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Ed Blagden
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« on: June 20, 2009, 12:44:32 PM »
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C&C appreciated.  Heavily lightroomed, this one... didn't look quite like this in real life, but it should have.

Ed

[attachment=14696:IMG_2762.jpg]

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shutterpup
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2009, 01:25:39 PM »
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Quote from: Ed B
C&C appreciated.  Heavily lightroomed, this one... didn't look quite like this in real life, but it should have.

Ed

[attachment=14696:IMG_2762.jpg]


Could we see what the original looked like?
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2009, 02:04:11 PM »
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Quote from: shutterpup
Could we see what the original looked like?

Well I can't tell you what it looked like because you would have had to have been there, but if you mean how did the RAW file come out of the camera, it looked like this:

[attachment=14702:IMG_2762_2.jpg]

Nothing changed apart from the crop to match the final, plus dust-bunny removal.
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shutterpup
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2009, 03:35:52 PM »
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Quote from: Ed B
Well I can't tell you what it looked like because you would have had to have been there, but if you mean how did the RAW file come out of the camera, it looked like this:

[attachment=14702:IMG_2762_2.jpg]

Nothing changed apart from the crop to match the final, plus dust-bunny removal.


Ed,
I really prefer the subtly of the original. The heavily post-processed version has too much drama to suit my tastes; by this I mean the really dark clouds and the huge golden light in the lower left. It feels unbalanced to me. I know that I have taken some dramatic skies, but I've never deliberately post-processed one. The drama has stood on its own without help from the computer. Thank you for sharing the original file.
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RSL
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2009, 04:57:09 PM »
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I can't quite make up my mind, but I think I agree with Pup. Here's one in a similar vein. The only Photoshopping was a bit of sharpening, but the oncoming storm was pretty pronounced.

[attachment=14705:Jun_14_2009_05.jpg]
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shutterpup
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2009, 05:35:03 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
I can't quite make up my mind, but I think I agree with Pup. Here's one in a similar vein. The only Photoshopping was a bit of sharpening, but the oncoming storm was pretty pronounced.

[attachment=14705:Jun_14_2009_05.jpg]

Russ,
This was what I meant by my last statement here. The lighting itself is dramatic enough to stand on its own without creating drama through post-processing. I find my best photos have little post-processing; sometimes not even a bit of crop. The timing of the shoot, the camera settings make it without any help from me in the computer.
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rcdurston
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 07:36:01 PM »
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Nope, the processed one is miles ahead of the raw image. It is all about the drama; whether it is created in camera or post you have it in spades. It looks great and like I always say "a great sky makes the shot".

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RSL
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2009, 09:13:40 PM »
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Quote from: rcdurston
Nope, the processed one is miles ahead of the raw image. It is all about the drama; whether it is created in camera or post you have it in spades. It looks great and like I always say "a great sky makes the shot".

Rob, Drama isn't everything. Two things in the raw version get lost in the Photoshopped version: the sense of depth, and the subtle foreground. In the Photoshopped version the mountain comes closer and appears to rise immediately beyond the foreground, which has turned into a featureless blob. Unfortunately, both versions suffer from the sunspot center left that's a bit too bright and featureless. Still, it's an interesting picture in either version. If I were going to hang one of the two, I think it'd be the raw version. Drama gives you an immediate reaction, but subtlety is a more lasting virtue. It's kind of like the difference between "Carmen" and the girl next door.
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jule
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 11:57:36 PM »
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Thanks for posting your image Ed.

I think it is worth mentioning that a RAW file is just data, it is not an original like in film as some would presume, and that to see anything like an image, an algorithm and processing needs to be applied whether it be in-camera or through a converter.

There is no real 'original' which is the 'visual proof of a scene'. It is just data which is then processed. Your file which is more subltle which you refer to as the RAW image, was processed by a converter and is displayed as an image through a particular converter. It has had standardised processing done to it, whether it be default settings or Auto settings. Whether you like those choices of algorithms to display the Raw data is up to you, and if you don't, you change settings and sliders in the RAW converter, or change things in Photoshop.

The amount of so called 'post-processing' depends upon what you do in the conversion stage and which Raw converter you use. For example, let's say your AUTO settings in your raw converter make the image really strong and contrasty, you may want to do very little in photoshop, and then you may say that little post processing has been done. The same image with a default setting in your converter may be processed very subtly, and you choose to make more dramatic in photoshop. You then may assume that you have done a lot of post processing to the image to get to the same result. Apart from the destruction of image quality which may occur from processing after RAW conversion, it is ALL processing.

The reason I am discussing this, is that I think that in this thread, rather than focusing on discussing how much processing an image has or not,  I think it is better to really look at the image itself and the feeling it evokes.  

I personally like the softer version, but would darken the underside of the clouds in the upper left corner.

Julie
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2009, 12:06:46 AM »
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Personally I like the touched up one better.  I don't think the foreground adds any interest, though, and detracts from the sky.  I'd probably chop off about 3/4 of the foreground from the bottom, leaving enough to serve as an anchor for the image.

Mike.
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2009, 12:57:16 AM »
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Thanks for your comments everyone.

OK, so I attach now a compromise version, which is closer to my memory of the real scene than either the "subtle" unprocessed version or the heavy metal version which I posted first.

The basic difference between this and the first version is that in the first I stretched the dynamic range in LR by increasing blacks until the tail of the histogram hit zero, making the foreground almost completely dark.  In the latter version the histogram cuts off at in the middle-darks and there are no blacks to be seen.  Then I fiddled around with the tone curve and fill light until I got this...

