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Author Topic: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice  (Read 14529 times)

DougJ

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2012, 01:21:08 AM »

Hi Marc,

What deconvolution software are you using.

Ciao,

Doug
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Rob C

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2012, 06:46:48 AM »

I totally agree. The emphasis some people, especially here in the Lu-la forums, put on exotic techniques and tools  is far out of balance with their actual viability in simply making good photos to start with. Focus stacking is really one of those last resort solutions. I'm glad I know how to do it, and have the tools to do it but only turn to when all else fails.




I think you can probably extend that idea sideways: in my own view, simple is usually best, and tricks for trick's sake is a PITA that some might find pleasant but that I'd rather avoid if I can. That's sometimes just part of the digi game: this can be done, so it has to be done or something is wrong with the shooter. I am happy to continue along in my innocence, taking what pleasures I can from pictures and trying not to exchange that for challenges. What's with these people who claim to like challenges? Hell's teeth, I want life to go as smoothly as it possibly can! Leave battles to warriors; protect your heart and nerves!

Rob C

BartvanderWolf

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2012, 07:51:05 AM »

Focus Fixer it is old and doesn't work with 64 bit programs but I like the results
I'm still searching for a better replacement

Hi Marc,

You can always try RawTherapee, even on e.g. a TIFF input instead of Raw. It supports a decent implementation of the Richardson-Lucy deconvolution method which does quite well with regular (unsharpened) images (and not only images from the Hubble Space Telescope where it was used by NASA to recover from an optical design flaw).

Topaz Labs have an InFocus plug-in, but it needs some more work to protect inexperienced users from generating too many artifacts.

I still use the 32-bit FocusMagic plugin, and it does a great job but future technical support seems unsure.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 07:27:04 AM by BartvanderWolf »
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== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

MarkL

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2012, 09:53:43 AM »

From viewing exhibitions I have found that a lot of landscape photographers often leave far distances to go out of focus and personally it bothers me.

> how do you ensure the image is sharp throughout?

nobody mentions focus stacking??

I use helicon focus a lot of landscapes and wouldn't be without it, there is no need to shoot at f/22 on a dslr eating up sharpness (unless things are moving). I'm surprised so few people use it.
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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2012, 01:40:51 PM »

Hi Marc,

You can always try RawTherapee, even on e.g. a TIFF input instead of Raw. It supports a decent implementation of the Richardson-Lucy deconvolution method which does quite well with regular (unsharpened) images (and not only images from the Hubble Space Telescope where it was used by NASA to recover from an optical design flaw).

Topaz Labs have an InFocus plug-in, but it needs some more work to protect inexperienced users from generating too many artifacts.

I still use the 32-bit FocusMagic plugin, and it does a great job but technical support seems unsure.

Cheers,
Bart
Bart
I've been meaning too download RT, sometime soon
Marc
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Marc McCalmont

Hening Bettermann

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2012, 01:59:33 PM »

Right. Just, I think this description will not be easy to follow, and the "jargon" 'focus stacking' will quickly provide the OP with a lot of links that will put him on the track.
Good light! - Hening

Hening Bettermann

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2012, 04:08:00 PM »

> isn't it the same idea?

Certainly.

> My guess is that you wouldn't call this "focus stacking"

I would. I would call it focus stacking + pano stitching, which is a step further. OTOH 3 focus slices may not be enough in many cases. But these are details. - I don't quite understand what you find 'narrow' about the term/track 'focus stacking'. My idea was that the *term* (rather than a description) when googled  would quickly lead the OP to the subject.

Good light!

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2012, 04:22:59 PM »

Hi,

I have a small write up on my experience here: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/29-handling-the-dof-trap

Best regards
Erik


From viewing exhibitions I have found that a lot of landscape photographers often leave far distances to go out of focus and personally it bothers me.

I use helicon focus a lot of landscapes and wouldn't be without it, there is no need to shoot at f/22 on a dslr eating up sharpness (unless things are moving). I'm surprised so few people use it.

Hening Bettermann

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2012, 06:30:52 PM »

Uff!

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2012, 07:30:56 PM »

Hairsplitters of the world, unite! ;)

elf

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2012, 01:42:08 AM »

                             


                                            Merklinger
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DougJ

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2012, 02:24:35 AM »

That's what I use as well, Marc.  I'm in the process of moving over to W7 and had to ask Acclaim for a new registration code for my V3.02 (IIRC) version of Focus Magic.

Ciao,

Doug





Focus Fixer it is old and doesn't work with 64 bit programs but I like the results
I'm still searching for a better replacement
Marc
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figure1a

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HSakols

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2012, 09:09:03 AM »

No one has mentioned finding good light!!  That's the hardest part regardless of your f stop.
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jonathan.lipkin

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2012, 10:05:39 PM »

You should also be concerned about print sharpness. What you see on the screen does not necessarily translate into what you'll see in a a print. Learn about input and output sharpening. There are many resources, including the print to screen videos from this site, the book Real World Image Sharpening, Martin Evening's book Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, etc.
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spotmeter

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2012, 12:48:10 AM »

A relative newcomer to landscape photography and going on my first photo trip for landscapes.  I would like to ask those more experienced, when taking photos of landscape scenes, how do you ensure the image is sharp throughout?  Thank you for any advice.

