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Devil's Slide, Ca


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#1 pthomsen

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 01:11 AM

This is my first real attempt at shooting straight into the sun, and I like the high-aperture sun-flares, and the golden reflection off the ocean, but the sun itself doesn't look great to me... huge, white, and with some ugly pink fringing.

 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

 

24mm f/25 40s ISO 100 with 10-stop ND filter

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#2 Roderick

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:28 AM

Beautiful location.

I don't know much about ND filters apart from the fact that I've got one.

When they compare them, colour fringing is often mentioned, I think, so I might vary from brand to brand.

There#s a strange effect (triangular)  that runs from the tip of the headland to the bottom of the frame... I'm guessing that its a shadow that has become exaggerated somehow ?



#3 pthomsen

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:00 AM

Beautiful location.

I don't know much about ND filters apart from the fact that I've got one.

When they compare them, colour fringing is often mentioned, I think, so I might vary from brand to brand.

There#s a strange effect (triangular)  that runs from the tip of the headland to the bottom of the frame... I'm guessing that its a shadow that has become exaggerated somehow ?

The dark triangle is the shadow cast by the rock, and because I brightened up the rock, I guess it looks overly dark. Good point... I'll maybe try to brighten that up a bit too.

 

I hadn't heard about color fringing in ND filters, but I will definitely look into it.



#4 Kerry Gordon

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:04 AM

I applaud your ambition but I'd recommend slowing down a bit.  Because you're trying a lot of things at once it's hard to isolate what's working and what's not.  

If this photograph is just for the sake of experimentation that would be one thing but, in terms of composition I don't know where your point of focus is.  I mean that both in terms of your literal focus point but more importantly, what you actually want me to look at.   For a shot like this you really need a commanding foreground otherwise it is just a shot of the sun, which in this case, isn't that interesting.  

The obvious question I would ask regarding this shot is why a 10 stop ND filter or even, why an ND filter at all?  What is it you are trying to accomplish, what is your vision for this image?  Are you after an ethereal feeling or, perhaps highlighting the motion of the water?  In this case, the ocean looks dead to me - very flat and lifeless, which I'm guessing was not your intention.   Again, if it is just about seeing what filters can do, that's one thing but if you're making art, what is it you want to convey?  Technique, in my opinion, has to be in the service of a vision.  Speaking for myself, my ideal would be for people to look at my photographs and not notice the technique at all but rather be affected by the experience (I say this as my wish not my current reality ;) .)  Technique would likely have something to do with that but ultimately it's the vision that matters.  I've seen some amazing photographs where the technique was nothing to write home about but the images had enormous visceral impact.  That's where I'd like to be someday.  I do understand your passion for learning.  I'm a technique freak myself.  But what I'm discovering is that in the end it's just a tool, not the thing itself.

That all being said, if you would like to work with ND filters I'd strongly recommend you buy quality.  Better to have one good piece of glass than three or four crappy ones.  Most of the cheaper filters are notorious for colour casts.  This seems to be the case with your shot - a lot of red not only in the sun but in the rock and water.  The best ND filters out there, in my opinion are the Formatt Hitech Firecrest filters (they are the ones I use.)  They are pricey but they are also incredibly clean.  Personally I prefer using the square filters with a holder but that's a matter of personal taste.  One thing about using the Formatt Hitech holder is that it is designed to be light sealed.  That may be another problem that you're facing in this shot.  Every time you use a filter you're putting space between the lens and the filter, which is a space where light can bounce around and do weird things.  Depending on whether you are using screw ons or square filters, sealing the gaps can sometimes make a difference.

Anyway, I really love your ambition and passion.  The most important thing for all of us is to keep shooting and keep learning.  Hope this is helpful.



#5 pthomsen

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:49 PM

I applaud your ambition but I'd recommend slowing down a bit.  Because you're trying a lot of things at once it's hard to isolate what's working and what's not.  

If this photograph is just for the sake of experimentation that would be one thing but, in terms of composition I don't know where your point of focus is.  I mean that both in terms of your literal focus point but more importantly, what you actually want me to look at.   For a shot like this you really need a commanding foreground otherwise it is just a shot of the sun, which in this case, isn't that interesting.  

The obvious question I would ask regarding this shot is why a 10 stop ND filter or even, why an ND filter at all?  What is it you are trying to accomplish, what is your vision for this image?  Are you after an ethereal feeling or, perhaps highlighting the motion of the water?  In this case, the ocean looks dead to me - very flat and lifeless, which I'm guessing was not your intention.   Again, if it is just about seeing what filters can do, that's one thing but if you're making art, what is it you want to convey?  Technique, in my opinion, has to be in the service of a vision.  Speaking for myself, my ideal would be for people to look at my photographs and not notice the technique at all but rather be affected by the experience (I say this as my wish not my current reality ;) .)  Technique would likely have something to do with that but ultimately it's the vision that matters.  I've seen some amazing photographs where the technique was nothing to write home about but the images had enormous visceral impact.  That's where I'd like to be someday.  I do understand your passion for learning.  I'm a technique freak myself.  But what I'm discovering is that in the end it's just a tool, not the thing itself.

That all being said, if you would like to work with ND filters I'd strongly recommend you buy quality.  Better to have one good piece of glass than three or four crappy ones.  Most of the cheaper filters are notorious for colour casts.  This seems to be the case with your shot - a lot of red not only in the sun but in the rock and water.  The best ND filters out there, in my opinion are the Formatt Hitech Firecrest filters (they are the ones I use.)  They are pricey but they are also incredibly clean.  Personally I prefer using the square filters with a holder but that's a matter of personal taste.  One thing about using the Formatt Hitech holder is that it is designed to be light sealed.  That may be another problem that you're facing in this shot.  Every time you use a filter you're putting space between the lens and the filter, which is a space where light can bounce around and do weird things.  Depending on whether you are using screw ons or square filters, sealing the gaps can sometimes make a difference.

Anyway, I really love your ambition and passion.  The most important thing for all of us is to keep shooting and keep learning.  Hope this is helpful.

 

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

 

I had written a long, rambling response to your thoughts about vision/story/interesing-ness, but instead I will just say that I take your notes to heart, and I agree that to create a truly interesting and evocative photo, you have to have a vision, a point of view, a 'voice' that makes the viewer think...

 

I don't think I've found my 'voice' quite yet, so I try to take a lot of pictures, and some of them are like this one: flat, and a bit boring with no real 'interest' to it.

 

I enjoy looking for that 'voice', but I also (like you it seems) enjoy the geeky technical aspects of photography: getting the exposure right, being able to handle the fading light of the sunset, making sure there is no light leak, etc.

 

I take your thoughts about slowing down to heart. It's hard not to go crazy with the more ambitious stuff, when I only get time for this once or twice a week. I'm impatient to get better, so I pile it on with complicated shots in new locations. I will probably continue to go a little overboard with the ambition, but it makes a lot of sense to simplify a bit.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to respond to me!

 

About the ND filters, I have never used the expensive ones, so I have no frame of reference, and it's possible that if I tried some Lee, Hoya or Formatt Hitech ones I'd swear by them. I currently use rectangular ICE brand filters in a Cokin P holder. I watched a lot of reviews of ND filters, and the conclusion I came to was that they all have some degree of color cast. Also, it seems like it's relatively easy to remove the cast in post (although I may have done a poor job on this image), but maybe I'm missing something there...

 

Again, thanks for your great comments. I'm excited to go out and overdo things later this week.  ;)






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