Chan Garrett  

Untitled by Chan Garrett

May 2021 - Untitled

May 2021 - Chan Garrett


About the Image(s)

This is an image I found as I reviewed my file of images from my trip to Israel in 2018. The composition with the strong converging lines, which not only created the feeling of distance, but also drew the eyes to the couple at the top of the walkway, caught my attention.

The image was processed in LrC where I adjusted exposure and set the White and Black points. I then darkened the top portion of the image to bring out greater detail. Next, I edited in Ps where I cropped the image. I also straightened the walls.

20 comments posted

Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
It is amazing the difference in the two images. I love what you did to bring out the people at the top of the stairs. The colors are so vibrant. I want to learn how to do that!   Posted: 05/03/2021 09:58:15

Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
I have both LR and PS, although I use LR most of the time.   Posted: 05/03/2021 11:37:02

Cindy Smith   Cindy Smith
Thank you! I look forward to learning from all of you.   Posted: 05/03/2021 12:08:56

Will Korn   Will Korn
Great photo. Constructive advice watch for blown highlights on the building at the end of the street. Needs less exposure or HDR/composite. Now you have an excuse to go back to Israel!
  Posted: 05/03/2021 14:05:38

Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Chan: Excellent image - your edits really bring out the warmth in the walls. The detail in the floor/walls adds interest. Agree with Will's point re: building in the distance, but no way to correct in post.

I recall (hopefully correctly) that you now use the Canon RP. I believe that camera has "highlight alert" that allows easy visualization of overexposed areas on the LCD (viewfinder and back panel). I also have an R-series camera and have found that tool helpful and more user friendly than the histogram or visual inspection (esp in bright sun!). I was not aware of that feature until recently - and it's saved me a few times. I understand the image from Israel was taken with an older camera.

I've never been to the Middle East; your images are inspiring me to consider a trip . . . so many great photo ops!

  Posted: 05/03/2021 16:27:18
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Thanks for the comments. Yes, the image was captured with my Canon M50. It is lighter than my RP and I did not have the RP at the time. This was definitely a quick grab shot. My group was moving quickly down a crowded street when I noticed this scene on a small cross street. I had to compose and shoot in a fast moment without being too separated from my group heading for another destination. As you can see from the original, the scene was under exposed.   Posted: 05/03/2021 16:40:32

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi Chan! Always wonderful opportunities to capture Architectural Landscapes overseas...another fine example here. Processing: well, I am also going to suggest too much "structure" or Detail or maybe its the "well" exposed foreground that bothers me. why?

I feel the original scene was not this bright, and instead likely echoed (reflected) the bright sunlight into the alley, thus making a very moody scene: as we often experience, the camera has a hard time properly illuminating (compensating) for exposure like our eyes and brain can, and in this shot, the result is underexposure in the foreground. Though we all agree it will be difficult to save the "Blown out" area in the distance, at least, in my opinion, a more gentle exposure to most of the alley is better in maintaining the Mood. Also, keeping the vertical lines like the original, that is, not correcting the exaggerated perspective, along with a modified exposure: (less exposure in the near-field and slowly increase as you pull away deeper into the alley). Both dynamics will bring back depth and the Mood I feel is lost in the current version.   Posted: 05/03/2021 17:54:53
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
I always look forward to your critic of my images. Each image is a learning experience. I agree that I let the scene become to bright. I have looked at it again and darkened it some. It does look better. I like the mood.
The real problem seems to be that in my haste to capture the image while not getting separated from my fast moving group, I failed to recognize the overall brightness of the sunlit portion at the top. My camera could not compensate for that large a range of light. Thank you for your insight.   Posted: 05/04/2021 10:32:52
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Very glad you get-something from my comments, really appreciate you constructive and useful responses, as well.

As it relates to the particular scene you came across, here are some additional thoughts: of course you were with a group and did not have time to study and calculate proper photographic technique, we all have been in that situation....but lets use this scene as our workshop example:

"Points to Ponder"
Assuming we have time - another option to shoot this scene is with fill-in flash! Here, we hope to just illuminate the shadows enough for proper exposure while maintaining the Mood within the scene, as discussed before. In this way, a small aperture can be used (decreasing or eliminating over-exposure in the background) and the Flash fills in the necessary illumination in the near-field.

