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Author Topic: Death Valley Sunset  (Read 16493 times)

Rhossydd

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #80 on: January 15, 2014, 04:04:52 AM »

If one errs on the side of excessive vibrancy, so what!
There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing whatever you like to your photographs.
I think the reason that the photo (and it's style) has created so much comment is that it's on the front page of Lula.

Until recently LuLa has been a bastion of 'straight' photography, not just landscape, but also street and wildlife, overall probably best summed up as documentary travel photography.
Michael's own work has always been a paragon of good taste, restraint and impeccable technical standards. An elegant and sophisticated style of photography where post production has been done with the lightest of hands to gently enhance, rather than radically change what was in front of the camera.
That approach and philosophy drew us to the site and those values have kept us here. Together with a very high standard of technical discussion in the forums, in keeping with the ethos of aiming for the highest possible standards.

What we're seeing now Lula has a new publisher is a less restrained style of content where anything goes. You want brash bright colours ? come in I'll show you how. Want to know how to get good prints ? read our tutorials they'll sell you the right software.
Michael, it would appear, is less 'hands on' with the content here since his illness, which is quite understandable, so under new stewardship Lula is changing and becoming more commercial. Some people won't like that.
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Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2014, 04:10:15 AM »

And one of us - but apparently only one - knows what "reductio ad absurdum" means.

But that's not what I wrote: I wrote something quite else, in English, indicating that you had reduced the discussion to an absurd level of comparisons. So yes, indirectly and despěte your best efforts, you were actually quite right about one of us knowing something - if perhaps not what you'd hoped.

;-)

Rob C

jeremyrh

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #82 on: January 15, 2014, 06:19:56 AM »

But that's not what I wrote: I wrote something quite else, in English, indicating that you had reduced the discussion to an absurd level of comparisons. So yes, indirectly and despěte your best efforts, you were actually quite right about one of us knowing something - if perhaps not what you'd hoped.

;-)

Rob C
My comparisons were simply a logical consequence of your own statements. If you now find them absurd, well .... if the cap fits ...
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leeonmaui

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2014, 07:15:11 AM »

Aloha (I guess, but I"m not really feeling it),

So me and my buddies are hauling but down the road, On some mega photo shoot workshop thing, we have like a half a million dollars worth of the most sophisticated camera gear available in the universe in our van, and it's like; crap we haven't done anything all day accept BS about our bad ass gear. Self how did i get hear, this isn't my beautiful location, this isn't my beautiful sunset! This isn't my beautiful foreground element; Christ what have I done! People like orange right? OK that's what I'll do!

If the author is working to take the luminous out of the Luminous landscape and replace it with "f$*k it I'll make something up in post; this example goes along way way in advancing this philosophy.

I can remember once reading an article on this site, and really I could not tell you who wrote it and what it was really trying to tell me about. The subject was somehow connected print making, and how this guy was really good at it. It was the IMAGE that impacted me, a mostly subdued image except that a white fence had caught the light and offered this amazing contrast as it ran perfectly through his composition. Yes there were a bunch of images of what he did in nix, Lightroom, CS3 or whatever, and charts and graphs as he got the image ready to print. As a stand alone unaltered image, it was pretty Great. Getting it ready to print the artist showed us how he wanted to enhance the Luminous element of the fence to ensure that his Impression of what he saw and what the camera was able to capture, worked in balance and to his advantage in the final print. But the essence of what he was able to get on the camera was not altered only enhanced slightly. The impact and guts of the work had very little to do with something manufactured on the computer, and everything to do with light, understanding. experience, intuition, hard work and patience.
The article was an inspiration, not an invitation to meritocracy.
 
The final image was an idealization, not a fabrication. It was art, it was excellent photography.
I don't have a problem with idealizing something in a photograph, or using whatever means you as an artist feel necessary to create impactful effective work.
Your work is your work, it is what you keep close to your heart, and choose to share as a piece of that.

