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Thread: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

  1. #1
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    I'd appreciate some advice, tips, insight, examples etc of fog photos which are post processed. I've been messing around with a few of my photos, and I am running into some problems. Basically I'm trying to balance maintaining the foggy texture and look, but not have the photo look extremely flat or just lacking that "something," if you will.

    When you process fog photos, do you sharpen? Do you increase contrast at all? (curves, clarity, whites/blacks, etc). How should I gauge exposure? Do you do selective local adjustments? Thanks for any tips or examples you can offer (before/afters would be nice)

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Difficult to be specific without an actual example, straight from the camera, Matt.

    Usually, I process selectively with layers and masks after converting from Raw. Even then I may do two Raw conversions with different settings. But I tend to work like this for most images.

    I had an example of different approaches over fog editing recently.

    A friend was given an image to edit (files straight from camera) which was a boat in fog taken with a phone camera. He edited it, mostly for the boat and chiefly worked on the blue channel.

    But he wasn't totally happy with his results, so gave me a copy to see what I could do. As an alternative, I concentrated more on the yellows to enhance the fog.

    He then did something similar with his copy.

    ps. For me, most foggy scenes need a good solid reference point; often in the foreground. Without that, they can just look poorly focused and exposed rather than obviously being foggy.

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    There is a video tutorial link, I think in the layers thread, where a guy is sharpening up a photo of a boat/ship taken in the fog.

    Might be worth a look.
    I think it is a tutorial on GIMP, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    I was thinking what did I do here, and then I remembered it wasn't actually foggy.

    But CiC has some very good advice for fog pictures here

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post
    I've been messing around with a few of my photos
    I haven't wrestled with fog pictures, but my impression is that this is a situation that calls for "messing around" ... a.k.a. trial-n-error. I'd probably push the various ACR/LR sliders every which way and see what happens.

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Have a look at this thread From Florence - part 4 - The Haze near the end of the thread I have outlined my general approach. Whatever you do you must be subtle as it is very easy to overdo any corrections.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 8th December 2012 at 08:54 AM.

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    In case you haven't found it, the CiC tutorial on the subject of photographing in fog/mist (not specifically about PP) is here.
    Last edited by Donald; 8th December 2012 at 08:08 AM.

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    They can actually be darn difficult to get "looking right". The problem is that the fog is nothing more than a contrast reduction IN A PHOTO - and we're accustomed to generally not liking photos with a lack of contrast. So the more one increases the contrast (burn tool is particularly effective), the more one "disperses the fog" so it ends up being somewhat of a paradox.

    The other alternative is to try going high key like this ...

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Sorry for the very long delay in responding. I'll use the old "life got crazy" cliche as an excuse
    I want to thank everyone for their very helpful replies. You guys never fail to deliver great ideas, advice, etc. Additionally, that idea of editing individual channels is something of a new concept to me, so that opens up a can of worms. Does anyone have any links to good tutorials for editing individual channels? I searched around but didn't find many that were up to date or relevant (maybe my searching skills are lacking).

    Here are three different fog shots I was playing around with. I included the raw files also, so you can compare. Shots 2 and 3 both have 2 post processed versions (A & B), and version B of each just has a little more contrast. Please let me know what you think...

    1. Raw
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    1. P.P.
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    2. Raw
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    2. P.P. version A
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    2. P.P. version B
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    3. Raw
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    3. P.P. version A
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    3. P.P. version B
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Thanks again for any comments, advice, c&c etc

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Actually forgot I wanted to show this one also. I barely spent any time on this. Just threw the edits together really quick to experiment. I tried one with a little contrast, and one very high key. Comments appreciated along with the previous post...

    raw

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    PP version A

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    PP version B

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    If I can echo Colin from another thread "Get it right in-camera" and comparing this with the original file I cannot see any differences except I have sharpened this a little bit to come here.
    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?
    "Night Shift Returns" October 2003 and my lovely Nikon 5700
    As in examples above I think it is desirable to have some part of the photo looking 'good', as the closest yacht here.... it iss a policy I normally apply to any photo which includes posssible sub-standard content .... just to show you know what you are doing
    Last edited by jcuknz; 9th December 2012 at 08:01 AM.

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    The only times I resort to adjusting levels on the individual colour channels is when there is a colour cast such as haze caused by pollution or photographing through a tinted window etc. None of the photographs above would benefit from the extra mucking around. Below is a snap shot of a squid taken looking down from above the water and rescued by using separate levels adjustments on the colour channels. In photographs in mist or fog it is more a mater of trying to balance a bit of punch in the foreground while preserving the delicate quality of the scene.

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?
    Last edited by pnodrog; 9th December 2012 at 09:06 AM.

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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post
    Actually forgot I wanted to show this one also. I barely spent any time on this. Just threw the edits together really quick to experiment. I tried one with a little contrast, and one very high key. Comments appreciated along with the previous post...

    PP version A

    Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?
    I definitely prefer the PP version A of the bench.

    If mine, I would clone out the mole hill in front of centre of bench (i.e. third from right).

    On the earlier examples; I prefer the "B" versions of 2 and 3.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 9th December 2012 at 11:23 AM. Reason: added comment on earlier post

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    The only times I resort to adjusting levels on the individual colour channels is when there is a colour cast such as haze caused by pollution or photographing through a tinted window etc. None of the photographs above would benefit from the extra mucking around. Below is a snap shot of a squid taken looking down from above the water and rescued by using separate levels adjustments on the colour channels. In photographs in mist or fog it is more a mater of trying to balance a bit of punch in the foreground while preserving the delicate quality of the scene.
    Thank you very much, this is really helpful. Pretty amazing image rescue you showed with the squid!

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    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Post Processing Fog photos?

    Dave, thanks for the feedback on my images!

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