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Thread: Spires in the Garden

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
    Real Name
    Frank Miller

    Spires in the Garden

    This image is destined for the trash bin. Sometimes, no matter how many times I try to process a favorite image, and no matter how many hours I work at it, I just can't get it to all come together so this one is off to the trash.

    So why post it at all?

    Because, although it hasn't reached its potential, it may offer encouragement for those that have a favorite snapshot image that they want to improve but feel that it is hopeless to try to apply any post processing.

    First, here is the original 3 MP image taken at F4, 1/400sec, ISO 64. In my mind, I could see a huge ghostly image of the moon in the upper right hand corner to give a surreal feeling to this rather bizarre landscape. Unfortunately, I never got that far. <sigh!>

    Spires in the Garden

    In trying to correct the image, several things were tried with varying degrees of success.

    Selectively increasing the contrast will often reduce the effect of the atmospheric haze on distant objects such as the spires.

    Selectively increasing or decreasing the brightness on areas of bright sun or dark shadow can bring out the detail but because the colours can be dramatically different between sunlit and shadow, colour tone changes may need to be done as well.

    Sometimes the sky is so lacking in detail and bland that increasing the contrast can help but if that is insufficient, then a replacement sky can often make a big difference. Here, the sky is hazy but that makes the sky selection very difficult at the horizon, particularly where there are trees that are poorly defined due to the haze. Also with selecting a sky against a hazy horizon, you are very likely to end up with significant halos as a result. Sometimes the best resolution for horizon halos is cloning the sky a tad closer to the horizon.

    Landscapes usually look better at either a 2:1 or a 16:9 ratio rather than the 4:3 ratio of the typical camera so cropping can be useful to both change the ratio and eliminate excess sky, foreground, or both.

    This is one of those images where HDR Tonemapping does not help so it was not used.

    After several attempts at making these changes, I found that it was difficult to make effective selections owing primarily to the wide variety colour tones in the foreground and the atmospheric haze in the background, which is the primary reason for not being able to get a successful result.

    On the other hand, if you don't look too closely, it is a better 'snapshot' rendition than the original so in that aspect it has somewhat succeeded.

    Spires in the Garden

    For those of you that are wondering if it is worthwhile to take a hand at post processing, I hope this helps!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 21st March 2012 at 08:13 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Ontario (mostly)
    Real Name

    Re: Spires in the Garden

    A reasonably good save I would say.

    It could have been an awesome pic in the right conditions.

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