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Thread: photographing clouds

  1. #41
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    No matter what technique you use it is going to difficult to compensate for the fact that the lighting isn't coming from a nice angle. Tired PP on the pic found that the lighting is rather flat. Sometimes you just have to be at the right place at the right time. Be aware of the light. if the light is right the picture will probably be right.

  2. #42

    Default Re: photographing clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by photatographer View Post
    No matter what technique you use it is going to difficult to compensate for the fact that the lighting isn't coming from a nice angle. Tired PP on the pic found that the lighting is rather flat. Sometimes you just have to be at the right place at the right time. Be aware of the light. if the light is right the picture will probably be right.
    u mean low contrast, low shadow?
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  3. #43
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by shiruikage View Post
    u mean low contrast, low shadow?
    The scene is high contrast but the tower is low contrast. What does low shadow mean?

  4. #44

    Default Re: photographing clouds

    i have absolutely no idea...got that from google.
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  5. #45
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    My try in post processing your photo:


  6. #46

    Default Re: photographing clouds

    dem! u guys have excellent pp skills! ziploc, mind passing me some of ur wu ling mi jie?
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  7. #47
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    No problem. Since the pic has very wide dynamic range difference between the tower and the sky, the best way to pp is to seperate them out for individual curve adjustment. Here were the steps I took:

    1. Perform level adjustment on the picture with the histogram (Image->Adjustments->Levels), by moving the white marker towards the higher edge of the histogram (taking care not to exceed the edge as it will blow out highlights). This brings up the brightness of the slightly underexposed pic.


    2. Create a layer for curve adjustment. The objective now is to bring out the underexposed tower. Adjust the curve to get a good exposure for the tower, by raising the curve near the dark end and keeping the curve near the bright end. Note that the clouds will also be affected, but this is ok once we do the next step.


    3. Create a "hide all" layer mask on this layer. Switch to the brush tool and paint over the tower with white. This will reveal the brighten tower while restoring the original exposure of the clouds. This is what you will get so far:


    4. Since you said you wanted a bluer sky, I create another layer just above the background layer, and then adjusted the saturation of this layer to make the sky more blue. Since this layer is below the tower layer, the saturation of the tower will not be affected.


    5. Flatten the layers. After this I noticed the tower has a slight blue cast (from your original pic). So I decided to do a "black-white" adjustment in the next step.

    6. Open up level adjustment again (Image->Adjustments->Levels). Click the white eye-drop, and click on the whitest spot of the pic. Then click the black eye-drop, and click on the darkest spot of the pic. This will balance out the color. (It is better to perform this step during step 1, but since I only noticed the blue cast later so I did it here).


    7. Done!

    Hope it helps.

  8. #48

    Default Re: photographing clouds

    wow!! i din realise it will involve so many steps! this is made all the more awesome by u spending precious time to write this up. my camera-felt thanks and hats off to you.
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  9. #49
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc View Post
    My try in post processing your photo:

    I have to say that this is a very good compromise between the highlight and shadows. Still looks very natural after PP, very well done. Wasn't expecting this shot to be so salvageable.

  10. #50
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by shiruikage View Post
    wow!! i din realise it will involve so many steps! this is made all the more awesome by u spending precious time to write this up. my camera-felt thanks and hats off to you.
    You're welcome. Actually it is not as tedious as you think once you get use to it. The steps mentioned above are part of my normal workflow when I wanted to bring out the clouds in my landscape photos.

  11. #51

    Default Re: photographing clouds

    my black point eye drop tool seems to be giving me a wholey dark image. arghhh.....frustrating! other than that, it works!
    Last edited by shiruikage; 6th April 2009 at 10:28 PM.
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  12. #52
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    No it is the layer mask and not the vector mask. In the first place did you create a copy of the background layer? If you didn't, create it by dragging the background layer onto the "create a new layer" icon (the "blank paper" icon just beside the "thrash can") on the lower right of the layer pallette. If you did, you need to select the new layer and then click "Layer->Layer Mask->Hide All" on the menu bar. With the black eyedrop you'll need to click the darkest spot on the pic, otherwise it will make your pic dark as it is setting the dark point.
    Last edited by ziploc; 6th April 2009 at 10:37 PM.

  13. #53

    Default Re: photographing clouds

    i must have pretty bad eye for blackness...coz every black point i chose, turns the image black all over. end up i use auto level.
    this, then will be the backbone (sometimes) of my workflow liou. heheh.
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  14. #54
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    Default Re: photographing clouds

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkNKL View Post
    I usually just play around with the levels, just pick 1 Black and 1 White(usually this is bit is blown out) spot and toy around with the sliders a bit and you should even out the 11-18% grey.

    The below image was achieved just by levels and curve adjustments, I know it doesn't show clouds, but the aircraft's whites are properly done and the sky turned a nice shade of blue from a dull grey.

    This technique is merely a setting of contrast levels.

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