Ed

[attachment=14713:IMG_2762_3.jpg]
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2009, 12:58:07 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
Personally I like the touched up one better.  I don't think the foreground adds any interest, though, and detracts from the sky.  I'd probably chop off about 3/4 of the foreground from the bottom, leaving enough to serve as an anchor for the image.

Mike.

What he said.
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cmi
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2009, 04:26:23 AM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
Personally I like the touched up one better.  I don't think the foreground adds any interest, though, and detracts from the sky.  I'd probably chop off about 3/4 of the foreground from the bottom, leaving enough to serve as an anchor for the image.

Mike.

+1

I like the first version best, and I would have gone more extreme. The "compromise" and the "original" dont hold interest for me.
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shutterpup
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2009, 06:03:08 AM »
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Quote from: Ed B
Thanks for your comments everyone.

OK, so I attach now a compromise version, which is closer to my memory of the real scene than either the "subtle" unprocessed version or the heavy metal version which I posted first.

The basic difference between this and the first version is that in the first I stretched the dynamic range in LR by increasing blacks until the tail of the histogram hit zero, making the foreground almost completely dark.  In the latter version the histogram cuts off at in the middle-darks and there are no blacks to be seen.  Then I fiddled around with the tone curve and fill light until I got this...

Ed

[attachment=14713:IMG_2762_3.jpg]

I like this "compromise"; not so contrasty as the first, not so soft as the second.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2009, 08:27:38 AM »
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I'm with Mike and Dark and Christian. The first version works best for me.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2009, 08:34:56 AM »
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Quote from: Ed B
Thanks for your comments everyone.
OK, so I attach now a compromise version, which is closer to my memory of the real scene than either the "subtle" unprocessed version or the heavy metal version which I posted first.
The basic difference between this and the first version is that in the first I stretched the dynamic range in LR by increasing blacks until the tail of the histogram hit zero, making the foreground almost completely dark.  In the latter version the histogram cuts off at in the middle-darks and there are no blacks to be seen.  Then I fiddled around with the tone curve and fill light until I got this...
Ed

This one looks all washed out (no pun intended).  It's as though looking at a faint memory of the storm, where most of the details have faded, like an old print that's faded badly.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2009, 10:28:18 AM »
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Quote from: Ed B
Thanks for your comments everyone.

OK, so I attach now a compromise version, which is closer to my memory of the real scene than either the "subtle" unprocessed version or the heavy metal version which I posted first.

The basic difference between this and the first version is that in the first I stretched the dynamic range in LR by increasing blacks until the tail of the histogram hit zero, making the foreground almost completely dark.  In the latter version the histogram cuts off at in the middle-darks and there are no blacks to be seen.  Then I fiddled around with the tone curve and fill light until I got this...

Ed

[attachment=14713:IMG_2762_3.jpg]

Clearly, when you mentioned Turner you had in mind his admittedly highly dramatic skies and portrayals of the turmoil in intense lighting.  I support your efforts at capturing what you saw in your mind's eye by using Photoshop.  I think your compromise doesn't work as well as your original posted image.  However, I agree that the almost-black foreground is distracting.

You could have masked out the foreground before processing the image, put it in Overlay mode and applied a black-to white gradient to it.  That would have enabled you to process the image above the foreground to get the look you like in Image 1, but retained some more detail in the foreground allowing it to become increasingly dark or light, your choice.

For those who prefer the less dramatic image, closer to the RAW, that is their preference.  I personally like to present the "truth" of what I saw in my mind's eye rather than the "truth" captured in the raw file for an image like this, and the reverse for other images.  The beauty of today's world is that I can choose either way, and even change my mind later on.

Even in the olden days of wet darkrooms, an image like this could have been made as dramatic.  It also would have raised the same split of opinions, with validity on both sides IMHO.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 10:32:10 AM by walter.sk » Logged
Ed Blagden
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2009, 01:02:47 PM »
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OK, thanks all for your highly valued opinions... this image is obviously a polariser, which I guess is a good thing.  Wouldn't it be a boring world if everyone agreed about everything?

Anyway, I attach the final version, which I am not going to change no matter what anyone says: foreground cropped as per Mike's suggestion, aspect ratio now A3, a tiny bit more detail in what was the resolutely black cloud, but otherwise not much changed from the Van-Halen-meets-Turner-In-Africa original.  Which is what I saw, even if it wasn't there.

Salaams


Ed

[attachment=14726:IMG_2762_4.jpg]
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cmi
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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2009, 02:03:40 PM »
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Yes! Gonna like this even more than the first version, the uncertainity of the view is removed now. I recon you wont change it, thats ok, but I'd say it could be cropped a slight bit more at the left and top.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 02:04:06 PM by Christian Miersch » Logged
rcdurston
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« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2009, 04:33:34 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Rob, Drama isn't everything. Two things in the raw version get lost in the Photoshopped version: the sense of depth, and the subtle foreground. In the Photoshopped version the mountain comes closer and appears to rise immediately beyond the foreground, which has turned into a featureless blob. Unfortunately, both versions suffer from the sunspot center left that's a bit too bright and featureless. Still, it's an interesting picture in either version. If I were going to hang one of the two, I think it'd be the raw version. Drama gives you an immediate reaction, but subtlety is a more lasting virtue. It's kind of like the difference between "Carmen" and the girl next door.
Well
If I was given a choice I would hang the first one on my wall. The "raw" is lifeless and boring while the "retouched" version has way more depth, mystery and speaks volumes comparatively.

r
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