Ok, so I have found some time to deal with some of the criticisms of the previous iteration of the photo, so for your perusal here is the next iteration. Thank you for the criticisms by the way.SeaOatsPano3
by Larry Heath
, on Flickr
I have reengineered the bald portion of the sky to be, I hope, a little more pleasing to those who feel that there should always be texture and or color in highlight areas. I might point out that as I write this that on the top page of the Luminous Landscape the photo “Crystal Sea
” is featured. Are there not significant areas of “clipped highlights” or maybe more properly ‘specular highlights” in this photo as well? OK, Crystal Sea is a high key photo and I suppose that large areas of pure white are less jarring and more acceptable in this context. But actually the first iteration of this photo is a more realistic representation of what was actually to be seen with the naked eye, a blazing yellow white skyline, between the clouds and the horizon, which one could hardly even look at without actually “Wincing”, and that with dark sunglasses on.
The reason I tried to create this shot, was exactly because there was such an extreme contrast between the dark foreboding cloud deck racing out to the west onto the Gulf, traveling at 25 to 30 mph?, and into the blazing blue sky with brilliant white clouds further out on the Gulf, as well as the luminous glow under the cloud deck. The way the light was bouncing off the water and around the underside of the cloud layer produced a very strange yellow golden non-directional glow which only seconds before was simply a dark dull gray monochrome landscape in those areas under the cloud deck. It was like someone flipped a switch, one second everything is all cool dull gray, then BANG all this warm golden yellow light coming from everywhere at once and the horizon is blazing white gold. The whole thing lasted maybe 30 second or a minute if that before it was all gone. So I will just go right ahead and pat myself on the back on having roused myself from my somewhat more than modest alcoholically induced haze, just long enough to grab my wife’s camera and push in some exposure compensation and bang off six hand held frames to try and do something with. Silk purses from sow’s ears and all that. Frankly what I’ve been able to produce here really doesn’t even come close to the reality of the scene, more is the pitty.
Next, I temporarily and somewhat crudely, fixed the incongruent reflections in the windows, which as bdosserman correctly points out are looking out from under the low cloud deck to a portion of the southern sky that is still quite brilliant blue with nice fluffy white clouds. Bdosserman also got it right in that there is a large, about 4’ high, berm between the people and the camera position that any shadows would fall on the backside of. Not that there would be much shadow, given that there is really no direct sunlight falling on them in the first place. As is now more apparent, the sun is actually above the cloud layer. The people on the lower left of the scene being lit mostly from light form the south show only modest shadows from that direction. The shots were taken at around 6 O’clock so the sun on a southwest Florida August day is still fairly high above the horizon.
There are still some distracting defects I have not been able at this point to remedy. There are some harsh magenta and cyan color casts in the sand at bottom center. Anyone have a simple nifty way to deal with this?
Finely, I don’t seem to be able to get the jpg PS produces for the web to reproduce the tonal gradations in the shadows at the lower right that I have when viewing the file inside PS. When using a web browser to view the files from Flickr the shadows are a bit more contrasty and blocked than what I would like. I have fooled around for an hour or so changing setting in PS web export module but to no avail. What is the secret kind sirs?
So there you have it.