The first step, long before you go on the trip, is to see if your lens and camera are even capable of taking sharp photos throughout.

I print all my landscape photos 5 to 10 feet long and everything is in focus.  This is how I do it.

First, I mount on a ten foot wall five targets of sharp Word documents with type size from 8 to 72 point.  The targets are set up so that one is placed in each of the top corners of the wall and the lower ones placed so that all are recorded in each corner of a photo, and one in the center. I usually start with a 50mm lens on my camera, mounted on a solid Gitzo tripod with no column and a loaded backpack slung over the tripod for weight and a solid B55 ball head. I use Live View and a cable release. The camera is mounted so that it is exactly opposite the center of the wall and parallel to the wall. I move the tripod and camera forward or back until all four corner targets are in the corners of the viewfinder. I then focus on the center of the center target, using Live View with a Zacuto magnifier, and even use the magnifier of the live view. I then shoot a photo with each f stop, refocusing each time if necessary. I always shoot in RAW.  I move the tripod and camera forward for wider angle lenses, and back for longer lenses.

Then I review each photo, looking at each target on a large screen monitor, writing down the smallest typeface that is sharp and clear. In this way, I find out if there is something wrong with the mount or sensor of the camera.  Some can be out of alignment, so that all the photos are soft on the left or right, top or bottom. In this case, you need to return the camera, or,if it is too late, have it repaired. Be sure to send the shop prints that show what the problem is.

Once I have confirmed that sensor and mount are aligned, I can then tell if something is wrong with a particular lens. Some can be put together incorrectly, so that one side of the photo is out of focus, while the other side is sharp.  Since I test all lenses as soon as I get them, I return any that are out of focus from side to side, or corner to corner.

Once I know that the camera and lens are aligned, the f stop I am looking for is the one that produces sharp corners without blurring the center by diffraction. If the lens cannot achieve this, I return it and find one that will. As a result of this process, most of my lenses are primes made by Zeiss, although the new 24mm TS-E from Canon is stunning. Unfortunately, I am moving to Nikon D800E as Canon dropped the ball with the 5D3, so I have to start all over with my lens testing. Fortunately, many of the Zeiss lenses I bought early on came with a Nikon mount, for which I bought Canon adapters.

The next step is to repeat the tests at infinity, as lenses can function differently near and far.  I usually use power lines as they are easy to see if in focus or not. If, for instance, you find a big difference in sharpness from a lens wide open to f8, then it may be that your infinity focus is off and you need to have a shop adjust your lens.

If you don't test your camera and lenses before your trip, you won't know if your equipment is even capable of taking sharp pictures.

Once you are in the field, use your solid tripod, no center column, a weight, Live View, Zacuto viewfinder, and cable release. Using my optimum aperture that that lens, I focus on the nearest element in the picture and take a shot.  Then I move back in the scene to the area that looked soft, and take another sharp photo. I repeat this until I have sharp photos of the entire scene. Then I combine these using focus stacking software. In some cases, I only have to take one photo. In other cases, I have had to take up to seven photos, particularly doing macro work.  I never rely on hyper-focal settings as they are completely unreliable.

If you are shooting a landscape at infinity, then you only have to take one exposure to get a sharp photo throughout.

This, of course, only makes a photo sharp. In landscapes, it's unlikely that the entire light range can be captured in one exposure.  This means you may have to repeat the process, exposing for the shadows, mid-range and highlights and then combine these with HDR software.

The result will be stunning photographs that your friends will think you captured in one lucky snap.

If you are a newcomer to landscape photography, you can save yourself years of frustration by testing your lenses and camera before you shoot.  You will also find the care put into testing will carry over to your photos.  You won't waste your time and equipment on uninteresting photographs.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2012, 02:51:36 AM »

Quote
... You will also find the care put into testing will carry over to your photos.  You won't waste your time and equipment on uninteresting photographs.

Indeed... Once you start getting off from brick walls, your every picture would tend to look just as interesting.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 09:33:35 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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Rob C

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2012, 05:01:07 AM »

Indeed... Once you start getting off from brick walls, your every picture would tend to look as interesting.


Meaow...

;-)

Rob C

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Re: Request for Landscape Focusing Advice
« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2012, 06:38:31 PM »

The advice to select a primary point of interest and have it sharply in focus is great place to start. To say everything has to be in sharp focus is to say that all aspects of the scene are of equal importance and that is often not the case.

I learned with my underwater photography to show with a ultra wide angle lens and take a near and far approach with the near object the item of primary interest to me and to the viewer. Focus and lighting is used to separate this primary element from the surroundings and this approach is used with only ambient light with the zone system where a choice is made as to which parts will be put into which zone or with flash as with the excellent work of Frans Lanting.

I agree that using the theoretical hyperfocal distance with digital cameras is not the best approach as foreground objects suffer in terms of sharpness and these are going to usually feature prominently in the completed picture.

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