Kettle Valley Tressel

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dudley Hanks, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    This is a low-angle shot of a tressel bridge located in Kettle Valley, near
    Kalona, British Columbia. I was playing with perspective, wanting to make
    the bridge look longer than it really is.

    The biggest problem was that the bridges are stationed here-and-there along
    a hiking trail that used to be an old railway line about 100 years ago.
    Thus, the trail hangs off the side of a mountain and isn't all that wide.
    The tressels bridge gaps that fall off abruptly, and can be rather dangerous
    to get up close to the side.

    My wife read me a tribute to a young lady who fell off one of the tressels
    and died. I think she was subtly trying to tell me I was getting too close
    to the edge.

    I was just wondering what people think of the shot.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jul 25, 2008
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  2. Dudley Hanks

    Matt Ion Guest

    That's "Kelowna", FYI.
    You're lucky to find any of them - most were destroyed in the massive
    Okanagan Mountain Park fire back in 2003
    ( Many
    have been rebuilt, thanks to volunteer help and public donations, and
    the burned-out section of the trail was officially reopened only a month
    or so ago.
    Way underexposed. The exposure of the sky is nearly perfect, but that
    leaves everything else deep in shadow. The harsh tilt to the whole shot
    isn't really working for me either.
    Matt Ion, Jul 25, 2008
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  3. Dudley Hanks

    Mark Thomas Guest

    Thanks for the history (that I have rudely snipped!).

    It's interesting.. but it doesn't work for me either, I'm afraid.

    Sometimes tilts work well, but I find one 'perspective trick' per shot
    is usually the limit - in this case you are using a wide view and strong
    leading lines as well as the tilt, but they all seem to be working
    against each other.

    And I agree that the contrast is over the top - there is quite a bit of
    detail in the shadows though, and a tweak of levels/curves might be
    worthwhile, perhaps leaving the sky as is.

    However, even with all that it just seems to be missing something. In a
    case like this, I would ask:
    - what is this image about?
    (if you can't immediately answer, then it probably isn't going to work -
    in this case, I guess it's about the bridge, but the bridge isn't
    especially aesthetic or interesting to my eyes)
    - have I drawn the viewer's eyes to the subject/or an interesting point,
    or have I acheieved a 'mood'?

    I would imagine this scene could pop into life at a particular time of
    day when the sun is just right. There's a waterfall near here that I
    have visited several times without getting a useful image - I have now
    pinned down the hour at which there might be a decent shot...

    Or perhaps you could have zoomed in on details - maybe a close up of a
    smaller area of the bridge structure with oof background...?

    For me (and it is just me!), that image doesn't say 'keeper', sorry.

    Keep posting though, I like your style and you usually raise interesting
    issues and ideas.

    Mark Thomas, Jul 25, 2008
  4. Believe it or not - considering its size - I know a guy from (but not now
    living in) Kelowna, over in In fact, I think there
    are *two* of them in there -- both everyday regulars. What are the odds?
    Blinky the Shark, Jul 25, 2008
  5. Dudley Hanks

    Nervous Nick Guest

    I was wondering why you made this shot, and why you chose to show it.
    It looks almost like an accidental shutter release.

    Also, ITYM "trestle".
    Nervous Nick, Jul 25, 2008
  6. Dudley Hanks

    Colin.D Guest

    Hello Dudley,

    Well, I do not have any comment about the subject, but from a technical
    POV, to my eye there are two things wrong, first, the large expanse of
    sky has depressed the exposure, so the sky is well rendered, but the
    land mass, bridge, and vegetation are heavily underexposed. I tried to
    correct the image in Photoshop, but I couldn't get the bridge tones
    light enough without bad posterizing. The basic problem is one of
    dynamic range - from the clouds to the underside of the bridge and the
    dark vegetation is too wide a dynamic range for the camera without
    losing either the shadows or highlights. Lacking a spot meter, an
    exposure metered including more of the land and vegetation might have
    yielded a slower exposure, whitening the sky but capturing more of the
    land mass.

