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Author Topic: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure  (Read 8980 times)

Cgdillan

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Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« on: January 06, 2013, 02:36:35 PM »
There are more photos on my site with monterey and santa barbara:http://www.stockhammedia.com/2013/01/06/amazing-landscape-photography-big-sur-monterey-san-francisco/

Big Sur






Golden Gate
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 12:38:39 PM by Cgdillan »
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Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« on: January 06, 2013, 02:36:35 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 09:26:11 PM »
These are nice, although I will have to find fault with the Golden Gate shot.  You need to either select the orange slider in the gray scale menu, and reduce it...or else (preferably) change the overall color temperature and tint a bit (to the cooler side)...or some combination of both...besides reducing the overall saturation and vibrance.

I'll give you credit for a decent exposure that isn't blowing out the street lights too much.

The waves shot above that is nice, however it's not a "long exposure", as you know.  I actually prefer to see waves, myself, though.  I think the whole "water as smoke" motif is a played-out-fad, sort of on the level of "gangnam style"...

The water is a bit over ripe in the shades of aqua...but it doesn't look too bad.

That is a beautiful part of the country...alas I have only visited briefly, and before I had a quality camera.  Didn't have time to do any quality shots anyway.  So I enjoy seeing yours!

Being from the Tennessee Valley, we were shocked and amused to find "Tennessee Valley Road", near Muir Woods, north of the bridge.

I hope to return someday...besides travelling to a lot of other places.  My main complaint, is Nancy Pelosi doesn't seem to let ya'll re-pave your roads very often.  It seemed like they may not have been paved since the 1849 gold rush, or so...I could be wrong.  This was a week day in December, 2005.  I've never seen so many red Ferraris out for a drive at one time, before...especially not in winter.  It didn't seem to be a club drive...they were just all over the place, going in all directions...ahhh, life is sweet when it is carefree and money is of no concern, isn't it?  It's a shame the populace doesn't want to pay their fair share, and just bail their state out of the 100+ billion in debt they've accumulated.  Apple alone could do it, if they weren't such greedy money-grubbers!

Keep these photos coming!

ahab1372

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 10:25:13 PM »
These are nice, although I will have to find fault with the Golden Gate shot.  You need to either select the orange slider in the gray scale menu, and reduce it...or else (preferably) change the overall color temperature and tint a bit (to the cooler side)...or some combination of both...besides reducing the overall saturation and vibrance.
I disagree, I like it as it is. Matter of personal preference I suppose ...

CarlTN

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 11:22:26 PM »
I'll grant you that ahab, it's personal preference.  Art is subjective.  However, all you're really seeing there, is the awful color of those lights, and not the colors of the bridge or the landscape.  Let me see what I can do with it.  I'm sure you'll all say it sucks, or you otherwise prefer his original, but let me just see.  I'm imagining Cgdillan is giving me his permission to alter his jpeg web image, and so hopefully I won't get sued!  I would prefer to play with his RAW file, but maybe I can at least hint at what I'm talking about with the small jpeg.

CarlTN

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 03:05:27 AM »
So you were at ISO 640, f/7.1, for 30 seconds.  I assume you used highlight tone priority?  Even if you did, I’m a bit surprised the lights didn’t blow out more than they did.  Like I said, nice exposure.  The 5D3 is a nice camera.  I’ll probably buy one at some point.  Or a 6D.

It should be evident, that my edit is the superior picture.  If nothing else, you can tell by comparing your sky, with mine, that your white balance is wayyy off.  Now, again…sure it’s a matter of preference…but your color of the bridge, well it just looks like puke…and your sky is just not the correct color temperature.  Perhaps you just wanted to make SF look a bit like a smoggy LA evening?

I feel my street lights, car headlights, and city lights in the background, all still look natural enough…they are not overly “cooled down”…they still look yellow and warm.  They just don’t look like they were shot through some kind of orange gel filter, like yours.

