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Hills of the Shire by Isquiesque Hills of the Shire by Isquiesque
The cow in the foreground was the straw that broke the camel's back. I walk this stretch of field with some frequency when visiting Bishop's Castle, so I've sort of gotten over the need to take photographs every five feet along the path, but as I was walking along through the fields one afternoon this past October, this cow just sat there watching me go by, and it looked so peaceful with the fields in the distance that I decided to dig out my camera. This took a bit of time, and the cow just stayed there, perfectly posed. It moved right after I took the photo. Good cow.

I changed my mind about a dozen times on the best complement of colors for the border and title. Still not sure I'm happy with what I have.

And, as has been pointed out on at least one other photograph, the sky is sort of nonexistant. This is a product of it being England and therefore overcast, but if anyone has any pointers on how to make an overcast sky more intriguing, I'd love to know your tricks.
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:iconyouliedanyway:
youliedanyway Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
The cow makes it even more of an amazing shot. It looks like the Great Smials... (where the Tooks' live, in Hobbiton.) hehe, but I'm an obsessive loser. It's also a phenomenla shot!
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
:giggle: Thanks.

And I don't think you're a loser, H. Though I suppose there are folks out there who think we both are. Who cares about them, though... not I.
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:iconyouliedanyway:
youliedanyway Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2006  Hobbyist Writer
nor I. hehe. I enjoy being an obsessive geek, it's very fun.
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:icondigital-ink:
digital-ink Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2005   Photographer
wow thats alot of green lol. looks like a great place to visit. great job
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes. That's one thing I love about photographs taken in England - the grass seems to be perpetually green (sometimes, even, in winter!). Definitely worth visiting.

Thanks for the compliment and comment.
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:iconhoodi-ansari:
Hoodi-Ansari Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2005   Photographer
Very nice shot, I really like it :)

As for skies, my (somewhat crude) method of making them punchier is to simply use a faster / shorter exposure. Less time for light = less overexposed sky. Of course, this also makes the rest of your image darker, so it's a toss up between the two. Plus, if the sky is overcast to begin with, you're never going to get anything spectacular (without external manipulation).
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes. I guess that's the trick. I have a shot I took from the Lake Vrnwy dam where I intentionally took two shots - one with the scenery right but the sky overexposed, one with the sky right but the scenery underexposed - and this weekend I hope to sit down and try marrying the two images. We'll see what transpires...

Thanks again for all the wonderful comments this evening!
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:iconolethros:
olethros Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005
This one I had overlooked, but it is also extremely cool. Observation: this cow seems to not be tormented by flies.
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Snrk. Yes, it's a very mellow cow, who patiently waited for me to dig through my backpack for the camera, to set up the shot, etc. It moved right after I was done, but only to turn its head and look at something else.

Thanks for the compliment on the photo!
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:iconkidscruff:
kidscruff Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005
firstly-great composition and angle.
there are a few ways of making the sky more interesting...
when you adjust the levels in whatever editing programs you use, select the sky using lasso or magic wand and adjust the levels so you can see the detail in the sky better-if the sky is pretty grey anyway, you can convert it to grayscale by adjusting which seperate RGB layers get affected by each other and try to bring out more detail in the clouds that way.... or simply adjust the colour image's brightness/contrast slightly to bring out detail.

find another image of yours with a more detailed sky but roughly the same sort of light (again, play with the levels to adjust that afterwards if needs be) and paste it onto the image you wish to improve. erase the excess sky you dont need using lasso or eraser, and select whichever level blending mode you feel best fits. i find this method to be a bit of cheating when it comes to nature photography, but if you have a photo that is perfect except for the sky, this is a way to get away with it.

the other way, of course, is to play with the whole images colour levels in a grayscale format to experiment with different filters etc in B+W. another interesting thing is to overlay a b+w version of the image with a colour version and playing about with the blending options.

if the sky shows up as just white in the original image before you adjusted the levels, then maybe when you take a similar shot again, line up the shot with just the sky in it and put an exposure lock setting on the camera or just partially hold down the shoot button (unless your camera only holds focus with that button) and then line up the shot-thats a good way to get more detail in clouds, and you can always bring up the light levels on the foreground afterwards.

hope thats legible and of some use?
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Hm. Some good ideas here, though some of them sort of push the boundaries of photomanipulation (you're a master at that, by the way... I'm ready to sit down for a tutorial next time we're in the same room). One of your recommendations reminds me - I actually *did* take two shots of a view from Lake Vyrnwy dam specifically to blend them later. The sky was overexposed in one shot, but I got the scenery, so then I took a second shot where I underexposed the scenery to get the sky. I haven't married those two images yet... guess I should work on that one next weekend.

Thanks again!
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:iconkidscruff:
kidscruff Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005
hehe i disagree on the "push the boundaries of photomanipulation"....i must recommend some work to change your mind on that... these are more the building blocks of techniques that i havent got the hang of by far...photoshop+illustrator are lifetime programs... but heres some examples of clever manip work....
[link] <---count the seperate photographs in that...then imagine the layers added to blend each image together and add texture...a couple of interesting facts about this work-the "giant" originally had hair, so *bionic7 (my good friend at uni) made him bald.

[link] <----simply two photo's, same viewpoint, same man, same exposure (possibly) different oufit (definately!) stitched together. i imagine there was some erasing/blending involved with this though....

[link] <----how simple by layering a fine texture over this photograph and changing the colouring scheme can create an utterly different feel to a photograph

[link] <----3d rendering combined with painterly photographical background and rendered water by a member of [link], a team of shit-hot designers.

any textures or stock images you might need can be found at the glorious =resurgere's page.
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
And here I was feeling bad for tweaking the level of cyan in the sky for a couple of the images I posted today. heh

Thanks for all the links... will have to take a look at those next time I can kick back. Have to get ready for work tomorrow just now, though.
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:iconkidscruff:
kidscruff Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005
safe-nice chatting to you (in a round about commenty sort of fashion) take care and hopefully i'l hear from you/see you soon! thank you for being so tolerant of my brother!
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
snrk. You're welcome.

I'm sure we'll chat on here more - glad we have a venue to discuss photography now, which is something we both really enjoy.

Unfortunately, I doubt we'll see each other for quite a stretch. Next time I see your parents, I think they'll be visiting *me*, not the other way around. You're welcome to visit, too, of course...
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:iconkidscruff:
kidscruff Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005
hehe it'l have to be from the wallet of mother/father and i prob. have taxed them somewhat recently....then again it'l be my bro's wedding (will it?) and i wouldnt want to miss that for the world....
take care, speak to you soon
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:iconisquiesque:
Isquiesque Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Enh. We'll get married when the gov't says we can. When they say jump, we'll jump (we're in the process of asking them just how high), and then we'll have satisfied their legal requirement to keep your brother from being deported.

At some point we'll probably hike to some waterfall or glacier with some of our friends in tow and make some promises about being nice to one another, then go back to the house and have a few adult beverages... but we won't have to have anybody official there to make it all good because that'll have already happened.

So no one, including your parents or mine, will be there for the 'official thing,' but people will be there for the less official version that'll probably mean a lot more to all involved. And we could probably do something on both sides of the Atlantic if need be - we've got folks on both sides of the pond interested in seeing us wed. So long as we don't spend any money on things or get too dressed up, I think we'll be up for it.

And I know what you mean about dA being a time suck - I just ended up posting another photo. BAD JACQ. NO COOKIE.

I'm going to logoff now, though, and phone that brother of yours for a bit before turning in for the night.

Cheers ~ it's been great chatting this evening.
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