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Thread: sky images

  1. #1
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    sky images

    Does the sky look overdone in the second image? I used the quick edit in PSE8 to darken the sky.
    sky images

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    Last edited by Shadowman; 14th October 2010 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Added photo.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Does the sky look overdone in the second image?
    John
    Yes it does. It's got a very unnatural look about it.

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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    John
    Yes it does. It's got a very unnatural look about it.
    How about the third one added, no editing done. These were shot in jpeg and converted to tiff for editing and then saved as jpeg again. I don't have RAW on my Nikon P90 and it was the only camera available besides another point and shoot.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: sky images

    Not sure that a colour-blind photographer is the best person to be commenting here! But #3 looks fine, in terms of the colour being natural (what one would expect to see). There does seem to be a strong bit of vignetting at the top corners. Maybe just an effect of the light.

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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Not sure that a colour-blind photographer is the best person to be commenting here! But #3 looks fine, in terms of the colour being natural (what one would expect to see). There does seem to be a strong bit of vignetting at the top corners. Maybe just an effect of the light.
    Donald,

    Thanks for the comments. These were taken on my way to work yesterday and it was a bit chilly. After about twelve shots I couldn't feel my fingers anymore.

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    Re: sky images

    Hi John,

    Yes, #2 is way over, but just reducing the saturation, having darkened the sky, would have done the trick I think.

    Although the blue is almost as deep in #3, it looks more natural as you have the image height to show how the sky transitions from bright at horizon to dark above the head.

    I think there is a vignette occuring, obviously unseen at the bottom of the picture and difficult to see at top due to gradation of sky.

    I prefer the composition of #1/#2, the sky just needs to be somewhere in the middle between those two extremes

    #3 has its merits, but the contrails seem to have blown a bit too far away to compensate for the expanses of black foreground and dark sky overhead.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 14th October 2010 at 05:23 PM. Reason: correct typo

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    Re: sky images

    They do look unrealistic. They look more purple than I can remember seeing.

    Skies are mostly cyan with a very small amount of green or magenta, but in all three there is a lot of red, which makes them purple. I am not sure if you have got curves in your editor but if so reducing the amount of red in the red channel would make them less purple and more cyan. Perhaps increasing the green a little would also help. You might need to lighten the sky as well

    I tried it got what (to me) is a more realistic sky and the added bonus of a more prominent orange glow on the horizon.

    Does that help at all?

    John (After a lot of trouble having managed to get re registered!)

    I

  8. #8
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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi John,

    Yes, #2 is way over, but just reducing the saturation, having darkened the sky, would have done the trick I think.

    Although the blue is almost as deep in #3, it looks more natural as you have the image height to show how the sky transitions from bright at horizon to dark above the head.

    I think there is a vignette occuring, obviously unseen at the bottom of the picture and difficult to see at top due to gradation of sky.

    I prefer the composition of #1/#2, the sky just needs to be somewhere in the middle between those two extremes

    #3 has its merits, but the contrails seem to have blown a bit too far away to compensate for the expanses of black foreground and dark sky overhead.

    Cheers,
    Dave,

    I rarely use the quick edit/darken sky function unless I have a very washed out sky and even then it does not seem to work. I am slowly experimenting with other methods, such as you suggest reducing the saturation, and I also did a bracketed exposure which I tried converting to HDR with minimal tonemapping but didn't like the result of that either.

  9. #9
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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by ANSORB View Post
    They do look unrealistic. They look more purple than I can remember seeing.

    Skies are mostly cyan with a very small amount of green or magenta, but in all three there is a lot of red, which makes them purple. I am not sure if you have got curves in your editor but if so reducing the amount of red in the red channel would make them less purple and more cyan. Perhaps increasing the green a little would also help. You might need to lighten the sky as well

    I tried it got what (to me) is a more realistic sky and the added bonus of a more prominent orange glow on the horizon.

    Does that help at all?

    John (After a lot of trouble having managed to get re registered!)

    I
    ANSORB,

    What was most memorable about these photographs was the splash of red, the blues or purple as you see them, were gradually lightening from a very dark blue as the sun started to rise. This is one of those situations where taking multiple photographs paid off, as I believe at least one or two were salvageable. They aren't award winners but they are learning tools.

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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    ANSORB,

    What was most memorable about these photographs was the splash of red, the blues or purple as you see them, were gradually lightening from a very dark blue as the sun started to rise. This is one of those situations where taking multiple photographs paid off, as I believe at least one or two were salvageable. They aren't award winners but they are learning tools.
    When you say salvageable I assume you mean by post processing so I thought I would my money where my mouth is as post the result I got with your first image using levels. It is a PSD file with two layers. The upper is a copy of the original and switched off. It can be switched on for comparison with the lower which is my version.