But please don't tell us that the camera, especially a 50,000 dollar camera system failed you.

One more thing before I finish;
Please stop the using Ansel Adams "the negative is the score, and the print is the symphony" quote as an excuse, metaphorically speaking; to photograph an image of a solo street violinist, and end up making a print from that photograph; that looks like the New york Philharmonic orchestra performing at the Carnegie Hall. In the context of who he was, how he worked and how he felt, this is completely wrong.   

My two cents,
Lee Rylee
Honolulu, Hawaii 
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dchew

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2014, 07:45:56 AM »

It is interesting to me where this thread has gone. I was at this PODAS. We were driving back from Beatty. As we crested the pass that opens to the valley we saw some very exciting clouds that looked to be ripe for a good sunset. At this point the light had not peaked, but things were changing fast. We stumbled out of the cars as fast as we could. Here is an image taken soon after we pulled over, several minutes before peak light.



Next is an image taken probably within a minute of Kevin's. My interpretation of the colors are a bit cooler than Kevin's, but you can see the similarities. After the sunset we were all very excited from the experience. I have not been to Death Valley many times, but it seems to me dramatic clouds like this are rare there. We talked and raved about this sunset the whole evening and throughout the following days. For those skiers in the group, it felt like the perfect powder day at your favorite dream resort. Beautiful light, beautiful location, the right timing, all while being on a workshop. The Perfect Storm, if you will.



So, a few comments:
Kevin did not make up these colors in his minds eye from what was otherwise a bland sunset.

We did not miss or arrive after the peak light of sunset. Sure we had to work fast, and if I had been there an hour earlier I would have scouted a more interesting foreground. But some posts seem to infer Kevin made color adjustments from pure fabrication, speculation or imagination with no mental link to an event he saw. That is not the case. Of course in my opinion he is free to do that, but I’m just making the point that is not what was done here.

I processed these two images several weeks after I got back. His article is the first time I saw his image. Although his color is warmer and, yes, a bit more Raberized, our interpretations of the clouds are remarkably close.


Ciao,

Dave
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 07:50:42 AM by dchew »
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Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2014, 08:28:54 AM »

My comparisons were simply a logical consequence of your own statements. If you now find them absurd, well .... if the cap fits ...

Yes, you should indeed wear it. Hope it's not too uncomfortable for you!

;.)

Rob C

Ray

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2014, 09:46:40 AM »

It is interesting to me where this thread has gone. I was at this PODAS. We were driving back from Beatty. As we crested the pass that opens to the valley we saw some very exciting clouds that looked to be ripe for a good sunset. At this point the light had not peaked, but things were changing fast. We stumbled out of the cars as fast as we could. Here is an image taken soon after we pulled over, several minutes before peak light.

Next is an image taken probably within a minute of Kevin's. My interpretation of the colors are a bit cooler than Kevin's, but you can see the similarities. After the sunset we were all very excited from the experience. I have not been to Death Valley many times, but it seems to me dramatic clouds like this are rare there. We talked and raved about this sunset the whole evening and throughout the following days. For those skiers in the group, it felt like the perfect powder day at your favorite dream resort. Beautiful light, beautiful location, the right timing, all while being on a workshop. The Perfect Storm, if you will.

So, a few comments:
Kevin did not make up these colors in his minds eye from what was otherwise a bland sunset.

We did not miss or arrive after the peak light of sunset. Sure we had to work fast, and if I had been there an hour earlier I would have scouted a more interesting foreground. But some posts seem to infer Kevin made color adjustments from pure fabrication, speculation or imagination with no mental link to an event he saw. That is not the case. Of course in my opinion he is free to do that, but I’m just making the point that is not what was done here.

I processed these two images several weeks after I got back. His article is the first time I saw his image. Although his color is warmer and, yes, a bit more Raberized, our interpretations of the clouds are remarkably close.


