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Author Topic: Death Valley Sunset  (Read 15537 times)

JohnBrew

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Death Valley Sunset
« on: January 09, 2014, 02:09:32 PM »

Thank you, Kevin for this helpful write-up. I don't use a digital back, merely a D800, but I have always had problems re-producing sunsets in pp as I saw them. I'm glad I'm not the only one! However, I don't use Capture One, I use ACR. I would like to see a similar article for those of us who use ACR. Could I suggest an addendum to the original article? (perhaps by someone who does use Adobe?)

Jeffery Salter

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 08:50:01 AM »

Thank you Kevin.  I'm supposed to be editing an image for work now, however your excellent tutorial on how you interpreted your photograph and used C1 to finalize your vision was too good to wait for later to read.

Is there a way to adjust the shape or shape dynamics of the mask brush?  It's circular can it be made into an oval.

I did have a question about the tint slider as well.  Or rather a comment.  It would be nice to have some type of visual reminder on the tab itself  to know which way to go for the warm tones / cool tones. (I realize you can simply move the slider and look at the screen as well...)

It's great to able to do the layer masks at the raw level.  When I do my adjustment layers in Adobe CC, the file size can get rather immense fairly rapidly.

Thanks again for sharing.  Now back to my deadline....

« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:13:57 AM by Jeffery Salter »
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Warmest regards,
Jeffery Salter
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Jeffery Salter
Miami, Fl. U.S.A.
photos:  www.jefferysalter.com
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DaveCurtis

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 05:31:17 PM »

Kevin, great tutorial.

I use Lightroom so rather nice to see to see the C1 work flow.
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ContarexMan

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2014, 05:41:01 PM »

Death Valley Sunset story. When does a 'camera' photo stop being a photo and become a 'software' painting.  ???
Photos: fact or fiction. When does the Sunset become the dawn of fiction. Just questions in the WIND.
Best to all,
ContarexMan
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Jeffery Salter

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2014, 06:20:03 PM »

Somewhere on YouTube or netflixs is a great documentary on Ansel Adams.  It's very enjoyable.  And a during the interview with Ansel, he says something like "the negative is the score and the print is the performance".

We are all free to interpret our digital files (with one caveat, photojournalists should thread lightly in that area) as we see fit.  That doesn't mean that a viewer will appreciate the results.  However it's fun to see how other artists work.  The visual language is quite complex it certainly informs my vision when some share their workflow. From "A" to "Z" from a 16bt raw file to a beautiful 40 x 60.  Bravo. My take away from Kevin's image is that I have added a few new tools to my visual tool kit.
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Warmest regards,
Jeffery Salter
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Jeffery Salter
Miami, Fl. U.S.A.
photos:  www.jefferysalter.com
Blog: http://blog.jefferysalter.com/
Instagram: @jefferysalter

Tony Jay

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 07:47:19 PM »

Death Valley Sunset story. When does a 'camera' photo stop being a photo and become a 'software' painting.  ???
Photos: fact or fiction. When does the Sunset become the dawn of fiction. Just questions in the WIND.
Kevin makes it pretty clear that he edited the image based on what he saw and experienced when he shot it.
In some respects the final result may be more documentary than the initial RAW image straight out of the camera.
I have absolutely no issue with his interpretation especially since he makes the motive for his interpretation so clear.
The only other question that remains is whether one likes the final result.

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 07:54:28 PM by Tony Jay »
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jasonchickerson

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 08:30:39 PM »

I agree. It looks to me like this image was recorded ten minutes too late and overworked in post to compensate. The end looks ridiculously garish, the kind of thing that many amateurs attempt to emulate from calendars.

I'd like to see a 50 or 25% pixels crop to see what's actually going on here. At the size published with the article, it looks pretty terrible.

[BTW, this isn't my first post but it seems my account was deleted. It has been a few months since I last posted.]
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Rand47

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 08:37:17 PM »

I think we all have a threshold for how far is too far to push (interpret) a file.  I guess sometimes it is best to just, "Ignore the man behind the curtain..." and enjoy the image.  

[Cynicism alert]
I also see a potential business here, kind of a photographic "paint by the numbers" enterprise.  One shoots all the iconic locations with high quality equipment and assembles various packages of RAW files to sell to "photographers" so that they may bring "their vision" to the image without the hassle and expense of actually "going there!" [\Cynicism alert]  ;D

Neither of these observations are directed at Kevin - merely spawned from his excellent tutorial and my own pixel mangling efforts.  I AM one of those who sincerely believes that any interpretation of the data is legitimate, and an expression of the artists vision.  But I do have angst on occasion.   ;D

Rand

« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 08:49:18 PM by Rand47 »
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Rand Scott Adams

MarkH2

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 10:41:20 PM »

Bravo, Kevin, well done!  "... my vision ... the way my mind wants to see it as well as the way I did see it."  The creative tension, and in the end true to yourself.  What more can we ask?
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jeremyrh

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2014, 05:04:13 AM »

"my art", "how I saw it", "having fun" - all well and good and all entirely subjective. But what does it tell the viewer? What is the point of this photograph?
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kikashi

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2014, 02:06:48 PM »

What is the point of this photograph?

