Study Group Two


Belinda Keller


JULY 2014 ROUND
  • Title:  Reds and River
  • Goal:  compose landscape to include river
  • Source:  Pansonic Lumix DMC G1, program mode, 1/500s, f/9.0, ISO 100, focal length 42.0mm (35mm equiv.: 119mm), WB sun, matrix metering
  • Technique:  I used program mode because I have no experience with landscapes. Sheer immensity of the Gr.C. makes it's hard to know where to begin with photos. It is indescribable and, in my opinion, impossible to convey in a photo.  Handheld because too many people. Along the edge there are many spots where the Colorado R. is seen in distance. I chose this spot for the rock cliff in the foreground and canyon beyond, with river below. Composition was my concentration. Moving around and crouching, I composed so the river was near one rock and as close to a third's line as possible. I didn't want to crop anything, but finally removed a section on right making it more of a square image. I kept the crevice at right bottom with reddish brown (just liked it).
  • Processing:  Picasa3: Haze was in the air and it was mid-afternoon so resulting colors were flat. I boosted them extremely minimally; cropped right side of image; reduced highlights, increased shadows; applied neutral graduated tint (feathered) which helped reduce brightness in foreground rock; sharpened minimally overall.

Study Group Comments and Scores (N, T, P, E, Total)


Critique Image (only members of Study Group Two may critique this image)

Review by Tom B., 8-7-2014
I think you met your goal. I find it difficult myself to capture landscapes at the proper time of day. I think that if you could have managed to take this shot in the early morning or late evening that the background canyon would show more vibrant colors enhancing this image. I think you might also want to look at cropping a bit more off the left side to remove the large shadow on the left side. My eye seems to be drawn there first taking away from the rest of the image.
N=3, T=2, P=3, E=0, Total=8
Review by Butch S., 8-11-2014
I have little experience with landscape shots. Louisiana is flat and then flat again!The lack of my experience aside, your image is very pleasant to the eye.A couple of comments re: the blue haze and the river/foreground.I have NOT been able to get rid of the blue haze with great success. I have tried enhancing contrast and/or adjusting color balance, but did not get great results. (Does anybody have a good solution?)I have read the best way to avoid the blue haze monster is to shoot when weather conditions are favorable, say, after a cold front has moved through or to do your shooting early in the morning or late afternoon.You said that you wanted to get an image landscape that includes a river. The foreground in this image is more dominant than the river in the background. Maybe crop so that the river is more prominent and foreground is reduced. You shot at ISO 100, noise may not be a problem as you “zoom” in on the river. Good shot under the conditions you mentioned.
N=2, T=3, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by Bogdan B., 8-21-2014
An interesting landscape. It's just a little bit strange to see landscape in square image. I would crop a large part of lower foreground.
I know these stones from other images more reddish. In your photo there is a lot of blue or violet tones above the river. I'm not sure, where they have come from. 
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6
Review by Les L., 9-5-2014
I like you photo. The rock in the foreground adds depth to the image which is essential to GC images. In my opinion, the foreground should have been cropped because it is a little to prominent.
Good job.
N=2, T=3, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by Rick C., 8-20-2014
I believe you have done largely what you set out to do. Each of the points you note in your description makes sense. I like your decision to maintain foreground content that is prominent. It helps to create depth in the scene while maintaining and interesting base for the viewer. Your comments also touch on the two key issues you faced. The harshness of mid day lighting and the haze and I suspect smog when faced with so vast a distance. There is little you can do other than an HRD bracket if you cannot be at the site either very early in the day or at last light. Even then, any shadowing of the canyon may necessitate a bracket. Being hand held you might need to bump you iso up to have a fast enough shutter, but the g1 does allow for a three shot auto bracket and the drive on continuous high will do 3 frames per second. The rub is that you would need to frame a little looser and also get a third party program such as Photomatix Pro 5 or Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 to be able to process the bracket. Unfortunately Picasa doesn’t provide for HDR brackets at this time. If you think you may do more of these it may be worth doing a bracket locally and downloading the trial version of one of those programs to see if it works for you. On the issue of the haze or smog, there isn’t much one can do. A polarizer will help to cut it some, but here again, being on site early or right after a rain is the best solution. Sadly the smog issue at the canyon has been getting worse for the past decade.

N-2, T-3, P-2 = 7


PORTRAIT_KELLER_BELINDA-175.jpgI'm from West Virginia but lived most of my life in Washington, DC. I'm now in Southern Maryland at Swan Point with my husband and 15-yr. old dog, Cookie. The natural beauty of wetlands and woods in this area along the Potomac River sparked my interest in photography, and I'm especially fond of the small things in nature. Counter balancing that, I have a fondness for architectural form.

Seven years ago I was given a Canon PowerShot, and with encouragement from a photographer friend, Sandra Thaw, APSA (recently deceased) I started snapping. I now use Panasonic Lumix G1, and Lumix G Vario 14-45mm lens. The lens presents challenges for closeups, but I've been slow to move from my comfort zone into extension tubes and macro lens. For processing, I use Picasa3.

As a novice and PSA member since 2010, I have gained invaluable knowledge from an EID study group. For me, photography equals "forever learning," and I look forward to studying and sharing with this group and hope we can learn from one another to increase our skills.