Blue Hill Maine

What technical feedback would you like if any? any

What artistic feedback would you like if any? Open to all,

Any pertinent technical details:

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

A real nice look at a lake or estuary. The cutoff off trees on the edges actually make nice bookends. I played with cropping them, but preferred it as presented. I might try to bring out some shadow detail in the fore rocks, but otherwise, the processing looks good to my eye. Welcome aboard and nice first post.

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I like this although I would take some off the top so it is not 50/50 comp.
I would also run some Noise reduction…

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Welcome to NPN! Nice first post. The heavy contrast and b&w processing do well to support the composition and the focal point of the tree in the center of the horizon. I would agree a bit with Harley that the trees on either edge make for good bookends, framing the scene. However, the tree on the left is a situation where you either need more to make it obvious you wanted to included it, or not at all. There’s just not enough of that tree for me. A matter of taste, but I think you could content-aware clone that tree on the left and then crop a little sky and the trees on the right. I tried and it looks good to me. But of course that may not be good for you.

The contrast is high in the rocks, but that’s ok I think. There small enough in the scene that detail is less important.


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Thank you all for the imput. Just starting out with a Nikon D810 and some great glass but no real knowledge so I appreciate any info. This was shot at F11 1/800 iso 500 @ 62mm with a polarizer, handheld. I’m wondering why so much noise? Is it my editing or my settings?

Dayna, welcome to NPN, this is a nice first post. I think the stark, high contrast look works well with the subject matter you have here. I like having the trees in silhouette, and the way the light is falling on the foreground rocks. To me, the composition is a little too heavy on the left side, I wish there was less empty space in the lower right quadrant of the image. By moving to the left you might have been able to find another comp that is more balanced.

There is a lot of noise in this image, and it could be due to a number of things. The first thing I notice is the ISO 800 handheld, this does not help with noise. It can be a pain, but try to use a tripod and shoot at ISO 100. If you have “good glass”, and are savvy enough to use a polarizer, then bite the bullet and go for better quality at low ISO, tripods are one of the best ways to improve image quality. I’d rather start with a clean low ISO file than try to remove noise later, which also can remove details.

I don’t know your experience level, but noise can be introduced through post processing as well. Are you processing using a raw file converted to a 16 bit TIFF file? If you are processing Jpegs or 8 bit TIFF files heavy contrast adjustments can add noise especially to areas of smooth tonality like skies. Are you using Nik Silver Efex presets to do B&W conversion, if so some of their presets add grain and noise from too much structure.

You would need to tell us more about how you process your images, to help isolate whats causing the noise here. It looks like more than just ISO 800, I suspect processing is a source of noise here too.

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Thanks for the welcome! The iso was 500 and after editing I converted to JPEG from raw files (which show as Tif in Lightroom) mostly for sharing. I am new at all of this and my gear far outweighs my knowledge. I honestly just started using a tripod. I think the noise may be processing like you pointed out, I believe I did use Nik Silver Efex on the original posted shot. Here is another shot of the same scene. Same settings

Dayna, the second image you posted does not have any significant noise, so the noise in the first image had to be primarily from processing issues (although I would not recommend shooting landscapes at ISO 500 or 800). With that said, I would encourage you to try to use a tripod as much as possible, it really helps with image quality. Not only does it allow you to shoot at lower ISO (lower noise, and allows longer shutter speeds in low light), but a tripod forces you to slow down and think about what you are doing, which can lead to achieving better compositions as well.

Regarding file type, I just wanted to confirm that you were shooting raw and not JPEG, and that any TIFF files created are 16 bit, sounds like you are good there. Noise can be added if the original file is badly underexposed, and you have to lift exposure a lot. Nothing you can do about that, other than get a better exposure in the raw file at capture, or try noise reduction in post (which can also remove image details).

Nik Silver Efex has some presets that are designed to mimic some B&W film types, some of these presets add “grain” to mimic film, which can look like noise. Some people like a film look, some see it as noise. Silver Efex also has sliders for “Structure”, which if used properly makes details look crisper. Overuse of structure can add noise, especially in blank areas like skies. Generally you want to avoid heavy structure increases to the entire image, preferably you would apply it via control points to avoid adding structure to skies. I suspect your first post had heavy impacts from Nik grain and or structure.

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Hi Dayna,
Very nice image and good eye for your first post. I like the separation of elements in the foreground and the lone standing pine.

You noted that this is shot at 62mm, but the image seems to be a wide angle shot and if I use 62mm @ F/11 your depth of field would not cover 3’ to infinity.

The noise is from post processing not the camera. Your Nikon camera has very good dynamic range and the noise your introducing from your 36mpx camera at ISO 500 is of not much concern to remove in post. With that being said, noise is an artifact, and must be dealt with early. Artifacts can be cumulative and perhaps multiplicative as you continue your workflow.

