Soft Landing

[singlepic id=227 w=320 h=240 float=left] This goose shot was quite unexpected.  I was more in a landscape and detail shot frame of mind.  So when these geese started jumping in the water I was not setup and just started shooting.  I got lucky with this shot.  Original, left, shows a good portion of wrong technique, lens, f-step and even ISO.  It was a spur of the moment shooting and in my opinion I did everything wrong technically.  Still with patience and Gimp I was able to salvage this water landing.  Using simple techniques I feel I was able to recover the shot for small print and web use.  Any larger application would show the numerous flaws in the shot.  I love the composition I was able to capture which is why I went the extra mile on this shot.  The original was taken on May 27, 2011 at Weldon Springs State Park near Clinton Illinois with Nikon D60 using the 18-55mm default lens.  Like I said wild life was not my initial focus.

[singlepic id=226 w=320 h=240 float=right] Here is a prime example of what Gimp can accomplish.  Notice how much more vivid and alive this final result became.  The process started just like my Gimp Photo Development Tutorial then finished up with sharpening the image up to give it more texture.  There was a time I would have said you never want to do this and stand by the observation that this is not preferred.  The main reason is that it adds so much grain to the image that it reduces the usability.  It is no longer an image that can be effectively printed at larger sizes.  To sharpen an image in Gimp it is under Filters | Enhance | Sharpen.  I choose to sharpen as the overall shot just seemed to soft and a tad out of focus.  Sharpening really brought that sharp texture feel it also added the aforementioned grain that reduced the usability of the photo considerably.

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[singlepic id=225 w=320 h=240 float=left] Yesterday I posted a more dramatic affect of Veterans Point from across the Lake.  Original Left showed the shot of the dark and drab day.  I used Qtpfsgui to really get that dramatic and drastic difference that I posted yesterday.  Late last night I redeveloped the HDR utilizing Gimp only.  The result was a more realistic and vivid version of the original without going to the extreme that was shared yesterday.  I realize that not everyone desires the dramatic and may need to start posting a more balanced HDR to relate the true beauty of the shot.  I still love the overall somber feel that was present on the start of a weekend to help emphasize our need to honer our service members.

[singlepic id=228 w=320 h=240 float=right] Of the many things I enjoy about this rework the most important to me was the more realistic approach and feel.  The realism, for me anyway, added a level of emotion that was not as present in the dramatic version, at least in the same manner.  This just goes to show that sometimes the simplicity in realism can be every bit as powerful as going to the extreme.

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