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Photos Pacific Coast from Sutro Baths

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Ligoman17, 22 Feb 2010.

  1. Ligoman17

    Ligoman17 New Member

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    Yesterday I visited the ruins of Sutro Baths on the west coast of San Francisco. The public baths were built in the late 1800s and burned to the ground in 1966. All that's left is the concrete foundation and some fantastic views of the Pacific Coast. :thumb: (Here's a brief history of the site with some good pics of the ruins)

    Shots 1&2 form about a 180 degree panorama of the coast, while shot 3 was taken from the exit of a nearby cave. Shot 4 is of my camera perched on the edge of the foundation just above the breaking waves. :worried: Equipment used was a Canon 500D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens, and a Lee .9 ND grad hard edge filter to hold back the sky.

    C&C Appreciated

    Enjoy,

    Dan


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  2. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Active Member

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    Awesome photos dude! :)
     
  3. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I like the atmosphere in the second and third shots; they both have a dreamy quality of light to them. The rock wall in the first photo, and the gap between the rocks in the second, both add a compositional element that the first photo lacks.

    It's been a while since I've calibrated this monitor, but they all seem just a touch underexposed to me, but that may be a visual trick caused by the ND filter. While it helped with the exposure in the sky, the rocks also get progressively darker in the top half of the images. Have you considered dodging the top half of the rocks a bit to even out the exposure?
     
  4. pullmyfoot

    pullmyfoot superbacon

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    I like. really nice (especially #2 & 3)
     
  5. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Good to see you picked up some grads Ligoman! :)

    On the whole I really like them and I think the compositions in the second and third are the best. I hope you don't mind me pointing out a few niggles, though.

    I think the grad has been slightly mis-placed in #1, as the sea is quite dark towards the horizon - practice makes perfect, but the best way to test you've got it in the right position is to use Live View or the DOF preview button next to the lens release button. Move the grad up and down.

    The rocks at the top of the scene in #2 look dark, so I'd lighten them in post using the polygon selection too (feather the edge by 50 or 100 px) and then use the dodge tool (or brightness/exposure layer mask) to brighten the rocks a bit, so that the scene doesn't look like it has been filtered. If you're in 16-bit TIFF, you should have quite a bit of leeway to brighten this up so that it doesn't look like it's been filtered before it starts to posterise. If you've got a soft-grad filter, that's one way you could get around it as the transition is much less harsh. How many filters did you end up buying (they're pretty expensive, I know)?

    I think you've really balanced the filtering exceptionally well in the third and the rocks at the top don't look unnaturally dark. An excellent seascape :)
     
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  6. Ligoman17

    Ligoman17 New Member

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    Thanks for all the positive feedback guys!

    Thanks Tim! I have a .3, .6, and .9 grad in both hard and soft edge. These filters were easily one of the best gear investments I've made. True, the effect can be produced in post processing with exposure bracketing, but my personal preference is to capture the scene in one exposure and limit digital manipulation when possible. The ND grad filters produce amazing results, even with my sloppy technique (as you noticed in #1).

    I post for the niggles. :thumb:

    You're absolutely right on the exposure. I tried to fix it in my raw software, but the round brush produces a "halo" effect around the edge of the cliffs where they meet the sky. I'll try again using the technique that Tim posted.
     

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