You are quite brave with your settings and handholding. ‘This was shot at F11 1/800 iso 500 @ 62mm with a polarize.’ Most folks will try and talk you into shooting at ISO 100, and they are correct if you want an ultra clean image.

Today’s cameras and software can easily deal with higher ISO. If you need it use it. However, your camera’s base ISO is 64. As a serious landscape photographer, you’ll discover that you want to be on a tripod, at your base ISO for starters. Then you decide what you want the image to convey.

As a side note, the equivalent exposure (per photopils app) would be ISO 100 f/11 w/cpol the shutter is 1/80. Lots of folks shoot handheld at this speed. A rule of thumb is the inverse of your lens, so a 24mm prime is 1/24 sec. However it’s probably best with a 35 Mpx camera to not introduce shake or blur and use a tripod.

Compositionally, you have halved the image with your horizon. That generally is a composition no-no, unless a reflection image. On your image you can easily experiment with cropping the sky, perhaps even taking the image from 4:3 to 12:9. The top part of the sky is not adding much to your story.

I also saw a few large dust spots in the left mid side in the sky. Depending on where you crop they could go away, You also have small rock near the right horizon that I’d nuke.

With all that being said, you have a delightful compelling image, that captured a pleasant moment which you have been able to successfully share with us !

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Thank you! I used a Nikon 24.0-70.0 2.8 lens in this shot. The small spot on the right horizon is a buoy, (Maine seacoast = lobster! :slight_smile: ) I’m even greener at editing than I am at photography! The dust spots are on the sensor do you think? Also I was under the impression that using a polarizer I would need a higher iso? I hope I’m not too inexperienced for this forum…clearly I need a lot of help!

Thank you! I am shooting in raw. Can I still use a low iso when using a polarizer? I was under the impression it had to be increased, but maybe that’s for handheld only? I definitely need to use my tripod more. Thank you for all the input.

A polarizer reduces the amount of light coming in, all else equal this means you need a longer shutter speed for proper exposure. Thus, people who are hand holding often need to increase ISO when using a polarizer (or in low light situations), otherwise your shutter speed might be too long and you get reduced image sharpness.

Almost all serious landscape shooters use a tripod for image quality reasons. You can shoot in low light, and or with a polarizer, and not have to worry if your shutter speed is fast enough to get a sharp image. It lets you shoot at low ISO like 64 or 100, which means you have less noise, and better quality file as a
starting point for processing.

Especially since you sound like you are just starting out, one of the best things you could do at this point is to force yourself to consistently use a tripod. Using a tripod gives you less things to worry about. If all you want is snapshots, well handheld / high ISO is fine for that. But because you are here at NPN seeking help, I suspect you want to move beyond snapshots. For example if you eventually want to make larger prints of landscape images, always using a tripod and low ISO is the way to get the quality you need to do this.

It depends what you want to get out of your photography. If image quality is very important to you, then for landscapes a tripod is essentially a necessity.

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Dayna, It is nice to have you aboard at NPN. Congratulations on a nice first post. Others here have offered some very good suggestions regarding this image. I just wanted to encourage you to continue participating at NPN. There is a very diverse skill level of photographer on the site and IMO you will not find a better place to learn and receive thoughtful honest feedback. Even the most experienced photographers are continually learning.

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Dayna, @Alan_Kreyger comments are right on the money. In the Landscape Critique forum, the posting members here have a wide range of experience, from professional to newbie. From what I have seen, the one thing we all have in common is that we try to be helpful with our comments, and offer constructive advice on how an image could be improved. And usually if a post requests input on a specific issue/question, you will get a specific answer. No question is too “dumb”, especially if you identify yourself as just starting out on your photography journey. I would also recommend reading comments on images posted by other members, you will still pick up a lot of good tips. Learning landscape photography is a long process, be patient and try to pick up as much as you can from the discussion here at NPN.

The tough thing about Landscape photography is that you have to learn both “field work” (how to use your camera, understanding composition, finding subjects, etc) and “post-processing” (which is perhaps a bit more critical for landscapes than some other genres of photography). My advice is to get comfortable with the “field work” first, post processing can cover some sins in field work, but not many. Consistently using a tripod gets you off to a good start with “field work”.

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Hi Dayna,

Yes I think you have a sensor dust spot.

Attached find your image cropped to the Grecian Golden spiral and a highlight of dust spot

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Very much like the composition and the B&W treatment. However, I’d maybe consider cropping the trees on the side. I think this would really enhance the power of the more central tree silhouette.

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I like Fritzimages comp more than the original. Here is another simplification of the original comp. I also eliminated the black rock in the distance as I found it distracting. For me, the tonal gradation of sky with the outline of the land against it was the central theme which I thought should be emphasized.

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