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A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:40 am
by dewarp
Although I visit the Photoclubalpha forum daily I rarely comment. So, since I had prepared the write-up below anyway, I decided to drop a copy here too.

For the month of May our local camera club has the set subject "Solitude". I looked up the word and noted that "solitude" is generally related to a warm feeling associated with a quiet scene (as opposed to "loneliness" which has an unhappy feeling).

Being essentially a landscape photographer, I immediately thought back to wide open spaces full of silence and atmosphere with no particular centre of interest. Well that’s easy - our Namibian trip last year. Lots and lots of those images could suit "solitude". I wouldn't choose anything that included the ghost towns - the feeling there could be a bit jarring to some. But wide open vistas - plenty to choose from.

I need a coloured image for projection, a monochrome print, and probably a coloured print (if I don't consider the monochrome print to be superior).

The Coloured Image for Projection.

I selected an image taken from the top of a small hill overlooking the sharp hills surrounding the Swakop River. The Swakop River itself really consists of a dry river bed, although occasional vegetation suggests that there is probably some sub-surface water. The original image, which was taken just before sunset, has been flipped horizontally to improve the composition.

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The Coloured Print.

Here I selected a shot taken in the Sperrgebiet, the forbidden diamond area of Namibia. In the distant past it was possible to pick up diamonds here, but now the diamonds are gone and ghost towns are left behind. A permit is required to enter the Sperrgebiet, and these are available to licensed tour operators.

Again, the original image was captured from the top of a small hill. It was around 08:30 in the morning and we were very lucky in that some clouds were causing shadows to scuttle across the scene. One can see the road on which we were travelling, but also the remains of a previous road. What happens here is that sand dunes walk across the landscape. You are wasting your time to try and fight these, so the authorities just build another road around the dune until it moves on. As a result this whole area is covered with evidence of these temporary diversions.

Although there were clouds overhead, there was little evidence of cloud cover in the original background. So I have utilised one of my collection of sky images to improve the composition.

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The Monochrome Print.

I decided to use the coloured image above as the basis for the monochrome print. Two different versions were generated using Nik Silver Efex Pro and blended manually to produce the final image.

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C&C welcome.

regards - Peter

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:19 pm
by ValeryD
Nice!

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:53 pm
by sury
Peter,
Nice set and the B&W is my favorite. It certainly seems to convey the solitude as you phrased it.

Sury

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:09 am
by dewarp
Thanks for the positive comments Valery and Sury.

I have not yet printed the two Sperrgebiet images, so I will reserve judgement on which I will use. I'm also leaning towards the monochrome version; but the colour print will probably display some very subtle colour tones (that cannot be seen on a computer screen), which may swing the decision.

regards - Peter

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:45 pm
by sury
For me, the monochrome (my favorite one) seems to be more 3Dish compared to colored one. The mountains (1/3 from top) seem to be
flat in the colored one. But it is my personal reaction.

Sury

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:54 am
by dewarp
Thanks for that comment Sury.

I got around to printing them yesterday. However, I first applied another curve adjustment to the monochrome version to pull the tones up a bit - in the version above the whites were in the 80% range and I pulled them up by about 10%. That tends to improve the "3D" separation a little too.

I tried the same on the colour version, but didn't like it - preferred the slightly pastel-like look that it has. I'm now tending to think I'll use the coloured version as seen above for our general meeting. (We have a "monochrome" meeting in the first week of May followed by a general "open" meeting a week later.)

regards Peter

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:21 am
by dewarp
Oh Dear! :?

Your comment got me rethinking that colour image Sury. So I've just applied a mid-tone adjustment layer; and then masked out the effect on the sky and immediate foreground. Very subtle, but I now prefer this version. The only question now is "do I consider the improvement worth the expense of another print?"

Knowing me, I'll probably bite the bullet and do another print.

Thanks for the "3D" comment. That focussed my mind a bit.

regards - Peter

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:27 pm
by sury
Peter,
Least I could do. Cause more confusion. :lol:
Glad to be of help. :D

Sury

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:15 am
by aster
.

Thanks for sharing such lovely and interesting landscape photos of Namibian desert-like land expansions. I enjoyed them as soon as I saw them. :)

I love how the B&W photo has been processed so that it is more of an art-work. Those many subtle lines of millions of monochromic shades add to the interest.
I like the colour version for showing what the actual landscape is like -apart from the sky that you later added- which is a finely, colour-graduating landscape with interesting land features.

Yildiz

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:06 am
by dewarp
Thanks for the positive comments Yildiz.

Yesterday was a printing disaster. Lots of black head-strikes. Black ink all over the place. Wasted much paper and ink. The only good outcome was I've now got an A2 print of the coloured version.

regards - Peter

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 4:05 am
by the_hefay
Lovely shots dewarp.

Re: A Couple of Namibian Landscapes

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 6:50 am
by dewarp
Thanks for the comment Hefay.

(Since my last comment I decided that my old Epson 3880 was terminally ill. So I've bitten the bullet and bought a new Canon Pro-1000 printer.

I decided to use the coloured version for the club. If only I had known. The visiting judge was a B&W nut, so I would have done even better had I used the mono version!)

regards - Peter