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Red Rock Canyon


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#1 MarkM

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 10:44 PM

Hi everyone,

These were taken a couple weeks ago in the Red Rock Canyon area near Las Vegas, Nevada. Beautiful desert scenery.  Welcome your feedback!

 

1. Sunset 1 - 35mm, f/18, 0.6 sec, ISO 100

2. Blazing Sunset 2 - 16mm, f/18, 2.5 sec, ISO 100 (I'm ok with the lens flare; what do you think?)

3. Burnt Tree - 29mm, f/18, 1/13 sec, ISO 100 (a bit busy foreground but the tree is so cool looking)

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#2 geedee

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:28 AM

Mark, I want to be there......  You captured the scene wonderfully well, fantastic depth in all your pics, I think you have found your EYE..(-:  I wonder if f18 is where your lens is at it`s sharpest.. NOT that I am determining your images are not sharp, just that as ever with such scenes I am left wanting more...  I think you could perhaps have made even more of the tree by taking a few pics making it the main subject though I can see that it would be difficult to take your eye off the whole landscape in such a location...but you did at least give the tree a measure of prominence...(-:  Thanks so much for posting.



#3 Roderick

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:06 AM

Beautiful, Mark.

The skies are iconic.

Is no.3 level ?  The line at the base of the mountains seems to dip to the left



#4 John W

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 07:14 AM

Well done Mark. The dramatic sky in the second looks beautiful and the first and third stand on their own as classic landscape shots with foreground, middle space, and something interesting behind to draw the viewer in. They look well composed and executed. 3 appears to be out of level. 



#5 MarkM

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:55 AM

Thanks guys!  Yup, Rod and John you spotted what I didn't....#3 isn't level.  I cant' just let it stay there like that, so here's the "level" version!

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#6 Argolich

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:16 AM

Very nice images Mark.  I live near there myself.  Just north actually in SW Utah so I'm familiar with that area.  



#7 Kerry Gordon

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:28 PM

Very dynamic, Mark.  The lighting in the first two is spectacular and you were there!  By the way, I'd say the second one is also tilting slightly to the left.  I can't resist just a little critique: in the first one, I'd have been tempted to make that flowering plant in the left corner the foreground focus.  But I like where you've got your camera situated - good point of view.



#8 elcab18

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:41 PM

Awesome shots Mark!



#9 MarkM

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 01:26 PM

Thanks Tom, Kerry, and Doug.

Kerry, this was a classic case when the sun was setting and beautiful (#1), and I had actually taken my camera off the tripod and was packing it up, and then the sky started turning this fantastic orange color about 15-20 minutes later. I couldn't believe it...almost like a 2nd sunset. I think you're right about the horizon on #2 too.

I agree about the flowering shrub in #2 unfortunately not being in focus. I recall it was a bit windy on the top of the ridge I was at, so I could have at least sped up my shutter and increase ISO.

I seem to perpetually struggle with focus on landscapes. f/18 aperture should be sufficiently deep depth of field for "acceptable focus" (to coin a hyperfocal distance concept), but I didn't use a hyperfocal distance calculator. I estimated using the rule of thumb to focus 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. But that obviously didn't work. Is it as simple as making sure to focus on the foreground subject, no matter how close or far, provided the aperture is set for a long depth of field?

#10 Kerry Gordon

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 02:25 PM

Thanks Tom, Kerry, and Doug.

Kerry, this was a classic case when the sun was setting and beautiful (#1), and I had actually taken my camera off the tripod and was packing it up, and then the sky started turning this fantastic orange color about 15-20 minutes later. I couldn't believe it...almost like a 2nd sunset. I think you're right about the horizon on #2 too.

I agree about the flowering shrub in #2 unfortunately not being in focus. I recall it was a bit windy on the top of the ridge I was at, so I could have at least sped up my shutter and increase ISO.

I seem to perpetually struggle with focus on landscapes. f/18 aperture should be sufficiently deep depth of field for "acceptable focus" (to coin a hyperfocal distance concept), but I didn't use a hyperfocal distance calculator. I estimated using the rule of thumb to focus 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. But that obviously didn't work. Is it as simple as making sure to focus on the foreground subject, no matter how close or far, provided the aperture is set for a long depth of field?

Using your image as an example, I would probably shoot at f/16.  f/16 is kind of a compromise based on the understanding that while the depth of field will be wider at f/18 or f/22,  as the aperture gets smaller, diffraction becomes more and more of an issue.  So with that in mind, I would then consider what the foreground subject of the photograph is because that's what I'm going to focus on to be sure that it is tack sharp and knowing that at f/16 everything in the background will be "reasonably" sharp.  In the case of your photo, the flowering plant would want to be somewhere around a third of the way over from the left and a comfortable distance from the bottom of the frame.  Now depending on your lens, most everything in front of the plant will also be in focus.  This generally works for me ( I tend to shoot landscapes with a wide angle, between 18 and 28 mm equiv.) but the best thing to do is take a few shots with your lens of choice and camera at different apertures and focal points and see for yourself.  Keep in mind, if you are really into getting everything in the frame tack sharp there is a pp technique called focus stacking where I shoot, say three shots (on a tripod) changing the focal point for each one - foreground, mid ground, back ground - and then blending them in post.

Indeed, in your photo, everything is acceptably in focus.  The problem  appears to be your uncertainty as to what precisely the subject is and what you want me to focus on first.  So while everything is "acceptably" in focus there isn't a point of focus.  Another technique that I've begun using is applying a spotlight affect to where I want the viewer to look.  Our eye goes to the brightest spot so this can be very effective.  It is a form of vignetting that I picked up from Jimmy McIntyre.  I used it, for example, in that photo with my wife standing in the distance.  You probably wouldn't have guessed that there is a spotlight unless I turned it off.  This is how you do it (very simple) if you're interested: 


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#11 MarkM

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:01 PM

Thanks Kerry. Much appreciated food for thought.
I've heard of, but not yet tried, focus stacking. Experimenting with lens-aperture combos is a good idea too. And working out what the subject is!




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