    The second thing is the horizon is about 9 degrees off level, measured
    in PS, going by the tall tree just left of center in the image.

    I know your eyesight is not good, and full marks for shooting images
    under that handicap.

    Colin D.
    Colin.D, Jul 25, 2008
  7. Dudley Hanks

    Peter Guest

    To my eye it has some interesting possibilities. Your angle shot add a nice
    touch of drama and the pattern of quasi horizontal lines against an
    interesting sky makes a nice pattern. The trees on the left are a
    distraction to me. I would crop it vertically at the right edge of the tree
    line and a horizontal crop near the lower left. Then just a small adjustment
    to bring up the shadow detail. Then if you resize the image to a square,
    your bridge will look a lot longer than it is.
    Peter, Jul 25, 2008
  8. Dudley Hanks

    Burgerman Guest

    Fixed the shadows without blowing the sky and straightened and perspective
    corrected. To me it looked sort of distorted! But I am no artist...

    The camera did a great job of not blowing the sky out but that meand there
    was too much contrast for the sensor to see the shadow areas.

    Now its a bit noisey, but the main problem is the horid chromatic aberasion
    (colour banding) in the trees at the edge.
    Burgerman, Jul 25, 2008
  9. Dudley Hanks

    Faz Guest

    Dudley - You have photographed an area where the evegreens are no longer
    green as the pine beetle has destroyed acres of them. Also this photo came
    out extremely dark on my computer.......and the history is probably the most
    important to the people from that area. Really hard to tell this is an old
    train tressel.

    Faz, Jul 25, 2008
  10. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Thanks for the feedback, Mark. Your comments are right on target.

    I didn't post this as a keeper; instead, I was just curious about what
    people thought about the effect.

    What I was trying to do was to make the clouds the center of interest, with
    the tressel leading in towards them. Unfortunately, as you observed, this
    isn't really a sufficient subject. Had the clouds been more ominous, or the
    bridge been occupied by someone leaning over the edge with elboes on the
    rail, it would have made a lot of difference. I will reshoot something like
    that when I visit the area next.

    Probably, the best way to achieve success with this type of shot would have
    been to shoot two images, one with the bridge in a lighter exposure, and
    then used photoshop to combine the two.

    Having said all that, one of the reasons I like this image is that it, in a
    rather crude way, illustrates what I actually see.

    True, it is not an accurate depiction of what I see since the image shows
    way too much detail, but comparisons can be made.

    When I looked at this shot trying to decide on how to shoot it, the bridge
    appeared to me much like it appears to you -- in a rather distorted,
    diminishing plunge into a dark, amorphous area with little to distinguish
    what is there. On the left, I could make out the dark mountain descending
    towards the bridge, and the clouds occupied the center in a kind of swirling
    mass. The clouds are the main reason why this isn't an accurate depiction
    of what I saw. The camera captured too much detail there.

    To my eyes, I saw a lighter wedge that dropped towards the ground, with the
    dark beams of the tressel making it the only object I could readily

    The fact that the tressel terminated nearly on one of the junctures of the
    lines of thirds kind of drew my eye to that area, giving me the impression
    of motion in that direction. I guess I look at this picture as a kind of
    analogy of the life of a visually-impaired person. We travel a dark road
    into a clouded future, but our civilized society makes the whole journey
    rather bland.

    I'm probably stretching things a bit, but the point this picture brings out
    is that disabled people sometimes need a bit of excitement in their lives,
    even if it is just venturing close to the edge -- a precarious position
    which is actually safer for me and my cane than for a sighted person, but
    exciting none the less.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jul 25, 2008
  11. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions, Peter, I'll give that a try.

    I'm glad you noticed the pattern of the bridge against the sky; it was that
    pattern I was trying to bring out and use to exaggerate the length of the

    Also, I think I'll try printing it in BW to see if it makes the image a bit
    more dramatic.

    As I pointed out in another post, I view this image as an analogy to a
    visually-impaired persons life, and the stretched out bridge heading towards
    a point near the swirling clouds could make the statement nicely.

