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Portland Head Lighthouse

July 28 2005 at 11:37 PM
Gary Berg  (Login Gary_Berg)

 
My summer vacation was to Maine; we had some good weather, and some foggy weather. On one of the good days we went to Portland Head Lighthouse:


 
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Gordon
(Login Gordonjohnmac)
Group #26032

Outstanding

July 28 2005, 11:41 PM 

One of the best pictures I've seen in a long time. Congratulations. Some information about camera, lens, settings, time of day, etc. would be helpful.

Gordon

 
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Gary Berg
(Login Gary_Berg)

Re: Outstanding

July 29 2005, 5:23 PM 

Gordon, I realized after I'd posted and gone to bed that I should have provided more information.

I shot in JPG fine on my K-M A2.

File: pict2064.jpg
File size: 3,730KB
Camera Model: DiMAGE A2
Firmware: DiMAGE A2 Ver.1.12
Date/Time: 2005:06:19 10:48:18
Shutter speed: 1/200 sec
Aperture: 6.3
Exposure mode: Program
Exposure compensation: -2/3
Flash: Off
Metering mode: Multi-segment
ISO: 64
Focal length: 8.4mm
Focal length: 33mm (in 35mm film)
Image size: 3264 x 2176
White balance: Auto
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
Contrast: Normal

 
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bob62
(Login bob62)

better than a postcard..

July 29 2005, 12:05 AM 

great detail, color, composition.
any more ??
Bob

 
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Gary Berg
(Login Gary_Berg)

Re: better than a postcard..

July 29 2005, 5:28 PM 

I was really pleased with this shot, but despite being home for about 3 weeks I've not gotten much past selecting a few pleasing shots to show around. This is about the only shot I've done any post-processing on.

As you can see from the EXIF information I uploaded in reply to Gordon's message, this image was shot at -2/3'rds exposure. I have a very similar image shot at metered exposure, but this one has almost no "blinkies" when I look at it in Breezebrowser, while the other image has blinkies on much of the white lighthouse buildings and some of the wavetops.

I used Neat Image to smooth out the image, particularly the characteristic slight mottling the A2 does on the sky. I slightly adjusted the tone; the original image was just a shade too blue. I picked on the lighthouse until it looked right. Then I turned LightMachine (from The Plugin Site) loose on this image and lightened the shadows slightly (about 10%) and darkened the highlights about the same, and boosted saturation something like 8%. Then as I recall I lightened the image a bit with the middle-grey slider in levels, reduced to 800x533, and ran FocalBlade to sharpen. I think that's all I did...


    
This message has been edited by Gary_Berg on Jul 29, 2005 5:34 PM


 
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bob62
(Login bob62)

wow,,

July 29 2005, 6:12 PM 

WOW that you remembered all that..
I may do that much, occasionally, but couldn't tell
anybody what I had just done..

Thanks for sharing the edit info,, interesting.

My approach to the dynamic range problem is bracketing then
combining automatically in PhotoImpact 10. This feature has
been expanded from 3 exposures to 5, and has some new GUI
features too. It can also re-register hand-held shots if
they're not too far off.

Just sold a couple local shots, 8x10 matted to 11x14 that were
both done from bracketed exposures in PI-10.
These were taken exposure bracketed, on a tripod, remote release,
Tamron 2.8, Canon 20D. (but I definitely will keep the day job !!)

Bob

 
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Jim Hunt
(Login JimHunt)
Group #26032

I normally set EV to -0.3 and flash EV to -0.3

July 31 2005, 1:52 AM 

I can deal with a little too dark, but if the whites are blown, there's no way to get them back. Also gives a slightly faster shutter speed. Yes, I may get a little more "noise" that way, but I'm not as hung up on "noise" as most folks seem to be.

 
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Gary Berg
(Login Gary_Berg)

Re: I normally set EV to -0.3 and flash EV to -0.3

July 31 2005, 3:23 AM 

I've been tempted to leave a little negative EV in all the time, but since I've got the EV adjust on the rear wheel of my A2 it's not much of an issue. I try hard to remember to check the histogram; I have it showing, it's just so easy to get caught up in taking images. I do wish the A2 had the ability to show "blinkies", so you could see how badly the highlights are blown out.

I dislike the noise the A2 often gives in the sky, but honestly, I don't think it's usually visible until you print at least 8x10. It's just so "obvious" while you are editing at 100%. I quick shot with Neat Image usually helps keep it under control, anyway.

I came to the A2 from a Canon Pro 90 IS; 2.7 megapixel, so I've got 3X the pixels that camera had, and nearly twice the horizontal/vertical resolution. When I look at some of the 8x10s I had printed at the local store, I have no worries about whether the image has enough resolution or not. I do have some 11x14's that were pushing things a bit; I've also learned a lot in the 3 years since then, too. And bought NI - I remember on one trying to select the sky and blur it a little bit on the 11x14. Sheesh...

I suppose both of us really ought to shoot RAW, but I keep resisting...

