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Friday, 01 November 2013


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Your lead illustration is really impressive, Could you tell us what exactly you did between figure 3 and the lead illustration? I am just coming back from a long flight over Siberia from Tokyo to Frankfurt with very similar photos from your figure 2 and wonder what else I could do to improve them?

Many thanks

You teach well. In most of your articles, I come away with at least one new thing I've learned. Thank you.


Hi Ctein,
I had your lead shot open while a Pink Floyd concert was on TV; a great combination of arts.
Thanks to both you and Mike for an interesting and informative series of articles over the last few weeks.
best wishes phil

Dear Maxim,

Ummm, maybe, possibly ... if you can be patient. I'm out of the house this weekend and that file is on the home computer. When I get back I can check to see if the layers tell me much of what I did between figure 3 and the lead illo. I don't make notes on this stuff, I just do it, I'm afraid, but sometimes it all gets done in layers, so at least then there's some record of the steps that's been preserved.

Not so BTW, hoping to forestall the usually inevitable "but I like figure 3 better..." comments: it's not about what looks good in a JPEG, it's about what prints the best. Those are not the same thing. Just take my word that the lead illo produces the much superior print.

pax / Ctein
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

Another way to photograph from a plane is to do as Bradford Washburn did in some of his Alaska photos-- use a Lear jet with an optically flat window!

Something else to learn. Thanks for this.
It helps if there is black and white to photograph.

Put a Gold Star on your chart; ya done good! I have a passion for daytime sky photography -- http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/about-jock-elliott -- and this will help me in getting better results from the ground.

Cheers, Jock

Many feel cloud shots out of airplane windows are pretty cliche, but I enjoy them. Both making and viewing the work of others. It's harder than most think to come away with a really outstanding cloud composition. I have enjoyed this series and your explanations. Well done.

I find that in digital, reversing the blue channel is much more effective than a red deep red filter. A negative copy of the blue channel applied as a grayscale mask to a color image can do a lot for haze reduction and increasing contrast at a distance.

For fake B&W infra red, boost the red until just before the histogram starts clipping, reverse the blue channel, and muck around with the green curves (fakes the glowing grass and "screaming trees" effect if that's your thing) until you like what you see.

Oh, and on a somewhat related note for lightroom users, instead of the built in B&W conversion experiment with setting the saturation to zero and see what happens when you drag the temperature and tint back and forth.


What governs your choice of cutoff - 29 is really deep red, but I know some are using cutoffs at even longer wavelengths.


Dear Brad,

29 red simply happens to be a readily available filter. I was recommending it because the usual choice for B&W landscape photographers is the 25 red; the less-well known 29 does a better job.

Otherwise, no, nothing special about it.

Do keep in mind that with an ordinary camera, be it film or digital, the closer your deep red filter gets to the IR cutoff of the film/camera, the more your effective exposure index drops.

pax / Ctein

This sentence really stopped me: "This is one of the very rare cases where "expose to the right" makes sense..."

Many well known photographers on the web pray "ettr" nearly like a mantra.
Could you please explain why you think different?
Thanks in advance,

Ps: great pictures btw!

Dear Thomas,


And here's the explanation on ETTR:


pax / Ctein

Thanks for pointing me to the older post. Somehow I must have missed that. And it makes a lot of sense what you wrote back then.


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