canon rumors FORUM

Image & Video Galleries => Landscape => Topic started by: Promature on November 16, 2012, 07:22:10 AM

Title: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 16, 2012, 07:22:10 AM
The clouds didn't cooperate for a nice colorful shoot, but I figured it would give me good experience on shutter speed and aperture to get the affect I wanted.  Overall, I'm not that impressed and I was hoping to get some advice so that when the clouds and my schedule do cooperate, I can take better pictures.  Thank you in advance.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 16, 2012, 07:22:57 AM
More....
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 16, 2012, 07:23:20 AM
and two more...
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Kernuak on November 16, 2012, 04:00:10 PM
First thing, is you need to make sure your horizon is level. For me, waves are a bit like sunsets, they need some supporting element to do them justice. Just like pretty colours don't make a good sunset picture, a crashing wave doesn't make a good wave picture on its own. It's all about finding a good composition. With waves, you need another strong subject, traditionally, that could be a high cliff, a pier or a coastal house or similar. However, it could also work if you zoom in to a rockface to make the wave dominate more. Also, photography is all about getting the lighting and exposure right. For some scenes, that may actually mean underexposure, particularly if the scene is shot at dusk, but the wave does need to stand out. For me, the compositions don't work, as they lack a strong focal point and I would play around with increasing the exposure at least by a full stop to see if the waves stand out more. That will give you some ideas for next time. On the plus side, you have captured the motion of the waves well and thre is a real sense of movement and at least some drama, you just need to find some way to enhance that drama with a stronger composition and better lighting/exposure.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: robbymack on November 16, 2012, 04:30:55 PM
I agree with kernuak above. There isn't really anything special about these compositions, I'd spend my time working on that before worrying about the waves and exposure (also your exposures look all over the place but they generally look a good stop under exposed). I'd say of the set the third from the last has the most potential but the horizon is all messed up and it's basically in the middle (remember your rule of thirds). While I am all for breaking the rules there wasn't any reason for it in these captures. You did do a decent job of coveying the action of the waves, another thought is also to slow the shutter way down and capture what appears to be a calm ocean. I would recommend you start with reading a few books, understanding exposure by Bryan Peterson is a good place to start. Then also pick up a book on compositions. Spend a few days reading and you'll start to see the world in a whole new light (pun intended).
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: RLPhoto on November 16, 2012, 04:40:44 PM
These are under-exposed and seem handheld.

For great landscape shots, good compositions, small apertures, and long exposures are basic fundamentals. A solid tripod is strongly recommended.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: SwissBear on November 16, 2012, 05:01:04 PM
i like image 2306 - its like the impact of a bombshell (not that i ever seen one, but hollywood says it looks that way. But as others said, underexposed because of the sky and all the white foam.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Waterloo on November 16, 2012, 05:24:59 PM
A quick twiddle of the sliders in Lightroom (I couldn't resist):
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 16, 2012, 05:47:57 PM
A quick twiddle of the sliders in Lightroom (I couldn't resist):

Wow, that looks fantastic.  I obviously need to learn how to use Lightroom.  I have it, but obviously not using it to its full potential.

Thank you everyone for the feedback.  I agree that they all seem a little under exposed.  It was pretty dark out, which I was trying to convey, but they still seem too dark.

As for a tripod, I am going to wait for Black Friday/Cyber Monday to see if I can find a decent deal on a Monfrotto tripod and ballhead; my current tripod cost $20 and it couldn't even support the weight of my T2i with the 18-55 2.8 (the plate and locking mechanism were pathetically overloaded).
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Shawn L on November 16, 2012, 05:59:30 PM
I've recently been interested in tripods, too. You might find this site helpful:

http://www.ronmartblog.com/2011/05/tripod-recommendations2011-part.html (http://www.ronmartblog.com/2011/05/tripod-recommendations2011-part.html)

It includes recommendations ranging from very affordable to not so much.

