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Thread: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

  1. #1
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Here's a shot straight out of Wifey's Samsung Galaxy cellphone (mobile):

    Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    "You shouldn't shoot straight into the Sun" I go, and rant on about damaged sensors, blown highlights, impenetrable shadows, da di dah . . .

    Anyway, the pic above is one of several similar that didn't come out too bad. It was the sun's rays that prompted the shot. How would you go about accenting the rays? Comments on the quality of the shot itself are not really invited, though.

  2. #2

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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    maybe with some contrast-mart

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA
    ...and rant on about damaged sensors, blown highlights, impenetrable shadows, da di dah . . .
    In your defense, that image does have blown highlights and impenetrable shadows. Interestingly, the Internet doesn't have much to say about photographic post-processing to accentuate crepuscular rays (AKA god beams). I'd try a polygonal selection around each one with a feathered edge and increased brightness. Couple that with HDR (ixnay on the onephay), and you might have the potential for some killer shots.

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Thanks Lex,

    Makes sense. Worth a try.

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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Hi,

    I tried the following steps. I made two times Tone Mapping. Then with Free Hand option I selected the central blown highlight to which I applied brightness -5. After that and removing the selection I increased contrast +5 to the whole image. That way the highlights (brightness/contrast) and the shadows (Tone Mapping x 2/contrast) were left on the original levels but with the crepuscular rays visibility increased. In GIMP of course. ;-)

    Regards

    P.S. I thought I would add modified version here to compare it with other images. Here it is.

    Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?
    Last edited by P2O2; 1st June 2013 at 07:52 PM. Reason: To compare the method with other ones

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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Ted: you might try this, there is an video by Moose Peterson on god beams. How I know that some do not like him but if he can show you something why not. I am attaching a link so you can take a look it is rather a simple method. I have use it a few times my self.

    http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/index.php?s=god+beams

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Thanks Allan. The Moose method, being quick & dirty, was quite attractive. Before and After:

    Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?
    Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

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    wobert's Avatar
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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Hi Ted,
    I had a go at an edit with Lightroom- Lighten the shadows, a couple of gradients over the sky areas to lower exposure, boost contrast with clarity, and a smidgen of colour painted over the sun highlight.
    You may like it- you may not. But I agree with Lex
    blown highlights and impenetrable shadows
    Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    All the best!

  9. #9
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    Nicely done, Robert.

    Beats my quick and dirty effort quite handsomely!

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    Re: Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?

    On reflection and second viewing I can see where you are coming from with your 'quick and dity' but not sure I like it and surely highlights should be balanced by dark tones to set them off.

    Anyway Corel have been badgering me to download some plug-ins which I finally cluttered my system with today
    One of the options is graduated filtering of top and bottom of the picture, or side to side etc and while I don't really think the original has many 'god-beams' or enough to make it a good G-B shot this is what I came up with darkening the upper and lightening the lower.
    Clouds and Rays - a bit of a challenge?
    For all your admonishments I think your wife did it pretty right in largely hiding the sun behind the cloud? Much of your concern dates back to early electronic photography and doesn't apply to current SOTA sensors and when photographers used tripods to concentrate the light on one spot I believe. So these days it is more a question of taste rather than technical.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 3rd June 2013 at 08:30 AM.

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