You might first notice I corrected the barrel distortion of your lens (shot at 24mm).  Maybe you did some correction already, but you still left a bit much for my taste.  Sure, the closer bridge tower is now leaning to the left a bit…frankly I feel you may have not had the camera perfectly level.  However, without using a tilt shift lens, there can also be converging lines factoring in here too (since your location is putting you a ways above halfway up the tower, you are effectively looking slightly down at the towers…so that would also pull the left tower outwards toward the top) .  I didn’t bother correcting the picture level, as the barrel correction already cut off a bit more pixels toward the corners than I would have liked.  The level isn’t severely off.
 
I did some tweaking of various sliders and curves.  Reduced exposure a bit, added some brightness and fill light (I feel this adds some texture to the tonality), along with some recovery, reduced overall contrast, but tweaked the tone curve sliders to add mid tone contrast, and try to keep from losing the darkest shadows.  Also I reduced global saturation, but added a bit of vibrance.  Also tweaked several of the individual colors in the gray scale, by changing all 3 aspects:  the tint, saturation, and luminance.  (I usually only like to mess with the saturation, but this awful white balance required all three!)  I think I recovered even a bit more of the highlights, not a lot.  Not an easy task with a jpeg.  But again, you did do a decent job of exposure, perhaps spot metering on headlights or streetlights…but then that may have also affected your in-camera white balance…or rather overwhelmed it…I don’t know.  Certainly “auto white balance” begins to fail as it gets dark, and city lights confuse a camera…or at least they do mine.  But I have no idea whether you did a custom WB or an auto. 

Either way, again…your end result is very orange-yellow, looks flat, and ruined the bridge.  I could not abide that!  I love that bridge!  I did it all in Adobe Camera Raw, didn’t even bother opening in Photoshop.

So I will now pat myself on the back sort of like you do for yourself.  The difference is, I didn’t get paid by billionaires to do it, I just did it for fun.  I need to start getting paid what I’m worth, though!  It might require moving to Taiwan or Shanghai, and employing a league of Asian concubines to drum up business…but hey I’m game!!

CarlTN

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 03:12:53 AM »
Oh, and here's my edit.  I'd also like to say, that if I had the raw file, then I could have really made it look like it's supposed to look.  But I'd wanna get paid!  :P

Eli

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 03:45:36 AM »
I like the original more, nice try.

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 03:45:36 AM »

Menace

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 03:50:36 AM »
I like the third one best :)
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CarlTN

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 04:52:31 AM »
Eli, why do you like the original more?

funkboy

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 05:09:02 AM »
Awesome shots.  Lucky you had the opportunity to get out there.  I had a look at the whole gallery on your site.

Some C&C:

  • Remove the obviously blurry ones (due to camera shake) from your web gallery, they detract from the rest.
  • Towards the end you've got visible sensor dust in the sky towards the right side of the frame in a series of shots.  This tends to show up the worst in narrow aperture shots, which was pretty much the order of the day for your long exposures.  It's easy to correct in post but you need to give that thing a wipe with an Arctic Butterfly or something.
  • There are some really great long exposures in there, but a few of them don't seem to have a long enough exposure.  They're merely a bit blurry in the areas of motion & lack that nice silky fog of reality that comes with a dark ND filter & a good solid tripod.

But don't let my comments detract from the good ones, there are some really sweet shots in there.  Good luck & keep shooting :-).

Sith Zombie

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 05:35:46 AM »

It should be evident, that my edit is the superior picture.  If nothing else, you can tell by comparing your sky, with mine, that your white balance is way off.  Now, again…sure it’s a matter of preference…but your color of the bridge, well it just looks like puke…and your sky is just not the correct color temperature. 


I feel you were a little harsh in your critique, but I do prefer the second edit. Great job with the exposure and composition op, the way the city lights aren't blown out is perfect. good stuff.

pedro

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 06:57:13 AM »
The GGB looks great with the reflection on the water. To cool the color temperature a bit down gives the edge. But that is up to one's personal preferencies...Keep them coming. Are you on flickr?
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Cgdillan

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 05:42:28 PM »
So you were at ISO 640, f/7.1, for 30 seconds.  I assume you used highlight tone priority?  Even if you did, I’m a bit surprised the lights didn’t blow out more than they did.  Like I said, nice exposure.  The 5D3 is a nice camera.  I’ll probably buy one at some point.  Or a 6D.

