Here’s another from our recent trip out west. Our walk down the north rim was quite enjoyable—especially since the girls fell asleep in the carriers after a long day exploring, so mom and dad got to take our time enjoying sunset. There was a bit of mist in the canyon, so I got a bit of a sun beam through the canyon as the sun dipped below the rim.
What technical feedback would you like if any?
I would love to hear any comments on processing. Or any really
What artistic feedback would you like if any?
Composition, color management are the major things I would enjoy feedback on.
Pertinent technical details or techniques:
(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Three images for a simple focus stack and exposure blend. Initial adjustments were made in Capture 1 then all three were brought to Ps to blend and make final adjustments. One image was used for the evergreens in the LRC and then one for the exposure blend of the sky. Then the rest of the adjustments involved some mid-tone contrast and reducing the magenta in the canyon walls with TK actions and then some dodging and burning through luminosity masks.
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This is a great landscape. the rock formations look like they belong in The Lord of the Rings.
You asked about colour. For me and colour is personal but I thought that the colour temperature is too blue and a warm colour balance would emphasise the light and sky better.
I like the composition but I would further emphasise the light beam effect from behind the canyon wall.
Below is a quick demonstration a direction I would take.
Very striking image, Adam. I am usually bias toward the cooler /bluish tones but might warm this up… just a bit, or maybe just the sky area. I like your composition, there is a nice balance to all the cliffs and rock formations, the trees on the right work beautifully (might snip the little bits on the left though). I think you decided on the right amount of sky for this horizontal format. If you went wider I might like more sky. And if the sky was as interesting as the cliffs, a vertical format would make more sense to me. I very much like what you have here.
Adam, this is a very creative image. I assume this is the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and in my one trip there, it seemed like it was very difficult to photograph well. But you have done a great job of capturing the gorgeous light, while retaining shadow detail in the cliffs.
I see the blue tones as a creative effect, and do not think the entire image needs to be warmed up. I think a global warming adjustment loses the mood created by the blue tones. However, I could see some warming applied to the lighter tones in the sunlit areas of the canyon, while keeping the cooler tones in the shadows. I would consider cloning away the green branches in the LLC. They are so small that their inclusion looks like an accident, while including them in the LRC looks like a deliberate choice.
My last suggestion is very subjective, and is a significant departure from your original vision for the image. I think the light beams in the canyon are more important than the light in the sky itself, and would suggest cropping away the horizon to simplify the composition. I think doing this places more emphasis on the light beams in the canyon itself. Here is a rework reflecting all of my suggestions. I hope you don’t mind me taking the composition in such a different direction. Just trying out some different perspectives on what was already a really nice image.
@Nathan_Klein, @Stephen_Stanton, and @Ed_McGuirk,
Thank you so much for your feedback. Yes indeed. This was the Black Canyon. I appreciate your thoughts and the ways you pose to take it from where I had it. I agree that warming up is helpful. I did further emphasize the light beam; thanks for that note, Nathan. I stuck with Ed’s focus on accentuating the sunlit areas rather than the image overall.
And thank you for pointing out the branches in the LLC…gotta remember to redo the edge patrol. I had it cropped in a prior version and didn’t have to worry about it but then decided I like the wider framing.
I agree with Stephen about leaving a slice of sky in this case, though I do often like cutting the sky out of these types of scenes. I have several other images from this shoot that I intentionally framed to focus just on the canyon walls.