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Thread: Fascinating Sky

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    Default Fascinating Sky

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    D7000 w/Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 vr lens @ 116mm, hand held
    ISO 400; f/5.6, 1/2500 sec
    Standard CS6 adjustments; Topaz De Noise 4; Nik Color Efex Pro 4 Detail Extracter

    Part of the sky near my home today was most unusual. There was a relatively thin layer of clouds in which it seemed to me that a hole had been cut, to reveal blue sky above. I grabbed my camera, and drove around country roads until I found a vantage point that I thought provided an interesting forground to complement the sky.

    I chose the scene shown here, which provides harvested corn stubble, standing corn that has yet to be harvested, and trees.

    All comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
    Last edited by Norm Dulak; 09-28-2013 at 04:29 PM.

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    Landscapes Moderator Andrew McLachlan's Avatar
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    Hi Norm, an interesting hole in the sky...for this comp I do favor a crop from the top to remove about half of the clouds above the 'hole.' At first I was going to inquire about what appears to be blurring from possible windy conditions, but your shutter speed was 1/2500 second so I am now wondering if maybe your Topaz DeNoise settings are heavy handed and creating a blurred effect to the image....I have never used DeNoise so unsure if this is the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew McLachlan View Post
    Hi Norm, an interesting hole in the sky...for this comp I do favor a crop from the top to remove about half of the clouds above the 'hole.' At first I was going to inquire about what appears to be blurring from possible windy conditions, but your shutter speed was 1/2500 second so I am now wondering if maybe your Topaz DeNoise settings are heavy handed and creating a blurred effect to the image....I have never used DeNoise so unsure if this is the case.
    Thanks, Andrew, for the crop suggestion. As for DeNoise, I used a modest light jpeg setting of 0.12, which in my experience has not created problems. But maybe I will go back to my original file and try again.

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    Wildlife / Landscape Moderator Morkel Erasmus's Avatar
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    Norm, nicely spotted, but overall file detail quality is lacking too much for me (same reasons Andrew mentioned). I prefer to do selective noise reduction myself (if needed at all, can't think you need NR with D7000 @ ISO400??) and normally nothing on landscapes as it just destroys fine detail.
    I'd rework this from scratch if I were you. You are welcome to send me and Andrew the RAW file via Dropbox if you want our take on it. It's got some potential ito layers, colours and light.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morkel Erasmus View Post
    Norm, nicely spotted, but overall file detail quality is lacking too much for me (same reasons Andrew mentioned). I prefer to do selective noise reduction myself (if needed at all, can't think you need NR with D7000 @ ISO400??) and normally nothing on landscapes as it just destroys fine detail.
    I'd rework this from scratch if I were you. You are welcome to send me and Andrew the RAW file via Dropbox if you want our take on it. It's got some potential ito layers, colours and light.
    Thanks, Morkel. Per your suggestion, I've sent you and Andrew a PM with a link to a copy of the RAW file in Dropbox. Any suggestions for further improvement will be greatly appreciated!

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    I've learned recently that the cloud formation image I posted here is a relatively rare phenomenon known by a variety of names, including "fallstreak hole" and "hole punch cloud". An interesting description of how such cloud formations occur is provided at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallstreak_hole. And if you Google "fallstreak hole" and look at images, you will see that photographic images of such clouds are soft. That is evidently because of dramatic changes occurring in the clouds involving supercooled water, ice crystal formation, and water droplet evaporation.

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    Landscapes Moderator Andrew McLachlan's Avatar
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    Hi Norm,

    Here is my re-worked version of your image, based on the RAW file. I used a light shadow / highlight adjustment and a little bit of tonal contrast to bring out some detail in the sky and then I did darken the corn and applied the crop I was thinking of in my first critique. I don't believe that you needed to use any noise reduction on the image. The RAW file does have a softness to it that I am thinking the noise reduction you applied had a negative impact on your final result. For a landscape scene such as this I think if you stopped the lens down to f11 there would have been better overall sharpness to the original RAW file. WDYT of this version?
    Name:  Sky 88.jpg
Views: 21
Size:  224.0 KB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew McLachlan View Post
    Hi Norm,

    Here is my re-worked version of your image, based on the RAW file. I used a light shadow / highlight adjustment and a little bit of tonal contrast to bring out some detail in the sky and then I did darken the corn and applied the crop I was thinking of in my first critique. I don't believe that you needed to use any noise reduction on the image. The RAW file does have a softness to it that I am thinking the noise reduction you applied had a negative impact on your final result. For a landscape scene such as this I think if you stopped the lens down to f11 there would have been better overall sharpness to the original RAW file. WDYT of this version?
    Name:  Sky 88.jpg
Views: 21
Size:  224.0 KB
    Thanks, Andrew. I appreciate your repost and all of your comments.

    I agree that it would have been better to stop down to f/11 and will do so in such situations in the future. I also think your more expansive crop is good. I really like it. The only place where I respectfully differ is in the darkness of image elements, all of which were in my recollection substantially brighter as in my OP.

    But I truly value your expertise and effort here.

    Norm

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