View Full Version : Cascades (Fossalar) near Selfell, Iceland

Bill Dix
10-01-2017, 09:04 AM
I spend so much time concentrating on birds that I rarely take the time to look at a wider view. My posts are limited to Avian, and I don't often stop in here to see the marvelous landscape images. You guys are so good that I've been reluctant to share the few landscapes I've managed to make. But birding does take me to some beautiful places, and I need to expand my view. So I'm going to post a few from last year's trip to Iceland, hopefully to get some pointers that might prepare me for my next trip. This was made at a roadside cascade near Selfell, Iceland. Mid-day but overcast.

D7200, 18-70 @ 18mm, ISO 100, 1/6s @ f/16. Pretty sure I used a variable ND filter (I recall almost dropping it in a hole), but EXIF doesn't tell me the setting. Gitzo tripod, and remote release. Full width cropped from top for pano.

Don Railton
10-01-2017, 07:49 PM
Hi Bill, Pleased to get you aboard.. This is a nice composition with good leading lines. I like your selection of shutter, for me its slow enough to show the water dynamics while fast enough not to turn the water into a 'no detail' fog.. The overcast lighting is not optimum as the colours are somewhat muted, especially seen in the yellow and pink flowers. But you take what light you get when you are driving by.. The main thing that would improve this image I feel is the elimination of what i think is called barrel distortion, where the center of the image looks to be higher than the edges. As a result, the small water fall at the upper third looks to be lower on the sides than in the middle. Its making my head spin going 'Nope, this can't be real.." so, I took your image and bent it down a bit in the middle ( using transform / warp) to settle my brain and to see if it helped.. tell me what you think.. Finally, I think you could do with a little more sharpening..

Not sure why its distorted if indeed it is, maybe you know?? but i'm just commenting on what i see..


Bill Dix
10-01-2017, 08:53 PM
Thanks for taking the time to look and comment, Don. I do see a difference between the OP and your repost. I don't know if it is barrel distortion or the nature of the landscape, but I do see some merit in the RP. This is an old and not very sophisticated lens, and a full-width image as posted, so some distortion is certainly possible. As to the sharpening, I don't think the RAW file was critically sharp, so no post sharpening can fully fix it. To my eye the RP looks a little oversharpened. Maybe somewhere in between.

Don Railton
10-02-2017, 07:56 AM
Hi Bill. I have an 18mm Zeiss distagon lens. When I bought that I read somewhere that you can check distortion by setting up square to and shooting something like a brick wall there there are vertical and horizontal (straight) lines that you can check on the print of that wall.. I was very happy to find minimal distortion... and I agree that the sharpening might have been over cooked a little..


Bill Dix
10-02-2017, 08:20 AM
Thanks Don. This is the kind of advice I needed, and why I decided to post a few here. Although I understand barrel distortion in principle, my eye isn't trained to see it in landscape photography. (I used to do some architectural photography, where it could be much more readily evident.)

Geoffrey Montagu
10-02-2017, 03:49 PM
Great to see you posting in Landscapes, Bill. You inspired me to post some icebergs from same trip.

Also like this capture, Bill. Like that you kept just enough detail in the water clearly showing its pace. Don, I was there with Bill and his wife photographing the same scene several paces away, and I can attest to the unique shape of the terrain the water flows through. With that said I like the way you bent the image down in the middle using transform / warp.


http://500px.com/geoffreymontagu (http://500px.com/geoffreymontagu)

Don Railton
10-02-2017, 08:48 PM
Hi Geoffrey.

Thanks for commenting... There are situations where parts of an image are further away than other parts and when an image is made of this, flat surfaces can appear to have a slope... An extreme example is to stand on the edge of a calm lake in a bay and shoot the opposite side of the bay... the shoreline forms a big 'C' shape from bottom to top in the image, yet we know the water is level.. Its a bit weird how the brain see this image as normal, expected... My brain did not think Bills image 'looked right', it looked like the water should flow of to the sides of the water fall, so I did my tweeks. Happy to accept its just my brain, but in the end, its the image we see that matters and how well it conveys the reality. I do accept that the landscape might have been of a form that produced this illusion of a upward bend, hence the suggestions on check distortion etc.. Lucky guys to be cruising together through this sort of countryside..


Bill Dix
10-03-2017, 07:56 AM
Here's a relevant link: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/correctinglensdistortion.htm

Note that in Ken Rockwell's discussion of barrel distortion he uses my Nikon 18-70 lens at 18 mm to illustrate this effect. The more I compare my OP with Don's RP, the more evident the "bulge" in the center of the OP image, falling off at both sides. Thanks to Don's keen eye for spotting it. Not that this lava-flow landscape wasn't contorted.

Andrew McLachlan
10-18-2017, 11:00 PM
You will need to stop by Landscapes more often Bill! This is a very nice composition. Don nailed the distortion issue perfectly and corrected it nicely in his repost.