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Thread: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    I shot this photo of a recent sunset sky and I like the photo because it captures the beautiful colours of the sunset skies here. I would like to ask for a critique on the photo, on my edit, and ask if anyone would like to edit it to show what can be done to improve it, so I can try to do the same

    F 8, SS 1/20, WB Auto, 1S0 100 Exposure -.7


    Here is the original photo

    A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Here is my edit...

    A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    This is what my thoughts were using LR4 only.

    A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done
    Last edited by Carl in Louisiana; 27th July 2012 at 09:08 PM.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Your edit and original look pretty similar to me. I might also do what Carl did, increasing the tonal range in the highlights. I would also probably crop a bit off the top, as the top has little detail and might divert attention from the more interesting clouds a bit lower. However, it's all a matter of taste. I think you might start by saying what it is that you find disappointing in the original.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Thank you Carl... I like the way you brought out the pinks in the sky and darkened or sharpened or increased the contrast in the photo. How did you do this?

    Thank you Dan... I guess I just think this should be a wow photo (because of the colours) but it isn't. I'm trying to learn how to edit to improve my photos, and someone suggested that I post a photo for others to edit... So I was hoping that if I saw a great edit that turned it into a wow photo (if possible) I could try to do the same, and learn from it.

    How does one increase the tonal range specifically in the highlights?

    Thank you.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    What a lovely view!

    I like how Carl's edit brought out the "pink" in the water. The pic is more balanced that way. Still trying to learn here, would the "pink" be the highlight?
    Last edited by ggt; 27th July 2012 at 09:43 PM. Reason: to use proper vocabulary

  6. #6

    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Hey Christina,
    If I don't mention something it is because I changed nothing in that category. Lightroom 4.1
    Under Basic: Exposure +0.56
    Contrast +13
    Highlights +69
    Shadows +49
    Black -29
    Clarity +20
    Just a little adjustment under Tones & Curves. Under Detail Sharpening 10, Radias 1.1 then when I exported it to my desktop I used standard sharpening for screen and that was it.

    Now as stated the adjustments are to ones tastes so you may want to make a little different adjustments according to your tastes. Every Photographer has his/her own style so you have to design your own style and all that will come as you get more practice and can change from photo to photo or day to day and so on, at least thats the way I am at it for now.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    in the opp
    How does one increase the tonal range specifically in the highlights?
    Check out Carl's adjustments to the exposure and highlights sliders. I suggest you try them yourself, one at a time, watching what happens both to the image and to the histogram. If you haven't yet, you need to learn to read the histogram. It is essentially a bar chart, showing the number of pixels at different levels of brightness, ranging from full black on the left to full white on the right. When you do his adjustments, you will see the histogram shift to the right, so that there will be more bright pixels.

  8. #8

    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Also it helps me a lot to use the side by side compare, so that you can see what you started with and where you have brought the image to, in my case, it will help keep you from going too far with your adjustments.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    If you haven't yet, you need to learn to read the histogram.
    Absolutely important, Christina. If you had reviewed the histogram immediately after capturing the image, you would have realized that it is underexposed and you would have been able to shoot it again. Compare the histogram of your original with the histogram of Carl's version. The comparison will speak volumes once you understand how to read histograms.

    By the way, I think you might have accidentally loaded your original twice. I don't see any difference between the first image and the second image.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    By the way, I think you might have accidentally loaded your original twice. I don't see any difference between the first image and the second image.
    I agree, the two image urls are the same image, somehow.

    If you have the other link, you (or I) can edit the post and replace it (in the first post)

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Thank you everyone... The two images that I posted are not the same... One is the original and one is my edit...

    Anyway, I got in there and tried to replicate Carl's edit but could not quite manage it... however it was a good exercise for me because I learned that Adobe Elements does not have the option to decrease the blacks whereas Lightroom 4.1 does... And I tried all the sliders and I now have an idea of their effects on the photo..

    I am going to post my results, and yes, I know they look worse than the original and are over processed, but it was a still a good learning exercise for me... And yes, I think I need to learn to read and understand the histogram and study the all the tutorials, before I edit any more photos.

    A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Thank you everyone.

    PS

    When I take sunset shots, I usually underexpose them, just a little on purpose to enhance the colours? Is this wrong?

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    When I take sunset shots, I usually underexpose them, just a little on purpose to enhance the colours? Is this wrong?
    It's never wrong to do anything. The only thing that matters is that you achieve the results you want to achieve.

    You should start with a capture that is as close as possible to the final result that you want to achieve. If you like the style of Carl's version and your last two versions, that means making use of the entire dynamic range (properly exposing the image). In that situation, underexposing the image creates an unnecessary obstacle to your success.

    I recommend very strongly that you check your histogram after taking every landscape image. If the histogram doesn't extend from the left to the right of the bottom of the graph, shoot an exposure until it does. If it doesn't extend all the way across but is centered, that's the best that you can do. In either case, that's the so-called proper exposure. Once you master getting the so-called proper exposure, feel free to be more artistic by underexposing and overexposing to your heart's content. But for now, everything that you're mentioning and doing will be made much easier by first making a "proper" exposure.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    I suggest that you don't use AWB (automatic white balance) as that takes a lot of colour out of the sunset, but use cloudy or shade if you are not using Raw. The following thread shows the difference that different settings of the same photo as altered in Raw.

    sunset photos

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Thank you Ken and Mike. Great advice that I will try. The link to sunset photos is also helpful.

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    Re: A request for a critique and a request to edit to see what can be done

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken MT View Post
    I suggest that you don't use AWB (automatic white balance) as that takes a lot of colour out of the sunset
    That's a great tip that really depends on the camera's capabilities. As an example, the AWB on my backup camera is not nearly as effective as the AWB on my primary camera, which is a newer model. Also, my newer camera has two AWB settings. One of them is designed to keep the warm colors in the image, such as when shooting with candlelight or outside very early or late in the day.

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