For everyone:
If you have a small village or square near you, with alley ways, for example, perhaps an early morning or late afternoon would be perfect to try this technique.   Posted: 05/04/2021 13:14:08
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
This sounds interesting, but I have some questions. In order to properly expose the brighter area at the top of the image, I would need to take my exposure reading there. If I then use fill flash to open the shadows in the long walkway, my on-camera flash will give me whatever power I set it for for the first 10 yards (perhaps some farther.) After that the light will progressively fall off (inverse square law.) How do I give fill flash for the entire length of the walkway? What am I missing? In my Wedding Photographer days, I used this technique all of the time to balance light when I set up my subjects in open shade and did not want the sunlit background to be overly bright.   Posted: 05/04/2021 16:00:29
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
These are valid points, Chan.

However, I am not necessarily filling in the entire length of the alley with the Flash.

Unfortunately, I speak only of off-camera and powerful devices like my Canon 600EX II-RT. These units give control over a variety of lighting situations more than most in-camera Flash. However, I am sure better in-camera systems have adequate power and versatility.

In this way, in a dark alley, for example, camera mounted on a tripod, the external Flash can be used during a variety of shutter speeds "Bracketing" and a variety of aperture settings "Bracketing" and a variety of Flash Output settings.... in post, reviewing results and selecting those frames that best represent what you want, and from there, modify exposure as needed.

  Posted: 05/05/2021 05:34:19
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Lance: I am also referring to other than the "pop up" flash found on many cameras. I consider those to be devices designed to ruin as many photographs as possible, never to be used unless there is simply no other way to record the image. In fact, my Canon RP does not even have one. They are extremely small light sources that produce flat lighting and harsh shadows. I know that you are well aware of all of this. I just wanted to assure you that I am also aware of it.   Posted: 05/05/2021 08:30:58
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Yes, I was thinking pop-up devices, indeed. Thank you for your clarification.

The other comments I suggest still hold true of course.   Posted: 05/06/2021 07:40:18
Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Lance/Chan - Interesting discussion! While I understand that off-camera flash could have lit the foreground - giving the whole seen more even lighting - it would require having the flash and take some effort/time/experimentation (as Lance indicates). A fun challenge, but a bit cumbersome and likely not possible on a tour.

I've found auto-exposure bracketing (usually 3 frames at -2, 0, +2) much easier to shoot and giving many options in post-processing. Sometimes the single best image is not the "0" image - and I go with that one exposure. Alternatively, 2 or 3 of the frames could be merged. I keep one of the Custom settings on my camera set up for the exposure bracket. If I need it - literally - I change the mode to C1 and press the shutter once. The camera does the rest.   Posted: 05/07/2021 05:05:05
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Good morning, Steve....yes, of course, merging 2 or more images in post can be an option to solve the exposure problems with scenes like this.

As we are both suggesting, it does take time and effort to capture this type of subject and indeed, not a project while on a tour. As I just wrote to another photographer asking for advise or insights into their work...let me share....

'Learning and engaging in using proper photographic technique takes a long time to learn for consistent results - and even the word consistent is relative in the world of photographic art....As such, my initial to regularly approach "Photographic Work" as your main priority during any travel or planned vacation. Instead, you are going on a "photo-shoot": in this way "Photography" becomes a priority and you plan around it, including asking for permission to shoot behind the scenes or special access to areas normally off-limits - all in an attempt to find the perfect and best perspective from behind the lens'.   Posted: 05/07/2021 07:12:46

Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Nice image. I like the leading lines of the image that directs my eye to the people walking up the stairs. The architectural detail is excellent and the overall photo has been well done in post processing.

You, Lance, and Steven have provided an excellent discussion on this image, one that I will learn from as well. My only comment is that to me the light at the end of the walkway (top of the image) appears a little blown out. Understanding that you more than likely did not have time to compose the image properly due to the group setting, perhaps metering on this light as the brightest part of the image (expose to the right, ETTR) and fix the shadows in post processing may be an option. Just thinking, however an excellent image overall.   Posted: 05/09/2021 19:13:12
Chan Garrett   Chan Garrett
Thank, Dale. Yes, it is the strong leading lines that attracted me to this image. It is somewhat of a problem image to deal with. In fact, the original image was greatly under exposed. It was in the process of adding the needed exposure that I lost the detail in the upper portion. I have continued working on the image and have been able to bring back much of what first appeared to be "blown out" highlights. In the process I have learned more about LrC. It has been worth the effort. I now have a rather nice framed print from this image on the wall in my room.   Posted: 05/10/2021 08:05:57
Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Thanks Chan...high dynamic range images are one of the many areas I need to work on. If I meter on the bright area, then the image is overly dark and I have a lot of work to do; if I meter on the dark, the highlights are too strong, and even more work to do. Another area of weakness for me is image noise. My apologies, the term 'blown out' was an improper term to use. This is an excellent image for your wall due to its quality as well as the memories!   Posted: 05/10/2021 08:49:13


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