View Full Version : I don't know what I did

5th of December 2007 (Wed), 19:29
Image seems to have a 3-D look about it, but I did nothing different to it. Why, what, as hindsight, did I do?


5th of December 2007 (Wed), 22:11
I don't know how much PP you did on this, if any. I'm not looking for artifacts that give away any adjustments that you may have made.

Looking solely at the composition, lighting and exposure, I see that a fairly small amount of the highlights are blown out and there is some piling up of shadow detail at the left margin of the histogram. Each of those issues probably detract slightly, but it looks OK.

The wonderful illusion of 3-dimensionality comes primarily from the chiaroscuro present in the tree. Whether you were seeing that at the time of shooting and whether you went around the tree to get the best tonal range, we don't know. It may have just popped out at you from the proof sheet. In any case you eventually recognized that it was very effective.

Ansel Adams spent most of his life creating such images, and if we believe what he left behind in his books, much of what he accomplished in taking the picture and processling the negative and then the print was due to his approach in placing the important tones on the negative through careful exposure and development of the negative.

As digital photographers we have to accomplish similar feats using different tools, such as Curves, Levels, RAW processing and HDR.

However, none of that will help much if the lighting doesn't cooperate. In the image at hand the tree has every possible shade of gray, more or less evenly divided across the histogram. If you become experienced at finding such things in your scenes, the results will look more real and 3-dimensional.

It's all about lighting.

5th of December 2007 (Wed), 22:39
Now that is what I call an educational answer.....

Glenn NK
6th of December 2007 (Thu), 02:18
(scrambles to find meaning of "chiaroscuro").

Robert is one of those engineering types (don't check my bio;)) that likes to provide answers that are useful. He did it again; and induced me to learn something.:)


6th of December 2007 (Thu), 03:59
Most words that I look up I try to tuck away in that hard drive between my ears and occasionally use. But because that HD is getting bogged down....I forgot it already.

Since my work flow was not insightful. I think he was saying that I was lucky in that, through no fault of me, everything worked in that instance.

This was a "whim" shot that I saw along the road at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, no walking around, just opened the door and got out, chimped for exposure and fired four shots.

The blind squirrel finding that occasional acorn comes to mind.

Thank you Robert for the treatise and
thanks Glenn and Cyber_mOnkey for explanation!!

7th of December 2007 (Fri), 03:19
Now I like that Mr. Robert up there! THAT was an answer! Hope to get some photos up for some constructive criticism soon (day or 2 when I can resize them) and I really hope you will check them out! Interesting photo btw. :)

Bionic Frog
7th of December 2007 (Fri), 19:43
(scrambles to find meaning of "chiaroscuro").

Robert is one of those engineering types (don't check my bio;)) that likes to provide answers that are useful.

Definitely agree with that (I had to check chiaroscuro in a dictionary) - Robert's comments are always more than just 'Nice shot' and (annoyingly :)) spot on. In a nutshell (I think), you were in the right place at the right time.
If you ever happen to be passing that spot again at 3 in the afternoon I'd definitely suggest going for a few more 'whim' shots. Some detail shots of the trunk might work well...


7th of December 2007 (Fri), 19:55
Hindsite being 20/20, I should have gotten the whole tree.

shoulda, woulda, coulda!!

Bionic Frog
7th of December 2007 (Fri), 20:38
Hindsite being 20/20, I should have gotten the whole tree.

shoulda, woulda, coulda!!

Don't give yourself a hard time over it - a shot like that is a first; you can go back and take some more. That's the great thing about photography (especially digital) - if you're not happy with our first attempt you can try again (with a subject like this anyway).
Make yourself a shoot map - places you'd like to go or go back to: mine's getting quite busy, but I always seem too busy to get out there as much as I'd like.