Our reader image of the week comes all the way from beautiful Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and reader Felipe Quintella
Felipe’s image is of Ipanema Beach in Rio De Janeiro
- Where was image was shot?
- Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Camera and lens Used
- Canon T3i, Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
- Number of Images and stops apart
- 3 images, 1 stop apart
- HDR Processing Software and any Presets you may have used.
- Photomatix, and I started with your 70/70/1.2 preset and tweaked it from there
- Any post Processing you may have done.
- Some minor levels adjustments
- And any short thing you may want to say about the image
- The day before this one was a clear blue sky and spectacular sunset, but I didn’t have my camera. So I decided to go and try taking a good photo of the sun setting right on the water, which happens only during one week of the year (the rest of the year it sets behind the “Morro Dois Irmãos” (Two Brothers Mountains – literal translation). Unfortunately, even though the day was bright and clear, and dawn these clouds began to appear and I knew I wouldn’t get the shot I wanted… So, I did my best to get it right between the upper and lower clouds.
- Where was image was shot?
First off Felipe, Thanks for sharing your image with us and of such a beautiful place in the world.
This is a very hard shot to carry off. The mountain is what makes it so difficult because it blocks the sunlight onto the city below the mountain. But you picked the right week to shoot it. When the sun sets behind the mountain that makes it even harder to achieve a good image because the sun can set behind the mountain as much as an hour before it actually sets on the horizon. So you wouldn’t have gotten the color in the sky you have here.
I ran into the same problem when shooting a beach in Malibu California that actually faces south rather than west as most of our coast does and there is a large mountain there that blocks the sun at sunset. So I understand the difficulty of the shot here.
You captured the sky and the water very well, no blow out in the sky and it has good color and tone. Honestly, I think you were far better off shooting the day with the clouds. Clouds add so much more interest to an image than just a plain blue sky. But it is hard sometimes when the clouds are close to the horizon line. The best scenario is clouds overhead but none close to the horizon line.
I like your composition, it has good balance. The horizon line could have been a little higher or lower, try not to center them in the image, but you did a good job assuring that the horizon was level. I wish there was somthing to ad a little forground intrest, but the water itself is beautiful and the sun refection bringing us the the backgrond is nice.
What could be done to make the image better
The one thing I would question is your use of 3 images 1 stop apart. I really don’t have a problem with just 3 frames but the 1 stop apart I feel didn’t capture enough dynamic range. I think if you would have shot 2 stops apart you would have had a much wider dynamic range and the area of the buildings below the mountain would have been brought out more. It wouldn’t have been perfect because there isn’t much light on the buildings because of the mountain, but it would have been much better.
Remember any time you have the sun itself in the image the dynamic range is much higher and you may need to shoot at least 3 frames, two stops apart and maybe even a 4th depending how bright the sun is. In this case the sun is not that bright and partially hidden by the clouds. So probably 3 @ 2 would have been fine.
The other thing you need to watch for when the sun is in the frame. Is how you meter. The sun being bright can cause all three of your exposures to be underexposed which could have added more problems too. Not being able to see your three exposures I’m not sure if that happened but it is something to look for as I explained in this article
Processing in Photomatix, You did a good job. The histogram isn’t bunched up at all and you do have good black levels in the image which I think is essential. The image is slightly soft. It’s good but could be a little sharper. You may want to try sharpening the image slightly in Photoshop.
So over all you presented us with a nice image of a beautiful place and like I said this is NOT an easy image to get right. Maybe go back and try a few of the suggestions but I do realize your shooting window is limited.
Thanks for sending in the image and I hope we get to see another image from you soon
This Image copyright Felipe Quintella, Do not use without permission, all rights reserved