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Prospero
08-14-2007, 12:34 PM
Hello everyone,

It's been a while since I last posted here. I have been on holiday for the past month. First I went to Italy with friends. We had rented a very nice villa in southern Italy, near Naples. That was terrific. Had a great time there, have seen a lot of places, and have taken loads and loads of pictures.

After that I went to Scotland with my parents and sister, which was also great despite the rainy whether. The landscape in the highlands is really terrific.

Anyway, I took 1500+ pictures the past few weeks and am converting the RAW files at the moment. Here are some of the first pictures of the holiday I would like to share with you all. Many more will follow, when I find enough time to convert the rest of the raw files.


As always, comments and critique is more than welcome. I hope you will enjoy the pictures.

#1: Close-up of a lizard

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Sigma 70-300, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO400

#2: A square in Verona

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Sigma 10-20, f/9, 1/120s, ISO200, Circular Polarizer

#3: Coast of Amalfi

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Sigma 17-70, f/8, 1/1000s, ISO200

#4: Inside a Roman house in Ercolano

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Sigma 10-20, 10mm, f/4, 1/20s, ISO1600

#5: A Fiat 500

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Sigma 10-20, 10mm, f/10, 1/13s, ISO200, Circular Polarizer
What do you guys think of the treatment of the background?

#6: Maiori (town on the Amalfi coast)

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Sigma 10-20, 10mm, f/10, 1/50s, ISO200, Circular Polarizer

#7: The main street of Maiori

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Sigma 10-20, 10mm, f/10, 1/80s, ISO200, Circular Polarizer

jcon
08-14-2007, 01:56 PM
Welcome back! Ive always loved your work and these are no exception.

I really dont know why, but #7 is my favorite, just something about it.

Thanks for sharing and cant wait to see more when your finished working on them all!

toriaj
08-15-2007, 12:04 AM
Welcome back! Are #6 and #7 straight out of the RAW converter? The colors are so nice and bright, almost HDR-like. You're the master! :D

Rooz
08-15-2007, 07:07 AM
welcome back mate. :)

i agree with tor, #7 looks like a hdr, wow...thats great colour and exposure there. and i LOVE the background effect of the fiat one. mkes that little sucker really pop out. great PP work. (any tips on that are welcome. :D)

not too sure about the lizard one. nice colours but the framing ? i dunno.

Prospero
08-15-2007, 08:19 AM
Thanks for the comments. Really appreciate it.

6 and 7 are straight out of Capture NX, except for the dust removal, which I did in CS2. Should have cleaned my sensor before going to Italy. There are huge specs in almost all my pictures. They are easy to remove, but still.

What I did in these is applying the D-Lighting on one part of the image only. I didn't use it on the sky (or the water in 6), because it messes up the blue.
You can apply D-lighting on a part of the image by using the brush in Capture NX and then select D-Lighting instead of Colorize.
After that I raised the local contrast and saturation with colour control points. I did this by putting a point on some of the key colours, the orange houses, green shaders, etc. I also brightend the white lines a bit to give it a bit more depth. Finally, I raised the warmth of the asphalt, the colours were a bit cool, because it is in the shade.

Here is the original:

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The background in the fiat picture I created by selecting the background with the brush, and converting it to black and white. I increased the brightness and reduced the contrast with the conversion. This works here, because the background was largely blown out. You can also do the opposite, by reducing the contrast and dropping the brightness when the background is dark.

XaiLo
08-15-2007, 12:45 PM
Good editing job prospero, I like the textures of number 4, enjoyed the set thanks. :)

r3g
08-15-2007, 03:33 PM
Great shots! #2 is my favorite.:D

Prospero
08-15-2007, 05:00 PM
Thanks Xailo and Reg. I am glad you like them :D

toriaj
08-15-2007, 08:26 PM
Those control points are a powerful feature! Do you (or anyone) know if Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro has a similar feature?

rawpaw18
08-16-2007, 04:40 AM
Welcome back,
Always a little jealous of your travels. If I can't be there at least you can share the beauty of you visits with us. As usual they look very nice, 7 also jumped right out at me. I am glad you posted your orig so every body knows the work you put inot your shots in pp, and do not think they come right out of the camera like that.
welcome back mate. :)


not too sure about the lizard one. nice colours but the framing ? i dunno.

Just flip it to portrait
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Prospero
08-16-2007, 01:07 PM
Welcome back,
Always a little jealous of your travels. If I can't be there at least you can share the beauty of you visits with us. As usual they look very nice, 7 also jumped right out at me. I am glad you posted your orig so every body knows the work you put inot your shots in pp, and do not think they come right out of the camera like that.

Just flip it to portrait
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Thanks Rich.
A nice thing about living in Europe is that all the nice places can be reached by car, that makes such vacations a lot cheaper. I was pretty lucky this year that I could go on two vacations, once with my friends and once with my parents. Can't really afford it, though, the vacations to Italy was very expensive and so was staying away from work for a month.

The picture does look better in portrait. I hardly ever turn my shots, because somehow most of the time it just looks "wrong" to me, because I always have in the back of my head how the shot was oriented in reality. It does look beter here, though.

Prospero
08-16-2007, 01:22 PM
I finished the raw workflow of the pictures of Italy. Here are some more. I will add more to this thread later, just stop me when it starts getting boring.

