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Rain Forest Essence - A Big Challenge
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Rain Forest Essence - A Big Challenge Reply with quote

I'm sorting through transparencies, and trying to scan the ones that show a deep rain forest scene, in order to somehow find the essence of the rain forests.

This is a diabolical and supremely difficult task! The rain forest biome is so full of detail, and so full of differing light, that I am having huge difficulty.

I am presenting this image to show an "automatic" scan on the V700. It does pretty well for the 6x7 transparency, but does not come to what I "feel" the rain forest should utlimately convey.

Anyway, here is a first image of this task. I will post more from different transparencies, as well as from different scan types (Epson Auto Mode, Epson Professional Mode, Silverfast SE, Silverfast AE Pro, etc.).

This nice bed of Oxalis appeared after I had hopped over a huge log. I was traveling off-trail and parallel to the main river, about a mile inland from the bed. I almost landed in the Oxalis, which I would rather not trample down with my big boots! Shocked

There was a very hot spot in the area left of upper center, and I actually took my home-made little wire tool with the bit of screen on the end to stick in front of the lens at that spot, which helped quite a bit. I would much rather do things while in the field, than at home with software.

I now wish I would have taken the image at a higher f:stop to increase depth of field, but that's okay, maybe the fade-off in the background helps depending on how it is to be conveyed.

The image is basically untouched from the scan, and simply presented "as is".

Oxalis Bed
Somewhere in the Queets Valley
Mamiya RB67 Pro-S
65mm wide angle lens
f:5.6 and 1/8 second
Provia


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laurence

You do a masterly job with the lighting which tends to be very "murky" in the rain forest and those little peeps of sunshine always put too much strain on the DR of the medium (film and digital). Fill-in flash rarely works for me, but I don't like flash very much anyway. This is a real "taster" for the forest.


patrickh


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larry:

This image is very good to me and well up to your usual standard but I think IMO you might be happier with it if it was resized smaller and made part of an overview group showing the different main types of flora like ground cover plants and fungi etc.

Sort of like a polyptych collection of thumbnails like you might see on a website or book introduction.

By the way, I've tracked down our temperate rainforest, or at least the best part of it - the Ariundle Atlantic Oakwoods on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. The best time of year to see it at it's best is April - August but sadly I won't be able to visit it this year due to lack of transport.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patrickh wrote:
Laurence

You do a masterly job with the lighting which tends to be very "murky" in the rain forest and those little peeps of sunshine always put too much strain on the DR of the medium (film and digital). Fill-in flash rarely works for me, but I don't like flash very much anyway. This is a real "taster" for the forest.

patrickh


Thanks Patrick! It's still a little murky here, but I'll use this as a foundation to compare with.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
Larry:

This image is very good to me and well up to your usual standard but I think IMO you might be happier with it if it was resized smaller and made part of an overview group showing the different main types of flora like ground cover plants and fungi etc.

Sort of like a polyptych collection of thumbnails like you might see on a website or book introduction.

By the way, I've tracked down our temperate rainforest, or at least the best part of it - the Ariundle Atlantic Oakwoods on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. The best time of year to see it at it's best is April - August but sadly I won't be able to visit it this year due to lack of transport.


A GREAT idea! I will plan to do something like a mosaic or polyptych type of collection. That's the nice thing on this forum - ideas!

The Ardnamurchan peninsula sounds like it could be a great destination indeed...


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the story and the useful tip Larry.
About this picture, the composition is great as always, but as for image quality, I don't know, it does not seem to me to be as crisp, clear and detailed as your Planar work or Flektogon work.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Thanks for the story and the useful tip Larry.
About this picture, the composition is great as always, but as for image quality, I don't know, it does not seem to me to be as crisp, clear and detailed as your Planar work or Flektogon work.


I am behind Orio's opinion I saw from you many better quality pictures. This one is not enough crisp or/and sharp, saturated etc. Try to change with photoshop.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
it does not seem to me to be as crisp, clear and detailed as your Planar work or Flektogon work.


It's straight out the scanner without any PP so this might explain the look Orio - this was why I suggested making it a lot smaller and part of a polyptych as the smaller dimensions coupled with the other images would mask the overall softness. I got the impression that it was to be part of a group of images that didn't need to stand on their own, hence my comments.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
Orio wrote:
it does not seem to me to be as crisp, clear and detailed as your Planar work or Flektogon work.


It's straight out the scanner without any PP so this might explain the look Orio - this was why I suggested making it a lot smaller and part of a polyptych as the smaller dimensions coupled with the other images would mask the overall softness. I got the impression that it was to be part of a group of images that didn't need to stand on their own, hence my comments.


In keeping with Bob's suggestion, here is a montage of four images.

Would something like this look okay? I just need opinions.

Orio and Attila: Of course, I am also going to be manipulating the "straight out of the scanner" images for comparison. This will probably include some Unsharp Mask and possibly some Curves adjustments.

Interestingly, the two upper images and the lower right image are from the Flektogon. The lower left image is from a basic "auto" scan on the V700, from the Mamiya 65mm lens. I will need to edit the flare as well.

I will be curious to see if the full size scanner image will be as "good" as the Flektogon "out of the camera" image, once I have manipulated it in Photoshop.



PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THe ensemble looks gorgeous to me - I can imagine it printed on a nice book paper.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here is the Cedar and Oxalis image on top of the original, with a very quick manipulation in the Epson Scan software (Unsharp Mask - Low) and Photoshop (Saturation Yellow Channel +9, Hue Yellow Channel +3, Hue Green Channel +2, Curves). Makes a difference for sure.




PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know Larry, I think you would use better a honest opinion that a flattering one, you know I love your work but this particular shot lacks something to me in the image quality (NOT the composition which is as usual very careful and cared for).

If I compare it with your other images, this one seems flat to me, i can't "breathe the air of the forest" from it like I can do with your other images.
Sorry Sad


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand, here are some unmanipulated images out of the scanner with Automatic settings that seem to stand up pretty good:

Begonia on Porch
Cropped and Unsharp Mask at 67% (too much USM!)
Colors are True to Life Very Happy
Mamiya RB67 Pro S




Boardwalk to Cape Alava
A bit of Sat boost would be in order here to bring it to "how I saw it"
Mamiya RB67 Pro S


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The second one is the Larry that I know !!


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All from Flektogon 20/4 - A VERY GOOD lens!
If I continue to get good results from lenses such as the Flektogon, and they continue to exceed (my) ability of the scanner, I am not adverse to throwing out the scanner. Shocked

I feel that, in photography, if something is not working well enough for my own needs, then it can go away.

Wide Open f:4



f:8



Wide Open f:4



f:5.6



Wide Open f:4


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
I don't know Larry, I think you would use better a honest opinion that a flattering one, you know I love your work but this particular shot lacks something to me in the image quality (NOT the composition which is as usual very careful and cared for).

If I compare it with your other images, this one seems flat to me, i can't "breathe the air of the forest" from it like I can do with your other images.
Sorry Sad


ORIO! Don't be sorry about anything! I WANT your opinion! Wink


PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion the Flek has a clear edge over the other lens.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
In my opinion the Flek has a clear edge over the other lens.


Yes, I feel that - so far - the Mamiya 65/2.8 is kind of muddy and unsharp. This is seeming to hold true for about 15 images that I've scanned so far from the Mamiya lens. Confused I am happy that I took duplicate images with the little 6MP K110D Pentax and Flektogon.

Also, the Tamron images are showing good quality.

Still "working" the Mamiya system, but so far I'm not impressed. The Yashica Mat 124 beats it, as does the Pentax 645. I've already thrown out the Rollei 6006 system, it was too finicky...

We'll see how it goes...I APPRECIATE opinions, whether they are critical or non-critical!

Larry


PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These pictures makes me feel like breathing that fresh, clean air. They are awesome. Many many congratulations, Larry and I hope you'll succeed printing your book.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larry wrote:
the Mamiya 65/2.8 is kind of muddy and unsharp.


Just a thought - according to the lens manual; both the 50 and 65mm lenses have a floating element that also needs to be set in addition to normal focusing. You can't see the effect in the viewfinder but it's important it's done as otherwise images will be soft - apparently this is a commonly overlooked aspect of these two particular lenses.

Page 7 (page 9 if going by the PDF page numbering) in this document:

http://www.cameramanuals.org/mamiya_pdf/mamiya_rb67_interchange_lenses.pdf


PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More cracking views from the woods, Larry. It doesn't seem to matter what film or camera you use, I always feel as if I could just step into the scene.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:10 am    Post subject: Capturing the essence.. Reply with quote

Hmm

If you were to have captured the essence of the rain forest today (Sunday) it would have involved a picture of me flat out on my back - accompanied by a Contax 137MA / f1.4 Planar and a K10D with Super Tak 50mm having been floored by my own dog bolting after some forest creature.. The area allows dogs on a leash which mine was until he wrenched it from my grasp, did a 180 and then took my legs from beneath me..

For me today the essence was a lot of mud, a sore ass and a very very embarrassed photographer... Sad

So.. loads more kit and still no pics.. though the battery adapter has arrived for the Contaflex 126 and I seem to have acquired an immaculate as new Contaflex Super-B and the add on bulk film adapter that will get some use when I can walk without wincing again...


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bob955i wrote:
Larry wrote:
the Mamiya 65/2.8 is kind of muddy and unsharp.


Just a thought - according to the lens manual; both the 50 and 65mm lenses have a floating element that also needs to be set in addition to normal focusing. You can't see the effect in the viewfinder but it's important it's done as otherwise images will be soft - apparently this is a commonly overlooked aspect of these two particular lenses.

Page 7 (page 9 if going by the PDF page numbering) in this document:

http://www.cameramanuals.org/mamiya_pdf/mamiya_rb67_interchange_lenses.pdf


Holy Cow! You are CORRECT!

THANK YOU! Perhaps I should have read the manual! Razz

Perfect!

Larry


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave and others! I appreciate any and all comments.

nemesis: Thanks a LOT! I almost choked on my water! Should NOT have been reading your post while drinking water.... Laughing

Good luck with the Contaflex 126! It is an ADDICTIVE camera and lens group!

Larry


PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Larry:

It was when you mentioned you had fifteen images that were all soft that made me think something was wrong.

Also, this information doesn't appear to be covered in the camera manual so it wouldn't have mattered had you read it cover to cover; you'd never have seen it. Laughing