    Any suggestions on how to make a BW image using Photoshop that would work,
    especially within the cropping you suggested?

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jul 25, 2008
  12. Dudley Hanks

    Peter Guest

    If you have CS3, try the infrared filter.
    With CS2, or earlier, you have to play with the channels until you get the
    effect you like.

    I think many of us would like to see your results.
    (Especially you)
    Peter, Jul 26, 2008
  13. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    You've got that right! :)

    Thanks for the tips. I'll give it a try.

    Dudley Hanks, Jul 26, 2008
  14. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    I was wondering why you made this shot, and why you chose to show it.
    It looks almost like an accidental shutter release.

    Also, ITYM "trestle".


    Art truely is in the eye (mind) of the beholder.

    See other posts for my explanation of an analogy of a blind person's life.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jul 26, 2008
  15. My reaction, "What's the subject?"

    Second reaction, "Why are the trees tilted, it isn't windy?"

    Third reaction, "That's a big pool of black. He ought to try using curves."

    My advice, find somewhere else to stand to take the shot, somewhere where the
    trestle can be the focal point. That spot however may not have ground under it.
    Alternative, get to where the trestle fills the frame, a detail shot from beneath.
    Gary Charpentier, Jul 26, 2008
  16. Dudley Hanks

    Paul Furman Guest

    Dudley, if you use a camera with a viewfinder, can you see the forms
    enough to compose a shot? I assume an LCD is too small.

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Jul 27, 2008
  17. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    That is a really complicated question to answer. The short answer is that
    it depends on the camera and the situation.

    The thing I like the best about my A720 is the LCD display. I can use it in
    any situation where the light is roughly equivalent to an indoor room on a
    cloudy day (where there isn't much bright sunlight coming in through the
    windows. In situations darker than that, up until there is no light at
    all, I can continue to use the LCD display.

    Optimally, I can make out the most in the monitor if the situation would be
    a room the size of most living rooms with one or two small lamps. Outdoors
    in bright sunlight, the LCD is useless, as is the viewfinder.

    When talking DSLR's, the situation changes. Preferably, I would be taking
    pics in a situation with lighting equivalent to that in a museum, small bar
    or a concert hall from 10 to 20 rows from the stage. In such a venue, with
    stage or commercial lighting, I can make out enough of the light and dark
    areas to compose a shot. I don't always know what I'm shooting, but I can
    take a shot and use the patterns of light and dark to guesstimate.

    Obviously, when using DSLR's, a lot depends on the make and model, what lens
    is installed, etc, and of course, the subject matter I am shooting.

    In the case of the bridge, I couldn't see anything in either the LCD or
    viewfinder of the camera, but my actual viewing of the scene probably looked
    to me somewhat like a darker, blurrier, grainier version of the picture you
    see with bright pinpoints of light sprinkled throughout, and a lot of dark
    floaters. I took the camera as close to the edge as I dared go by feeling
    out in front of me with my cane, getting down low leaning out as far as I
    could without over-balancing, and then snapping the picture with a
    one-handed stretch. (I know I've bitched about keeping both hands on the
    camera, but, when you are shooting on a bright sunny day and the camera is
    small enough for one hand to nearly enclose it, some rules can be stretched
    a bit.

    Hence, this picture was not composed in the viewfinder, but rather in my
    mind. I knew what I wanted, and the resulting shot is nearly exactly what I
    was shooting for.

    When I was done, I went back to where my wife was standing and passed the
    camera to her. I asked her: "Is the trestle on the right side, nearly
    stretching from bottom to top, falling off sharply so that it looks like
    the bridge physically drops away from you towards the center but stopping
    around the intersection of the bottom right lines of thirds? And is there a
    light wedge of cloud in the center top, with the bottom in deep shadow or
    near complete darkness?

    She said yes. Then I asked if the mountain was forming a similar sloping
    line from the left? She answered yes.

