View Full Version : American River Confluence

05-25-2009, 12:40 AM
While fishing today above the Confluence of the American I took some pictures of a couple different areas. I took over 200 pictures using my tri pod throughout the day and I narrowed them down to these. I experimented with a number of different settings and filters *including Aperture, Shutter Speed, Exposure Compensation, ISO (Sensitivity of the camera sensor.), Polarized Filters and UV Filters. I took pictures at high noon on my hike into the spot and also about 1/2 hour before the sun was setting on my way out. All of the pictures that I took on my way in were deleted after reviewing them on my computer. I was going for a flowing water affect but with the bright sunlight it was a lost cause, even after I tried to tweak the pictures with my photo editor. There was no way to get the flowing affect I was looking for with the bright sunlight honing down. The pictures I took after the sun had dropped below the canyon with low light turned out great. The lower light made a huge difference on the scene that I was trying to capture. Here are a few of the pictures. *In these pictures I adjusted the Shutter speed and Exposure Compensation. I cropped the photos in my editor and removed "digital camera noise" as well as tweaking the saturation, hue, brightness and contrast. I like the water flow of the pics with the noise taken out. When I get time I am going to use the water from the noise removal shots and the landscape from the originals and layer them into one. My shutter speed varied from 1/3 to 1/90. ISO was set at 100 and Aperture was set at 8.0. With all of these pics I used a wide angle lens with a polarized filter.

The first pic is without noise removal and the second is with noise removal










05-25-2009, 06:43 AM
Those are some great shots Darin.


05-25-2009, 10:38 AM
WOW! GREAT! Good composition and very nice motion effect captured of the flowing whitewater. The ones with noise reduction are so extreme I think it's pushed the images into "Art" of photography. Layering and mixing the two versions has definite possibilities.

I've never tried high settings in my Photoshop add-on Noise Ninja 2 noise reduction software. I use only enough to slightly soften the sandy gritty look usually seen in out of focus areas.

Now you've given me some interesting new ideas to play with.

Maybe it's that my head is screwed on at an angle ... but on your last image it seems the horizon is slightly tilted.

Looking forward to seeing the results of your combined image edit.

05-25-2009, 04:31 PM
Thanks guys. Yak your right. I don't know how I missed that but it does look tilted(musta been two many beers at the bar-b-que ;D). That's an easy fix and thanks for pointing that out. I am going to work on combining the images tonight and see what I get.


05-25-2009, 04:36 PM
Great shots! I can't wait to see the combines!

05-25-2009, 06:44 PM
Here is one of the images combined. It was more challenging than I thought it was going to be. I cropped and rotated the original photo so getting the sizes to mach up on the background and rocks layers took a while. But I like the final result although I thing I may have rotated it a little to much to the right.



05-25-2009, 07:04 PM
Wow, that does look cool. Nice job!

05-25-2009, 07:48 PM
Thanks Prowler...After looking at the picture again I noticed a huge flaw. Can anyone spot it? Here it is fixed....


05-25-2009, 08:18 PM
I liked the pic with more greenery in the back ground.

05-26-2009, 02:00 AM
FFG - Not sure about the flaw? *The pic in your first combined try seems gone or ImageShack fritzed it.

Anyway, *I'm not real fond of your second attempt. *To me you have over brightening the shadows across the board. *Looks like the effect I get if I go overboard with my Shadow/Highlight adjustment sliders. *I've found if I brighten shadows overall, like in Mac's yak picture I then have to go back and selectively burn-in (make darker) using the variable size brush tool spots like under a shrub where there should be a deep black. * I look around to see where these selective darkened spots will add to the flow of the composition. *This is kind of where enhancement gets artistic.

I tried combining your first two images without straightening the horizon. *In the end I used very little of the "misty" layer. *I put it on top of the sharp layer then reduced it's opacity (so you can slightly see through it) then erased the faded misty layer anywhere I wanted the sharp bottom layer to show through. *I found when I toggled the now modified misty layer on & off I could see very little change. *I did do some selective dodging (brightening) and burning (darkening) with smaller soft edged brushes of the flattened image with the layers combined. *When I really "get into" this artsy dodge and burn mindset I'll trade my trackball for a pen on a tablet to control the brush (cursor) for a more controlled motion like pen on paper.

Here's my effort. *I'm liking the shot so much now I'm much less bothered by the "tilt" I felt when I first looked at it.

Nother thing I'll mention about my knit-picky comments and comparisons ... everyone viewing a pic may have their monitors adjusted differently. *I found after complaining on my photo forum about photos I percieved at being way too dark that most other folks were seeing them just fine. *My eyes get tired if I set my screen so white is very bright. *I think my monitor is adjusted darker than most.

