Barn at Sunset

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    Ezra Morley

    I’m looking for some feedback on this picture that I took a while back, and which took a LOT of processing to look like this!

    I’ll put a before and after so you can see the difference! The screenshot shows the settings I used to edit in Lightroom.

    EXIF Data

    Camera Model : Canon EOS REBEL T3
    Software : Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.0 (Windows)
    ISO speed ratings : 400
    Shutter speed [s] : 1/60
    Aperture : F5.0
    Focal length [mm] : 18

    NOTE: If you can’t see the screenshot well enough here’s a zoomable version.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by James Staddon.
    Daniel Hancock

    Although you can tell the result was heavily edited, I like it – it looks fanastic!

    James Staddon

    I love the idea behind HDR technology. It’s something that used to be impossible with photography, and I think it has great potential for making pictures look more like what we see with our eyes than ever before. But I dislike unnatural HDR processing. It’s certainly art, but it’s not photography.

    How to know what is natural and what is not is a fine line. Different people have different opinions. But when I want to keep things natural looking when I’m pulling out detail in the dark and bright areas of a picture, I must maintain a natural hierarchy of luminosity values. Thoughout the entire image, the darkest shadows must always stay darkest; the brightest highlights must always stay the brightest. Every element in the shot that is in shadow must never be as bright as the elements that are in sunlight. As soon as shadows reach the same brightness value as highlights in any part of the spectrum, it becomes unnatural looking.

    Just try to remember what you saw when you took the shot. You’re eye picked up a whole lot more than your camera did when it comes to dynamic range.

    In the shot you’ve attached, the areas of shadow are still dark enough and the sky bright enough that it doesn’t look fake to me. Lightroom purposely set up the sliders so that you couldn’t pull them too far (shadows and highlights especially) like you can in other programs like Photomatix.

    Ezra Morley

    Quite frankly I had forgotten how much processing that particular photo took!

    But I wholeheartedly agree with what you said:

    “Just try to remember what you saw when you took the shot.”

    That’s exactly what I try to do, I visualize how vibrant the colors were, how dark the shadows were, how blue the sky was, etc. Then I try to make it look like what I remember. I think my biggest problem is that my laptop monitor isn’t calibrated properly. It looks all right on my screen, but if I print it, the colors look totally different.

    James Staddon

    Do you know how to calibrate your screen? It’s difficult and not very accurate on a laptop, but there might be some things you can do to make it better.

    Ezra Morley

    Yes, I have tried calibrating my laptop screen using the default Windows 7 screen calibrator. Calibration has a lot to do with ambient light in the room you are working in, does it not? So any time I move to another location, my screen is ‘uncalibrated’. Plus, I think the angle of viewing has more to do with it than anything else. Your picture can go from overexposed to high-contrasty underexposed just by tilting your screen! I’m not really that worried about it, since the printing I do, I do on a printer from some company which won’t be calibrated to my monitor anyway! Not to mention, that last time I printed, I designed the files in the RGB colorspace, and the printer wanted CYMK! That really doesn’t make for accurate colors! Sadly the GIMP doesn’t support CYMK, so there’s not much I can do about it!

    James Staddon

    Even though it’s not perfectly accurate, I have used the same Windows 7 default screen calibrator to match (as best I can) the prints I get from my printer. Frankly, I just follow these steps:

    1. Edit a picture on my laptop until it looks good on the un-calibrated screen.
    2. Send it to the printer.
    3. Compare the print with my screen. Of course, they are going to look quite different, so . . .
    4. I then use the screen calibrator program to make my screen match the print as best I can. Of course, the picture on the screen is probably not going to look very good. But that’s not the point. The point is, the print and screen now match!
    5. Now I re-edit my picture until it looks good on the now calibrated screen.
    6. Send it to the printer again. The re-edited print should look much better.
    7. Make sure to save (screenshot works for me) the settings you used on the screen calibrator program. You may need to re-calibrate for each printer you use. Also, I’ve had the screen reset to default on a whim.

    Ezra Morley

    Thanks for the advice! Maybe my calendar will turn out better this year if I calibrate my monitor to the printer.


    WOW, this is beautiful! I think the editing looks great, not to fake or overdone.

    James Staddon

    Yes! Beautiful enough to be published in the IBLP Calendar! I love seeing other photographer’s work get published.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

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