Ciao,

Dave

Good to see someone posting images. However on my monitor I get a sense of too much blue and magenta for a sunset. Is it my monitor which is out of calibration?
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dchew

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2014, 10:06:07 AM »

Good to see someone posting images. However on my monitor I get a sense of too much blue and magenta for a sunset. Is it my monitor which is out of calibration?

I don't think either of our monitors are out of calibration. I agree my image has a lot of blue and magenta. I remember that evening as the light was changing, commenting to one of the other attendees about the crazy mix of blue, orange and magenta. So that is what I am trying to get across, although I lost the orange somewhere along the way. Kevin didn't :)

We all interpret these things differently, which I think is part of the point. I know I've experienced sunsets that have intense blues and magentas, especially at higher altitudes and dry air. In my memory this was one of those, although we obviously were not that high...

Dave
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Petrus

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2014, 10:39:58 AM »

Lelouran,

Good question. This goes to one of the core differences between RAW and jpeg. White Balance ["WB"] is nothing more than the camera's best *guess* at what colour temperature (a) existed when the shot was take and (b) the photographer wanted.  It is a fancy way of saying, "in this scene, what is white/grey/neutral?"  

Bit late to the game, but anyway: This actually describes AUTO WB mode of the camera. That can "eat" the colors in the picture, as it interprets overly orange clouds as very warm light and lowers the WB accordingly turning the clouds bluer (when shooting RAW this can be fixed in post, as previously explained). However, if the camera is set at daylight WB, usually 5600 Kelvin, the clouds would turn out more or less as the photographer saw them.

You can test this easily by selecting different WB presets in the RAW converter for the same file, and if you had shot the frame with Auto WB, choosing the "as shot" option you can see how close the camera's analysis of the scene came to yours.
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Kevin Raber

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2014, 10:42:46 AM »

Certainly has been an interesting discussion.  The point of the article was to show how to take an image and fix it. (if you’d want to call it that). I lead a lot of workshops and see attendees face challenges of fixing images that have not come out exactly like they would like to see them on import into their RAW processor.  The article showed how to use tools of a RAW processor to recover or tune an image, as well as some post tools that are available.  Whether you agree or disagree with how I made the image is not so much the point as how it was done.   I am surprised at how many people don’t realize they can make these kind of changes to their RAW files.  My goal was to help readers understand what can be done.  Based on the number of private emails I have received I believe it helped some. 

There is no right or wrong in photography or art.  I see a lot of work of photographers and I love some and not so love others.  I see photographers who really pump up saturation and contrast as well as I see others who don’t touch the contrast or saturation sliders. I know photographers that shoot with iPhones and use a half dozen apps to do things to every images they take.  There are photographers who shoot only HDR.  Everyone of these photographers is happy with their work and what they have created. 

For me photography is a passion and a joy.  It has been since I was a kid.  I believe it should be for all of us.  We are all free to adapt the tools and techniques to make images the way we want.  Photography is in a great place now.  There are so many great cameras.  There are great software products and there are so many choices of papers to print images on.  We can also share our images with the world now unlike any other time.

In the meantime we owe it to ourselves to share techniques and methods to reach the final image. In the end it is the photographer who decides what their image will look like and which techniques and methods they want to use.

Enjoy!

Kevin Raber

jeremyrh

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2014, 10:49:34 AM »

Yes, you should indeed wear it. Hope it's not too uncomfortable for you!

;.)

Rob C
Rob - grow up, FFS, you're starting to sound like Pee-wee Herman - "I'm rubber and you're glue".
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Remo Nonaz

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #91 on: January 15, 2014, 01:07:39 PM »

About two years ago I had the pleasure to stand in about the same spot where the van pulled over, and took some photos for myself. The attached photo, like Kevin's, is pretty heavily worked on - cropped, significant clarity bump and, of course, converted to black and white. As a black and white, I suspect some would give me a pass on the heavy-handed adjustments I made. I'm not sure why this is such a sin in a color photo.