Again, comments and critique is welcome. I kept the Exif of the pictures attached, you can look it up with programs like I-EXIF (it has an internet explorer plugin). If there are questions about the post processing of some of the images, feel free to ask them.

#9: Another Fiat 500:

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#10: A Church In Napoli:

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#11: Fountains of Neptune, Bologna:

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#12: The Coast near Castellabate (Southern Italy):

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#13: Our Villa in Castellabate:

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#14: Temple in Paestum:

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#15: The view from our villa:

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#16: The church in Maiori (on the Amalfi Coast):

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rawpaw18
08-17-2007, 04:32 AM
Dennis
The last three in this set are my faves.

I like the rocks leading into the temple, it makes it work even with the horizon in the near the middle.
You might want to flip it to portrait for another perspective:D

The sunrise/set through the railings also a winner.

rawpaw18
08-17-2007, 04:34 AM
Is the Fiat 500 your dream car? It does not look much bigger than your bike.

Rooz
08-17-2007, 06:42 AM
Is the Fiat 500 your dream car? It does not look much bigger than your bike.

actually i was wondering if the rubbish bags in the shot of the fiat were supposed to be symbolic in any way ? lol :p

sunset thru the railings is also my favourite.

Prospero
08-17-2007, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the comments guys.


Dennis
I like the rocks leading into the temple, it makes it work even with the horizon in the near the middle.
You might want to flip it to portrait for another perspective:D


I could also turn it upside down and claim it was a reflection :D. I had to compose that one with the horizon in the center, because otherwise there would have been too much distortion.


Is the Fiat 500 your dream car? It does not look much bigger than your bike.

I like Italian cars (Ferrari :D ) but I would never like to drive one of these. My bike can transport two people in a lot less cramped position than in such a small car :rolleyes:

By the way, we drove there in a car just a bit larger than that, a Nissan Micra:

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Surprisingly, the car drove pretty well. The engine was in good shape. The only thing making driving tough in Italy were the Italians :)


actually i was wondering if the rubbish bags in the shot of the fiat were supposed to be symbolic in any way ? lol :p

sunset thru the railings is also my favourite.

I kept the rubbish bags in the shot, because they were just as typical for a street in Southern Italy as the Fiat 500 :).

herc182
08-17-2007, 09:25 AM
nice shots!

were all of these shots post processed?

They all seem to have levels and saturation tweaked....(or you are a master with white balance and timing!)

Prospero
08-17-2007, 10:07 AM
nice shots!

were all of these shots post processed?

They all seem to have levels and saturation tweaked....(or you are a master with white balance and timing!)

Thanks.
They were all post processed. 10, 12, 13 and 14 only required minor changes, the others needed more drastic improvements. I usually underexpose a little to save the highlights. This gives me a little bit of extra work to make the pictures pop, but it does allow me to keep the details in the bright areas later on (especially when there are lots of clouds). At ISO200 it gives little extra noise.
Whitebalance I always leave alone when shooting, I set that later in the NX; the same goes for all the incamera settings. The timing of most of my holiday shots is not too good. I usually visit the places between the late morning and 4 to 5 o'clock in the afternoon, which means that there are always hard shadows to deal with in post processing.

herc182
08-18-2007, 02:25 AM
They are stunning shots. great composition and colours.

You certainly know what you are doing on the computer. They are fairly subtle tweaks yet make the shot really punch out the screen!

fionndruinne
08-18-2007, 11:39 AM
Awesome work! You've got PP down to an artform in itself, as well.

The Sigma 10-20mm looks to be a good lens. Do you have problems with vignetting when using a polarizer?

Prospero
08-19-2007, 06:55 AM
Thanks herc and fionndruinne.
I'm very happy with the 10-20. At f/4 the lens vignets quite a bit, but I find that the effect is not strengthend by the polarizer. I use a regular polarizer, not a slim one, and even then I don't get added vignetting.
The flare with the polarizer is pretty bad, though.

coldrain
08-19-2007, 07:05 AM
Cheap single coated pol. filter? I use my pol. filter with the hood on... no added flare (but some reflection haze if the sun skimps the surface (it is a cheap-ish single coated one)).

Prospero
08-19-2007, 07:31 AM
Cheap single coated pol. filter? I use my pol. filter with the hood on... no added flare (but some reflection haze if the sun skimps the surface (it is a cheap-ish single coated one)).

I use the cheapest Hoya, which I thought was pretty expensive already (due to the filter size of 77 mm). It is a single coated one. I think it's not really the flare I mean, but the reflection haze you talk about.
I have not done real comparisons, so I don't know how much worse it really is than if I do not use a filter. Anyway, it is pretty easy to avoid the flare with the hood and by shielding the lens a little with my hand.

coldrain
08-19-2007, 08:01 AM
I probably have one that uses the same glass... from Hama, 77mm. Pretty good, just not multicoated.
And yes, it was already over 50 euro (don't remember the exact price)

No Control
08-19-2007, 11:58 AM
Sorry to jump into this thread so late but I really enjoyed your photos Prospero! Great compositions, color and subjects. :)

Prospero
08-21-2007, 04:49 AM
Sorry to jump into this thread so late but I really enjoyed your photos Prospero! Great compositions, color and subjects. :)

Thanks Drew. I am glad you liked them.