Shawn L.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: chops411 on November 16, 2012, 06:51:32 PM
Here is one I took in Puerto Rico with a T3i and edited in Lightroom 3.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Waterloo on November 16, 2012, 08:53:09 PM
Here's one from my archives. Hasselblad 500CM and the 50mm wide angle lens. Taken at Point Lobos, probably in the late 1980s. I'm thinking it was one of the Ektachromes, but can't remember. Anyhow that was one of my favorite places to photograph. Need to make a trip back....

Actually, I just printed this 22 X 22 and need to put it in its frame. I would have loved to have had the clouds from the OPs photo.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Eli on November 16, 2012, 09:46:06 PM
A great simple tip for composition is to try to have something in the foreground, middleground and background; example, interesting rock formation in the foreground, the waves crashing in the middleground, and the rest of the space showing the sky and clouds in the background. Like Waterloo's photo above, great example.
A great way to do this also is to actually get closer to the rocks, your photos are lacking an appealing object in the foreground to create interest and draw the attention of the eyes.
Practice rule of thirds and 2d composition. :)
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 16, 2012, 11:14:30 PM
How much do you all think I should spend on a Tripod?  I feel like I've read a lot of different articles, some of which say you should spend $800-$1,200, which seems like I'd be better off just getting a 5DIII and cranking up the ISO.  Would I be disappointed with a tripod w/ ballhead that costs $150-$200?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html)
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: agierke on November 16, 2012, 11:33:46 PM
slik is an outright terrible brand. i would not spend money on their tripods. avoid promaster as well. total ripoffs.

manfrotto is by far the best in terms of cost for performance. they produce high quality products for reasonable prices. i would also not get a ball head if the intention is to shoot landscapes. i would recommend a geared 3 way pan head. i own the manfrotto 410 geared head and it is a great performer and built to last a very long time. B&H has them listed at 225.00. one of the absolute best purchases i have ever made in photography!

there is a tremendous variety of tripod legs to mount the head to and it depends greatly upon what your needs are as to which set of legs is best suited for you. the variables you want to consider when purchasing a set of legs are min height, max height, center column extension, locking mechanisms, and whether the legs move independent of the center column. i currently own an older manfrotto that does not have independently moving legs and i really wish they weren't attached to the center column as it restricts my ability to squeeze the tripod into creative positions. i also like tripods that are capable of a very low minimum height yet still allow for a reasonable max height. independently moving legs will allow for this as opposed to legs that are attached to the center column. a set of legs can run anywhere from $150 to over $500.

a tripod and head is not something you want to cheap out on as a bad tripod will totally defeat the purpose of getting a tripod in the first place. buy manfrotto and it will last for decades. buy cheap and you will find that it will not function as it should and you will be shopping for another tripod soon.

if you have deep pockets....go gitzo.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: EOBeav on November 16, 2012, 11:35:50 PM
Also, think smaller. On several of these images, you're trying to take in the whole scene, but you would come away with a much better image by just focusing in on part of your frame.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 17, 2012, 01:11:24 AM
slik is an outright terrible brand. i would not spend money on their tripods. avoid promaster as well. total ripoffs.

manfrotto is by far the best in terms of cost for performance. they produce high quality products for reasonable prices. i would also not get a ball head if the intention is to shoot landscapes. i would recommend a geared 3 way pan head. i own the manfrotto 410 geared head and it is a great performer and built to last a very long time. B&H has them listed at 225.00. one of the absolute best purchases i have ever made in photography!

there is a tremendous variety of tripod legs to mount the head to and it depends greatly upon what your needs are as to which set of legs is best suited for you. the variables you want to consider when purchasing a set of legs are min height, max height, center column extension, locking mechanisms, and whether the legs move independent of the center column. i currently own an older manfrotto that does not have independently moving legs and i really wish they weren't attached to the center column as it restricts my ability to squeeze the tripod into creative positions. i also like tripods that are capable of a very low minimum height yet still allow for a reasonable max height. independently moving legs will allow for this as opposed to legs that are attached to the center column. a set of legs can run anywhere from $150 to over $500.

a tripod and head is not something you want to cheap out on as a bad tripod will totally defeat the purpose of getting a tripod in the first place. buy manfrotto and it will last for decades. buy cheap and you will find that it will not function as it should and you will be shopping for another tripod soon.

if you have deep pockets....go gitzo.