Do I think Kevin's image is over the top? Sure, but it is beautiful; nice picture. I'd be very proud of it and I appreciate his sharing his process.  
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 01:10:45 PM by Remo Nonaz »
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nma

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #92 on: January 15, 2014, 02:05:33 PM »

When we shot film we had our choice, Ektar, Velvia, etc.  Each had its own characteristics with respect to color.  Some of us thought Velvia garish.  Whatever. As a practical matter we just took what the photoengineers gave us. Now, it is some software engineers that set the default appearance in the raw converter. It is an attempt to give an average raw conversion. It would seem that some are arguing that your photo should fit the default. Others are, in effect, arguing that landscape photography is documentary. Some say anything goes.

In my photography, I typically try to express my response to the scene when I render the photograph in the raw converter. Good taste in processing the image is important. But it is my expression, it is why I do photography.
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Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #93 on: January 15, 2014, 03:32:44 PM »

Rob - grow up, FFS, you're starting to sound like Pee-wee Herman - "I'm rubber and you're glue".



I hate these kindergarten games.

Rob C

ron ritcher

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #94 on: January 15, 2014, 06:11:15 PM »

The error you identified in Tony Jay's challenge is also-known-as the genetic fallacy. The very same fallacy listed at that "Cliff Notes logic-link".

So, a re-iteration of your comment rather than a dismissal of your comment.

Isaac,

Thank-you for the clarification. Now, I'll check my ego at the door, re-check my bp, and get back to something productive, like . . . well, maybe some photography even!  Interesting thread(s), though . . .

Ron
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Dave Millier

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2014, 09:07:47 AM »

Character is a rather complex thing so of course you are right, it can't (intrinsically) be done. But you can capture caricature.  For example the former soccer player turned actor Vinnie Jones was known as a footballing thug and typecast as playing violent characters in movies. So a portrait that captured an aggressive, violent looking Vinnie would be fully showing caricature.


And the most scary of all: the guy who believes the other guy who told him that it's possible to show character in a portrait.

What bloody tosh! You can't do it, and if you catch the Annie L documentary - Life through a Lens - she and others tell you that and why it can't be done. Believe them, they are correct; I know because I've often tried to do just that and still can't hack it. Nobody has. Ever. It's the Golden Holy Grail. It's why we try. It's the photographic Everest Plus.

Rob C
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Ray

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #96 on: January 19, 2014, 09:39:27 AM »

And of course we have that memorable portrait of Winston Churchill by Karsh, which conveys the impression that Churchill was a bit of a bulldog.  ;)

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Isaac

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Rob C

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #98 on: January 19, 2014, 03:36:29 PM »

And of course we have that memorable portrait of Winston Churchill by Karsh, which conveys the impression that Churchill was a bit of a bulldog.  ;)






There's the rub: we assume the attitudes and makeup of the bulldog because that's what reputation taught us.

Remove the identity and myth, and you are faced with a slightly over-processed portrait of a somewhat fat old man with quite a degree of degeneration writ large.

The production suits purpose because we have this well-established characterisation provided along with the visual. We didn't start with a cipher. Had Winnie just been the local vicar, looked like that and was shown like that, heads would probably have rolled, and Mr Karsh might not have been paid.

Rob C

Dave Millier

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Re: Death Valley Sunset
« Reply #99 on: February 28, 2014, 06:50:15 PM »

It can't be often that you get photos of a Winnie and a Vinnie in the space of 3 posts on LuLa....






There's the rub: we assume the attitudes and makeup of the bulldog because that's what reputation taught us.

Remove the identity and myth, and you are faced with a slightly over-processed portrait of a somewhat fat old man with quite a degree of degeneration writ large.

The production suits purpose because we have this well-established characterisation provided along with the visual. We didn't start with a cipher. Had Winnie just been the local vicar, looked like that and was shown like that, heads would probably have rolled, and Mr Karsh might not have been paid.

Rob C
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