot it. Still a little washed out in my eyes. I will be back there soon with the new ammo and hopefully get the poster shot *;)



06-07-2009, 06:52 AM
FFG - You've got a fantastic scene there with a lot of potential.

But ... and I better start with ... what follows is my opinion of what I see on my monitor ... and if you don't like what I have to say you're welcome to slap me up side the head with a soggy fern frond or just plain tell me to shut the heck up!

Yeah, the whites are over exposed and washed out and because they are a dominate feature in the shot it knocks the overall quality down quite a bit. *Especially the white falls on the upper right. *It's just too big an area that lacks detail. *The image would be improved if it was cropped off about where the twiggy little tree is.

The previous shot of yours I worked on was a low contrast which means it came across as kind of drab to view, but because it carried detail in both shadow tones and highlights it was a PERFECT exposure for enhancement by editing.

It's my experience in post process editing that significant detail can be brought out of darker areas, but when highlight areas are washed out there's no way to bring back lost detail. *It just isn't there. *(Unless you work with RAW camera files that have not been modified by in camera software) *Anyway, I recommend to SHOOT to record highlight detail then plan to do what you can to pull up the shadows.

This new waterfall also strikes me as being over sharpened in post processing. *It has tiny white speckles in the darkest areas of the rocks and also the tiny leaves jump out as being too separated and contrasty. *I use a tiny bit of overall sharpening to bring back fine edge detail lost in size reduction. *I also sometimes use a sharpening brush to selectively boost contrast in small parts of an image. *

This is my "Screaming Rock" shot ... kinda like your grouper in the stream. *The first one I over sharpened WAY too much. *The second just a little after down sizing it for posting. *Sharpening is usually the last step of my edit "workflow." *


06-07-2009, 05:04 PM
Yak, that's an awesome shot you posted there. I was really disappointed when I downloaded those pictures. All the pictures I shot on that scene were way overexposed. It's a bummer. *With the rain and all the rocks being well defined combined with the low light the potential was there for some good shots. But seeing as it was poring rain with thunder and lightning I was rushed to get some shots before I was struck by lightning. Nothing more uncomfortable than standing next to trees in a thunder storm taking pictures with a metal tri pod, *I don't plan on doing that stunt again anytime in the near future ;) I have about 50 more of that scene from different angles, lenses and filter combinations and I'm going to go through those tonight. I'm hoping to scrape up one of them. When I use my new camera I am going to be shooting in RAW mode. I've been doing a lot of research and that seems the way to go. Do you usually shoot RAW? And I did over sharpen that shot after trying to recover some of it. I think i got a little to happy with the "Clarify" tool in my editor.


06-07-2009, 07:57 PM
Death by lightning? *Come on! *You were in a canyon right? *What are the odds? *Ida been more worried about rattle snakes! *::)

I think that location is definitely worth a trip back with your new camera. *I'd say as soon as possible due to change in runoff flow ... or is the creek regulated from a reservoir? *Anyway, I'm sure you'll come away with much more post process friendly results.

RAW? *Try it for sure. *My camera does it, but it handles them so slowly it's only good for static subjects. *I've only dabbled with RAW editing and my results in most cases haven't justified the extra effort. *98% of my photo use is for forum posting. *If I was shooting for billboards RAW would be a more sensible option where every bit of quality retention through the entire shoot/edit process would count.

Your new Canon will let you adjust things like sharpness, saturation, contrast, etc. that it's built-in software applies when outputting JPGs. *I would start working with those with a goal of producing the best JPGs possible for your taste. *Taste meaning not only looking good out of the camera, but also how well it works as "raw" material for your enhancing style. *Once you have that figured out then try RAW.

Aside from picture quality a more important consideration for me about RAW is file handling and storage. *I shoot JPGs usually at my camera's lower quality setting because it gives me five shots in multi shot mode rather than three at the high setting. *Each shot averages 1.6 meg. *One RAW shot is over 20 meg. *I've taken close to 15,000 photos now with the Panny. *Thankfully I'm not good at math because I'd be afraid knowing how many hard drives I'd need to store a RAW library. *My collection now has about 22k files including originals and edit versions. *I now try HARD as possible to delete as many reject shots as possible as soon as I shoot 'em. *I wasn't so picky in the past. *On my "to do" list is going back to clean up old saved photos with a more ruthless attitude.

I listen to podcasts from the "Extreme Tech" website featuring guys working to stay on the cutting edge of computer technology. *One of 'em recently got a Nikon D300 and has talked about it a bit. *Says he shoots ONLY RAW. *It might work for his powerful computers with massive banks of terabyte storage drives, but it sounds silly to me. *His subjects seem to typically be computer shows and his daughter's volleyball games.

My computers are reasonably modern and powerful enough to play many graphic intensive games OK, but I think they'd bog down big time trying to navigate through HUGE RAW image files the way I'm used to with my small JPGs now. *I dunno ... maybe I'm just an old fart suffering from time lag.

Oh one more thought. *And that is the file type recommendation of the large size commercial photo printer you told me about. *He uses only JPG's to produce prints up to 40"x60"

OK, so much for babble. *I found this example of a RAW I played with not long after I'd got the Panny. *I recall liking it for a few snow scenes. *For other average type shots I wasn't happy with my beginner RAW edit efforts. In fact on some I ened up using the low quality JPG reference file saved along with the RAW file.

06-07-2009, 08:49 PM
is is my "Screaming Rock" shot ... kinda like your grouper in the stream. The first one I over sharpened WAY too much. The second just a little after down sizing it for posting. Sharpening is usually the last step of my edit "workflow."

The first pic is clear,the second not so.


06-07-2009, 09:28 PM
I shoot all raw now. Having the control over the image and with a long history of color correcting already, raw makes it easier for me.

Non destructive editors like Aperture (which I use) with their DAM (digital asset management) features go a long ways to keeping the MB creep down.

Before trying RAW, I would recommend doing a little research so you have a basic understanding of what's going on. Many people when they see their first RAW shots loaded in the computer with no sharpening or tonal curves applied like they're used to with .jpg's can get discouraged.

06-07-2009, 09:34 PM
Yeah Mac it really comes down to what looks good to the individual viewer.

I suppose it's kind of like wine tasting. At my level of sophistication I might prefer the taste of a good cardboard boxed Gallo while rejecting aged French import.