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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 02 Mar 2012 (Friday) 16:35
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Constructive criticism requested - Antarctic Seascape Pano

 
mattia
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Mar 02, 2012 16:35 |  #1

I'm preparing to print a few of the stitched panos I shot in Antarctica, and I'd like some critique/thoughts on various 'looks' I've got sorted. Try to Ignore sharpening, as all have been resized and none are optimally sharpened for print yet. Any comments, tips, hints regarding processing would be much appreciated. I'm planning on printing one of these up at more or less 60" x 18", Fuji paper mounted to acrylic from WhiteWall. I'll be ordering a sample crop ('hard proof') before committing to make sure the colors and brightness are just right.

First the 'original' stitch, RAW files processed in DxO and then stitched:

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7157/6658563553_06e0fa3359_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mattia_v/665856​3553/  (external link)
Reflections6 (external link) by mattia_v (external link), on Flickr

Then there's a single-shot HDR-ish sort of thing that I processed using Nik plugins, bit of a mix and match, to get a more dramatic sort of gloomy look. I'm worried this might print up a little too dark, not quite sure about the color cast:
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7186/6801334222_3f1a2e8f61_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mattia_v/680133​4222/  (external link)
Icescape_2 (external link) by mattia_v (external link), on Flickr

Finally a more high-contrast edit
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7188/6947441159_56fc91bc6f_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/mattia_v/694744​1159/  (external link)
Icescape_1 (external link) by mattia_v (external link), on Flickr

Editing allowed and encouraged for educational purposes, by the way, and click through to Flickr for larger versions (about 4000 to 5000 pixels wide, so 1/3 actual size)

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Amamba
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Mar 02, 2012 17:00 |  #2

I like them all, # 1 probably more so. Except that there's something goofy going on wiht the blue chunk of ice on the right.

Overall I think the photo needs a single small bright spot (a red dot so to speak).


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DunnoWhen
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Mar 02, 2012 17:11 as a reply to  @ Amamba's post |  #3

I like the first one the most.

However, I think the stitching needs are bit more work...

I can see clearly a sharp stitch line about 1/3 from the left.

Also, there appears to be what might be either an exposure or WB difference between the middle third portion and the outer portions.

If you can sort these out you will have a nice image.

If you can then tweak it a bit so that my eye has an initial interest on which to focus, it will make it really nice.


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argyle
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Mar 03, 2012 06:51 as a reply to  @ DunnoWhen's post |  #4

Center portion of all images is very evident, which really kills the image in my opinion. Were you using a polarizer at the time? If so, a CPL is not recommended when shooting panos due to the variation that you'll get in the sky (as well as in the reflected light on the water).


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cpam.pix
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Mar 03, 2012 08:53 |  #5

I'm waiting for someone to suggest you reshoot to change the framing/composition. ;)

I'm not a photostitcher [yet] but I see some vertical shading/bands at the left third and to the right of center. Are these artifacts of a CPL?

Thanks for sharing. You've raised the envy level today.


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Qbx
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Mar 03, 2012 08:57 |  #6

Of the three I think #3 is the best in terms of not seeing stitching mismatches and #1 is worst.
But in #3 the snow on the left mtn looks dirty compared to the right. And as others have said, there seems not to be a single point of interest in this scene. You have two competing mountains left and right and nothing particularly dramatic going on anywhere.


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mattia
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Mar 03, 2012 11:44 |  #7

Thanks for the feedback guys. Concensus seems to be on #1 for the processing style - and yes, stitching error in that one (as said, it was a quick and dirty). I think the CPL was on the camera at the time as I was focussing on controlling reflection through the water to get iceberg shots and didn't have time to take it off again (shooting landscapes from a zodiac not the ideal situation).

I think I can fix most of the lighting in the skies with a few Nik plugins. Suspect a slightly closer crop, maybe from one of the subsequent series of pano shots might pull in a little more. It's not an 'ideal' landscape shot, but has a strong emotional resonance for me as it captures the feel of how that place was for me.


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Qbx
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Mar 03, 2012 18:19 |  #8

mattia wrote in post #14014561 (external link)
Thanks for the feedback guys. Concensus seems to be on #1 for the processing style - and yes, stitching error in that one (as said, it was a quick and dirty). I think the CPL was on the camera at the time as I was focussing on controlling reflection through the water to get iceberg shots and didn't have time to take it off again (shooting landscapes from a zodiac not the ideal situation).

I think I can fix most of the lighting in the skies with a few Nik plugins. Suspect a slightly closer crop, maybe from one of the subsequent series of pano shots might pull in a little more. It's not an 'ideal' landscape shot, but has a strong emotional resonance for me as it captures the feel of how that place was for me.

How did you happen to be there?


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StaticMedia
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Mar 03, 2012 21:43 |  #9

I like #1 the best probably. or maybe a blend of 1# + #2. And #3 is nice too, but it seems to fit a Coors light ad a bit more.




  
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chauncey
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Mar 04, 2012 07:07 as a reply to  @ StaticMedia's post |  #10

Photostitching/merging is not always a, take your shots, plug them into your software and fagetaboutit scenario...sometimes it takes some finessing in you Raw converter to balance the images.
If we're able to see the imperfections with internet images...they will be glaring out at you on a print...better to fix it now.


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argyle
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Mar 04, 2012 08:44 |  #11

chauncey wrote in post #14019234 (external link)
Photostitching/merging is not always a, take your shots, plug them into your software and fagetaboutit scenario...sometimes it takes some finessing in you Raw converter to balance the images.
If we're able to see the imperfections with internet images...they will be glaring out at you on a print...better to fix it now.


True. Most editing techniques can also be destructive in nature. Trying to "fix" an entire third of an image, and keeping it all "normal" looking, will take some doing and the end result may not be as expected. If its extremely obvious in an on-line jpeg, it'll really stick out like a sore thumb in a 60" wide print. Shame the polarizer was left on the lens.


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mattia
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Mar 05, 2012 05:14 |  #12

chauncey wrote in post #14019234 (external link)
Photostitching/merging is not always a, take your shots, plug them into your software and fagetaboutit scenario...sometimes it takes some finessing in you Raw converter to balance the images.
If we're able to see the imperfections with internet images...they will be glaring out at you on a print...better to fix it now.

Trust me, I'm on it. I was particularly interested in critique in terms of overall tone/style as well as any areas people felt were particularly glaring in terms of lighting. It's given me a good amount of material to ponder and work with, so thanks for that. I'll be trying to get this one 'right' - may see what the stitching software does if I feed it RAW files directly, although I've tended to have better results when pre-processing RAW and then stitching (better detail/demozaisizing)

In terms of RAW: the exposures are matched evenly in the source pics, but yes, shame about the polarizer. because it does mess up the sky's tonality. And as for how I got there: on a ship, on holiday :) Highly recommended.


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Constructive criticism requested - Antarctic Seascape Pano
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