    When it comes to helping me with my pics, Ros and I have a fairly good
    system worked out. I take my pictures, and then I ask her as direct and
    detailed questions as I can, and she answers with the shortest, most
    objective answers as possible -- preferrably with a simple yes or no. Thus,
    the pics show as little influence as possible from her. If needed, I retake
    the shot based on my impression of what I can see in the monitor, her
    response to my questions, and how I feel about the spatial dynamics of the
    situation. After all, I have reached the point where I "feel" spatial
    relations rather than seeing them.

    When I got back home and checked the shot out on my laptop, it was exactly
    what I was trying to capture.

    I know this isn't what most people will consider a good picture, but I shot
    this one more for its symbollism than it's graphical merits. I long ago
    gave up the idea of shooting technically good pics that other photographers
    and art patrons will be able to relate to or fawn over. Once I got my
    digital camera my goal was simply to take pictures which I like, and which
    others can appreciate -- notice I said appreciate and not like or love.

    Sometimes my shots might take a bit of explaining before others will get
    what I'm trying to do, but that's alright.

    This shot will not likely ever hang in a gallery, but it is the wallpaper on
    my laptop for the symbollic reasons pointed out in the earlier post.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jul 27, 2008
  18. Dudley Hanks

    tony cooper Guest

    Dudley, due to his deteriorated sight, uses a program or device to
    read and post to this newsgroup. I don't know how it works, but it
    could be that he doesn't see the misspelling or that the
    program/device spells words phonetically that are not in its
    tony cooper, Jul 27, 2008
  19. Dudley Hanks

    Robert Coe Guest

    : : >
    : >
    : > This is a low-angle shot of a tressel bridge located in Kettle Valley,
    : > near Kalona, British Columbia. I was playing with perspective, wanting to
    : > make the bridge look longer than it really is.
    : >
    : > The biggest problem was that the bridges are stationed here-and-there
    : > along a hiking trail that used to be an old railway line about 100 years
    : > ago. Thus, the trail hangs off the side of a mountain and isn't all that
    : > wide. The tressels bridge gaps that fall off abruptly, and can be rather
    : > dangerous to get up close to the side.
    : >
    : > My wife read me a tribute to a young lady who fell off one of the tressels
    : > and died. I think she was subtly trying to tell me I was getting too
    : > close to the edge.
    : >
    : > I was just wondering what people think of the shot.
    : >
    : > Take Care,
    : > Dudley
    : >
    : Apparently you can't see, nor spell.

    You are, of course, at least half right: Dudley is legally blind (a fact not
    exactly unknown to most members of the newsgroups to which he posts). It's for
    that reason that he sometimes seeks criticism of shots that most of us
    probably wouldn't have bothered to take. When that criticism is constructive
    (as I'm sure yours will be in the future), it assists Dudley in maintaining
    his participation in a hobby that most blind people would consider to be
    beyond their reach.

    Robert Coe, Jul 27, 2008
  20. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    I once took an English course from a professor who opened his course with
    the usual speel about class participation, office hours, etc. He closed the
    speel with the following disclaimor:

    Just because I have a PHD in English doesn't mean I can't make spelling

    While I am not even close to being a professor, I do try to maintain fairly
    clean documents.

    I use a screen reading program to operate my computer which, on the whole,
    is fairly good. However, it doesn't seem to like some programs -- or parts
    of programs. Spell checks are among its dislikes, so I can't spell check my
    work very easily. For important documents, I write them and e-mail them to
    my wife who gives them a thorough editing. For everything else, I do my
    best and don't worry about stuff I don't know. As people point out my
    mistakes, I make adjustments.

    A user was kind enough to point out that I didn't spell Kelowna properly,
    nor trestle. I hope I won't spell them wrong again, but who knows. They
    aren't words I use all that often.

    If my initials were JC, I might try a bit harder to be perfect, but they're
    not, so I'll just repeat that line from that old Trooper song: "We're here
    for a good time, not a long time, so have a good time..."

    Take Care, Yoshi, and I'm still waiting to see some pics from you taken hand
    held at 6/10 sec with only minimal camera shake... :)

    Dudley Hanks, Jul 27, 2008
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