It's nice to look at. You want more?

Jeremy
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 02:29:23 PM »

Though I personally have a taste which prefers a bit less saturation in general,
which might also be due to my European background
(it appears color taste between Europe and the Americas is a bit different due to cultural influence),
I think this is a great tutorial and a very fine sunset image.
'Nuff said.

Keep on Raberizing !

Cheers
~Chris

MarkL

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2014, 02:39:21 PM »

Reminds me of: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/1photo-pages/the_making_of_the_pilbara_storm.shtml

If you missed the shot or it wasn't that great to start with move on and try again rather than try and make it something it wasn't - "my vision" is a copout. Shots like this are what has caused people to perpetually ask "was it photoshopped?" whenever they see a dramatic landscape photograph.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2014, 03:42:12 PM »

Reminds me of: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/1photo-pages/the_making_of_the_pilbara_storm.shtml

If you missed the shot or it wasn't that great to start with move on and try again rather than try and make it something it wasn't - "my vision" is a copout. Shots like this are what has caused people to perpetually ask "was it photoshopped?" whenever they see a dramatic landscape photograph.

Honestly I think thats completely a matter of taste.
So - you might blame Kevin having a bad taste - I strongly believe he could live with that.
I actually prefer him using software to express his vision rather than burning protected nature sites as done by other well known photographers.
If you don't like the results thats totally okay.
I personally think that great light can never be replaced with anything done in postprocessing.
But good postprocessing can create spectacular stuff out of a not so great basic image and enhance or emphasize aspects that are already there but not visible on the first look.
Pictorialism is a legit artistic decision.

Cheers
~Chris

Schewe

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 06:04:46 PM »

Kevin makes it pretty clear that he edited the image based on what he saw and experienced when he shot it.

Actually, I don't think that's what Kevin "saw". Why am I sure? I was there and I saw what Kevin saw and what we saw was better depicted in the original raw file. I would argue that Kev's processing represented what he "wished" he saw that nite, not what was actually there. Which is perfectly fine from my point of view...Kev doesn't so much try to document what was there but to push what was there to something more special. And that approach is called "Rabereyes" and if you think I'm kidding, ask Kev what his final "Rabereyes" logo will look like :~)
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David Sutton

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2014, 07:23:06 PM »

Another somewhat hilarious discussion.
Since pictorialism began to gather steam with William Newton, speaking at the Photographic Society of London in 1853, denouncing the glut of detail produced by "chemical photography" and the art critic Henri de la Blanchère saying "the less machine, the more art" in 1859, there has been this split between the romantic individualists on the one hand emphasising art as personal expression and on the other hand the rational naturalists viewing art as an objective study of nature. A bit of a simplification I know, but let's not get into radical subjectiveness or modern idealism!
How is it that it is forbidden to do what makes you happy?
I am reminded of one of my photographic heroines, Julia Margaret Cameron. After her two one-woman shows in 1866 and 1868,  Henry Peach Robinson hypocritically wrote of her work "if studies in light and shade only are required, let these be done in pigment or charcoal, with a mop if necessary..."
Cameron had already rebutted Robinson's outrageous critique, writing in 1864: "What is focus - and who has a right to say what focus is the legitimate focus?" Go Julia! Kick him in the balls.
Nice article and image Kevin. On my screen the photograph comes up a bit overdone for my taste, but I think in print it would be a different matter.
David
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 07:35:07 PM by David Sutton »
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Tony Jay

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2014, 09:31:02 PM »

...but people will stop trusting what you say...
Credibility is in the eye of beholder - true.
Perhaps if you posted some of your work we could see where you are coming from and we could calibrate your critiques based on your work and the motives behind them.

Tony Jay
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David Sutton

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2014, 09:54:13 PM »

Credibility is in the eye of beholder - true.
Perhaps if you posted some of your work we could see where you are coming from and we could calibrate your critiques based on your work and the motives behind them.

Tony Jay
Hi Tony. A fair comment.
If I may add to "It isn't forbidden to say something looked like such-and-such if it didn't -- but people will stop trusting what you say", what has that got to do with this thread? For myself I am replying in the context of Kevin's final note:
"I tend to like my images a bit saturated with some punch. As the artist, that is my vision and using these tools allows me to merge the best of both worlds: the way my mind wants to see it as well as the way I did see it."
It may not be your approach, but I can't see that there is anything to argue about that.
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Tony Jay

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2014, 09:58:04 PM »

Thanks for the reply David.
For the record my comment was directed toward Isaac.
I have had the pleasure of seeing some of your work, on this forum and elsewhere, and so have a fair idea of where you are coming from when you are commenting or critiquing.

Tony Jay
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David Sutton

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2014, 10:18:47 PM »

For the record my comment was directed toward Isaac.


So was mine.  :)

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