I have a high resolution version of this test image that I use to help adjust brightness and contrast on my LCD monitor. * The gray scale is helpful at getting the full range deep black to clean white. *What you see here is a screen grab so it's not the full fidelity chart. *If you'd like that PM me a email address. *The original is about 3.5megs

05-26-2009, 06:36 AM
One word....Outstanding.....

Thanks for sharing

05-26-2009, 08:37 PM
Thanks hoghunter3 8-)

Thanks for all the info and opinions Yak. It's much appreciated Your combined looks great!! You definitely have a great eye for dialing in pictures.

The flaw that I was talking about I circled here in yellow..



05-26-2009, 08:52 PM
WOW! We should make a 2010 fishsniffer calendar with all of your guys cool pic's.

05-27-2009, 02:44 AM
FFG - Ah HA! *I missed it. *Reminds me of my early days of retouching using dyes and a fine tip brush on B&W prints. *I think I spent a couple hours working over a print taking out all the dust specks and then making some, I thought, very conspicuous changes. *Showed the before/after prints side by side to a number of different people. *Most couldn't see ANY changes. *A few picked out a few. *Made me wonder if all the work was worth it! *What I do now in digital editing I do for myself and just hope it's appreciated by others in the end.

I tried scrolling between your original sharp shot and my combined version. *Hard to compare with so many other posts in between, but in the end decided my version probably isn't significantly different. *Oh well ... LOVE your shot anyway. *It was a joy to work on.

In fact I like it so much I want to ask you if I can use a larger version for my desktop wallpaper? *What I've got now came from a British friend's trip to Crater Lake. *I have a Dell 24" widescreen monitor and here's what it looks like. Except for privacy I blurred the icons. I've used this bordered layout so long I know where all my important icons are while being able to appreciate a uncluttered view of the current photo.


05-27-2009, 10:29 PM
Yak this is a beautiful shot there. The reflection with the snow capped Mountains is very cool. I would be more than happy for you to use my pic on your desktop. It is on mine right now ;) I was out at Bowman today and got some pretty cool shots. i am posting them now. I still have one of the South Yuba from today that I am going to tweak with.


05-27-2009, 11:59 PM
The way I make the matte border is to create a new blank image at my full screen size 1920x1200 then do a graduated fill, graduating from one color to another. Usually it's a strong dark color that appears in the photo graduating to even darker version of it at the bottom of the screen. I then size the candidate photo to approx 1645x925 and bring it in on a new layer. I eyeball and drag it to center leaving a little extra at screen bottom for my auto pop-up taskbar. I select the edge of the photo and the play around with a variety of edge effects until I get a thin border I like. I flatten it to a single layer then save it as a .BMP in the C:\Windows directory where I can easily select it from my desktop display properties. .BMP is a carry over from older version of Windows when it was required. JPG's work as well now.

So if you could supply me your original sharp shot or an edited version sized to 1645x925 @72 dpi that'd be GREAT!

05-28-2009, 01:07 AM
No Problem Yak. PM me your e-mail and I will send them out. They are 2856x2142. I was just looking and I think there might be some better shots that I took from different angles and distances for that area of water. I took 163 shots using different Aperture,shutter speeds, AF, color tones, white balance and exposure compensation with exposure bracketing. I think you might like some of these originals. I haven't had time to play around with them yet but I think something good can come of some of them. Here are a couple I just picked by pointing and clicking the file from photoscape for re size and downloading it to image shack. The last one I think is the original. Its hard to tell. For that shot there are over 50 shots on the tri-pod so I'm not exactly sure which one I ended up using. These shots are straight from the camera. I just re sized them in Photoscape for image shack.

I was standing here for the shot we are talking about





05-28-2009, 06:32 AM
I like the last shot of this series. It's the same area but at a different angle and zoom level ... a little wider. I think I can get a real nice desktop image from it tho I do still like that first sharp version one you posted.

I've found the side by side (up to four images) compare function in the FastStone Viewer to be a BIG HELP in sorting out the subtle differences between similar shots. I like it too because it has the option of showing the EXIF data on the compared images so you can see how the camera settings had changed.

I'm no "Ace" when it comes to organizing and keeping track of my zillion photos. I have pictures strewn over multiple hard drives. One thing helpful I started to do a couple years ago is once I edited an image I would save the new version with a descriptive name but maintain the last three digits of the original camera given name. Helps when trying to determine what edit version came from what original, and it gives me something specifis to search on if I get a later request for a certain image.

I'll PM my email address.