 
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Jim Hunt
(Login JimHunt)
Group #26032

I'm doing more RAW.

August 1 2005, 4:06 AM 

Now that I have the speed and the cardsize. RAW is not nearly as helpful as you might think, but it is nice if you selected the wrong lightsource in your original shot.

If you have Photoshop, you can do "Select Color Range" and often do a good job of selecting sky--even seen in patches through trees.

I've got "Blinkies," but with the DSLR, you don't see them or the Histogram until after you take the shot. I need to learn to watch the meter more.

And the sky noise is not as noticeable as you think. 99% of the people who aren't a member of a photo forum will never notice what you think of as a lot of noise.


 
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Jason
(Login jgsampso)
Group #26032

Nice

July 29 2005, 12:57 AM 

I'm not familiar with Maine, is this near Acadia? My wife would like to visit there someday.

Jason


--
http://walkaboutgalleries.com/
http://pbase.com/jgsampso

 
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Gary Berg
(Login Gary_Berg)

Re: Nice

July 29 2005, 5:32 PM 

Portland is about 2-3 hours by interstate sound of Mt Desert Island (Acadia National Park). Going up the coast is more like 6-7 hours, I think (it's about 200-250 miles). We flew into Portland, did Portland Head and a "duck" ride of the waterfront the next day, and drove to Boothbay Harbor. We were there 3 days and then drove up to Camden. 3 more days, then we drove to a cabin we rented near Acadia, we actually stayed on a river bay in Trenton on the mainland - about 50-60 ft from the bay.

On the way north to Boothbay Harbor we "had" to stop by the Delorme store to see "Eartha". A 40-50ft rotating globe in the lobby of the building...

 
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Jim Hunt
(Login JimHunt)
Group #26032

You great photographers are starting to make me feel bad!

July 29 2005, 2:39 AM 

I think I'll take up stamp collecting.


 
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bob62
(Login bob62)

a new photo-op !!

July 30 2005, 8:17 PM 

macros...

 
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Jim Hunt
(Login JimHunt)
Group #26032

How do you spell a Bronx cheer? (nt)

July 31 2005, 1:43 AM 


 
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bob62
(Login bob62)

i give, how ? /nt³

July 31 2005, 2:39 PM 


 
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David Gray
(Login rudagray)

Very Nice, any more of the lighthouse...

July 29 2005, 3:18 AM 

I did quickly check the horizon, scrolling in the browser and it could be rotated the slightest clockwise, but at the very wide, maybe the lighthouse goes out if that is corrected. Only other thing is that the top of the lighthouse is a bit tight to the top, maybe a step back or the slightest wider (looking into Exif, I see 8.4mm on the A2, so there was a little wider available, if that is correct), foreground is perfect maybe a bit more above only.

Great colors and a very crisp shot, well exposed and it pops nicely off the screen, definitely didn't need to purchase a postcard as you took one better than I've seen.



    
This message has been edited by rudagray on Jul 29, 2005 3:23 AM


 
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Gary Berg
(Login Gary_Berg)

Re: Very Nice, any more of the lighthouse...

July 29 2005, 5:36 PM 

I thought I checked this one for horizon levelness, it's really close. I very consciously used the frame lines in the A2 viewfinder to set it up, but you can only shoot so close handheld. I think I went as wide as I could go without getting junk in the foreground, but it was over a month ago now.

The "like a postcard" response was the same I got when I showed a 4x6 print of this to a friend. I took this on the first day, and didn't really get to see how good it was for 2 weeks!

 
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Gary Berg
(Login Gary_Berg)

Re: Very Nice, any more of the lighthouse...

July 30 2005, 6:19 PM 

David,

I just finished checking the image for levelness. As far as I can tell, it MIGHT need to be rotated as much as a half degree clockwise. But after I did that in PS Elements, I tested the same way and it needed to rotate about .3 degrees CCW. So I'm not sure it needs to be rotated. In poking through the full-size image, I found that most of the horizon in the right half of the picture is a mixture of water and islands, so it's really easy to pick a wrong point. And, of course, any rotation will result in trimming of the outsides of the image, effectively making it narrower.

By the way, I found another way to check for level in PSE 3 (a replacement for the full PS measure tool):

Use the custom shape tool, pick a line, make sure you can see the Info panel. Pick a point on the image, drag a line across to another point you are checking for level. Don't let go! Look at the Info panel - it will show you the angle of the line you are creating. I found this tip in one of Scott Kelby's books on PSE3: "The PS Elements 3 Book for Digital Photographers".

 
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Karol
(Login okarol)

Very attractive

July 29 2005, 4:25 AM 

Great spot- I like the bright white on the lighthouse, good composition.

 
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Cindytoo
(Login cindytoo)

Good Photography Gary

July 29 2005, 9:58 AM 

At first I thought photo was too dark. Just looked again and perfect.
Must be monitor as seems to change refesh rate mid stream. The Rule of Thirds comes in again.

 
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