Today I focused on a few tips I learned – two I followed correctly and three could have been done better.
The three I neglected would be the long exposure preparation, shooting at the right time of day, and using RAW files for clearer editing. I was itching to go out and take photos so I went in the afternoon instead of the morning/evening. I don’t think it would have mattered much, however, because the weather was overcast and gross all day. I did manage to capture a bit of the immense fog that covered the city, fortunately.
As for the long exposure preparation, I set up my camera in front of a fast-moving stream and set the shutter speed to really slow. I forgot that, if the shutter speed is really slow, it is going to let a lot of light in. Because I was in the natural daylight, I was already at ISO 50 and could not go any lower. Therefore my photos turned out blinding white. I lowered the shutter speed to 1/60 (not long enough to get the wispy motion blur in the stream) and I am glad I experimented with it in Photoshop. I thought, maybe by sheer luck, it will turn out if I “Invert” the colors. I tried it, and – although it definitely did not work – I discovered how to make a fiery scene of lava and fire in Hell…
This is the original, except I edited it a bit so the water was easier to see…
This is the Inversion… (SO COOL)
Also the majority of the photos I took I did in Auto, not in manual, and therefore were not done in RAW. I felt like the quality of the photos deteriorated while editing because of this. Oops.
What did I do well? I believe I did well focusing on finding something of different contrast to the background to have as the subject of my photos (Corla’s initial tip) and I believe I did a good job of taking shots from different angles/heights until I found the shots I wanted.
Here are my main favorites from the day, and their originals alongside them:
This panorama was shot with my tripod panning horizontally in Auto mode. I then used the Haze filter with Photoshop!
I spooked some geese in a field. I used some filter in Photoshop but cannot remember which one. Also notice the cool fog hiding the city buildings in the background.
Railroad tracks make for nice “leading lines” I found. I also followed Corla’s idea of contrasting the subject (the white-and-black railroad) with the background (washed out winter grass and a grey sky).
Check out my edited landscape collection on Flickr (I am starting to learn to only put the good, final products into an album – less “junk” photos to sort through to get to the good ones).
Also, bad news – I snapped off the top part of my tripod as I was running back to the car. It was SO COLD. I have glue-gunned it back together and, fingers crossed, hopefully my phone-camera will still stay attached.
Happy snapping, fellow photographers! Feedback always welcome!