It should be evident, that my edit is the superior picture.  If nothing else, you can tell by comparing your sky, with mine, that your white balance is wayyy off.  Now, again…sure it’s a matter of preference…but your color of the bridge, well it just looks like puke…and your sky is just not the correct color temperature.  Perhaps you just wanted to make SF look a bit like a smoggy LA evening?

I feel my street lights, car headlights, and city lights in the background, all still look natural enough…they are not overly “cooled down”…they still look yellow and warm.  They just don’t look like they were shot through some kind of orange gel filter, like yours.

You might first notice I corrected the barrel distortion of your lens (shot at 24mm).  Maybe you did some correction already, but you still left a bit much for my taste.  Sure, the closer bridge tower is now leaning to the left a bit…frankly I feel you may have not had the camera perfectly level.  However, without using a tilt shift lens, there can also be converging lines factoring in here too (since your location is putting you a ways above halfway up the tower, you are effectively looking slightly down at the towers…so that would also pull the left tower outwards toward the top) .  I didn’t bother correcting the picture level, as the barrel correction already cut off a bit more pixels toward the corners than I would have liked.  The level isn’t severely off.
 
I did some tweaking of various sliders and curves.  Reduced exposure a bit, added some brightness and fill light (I feel this adds some texture to the tonality), along with some recovery, reduced overall contrast, but tweaked the tone curve sliders to add mid tone contrast, and try to keep from losing the darkest shadows.  Also I reduced global saturation, but added a bit of vibrance.  Also tweaked several of the individual colors in the gray scale, by changing all 3 aspects:  the tint, saturation, and luminance.  (I usually only like to mess with the saturation, but this awful white balance required all three!)  I think I recovered even a bit more of the highlights, not a lot.  Not an easy task with a jpeg.  But again, you did do a decent job of exposure, perhaps spot metering on headlights or streetlights…but then that may have also affected your in-camera white balance…or rather overwhelmed it…I don’t know.  Certainly “auto white balance” begins to fail as it gets dark, and city lights confuse a camera…or at least they do mine.  But I have no idea whether you did a custom WB or an auto. 

Either way, again…your end result is very orange-yellow, looks flat, and ruined the bridge.  I could not abide that!  I love that bridge!  I did it all in Adobe Camera Raw, didn’t even bother opening in Photoshop.

So I will now pat myself on the back sort of like you do for yourself.  The difference is, I didn’t get paid by billionaires to do it, I just did it for fun.  I need to start getting paid what I’m worth, though!  It might require moving to Taiwan or Shanghai, and employing a league of Asian concubines to drum up business…but hey I’m game!!

I appreciate your opinions very much. I actually didn't get paid anything for this trip, I simply did it with my girlfriend for fun when we had 3 days off. I do like my picture better however. But again that's just opinion based. =-) I see where you are going with the color temp and orange saturation, I tend to enjoy warmer pictures my self. Thank you for the compliments as well!
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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 05:42:28 PM »

Cgdillan

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2013, 05:44:18 PM »
Oh, and here's my edit.  I'd also like to say, that if I had the raw file, then I could have really made it look like it's supposed to look.  But I'd wanna get paid!  :P

I know what you mean =-) If this wasn't photo I was trying to sell I'd hand over the Raw. I tend to do photos just for fun like this though. Don't really need to be paid for landscape photography. I just enjoy it too much!
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Cgdillan

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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 05:44:34 PM »
These are nice, although I will have to find fault with the Golden Gate shot.  You need to either select the orange slider in the gray scale menu, and reduce it...or else (preferably) change the overall color temperature and tint a bit (to the cooler side)...or some combination of both...besides reducing the overall saturation and vibrance.
I disagree, I like it as it is. Matter of personal preference I suppose ...

Thank you sir =-)
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Re: Big Sur and San Fran 5D3 Long Exposure
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 05:44:34 PM »