    All I did was open the green channel in Levels and moved the green mid point slider to the left until I got what I liked. (This reduces the magenta in the blue). I then went back to the composite (RGB) channel. and darkened it by moving the mid point and left hand sliders to the right. That darked the sky and the con trails and I liked the effect. It is all a matter of taste, and it doesn't matter which version you prefer. You could even combine them by lowering the opacity of the upper layer.

    I use CS5 but it ought to work in PSE8 just the same.

  11. #11
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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by ANSORB View Post
    When you say salvageable I assume you mean by post processing so I thought I would my money where my mouth is as post the result I got with your first image using levels. It is a PSD file with two layers. The upper is a copy of the original and switched off. It can be switched on for comparison with the lower which is my version.

    All I did was open the green channel in Levels and moved the green mid point slider to the left until I got what I liked. (This reduces the magenta in the blue). I then went back to the composite (RGB) channel. and darkened it by moving the mid point and left hand sliders to the right. That darked the sky and the con trails and I liked the effect. It is all a matter of taste, and it doesn't matter which version you prefer. You could even combine them by lowering the opacity of the upper layer.

    I use CS5 but it ought to work in PSE8 just the same.
    ANSORB,

    I don't see the images.

  12. #12

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    Re: sky images

    Sorry. I guess I need more practice as attaching images

    I hope this will have my version appearing in the message. It is a one layered file, two exceeded the limits. I would be glad to know what you think about it, I think it is a worthwhile adjustment but my eyes are not what they used to be and also what looks good on my monitor might not look so good on yours.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by ANSORB View Post
    Sorry. I guess I need more practice as attaching images

    I hope this will have my version appearing in the message. It is a one layered file, two exceeded the limits. I would be glad to know what you think about it, I think it is a worthwhile adjustment but my eyes are not what they used to be and also what looks good on my monitor might not look so good on yours.
    ANSORB,

    I had to download to my computer to be able to zoom in on the image. I can see the subtle gradations of color you used on the sky and it makes the first photograph look more realistic. I like the transformation.

  14. #14
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    Re: sky images

    ANSORB

    Here is the original with your edit.

    sky images

    sky images

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    Re: sky images

    John,

    To my eye, on my monitor, your first image directly above looks the best. The second one has what appears to be the beginnings of banding, or posterization. Your original gives the birds better visibility as well. I would call the first one the most "natural" looking of the two.

    I like deep blue-to-black skies ala Maxfield Parrish and often make them so, especially when I intend to convert the scene to B&W. It takes some skill and practice, however, because artifacts like banding are very easy to cause and very difficult to get rid of, although possible most of the time.

    A "natural" sky is, in my view, in the eye of the beholder, and so should not necessarily be an artistic goal criterion in your work. In my case, dark blue-to-black skies are part of my style and appear frequently in my color and black and white pictures. There is nothing about a photograph that is real, actually, so why try to mimic mother nature? Express yourself, show it how you see it in your own mind's eye, but be prepared to work for what you want in post processing.

    Keep the first one is my advice.

    Best,
    David

  16. #16
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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by David deSousa View Post
    John,

    There is nothing about a photograph that is real, actually, so why try to mimic mother nature?
    Keep the first one is my advice.

    Best,
    David
    I'm reading a book, The Better Photo Guide to Exposure, by Sean Arbabi and he says the same thing about photography. Sean states 'that the camera does what the eye cannot, such as zoom into an area, so whatever we capture with the camera isn't reality but an adjustment of what we actually see.

  17. #17

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    Re: sky images

    Very well said. My thoughts and sentiments precisely. However, it is much easier said than done, as you no doubt know. I studied under Ansel Adams long ago. He taught previsualization, the skill of knowing your medium so well and your processing so well, that you can previsualize the outcome of your exposure before you trip the shutter. Now that to me is still a goal far out of my reach today in digital, but I'm workin' on it, as are you I hope.

    Good luck and peace to you,
    David

  18. #18
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    Re: sky images

    Quote Originally Posted by David deSousa View Post
    Very well said. My thoughts and sentiments precisely. However, it is much easier said than done, as you no doubt know. I studied under Ansel Adams long ago. He taught previsualization, the skill of knowing your medium so well and your processing so well, that you can previsualize the outcome of your exposure before you trip the shutter. Now that to me is still a goal far out of my reach today in digital, but I'm working' on it, as are you I hope.

    Good luck and peace to you,
    David
    Another comment made by the author, and by a few of the senior members of this forum, is how much time do you want to spend post processing your images. A few images per shooting session is fine, but if you have to process over two hundred images from one shoot then you probably aren't fully aware of the capabilities of your camera. I admit that I often get caught in trying to capture the image that I do not take advantage of the viewfinder to spot blown highlights. I was at a festival this past summer, shooting during midday so I was using a fast shutter speed and it took me a few minutes to realize that I had underexposed at least five shots in a row. I was too caught up in capturing the action to verify the success or failure of my efforts.

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