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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Purple Haze

Scroll Mouse Over Image to See 'Before' Shot

Hi friends! Hope everyone's weekend was relaxing. If not, hopefully this image will help. It's primary purpose is to calm the mind and take you to a peaceful place. This image is part of my South Carolina series. It was taken on an island off the coast of Beaufort, SC. Although it looks like a sunset shot, with the purple tones in the sky, it's actually a sunrise shot. As you can see from the 'before' version, I added the purple tones to because I thought it would bring out the yellows of the rising sun. Purple and yellow are complimentary colors and do quite nicely together. I also wanted to convey the scene as I truly saw it, and the original image did not accomplish that. I've come to realize that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to capture a high contrast scene such as this one without using lens filters. I've always used the HDR method of photography to capture the full dynamic range of light and color. However, I'm finding that even with HDR, I'm still not getting the images that I want. So...I'm going back to the basics and am going to focus more on aperture, shutter speed, focal length, etc., etc. I'm also going to invest in some high quality filters such as neutral density and graduated ND filters. I've been studying the work of Tim Fitzharris, an amazing landscape photographer who has published many books on the subject. His work is breathtaking and he really knows his stuff. I'm afraid I've gotten lazy as a photographer, depending way too much on HDR and post-processing. While post-processing is important, it should not be the majority of the process. Yes,the above image is an HDR image. However, one can achieve the same degree of vibrance and drama with RAW images if one knows how to really work a camera. So, in the near future, I'll be putting away Photomatix and attempting to create my images from RAW files and a minimal amount of touch up work in Photoshop. Wish me luck.

13 comments:

  1. Gorgeous work on the colors, Nat. It's hard to make an image look the way our mind's eye recalls the scene.

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  2. Love the foreground interest here Natalie, and good luck with the weaning yourself off HDR too... It's difficult, and I know from experience... lol.. Most of my landscapes still contain a degree of HDR boost, but they're mainly the edited RAW mixed with a slight hint of the HDR...

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  3. Amazing work Natalie, I love the result...the colours are gorgeous!

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  4. Thanks you guys! It's all about color for me. Love those saturated hues. :-)

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  6. Great post! I love the shot. I don't think you should put the matix away, but compliment it by toning down the dynamic range to make it mroe realistic. i try to do this but end up failing day in and day out :) I love this shot though, excellent job Natalie!

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  7. Hey there Adam! Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm really going back and forth regarding whether to stop doing HDR. I'm having mixed thoughts about it. I'll probably end up taking your advice in the end though. Cheers!

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  8. Beautiful sunset with rich tones and hues... excellent!
    Great post too - Photomatix can be somewhat frustrating to use at times! I'm new to photography and also wanting to get my head around the use of filters, etc for landscapes... best of luck with it all :-)

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  9. Thank you Simon and welcome! I'm glad you joined us at The Fuse. Congratulations on entering the world of photography. If there is anything i can do to help, or if you have any photography questions, please let me know. Cheers!

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  10. Awesome sunset Natalie. I love what you did with the image. Take care and happy shooting. (I saw your image in HDR Spotting) I am from South Carolina.

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  11. Hi there Steve! Thanks so much for the compliments my friend. You live in S.C.? Very lucky. I absolutely love your state. Can't wait to go back. Cheers!

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  12. Well said! I believe post-processing should be minimal -- otherwise the image will look overworked and artificial, at least to my eye. I always work with RAW files with as little retouching as possible, mainly because I'm terribly lazy. ;)

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