Thanks for all your kind comments guys! I appreciate the feedback.Some of the comments did, however, remind me of the old joke: how many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to actually change it, and 49 to say they could've done it :)
Just another Canon shooter: Beautiful and very tastefully done. Composition, balance and location of the light sources, the use of the 16mm UWA, avoiding the temptation to boost the saturation and the local contrast, not being afraid to "blow the highlights", etc.
What was wrong with f/11, BTW? Why f/16? Soft corners? I can see f/16 contributing to the star affect on #4 but for the rest?
Thank you.I used f/16 mainly for DOF...
fedway: I like the images. Beautiful!. I wish i can go to a Namibia workshop someday. Just wondering what adapter was used. Metabones? Erez, can you please let us now? thanks!
Hi, yes, Metabones III.
Paul JM: Erez, a couple of comments refer to the 'DR' of the A7, but surely there is some HDR action going on in post here ?
Hi, no HDR was used.
Paul B Jones: I like the photos a lot, they are far better than anything I could do.
But sometimes I wonder if abandoned buildings aren't the landscape image equivalent of the street photographer's homeless person shot. A perhaps too easy and cliched way to invoke an emotional response.
I think it has to do with what you have in mind while shooting it. When shooting in Kolmanskop, I didn't see it as a deserted town, but rather as a unique landscape. That's why it's not a cliche to me.
Thanks Paul, I think Kolmanskop is far more than your typical abandoned town, isn't it? There are several aspects that make it unique, and less cliche in my opinion.
luben solev: The photos are very good. Neither are they "the best ever seen on DPReview" as claimed by Felts, nor are they "nothing special" as claimed by Gediminas 8.
They are carefully framed and well processed. My personal favourites are No 4 & No 6.
Interestingly, all but one are taken indoors and the one outdoor one does not show much of the landscape of the place. I was looking forward of some shots showing the dunes sweeping over the houses as was alluded in the text by Erez.
So my guesses are that either:
1) Erez was there in the middle of the day only when harsh light did not make for ideal landscape shooting (unless you've come packing an IR converted DSLR that is)
2) The place is not all that photogenic on the outside
Erez, do tell us?
Hi Luben,First of all, as you must guess, I never claimed these images were the "best" of anything. That said, I'm pretty happy with them, more so since the location is limited in essence and I only spent 3 days there.As to your question, I personally like the inside much more than the outside, which is pretty dull and monotonous. I spent sunrise, midday and sunset in Kolmanskop on multiple occasions, and the main attraction, in my opinion, is the inside of the houses. The colors, the light let in through the doors and windows and the dunes are what makes this location so unique, so I concentrated on those. The correct answer is 2.
Adrian Tung: Curious about the reason behind your post processing method, why you prefer using a destructive method (i.e. using the eraser to actually delete parts of the layer), instead of doing it non-destructively via layer masks?
Hi Adrian,well, you do have a point. However, I saw no point in doing anything even marginally more time-consuming since it was very clear which areas I needed to delete in every layer. In a more complicated or problematic project, I'd use layer masks.
JamesF168: first off great article, I have a newb question.
I know this is a 'prime' lens but the angle of view doesn't appear to change at all. I would have expected a small change if you go through the whole range of focus. I don't have a prime lens so maybe someone can educate me as to why the angle of view doesn't change? apologies.
The difference is just to small to see at this size.
Greg VdB: As per usual a very informative post, Erez! I've never done focus stacking, but if I ever stumble upon a scene where it's necessary, your step-by-step description will definitely be of great help.
About the photo now. First of all, I want to state clearly that it's a gorgeous shot, and that I fully appreciate the difficulties that had to be overcome to be able to take it. But... (yes, a "but") Somehow the composition doesn't really draw me into the image. I agree with you that the ice balances nicely the mountains and sky, but still it feels "flat" to me. Considering the ice cold waters and fast moving aurora (nicely visible across the different shots btw), the composition is probably the best possible, but my perfectionistic nature would have liked to see the horizon moved away from the center. Just to suit my curiosity, I took the liberty of changing the perspective in photoshop, and would be happy to know your thoughts on this: http://www.pbase.com/gbleek/image/156940865/original
Hi Greg,Thanks for your words. I couldn't really get any closer to the ice, and even if I did, it would probably be flatter and lack detail. In any case, the purpose of the article isn't "look at this awesome shot" - I have better shots from that evening. This is an article about stacking with an open aperture at night, and that's what's important about using this specific shot.
Annie66: Great set of photos. #2 is amazing to me. It shows nature as powerful and a little scarey, but tender at the same time with the rose light on the mountains. What equipment were you using?
Thank you Annie.I was using my Sony A7R, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II, Heliopan and Lee filters.
mainger: Very nice work, though I wish there was little more variety of compositions.
Thank you. Perhaps you're right about the compositions, I'll try to get more diversity once I'm back there.
twan: Wow, great pictures. Did you used filters and if yes, which?
Thank you, I often used filters, mostly a 3-stop ND, a 3-stop soft grad and a circular polarizer.
rowlandw: Erez - What lens and how wide was #7 "Legendary Beaches" shot with?
Hi, #7 is a panorama with the 16-35mm, so pretty wide :)
Nik G: Thanks for sharing, please do continue posting such articles.
Sorry if this has been asked before: I think that this specific processing you did in PS could also be done in ACR (local adjustments, sky edges cloning, blacks, contrast curves), right? Is there any specific reason for switching to PS?
Hi Nik,the masking can't be done in ACR.
Hi Guys, Thanks for all your kind comments.If you think this is too much post processing, then:a. remember that the raw file does not represent realityb. if you knew what other photographers do, you'd suffer a stroke :)I'll do my best to submit more interesting articles, as diverse as I can.
Five Piece: Nice shot, Erez. Funny these "Armchair Experts" availing their opinions below never seem to enlighten us with examples of their own photographic prowess in their galleries. Personally, I would ignore this site altogether except there are many exceptional photographers (yourself included, of course) from whom I draw inspiration and ideas, just have to ignore the idjuts, I guess.
Perhaps need to start getting vaccinations for Namibia soon?
Nice to hear from you Greg!No worries, you need a tough skin to be a professional artist.You can email me about Namibia/Lofoten, I'll gladly help :)
Richt2000: Fantastic workflow and resultant image.I, like the original photography try to perfect the image 'in camera' as if it were film to convey a true image (and save on PP time in front of a computer).
However slapping 3 filters in front of the lens will definitely degrade IQ. I understand why the ND Grad and the Polarizer were used, but I don't see the point of the 0.9 ND filter - its not like the water movement needed bluring, and it wouldn't have been too bright to need to bring the shutter speed down... Can the OP explain? Thanks.
BTW 'Flying Snail' - I don't think the horizon is crooked - I think you'll find the far side of the lake is not a straight line, and the mountain is not symmetrical.
Thank you. The 0.9 ND is indeed unnecessary here. It was left from a previous shoot. However, this filter is of the highest quality and hardly damages IQ.
NZ Scott: Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting.
I, for one, would like to see more articles like this.
Thank you, please feel free to take a look at my other articles on DPReview. I'll do my best to submit more interesting and diverse articles, as time allows.
Flying Snail: Horizon is crooked. Not using tilt to correct perspective on a tilt-shift lens seems like a failure, but you'd probably get even more black corners then because of the filter setup.
Horizon is perfectly straight.