The geared head is a little much for my blood.  What about this combo:
http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-055XPROB-Tripod-Legs-Black/dp/B000UMX7FI/ref=pd_sim_e_1 (http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-055XPROB-Tripod-Legs-Black/dp/B000UMX7FI/ref=pd_sim_e_1)
http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-498RC2-Release-Replaces-488RC2/dp/B002UOCWUK/ref=pd_bxgy_p_text_y (http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-498RC2-Release-Replaces-488RC2/dp/B002UOCWUK/ref=pd_bxgy_p_text_y)
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: agierke on November 17, 2012, 02:00:16 AM
again, the ball head is good for alot of other genres of photography (portraiture in particular) but it is not ideal for landscapes as the goal should be to get leveled shots. you can of course do that in post but a geared head is just a pleasure to work with. the head i suggested will last you the rest of your life.

the legs are a solid set.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Eli on November 17, 2012, 02:11:54 AM
How much do you all think I should spend on a Tripod?  I feel like I've read a lot of different articles, some of which say you should spend $800-$1,200, which seems like I'd be better off just getting a 5DIII and cranking up the ISO.  Would I be disappointed with a tripod w/ ballhead that costs $150-$200?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html)

I used a Manfrotto MKC-H01 and it was great for $80. Used it with my 550d and 17-55mm, and also my 5d mkii with 17-40 when I upgraded to that too. Most of the time I shoot landscapes I like to shoot wide angle from low, so didn't need to extend the center column or the thinnest set of legs.
Just get one of those imo, work around the flaws of the tripod and just practice shooting, don't need to spend a thousand dollars on a tripod, better off getting a new lens.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: PeterJ on November 17, 2012, 02:43:33 AM
The geared head is a little much for my blood.  What about this combo:
http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-055XPROB-Tripod-Legs-Black/dp/B000UMX7FI/ref=pd_sim_e_1 (http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-055XPROB-Tripod-Legs-Black/dp/B000UMX7FI/ref=pd_sim_e_1)
http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-498RC2-Release-Replaces-488RC2/dp/B002UOCWUK/ref=pd_bxgy_p_text_y (http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-498RC2-Release-Replaces-488RC2/dp/B002UOCWUK/ref=pd_bxgy_p_text_y)
I'd second the advice on a 055XPROB and 410 geared head, I own both and they are great. While still not ideal for a budget also consider an 808RC4 head which is not a lot more than the ball head. While not as precise as the geared head they are better than a ball head and do offer some panning ability. I still use mine occasionally for moving situations so you'll still get some use out of it down the track if you later decide on a geared head.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 17, 2012, 04:47:49 AM
How'd I do?  Tried to modify the original in Lightroom like the previous post.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: serendipidy on November 17, 2012, 06:46:30 AM
Looks a lot better.

I tried cropping your photo.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: AdamJ on November 17, 2012, 06:51:20 AM
The 055XPROB legs are a good choice provided their weight won't discourage you from taking them with you to your location. With a 410 head, you're looking at 8 pounds. A good carbon tripod like a Feisol CT-3342 would halve the all-up weight.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Kernuak on November 17, 2012, 11:07:46 AM
Looks a lot better.

