It's only a model...
March 8, 2015 7:34 AM   Subscribe

"I captured these photos during my journeys through the Maramures (a small county in Transylvania, Romania). The landscapes I photographed in this region are serene and tranquil. Currently, I see my photographic style as traditional landscape photography." (SLPhotography, Bored Panda)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (14 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Beautiful place, but tilt-shift and HDR aren't traditional landscape photography, IMO. The less manipulated photos are nice.
posted by Huck500 at 8:02 AM on March 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

Yup, came to say what Huck already did except I think it's more a case of over saturating the colors than HDR.
posted by photoslob at 8:55 AM on March 8, 2015

I'd like to see untouched originals, if only because these remind of weird kodachrome landscapes. He put the contrast to +10 and I don't think the source material really needs that kind of weird touch-up.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 9:12 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I'm not sure why the photographer sees his work as "traditional landscape photography" but you know - artists aren't the best commenters on their own work. Fabulous shots, though.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:35 AM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love the fog photos, especially.
posted by jaguar at 10:07 AM on March 8, 2015

It's only a model

posted by Herodios at 10:38 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I will say this - I've started to see some people learning to use HDR more wisely. Not perfectly, but at least in a subtler and less-trendy way. Let's hope the same happens with tilt-shift.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:10 PM on March 8, 2015

What I think you're probably seeing in regards to HDR is 2 things

1. When people use programs to do HDR, the programs they use are better. HDR used to be typified by this terrible ugly halo effect on everything

2. people have gotten pretty good at selective HDR via painting - same with saturation, contrast, etc. When I got used to the concept it really blew me away, it was like being able to do what I'd always done in the darkroom with dodging and burning, but in color and with *everything*. It does not take long to get used to using a wacom tablet to do pretty amazing stuff with photos.

Like, there's a pseudo HDR trick I do all the time - RAW images have more stops from dark to light available that screen displays or prints can accomodate. You can export 2 versions of a RAW file, say about 3 stops apart, and then selectively paint them into one better-exposed version. The result doesn't have more stops of contrast, but instead you pull down the bright stuff and push up the dark stuff that you want more detail from.

If done well the result looks real but unatural - in the sense that it would have been *very* difficult to get the photo in a single exposure that way.
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:21 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I generally accomplish the same thing in a single image mainly using the Highlights and Shadows sliders (as well as a few others, to a lesser extent) in the Camera Raw import screen to avoid blowout yet bring clarity and brightness to the darker areas. It's not a miracle worker, of course, but when I've been careful with the original image's exposure I think it does a fine job of creating a "natural" looking image, with plenty of contrast and vividness (example).

I'm not against the idea of using HDR, just never felt the need to bother learning the technique.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:30 PM on March 8, 2015

Yeah, they're over-processed but that's some beautiful hiking country there.

*puts Transylvania on the list*
posted by saul wright at 1:45 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

There will always be a place for twee. I just didn't realize that place was Transylvania.
posted by rikschell at 2:19 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

We do not see in HDR, so the images look unreal. I like well captured photos of the special real, rather than unreal manipulation of digital information. If the scene is remarkable in the moment you see it, then figure out what the quality is and capture it. I use photo tools for sure, but only to make sure I got it, and it is properly exposed, when I take the picture I figure out how much depth of field I need to emphasize what attracted me to the scene.
posted by Oyéah at 2:45 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

We do not see in HDR

True, but neither do our eyes perceive light like either film or digital cameras do. Trying to bridge that difference and produce a compelling result is a fascinating exercise.

...But I guess I inadvertently derailed this thread a bit. Regarding Robciuc's photos, I like the photos from a composition standpoint but could do without the aggressive saturation and the whole tilt-shift silliness. And, the Romanian countryside looks gorgeous.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:56 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

We're able to perceive real life scenes with a much higher dynamic range than the camera can capture, much less reproduce on screen or paper. That's why people are usually surprised when they take a picture outside and the sky is super over-exposed white (or the subjects are too dark if the sky is right). A person standing there on that day would have been able to see both the subject and the blue sky clearly, no problem.

If you play with curves and what not in camera raw importers you can do a pretty good job. I used to think that people who made really incredible landscapes were just better at using those sliders than me (or, much better at taking pictures, which still might be true), until I watched someone edit a landscape and he surprised the shit out of me by doing all kinds of painting.

I'm also not a fan of tilt-shift to this degree (the use of tilt-shift is *typically* used to reduce 2 primary problems in fixed focal plane lenses, i.e. it can be used to capture a plane of focus that is not in parallel to the film plane, and it can be used to correct distortion caused by aiming the camera off the axis of the subject (or both)
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:36 PM on March 9, 2015

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