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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:17 am 
I'd like to introduce you to a place called Emerald Valley, also known as Lovers' Valley. It's about an hour's bus ride from where I live in Huangshan. Famous for its emerald green / turqoise water pools and waterfalls, it is a really beautiful place.

I wanted to experiment more with my new Sigma 10-20mm using it for landscapes. I always thought landscapes should be taken using an aperture of f22, but then found out that that can cause aberration...not sure what that means, but it don't sound good! Then I read more and people said f11 and f16 is best for landscapes, but it all depends on the lens. I also read that the Sigma gives great depth of field even at f8 and Thomas told me yesterday that even at f5.6 you can get pin sharp landscapes if you're not too bothered about the foreground....so that's what I wanted to experiment with. Also wanted to practice more at capturing water in motion to get that silky effect.

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10mm - f5.6 - 1/50 - iso100

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15mm - f8 - 1/25 - iso100

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14mm - f8 - 1/13 - iso100

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13mm - f8 - 1/50 - iso100

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14mm - f8 - 1/40 - iso200 (not quite sure why I changed the iso!)

Hope you like the pics, any comments most welcome :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:13 am 
Wow :o Those pictures are incredible. I wish I could have the chance to visit this place one day. Is the land easily accessible? From the terrain, it seems quite wild.

The shots though are so crisp, colorful and perfect. Really good job on capturing them!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:34 am 
Thanks Andy! Yes, the place is easily accessible, but they've done it in a way so that the walkways are quite narrow and they don't kind of intrude into the scenery if you know what I mean. There's a whole path that goes right around the valley and every so often there are steps where you can go down onto the rocks, but they are a bit slippery and harzardous....worth it for photos though :)

It's turning into a bit of a tourist trap though.... well for Chinese tourists anyway. We went early and even at this time of year when there aren't that many tourists around, when we were leaving there was a huge coachload of people that had just arrived so we were lucky not to get caught behind them on the paths!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:05 am 
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Really nice shots Mark, especially number 3...

Did you tweak the colour, contrast and sharpness at all?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:34 am 
Thanks Gordon. Yes, the colours straight from the camera were pretty bland and didn't do the place justice at all. I had to add contrast and saturation to bring it up to how it really looks. For sharpness I finished with a high pass filter with a hard light blend and used an unsharp mask to make them pop more.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:40 am 
Really good pics Mark, well done.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:10 pm 
Great pics!!! Especially number 3. Well done!!!:D


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:25 am 
(Borat accent) Very nice!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:13 am 
Great pics Mark
The 10-20mm is a gem during these shots !
Love pic 1 - the contrast of the water is so clear..

Just love the places you have been... :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:45 pm 
Hey, great looking shots, In fact for a second I was sure that a Canon had taken them as I find Canon shots come out more punchy out the box, ragardless if the colours are as true to life as the D80's or not.

Any chance you could squeal on the exact enhancment levels? I.e in photoshop say, adjusted contrast to +7 etc.
-greg :)


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