I tried cropping your photo.
I was going to suggest cropping some of the beach as well. Also, it might be worth playing around with cropping the sky too, as while there is some texture there, it doesn't add anything to the composition and it will move the horizon from the centre.
As for tripods, ballheads can work for landscapes, even thought they wouldn't necessarily be first choice. They are probably about the most versatile of heads if you shoot other subjects as well and they can help to compensate for uneven ground that the legs may not fully account for. To help with keeping things level, get a bubble level that goes in the hotshoe. Pan and tilt heads are the obvious choice for landscapes, but they can be quite limiting. I have a Manfrotto tripod and head, but they aren't always the best build quality and I have known people to end up with snapped catches, as they are made from plastic. I think Giottos tripods are much beter value, they are a similar price point to Manfrotto, with better build quality, as they use mostly metal construction, with less plastic. My Manfrotto 190 MF3 cost me around £180 about five years ago, yet my heavier duty Giottos 8241 was only around £200 I think about 3 years ago. When looking at tripods, the general recommendation, is to look at the load capacity and make sure it is around double the weight of your heaviest gear, remembering to factor in the weight of the head. Likewise, it is best to make sure the load capacity of the head is double the weight of your heaviest gear. This will ensure maximum stability, although if budget is an issue, you can skimp a little bit, as long as you don't esceed the maximum load capacity, but you will lose some stability. Also, make sure you can get it to go high enough without raising the centre column. This will be a particular issue if you are tall and want to shoot from a high angle, but if you are shorter or are going to be shooting from a low angle (which often works better for the coast), then it is a lesser consideration.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Kernuak on November 17, 2012, 11:13:11 AM
I'm not normally a fan of letterbox crops, but I sort of went somewhere in between. Have a go at playing around with something similar to improve it further until you like it more. If nothing else, it will help you to practice compositions.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Kernuak on November 17, 2012, 11:23:10 AM
Here's another idea. It isn't ideal to work on a JPEG, but it gets the idea across.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: wickidwombat on November 23, 2012, 01:47:55 AM
How much do you all think I should spend on a Tripod?  I feel like I've read a lot of different articles, some of which say you should spend $800-$1,200, which seems like I'd be better off just getting a 5DIII and cranking up the ISO.  Would I be disappointed with a tripod w/ ballhead that costs $150-$200?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/131427-REG/Slik_615_315_Pro_700DX_Tripod_with.html)

no need to spend tons of money
these are awesome value for money
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/A3061-Benro-C1692TB0-Transformer-Travel-Angel-Carbon-Fiber-Tripod-Kit-/390367389061?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item5ae3b5a585 (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/A3061-Benro-C1692TB0-Transformer-Travel-Angel-Carbon-Fiber-Tripod-Kit-/390367389061?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item5ae3b5a585)

the aluminium ones are even cheaper and only a little heavier
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: sanjosedave on November 23, 2012, 08:16:24 PM
Make sure whatever tripod head you settle on, that it can support your rig today, and a few years down the road.

The attached is a quick makeover =cropped tight, ran though Nik and finished with Alien Paint software.

This is the time of year when plug-ins go on sale.

Note: if you take a course at a local college, you can purchase Adobe and other products at an educational price, though, right now, Amazon has LR on sale for 99, and I'm seeing PSE11, as low as $49. PSE11 uses the same version of the RAW conversion as CS6, but, without as many ways to tweak it...keep shooting/have fun
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: bycostello on November 23, 2012, 08:40:07 PM
a grad filter or as others have done a bit of a edit in lightroom/ photoshop
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Promature on November 24, 2012, 12:51:20 AM
Thank you for the advice all.  I just placed an order for the following and should be here early next week:
Manfrotto 055XDB Black Basic Tripod Legs
Markins Q3

I also had a chance today to take some more pictures, and based on those results (blown sky, dark beach), I also need a graduated ND filter and circular polarizer:
B+W 77mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating
B+W 77mm Grad ND 0.6-4X (502)
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: dirtcastle on November 24, 2012, 02:53:43 AM
Here's another LR edit.
Title: Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves
Post by: Kernuak on November 24, 2012, 04:32:32 AM
Thank you for the advice all.  I just placed an order for the following and should be here early next week:
Manfrotto 055XDB Black Basic Tripod Legs
Markins Q3

I also had a chance today to take some more pictures, and based on those results (blown sky, dark beach), I also need a graduated ND filter and circular polarizer:
B+W 77mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating
B+W 77mm Grad ND 0.6-4X (502)
I wouldn't waste your money on any screw in grad filters, as they have no flexibility.